The Turkish Vote

Bloomberg posted an article yesterday about the results of the referendum in Turkey. The results of the election are not good news for freedom-loving people in Turkey or in the Middle East.

The article reports:

Turkey voted to hand Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping authority in the most radical overhaul since the republic was founded 93 years ago on the expectation he’ll safeguard security amid regional wars and kickstart the economy.

The referendum won approval of 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent of Turks, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency, as opposition parties alleged fraud and the European Union branded it as unfair. Once implemented, Erdogan will have authority to appoint ministers and top judges at his discretion and call elections at any time. It will also give him much greater sway over fiscal policy and may deepen investors’ concerns about the independence of the central bank.

The win “represents a blow to the assumption that liberal or even in some cases hybrid democracies are structured to prevent authoritarian figures from hijacking the political system,” Anthony Skinner, a director with U.K.-based forecasting company Verisk Maplecroft, said before the results were declared.

Erdogan triumphed by appealing to voters in the small towns that dot the Anatolian heartland where he won overwhelmingly. These Turks want a firm hand at the helm to combat the resurgence of terrorism, fight Kurdish separatism and Islamic State in Syria and defend Turkey’s global interests. The result is a victory not only for him, but for type of authoritarian system exemplified by Vladimir Putin that has gained admirers around the world.

It helps when looking at this situation to look at some of the history of Turkey and some of its current friends. Turkey is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as a member of NATO. The OIC describes itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” It’s important to note here that the definition of peace under Sharia Law is the subjugation of all countries and people of the world to Sharia Law. This is not a group that favors democracy.

Historically, Turkey was the heart of the Ottoman Empire, which was defeated in World War I.  In 1924, Ataturk (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938) enacted a new constitution in Turkey. The new constitution instituted laws and jurisprudence much like European laws. There was also a thorough secularization of modernization of the administration. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the secularization of Turkey caused Hassan al Banna to found the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928 with the purpose of unifying the Islamic states under a new caliphate.

We need to remember that the Ottoman Empire was dissolved less than one hundred years ago. There are still many Muslims who want to bring back the caliphate. I suspect that in addition to his desire to obtain more power and more control, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may well be moving in the direction he feels will bring back the caliphate.

 

 

Will Mohammed ElBaradei Be Prime Minister Of Egypt?

Politico posted an article yesterday (updated today) about the recent political turmoil in Egypt.

The article reports:

But underscoring the sharp divisions facing the untested leader, Adly Mansour, his office said it was naming Mohammed ElBaradei, one of Morsi’s top critics, as interim prime minister but later backtracked on the decision.

Mansour’s spokesman Ahmed el-Musalamani denied that the appointment of the Nobel Peace laureate was ever certain. However, reporters gathered at the presidential palace were ushered into a room where they were told by an official to wait for the president who would arrive shortly to announce ElBaradei’s appointment.

The struggle in Egypt is between the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the military attempting to set up a secular democracy similar to what  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk set up in Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt as a response to that government model–it was a protest to the idea of a secular government in a Muslim country.

ElBaradei is considered to be someone who would run the country as a secular nation, and the ultraconservative Salafi el-Nour party objected to ElBaradei’s appointment. Talks between the two sides are continuing.
Meanwhile, there are riots in the streets as both sides protest–one in favor or returning Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to leadership and the other in favor of removing Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Which side is the United States on? The State Department is officially not taking sides, but we might take a look at some of the details of President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo to answer that question.

On June 3, 2009, Fox News reported that 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc received official invitations to attend President Obama’s speech.

The article at Fox News notes:

The Muslim Brotherhood, though, has a complicated history.
Though the hard-line group, which calls for an Islamic state and has close ties to the militant Hamas, is officially banned in Egypt, its members have considerable sway in the country and its lawmakers, who run as independents, hold 88 seats in Egypt’s 454-seat parliament.

The Brotherhood renounced the use of violence in the 1970s and now says it seeks democratic reform in Egypt. It is the most powerful opposition movement in the country, and many analysts argue Washington should engage the Brotherhood directly to show it is open to dealing with nonviolent Islamist movements.

The group is not on the State Department’s official list of foreign terrorist groups.

Keep in mind that the Muslim Brotherhood traditionally practices two types of jihad–violent jihad and civilization jihad. Civilization jihad involves taking over a country by infiltrating its government and quietly seizing power. The goals of both types of jihad are the same–to create a caliphate under Sharia Law. By specifically inviting the Muslim Brotherhood to his speech in Cairo in 2009, President Obama may well have paved the way for the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Unfortunately, things in Egypt may get worse before they get better.

 

An Interesting Development In Egypt

Andrew McCarthy posted a very interesting story at National Review today about some recent events in Egypt. He reminds us that the hope of Egypt (and the ‘Arab Spring’) was that democracy and religious tolerance would spread through the Arab countries of the Middle East. Unfortunately, that hope has not been realized. The radical Muslims are even fighting among themselves.

A few weeks ago a Shiite mosque opened in Cairo.

The article tells the story:

It’s a 90 percent Sunni country, with even Christians vastly outnumbering the Shia. So, in their euphoria over the mosque’s inauguration, Shiite clerics heralded this Husseiniya (as Shiite mosques are known) as a symbol of rapprochement. The mosque would bridge the sectarian divide: a Shia center in this bustling Sunni city, yet a house of worship, thus emphasizing what unites rather than divides Muslims in one of Islam’s most important nations.

The initial story sounds encouraging–maybe religious tolerance could come to Egypt. Unfortunately, the tolerance didn’t last long–the mosque was shut down last week.

The article reports:

Yesterday’s euphoria is melting into today’s harsh reality. In Cairo, home to the Muslim Brotherhood and the sharia jurists of ancient Al-Azhar University, “democracy” has meant the rise of Sunni supremacists. Turns out they don’t do bridge-building. Their tightening grip has translated into brutalizing dhimmitude for Christians and increasing intolerance of Shiism — which the Sunni leaders perceive less as Islam than as apostasy, an offense that sharia counts as more grievous than treason.

The Muslim Brotherhood was born is Egypt in 1928 as a reaction to the secularization of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The purpose of the Muslim Brotherhood was (and still is) to set up a world-wide caliphate governed by Sharia Law. That is also the goal of the Shiite regime in Iran, but obviously the Shiites assume they will be the ones running the caliphate. This is going to get interesting at some point because of that basic difference of philosophy, but the differences will probably not be an issue until after the world-wide caliphate is established (isn’t that encouraging?).

The article further reports:

In the Brotherhood’s way of thinking, as best articulated by Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” It’s a process, a conveyance, not a culture. In the case of Turkey, it was popular elections that enabled Erdogan to seize power and gradually transition a society away from democracy. In the case of Egypt, it is popular elections that have installed the Brotherhood and other Sunni supremacists, enabling them to orchestrate the much less challenging transition from an Islamic culture to a sharia state.

Because members of the Muslim Brotherhood are actively participating in our government at many levels, we are continuing to fund the Islamization of the Middle East. We are supplying people who want to destroy our way of life with the weapons to use in doing it. Until the American government takes an honest look at our policies in the Middle East (including Irag and Afghanistan where we have allowed Sharia Law to be written into their constitutions), the Muslim Brotherhood will quietly continue to consolidate its gains. Democracy is possible in the Middle East, but as the article by Andrew McCarthy states, democracy has to be introduced into the culture first. 

 

 

 

 

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