Western Elites Fail to Grasp Reality in Egypt

Michael Youssef
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Posted: Jun 01, 2014 12:01 AM
Western Elites Fail to Grasp Reality in Egypt

Now that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won a decisive victory in the Egyptian presidential election (held May 26-28, 2014), the pro-Islamist Western media—such as the BBC and CNN—are downplaying his impressive win.

Western media outlets cannot help themselves. They are smitten with their grievance over what they call “the ousting of the first democratically-elected Egyptian president.” Although the election of Mohamed Morsi (Sisi’s predecessor) was full of irregularities, they are wedded to the narrative that their guy was “wronged.”

But consider the following:

1. During the 2011 election, Muslim Brotherhood thugs stood at the doors of hundreds, if not thousands, of voting stations in the south. There, they threatened any Christian if they voted, knowing they would be voting for Morsi’s opponent, Brigadier General Shafik.

2. The first results of that shaky election showed that Mr. Shafik won by approximately 200,000 votes. Some evidence, and every indication, pointed to the Obama administration putting pressure on the interim counsel ruling Egypt to give the election to Mr. Morsi. Since the election was so close, the administration believed the victory needed to go to Morsi in order to avoid Brotherhood-inflicted bloodshed.

3. Right on cue, a week later Egyptian authorities said that more recounting was needed. And sure enough, they gave the election to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

4. Mr. Morsi assured the army’s top brass that they would continue to retain power over the military. Yet, as soon as Morsi took office, he retired every one of them.

5. The Obama administration got its candidate in Morsi, but he proved to be a disastrous choice for Egypt. During his twelve months in power, he spent lavishly on himself, his family, and his cronies, while the economy and the Egyptian people were brought to their knees.

6. When Morsi appointed General Sisi as the head of the military, Morsi was told that Sisi was a devoutly religious man. Morsi assumed that “religious” meant “Islamist,” but to Morsi’s surprise, Sisi was an adherent of the Sufi (mystical) variety.

The Western mainstream media largely ignored all those realities. Then, when turnout during the recent election was lighter than expected, the media ignored the reality of the reason behind that as well.

The turnout for the 2014 election was very similar to the hotly contested 2011 election—both around 26 million. But here’s the clincher: while Morsi and his opponent received roughly 13 million each, Sisi alone received roughly 25 million votes.

But Sisi had asked the country for 40 million votes, and the liberal media has pounced on the fact that he fell short in that one regard. Egyptian voters are not much different than American voters, however. The vast majority of Egyptians I’ve talked to who did not vote said they knew Sisi would win in a landside, so they opted to not bother with waiting in line to vote. Hotly contested elections drive up turnout; expected landslides do not.

Instead of highlighting Sisi’s impressive victory, the Western media chooses to focus on the fact that their man, Morsi, is in prison awaiting trial for treason and cooperating with foreign powers against his own country.

What the media has failed to understand, and for that matter, what Western heads of state have failed to understand, is that the Islamist’s primary loyalty is to his Islamist ideology; whereas, the vast majority of Egyptian’s loyalty is to Egypt.

Western elites—the media and the Obama administration especially—have misunderstood and underestimated the deeply-rooted Egyptian patriotism, resulting in the loss of Western influence in the Middle East.

It’s my hope that they will wake up and come to grips with the reality that is, instead of the reality they wish would be.