• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Muslim Brotherhood’s Cause: “Raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”

Written by Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal,  Feb. 15, 2011.

“It’s what the good people on West 40th Street like to call a “Times Classic.”  On Feb. 16, 1979, the New York Times ran a lengthy op-ed by Richard Falk, a professor of international law at Princeton, under the headline “Trusting Khomeini.”

“The depiction of (Khomeini) as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,” wrote Mr. Falk.  “What is also encouraging is that his entoruage of close advisers in uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals”.

After carrying on in this vein for a few paragraphs, the professor concluded:  “Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may yet provide us with a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.”

Whoops.

The Times is at it again.  Last week, the paper published an op-ed from Essam El-Errian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council, who offered this soothing take on his organization: “We aim to achieve reform and rights for all:  not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians.”  Concurring with that view, Times Reporter Nicholas Kulish wrote on Feb. 4 that members of the Brotherhood “come-across as civic-minded people of faith.

It’s easy to be taken in by the Brotherhood:  Eight decades as a disciplined  underground organization, outwardly involved in charitable social work, have made them experta at tailoring messages to separate audiences.  The Brotherhood has also been careful to distinguish itself from the Salafist followers of Sayyid Quith, himself a Muslim Brother who developed the concept of ‘takfir’, which allows one Muslim to denounce another Muslim as an apostate and treat him accordingly.  “The thought of the Brotherhood doesn’t have the tendency to…..take violent measures,” Muhammad Habib, the Brotherhood’s former deputy supreme guide, told me in Cairo in 2006.

But if that counts for moderation in the context oof intra-Islamic politics, it hardly makes the Brotherhood moderate by Western standards.  Hassan al-Bama (1906-1949), the Brotherhood’s founder, was an admirer of the fascist movements of his day, and he had similar ambitions for his own movement. 

“Andalusia,  Sicily, the Balkans, south Italy and the Roman sea islands were all Islamic lands that have to be restored to the homeland of Islam,”  he wrote in a message dedicated to Muslim youth.  “As Signor Mussolini believed that it was within his right to revive the Roman Empire….similarly it is our right to restore to the Islamic empire its glory.”

Today the Brotherhood has adopted a political strategy in keeping with Banna’s dictum that the movement must not overreach on its way toward (sugjugating) every unjust ruler to its command”:  “Each of these stages,” he cautioned his followers, “involves certain steps, branches, and means.”  Thus the Brotherhood has gone out of its way in recent weeks to appear in the most benign light, making an ally of former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and forswearing any immediate political ambitions.

But that doesn’t mean the Brothers don’t have an idea of what they’re aiming for.  “We think highly of a country whose president is important, courageous and has a vision, which he presents in the U.N. in Geneva, and everywhere,” the Brotherhood’s Kamal al-Hilbawi told  Iran’s Al-Alam TV earlier this month, referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust and 9/11 denials.  “We think highly of a country….that confronts Western hegemony, and is scientifically and technologically advanced.  Unfortunately, these characteristics can be found only in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  I hope that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia will be like that.”

Nor should there be any doubt about what the Brotherhood is aiming against.  “Resistance is the only solution against the ZioAmerican arrogance and tyranny, Muhammad Badie, the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, sermonized in October.  “The improvement and change that the Muslim nation seeks can only be attained….by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”

Such remarks may come as a rude shock to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who last week testified in Congress that the Brotherhood was “largely secular” (a remark his office later retracted).   They may also surprise a coterie of Western analysts who are convinced that the Brotherhood is moving in a moderate direction and will only be further domesticated by  participation in democratic politics.  Yet the evidence for that supposition rests mainly on what the Brotherhood tells Westerners.  What it says in Arabic is another story.

In 2005, candidates for the Brotherhood took 20% of the parliamentary vote.  Gamal al-Banna, Hassan’s youngest brother, once told me they command as much as 40% support.  Neither figure is a majority.  But unless Egypt’s secular forces can coalesce into serious political parties, the people for whom Islam is the solution won’t find the fetters of democracy to be much of a problem.”

