Now, with the election results pointing towards a possible Muslim Brotherhood majority in the parliament, the Obama administration is throwing caution to the winds and wholeheartedly embracing the Muslim Brotherhood – “anti-U.S. strains” and all. It is willing to accept at face value assurances by Muslim Brotherhood officials that its lawmakers will reach out across the Egyptian political spectrum in order to build a modern democracy committed to the individual freedoms of all Egyptians.
The Obama administration evidently swallows the propaganda put out by the Muslim Brotherhood for the benefit of gullible Western governments and opinion leaders or does not care one way or the other whether it is true. For example, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party head, Mohamed Mursi, said that while his Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party uses “Islam as the basis of our party which means that our general framework is Islamic sharia,” they “don’t issue religious rules in individual cases.” Mursi also said that “All political forces and intellectuals in Egypt, regardless of their political and religious allegiances, will take part in writing the constitution.”
These are comforting words to the Obama administration, reinforced further by the Muslim Brotherhood agreement to an 11-clause declaration of principles known as the “Al-Azhar Document around the future of Egypt.” Al-Azhar is Egypt’s 1,000-year-old seat of Islamic scholarship, which Obama referred to as the “beacon of Islamic learning” during the 2009 speech he delivered there to the Muslim world. Muslim Brotherhood members attended Obama’s speech, by the way, at the invitation of the Obama administration.
The Al-Azhar Document is intended to serve as a guiding framework for the constituent assembly that will be in charge of drafting Egypt’s new constitution. This document, which was read on national television on June 20, 2011 by Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, purportedly commits Egypt’s intellectual, religious and civil political elite to establishing an open democratic society in Egypt that respects the right of “other divine religions’ followers to appeal to their religions in their personal issues.”
But there is a big catch. The Al-Azhar Document’s first clause stipulates that “the modern and democratic state” it has in mind would operate “in accordance with the true Islamic aspects.” It goes on to say that “Islamic jurisprudence is the main source for the legislation.”
True democracy, which respects the freedom of all its citizens, is inherently inconsistent with “Islamic jurisprudence” that is based on Islamist supremacy and sharia law. While the Al-Azhar Document pays lip service to granting some measure of freedom of expression, it does so only within the strict confines of Islamic principles and morals.
The Al-Azhar Document also envisions an expansive role for Al-Azhar itself. It is to be the institution Egyptians must refer to “in order to define the way in which the state relates to religion (taḥdīd ‘alāqat al-dawla bi’l-dīn) and to clarify the foundations of the correct siyāsa shar‘iyya that it is necessary to pursue.”
This will invest the unelected Al-Azhar Imam Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib with significant power, since his institution will be arbiter of “the true Islamic aspects” governing Egypt going forward. Secularist writer Salah Elissa argues that “if new laws need the consent of al-Azhar, then that immediately means we are in a religious (not civil) state.” The power of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in the new parliament will help ensure that al-Azhar’s decisions do not stray too far from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda.
Where does al-Azhar Imam Tayyib stand on core democratic freedoms such as freedom of expression? As one indication, he praised Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s landmark fatwa banning insults to early historical Islamic figures, particularly the first two Muslim caliphs and A’isha, child-wife of Prophet Muhammad.
Indeed, Tayyib admires the Iranian regime and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah. “I hope relations between Iran and the Arab countries will improve, and the good neighbor policy as well as brotherly ties on the one hand and the fight against the common threat against Muslim nations on the other hand will improve these relations,” al-Tayyib said after meeting with Iranian and Hezbollah officials last July.
The Muslim Brotherhood leadership agrees with Tayyib. Kamal al-Halbavi, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, expressed gratitude to the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei for his support of the Egyptian revolution and said he hoped that Egypt would have a “good government, like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is very brave.”
The Obama administration is trying to deceive the American people into thinking that Islamism – whether the Taliban or Muslim Brotherhood flavor – is anything other than our ideological enemy. The administration may not be able to stop either the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood from eventually taking control of Afghanistan and Egypt, respectively. But actively helping them along, as the administration is doing, recklessly jeopardizes the security of the American people and the cause of freedom everywhere.
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To get the whole story on why the Left helps empower Islamists, read Jamie Glazov’s book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
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