The more I read about the uprisings in the Middle East, the more I am convinced that all people desire is freedom. All people want freedom from fear, freedom from tyranny and freedom to live their lives as they see fit.
When I saw the young people of Egypt, many of them secular, peaceful and calling for democratic reforms, demand their dictator step down and end his oppression against them, I saw that very human desire to be free made manifest in their courage.
My hope is that they will move the country to real democracy and a strong civil society that ensures their freedom and that of all peoples in that important Arab nation.
All dictators, by definition, are thugs who use violence to gain and keep power. Our own nation is better off siding with the aspirations of the people to be free and being on the side of history.
Now watching the people of Libya protest against the even more vicious thug — Moammar Gadhafi — and seeing them killed by the hundreds reinforces my belief that all people, regardless of their cultural background, religious beliefs or geography, deep down just want to be free.
Twenty-five hundred years after Buddha, 2,000 years after Christ and 14 centuries after Mohammed, we still see millions of people living under dictators, without freedom. This is the greatest scandal of our time and one that we must eliminate in this generation. Our human family deserves to be finally free.