Death of Democracy in Egypt — and Silence in Washington

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Also ignored by Western media was a meeting of the Egyptian parliament’s People’s Assembly Proposals and Complaints Committee back in March. During that gathering, MP Adel Azzazy, a member of the hard-line Islamist Nour Party, proposed a bill aimed at using Sharia Law to determine the punishment for certain crimes. It called for the application of “Heraba,” whose penalties include execution for murder, and the amputation of an arm and a leg from opposite sides of body for robbery and property theft. If murder occurs during the property theft, the penalty, determined by a judge, would be death or crucifixion. “This is God’s law and is not optional,” Azzazy said, commenting on his proposal. “The current penalties are not deterrent enough.” The assembly’s committee asked Azzazy to reformulate the bill after the Justice Ministry’s representative, Haytham al-Baqly, criticized its lack of accuracy–because many of its stipulations are already part of existing law.

Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez explains the genesis of such jurisprudence. “Crucifixion is a hadd punishment, stipulated in the Quran, Sura 5:33, and therefore an obligatory part of Shariah,” said Lopez, who further noted that the Muslim Brotherhood “haven’t the option to not include crucifixion within their legal code.”  She also issued a stark warning to Egypt’s Christian Copt community. “The Copts must get out of Egypt as soon as possible–for the many millions who will not be able to get out, I expect things will continue to deteriorate–just as they did for Germany’s and Europe’s Jews from the 1930s onward,” she predicted.

Yet the most ominous part of the equation is why Lopez believes Morsi can get away with it. “He knows he’s got the USG [U.S. government] and president in his corner no matter what he does,” she contended. “He doesn’t have to pretend, no need for ‘plausible deniability.’ He also knows he’s got the majority of the Egyptian people behind him.” Yet it may even be worse than that. “This is exactly what many of us expected [Morsi] to do and I think the White House knew, too, and not only expected but wanted Morsi and the Brotherhood to take over Egypt,” Lopez added.

A Washington Post story published August 13th seemingly confirms that assessment, noting that the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House issued a statement assuring the public that they had “anticipated” such changes. “We knew that a transition was coming. But we didn’t know the precise timing,” said a senior Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity at the time. Yet another administration official, also wishing to remain anonymous, revealed exactly how prepared the Obama administration truly is. “The bottom line, the big picture, is that these guys are going through this momentous transition,” the official said. “There are going to be surprises and bumps in the road.”

Andrew McCarthy sums up those surprises and bumps. “Meanwhile, dissenters and journalists are already being imprisoned and beaten–if not worse…Terrorist leaders have been sprung from the prisons. The Sinai has become a jihadist haven. Women are attacked in the street if they fail to don the veil. A fatwa that prohibited eating during Ramadan was issued. Christians are fleeing in droves, their churches torched behind them. And the emirs of Hamas are warmly received as brotherly dignitaries.”

American Enterprise Institute Middle East analyst Michael Rubin explains where this is eventually leading. “Morsi certainly wants absolute control. The Egyptian army have never been saints, but Morsi will broker no checks to his power as the Muslim Brotherhood writes a constitution and imposes its dream of an Islamic state on Egypt.”

These developments represent the true nature of what is occurring in Egypt. And despite Secretary of State Clinton’s airy pronouncement a month ago that America’s engagement with these would-be jihadists will be based on “their commitment to universal democratic principles,” president Morsi has long indicated his preference for Sharia law, which, despite all leftist-inspired protestations to the contrary, is antithetical to democratic principles. Furthermore, Morsi is still scheduled to visit the White House next month, adding to his legitimacy, even as Obama administration officials have yet to offer an ounce of criticism for his efforts to transform Egypt into an Islamic state. As such, it is they who will ultimately bear the full consequences of their fecklessness — crucifixions, suppression of the media, church burnings, and the murder of infidels included.

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  • Steven Plaut

    Well, it is not exactly like Egypt was democractic even before this…..

    • MikeWood

      Steven, there are degrees even of tyranny.

    • WildJew

      Do you think Morsi and Mubarak are comparable?

      • trickyblain

        Depends on whose victims you ask.

    • Raymond in DC

      Indeed, Mike. More than 30 years ago Jeanne Kilpatrick wrote about mild authoritarians vs. totalitarians. I'm old enough to remember the Iran of the 1970s under the Shah before he was overthrown, with the help of "useful idiots", by Khomeini. The country is still ruled by the mullahs.

  • polnick

    Urban warriors have become prize freedom fighters in the Middle-East; tanks have become useless against them. A lone warrior with his anti-tank weapon can take command of a 200 apartment high-rise. It takes only one day to train and send a Mujahedeen off to battle. Thousands are on their way to behead the infidel, Muhammad would be proud of them.

