Skip to comments.Israel on the Islamist Surge in Egypt: Told You So
Posted on 12/05/2011 5:29:59 AM PST by SJackson
The stunning showing by Salafist parties in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections surprised Israeli officials as much as the rest of the world. The estimated 40 percent of the vote that went to the Muslim Brotherhood, the party that founded modern political Islam, was about in line with pre-election polls. But the unexpectedly strong showing by the Salafis -- fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who hold that the only true Islam was practiced around the time of the Prophet Mohammad, 1,300 years ago -- could put a group that rejects modernism in a pivotal position in Egypt's new democracy.
This is even worse than we predicted," a senior Israeli security official was quoted telling the daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
In other words, events are unfolding much as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned they might in the heady first days of the Arab Spring, which Netanyahu said could well turn into an "Iranian winter." The metaphor draws from the history of Iran's 1979 revolution, which began as a popular uprising united in opposition to the despotic Shah, and thanks in part to the organization and motivation of religious activists, produced the radical theocracy that has controlled the country since.
"In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we're facing a new era of liberalism and progress," Netanyahu told the Knesset last month, before polls even opened in Egypt. "They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don't see where things are heading."
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Obama administration: “You Jews need to shut up, fight fair and get back to the bargaining table!”
Not for one minute did I believe the so called ‘Arab Spring’ would bring forth a secular democracy. It simply will not happen in any of these Middle East countries. They will all become more entrenched in ‘sharia’ law and the ultimate consequences to non believers.
Salafi has become particularly associated with Muslims who espouse violent jihad against civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam, the so-called Salafi Jihadis.
Wise words. And anyone who believes that "CWII" etc would turn out any better in the USA is a complete and utter fool.
A few important notes.
1) The MB has managed to avoid international condemnation by shunning violent extremists. Whenever they would get a batch, they would inevitably schism off and become a dangerous group. This happened a lot, perhaps dozens of times. But the overall effect was that the MB itself became increasingly moderated and savvy to diplomacy instead of violence. Importantly, they have already refused any coalition with the Salafists, which is a very good sign, and means that they will form a coalition with the secular parties instead.
2) The MB have a very good model of how an Islamist party can operate by looking at the ‘Justice and Development Party’, the current majority party in Turkey. And they would be wise to follow their model, as the Egyptian army is also very aware of the Turkish military model, of having a military coup when it looked like radical Islamists were rising to power.
Importantly, the JDP became very popular by putting its emphasis on long ignored social problems among the poor and middle class majority. The number one problem being a lack of inexpensive food and consumer products. So their platform was economics, not so much religion.
The JDP has thrived for years by doing this, and only now after nine years is it starting to wear thin, their prime minister Erdogen finally starting to show his Muslim obnoxiousness.
3) So the wise path for the MB would be to start slow in a coalition with the secular parties, root out a lot of the notoriously corrupt and inefficient Egyptian bureaucracy held over from the Mubarak regime, and especially to use whatever money that is left in the treasury to import a huge amount of cheap food for the public. This would do a lot to alleviate the “new boss, same as the old boss” problem.
I’ll add that Egypt has some unique and awful problems independent of whoever is in charge. A poorly executed humanitarian inoculation program that reused needles has resulted in about 10% of their population having hepatitis ‘C’. There is also increasing contention for the water of the Nile river with several other countries, and their internal security against radicals is not going to be getting any better soon.
I recently learned that members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were in the Sudan discussing the possible resettlement of two million Egyptians on agricultural development projects located south of Khartooum. Even were that to occur, just as you say, Egypt’s problems are still horrendous. The Salafist demand to end Western tourism would be the final nail in its coffin.
This is exactly what Obama wanted. He threw Mubarak under the bus, the same as Jimmy Carter threw the Shah of Iran under in 1979, fully knowing that the Islamists would take over.
I don’t usually ask for sources, but that is serious news. If you have a link it would be great.
Such a relocation would take a lot of pressure off Egypt, but it would also put an awful lot of pressure on the new South Sudan.
CIA Factbook: Egypt pop. 82m. North Sudan 37m. South Sudan 8.3m.
This is not an argument between Salafi and non-Salafi. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Nour are Salafi. To use a communist analogy, this isn't Menshevik - Bolshevik, this is Stalinist vs Khmer Rouge.
Debka is predicting the window for a major Mideast war is from mid-December to mid-January. If that’s the case, it will all be a 52-card pick-up soon enough.