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 Soeren Kern
"There is no territory more occupied than the body of a Palestinian woman, or a strip... severed by the violent imposition of the superstitions of Allah and the followers of Mohammed. We had better not even mention the situation of Palestinian homosexuals. This selective outrage by top progressives when it involves Israel is indeed anti-Semitism." — Alberto Moyano, Spanish newspaper editor.
"It is possible legitimately to criticize Israel. But it smells fishy when all of the blame is attributed to Israel, without even mentioning the small detail that a terrorist and jihadist group that rules Gaza has infringed on every conceivable humanitarian principle, by using civilians as human shields, and launching missiles from apartment blocks, while their leaders are living comfortable in Qatar, guests of a sheik." — Ángel Mas, Spanish analyst.
There has been virtually no public outcry whatsoever in Spain over the deaths of more than 160,000 people during three years of fighting in Syria; the decimation of ancient Christian communities at the hands of Islamists in Iraq; the kidnapping of 300 girls by Islamists in Nigeria; or the downing of a civilian passenger plane in Ukraine.
"The most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed." — Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs report on anti-Semitism in Spain.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Khaled Abu Toameh
There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai that the U.S. Administration is working to prevent the collapse of Hamas.
"The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, which is represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, will be able to combat radical Islam. The Americans are trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to the region." — Palestinian official, Ramallah.
The Iranians, with whom the U.S. is now negotiating on nuclear weapons -- amid fears in the Middle East that the U.S. will capitulate to Tehran's demands if it has not effectively capitulated to them already -- have now joined Qatar and Turkey in opposing any attempt to confiscate Hamas's weapons.
The Paris conference was actually a spit in the face to the anti-Hamas forces in the Arab world. By failing to invite the Palestinian Authority to the conference, Kerry indicated that he does not see any role for Abbas and his loyalists in a post-Hamas Gaza Strip.
by Amir Taheri
According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as "war criminals" because of Hitler.
by Malcolm Lowe
Go to Nazareth and you can easily find the mini-mosque. It displays a large poster of Koran quotations denigrating Christianity and urging Christians to convert to Islam.
Overlooked is a fundamental difference between the two regimes. Israel is a state governed by the rule of law. The Palestinian Authority, like most other states in the region, is a personal dictatorship. Arafat started the fashion of simply disregarding the laws.
What is needed in Israel is a central policy unit with the brief of developing long-term policies both to integrate Israeli Christians and to engage with the great variety of Christians in foreign countries.