Friday, July 6, 2012

Egypt's "Moderate Islamist" President

There are many of us who have been watching events in Egypt, since the start of the so called Arab Spring, with more than a little apprehension. The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood won a majority in the new Parliament should have set off warning bells for those who believed them when they assured the military that, if they were allowed to be a legalized party (they were banned under Mubarak), they would not run any candidates for office but would, instead, only support or oppose candidates from other parties. -You can now add red flags and red flares to those warning bells because their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, has taken the Oath of Office as Egypt's new President.

And if you are still inclined to think that Morsi is a "moderate Islamist", something he said in his acceptance speech may change your opinion. He told the crowd that he will work to free Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, aka the “Blind Sheikh.” --Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a follow-on plot against New York City landmarks.

Sheikh Rahman was a longtime ally of Osama bin Laden. The deceased al Qaeda boss credited a fatwa authored by Rahman for providing the religious justifications for the September 11 attacks. Rahman has also served as the spiritual guide for Gamaa Islamiya and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, both of which are terrorist organizations that have been close allies of al Qaeda for decades.

Morsi’s call for Rahman’s freedom is, therefore, a great big red flag that we should be taking very seriously (I guarantee the Israelis are). 

The MEMRI organization recently published excerpts from a speech Morsi gave in May. During the speech, Morsi struck a strident tone, insisting that “the Koran was and will continue to be our constitution.” Morsi elaborated by saying that the new Egyptian constitution “will truly reflect [the sharia],” or a version of Islamic law. “This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic sharia,” Morsi claimed.

I don't know about you, but I am hoping the Military in Egypt keeps enough power to keep Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in check. But, frankly, I doubt they will for long. I think we will see one of two scenerios play out in Egypt. Either the military will cave and Egypt will follow a course similar to Turkey -or they will not cave and we will see riots, bombings and possibly a civil war... 

Either way it's going to be a long time before it will be safe to go tour the pyramids....

 Live Long and Prosper...

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