By now it is well known that the Muslim Brotherhood has regained a foothold in Egyptian politics, garnering huge gains in the country's parliament and spawning "the candidate to beat" in its upcoming presidential election. These windfalls have critics gravely concerned about the Islamist group's rising position on the world stage. Of equal consternation is the subsequent deterioration of Egypt's democratic alliances and, in turn, the formation of its newly budding alliance with Iran.
On Tuesday evening's broadcast, Glenn Beck touched on the dangers of a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt, showcasing the danger of an organization that harbors a long and bloody past and a lifetime of advancing the "virtues" of Islamic Shariah law.
From allowing the ongoing slaughter of Coptic Christians in the country, to Egypt's newly-acquired hostility to Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood is not winning points with either democracy-seekers or allies who once shared a peaceful relationship with the country under former President Hosni Mubarak.
Making matters worse, it has recently been revealed that Egypt, the Brotherhood's new stomping ground, is now aligning itself with the Iranian regime. This negates pundits' earlier predictions that Sunni Egypt would never form an allegiance with mostly-Shi'ite Iran.
This should come as no surprise, however. Though predominantly Shi'ite, Iran has seen a great benefit in funding the largely-Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. BI reports the two worked covertly over the course of two years to topple Israeli and U.S.-supported Hosni Mubarak. The alliance could be due to a long-enduring grudge Iran held over Mubarak for allowing the Shah of Iran political asylum in Egypt following his ouster in 1979.
Beck marveled at the fact that the United States, under President Obama, helped the Muslim Brotherhood attain power by aiding Egypt's Arab Spring uprising -- not to mention continuing to shower the nation with financial support -- only to now witness those who received America's aid align with Iran, America's enemy.
In 2010 alone, the U.S. provided $1.7 billion in assistance to Egypt, of which $1.3 billion goes directly to the Egyptian military. While lawmakers sought to withhold the latest round of U.S. aid to Egypt, the White House disregarded the concern and approved the assistance.
Ironically, while the U.S. is pouring money into its budding enemy, a recent Gallup poll showed that Egyptians do not even want American financial support. Eighty-two percent of Egyptians questioned for the survey opposed U.S. economic aid to their country. The poll revealed that Egyptians would rather receive aid from Turkey and, of all places, Iran.
Perhaps it is time to "stop writing them checks," Beck snapped.
The same poll reveals that 56 percent of Egyptians consider diplomatic relations with the United States as a negative for the country. These numbers are up from 40 percent last December. Only 25 percent say a closer relationship with America is a positive, while 41 percent favor closer ties with Iran.
Reflecting on these facts, Beck then took a moment to mock pundits, namely Bill Kristol, who, during the uprising in Tahrir Square in 2011, boldly declared on U.S. national television that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood had zero intention of seeking political office and that the group's motives were largely peaceful. A claim that has now proven false on both counts.
Kristol, of course, said Egypt will never align itself with Iran because it is mostly Shi'ite, while Egypt is Sunni -- and they're like the "Hatfields and the McCoys." He also said that Egypt, through the Muslim Brotherhood would not turn on Israel.
Below is a clip, courtesy of MEMRI, dispelling Kristol's assertions. In the video, a Muslim Brotherhood Leader in Egypt declares that a time will come when "the accursed Jews will return to wherever they came from and the Arab land will be completely cleansed of Zionist filth"
While the scenario unfolding in Egypt is indeed alarming, the Islamist Brotherhood did suffer at least one set-back last week.
In a blow to the Brotherhood, the Egyptian court on Tuesday suspended the 100-member, Islamist-dominated commission charged with drafting the country's new constitution. According to the Associated Press, the move came amid boycotts and pressure from moderate Muslims, secular politicians, constitutional experts and the Coptic church over the Islamists' push to monopolize more than half the panel's seats. Critics raged at what they called the Islamists' abuse of power.
The administrative court in Cairo said it was "suspending the constituent assembly" and referred the case to a panel of senior judges who will investigate the legality of the commission. Securing a majority on the constitutional panel was merely one approach by which the Islamists had hoped to tighten their grip on the country and bend its legal framework to embrace the tenets of Shariah law.
Another way for Israel?
Another interesting turn of events in the Egyptian-Israeli nexus also arose last week. Iran’s former crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, appeared on Israeli television Tuesday imploring the Jewish State to support the Iranian dissidents seeking to topple the current regime, rather than launch a preemptive assault on his home country. The exiled son of the ousted Shah of Iran posited that bombing Iran would only play into the hands of the regime. Instead, he appealed for help saying Israel could use "technological, financial and other resources at [its] disposal."
Pahlavi's father, the late Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, had close ties to Israel before he was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution and replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini and subsequently, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The best thing you can do for the regime is to tell that, 'We are going to attack you,' or in fact attack you," he said during the broadcast. "You will be giving Khamenei and all his clique, when they have no answers anymore to the country's ills, the greatest gift of all by doing that. That is just crazy. That just doesn't make sense."
Pahlavi, who resides in Washington, agreed that the current regime comprises "fanatics," but said everyday Iranians would appreciate Israeli assistance.
"Who on this planet doesn't know that there is a military option, but are there other options?" he said. "The best option is to utilize the best army in the world in place ready to strike, which is the Iranian people themselves. And if you don't help that, God help us all."
On the decline?
Regardless of Egypt's small constitutional victory, however, the mere attempt to see Islamists draft a new constitution points to a deeper and more insidious problem -- namely that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate for president is the Islamist candidate for president -- and one promising ultra conservative Muslim clerics legislative input.
It is worth noting that the Muslim Brotherhood banded with the hardline Salifist al-Nour party to establish an Islamist Muslim majority. If allowed to fall prey to Islamic law, Beck explained, both women and religious minorities would be reduced to nothing more than "second class citizens."
Or, in the words of Egyptian political activist Cynthia Farahat, “I'm a woman and I’m a Copt. I’m a fourth-class citizen in Egypt.” Farahat made the remarks while testifying before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Congress. During the testimony, the Coptic Christian recalled the atrocities committed at the Maspero massacre. Underscoring the problem with sending U.S. aid to Egypt, Farahat stated:
The Coptic Christians at Maspero were killed with live ammunition, and with weapons the military probably acquired through its average of $2 billion in annual military aid from the United States. A massive shipment of 21 tons of tear gas was just sent to Egypt from the US before the elections. These weapons are not used by the military against militant Islamists who are trying to subvert and destroy our country, institute shariah law, and inflame the broader Middle East; these weapons are used against the allies of the United States of America, the Copts and the secular moderate Muslims.
Beck noted that attacks by Islamist extremists -- including Muslim Brotherhood members -- on the country's beleaguered Coptic Christians are on the rise. Copts, who comprise roughly 10 percent of Egypt's population, are being beaten and gunned down in the street -- many say "like animals."
Under an Islamic Egyptian state, many fear (and justifiably so), that Christians would be summarily rounded up and forced to convert to Islam or face execution. Women and other minorities would be reduced to second-class citizens behind men, or worse, face the same atrocities experienced in the most barren of human rights wastelands. Alcohol, dancing and festive celebration would be banned. Women would be forbidden from driving or showing their faces in public. All of these are hallmarks of a Shariah-compliant state.
Succumbing to Islamic law and an authoritarian state would mark the regression of Egyptian society, not the "progress" the left purportedly claims to stand for. Why the Left has so fervently supported this degeneration remains unclear.