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Friday, December 2, 2011

Egypt: Stripping Away the "Democratic" Veil

Think back to January and February of this year, when demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square brought down Hosni Mubarak.

Remember how the three op-ed musketeers of The New York Times, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen, converged upon the scene with a horde of other foreign journalists, all seeking out English speaking professionals with higher educations ready to extol the virtues of the Arab Spring. Needless to say, the primitive sorts with the rotten teeth from the Muslim Brotherhood, who formed the shock troops in the street battles with Mubarak loyalists, never appeared behind Western journalists' microphones.

Fast forward some ten months: The first results of Egypt's staggered election process are now in, and lo and behold, Muslim Brotherhood candidates have captured some 43% of the vote, while radical Salafi Muslim candidates, who remarkably make the Muslim Brotherhood appear moderate, took some 30% of the vote. In short, Islamist candidates took almost three-quarters of all ballots cast. While pondering the runaway success of the Islamist candidates, take into consideration that Egypt's Christian Copts, who want nothing to do with radical Islam, comprise approximately 9% of the population, which makes the success of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis that much more of a landslide.

A shocker? Some Western journalists, disappointed by the election results, note that only the Muslim Brotherhood was prepared for the vote with a longstanding political organization at the ready. However, this excuse fails to explain the success of the Salafis.

For readers of this blog, the results of Egypt's election process should come as no surprise. Compare the 75% of voters who supported the Islamist parties with the some 75% of Egyptians, who, according to a December 2010 Pew Research Center poll (http://pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims-around-the-world-divided-on-hamas-and-hezbollah/), adhere to strict Islamic tenets:

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt . . . say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion."

In fact, the results of Egypt's elections were preordained. "Arab Spring"? My derrière!

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