Comment:  Dennis Prager spent almost an hour today reading glowing reports from the New York Times in 1979 Irani revolution.   The raved about such courage these passive peace lover sectarians mustered in the revolution against the Shah.   These are leftwing reporters revealing their beliefs of that day over thirty years ago.   They seem niaeve as children.  They keep repeating their blindness whereever there is group pillaging something  against America.

Journalism school folks were not very well educated about important matters then.   With the collapse of knowledge taught since that time in the American university, with now a majority of women in the insitutuion, romance replaces knowledge among the left.   Courage is measured by ones antiAmericanism.

Dennis is very pessimistic about Egypt’s future…..He’s right on.   Much will depend upon the American supported Egyptian army’s actions in the coming months.  I does seem to be one of the most civilized institutions in the area outside of Israel.

U.S. Must Stop Subsidizing National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting System!

 

NPR, PBS Federal Subsidies Should Go

By Debra Saunders  · Tuesday, February 15, 2011 —  http://patriotpost.us/opinion/debra-saunders/2011/02/15/npr-pbs-federal-subsidies-should-go/   

“The liberal group Moveon.org has been sending out e-mails to warn that Republicans are back in control of the House and to ask recipients to sign a petition that states, “Congress must protect NPR and PBS and guarantee them permanent funding, free from political meddling.”

Of course, the best way to guarantee no political meddling would be to eliminate some $500 million in federal funds allocated annually to these media’s parent organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Also of course, the fact that Moveon.org wants to keep federal tax dollars pouring into the public broadcasting bucket should end any question as to whether NPR and PBS news programs lean left. They do.

Yet for all his deficit-reduction talk in the face of America’s $14 trillion federal debt, President Obama wants to increase CPB’s funding by $6 million in 2014.

Last year, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and GOP Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming — co-chairmen of Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt — showed more fortitude. They released their own debt-reduction plan to cut domestic spending by $100 billion. “The current CPB funding is the highest it has ever been,” the Bowles-Simpson plan explained. Their plan: Eliminate all of it.

I think public broadcasting stations would be better off if they stopped sucking at the public teat. If viewers and listeners thought that they weren’t already contributing by paying taxes, perhaps they would be more inclined to pony up during pledge drives.

And maybe public broadcasters would lose some of their irritating sense of entitlement. Consider their new website, 170millionAmericans.org — a name that is supposed to represent the NPR and PBS base. If public stations had that kind of support, they wouldn’t need to claim they had that kind of support.

Then there’s the question of whether taxpayers should be paying for more radio and television. As Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., wrote in a congressional newspaper, The Hill, “What I oppose is subsidizing an organization that no longer provides, if it ever did, an essential government service. When the federal government is now borrowing more than 40 cents of every $1 it spends, no one can justify paying for services that are widely available in the private market.”

The bias issue won’t go away. In October, NPR fired Senior News Analyst Juan Williams after he said on Fox News that he got “nervous” when he saw people dressed in Muslim garb on a plane.

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller denied that the firing had anything to do with the fact that one of NPR’s own appeared regularly on the conservative cable network. In light of snide personal remarks for which Schiller later apologized, few believed her.

The 170 Million Americans site extols public broadcasting, thus: “The free flow of ideas and debate helps us participate in the political process as informed citizens.” Problem: A free flow of ideas doesn’t run in one direction; it flows both ways. But I don’t think NPR swells understand that.”

(article was sent to me by Mark Waldeland)

Persecution Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff….”Guilty of denigration beliefs of Islam”

In Western European countries today the leftwing parties anxious for muslim votes pander by passing laws which make Islam imune to public criticism.     Denmark, the Netherlands, and Austria have been conducting their persecutions most recently.   The Geert Wilders trial in the Netherlands has been dragging on over a year.  It became public that the judges to decide his fate were, to put it bluntly, Leftwing biggots against Mr. Wilders, who is a popular rightwing member of the Dutch parliament.  Below is Austria’s version of the persecutions.

