I pray with Mona Shadia ("Hoping for freedom in 'my' Egypt," Feb. 3) that Egyptian people will get freedoms that have been denied to them. However, I also would like to caution Egyptian protesters about the probability of a new regime that could be more repressive. Unless the "secular democratic" opposition groups are better organized and have a plan for a new regime with specific, competent leaders, they may only make things worse, with better organized and committed groups like the Muslim Brotherhood waiting for the opportunity to take over.
During the late '70s, I was talking to a young Iranian woman student at Cal State Long Beach, holding a banner calling for removal of the late Shah of Iran. I asked her what would happen if the Muslim clergy got into power and enforced their own religion-backed dictatorship. She naively replied that "once they remove the Shah, then later they would remove the mullahs also." I told her that it may not be easy to remove religious clergy who will torture and execute opponents and justify that in the name of Allah. Sadly, my worries came true in Iran, where hundreds of thousands of opponents have been tortured or executed, and minority religions have been given second-class status at best.