(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/07/Mideast-Egypt-US_Horo1.gif)As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest the United States’ uncritical support for the new regime, which has promised to impose Sharia upon Egypt. In the days when the U.S. was the world’s foremost defender of freedom, such a demonstration would have been unthinkable: protestors held signs reading “Message to Hillary: Egypt will never be Pakistan”; “To Hillary: Hamas will never rule Egypt” and “If you like the Ikhwan [Brotherhood], take them with you!”
But instead of standing outside with those who were demonstrating for freedom against a radically repressive ideology, the Secretary of State was inside, having a friendly meeting with that repressive ideology’s foremost Egyptian exponent. It was a telling sign of how quickly America’s international stance has changed during the regime of Barack Obama. “Things change (at) kind of warp speed,” Clinton enthused to Morsi during their meeting. Indeed.
If Clinton had any comment on the demonstration, it was not recorded. During her meeting with Morsi she mouthed platitudes about the new Muslim Brotherhood government’s looming showdown with the Egyptian military, telling the President condescendingly that reaching a mutually acceptable agreement “requires dialogue and compromise, real politics.” She also assured him that the U.S. would do everything within its power to “support the democratically elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether or not by “delivering results for the people of Egypt,” Clinton was referring to freeing the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a man who had plotted to murder Americans in the hundreds of thousands. Soon after his election, Morsi announced his determination to work for the Blind Sheikh’s freedom; Clinton was almost certainly far too polite and determined to hew to the rules of realpolitik to rebuke Morsi for this unmistakable insult to the United States. To have done so would have been a completely unexpected reversal of the line the U.S. has taken since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” uprisings that paved the way for the Brotherhood to come to power in Egypt.
Nor is Clinton likely to have upbraided Morsi for the implied contravention of the principles of democracy in his recent restatement before an enthusiastic crowd of the founding principles of the Muslim Brotherhood: “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.” But of course when Morsi finished nodding to Clinton’s platitudes, he no doubt went back to working on how to begin not making Egypt more democratic, but imposing Sharia upon it. After all, recently a Salafi leader, Yasser Borhamy, declared that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to implement Sharia as the main source for Egyptian law. Noting opposition to Sharia in Egypt, Borhamy said: “What is disturbing in the Islamic Sharia law, is Sharia bothering anyone? We do not say ‘our views on Sharia,’ but we say that we want the Sharia law revealed by God. Would anyone be afraid of the Sharia that establishes justice, [public] interest and wisdom? This is very strange. How is it said that people are afraid of Sharia?”
By “Sharia law revealed by God,” Borhamy meant the Sharia that stones adulterers, amputates thieves’ hands, mandates death for apostates from Islam, and institutionalizes subjugation of women and non-Muslims.
Hardly democratic principles, but Clinton didn’t seem concerned during her meeting with Morsi. And even the likelihood that Egypt, long a recipient of American largesse, will become an enemy of America as it throws off the Camp David Accords and goes to war with Israel is unlikely to shake the entrenched core assumptions in Washington that got us into this fix. The Obama Administration rejects, as a matter of repeatedly stated policy, the idea that Islam has anything to do with terrorism, or warfare against unbelievers, or the legal subjugation of non-Muslims. An Obama official who opined that a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt would likely be an enemy of the United States because of Islam’s core doctrines regarding the evil of the society of unbelievers would be reprimanded or fired outright for “Islamophobia.”
And so it fell to the handful of protestors outside the U.S. Embassy, rather than to Hillary Clinton, to state the obvious truths: that Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi will begin to resemble the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where Christians live in fear of being accused of “blasphemy” and either tortured and killed by a raging Muslim mob or arrested and imprisoned by a thoroughly Islamized law enforcement apparatus; or Hamas-ruled Gaza, which encourages a culture of rage and hatred toward Israel and glorifies the murderers of Israeli civilians as heroes. Even Egyptian journalists have noted with alarm the looming Islamization of the nation’s media, which would mean the end of the free press.
Israel, meanwhile, is taking necessary steps to defend itself from a country that has maintained an imperfect but nonetheless real peace with it for thirty years. Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood is virtually certain to be a darker, bloodier, less hospitable place for women, non-Muslims, and anyone who dares to stand for a vision of society other than that dictated by Islamic law.
But the only ones who were concerned about all that on Sunday were the demonstrators outside the Embassy. Hillary Clinton certainly wasn’t.
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