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The Facebook folks who triggered the anti-Mubarak revolution have been replaced by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.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.
Comment on this item
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.