Cold Winds of the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring has turned decidedly chilly. Most notably, the freedom-destroying hand of the Muslim Brotherhood has Egypt within its grasp.

Egypt’s Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi last month seized nearly unrestricted power, leading to claims he has become a ‘new pharaoh’. The new draft Egyptian constitution provides for religious control over legislation, stifles freedom of speech and allows sharia law to effectively determine individuals’ day to day life.

Who would have thought this could happen when the ‘Spring’ started with such democratic idealism?

The answer is that anyone with an understanding of the overall goal of Islamic fundamentalists would have seen this coming. Their agenda is readily identifiable wherever the advocates for political Islam – like the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) – come to power. Before the elections in Egypt, the West was assured that the MB was only a minority within the Egyptian community and would have limited influence on a newly democratic Egypt.

Many commentators refused to countenance the suggestion that the MB use intimidation and violence as a means to achieve their ends. They ignored the antipathy the MB and their ilk practise toward non-Muslims, leaving the slaughter of the Christian Copts to be an inconvenient truth that too many refused to acknowledge.

Fortunately, despite the lack of will from many in the West to condemn the MB’s desire to implement sharia law and divide Egypt along religious lines, the Egyptian people are once again starting to rise up in protest. An estimated 200,000 people have marched upon the Presidential palace to demand the removal of the new Islamist regime. They were met with barbed wire and tear gas.

I fear things in Egypt will get worse before they get better.

The European Court of Human Rights has found that sharia law is not compatible with human rights and democracy. To pretend that an organisation like the MB can come to power and respect important Western democratic ideals is to suspend reality. Their agenda is clearly captured in their credo: “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Their worldwide slogan is “Islam is the solution.”

Such a mission should alarm all who are seeking a way forward for peace and democracy, not just in Egypt but through the entire Middle East. Appeasing the Islamists will not promote freedom; it will only suppress it. Ignoring their hatred of Israel and loathing of Western ideals won’t empower the people; it will only encourage them to proselytise.

We cannot afford to let extremism flourish in the Middle East. The agenda of groups like the MB, Hamas and Hezbollah need to be universally condemned for the tyranny they espouse. If not, the possible consequences could be very dire indeed – not just for Egypt but for all of us.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Confidential Daily.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.