Completely agree with Andrew here…the only way forward in Egypt is to back the military. There never was, nor will there ever be true “Democracy”. To believe The Muslim Brotherhood is the “democratic” way is beyond comprehension. There is no freedom in Sharia:
The defining mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is the implementation of sharia, as noted for several years by a hardy few of us Islamophobes. An “Islamophobe,” by the way, is someone who takes seriously the things Muslim Brotherhood operatives say and the scriptures on which they rely; the Muslims who say the things that Islamophobes have the temerity to mention are called “moderates” — see how this works?
Sharia is Islam’s societal framework and legal code. Particularly as construed by Islamic supremacists, whose ideology dominates the Middle East, sharia is authoritarian, anti-liberty, anti-equality, and intolerant of minority rights. Indeed, in 1990, Islamic supremacists felt the need to issue their own “Declaration of Human Rights in Islam,” precisely because they cannot abide the aspirations laid out in the purportedly “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” promulgated by the United Nations in 1948. Human rights, for the Islamist, must bow to the repressive injunctions of sharia.
Consequently, in a couple of books that are largely about the history, ideology, methodology, and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood — The Grand Jihad and, last year, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy — I tried to establish two premises. The first is that Islamic supremacism is fundamentally anti-democratic. That proposition cannot be too Islamophobic since influential Islamic supremacists themselves freely concede that sharia cannot coexist with a secular civil society or with any system in which people are free to ignore sharia in enacting their own law.
The second is that elections do not equal democracy. To the contrary, democracy is a culture of governance committed to the protection of minority rights and equality of opportunity. Sharia abides neither of those principles.
Taken together, these two premises lead, inexorably, to this conclusion: In a sharia culture, popular elections inevitably empower anti-democrats. I began Spring Fever with a quip by Turkey’s Islamic-supremacist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that ought to be a lot more notorious: “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Islamists step off the train at sharia station, which is a civilization’s distance away from liberty and equality. In a sharia society, “democracy” — taken to mean mere voting — is not a culture. It is just another means of imposing totalitarian sharia. To be sure, it is a means less brutal than violent jihad, but a means to the same sorry end.
Western commentators should thus stop mindlessly repeating the Brotherhood mantra that Mohamed Morsi is, or was, the “democratically elected” president. He was the popularly elected president of an overwhelmingly anti-democratic society — the same society whose citizens, only eight months ago, voted to approve a sharia constitution by a two-to-one landslide. The Brothers rhetorically tug at our pro-democracy heartstrings, but the fact remains that installing anti-democrats in positions of power, even if done by a popular vote, is the antithesis of real democracy.
Obama called Morsi “Democratically elected” but as Andrew argues, he was “popularly-elected in an anti-democratic society.” Thankfully, and smartly, he is not entertaining thoughts of cutting off aid to Egypt’s military….yet. Sadly McCain and friends are.
Hopefully Obama realizes that the military is the best hope for Egypt:
But to break Spring Fever, we must finally stop projecting our values on other cultures as if they were “universal,” to borrow the U.N.’s supercilious claim. The Muslim Middle East is part of a different civilization and does not share our core beliefs. Adherent to supremacist Islam, it rejects equality under the law (the rights of non-Muslims are inferior to those of Muslims, and those of women to those of men). In Muslim countries, religious minorities are systematically oppressed and persecuted. The sovereign is deemed to be Allah, acting through the Muslim ruler or caliph. There are no “constituents” to “represent”; the people are subjects who owe the caliph obedience and whose only legitimate expectation of the caliph is his fidelity to sharia.
In such an anti-democratic society, a pro-Western military may be the best chance for sowing true democracy. Only capable armed forces can check the violent proclivities of Islamic supremacism. The Coptic Christian minority, which makes up a fast-diminishing 10 percent of Egypt’s population, supported the military’s ouster of Morsi not because Copts reject democracy but because only the armed forces can protect them. Under the governance of Islamic supremacists, and now in the crosshairs of incensed Brotherhood thugs, the Copts are targets of murder and mayhem while their churches are being torched across the country.
As I explained in a column earlier this week, sharia dictates the persecution and killing of gay people. Women, too, stood to lose human-rights protections under Egypt’s Islamic-supremacist rule. Putting aside the many other sharia provisions that reduce women to chattel, a prohibition against female genital mutilation, put in place by Mubarak’s military-backed dictatorship, was certain to be scrapped — mainstream constructions of sharia hold that “female circumcision” is mandatory, and even “more enlightened” interpretations call for it to be permitted and thus reject an outright ban.
…Egypt has never had a democracy, so there is no “restoring” it. Pragmatically speaking, the country has two alternatives: (a) a rapid resort to popular elections, which are certain, once again, to empower Islamic supremacists (who have proved, in election after election, that they appeal to a significant majority of the populace); or (b) military rule through an appointed technocratic government. The former would crush any hope for real democracy. The latter, at least potentially, could force a new consensus constitution that requires equality under the law and respect for minority rights; that delays popular elections until secular democrats are better positioned to compete with Islamic supremacists; and that requires convincing acceptance of the new constitution and renunciation of violence as a precondition to participation in elections.
It might take a number of years, and the Egyptian military — like Turkey’s Kemalist army before it was gutted by Erdogan — would have to make clear its determination to uphold minority rights. But if we really care about promoting democracy, the coup against Morsi is Egypt’s only hope
Things are going to get worse because make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s military are at war. But when given two choices, military rule or rule by fanatical Islam the choice is quite clear for American interests.