Posts Tagged ‘Freedom and Justice Party’

Carter Pleased with Egyptian Election Results

January 10, 2012
Former President Jimmy Carter

Jackass

I had been wondering if Jimmy Carter could possibly top himself after sending condolences to North Korea over the loss of  their Dear Leader. Well, I need wonder no more. The radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and the really radical Salafi Muslims are taking over Egypt and Carter is “pleased”. Here is the story at Breitbart.com.

Former US president Jimmy Carter gave the thumbs up on Tuesday to Egypt’s parliamentary elections, saying the people’s will was “expressed accurately.”

“We have been very pleased,” Carter told reporters during a tour of a polling station at the Rod al-Farag girls’ secondary school in a working class district of the Egyptian capital

He said the election — a three-staged process launched in November to choose the first parliament since mass protests forced former president Hosni Mubarak to quit — had been peaceful despite “some problems.”

“But in general the will of the people has been expressed accurately,” he said on the eve of the end of the polls.

I don’t doubt that the will of the Egyptian people has been expressed. That is actually most of the problem with democracy in the Middle East. What the people want is not tolerance and freedom.

Egypt’s two main Islamist parties have scored a crushing victory in the seats declared so far, reflecting a regional trend since Arab Spring uprisings overthrew authoritarian secular regimes.

Asked about Islamists coming to power, Carter said: “I have no problem with that. The US government has no problem with that either.”

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best organised political movement, has claimed the lead through its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

It has been closely followed by Al-Nur, which represents the ultra-conservative Salafi brand of Islam, raising fears among increasingly marginalised liberals about the prospects for civil liberties and religious freedom.

I have a problem with the Islamists coming to power in Egypt. This is a disaster for our policy in the Middle East as great as the loss of Iran during Carter’s watch. I wonder if Carter is aware that the new government in Egypt will very likely abrogate the peace treaty with Israel, undoing the accomplishment he is most proud of. Why doesn’t Jimmy Carter stay in Plains, Georgia where he can’t do any harm?

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Beach Tourism in Egypt

August 29, 2011
Retouched versions of this picture from the ge...

Image via Wikipedia

If you are planning to go sun bathing in Egypt, you had better plan your trip sometime soon. The Muslim Brotherhood, or at least, its affiliated political parties wants to place tougher restrictions on tourists in Egypt can wear and do.

Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered a severe blow since the outburst of anti-regime demonstrations in January. But that did not stop the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from demanding stricter regulations over what tourists can do and wear while visiting the country. The party is urging officials to ban skimpy swimwear and the consumption of alcohol on Egyptian streets.

“Beach tourism must take the values and norms of our society into account,” Muhammad Saad Al-Katatny, secretary-general of Freedom and Justice, told Egyptian tourism officials on Monday. “We must place regulations on tourists wishing to visit Egypt, which we will announce in advance.”

The call for new strictures on tourists comes as Egypt debates the role of Islam in the post-Mubarak era. Freedom and Justice is competing in elections scheduled for this autumn for parliament and opinion polls show a majority of Egyptians favor a greater use of Islamic law and mores. But a vocal minority worries that Egypt risks becoming an Islamic republic.

I am sure there is a larger number of Egyptians who are looking forward to Egypt becoming an Islamic republic. Of course this sort of thing will hurt their tourism industry. I don’t see large numbers of tourists going to Iran these days. But, I suppose economic considerations are secondary to doing the will of Allah.

Personally I don’t have a problem with banning bikinis or alcohol. I do worry about this though.

But bathing suits are not the only worry of Egypt’s Islamists. Abd Al-Munim A-Shahhat, a spokesman for the Salafi group Dawa, has said that Egypt’s world-renowned pharaonic archeology – its pyramids, Sphinx and other monuments covered with un-Islamic imagery – should also be hidden from the public eye.

“The pharaonic culture is a rotten culture,” A-Shahhat told the London-based Arab daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, saying the faces of ancient statues “should be covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden.” He likened the Egyptian relics to the idols which circled the walls of Mecca in pre-Islamic times.

I doubt that would be a popular position to take in Egypt, since I suspect that the vast majority of Egyptians are proud of their country’s ancient history. Still, there is a link between radical Islam and iconoclasm. Remember the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban. Egypt has generally been more liberal, but the Sphinx’s nose was chiseled off in 1378 by a Sufi named Muhammed Sa’im al-Dahr when he discovered Egyptian peasants worshipping it. He was hanged for vandalism afterwards, so maybe the Egyptians are still more sensible than some in the region.


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