Egypt: Free People Not Going Quietly Into the Sharia Night

4490204-3x2-700x4671By Robert Spencer

Survey 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 mullahcracy.

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 of Shariah.”

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