Egypt: Now What?

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.


Egyptian protestersFew analysts expected that the demonstrations in Egypt over the past few days would result in such a swift toppling of Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime, and no one can be sure of what is going to happen next in Egypt, but there are some things we do know:

First is that the forces standing for equality of rights for all and a free society in Egypt are overjoyed at what happened Wednesday. Secularists and Coptic Christians are celebrating, and insisting to a Western press that has been as indefatigably pro-Muslim Brotherhood as Barack Obama that this is not a military coup, but a revolution, a true people’s revolution as the “Arab Spring” that toppled Mubarak was supposed to be.

For this group, Egyptian Army Chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi sounded all the right notes as he announced the removal of Morsi and the suspension of the Sharia constitution that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood colleagues had forced upon the Egyptian people. “We’ll build an Egyptian society,” Al-Sisi declared, “that is strong and stable, that will not exclude anyone.” Morsi, of course, had insisted that the Egyptian society he had in mind wouldn’t exclude anyone, either, but the nation’s Christians and Western-oriented women knew that their inclusion would be ensured only if they knew their place. They hope that Al-Sisi’s statement represents a genuine affirmation of a society that will not impose Islamic law and will guarantee equality of rights for all.

What’s more, Egypt’s new rulers moved swiftly late Wednesday night to shut down three Islamic supremacist TV channels, including one run by the Muslim Brotherhood, and also raided Al Jazeera’s Egyptian offices – clear indications that they want to set Egypt on a course away from Sharia and Islamic absolutism.

I’m a free speech advocate. I don’t believe people whose views one dislikes should be shut down. That’s the road to tyranny. That’s the weapon of the desperately insecure and authoritarian Left. These Islamic supremacist channels should have been allowed to operate, as long as they weren’t the only voices speaking to Egyptians. Still, this is a good indication of the current leadership’s determination not to allow Sharia in Egypt.

Also ecstatic at Wednesday’s events, however, are the Salafists and other Islamic supremacist factions that despised Morsi for not imposing Islamic law quickly enough. Some protesters over the last few days even superimposed an image of Morsi over a Star of David, much as the “Arab Spring” demonstrators defaced posters of Mubarak by drawing Stars of David on his forehead. The implication in both instances is that the protesters despised the rulers for being pawns of the hated Israelis, and specifically for not abrogating the Camp David Accords and going to war with Israel.

Especially now with its economy in tatters, Egypt has good reason not to go to war with Israel, for doing so would likely jeopardize the billions it receives in aid from the United States – even in this age of Obama. Morsi, as pragmatic as the Muslim Brotherhood has been for ages, and as willing as his organization has always been to work toward final victory in stages, showed little signs of risking that aid. But this pragmatism enraged Islamic supremacists, who castigated Morsi for his gradualism (tadarruj), a concept that Sharia hardliners frown upon.

Ironically, however, now that Morsi is gone (at least for now), that U.S. aid could be at risk anyway. Barack Obama issued a stern statement Wednesday, directing U.S. government agencies to “review” the aid they’re giving to Egypt:

The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

Obama made no similar statement when Hosni Mubarak was toppled. The Muslim Brotherhood could well use this statement as a knife to the throat of Egypt, demanding that they be restored to power as the only means to ensure that the American aid keeps flowing and that Egypt’s economy doesn’t collapse utterly.

And to be sure, the Brotherhood is still around, and still enjoys broad popular support, despite the black eye that Morsi’s disastrous regime has given it. The developments in Egypt Wednesday are surprising and welcome, but they do not presage a new birth of freedom in Egypt, any more than did the toppling of Mubarak and the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nonetheless, it is hard not to take some joy in events that have Obama, whose support for the Muslim Brotherhood has been consistent and unstinting since he invited its leaders to attend his June 2009 speech in Cairo, “concerned,” and have Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S. such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issuing confused and angry statements questioning the protesters’ motives and reminding the world that Morsi was democratically elected.

Whether the demonstrators in Egypt who brought down Morsi can ultimately defeat the pro-Sharia forces in Egypt and establish a truly free society, and whether enough of them even really want to, remains to be seen. But if Obama and CAIR see them as foes, they can’t be all bad.

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  • objectivefactsmatter

    F CAIR and the MB. They’re evil.

    We’ll see how this plays out.

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    After having helped the anti-Semitic and anti-American Muslim Brotherhood come to power, with Mursi’s fall President Obama now comes out of this with egg on his face.