    • Kufar Dawg

      As long as I have the artillery necessary to take out those apartment buildings I don't care how many thousands of mujadeen they send.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    The president's name is not for nothing Barack Hussein obama. This must ring bells.
    A president who loves muslims and has a dislike for Jews?

    • WildJew

      Morsi's is the kind of fascistic transition Obama would like to see take shape in this country under his watch, if he could get away with it.

      “Morsi certainly wants absolute control…."

  • JeremyBeadleshand

    As horrible as this is, I just can't get over the fact they actually have a general called Sissy.

  • Chezwick

    ALHERT: "A constitutional document limiting his powers was largely scrapped."

    This "constitutional document" was decreed by fiat…by an unelected body.

    Arnold, you've written an otherwise very good article detailing the ominous developments occurring inside what was once a close US ally. No need to indulge in such hyperbole.

  • Andy

    I don't think Obama deliberately ignores Morsi's progress. I suspect he secretly celebrates it.

  • polnick

    It is wise for infidels to pack their belongings and move to an Oasis that respects cultural diversity. The Mujahedeen has awakened; they will not be merciful to Idol worshippers and non-believers.
    Allah and Muhammad have spoken.

    • Kufar Dawg

      Such oases are becoming rarer annually.

  • Pat English

    It shows just how out of sync is Obama when he invites Morsi a representative of an radical Islamic organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, to the WhiteHouse.

    • Raymond in DC

      I suspect he'll be welcomed through the front door – unlike the Dalai Lama and Israel's Netanyahu who once had to use the side entrance.

  • cjk

    As bad as the death of a non-existent Democracy in Egypt goes, it's hard to get too excited over it as I sit here witnessing the death of a real once existent Constitutional Republic at home.

  • Irandissident

    Long term alliance with and appeasement of Islamists all over the world, seems to be the strategy of the Obama administration, just like Carter's before and just like the strategy of powerful forces limiting Bush's different global strategy from within and outside his administration.

    What happened in Egypt and Tunisia, was exactly the replay of the Iranian 1979 revolution. Same players, same teachers, same international support systems and lies. Khomeini , while in France, enjoying the greatest PR bestowed on any revolutionary leader by Western media, promised not to enter politics, not to let the Clergy run for high office etc…. The MB, hiding behind young activists ( and stupid- because they refused to see how the Iranian trick was being played on them again) and naive idealists in Tahrir square, promised not to run for Parliamentary seats, then not to run for President. Both Khomeini and Morsi, became absolute rulers soon after their hijacked revolutions. Harsh and inhumane Islamic laws, soon replaced all the "humanitarian" pretenses to deceive Western public, and lies told, before taking power.

    America and some European countries, have spent billions in bringing Islamists to power in Tunisia and Egypt and to Turkey as well. Leaving Afghanistan while negotiating with the Taliban, leaving Iraq to Iran and their Allies, part of the same deal. Some might think they are leaving the job unfinished; but to them, the job IS finished.

    These are NOT mistakes or freak events. These are long term strategic plans.

    Now, when US allies like Turkey and Egypt , openly defy US backed strategic military arrangements ( Turkey within NATO, facing down Israel in naval confrontations and joint NATO maneuvers. Egypt sending illegal aircraft and armor to the Sinai and threatening to defy the Camp David accords), this cannot be without US approval.

    As Obama would say, "any fool" can understand how detrimental these moves are to Israel. These people in charge of foreign policy, would love to cut Israel down to size ( a very small size!) by supporting enemies surrounding it with overwhelming military forces.

    The intense and abnormally hateful campaign against Bush II, was not just due to "Iraq" but really over a global strategy of long term alliance with Islamist countries and movements. Israel was and is still too small and insignificant to change this strategy and can even be sacrificed in the name of "larger interests".

  • Schlomotion

    The Israeli Politburo is really, really angry about the US not doing their bidding against Egypt. Writer after writer is raving and foaming that the sky is falling in Egypt and it's all the United States' fault. Mr. Ahlert cites as an expert AEI's Michael Rubin, who worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq during the dates that Iraq's economy was privatized and the reconstruction money for the corrupt Development Fund for Iraq disappeared. Billions of bundles of shrinkwrapped dollars on pallets. 363 tons of cash.

  • joel

    Liberals haven't been able to finish off the Judeo/Christian ethic by themselves,so they have joined forces with the islamists to accomplish the task. Of course,Jews and Christians have inadvertently been hastening their own downfall by their refusal to stand up for their faiths fully. But their defeat is not permanent like the islamist's.