INSIDE THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION
Joel C. Rosenberg
In the past several days, the dynamic of the protests in Egypt has changed rapidly, and not for the better. What started out as a genuine and positive pro-freedom movement is being steadily coopted by the Muslim Brotherhood and other violent and extremist forces. There is now a growing risk that the overthrow of the Mubarak regime could lead either to an authoritarian military regime, or a Radical Islamist regime. We must pray neither scenario comes to pass. The people of Egypt would be further oppressed. The U.S., Israel and the West would be endangered…
The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood (which began in Egypt in the 1920) had initially been caught off guard by sudden and intense rise of the protests and had not been involved in planning or developing these protests. But sensing an opportunity, they decided to move decisively.... They mobilized their followers throughout the country and told them to take to the streets. That’s when the complexion of the protests took a turn for the worse, characterized by:
- ...an estimated 60 percent of Egyptian police stations have been set on fire...
- ...gangs on the streets wielding machetes and knives
- Government office buildings being set on fire...
- Looting of shops, businesses and homes
- Muslim Brotherhood members escaping from prison — example: some 8,000 prisoners escaped from a prison in the east of the country and one report said “prison guards have joined the protests allowing dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members to walk out of jail.”
- A rising civilian death toll ...
These are not the actions of a true pro-freedom movement…President Mubarak’s response to the protests has been badly overdone and typically authoritarian….
I don’t want to see the Muslim Brotherhood win. For all of Mubarak’s sins, he is not a Radical. He doesn’t want to launch a jihad against the U.S., Israel or the West. He has maintained the peace treaty with Israel. He has worked to counter the Hamas movement in Gaza. He is strongly opposed to the Iranian nuclear weapons program and has worked closely with the West to counter it.
The Obama administration needs to be careful to support positive change in Egypt and support human rights there, without cutting the legs out from underneath Mubarak precipitously, the way President Carter did to the Shah of Iran in 1979. The Shah had his many flaws, no question about it. But Carter’s actions helped trigger the Islamic Revolution and led to the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the loss of an American ally, and the rise of a terror-exporting country that has gained in lethality ever since. We dare not make the same mistakes with Egypt….
I know that ultimately the Lord is in charge, and this — and nothing else — is what should give us all hope. As the Hebrew Prophet Daniel once said while living under a brutal Middle Eastern dictator:
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” Daniel 2:20-21
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