Egypt Speeding Toward Anarchy?
Mubarak's repressive measures and the absence of a real democracy is playing into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists, who now appear to be more determined than ever to seize control of Egypt.
The Egyptian government's clampdown on secular reformists, including human rights activists and journalists, is driving many Egyptians toward the open arms of Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups. These extremists find fertile soil among disgruntled Egyptians and Arabs who are yearning for regime change.
If Egypt falls into the hands of the Muslim fundamentalists, the first thing the new government would do is abrogate the peace treaty with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Cairo. This is exactly what the Islamic Revolution of the Ayatollahs did when it took over Iran.
From there, the road to joining the Iranian-led axis of evil would be very short. The new regime in Cairo would distance itself from the US and the EU in favor of a political, economic and religious alliance with Iran and its proxies.
The New Year eve terror attack on a church in Alexandria, which claimed the lives of 21 Coptic Christians, is yet another indication of the deteriorating situation in Egypt.
The attack, which has triggered an anti-government Christian "intifada" in Alexandria, shows that Al-Qaeda -- and possibly other Islamic fundamentalist groups -- is determined to undermine the Western-backed regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's Coptic Christian minority has good reason to be afraid. The deadly attack on the church could be, according to Egyptian security sources, the first in a series of bombings targeting "infidels and Crusaders."
The Egyptian regime's failure to prevent the attack has left some local security experts wondering whether Muslim fundamentalists have managed to infiltrate the country's security apparatus.
Angry Christian protesters have vented their anger on the regime by staging violent street protests and assaulting policemen and local government officials.
The Egyptian Christians are not, however, the only ones disappointed with Mubarak's regime.
The recent parliamentary election in Egypt, which many Egyptians say was hijacked by the Mubarak regime, has sparked a local and international outcry. Candidates belonging to various opposition parties withdrew from the race in light of the authorities' campaign of intimidation against them.
Mubarak's refusal to name a successor has also contributed to the growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty in Egypt. Many Egyptians fear that the Muslim Brotherhood group, which enjoys tremendous popularity among Egyptians, would take control of Egypt after Mubarak's departure from the scene.
The best way to avoid such a scenario is by putting pressure on Mubarak to stop the crackdown on his opponents -- especially those who belong to secular and reformist parties and organizations, and to begin introducing democracy, human rights, and equality before the law. Otherwise, recent developments in Egypt suggest that the largest Arab country may be headed toward a dangerous state of lawlessness and anarchy.
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by Burak Bekdil
The Turkish government "frankly worked" with the al-Nusrah Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, along with other terrorist groups.
The Financial Task Force, an international body setting the standards for combating terrorist financing, ruled that Turkey should remain in its "gray list."
While NATO wishes to reinforce its outreach to democracies such as Australia and Japan, Turkey is trying to forge wider partnerships with the Arab world, Russia, China, Central Asia, China, Africa and -- and with a bunch of terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Nusrah Front.
Being NATO's only Muslim member was fine. Being NATO's only Islamist member ideologically attached to the Muslim Brotherhood is quite another thing.
by Samuel Westrop
British politicians seem to be trapped in an endless debate over how to curb both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community.
A truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.
by Soeren Kern
"My son and I love life with the beheaders." — British jihadist Sally Jones.
Mujahidah Bint Usama published pictures of herself on Twitter holding a severed head while wearing a white doctor's jacket; alongside it, the message: "Dream job, a terrorist doc."
British female jihadists are now in charge of guarding as many as 3,000 non-Muslim Iraqi women and girls held captive as sex slaves.
"The British women are some of the most zealous in imposing the IS laws in the region. I believe that's why at least four of them have been chosen to join the women police force." — British terrorism analyst Melanie Smith.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.