In a featured piece at Human Events today, I explain again why the West’s democracy euphoria over events in the Middle East may be misplaced:
President Obama made a strong statement in support of the Libyan protesters last Wednesday, condemning Gaddafi’s use of violence and affirming that the United States “strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people.” Those include, he said, “the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny.”
Obama spoke with satisfaction about “the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt” too, and was pleased that “the change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life.” He vowed that “throughout this time of transition, the United States will continue to stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.”
The one thing the President didn’t explain was his justification for believing that the Libyan, Tunisian, and Egyptian people actually care as much as he assumes they do about principles and rights such as freedom of speech and the dignity of all people, both of which are mitigated under Islamic law. Nor did Obama touch on why he assumes that they hold an understanding of freedom and justice that is remotely comparable to that of the American constitutional system.
There are numerous signs that they don’t. It isn’t insignificant that Libyan protesters have marked Gaddafi’s picture with the Star of David. Rather, it is an indication of the protesters” world view, and of the pervasiveness of Islamic anti-Semitism. Egyptian protesters defaced photos of Mubarak in the same way. When Muslim protesters want to portray someone as a demon, they draw a Star of David on his picture.
The demonstrators in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East may be pro-democracy insofar as they want the will of the people to be heard, but given their world view, their frame of reference, and their core assumptions about the world, if that popular will is heard, it will likely result in huge victories for the Muslim Brotherhood and similar pro-Sharia groups. Hence the ubiquitous chant of the Libyan protesters: not “Give me liberty or give me death,” but “No God but Allah!”…