As Egypt began to implode, yet again, John Kerry inadvertently stumbled into something a lot closer to the truth than the delusional “Arab Spring” narrative that has guided Obama-administration policy. The secretary of state, tied in knots by congressional foolishness that mandates terminating U.S. aid when a foreign government is ousted by a coup d’état, rationalized that, quite contrary to a coup, the Egyptian military’s ejection of President Mohamed Morsi was an exercise in “restoring democracy.”
None of this was quite right, although that is to be expected. After all, the C-word on Kerry’s mind was not “coherence”; he was struggling to avoid saying “coup.” But let’s face it: Morsi was forcibly removed from power, and he is being detained, along with other major Muslim Brotherhood figures. That is a coup to most sensible people — people who are not paid to fret over the statutory ramifications of admitting reality, and who have no patience for fastidious distinctions like whether the generals have actually taken over the government or are “merely” backing the civilian technocrats they’ve put in place.
More to the point, Egypt has never had a “democracy,” so the military cannot be said to have “restored” one. Yet there was a welcome bit of common sense in Kerry’s declaration, even if it eluded the declarant.
The defining mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is the implementation of sharia, as noted for several years by a hardy few of us Islamophobes. An “Islamophobe,” by the way, is someone who takes seriously the things Muslim Brotherhood operatives say and the scriptures on which they rely; the Muslims who say the things that Islamophobes have the temerity to mention are called “moderates” — see how this works?
Sharia is Islam’s societal framework and legal code. Particularly as construed by Islamic supremacists, whose ideology dominates the Middle East, sharia is authoritarian, anti-liberty, anti-equality, and intolerant of minority rights. Indeed, in 1990, Islamic supremacists felt the need to issue their own “Declaration of Human Rights in Islam,” precisely because they cannot abide the aspirations laid out in the purportedly “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” promulgated by the United Nations in 1948. Human rights, for the Islamist, must bow to the repressive injunctions of sharia.
Consequently, in a couple of books that are largely about the history, ideology, methodology, and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood — The Grand Jihad and, last year, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy — I tried to establish two premises. The first is that Islamic supremacism is fundamentally anti-democratic. That proposition cannot be too Islamophobic since influential Islamic supremacists themselves freely concede that sharia cannot coexist with a secular civil society or with any system in which people are free to ignore sharia in enacting their own law.
The second is that elections do not equal democracy. To the contrary, democracy is a culture of governance committed to the protection of minority rights and equality of opportunity. Sharia …read more