    The Muslim Brotherhood. Is this what Americans stand for?
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/11/the-muslim-brotherhood-is-this-what.html

    Two years on – who was right on the Egyptian crisis?
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/12/two-years-on-who-was-right-on-egyptian.html

  • http://obaidkarki.blogspot.com/ Obaid Karki

    How one would feel safe when a crackpot as John Bolton is trusted to state: “U.S. ‘made big mistake’ pushing out Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak”. Morsi ain’t an idiot he’s engineer who’re kept in prison while Mubarak scion looted Egypt. As he took office last year. Morsi kept a big secret to himself. He knew that Egypt’re bankrupt and beyond repair. No gas. No water. No Gasoline. No wheat. No Rice. No Foreign Exchange. No. Electricity. Iran bluffed him, ordered Iraq to reject Egypt Central Bank Guarantee and stop crude supply to Egypt. GCC is building a dam up in Ethiopia to strangle Morsi upstream. Every Egyptian Ganjapreneur kept his money overseas and borrowed money to spend at home. US Aid dropped from $3.5B to $1.5B. IMF suspended its Seigniorage Banksters Sharia Scam unless Morsi hires Copts to run Egyptian Monetary. Muslim Brotherhood Gargantua and Pantagruel at its infancy. He needed a miracle. Guess what? TAMARUD-REBEL Movement run by Mahmoud Badr that koshered the coup d’état is supported by 22 million Egyptians. Egypt is 100 million bluffs. 88 million are Islamists. Remember Morsi were ousted for hiring Muslim Brotherhood Gargantua and Pantagruel than Copts, Liberal Hippies & Secular Baboons. Let see how long General Sisi’s 80,000 starving corrupt endangered species Troops will stand the Islamists Tsunami. Here’s the deal.. Constitutional Court Chief Adly Mansour is sworn in as interim Egypt leader after the army ousted President Morsi is the same corrupt judge who acquitted Mubarak outta all his crimes and loots. Here’s the good new Saudi King is the first to congratulate the Egyptian Armageddon. Let’s see how much his Majesty’s wishful thinking cost Saudi Drained Treasuries. Welcome to Planet Trouble. Read this.. I wrote it a week ago. Egyptian opposition groups took Egyptian streets to oust Morsi was corny to me. In one week ago.. they killed Egypt. I craved to read their demands aside from all-that-jazz that took lives of many civilians lured to hit the streets. Egyptian opposition groups lost me when I read that they have appointed Zionist Mohamed ElBaradei to talk-out Morsi. I blame Morsi for being too patient for not crushing Tahreer stage with arm Forces. Egyptian opposition groups must be treated undemocratically for wrecking Egyptian Failing Economy. The Brotherhood bet on wrong hound called the White House.

    • Mladen_Andrijasevic

      I do not think the US President should have supported the Muslim Brotherhood whose credo is “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”. Not exactly what the US Constitution stands for.

      • defcon 4

        The POTUS stated to the UN something along the lines of: “there must be no future for those who slander the prophet of islam.” A statement I’m certain the islam0-nazi world can appreciate in spades.

  • Rosasolis

    Full applause for the Egyptian Military, who have achieved their goal to secure the beginning of a new democracy, together with the liberal government candidates!
    I hope that the new government in Egypt will have members of the Coptic
    Christian communities, who have suffered terribly under the dictatorship
    of Morsi. But I fear that while millions are celebrating in Egypt, several other
    Middle-east countries aiming for the Islamic Take-over and enforcing the
    Sharia Law upon all people, are going to cause a terrible war which will
    spread all over Africa. The Islam Brotherhood in Egypt is supported by several
    terrorist groups including El Qaira, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

  • DannyJeffrey

    I have been monitoring the situation over there for years and the following are some of the results of that study.
    I wrote this on 7-1-13 with predictions http://www.freedomrings1776.com/2013/07/egyptsorosthe-real-plan-is-far-worse.html#more
    And just published this on 7-4-13 with long range predictions http://www.freedomrings1776.com/2013/07/egyptsorosthe-real-plan-is-far-worse.html#more

  • William James Ward

    Jihadists who murder and terrorize all opposed to Islam will
    be acting out as soon as they feel able to do so and must
    hate the setback vis. the sacking or Morsi and his dictatorship.
    Salafists will push for bloody action while the Brotherhood
    reacts to the downfall of their fortunes, anything is possible.
    Obama will continue to support Islamists and must be angry
    at the loss of Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood as he is their
    great benefactor………………….William

  • tracy

    The Muslim brotherhood wants us to put sharia law into effect over here?They must be joking right? Why in the hell would we even contemplate any of THEIR laws into our gov’t with every country in the middle -east except Israel collapsing around them.It’s absolutely ludicrous thought.

