Over at FrontPage I discuss the ongoing demonstrations in Egypt, and the consistency that runs through Obama’s responses to all the uprisings we have seen in Muslim countries in recent years:
after survey, as well as the election results that put the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in the presidential palace, show that most
Egyptians want Islamic law. But those who do not are not submitting
quietly to Sharia tyranny.
Morsi has declared a state of emergency and given the military the power to arrest civilian protesters,
yet still the anti-Morsi demonstrations continue. And while he quickly
endorsed the demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak that ultimately led to
the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent to power, Barack Obama has been
reticent about supporting these demonstrations, as he was in 2009 when
thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest against the
But aren’t these “pro-democracy” protesters? After all, Morsi has
been notably inhospitable to dissent, arresting his critics and
overseeing the adoption of a constitution that Egyptian Christians fear
will be used to deny them basic rights, in accord with Sharia provisions
institutionalizing discrimination against non-Muslims. Videos have come
to light in which he lashed out against Jews with venomous hatred,
referring to Qur’anic curses of them as “apes and pigs” and declaring
that there could be no negotiations with Israel.
Those who are protesting against his regime, on the other hand, are
in favor of genuine democratic rule, without Sharia restrictions on the
freedom of speech and its denial of equality of rights to large segments
of the popular.
Yet Obama is silent. The only two mass popular uprisings in Muslim
countries that he has not supported have one thing in common: both have
been against pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist regimes. All the popular
uprisings he has supported, meanwhile, have resulted in the installation
of pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist regimes.
One might be pardoned for thinking that Obama is in favor of
pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist regimes. In any case, so are most
Egyptians: a Pew Research Center survey conducted in Spring 2010,
before the chimerical “Arab Spring” and the toppling of Mubarak, found
that no fewer than eighty-five percent of Egyptians thought that Islam
was a positive influence in politics. Fifty-nine percent said they
identified with “Islamic fundamentalists” in their struggle against
“groups who want to modernize the country,” who had the support of only
twenty-seven percent of Egyptians. Only twenty percent were “very
concerned” about “Islamic extremism” within Egypt.
Another survey in May 2012
found little difference. 61 percent of Egyptians stated that they
wanted to see Egypt abandon its peace treaty with Israel, and the same
number identified the hardline Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the
country that should serve as Egypt’s model for the role Islam should
play in government. 60 percent said that Egypt’s laws should hew closely
to the directives of the Qur’an.
Yet these surveys show that a substantial minority in Egypt does not
want Sharia, and the demonstrations this week demonstrate that they”re
determined to make a stand. They oppose the new Egyptian constitution
that, as the Associated Press
reported, “largely reflects the conservative vision of the Islamists,
with articles that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will
lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities and civil
liberties in general.” They have every reason to be concerned, for the
constitution reflects in numerous particulars Sharia restrictions on
their rights. AP noted that the constitution’s wording “could give
Islamists the tool for insisting on stricter implementation of rulings
Also, “the draft contains no article specifically establishing
equality between men and women because of disputes over the phrasing.
However, it maintains that a woman must balance her duties toward family
and outside work, suggesting that she can be held accountable if her
public role conflicts with her family duties. No such article is
mentioned for men.”
The implications for women’s rights are as obvious as they are
unsurprising in light of Sharia’s reduction of women to the status of
little more than commodities, slaves of the men who own them.