Friday, February 18, 2011

Is reality beginning to set in on Egypt?

After a couple of weeks of excitement and hope in the leading up to and deposing of Egyptian dictator Mubarak, I think reality may be beginning to set in.  Egypt is far away from becoming a free, secular democracy.  This great article by Barry Rubin suggests a dangerous scenario in which Egypt could be closer to the Iranian model than the secular democratic model.
Check out: "Egypt Gets Its Khomeini" in The American Thinker

Friday, February 18 may be a turning point in Egyptian history. On that day Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the best-known Muslim Brotherhood cleric in the world and one of the most famous Islamist thinkers, will address a mass rally in Cairo.Up until now, the Egyptian revolution generally, and the Brotherhood in particular, has lacked a charismatic thinker, someone who could really mobilize the masses. Qaradawi is that man. Long resident in the Gulf, he is returning to his homeland in triumph. Through internet, radio, his 100 books, and his weekly satellite television program, Qaradawi has been an articulate voice for revolutionary Islamism. He is literally a living legend.
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Symbolically, he will give the Friday prayer sermon to be held in Tahrir Square, the center of the revolutionary movement.

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Qaradawi supports the straight Islamist line: anti-American, anti-Western, wipe Israel off the map, foment Jihad, stone homosexuals, in short the works.

One of Qaradawi's initiatives has been urging Muslims to settle in the West, of which he said, "that powerful West, which has come to rule the world, should not be left to the influence of the Jews alone." 

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Have no doubt. It is Qaradawi, not bin Ladin, who is the most dangerous revolutionary Islamist in the world, and he is about to unleash the full force of his power and persuasion on Egypt.

Who are you going to bet on being more influential, a Google executive and an unorganized band of well-intentioned liberal Egyptians or the world champion radical Islamist cleric?


Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal


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