(For those too young to remember, the Nazis and Stalinists conducted trials involving controlled speech.   Not a single accused was found not-guilty.   Islamic fundamentalism seems to enjoy the same record.)

“Today was the third and final day of the “hate speech” trial against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. Below is the brief live-blog for the occasion.

To recapitulate: the charges against Elisabeth were “incitement to hatred” and “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion” for giving informational seminars on Islam.

See my previous post for yesterday’s RT interview with Elisabeth.


Final report, 5:43am EST:

On the count of “incitement to hatred”: Not guilty.

On the count of “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion”: Guilty.

The judgment against the defendant is a €480 fine.

The judge second-guessed the Koran by saying Aisha was 18. She evidently noted that Aisha was 18 years old when Mohammed died, which is factual. The implication is that because he did not divorce her after she became above legal age, he was not a pedophile.

She says it’s not pedophilia, because Mohammed had no exclusive desire for underage girls; he wanted any female he could get his hands on.

By implication, the child marriages so prevalent in hardcore Islamic countries cannot be legally categorized as “pedophilia” either.

Elisabeth said: “This is a sad day for my daughter and all girls.”

Convicted for speaking out against sex with minors. How’s that?

Because she insisted that sex with minors is pedophilia, she is guilty of denigrating religious teachings. Well, that tells us all we need to know about Islam, doesn’t it?”

The above article was written by Baron Bodissey.

Comment:  The fine is about $700.   Think of how much money Christians could make in this country if they had concocted by stealth or sweat to force sucha law into practice.

But then, America would be sliding into the abyss as a democracy, and since Christians created and built American democracy, that would be self defeating wouldn’t it.

Islam is another story.   There is no interest or lesson in practiced Islam in honoring and protecting the individual.  As we see practiced nearly universally it prefers the beastial over dignity and honor within mankind.

Today, bureacrats and politicians such as Barack Obama who ‘excuse make’  and those in Western Europe who concoct censorship  laws to protect the evils of Islam as it is practiced, are themselves violators of free speech, a right at the core of honorable democracies.

There in lies the rub.

George Will: The Ohio Law Based Upon…..”What Does the Word “False” Mean?”

“No person, during the course of any campaign…shall…make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official. —An Ohio law

The subject of abortion roiled Washington last week, as it has frequently done during the 38 years since the Supreme Court, by nationalizing the issue, made it the cause of a deep fissure in American politics. Last week’s interest in abortion could have been, but was not, because of the simultaneously heartening and (one hopes) unsettling report about stunning success in treating severe forms of spina bifida in utero. If babies can be surgery patients 19 weeks after conception, are they not babies rather than mere “fetal material” whose “termination” is a matter of moral indifference?

And last week’s interest in abortion could have been, but was not, because of recent stomach-turning (one hopes) reports about the routine butchery of babies at a Philadelphia abortion mill. There, according to the district attorney’s office, late-term abortions often produced living, viable babies who were then killed by “snipping”—using scissors to cut their spinal cords.

Instead, last week’s congressional interest in abortion was part of the aftershocks from last year’s enactment of the health-care law, an event that is having odd reverberations in Ohio’s First Congressional District, which includes Cincinnati. There, last November, Steve Driehaus, a freshman Democrat, lost his bid for a second term by 11,098 out of 201,518 votes cast.

Driehaus, a Catholic opposed to abortion rights, believes that he might have lost because of what he sincerely believes were false statements in broadcasts by the Susan B. Anthony List. The statements were that in voting for the health-care legislation he voted “for taxpayer funding of abortion.” Driehaus insists that “many organizations” supported the legislation “because” he and others secured language in it, and in an executive order issued by the president, that precludes federal funding for abortions.

