Morsi’s Tactical Retreat

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


All the pundits whose credibility was on the line for their uncritical hailing of the “Arab Spring” uprisings can breathe a sigh of relief: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi has, according to Fox News, “agreed to rescind the near-absolute power he had granted himself.” Well, that’s a relief! Democracy in Egypt is saved! The “Arab Spring” really was about democracy and pluralism after all, and this proves it! All is well! Isn’t it?

Actually, no. As everyone knows except Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James “Clueless” Clapper, The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to imposing the rule of Islamic law in Egypt and around the world. And as is evidenced by the fact that the two foremost Sharia states in the world today, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are both authoritarian regimes with dismal human rights records, Sharia is much more compatible with dictatorship than it is with republican, representative government.

That makes it likely that while Morsi has had to retreat for the moment, he has not given up his goal or changed his overall objective: to turn Egypt into a Sharia state in which one is not free to do anything but serve Allah.

The Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, however, the former face of the notorious (and failed) Ground Zero Mosque project, begs to differ. He wrote recently in The Daily Beast: “Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi rode to power at the head of the Muslim Brotherhood with the promise that he would create a government based on Sharia, the Islamic law. So it is ironic that by granting himself sweeping powers, including immunity for his decisions against judiciary appeal, he has violated one of the central principles of Sharia: no one is above the law.”

Rauf said that “for the past six years, I have been working with some of the leading Muslim scholars to create a Sharia Index to determine what an authentic, tradition-based Islamic state ought to look like.” The conclusion? “The majority of our scholars concluded that a representative democracy, which can determine the collective will of the people, is the best contemporary method of determining God’s will.”

In this, however, as so often in his case, Rauf was being less than honest. The primary evidence for this is historical: Rauf’s scholars supposedly concluded that “a representative democracy, which can determine the collective will of the people” was the best expression of Sharia government, and yet never in the history of Islam from its beginnings to the present day was a Sharia state ever a representative democracy. Turkey has since the end of World War I been the closest thing to a representative democracy that Muslim countries have, but it only became one when, under the rule of Kemal Ataturk, it decisively and explicitly rejected Sharia for a Western model of governance.

Has it just been bad luck, or some kind of coincidence, or some combination of malignant forces (Zionists!) that has prevented Muslim states from forming representative democracies? Or have they failed to do so because Sharia itself tends toward authoritarianism? Certainly Muhammad is said to have counseled what appears to be unconditional obedience to rulers: “You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin” (Bukhari 9.89.256). Nor is he recorded as having set up any kind of voting system or representational government for the nascent Muslim community – and as he is the supreme model for emulation for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21), that is a decisive point.

Rauf likewise doesn’t give any hint of the fact that Sharia, in a systematic and thoroughgoing manner, denies equality of rights to women and non-Muslims. Anything close to “representative democracy” that adhered to the classic tenets of Sharia would limit the voice of both groups in the government, and thereby undercut its claim to be a representative democracy in the first place. Muslim men may be accorded some consultative or even supervisory role in ensuring the ruler’s adherence to Sharia, but that in itself does not a representative democracy make.

Of course, the Imam Rauf has made a career out of deceiving audiences in the U.S. and Europe into thinking that Sharia is benign and completely compatible with Western principles of human rights and freedom. The tens of thousands who have been protesting against Morsi’s power grab in Egypt know better; they know that his attempt to destroy the last vestiges of representative government in Egypt went hand-in-hand with his adherence to Sharia, or, as the Muslim Brotherhood credo puts it, to Allah as his objective; the Qur’an as his law, the Prophet as his leader; Jihad as his way; and death for the sake of Allah as the highest of his aspirations.

And they also must know, even as Morsi and the Brotherhood attempt to cool things off in Egypt now, that he has not put away his authoritarian aspirations for good, and will claim dictatorial powers again at a time when he thinks he can get away with it. For him to do anything else would be to abandon his goal of imposing Islamic law over Egypt; and that is one thing that his opponents can be certain he is not going to do, even as he bows to current realities and tacitly acknowledges that it might take a bit longer to get there than originally planned.

