Islam and Egyptian Politics – Its not looking good

The Arab spring was the dawn of much hope, but how will it really play out now in Egypt? It would appear that the near future is not looking good at all.

In a 2009 poll we discover that around 70% of Egyptians said they favored the establishment of a new caliphate[bottom of p.21], and about 81% favored the application of sharia law [bottom of p.21], so now that folks get to vote, do the politicians pander to this? You bet they do …

According to the Weekly Standard, the man featured in the following clip, Egyptian candidate for president Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, “may well follow Mubarak as Egypt’s first Islamist president.” If so then this clip–which was posted on YouTube on 4 August, and later reported on in several Arab media outlets– is indeed evidence of where things are heading.

In the above he is basically singing the praises of Bin Laden. The transcript reads …

And Usama bin Laden—may Allah be pleased with him—may Allah take great mercy upon him. I ask Allah to accept him with the righteous and the martyrs, O Lord. Do not imagine that a martyr is only someone with whom you’ve always agreed throughout your life. If you had a different point of view from him, and then he was killed, this would not negate his martyrdom. Now this man (i.e. bin Laden) had religion wealth, and he was able to spend millions in the path of Allah, and speak the word of truth with power. However, he preferred to sacrifice his flesh, his offspring, his family, and his wealth, and go to the front lines to work in the path of Allah. The most glorious among us are always the martyrs. May Allah have mercy on him. The testimony which he obtained was a great fortune. I suppose that he—and Allah is his judge now—is among those of whom it is said, “If only my people knew,” Allah-willing. May Allah take great mercy upon him, and I ask Almighty Allah that the Muslims may soon be able to avenge him, as well as all of the martyrs of Islam, such as ‘Abdallah ‘Azam, Ahmad Yasin, and others, O Lord.

Yes indeed, he feels that Bin laden was doing God’s work. There are always idiot fanatics to be found who tout this line, the problem here is that he has a good chance of being the next president of Egypt – now that’s a truly deep worry. I’m not sure how real this patter is, does he truly believe it, or is he simply deploying Islamic belief as a political tool to gain power? – in this case my instinct is that he truly believes it.

With no chance of ever being in politics under the old dictatorship, these folks could of course claim that things would be much better if they were in control … but once in power, they then have to deliver the goods, and I suspect that will lead to much public disenchantment when they realise what it really means. If such politicians also want to have a real democracy they will need to stop being idealistic and live in the real world. That often involves being pragmatic and working with those who hold ideals that are not the same – I do wonder if they will then be capable of doing that because religious ideals can prevent such compromise from taking place.

So what will come next, will it lead to sectarian fighting and instability or will we find ourselves lumbered with yet another theocratic regime and failed state. If that is how it plays out, do we then send in more troops? Heck no, I’m afraid we just have to let this roll and hope for the best, and truly hope these fanatics don’t destroy too many lives before the Egyptian public wakes up to the reality of how utterly abhorrent life can be when such lunatics gain power, and boot them out.

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