Moderate Egyptians haunted by rising prospect of Islamist rule

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Niccolo and Donkey
Moderate Egyptians haunted by rising prospect of Islamist rule

The Globe and Mail

Patrick Martin

December 2, 2011

With Islamist parties poised to win a majority of seats in Egypt’s parliamentary election, the country’s Christians and secular Muslims are growing desperate for ways to avoid the restrictions of an Islamic regime.

Many are quietly discussing what they call “Plan B,” an exit strategy – first for their money, then for their family. Others imagine a cataclysmic outcome.

“The odds of there being violence have just gone up,” says a well-connected business consultant in Cairo’s affluent Maadi district. “Mubarak’s old guard hates the Islamists,” he explained. “They might try to disrupt the electoral process in hopes that the army will step in.”

It may take something like that to derail the Islamists’ campaign. The lead established after the first round of voting by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the strong showing by the upstart Salafists’ Nour Party may actually increase in the second and third regional rounds of voting that end in early January. These rounds, in Giza, the Nile Delta, Sinai and Upper Egypt, are even richer veins of conservative Muslims.

If the Salafists can do this well in Cairo and Alexandria without much of an organization, says Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, imagine how well they can do in these other areas and with the number of volunteers they now can draw on.

Seeing as it’s falling behind, the leading secular movement, the Free Egyptians Party, created this year by telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris and some like-minded business people, met Thursday to plot its strategy for the upcoming rounds.

They want redress for numerous electoral violations by the Brotherhood’s FJP and are asking the courts to strike down some FJP gains.

They also intend to make substantially larger ad buys on television, radio and the Internet, in hopes of attracting more voters. And they are assembling a much bigger army of volunteers to better get out the vote.

More than any of that, however, the Free Egyptians plan to use fear to turn their electoral deficit into a political advantage.

“Many Egyptians share our concerns about the prospect of an Islamist government,” said Naguib Abadir, the FEP’s executive director. “We expect large numbers of such people to come forward and support us.”

It is not just people’s fear of conservative moral regulations that will cause this stampede, the FEP believes, but their fear also of a national economic collapse.

As if on cue, the financial assistant to military chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said Thursday that Egypt’s foreign reserves will fall to $15-billion by the end of January from $22-billion because so much capital is fleeing the country.

The collapse in tourism and foreign investment since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak has driven the Egyptian pound to its lowest level in almost seven years.

While the FEP is strongly critical of the Brotherhood’s party for violating electoral rules, the secularist flag-bearer says it will not violate rules in retaliation. “We would lose the moral high ground,” said Mr. Abadir, “one of our biggest assets.”

That may be, say political observers, but it probably won’t stop them from pumping lots more money into the campaign, probably more than the electoral spending laws allow. “They better [do that]” said one secular Muslim businessman devoutly wishing that the Islamists be stopped.

For its part, the front-running Freedom and Justice Party has to watch that it doesn’t lose votes to the Salafists, whose unexpectedly good showing has made their leading Nour Party much more credible to Islamist voters.

To that end, expect Freedom and Justice to become more conservative in upcoming races to stanch any loss of votes to the stricter Salafists.

The shift was already evident on Egyptian television Wednesday evening when representatives of Freedom and Justice and the Free Egyptians were discussing the economic virtue of tourism. A spokesman insisted the Brotherhood’s party favoured extensive tourism but not the kind that would see a woman in a bikini drinking alcohol on the beach.

In Café Greco, in the affluent Maadi neighbourhood, young liberals such as Wael Sayed el-Ahl sip lattes and nurse their wounds.

Mr. el-Ahl, 33, who owns a business that services Apple computer products, was shot and gassed in the famous Jan. 28 battle for Tahrir Square. He hadn’t expected the Islamist parties to take over the revolution so completely.

But while many distraught secular Egyptians are likening their current situation to Iran in 1979 and are looking to apply for foreign residency in countries such as Canada or Australia and moving their funds offshore, Mr. el-Ahl says he’ll stick around and “give the Brotherhood a chance.”

