The Muslim Brotherhood-Salafi Alliance
Will Egypt Become an Islamic Republic?
As the world focuses its attention on the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, extremist Islamic groups are working toward turning Egypt into an Islamic Republic.
If the Egyptian authorities do not move quickly to crush the extremists and regain control, the Sinai Peninsula could soon become a separate Islamic emirate run by Salafis, Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
The Facebook folks who triggered the anti-Mubarak revolution have been replaced by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
The young, liberal, secular and reform-minded youths who led the revolution against the Mubarak regime have failed to win the backing of many Egyptians, who clearly have more sympathy toward the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.
Last week hundreds of thousands of supporters of a number of radical Islamic groups gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square in the biggest show of force since Mubarak stepped down earlier this year.
The demonstrators were supporters of the extremist Salafi group, which is calling for an Islamic state with Sharia law. The group has also established a party called Al-Nour, or "The Light," to contest the next elections in Egypt.
Aware of the possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis would win, the Egyptian government has yet to set a date for new elections. But the government knows that it will not be able to postpone the elections for too long and will eventually be forced to succumb to the demands of the extremists.
The Salafis have become a major player in the Egyptian arena since the downfall of the Mubarak regime. Their supporters have been accused of targeting Churches and Christians, as well as secular, liberal-minded Egyptians.
What is most worrying, however, is the fact that the Salafis and their erstwhile rivals, the Muslim Brotherhood, have joined forces in a bid to form a united front against the secular movements in Egypt.
These two radical groups are now cooperating in the fight against a bill of constitutional principles that the ruling military council is planning to introduce ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election. The Islamic groups are opposed to the bill because it gives the armed forces the authority to play a political role in Egypt.
The differences between the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood are not as significant as some Western experts on Islam have suggested. The Salafis' have always been unhappy with what they see as the Muslim Brotherhood's focus on politics rather than religion. The Muslim Brotherhood, for its part, has always maintained that the Salafis are obsessed with religious matters and fatwas, while displaying indifference to the government.
At the end of the day both parties want to see an Islamic regime in Egypt – one where democracy, moderation and pragmatism are non-existent.
Almost at the same time that the Salafis were demonstrating in Cairo, Muslim extremists attacked police stations and a gas pipe in Sinai, killing and wounding a number of Egyptian security officers.
Egypt's ruling military council has thus far been reluctant to confront the Islamic fundamentalist groups. Instead, Egyptian authorities are busy chasing journalists, human rights activists and peaceful demonstrators who are demanding reform and democracy.
Tahrir Square has already been occupied by the Islamic extremists.
It is only a matter of time before Egypt turns into an Islamic Republic that is aligned with Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next was against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.