SBA List, a pro-life political-action committee named in honor of the suffragette who called abortion “child murder,” believes with equal sincerity that its statements about Driehaus’s voting record were accurate. It says, accurately, that “every major pro-life group in the country agrees” that the health-care law allows taxpayer funding of abortion. The Conference of Catholic Bishops, which strongly favors reforms to broaden access to health care, nevertheless opposed the final bill because it thinks the law permits taxpayer funding of elective abortions, in contravention of federal policy since 1976. That organization’s analysis (which can be read at USCCB.org/healthcare) stresses, among other things, the role of federal funds in subsidizing the purchase of health-care plans that include coverage of elective abortions. The National Right to Life Committee’s 23-page affidavit, arguing that the law contains “multiple provisions that do in fact authorize (i.e., create legal authority for) federal funding of elective abortion” can be read at nrlc.org/AHC/DvSBA.

The arguments of the pro-life groups are convincing, but the law’s pertinent provisions are so complex that Driehaus’s good faith should not be questioned. The law was cobbled together in haste. Many provisions are unclear because they were written to mollify one faction without angering another. Opacity was indubitably necessary for the dubious project of producing a congressional majority for legislation opposed by a large majority of Americans.

And then there is Ohio’s misbegotten “false statement” law, which is an invitation to mischief as a campaign tactic. Shortly before the election, when Driehaus learned that SBA List was planning to make its accusations against him on billboards, he got the law’s enforcement agency, the Ohio Elections Commission, to find probable cause for questioning SBA List’s assertion. The billboard company decided not to proceed when Driehaus threatened to sue it. Now Driehaus is suing SBA List for defamation.

This episode teaches two lessons. First, legislation that must be ambiguous and misleading, even to supporters, in order to be passed should not be passed. Second, no good can come of a law that makes government the arbiter of the truth of political speech.”

(The above article was titled:  “A Tale of Two Bad Laws, and was written by George Will at Newsweek.)

Video: Niall Ferguson destroys Obama over Egypt

“A video accompaniment to this morning’s NewsBeast piece, in which he lays into Obama for equivocating and into his advisors for failing to foresee that a sick, elderly, widely despised fascist might be ripe for the picking by a discontented public. The clip is long but you’ll enjoy every minute, from Mika’s rose-colored visions of revolution being shattered to our bumbling intelligence braintrust derided as “third-rate” to The One’s grand “strategy” on foreign policy summarized as “I’m not George W. Bush. Love me.” Good lord, man — no need to use the brass knuckles.”

Please check into this video.   Mr. Ferguson is very clear in his denunciations:

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/14/video-niall-ferguson-destroys-obama-over-egypt/

“Just one nagging question: Which grand strategy should Obama have pursued in lieu of the one he chose, i.e. backing Mubarak and then hedging once demonstrators forced a direct confrontation? In the clip, Ferguson mentions American assistance to dissidents in eastern Europe during the Soviet era, which helped prepare the ground for transitioning to liberal democracy once Russian hegemony collapsed. Not only hasn’t The One reached out to Egyptian liberals, he actually cut the funding provided to them by Bush’s administration once he took office. (In fact, Bush’s efforts to promote democracy did have some effect on the Egyptian protests.) Should he have continued that funding or even increased it in anticipation of chaos breaking out once the old pharaoh died or tried to hand power to his son Gamal? If he had, given the now infamous poll numbers from Pew about how Egyptians view the role of Islam in politics and punishments like stoning for adultery, what confidence is there that that funding would have achieved anything? The problem with Egypt isn’t that there are no liberal democrats; the fear is that, unlike in eastern Europe, there aren’t enough to sustain a liberal democracy even if the U.S. somehow buys one into existence. Which, of course, is why so many people (Ferguson presumably among them) expect that American interests in the Middle East are bound to suffer no matter what sort of government comes out of this.