But the Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for this moment since 1928. They know how to be patient.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Oh yeah.. democracy is now going to spout forth…and Islamic pigs do fly…

    The fact of the matter is that even those who choose a secular approach are hardly Democrats, at least in the western sense. But never mind, the Muslim Brotherhood Mafia is just that, a Mafia. As such, their relationship with blood is everlasting and dogmatic, more than anything the secularists can come up with.

    Therefore, this is just a lull before the massive blood letting – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/09/13/muslim-blood-

    here too – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/13/islam-blood-a

    Take it to the bank…or to the morgue.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://www.adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • JacksonPearson

    Morsi didn't retreat Robert, he's just using a little taqiyya and kitman while reloading!

  • pierce

    Morsi is not retreating, he is just suckering the people to trust him. He is sly like a fox, that is how he gets the chicken. And I think Robert gets it, because if I get it, he surely gets it.

  • STEVE CHAVEZ

    "TRY OBAMA FOR TREASON!" This is what I would have eventually hoped for but "aiding and abetting the enemy" wouldn't work anymore since Obama, and Hillary, are now negotiating and legitimizing our enemies, and terrorists, since these groups "are the duly elected leaders of their countries. They won through free and fair elections."

    I keep referring to OBAMA'S CAIRO SPEECH, seen on youtube, where after the twenty minute mark he changes his voice, his eyes, and body language when he tells the audience that "EXTREMISM IS NOT THE WAY TO REFORM." He actually just told them that EXTREMISM IS THE WAY TO REFORM. That's why he defended the overthrow of Mubarak and demanded that he show restraint.

    MORSI HAS NOW ORDERED THE ARREST OF PROTESTERS. Only a few days ago Morsi left the palace. Now he's back and tanks surround it. Other articles on the net show protesters that are arrested, beaten, and tortured. WHERE'S OBAMA'S OUTRAGE??? "But Morsi is restoring order from a group that seeks to overthrow the government and Morsi has the right to do what is necessary ensure peace" IS WHAT OBAMA AND HILLARY WOULD SAY.

    IN THE END, the death of J. CHRISTopher Stevens will reveal the true hidden agenda of Obama and his "Circle of Communists." People will talk. CIA will talk and will reveal cables and contacts with TERRORISTS.

  • Coptic John

    Morsi has, according to Fox News, “agreed to rescind the near-absolute power he had granted himself.”
    I can assure you that did not happen… he issued another edict with the same content, immunizing his decrees, proceeding with the referendum (because he knows that his gang will rig it easily)… please don't acquiesce anything they promote to your media.

  • W. C. Taqiyya

    I think Robert is correct. The Egyptians protesting against Morsi know that he and the Muslim Brotherhood won't willingly give up their aspirations for total power. They are not like the weak willed, vapid and ignorant people of the west. Nor are they the primitive savages we see in Afghanistan and elsewhere. I would like to add to Robert's fine analysis that while Morsi did win the most votes, the people (as evidenced by the many protesters) were actually voting more in favor of the provisional constitution than the candidate. And that provisional constitution (proposed by the ruling military council) provides for a separation of powers and includes the right to private property, independent judiciary, freedom of the press , equal rights for all, freedom of religion, etc. Yes, it also calls for Islam to be the State religion and it also says Islamic law should inspire policy. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

  • tanstaafl

    Islam equals tyranny.

  • esperanto

    Check out:

    "Collection of All the Articles about Islam in India(for Facilitating the Research of the Reader)"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/12/10/collection-o

    AND ALSO

    "The Temple of Krishna in Mathura,his Birthplace,one of the Holiest in Hinduism,was Destroyed by Muslims"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/02/29/the-temple-o

  • Ghostwriter

    It looks like the Arab Spring might become an Arab Winter,if it hasn't already.