THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume XIII, Issue # 35, February 2, 2011
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
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WHY THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION CAN BE
THE BEST -- OR WORST -- THING TO HAPPEN
By Raymond Ibrahim

THE OUTCOME OF THE EGYPTIAN UPRISING:  WILL THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION RESULT IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SOME SORT OF PLURALISTIC CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY AS THE GOVERNING SYSTEM OF EGYPT, OR WILL THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD TAKE OVER CONTROL OF THE COUNTRY & IMPOSE AN ISLAMIST DICTATORSHIP?  WHAT SHOULD THE U.S.A. DO ABOUT THE SITUATION IN EGYPT?  SHOULD AMERICA GIVE SUPPORT TO THE SECULARISTS & OPPOSE THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?
FULL STORY:   It is clear that the media and its host of analysts are increasingly splitting in two camps on the Egyptian revolution: one that sees it as a wonderful expression of "people-power" that, left alone, will naturally culminate into some sort of pluralistic democracy, and another that sees only the Muslim Brotherhood, in other words, that sees only bad coming from the revolution. These extremist views need balancing. The fact is, depending on what the U.S.A. does or doesn't the result of this revolt could either be the best or worst thing to happen to the Middle East in the modern era.

For starters, that the Muslim Brotherhood poses a great threat, there is no doubt. If Mubarak goes and a power vacuum is created, the best positioned opposition group to take over is the Brotherhood this is especially the case if there is no outside intervention to prevent it.

On the other hand, the majority of the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians protesting and dying in the streets of Egypt today are not doing so because they want sharia law enforced to the letter. Rather, this is a popular revolution in the literal sense, and contains all segments of Egypt's population, not just the Islamists. The only united goal all Egyptians have is to see Mubarak go hence the ubiquitous Arabic sign, Irhal: "Get out!"

Therefore, rather than naively assume that this revolution will lead to a constitutional democratic Egypt (and so the U.S.A. should stand by), or cynically assume that this is unquestionably an Islamist revolt that needs to be crushed (by supporting Mubarak and tyranny), the U.S.A. should not support the Mubarak regime, but rather do whatever needs doing to see that the revolt, in fact, leads to a secular and pluralistic society, which many Egyptians would welcome.

The secularists are there. Now is the time to support them. Without Western support, the Muslim Brotherhood will take over Egypt by default. And if that happens, the Middle East will rock like never before in the modern era.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Egypt, Arabs, & the Middle East

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

North Africa -- The Arab States of Islamic North Africa

The Middle East & the Arabs

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is the Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida and implacable enemies of the U.S.A. and the West.


The foregoing article by Raymond Ibrahim was originally published in National Review Online, February 2, 2011, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/2828/why-the- egyptian-revolution-can-be-the-best-or)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
February 2, 2011




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