A WISE WARNING – AT 11:16 A.M. ET: Joel Brinkley, Pulitzer-Prize-winning former correspondent for The New York Times, and now a professor at Stanford, gives us a timely warning about the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, a region from which he's reported. This is a breath of fresh air, coming amidst all the politically correct rubbish we get from most of the mainstream media:
Ever since Islamists took office in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, they have been trying to convince us that they are advocates of moderation, democracy, women's rights and individual freedoms. And most people in the West, after jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year, wanted to believe them.
But now we can see that these Islamic groups are taking us for fools.
Brinkley examines the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for president of Egypt, Khairat al-Shater:
...how do you explain the speech Shater gave in Alexandria last year in which he disparaged the whole idea of Western democracy and its social conventions, calling them the enemy of Islam - including the concept of elections, even though he is now running in one? Voting for your leader, he said, is un-Islamic.
After Egypt adopted a Western education system, courts and a capitalist economy, Shater complained, "the various aspects of our lives are no longer based on Islam." He would institute Shariah law and ensure that "every aspect of life is to be Islamized."
Think for a moment about what has actually happened. Youths with modern ideas, resulting in part from what they've learned online, were the engines of the revolts that threw the dictators out of office. But when elections came, most people voted for what they knew. That's not democracy; none of those states have any significant history of that or exposure to it from their neighbors.
As Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's interim leader, took office last fall, he thanked NATO and then let slip that he believed Libya should legalize polygamy, an element of Shariah law.
That set off a furor. Nonetheless, a short time later he said his views are "moderate" but then added: "As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Shariah as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Shariah is ineffective legally."
Since Hosni Mubarak fell from power in Egypt last year, the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly promised moderation and vowed not to "monopolize political institutions in the new Egypt." But right now a committee is forming to write a new Constitution. The "moderate" Brotherhood controls the parliament and tried to stack the committee's membership so that it held a controlling majority. On Tuesday, however, a court blocked the effort.
We should never have believed them.
COMMENT: The Arab spring is becoming a winter nightmare.
April 15, 2011