Friday, July 01, 2011

Reaching out to Islamists

Two stories:

I. Guess who is reaching out:

"The Obama administration is reaching out to Islamist movements whose political power is on the rise in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.

The tentative outreach effort to key religious political groups—the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahdha in Tunisia—reflects the administration's realization that the spread of democracy in the region requires it to deal more directly with Islamist movements the U.S. had long kept at arm's length."

II. And who is being courted:

"On his well-followed Twitter feed, the Coptic Christian Sawiris posted an image of a bearded, kaffiyeh-clad Mickey Mouse and a face-covered Minnie Mouse, alongside the comment, "Micky [sic] and Minnie after . . . " - in other words, "after" the Islamists gain power. It was a fairly pedestrian, if pointed, piece of political humor, but the anti-ironic Islamists didn't see it that way.

On Monday, 15 Islamic lawyers associated with the puritanical Salafists submitted a complaint to Egypt's general prosecutor, alleging that Sawiris "ridiculed the Islamic faith" and violated a penal code that criminalizes speech attacking "heavenly religions." If convicted, Sawiris would face six months to five years in prison, plus a fine.

Whether or not Sawiris is ultimately indicted, this episode should serve as the latest reminder that Islamism and democracy are mutually exclusive. Democracy, after all, requires a broad array of civil rights, including the right to criticize the state and its legal foundations.

Yet by virtue of their political beliefs, Islamists are practically incapable of accepting such extensive liberties. While Islamists vary considerably in how they interpret Islamic legal texts, they broadly agree that Sharia - a set of religious legal principles - should form the basis of their countries' legal systems. And because they view Sharia as divinely created, they view criticisms of Islamic law or theology as inherently wrong. Thus Islamists demand that Islam be protected from political speech - even as they push for Islam to assume a political role.

There is a word for legislating on the basis of unassailable legal principles: tyranny."


At 11:54 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"heavenly religions."
I thought Christians also believe in heaven.

anyway, excellent post.
better to wonder why Obamabots are embracing political islamists than to follow the campaign's new initiative to send "credible" surrogates to dissuade Jewish voters from conservative lies about Obama's Israel policies. Ok, you will read a post on that at Contentions, but I actually forced myself to read Greg Sargent's post - it was actually more interesting to read the comments.

Greg's Plumline is a most rabid liberal blog - he was the supreme Ayotollah championing the Ground Zero Mosque and slamming all critics as racist.

ps. TNR has a post on Hezbollah that I found linked at RCW today.
Peretz is MIA.

At 12:43 PM EDT, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

The US governemnts have been reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood for decades. That is why they have Iftar dinners filled with Muslim Brotherhood guests, every year, and Muslim Brotherhood groups are invited to consult and develop diversity programs and counter terrorism strategies. Foolishness parading around as sound policy. The Brits can tell you what a collosal mistake promoting Islamists groups to counter terrrorism is...basically it is fascilitating the terrorists goals, so that they wont blow you the Islamization of the West.

One good thing about the Arab Spring and empowerment of the Islam(ism) via that it clears the way for total war.


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