Debate on US aid continues amid turmoil in Egypt

August 18, 2013, 10:06 pm
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(NECN: John Monahan) - The ongoing violence in Egypt has two New England members of the U.S. Foreign Services Committee both saying it's time to suspend giving U.S. aid to the Middle Eastern country.

"Well, I think at this point, they're obviously getting the impression that no matter what they do, our aid will continue," said Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

"The acts of the last two days are unconscionable," agreed Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island. "And I do believe we have to change our aid."

But that would be a bad decision for the U.S., according to Mageed Mazin, professor at the Suffolk University School of Management in Boston.

Mazin, now a U.S. citizen, was born in Egypt. He says that cutting U.S. aid hurts America more than Egypt.

"If the U.S. cuts the aid, it will cut its own leverage," he said. "The only leverage they have."

Mazid goes on to say that the current violence is not the result of a coup. He says the military is actually supporting the majority of Egyptians who wanted Morsi to step down.

"So here is a guy elected by a majority of people who were not from the Muslim Bortherhood, and he disrespected them and they rebelled against him," said Mazid.

Because of that disrespect, Mazid says 32 million people turned out on June 30, a third of Egypt's population, the night Morsi was removed from office. There were so many people that military had to step in to prevent complete chaos.

"The military did not step in to remove him," said Mazid. "I want to make this clear"

Mazid says the Muslim Brotherhood is terrorizing ordinary Egyptians and are behind the current violence. In the end, he believes it may get worse before it gets better, but he believes Secretary of State John Kerry has the right idea.

"He said, 'We are for Egyptian people to decide their destiny and we are not to decide the destiny for anyone,'" said Mazid.

Tags: Boston, new hampshire, rhode island, massachusetts, Democrats, Suffolk University, Kelly Ayotte, Republicans, Egypt, Jack Reed, Cairo, John Monahan, Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, Mageed Mazin
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