With the Egyptian parliamentary election of November 28, Obama has now sent a message to Arabs and Muslims that his administration cares more about despotic and corrupt regimes than about democracy. It is precisely this support for dictatorships like Mubarak that is driving many Arabs and Muslims into the open arms of radical Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In the Palestinian parliamentary election of January 2006 in the Palestinian teritories, many Palestinians voted for Hamas as a way of punishing the Western-backed corrupt regime of Fatah. There is no doubt that what happened with the Palestinians would repeat itself if free and democratic elections were held these days in most of the Arab and Islamic countries.

Egyptians blame Obama for failing to fulfill his commitment to spreading democracy. Obama's reluctance to send a strong message to the Egyptian regime encouraged Mubarak to launch a massive and brutal crackdown on his political rivals and critics long before the election was held.

Radical Islam will one day take control over most of the Arab and Islamic countries, whether through free elections, as was the case with Hamas, or through a revolution, as Khomeini did in Iran. But one must not be naïve: Muslim fundamentalists will rise to power also because of their growing popularity in the Arab and Islamic countries.

The Arabs have a proverb, "If you have no shame then do whatever you want." Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who has long been presiding over one of the Arab world's most corrupt and repressive regimes, has once again shown that he has no shame by stealing the vote in Egypt's parliamentary election.

But one would be doing injustice to Mubarak by singling him out; the proverb applies to nearly all the corrupt dictators in the Arab and Islamic world.

Yet even by Egyptian standards, the feeling in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world is that Mubarak this time exaggerated when he virtually wiped out the opposition. It would have been better, for example, had Mubarak allowed the rest of the world to see the real power of the Muslim Brotherhood in his country.

The Egyptian dictator is actually deceiving the world by pretending that Muslim extremists do not exist in Egypt.

Human rights activists and political activists say the election was held in an atmosphere of terror and intimidation. Some have gone as far as describing the election as "probably the most fraudulent in Egypt's history."

But many Egyptians and Arabs are not as angry with Mubarak as much as they are with the US Administration of President Barack Obama.

At least 1,000 supporters of opposition parties were rounded up in the run-up to the election.

The Obama Administration had almost nothing to say in response. It also failed to respond in a firm manner when Mubarak ignored Washington's request to allow full monitoring by independent observers.

Not that anyone was expecting Washington to send US troops to ensure a free and fair election, but the Americans could have at least issued a public condemnation that would have put some pressure on Mubarak.

Mubarak defended his decision to ban international monitors by arguing that their presence would have constituted an infringement of Egypt's sovereignty; but the presence of the monitors would at least have disrupted Mubarak's plan to steal the vote.

A few weeks before the scandalous election, President Obama, after a meeting with the Egyptian tyrant, called for "credible and transparent elections;" and in a recent speech at the United Nations, he announced that, "democracy, more than any other form of government, delivers for our citizens."

Now the Obama Administration is saying that it is "disappointed" in the way Egypt conducted the parliamentary election.

White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer was quoted as saying that the US is assessing reports of problems that include polling irregularities, a lack of international monitors and "the many problems encountered by domestic monitors."

In his June 2009 speech in Cairo, President Obama pledged his commitment to democracy: "I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose."

But by allowing Mubarak to confiscate the will of some 80 million Egyptians, President Obama has lost his credibility, or what is left of it, among Arabs and Muslims.

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