  • http://palestinename.com Beth

    “I’m a free speech advocate.” – So am I Robert.

    “I don’t believe people whose views one dislikes should be shut down.” I agree on allowing all views – to a certain point. I disagree that anything and everything should be allowed. If I yell fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire – and people get hurt – then I’m responsible. If a preacher convinces his followers to go out and kill people – that preacher should be held responsible. And what about their victims? Can anyone ever make up to their loss of life? or to their families who lose a loved one? No. And there is no loss that is greater. So what should be the leaders responsibility here, as far as protecting the lives of all? – and respecting all views? There is a fine line here. As for me?….

    I do not believe anyone should have the right to preach murder or to advocate for followers of such.

    That said….I’m happy for the people of Egypt today.

    • bribri

      The main difference i see is that most egyptians have been “brainsoiled” with muhammadism since birth, so perhaps they deserve and need a break from mad extremist views for once. Also their literacy rate is quite abysmal. Our judeo-christian and humanist cultures are much less vulnerable to bullshit; we’re better educated, better equipped to withstand almost total freedom of speech.

  • Profit

    Egypt is trying to completely purge the Brotherhood mafia from their government, while Obama welcomes them with open arms!

    • Olog Hai

      Adly Mansour just called the MB “part of this people” and invited them to “build” the new Egypt. Also, the head of the military is a hardcore Islamist appointed by Morsi. Islamic power struggle with the emotions of the people taken advantage of? I haven’t seen any polls indicating Egyptians making a radical shift away from wanting a Shari’a government.

      • Profit

        “Part of his people” is taqiyya to try not to cause a civil war. There’s a reason why they shut down their T.V. and radio stations while issuing arrest warrants for MB officials, and it wasn’t for them to have an influence in the new Egyptian constitution. For the MB officials to be part of the government, they would have to break their allegiance to the mafia.

  • hippiepooter

    “Obama made no similar statement when Hosni Mubarak was toppled.”

    Mubarak wasn’t a democratically elected leader toppled by the military.

    All the same, with the spike in attacks against Coptic Christians and Morsi’s appointment of Adel el-Khayat, member of the Egytian terrorist group Gamaa Islamiya that massacred 58 tourists in Luxor 1997 as Governor of Luxor, that’s enough evidence thank you to show that Egypt under the Brotherhood was going the same way as Gaza; one election, and that’s your lot!

    In many ways the situation bears the hallmarks of the military intervention in Algeria in 1991, only then the military and Algeria’s democrats didn’t wait to see if the Islamist FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) would prove to be democratic or not when they stood to win second round elections. Waiting to see if Islamists were democratic or not against all the evidence to the contrary could have proved to be a fatal mistake. Instead they decided that if Islamists want to impose dictatorship they’ll have it imposed on them instead till the conditions were for a lasting democracy were established.

    Interesting the difference in approach between the US then and today. The man on the Algeria desk at that time was a guy called Edward Djerejian. He said of the purported commitment to democracy of Islamic radicals “One man, one vote, one time”.

    Ah the days when America was a city on a hill, a beacon of moral clarity. It could be that in Egypt democracy is now truly being born while in America it is truly dying under Obama.

    • defcon 4

      Islamic democracy is an oxymoron — especially if you consider the plight
      of ANYONE non-muslim living in an islamic state.

  • georgejochnowitz

    Secularists are rejoicing. And so is Mahmoud Abbas. He has called upon the citizens of Gaza to overthrow Hamas.

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Fatah-calls-on-Palestinians-to-overthrow-Hamas-in-wake-of-Morsis-fall-318792

  • Gee

    What’s going to happen? That’s easy – Egypt is debt beyond their ability to ever repay, they have spent all of the reserves, they have no food, no power and soon no water. They are going to be another Somalia and it is totally their own fault

  • Ellman48

    “I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the
    implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of
    Egypt.”