The other problem with Egypt, of course, is the fear of contagion. With Iraq, contagion was a virtue because the countries in its immediate sphere of influence — Iran, Syria, and Iran’s Hezbollah proxy in Lebanon — were U.S. enemies. Turning Iraq into a democracy was supposed to inspire the Shiites and Sunnis next door to demand the same thing, which necessarily meant more liberal, western-oriented regimes. The proverbial anti-American dominoes would fall. Mubarak, however, was probably more western-oriented than whatever will come after him, and the Saudi royals are definitely more western-oriented. If democracy fever crosses the Red Sea from Egypt into the Kingdom, contagious from one great Sunni power to another, all hell will break loose. (Which helps explain why Bush, the great neocon liberator, was happy to be photographed literally holding hands with Abdullah.) So I ask again: Knowing all that, knowing that democracy in Egypt could mean an elected government of Wahhabist lunatics in Saudi Arabia, what was The One supposed to have done differently to prepare for the end of Mubarak? The best answer I can come up with — which I’ve given you in a previous post — is to go all-in on regime change in Iran so that aspiring democrats around the region can see for themselves how ecstatic Iranians are to be free from an Islamist regime. Might make fencesitters in Egypt think twice before voting for the Muslim Brotherhood. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.”

(The above article was printed at HotAir and written by Allahpundit.)

Ali Abdel Fattah, Muslim Brotherhood Leader Explains Egypt’s Goals

“CAIRO — Ali Abdel Fattah, spokesman for the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood, sat at a laminate table in his office in South Cairo, answering phone calls, chattering in Arabic at aides in dark suits and discussing plans for Egypt under democratic rule.

In the scramble for power among groups of various political identity after last week’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood — an Islamist group that has held as many as 20% of the seats in Egypt’s parliament in recent years — is vowing to increase its influence on daily life in Egypt.The Brotherhood would seek “the preservation of honor” by stoning adulterers, punishing gays, requiring Muslim women to cover their heads and shoulders in public and killing Muslims who leave their faith, said Abdel Fattah, whose forehead bore the calluses of those who prostrate themselves five times a day in prayer.As he spoke late Saturday, the “thump thump” of a cleaver could be heard just outside the unadorned office. A man was hacking up a calf on a wood stump, arranging the meat on a plastic sheet on the patio floor. A bright puddle of blood ran into the street as the animal was slaughtered for a feast celebrating the Brotherhood’s hopes for the future.

  • FAITH: Egypt, freedom and Mohammed’s birthday
  • “We basically want a government that will take on the demands of the people that were clear in the revolution of Tahrir Square,” Abdel Fattah said. “Sharia law does not differ from the demands of the people.”Leaders of political parties that dominated the protest movement disagree.

    By Marco Longari, AFP/Getty Images

    Egyptian protesters celebrate under fireworks at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday after Hosni Mubarak resigned as president.

    In the upper-class neighborhood of Zamalek, members of Egypt’s liberal opposition gathered Saturday night at the penthouse apartment of former presidential candidate Ayman Nour.Nour talked as his guests sat on gilded armchairs, sipped sparkling fruit juices and dined on baked shrimp, fish and stuffed crab under a clear night sky beside the roof-top swimming pool. People talked about a new dawn for Egypt and what it took to get to this point.

