To begin with, this is the first time in modern Arab history that common, regular people have forced from power corrupt dictatorial regimes without the army coming to the defense of the regimes. While deaths have occurred, there has been no concerted effort on the part of the Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemeni militaries to commit mass murder against its own citizens. This certainly came as a shock to the Arab dictators of these countries. Qaddafi of Libya (who by way of chiding the Tunisians for overthrowing ben Ali was in reality sending a signal to Libyans to stay quiet), Assad of Syria, and Abdullah of Saudi Arabia must now be looking over their shoulders, and sleeping with one eye open. If the armies of other Arab countries will also not fire on their fellow citizens, then what fear do the citizens have in overthrowing these corrupt totalitarian regimes that have oppressed their people for decades? This is a new factor that has never been seen in the Arab world. Without army support,the gates of the presidential palaces of the Arab “leaders” will be left open to the people. If and when that happens, the world is first liable to see extreme violence.
When the people are no longer afraid of the army – let alone the regime – why should they be satisfied with a “benign” military dictatorship? Egypt has been living under a military dictatorship since 1952 when the“Free Officers” under Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk. When Nasser unexpectedly died on September 8, 1970, he was quickly replaced by Anwar el-Sadat. When Sadat was shockingly assassinated on October 6, 1981 – by Islamist members of his own military – he was in turn replaced by his vice president, Hosni Mubarak, who has since been in power ruling throughout his reign under a state of emergency. Granted, Mubarak’s Egypt was not the totalitarian Gestapo-like state that Libya, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are. The same went for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It is interesting to note that with the exception of the hereditary Saudi monarchy, the dictators of the above mentioned “republics” were all grooming their sons to succeed them. This begs the question as to why they overthrew the monarchs of these countries in the first place. The Arab “republics” are monarchies in everything but name only. Now with Mubarak’s departure, it no longer seems a fait accompli that this hereditary succession will continue.
Finally, this brings us to the very dedicated, disciplined, and well funded Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. Founded in 1928 by Hassan al Banna, it reached its zenith under the tutelage of Sayyid Qutb. While currently outlawed in Egypt, members of the Brotherhood are able to run as Independents in Egypt’s Parliament. The“Brothers” are currently led by Sa’ad al-Katatni. While there are factions within the Ikhwan, their supreme goal remains the Islamization of Egypt into a country ruled by the Shari’ah. Their motto is enough to make any civilized person shudder:
Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
The Brotherhood—heavily influenced by Nazi ideology —as well as having excellent relations with Iran has learned from its violent past (including the assassination of al-Banna and the hanging of Qutb) that the key to victory lies through “peaceful” methods. If Egypt continues to spin out of control, Egyptians may very well look to them for guidance and leadership. A recent Pew poll showed that Egyptians want “more Islam” in their lives. This is in stark contrast to political pundits and “experts” who have practically discounted the Brotherhood as obsolete.
Indeed, a “useful idiot” as Mohammed el-Baradei , an anti-American, anti-Israeli apologist for Iran’s nuclear weapons program may be the key to the Ikhwan’s dreams of ruling Egypt. Already, they have endorsed him. Iran’s Khomeini used a similar tactic with his first prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan , a respected liberal academic, and then after consolidating power, pushed him aside. With an Ikhwan controlled government, the peace treaty with Israel will no longer exist, perhaps leading to another all-out Arab-Israeli war with Iran in the forefront. The global implications of this nightmare scenario are only beginning to dawn. To put it mildly, America, Israel, and the West are caught between an Arabic version of Scylla and Charybdis.
Author: Steven Simpson
Steven Simpson has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis on Middle Eastern studies, as well as a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Steven’s previous articles have appeared on the American Thinker, Front Page Magazine, and Hudson-NY.org. and also a contributing writer for Walid Shoebat Foundation.
Steven can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org