“If the Nour had been on top, it’d be a different story,” he said. “I’d be leaving.”
Niccolo and Donkey
Why not? Secularists in the Muslim world are in such denial, they can not believe that they are in the minority. They can not fathom that after generations of power resting with monarchs, generals, foreign corporations & governments, warlords & mafia, tribal chiefs, international banks and the UN... that the bulk of the population is more receptive to the clerics.

For the future of Islam, it is crucial that the non-Muslims and secularists flee abroad, that these newly elected moderate Islamist parties discredit themselves, that the Qutbists eclipse them in popularity and take over. I will be very happy if in the next elections it is not Islamists vs secularists, but Islamists vs real Islamists.
Niccolo and Donkey

The Brotherhood is throwing its weight around:

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says end to military rule is 'top priority'

read the rest at the link above.....
Bob Dylan Roof
Solidarity, bro

Al Jazeera is reporting that the first round gave the Muslim Brotherhood 40% of the vote, and the Salafist Party took 20% . Future rounds are expected to give an even greater share to the Islamists. Egypt, the most populous Arab state, is going to be have the world's first democratically elected Sharia government, an enormous and modern military, a border with Gaza and Israel, and the Suez Canal. Is there any possibility they won't intervene the next time the IDF pounces on Hamas?

Bob Dylan Roof
Libyan democracy has also selected Sharia as the grundnorm of their new constitution. While performing field research on liberal hysteria at Reddit, I noticed that western proponents of the intervention in Libya are maintaining, without any evidence, that a Sharia-based constitution does not necessarily entail a Saudi-style regime of moral enforcement. Is there any truth to this claim? For example, the article in my link claims the following:

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source".

But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways - it was also the basis of Egypt's largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.

"It's OK! It will be just like Mubarak's Egypt!" :eek: tard:
A lot of secular governments in the Muslim world identify themselves as Islamic states or Islamic republics with Islam as the basic source or legal basis, or that no law may be passed that contradicts Islam, and so on. Qaddafi himself claimed to have a state guided by Islam. This is just nonsense intended to reassure the Muslim populations of these countries, while in truth they have no Shariah system. Even the so called Islamic states in the GCC are not authentic, but practice an incomplete semblance of Shariah that the people might consider it close enough. Then there are 'Islamist' parties like al Ikhwan, Ennahda, Hamas, and the Turkish AKP which only encourage obedience to Islamic law, though never enforces it in a fence-sitting manner, claiming the name moderate or modern... Salafis just call them phony.
The West has been backing in each of these Arab Spring countries the secularist corner of the opposition/new governments, because it is that faction which will throw contracts at Western firms interested in entering the region, companies that can not operate in the region if it comes under Shariah. Jalil is one such Western puppet, a former member of the Qaddafi regime, and has every intention of obstructing Libya's Islamists.

What has happened in Egypt, that makes it more likely a genuine Islamic state might come out of this Arab Spring, is that the Salafis are now expected to take 20-30% of the parliament, and Al Ikhwan will have ~40%. Some analysts suggest this will force Al Ikhwan to prove, not that it is a moderate party, but that it is really an Islamist party. Rather than making compromises to parties supported by Copts, Faggots, and Western-wannabes, Al Ikhwan will be pulled into the theocratic camp or else lose more Islamist support to Al Nour... and without their Islamist base Al Ikhwan does not exist.
Niccolo and Donkey
Angocachi SteamshipTime Dionysian

The Inevitable Rise of Egypt's Islamists


Through GCC monarchs, Al Ikhwan is going to get cozy with Western governments and preserve Cairo as their client, rely on Mubarak's old military/police/intelligence empire to suppress dissent the same as he did, and form a pact with the secularist parties to block Sharia and keep the peace with Israel. Al Ikhwan will be in Egypt to the Salafis what the Republican Party was in the US to Evangelicals in the last two decades; a party that patronizes the clerics without changing domestic policy to conform to scriptural law. The only difference is that the Salafis aren't buying it and have formed their own party just in time. They've pointed out the rabbit is in the hat before the magician has even pulled it.