Not Arabs. Egyptians. They don't have a problem with this classification. I didn't refer to Iran and no, they don't consider themselves Arabs either, so what?
This 'revolution' is being forced by the young people and many see them selves in a more secular light. Educated, modern, internet savvy, this is about facebook and twitter more than religion. These young people are not all that interested in Sharia but jobs, food, safety - just like the rest of us.
The Iranian revolution was in a totally different time and from what I've been reading it might not be that long before the next one.
As Beth said, it's interesting reading different new sources, the American perspective is all about Muslim this and Muslim that, but in a country that's had Muslim leadership for a very long time, this doesn't seem to be THE issue. Believe it or not, there are other concerns in the world, and in Muslim countries.
Here is what you have reported the Egyptian to have said. If you were not implying that he spoke with authority than I am mistaken.
That Egyptians firstly aren't Arabs and secondly, the Islamic Brotherhood is a small part of political process, his words, they are the strongest of the weakest political groups in Egypt.
It seems fairly clear that you are of the opinion that an Islamist regime is not a likely outcome of the current unrest and you were citing the Egyptian as to why this is so:
1) Egyptians aren't Arabs
2) The Muslim Brotherhood is weak
What was the point of stating that Egyptians aren't Arabs if this wasn't intended to suggest that we should not expect the Egyptians to think or act like Arabs?
I am assuming that his first point and second were connected, since that is generally the case when someone uses "firstly," and "secondly, " and therefore conclude that the Egyptian believes Egyptians will not think or act like Arabs and
succumb to Islamism.
This point is irrelevant because a people do not need to be Arabs to succumb to Islamism - see Iran and Afghanistan.
That the MB is the strongest of a weak group of political factions makes them more, not less, likely to have the strongest influence if and when the 800 pound gorilla of a military backed Mubarak is gone.
I don't know what you have been reading about Iran but did it include the recent crushing of a youthful, nascent democratic reform movement? Did it also include the fact that the Shah was overthrown by a largely secular, youthful and pro-democratic movement only to have the revolution co-opted by Islamists?
You are making the usual mistake of equating Muslims with Islamists. With 90 percent of the population being Muslim it is almost absolutely certain that the next leader will be a Muslim, and I suppose Mubarak considers himself a Muslim as well, but the American perspective is not all about Muslim this and Muslim that.
The American perspective (if there is a singular one) is that we have seen pro-democratic reform movements co-opted before whether by Nazis in Germany, communists in China or Islamists in Iran. Since Islamists and not Nazis or communists are the extremist ideologues du jour in this part of the world, and since the Muslim Brotherhood has been around since the 40's (when it cooperated with Hitler's Germany) it is not illogical or paranoid to be concerned that they will follow the path taken by Islamists in Iran.
It is going to take a lot more than being familiar with twitter to establish a democratic government in Egypt, and the people who will get to vote (if and when they ever do) will not all be secular, educated, tech-savvy kids. They will mostly be the ones who believe that women who commit adultery should be stoned.