In February 11, the day Hosni Mubarak gave in to protesters’ demands and stepped down, President Barack Obama applauded the transition under way in Egypt. He placed the struggle of the Tahrir Square protesters on an “arc of justice” extending from the French revolutionaries to Martin Luther King Jr., lauding their determination. The president said he was “confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks.”
Shortly after Mubarak’s regime was toppled, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry addressed the West’s naive perspective on the revolution:
[M]any of the Western world’s leaders see what is happening in Egypt as good news. They fail to see the strength of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of them fail to see the broken will of America—which all the Middle East leaders see!
Many people in the West hope to see Egypt transform into a picture of democracy and peace. But what do the Egyptian people want? Are Western leaders willing to look at the reality?
A major survey by the Pew Research Center last year showed that the people of Egypt have no interest in Western-style democracy. They actually want strict Islamic rule. … A powerful Mubarak was able to control or contain the more extreme views of his own people. But that dam was broken when he resigned.
Four months after Mubarak’s ouster, it is becoming clear to more and more analysts that Egypt’s revolution was not the democratic triumph starry-eyed liberals mistook it for—and that it is, as Mr. Flurry wrote, a lunge toward the Islamist camp.
On May 29, Jerusalem Post columnist Barry Rubin wrote that Egypt is “well on its way to becoming the next Iran.” Rubin wrote this about a violent May 15 demonstration at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo in which 185 people were arrested, 18 policemen were injured, and protesters set fire to an Israeli flag (emphasis ours throughout):
The demonstration was organized on Facebook by the April 6 Youth Movement—the same “moderate” and “democratic” group so highly praised in the West for “leading” the Egyptian revolution. Asmaa Mahfouz is a leader of the movement. … Mahfouz is trying to launch a new revolution against the military rulers.
One of the reasons she’s protesting the transitional military regime is that the army protected the Israeli Embassy from being seized by the demonstrators.
President Barack Obama believes these people are the hope for the future, and backs them 100 percent. Of course, there are moderate democrats supporting the movement in Egypt, but they are few, and terrible at organizing a political structure. There is no strong moderate party running in the parliamentary elections. The Muslim Brotherhood is well-organized.
Rubin continues, saying the “dominant emotion in Egypt today is fear. The dominant response in the West is blindness.”
Rubin also expressed concern about Judge Mahmoud al-Khodeiri, the former deputy head of Egypt’s Court of Appeals, who recently praised the terrorists who bombed the pipeline that carries gas from Egypt to Israel.
[J]udges are supposed to uphold the rule of law. If a judge can cheer those who blow things up, that opens the door to supporting other acts of lawless violence. Wherever Khodheiri draws the line, others will find justification for mayhem. Attack Christians? Kill Jews? Assassinate secularists or government officials? Once lawlessness is rationalized as absolute right, there are no limits.
If judges call for violence and murder, invoking blood and treason, how might common people behave? What example is being offered to the national political culture? Obama and European leaders don’t get it. We are about to be projected back to the bad old days of radical Arab nationalist regimes competing with each other in militancy, anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel. Except this time they’re Islamists, and that’s worse.
A look at the way Egypt’s Christians have fared since the revolution provides another sobering indication of Egypt’s true post-Mubarak trajectory. The situation was tough for Egypt’s Christian minority even while Mubarak was in power, but has deteriorated since he stepped down. In Cairo alone, sectarian violence has resulted in 24 deaths, 200 wounded people, and three burned churches in recent months. This surge of sectarian violence has revealed Christian-Muslim hostility to be among the most serious threats to the country’s stability.
It has revealed that Egypt’s revolution was not a victory for democracy, but for those who want Egypt to be ruled by Islam.
As far back as July 1993, Mr. Flurry predicted that a radical shift would launch Egyptian politics toward the Islamist camp. That shift is well under way. The end result of Egypt’s revolution will not be the democratic Egypt that Western analysts had hoped for, but the birth of another radical Islamist nation.