With the world’s attention riveted on the welcome demise of Osama Bin Laden, Egypt has slipped off the mainstream news media’s radar. But all is not well in the land of the “Arab Spring.”
Ultra-conservative Muslims known as Salafis are flexing their muscles in Egypt. Just yesterday, for example, Salafi-led Muslim mobs set fire to a church and a Christian-owned apartment building. The Islamists’ continued persecution of the Christian minority set off a wave of violence, killing 12 people and injuring more than 200. So much for peace and harmony among all religions in the new Egypt.
The Obama administration is counting on the more “moderate” Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to keep the extremists in check. According to President Obama’s “faith” advisor Dalia Mogahed, the Obama administration “respects” the Muslim Brotherhood, which it expects will take a majority in the upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections.
There’s just one small problem. Al Qaeda, the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood are all devoted to the success of radical Islam – the militant, politically activist ideology whose ultimate goal is to create a worldwide community, or caliphate, of Muslim believers governing under sharia law. Their means may differ, but the the end objective is the same.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, which is beginning to shed its sheepy outer garments.
They recently condemned Bin Laden’s “assassination,” for example. In an official statement issued on May 2, 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood referred to the mass murderer by his honorific title, Sheikh, and declared:
The Muslim Brotherhood announced that they are opposed to the use of force in general, and against assassination methods, and they support bringing a person accused of committing any crime whatsoever to a just trial….The Muslim Brotherhood demands that the United States desist from intelligence actions against those who oppose it, and cease intervening in the internal affairs of all Arab or Islamic countries.
The Muslim Brotherhood also managed to incorporate its favorite bogeyman – the hated Zionists – into its statement:
The Muslim Brotherhood emphasizes that resistance against foreign occupation is a legitimate right awarded by divine law and international covenants, and the confusion created between legitimate resistance and violence against innocents has been deliberately sown by the Zionist enemy.
We know where Egyptian-Israeli relations will go if the Obama administration’s prediction comes to pass and the Muslim Brotherhood gains significant power in a new Egyptian government. The Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership has warned the Egyptian people to be prepared to go to war with Israel.
But the new Egypt isn’t waiting. The military transitional government is already doing what it can to reverse thirty years of peace with “the Zionist enemy.” It brokered a unification pact between the terrorist organization Hamas – the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that denounced the Bin Laden killing – and Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority. Hamas has still not renounced its terrorist tactics nor agreed to renounce its charter provision calling for the destruction of Israel.
As for imposing sharia law when the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood leader Saad al-Husseiny said that the group aims to apply Islamic legislation and establish Islamic rule.
Indeed, the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood looks to the theocratic regime in Iran as a role model for good government. The senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Kamal al-Halbavi, said he hoped Egypt would have
a good government, like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is very brave.
Again, the military transitional government in Egypt is not waiting for the Muslim Brotherhood to take the reins of power before moving ahead to forge strong relations with Iran.
The Obama administration achieved an important victory in eliminating Osama bin Laden. But that is a tactical victory in a much larger war against the world-wide scourge of radical Islam. And one strategically important place that the administration is in danger of losing to radical Islam is Egypt because of its haste, while intoxicated by the aroma of the Arab Spring, to throw our reliable ally Hosni Mubarak under the bus.
Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.