  • CONCERN: Observers unsure military will keep promises
  • MILITARY: Rulers promise elections
  • PHOTOS: Revolution in Egypt
  • Egyptians want a government that adheres to the universal declaration of human rights agreed to by the United Nations, said Wael Nawara, secretary general of Nour’s liberal party, Al Ghad.”Egyptians are very mellow,” Nawara said, gesturing to a crowd listening to blaring music outside Al Ghad’s downtown office, where a man danced with a gyrating woman wearing a hijab, surrounded by clapping onlookers. “The Muslim Brotherhood don’t like music or dancing.”Egyptians of all political persuasions celebrated the departure of Mubarak, 82, who was forced out of the presidential palace Friday by the military and was staying at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, according to Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Liberals and Islamists have announced that they intend to seek power through elections that, under Mubarak, had been rigged for years.Parties that largely were banned by Mubarak, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are looking forward to running candidates openly. Politicians such as Nour, who spent years in jail for challenging Mubarak’s repressive regime, are wooing supporters.Many in the West are hopeful that a democratic Egypt, the most populous nation in the Middle East with a population of about 82 million, will herald a new age in a troubled region where Arab despots, monarchs and sheiks have presided over restive populations from which militancy and terrorism have been exported for years.Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has argued that the United States should welcome the upheaval as a chance for the Arab world to modernize and allow moderate forces to gain the upper hand. Others say democracy in Egypt could help radicals gain power.”The shorter the time before new elections, the better the chance for the already well-organized Brotherhood to maximize its gains,” said Wayne White, former deputy director of the State Department’s Near East & South Asia Intelligence Office.Laying the groundwork for elections The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 as a strict Islamic alternative to Western influences. It spawned a radical cell that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. It inspired al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian and former member of the Brotherhood.The Brotherhood’s Abdel Fattah says the group wants Egypt’s army to quickly pave the way for civilian rule, as well as changes to the constitution that would lay the groundwork for elections soon.On Sunday the Brotherhood got half of what it wanted. Egypt’s Armed Forces Supreme Council, which is ruling the nation for now, announced that it had dissolved Mubarak’s handpicked parliament and suspended the constitution, which had been packed with provisions to prevent free elections and opposition parties.The liberal parties and youth groups that kept the protests going for 20 days have a platform, and some of their goals are similar to those that the Brotherhood supports. For example, both want to crack down on corruption and a culture of bribery that shopkeepers, businesses and ordinary Egyptians say has made daily life here difficult.Nawara says sweeping out the corrupt members of the regime is a first step toward encouraging foreign investment in Egypt that will lead to jobs, but the Brotherhood wants investment strategies to abide by Islamic law.Nawara says Egypt’s military — which has long had close ties to the U.S. military — should remain in charge of Egypt until a civilian government is running smoothly. The liberal parties say they also want the United States — which sends about $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt each year — to use its influence to ensure Egyptian officers continue reforms.Mona Makram-Ebeid, a Coptic Christian and former member of the Egyptian parliament, plans to push for a greatly expanded student exchange program with the West so young Egyptians can learn how to development the economy.A sharia-based state would be “totally refused” if put to a referendum in Egypt, she predicted, surrounded in her office by wooden furnishings and framed oil paintings that hark to the early 20th century, when Cairo was home to Jewish and Christian refugees from Europe.The Brotherhood is “a cause for concern, but not a cause for fearful reaction,” Makram-Ebeid said. Its strength, he said, is a result of Mubarak’s repression of liberals, who were not allowed to organize while the Brotherhood was able to do so in mosques and through its teachers and charities.”You counter (the Brotherhood) by allowing new parties to form without any restriction,” Makram-Ebeid said. “They can mobilize the street. But the youth can mobilize more.”How strong is the Brotherhood? Estimates vary on the political support the Brotherhood has in Egypt.The movement gained 20% of seats in the parliament in 2005 when Mubarak, under pressure from the Bush administration on human rights issues, allowed direct elections for the first time. Wael Nawara of Al Ghad says the Brotherhood would gain 15% of the seats in an election today. Mohamed Zarea, a lawyer and human rights worker who deals with members of the Brotherhood, says they would get 50%.Some conservative Muslims consider themselves more moderate and would not go along with an extremist program.Mohamed Hossam Eldin Abdel Wahid, 56, who keeps a large red tinted beard and a floor-length ochre robe, considers himself a conservative Muslim. He says he memorized the Quran during a 20-year detention under Mubarak’s emergency laws. Selling scented oils to men outside a mosque in Giza, he said “attacks based on religion are wrong.””A Muslim who does not practice regulations of Islam, who’s an extremist, is a sinful Muslim,” he said.Makram-Ebeid estimates the Brotherhood would gain “only” 30% of parliament seats in elections involving 22 opposition parties she counts as vying for power. However, a party could do a lot with such a percentage of the parliament’s seats.Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist group and enemy of Israel, last month toppled the government of the majority pro-Western parties in Lebanon and installed its own candidate as prime minister. Hezbollah did this despite having just 57 of the 128 seats in Lebanon’s parliament.Most agree that Egypt’s policy toward Israel will change no matter who gains power. For years, Mubarak clamped down on arms to Hamas and opposed Hezbollah.The Brotherhood wants to put Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel up to a referendum, Abdel Fattah said. And if the government decides to open border crossings between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, “we will support Hamas like others will,” he said, referring to the U.S.-designated terror group that rules Gaza. Even liberals say they will pay more attention to the Palestinians than Mubarak did.Daniel Pipes, editor of the Middle East Forum, says if radical Islamists come to power, they will foment a revolution along the lines of Iran’s in 1979. In Iran, the ruling Islamists’ belief in God’s sovereignty trumps political participation by the masses. The Islamist movement is “inherently anti-democratic,” because leaders reject democratic laws that run counter to Islamic texts — but Islamists are willing to use elections to gain power, Pipes said.The movement may already be the best-organized opposition group because of a network of charities, hospitals and aid programs for the poor.The group’s grass-roots network is a source of power that liberals may have a hard time countering, especially if not given enough time to organize. Egypt’s old Wafd and newer liberal and reform parties “may have a tough slog” reaching out, especially to Egypt’s large lower class, White said.Under Mubarak, Nawara said, the Brotherhood was cited as a villain to scare the international community into believing that chaos would reign if Mubarak were deposed.The revolution showed that Egyptians knew it was a lie, he said. But he doesn’t think the people want the Brotherhood.”If the Muslim Brotherhood takes power and starts to impose their Mickey Mouse ideas,” he said, “the people will go back to the street.”

