The Man Who Would Rule Egypt

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


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Egypt, the original heart of the Arab Spring, goes to the polls this Wednesday and Thursday to elect a new president, and the Obama administration’s favored choice, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, may emerge the victor. “He could be the president who puts Egypt on a path towards genuine democracy,” says one U.S. official. But the self-styled “liberal” Islamist is no moderate.

One of the two front-running candidates (along with Amr Moussa, 75, a former foreign minister under Mubarak and most recently secretary-general of the Arab League), Fotouh, 61, is a doctor and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose political party took nearly 50 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections and is the best-organized political force in the country. He served for 25 years in the Brotherhood’s leadership body before being expelled last year when he defied the group’s leaders to run for the presidency.

Fotouh is described as a reformist member of the organization, and as such has received support from younger Brothers, even though the Brotherhood is putting forth its own candidate, Mohammed Morsi. Fotouh is viewed as more liberal than the other Islamists in the race, prompting comparisons to Turkey’s Recep Erdogan. That would be the same Erdogan who proclaimed that “there is no moderate Islam,” who advised Turkish immigrants in Europe that “assimilation is a crime against humanity,” who has taken an increasingly bellicose stance toward Israel – and who is a favorite of Obama in the Middle East.

“Aboul Fotouh has said that he wants to be the Erdogan of Egypt, and I think that U.S. relations with Turkey may be a good example of what we could expect,” says Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy. In that case, what we can expect is an increasingly militant fundamentalist regime hostile to Israel.

In addition to some Muslim Brothers, Fotouh has also received support from ultra-fundamentalist Salafis, who are competing with the Brotherhood. Since the Arab Spring revolution, the Salafis won nearly a quarter of the parliamentary seats, surprising the unprepared Brothers with their strong showing.

Now, in response to the success of Fotouh’s campaign and his Salafi backing, the Brotherhood has ramped up its religious rhetoric to draw Salafis to Morsi’s support. At a recent rally near Cairo University, speaker after speaker cast Morsi as the only true Islamist candidate and the one who would ensure the implementation of sharia. The clear message is that Fotouh is not Islamic enough.

They need not be concerned about that. An avowed radical in his youth, Fatouh helped found the terrorist organization Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, which now endorses his candidacy, and spent five years in Mubarak’s prisons alongside such figures as al Qaeda’s Dr. al-Zawahiri. Newsweek points out that some Egyptians are casting a suspicious eye on his split from the Brotherhood, and are accusing Fotouh of downplaying his Islamist tendencies.

The Washington Institute’s Eric Trager, who interviewed him last year, said that “the notion that Aboul Fotouh is some kind of progressive is farcical.” Said Sadek, a political sociologist at the American University in Cairo, says electing Fotouh would be the equivalent of establishing a theocratic state. “He didn’t renounce the ideas of the Moslem Brotherhood even when he was jailed by Mubarak,” says Sadek . “You’re telling me he’s different now?”

GLORIA Center Middle East expert Barry Rubin notes that the Obama administration is unconcerned about Aboul Fotouh’s aggressively Islamist comments – for example, that Israel is racist, an enemy of Egypt, and an illegitimate occupier – as mere “campaign rhetoric.” The assumption is that the reality of governance will make a moderate out of  Fotouh, as it does for American politicians. Rubin points out that similar wishful thinking about extremists has never played out that way historically in the real world.

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  • H&R_ Barack

    Pharaoh OBAMA's anti-Israel Muslim Brothah HOOD!

  • truebearing

    Did the "reality of governance" make a moderate of Obama? What a ridiculous theory. People who believe that total power is the answer to everything don't become more moderate when governing. They become more and more ruthless. The average idiot knows that, but Obama and his people aren't your average idiots….nor are they average liars.

  • Fred Dawes

    I hope that the people of Israel act against this evil and we all know that Obama is behind this evil and obama Boss is the international Banker boys who need freedom and human laws dead.
    Act for the rights of all people or become Part of the evil of one world total madness.

    Do you want a new War and the mass slaughter of billion?, Obama would help in the murder of all jews and any who say no to evil.

