Be Careful What You Wish For

Sometimes it pays to be careful what you wish for. All manner of seemingly good ideas turn out to be duds, or even worse, dangerous upon becoming reality.

Who could have imagined the potential perils of overturning the Egyptian dictatorship of Mubarak only to install another oppressive government?

Well, plenty of people actually, but certainly none from the political left who refused to see that the void in leadership could be filled by militant and extreme advocates for Islamic rule. This has been confirmed by the success of the radical Salafist Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood in the recent Egyptian elections. The result follows on from the election of other Islamist parties in Tunisia and Morocco.

According to the left apologists, the Muslim Brotherhood is a benign and peaceful organisation that provided resistance to Mubarak’s oppressive regime. The reality is that they were founded in 1928 to restore the Islamic caliphate, a global religious government.

They pursue their agenda through a number of violent offshoots like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In the West, organisations like CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) are the ‘respectable front’ for the Brotherhood’s agenda.

The Muslim Brotherhood have been linked to the assassinations of Egyptian Prime Minister Nuqrashi in 1948 and President Sadat in 1981; as well as assassination attempts on other political leaders. Now it looks like they will gain political power in Egypt, the implications of which could be very dangerous for many Egyptian citizens, Middle East peace generally and global stability.

Whatever his many failings, Mubarak kept a lid on the political aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood and their desire to implement sharia law. He also maintained a peace treaty with Israel that survived Sadat’s assassination just two years after the agreement was signed. That peace treaty is now at risk, as are many individual freedoms if the Egyptian State succumbs to sharia law.

The European Court of Human Rights found in 2001 that sharia law was incompatible with democracy and human rights. It violates some of the our most important and cherished values including the equality of people, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the rule of law applying equally to all.

For those of us that believe in democratic rule, this is clearly the result of a free vote of the Egyptian people. While the final implications of the electoral outcome are as yet unclear, it is difficult to logically accept that the Egyptian citizenry knowingly voted to be governed under sharia when evidence supports the notion that many nations ruled under sharia become democracies in name only. I would even suggest that the entire basis of democratic ideals is that all are equal, a concept not recognised under sharia law.

This means that the millions of Coptic Christians, already persecuted in Egypt, will become even more marginalised, as will tens of millions of others – many Muslims amongst them. It potentially means that the ‘democratic’ elections of the future will be just as devalued as the puppet elections evident in some other nations.

If this circumstance eventuates, rather than a celebration of people power, peace and democratic progress, the ‘Arab Spring’ could actually become the catalyst for even greater oppression.

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