    from  USA Today…written by Oren Dorell

     

    Mark Steyn Observing Obama America Observing Egypt

    SteynOnline Mark Steyn wrote the following:

    THE SUPERPOWER AS SPECTATOR Print E-mail
    Steyn on the World
     
    If you missed my TV and radio appearances this week, here’s a recap of my thoughts on Egypt:This is not a happy ending but the beginning of something potentially very dark. The end of the Mubarak regime is the biggest shift in the region in 60 years, since Nasser overthrew King Farouk’s dissolute monarchy and diminished London’s influence in Cairo. We are witnessing the unraveling of the American Middle East – that’s to say, of the regimes supported by Washington in the waning of British and French imperial power after the Second World War. The American Middle East was an unlovely place, and perhaps the most obviously repellent illustration of the limitations of “He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB” thinking. It’s “our” SOBs who are in trouble: After the fall of Mubarak, what remains to hold up the Hashemites in Amman? Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood is more radical than Egypt’s, the regime is less ruthless, King Abdullah’s Arabic is worse than his English, and pretty westernized Queen Rania, who seems so cute when CNN interviewers are fawning all over her, is openly despised outside the palace gates.Iran is nuclearizing, Turkey is Islamizing, Egypt is …what exactly? Well, we’ll find out. But, given that only the army and/or the Muslim Brotherhood are sufficiently organized to govern the nation, the notion that we’re witnessing the youthful buds of any meaningful democracy is deluded. So who’ll come out on top? The generals or the Brothers? Given that the Brotherhood got played for suckers by the army in the revolution of ’52, I doubt they’ll be so foolish as to make the same mistake again – and the hopeychangey “democracy movement” provides the most useful cover in generations. Meanwhile, James Clapper, the worthless buffoon who serves as the hyperpower’s Director of “Intelligence”, goes before Congress to tell the world that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “secular” organization. Americans ought to take to the streets to demand Clapper vacate whatever presidential palace in DC he’s holed up in.Amidst all this flowering of democracy, you’ll notice that it’s only the pro-American dictatorships on the ropes: In Libya and Syria, Gaddafy and Assad sleep soundly in their beds. On the other hand, if you were either of the two King Abdullahs, in Jordan or Saudi Arabia, and you looked at the Obama Administration’s very public abandonment of their Cairo strongman, what would you conclude about the value of being an American ally? For the last three weeks, the superpower has sent the consistent message to the world that (as Bernard Lewis feared some years ago) America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.

     

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