    How typically Obama! When Morsi was in power he could care less what the ‘law’ had to say about providing Islamists foreign aid. As soon as his buddy gets deposed he’s ready to use the ‘law’ to deny Egypt aid, which , incidentally could be secondarily a way of punishing the Egyptian people for ousting his friend from power; similar, to closing the WH to visitors because of the ‘Republican’ sequester. With Obama, anyone who criticizes or opposes him must be punished. At least in such matters he is consistent and predictable.

  • Ellman48

    “Obama made no similar statement when Hosni Mubarak was toppled. The
    Muslim Brotherhood could well use this statement as a knife to the
    throat of Egypt, demanding that they be restored to power as the only
    means to ensure that the American aid keeps flowing and that Egypt’s
    economy doesn’t collapse utterly.”

    This is very likely precisely what the Islamists in the White House and in other bureaucratic positions are telling Obama and Kerry to do. Without a doubt Mecca also has something to say to Obama on this subject and I’ve always suspected that he owes Mecca big time. These forces appear to have pushed him to emerge out of hibernation as far as Egypt is concerned. With Obama someone else is always pulling the strings to which he responds like the obedient puppet.

  • Ellman48

    “The developments in Egypt Wednesday are surprising and welcome, but they
    do not presage a new birth of freedom in Egypt, any more than did the
    toppling of Mubarak and the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

    The Egyptian people, like the people in all of the Muslim countries, cannot choose freedom and Sharia. These principles are an oxymoron. They cannot coexist. They are antagonists. It often strikes me as bizarre that Muslims can talk about Freedom and Democracy while subjecting themselves to a dogma which dictates required behavior and beliefs in the most mundane activities of life.

    My question is “What alternatives does Egypt have besides secular dictatorship or Islamist despotism?” Individual liberty, equal rights, free market capitalism, the rule of law are not compatible with Egypt’s religious, cultural or social beliefs and behavior. You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy!

    • vicky lauda

      sharia and freedom is definitely a clear oxymoron. there is ‘legal democracy’ in some islamic countries as there are provisions such as a marriage contract making certain legal provisions on marriage void. for example, if the husband wants to divorce his wife, he may be obliged to pay a hefty sum to be able to divorce his spouse or he needs her permission to be able to marry a second wife. how this can work legaly remains unclear to me as outlawing the legal system with a traditional marriage contract is a contradiction in itself.

      • defcon 4

        My friend’s wife was an Egyptian Jewish woman forced to marry a muslime. When he divorced her sometime in the 1950′s, all he did was state publicly three times he divorced her and she was left out in the streets, with nothing but the clothes on her back. She never saw her kids EVER again.

    • defcon 4

      The “secular” dictatorships in Egypt’s past had no problems persecuting their centuries old Egyptian Jewish population. A persecution which eventually resulted in the ethnic cleansing of practically the entire Jewish population of Egypt.

  • http://apostrophejones.com/ Gloves Donahue, Jr.

    How many MB members are in the US government?
    Obama brings the enemy in to join him in harming America.

  • Shane

    Obama’s upset that his Muslim Brotherhood allies are out of power.

    • Julian

      Yes but they won’t go away. Its safe to assume they’ve stolen millions in the two days notice they had, which they will use to undmine the country and fund their new terrorism activities. Perhaps O’Blunder will even fund them still?

  • Tim

    Western countries shouldn’t be giving any money/aid/whatever to Muslim nations. What are we doing – willingly paying some sort of jizya to these backward mental rapists? We’re bigger and stronger than them. Leave them to their own devices, and they’ll collapse quickly.

  • Miller51550

    The big QUESTION?

    How will OBAMA keep the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD in power..

    And HOW MUCH will it COST the American TAXPAYER.

    He has spent almost a TRILLION dollars supporting his MUSLIM BROTHERS since he came into POWER.

    No one on the HILL wants to CHARGE him with War Crimes and HIGH TREASON.. giving aid to enemies of the UNITED STATES.

    CAIR, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD and those SCUM in SYRIA… are enemies of the UNITED STATES and the World.

  • vicky lauda

    would anybody open offices for satan or one of his demons, in order to grant them freedom of speech just for being just and good? i wouldn’t. that the muslim brotherhood had been suppressed under mubarak for years and years made the overthrow of the MB possible as no chance to overthrow an organization such as the MB with an army which would have been otherwise infiltrated with all those haters of basic human rights.

  • defcon 4

    I seem to remember Libya’s freedom lovers tried to paint Gadaffi as being Jewish. It’s the go-to slur in any islam0-nazi state.