Today, the question for voters in the 2012 election to ponder might be posed as “Who lost Egypt?” To make matters worse, it is likely that the losses won’t stop there.
Indeed, before it’s over, we may well see nearly all the Middle East fall under the sway of the team President Obama has helped come to power in Cairo – the Muslim Brotherhood, to the grave detriment of the people most immediately affected, of Israel and of our interests, there and here.
To be sure, it is unclear at the moment exactly how things will shake-out in Egypt. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party succeeded in having its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, elected president in recent weeks and installed in that office on Saturday. But the Egyptian military continues to be very much a force to be reckoned with and the extent and timing of any formal relinquishing of its current control of virtually all aspects of the government – from the armed services to the many industries they own to the parliament and constitution-writing mechanisms – remains to be seen.
Still, the direction Morsi seeks to take his country is unmistakable and should be deeply worrying to all who hoped for an authentic Arab Spring in Egypt and fear the emergence there and elsewhere of an Islamist Winter. While the newly installed president has professed that he will be the leader of all Egyptians and promised to give tangible expression to that commitment by appointing as his vice presidents a Coptic Christian, a woman and a secular political figure, these will be, atbest mere window-dressing if he sticks to his pledge to impose shariah on all his countrymen.
For example, as captured in an Egyptian television report of May 13, 2012 translated by the indispensable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reLigeHGKzE&feature=player_embedded&noredirect=1) – Morsi espoused during the course of the campaign the key tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood: “The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.” He went on to add, “This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through Islamic shariah.” Morsi concluded by saying, “I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text of [the constitution], Allah willing, the text will truly reflect shariah.”
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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