  • dougjmiller

    Islamic extremists hate democracy, but they will exploit democratic tools to take power. Their motto is "one man, one vote, one time." If elections can be stolen in countries that have a history of democracy, you can imagine what can happen in a country like Egypt, where they have never had free elections. Guaranteed that there will be an Islamic dictatorship in Egypt no matter how many Egyptians want freedom.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Islamic extremists hate democracy, but they will exploit democratic tools to take power

      Is there any other kind? Curious…can you demonstrate the existence of Muslims who are not extremists and who at the same time loyally adhere to the texts and tenets of Islam?

  • StephenD

    Isaiah 19…

    19:4, And the Egyptians I will give
    Into the hand of a cruel master,
    And a fierce king will rule over them….”

    19:10,”… All who make wages will be troubled of soul.”

    19:11, “Surely the princes of Zoan are fools;
    Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel.
    How do you say to Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise,
    The son of ancient kings?”
    12 Where are they?
    Where are your wise men?
    Let them tell you now,
    And let them know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
    13 “The[y]… have become fools [and]
    are deceived….”

    Egypt is in for some tough times. Islam ALWAYS ends in death and destruction and a reduction in value toward life for its people. Egypt will play the fool for a time. Too bad for them.
    I just hope they don't become fool enough to start with Israel.

  • Jakareh

    About Egypt’s relation with Israel, he replied that his country would maintain its treaty with Israel, “but it will be revised. The articles in it which are in Egypt’s interests will be kept, and those that are detrimental to Egypt’s interests will be taken out.”

    The above comment shows Dr. Fotouh's true character. It's something a mafioso would say. "We gotta a contract says you pay me 25 grand and I deliver 100 cases of whisky to you a month. From now on, things is gonna different. What's good for me stays, what's good for you goes. So you keep paying the 25 grand, but I stop delivering the booze."

    The difference between a wise guy and an Islamist is that while the former knows he's a scumbag, the latter thinks he's a godly and virtuous man.

    • moshe

      It's even more simple than this. Fotouh wants to blame Israel for sinking the treaty. He will demand a rescinsion of the clauses that demilitarize the Sinai and assure free passage for Israeli shipping through the Suez Canal. When Israel refuses, the treaty is void and the Egyptians remilitarize the Sinai regardless. He is banking that the Israeli government will be too weak-kneed to order a preemptive strike and take the Sinai back. He is probably banking correctly. Israel will not move until the Egyptians close the Straits of Tiran, and maybe not even then. They have Bibi No Balls for a prime minister, after all.

      • nina

        Preemptive strike. Easier said than done. With many European countries against Israel, with all the leftist intellectuals fighting on the side of the "Religion of Peace", and our president just waiting to show his so called "neutrality, it is a very difficult time for an preemptive strike. Israel will do what is in her best interests. Or so I hope.

  • esperanto

    Only thing to do is to keep on giving more information about Muslim civilization.

    "Video and Statistics on Honor Killings against Women by Muslims"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/05/24/video-and-st

    "Shajarat Al-Durr,the Only Woman Ruler in Egypt,from Sex-Slave to Sultana of Egypt"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2011/08/12/shajarat-al-

  • KKKK

    what a surprise that osama-obama supprots him.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    “He could be the president who puts Egypt on a path towards genuine democracy,” says one U.S. official. But the self-styled “liberal” Islamist is no moderate.

    Who is? The only so-called moderate Muslims are self-proclaimed intentionally deceptive Muslims. Hence, just like there are no Islamists, i.e., so-called radical Muslims, there are also no moderate Muslims, except for in the deluded minds of those blinded by PC multiculturalism. In fact, for a Muslim to be a so-called moderate Muslim, that Muslim would have to actually be a blasphemous apostate, which is a double capital offense in Islam. So when you read this crap you must take into account where the writer is coming from.

    With respect to the establishment of a genuine democracy in Egypt, Islam is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology as opposed to a genuine religion that is completely antithetical to democracy and/or any form of freedom. As Islam controls every single aspect of its adherents lives down to the minutest details. Just like Iraq and Afghanistan were before the silly American fantasy based nation-building missions that were inevitably preordained to fail, Egypt has exactly zero probability of becoming a liberal Western style democracy.

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    Many Islamists, fearing Shafik if he comes to power, especially after vowing to bring back order and security within one month of his election, are blaming Copts for voting for Shafik and bringing him to second place. Copts have been accused of being “traitors” and “anti-revolutionary” for voting to bring back the old regime.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/05/29/islam

    Youssef