It didn't take long: Egypt is poised to allow opposition parties to run for government office. Hosni Mubarek spent most of his career trying to keep this particular genie in the bottle, but the cork is out, and the Muslim Brotherhood will likely sweep the elections. They're very organized, very popular, and very media-savvy. So...that's another country that will be under the thumb of a tiny, harmless, basically friendly group of Islamists.
In the same article:
Also Saturday, two cousins jailed for their role in the assassination of then-president Anwar Sadat in 1981 were released to a huge welcome, their lawyer Nizar Ghorab said.
The military council ordered their release Thursday.
Abboud and Tarek el-Zomor served multiple sentences for their role in the shooting death of Sadat during a Cairo military parade. Ghorab said they were kept behind bars because Mubarak's regime feared their return to political life.
They were convicted in 1984 of plotting the assassination and of belonging to the outlawed Islamic Jihad group — but not of actually killing Sadat. The five prime suspects, including the shooter, were captured and executed.
I'm anti-death penalty, but I bet some people in Egypt (like, the ones who think Israel has a right to exist) are grinding their teeth right now, wishing SOMEONE had pulled the trigger when they had the chance.
And why was Sadat killed? Hatred of Sadat was rooted in the highly offensive (to radical Muslims) Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, which led to Sadat sharing a Nobel Peace Prize with Menachim Begin. Egyptians actually came to support this new relationship with Israel and, by extension, a new chapter in Egyptian diplomacy with the US. But religious and political leaders--including the Arab League, but also the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Group, and numerous offshoots--remained enraged.
A fatwa calling for the death of Sadat was issued by Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, "The Blind Sheikh" who is currently a guest of the US government and now lives permanently in a maximum security federal prison. The Blind Sheikh loves issuing fatwas, one of which instigated the FIRST World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
His followers (Osama bin Ladin is one) have committed mass murder and acts of mayhem all over the world, and they've been known to mutilate the bodies of women and children victims. (Because according to the rules of militant jihad, these housewives and kids were "enemy combatants" for having had the bad luck to be born in democratic countries.)
Like my grandfather said about the ne'er-do-well spouse of one of my relatives, "He must have something!" The Blind Sheikh has commanded an unusal level of devotion. Even his American lawyer Lynne Stewart ended up in the clink because the Sheikh somehow pulled some hoodoo that made her feel compelled to be a courier between the Sheikh's actual prison cell and terrorist cells all over the US, with connections to global networks.
The Sheikh is technically connected to a few organizations like The Islamic Group, which sounds like a multinational corporation....and it is that. But all of these enitities (Islamis Group, MoBro, al-Qaida, Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation, CAIR) are interconnected and run interference for each other in order to push their overriding agenda: the restoration of a global caliphate. They have never lied about that outright, although the Muslim Brotherhood is currently trying to downplay "the Muslim thing' in order to appear to be what CAIR calls "a mainstream grassroots pro-democracy secular party."
This blog is mostly concerned with events here in the US that appear to promote an anti-Western/pro-Islamist agenda, so what do Egypt's voting regulations have to do with that?
Here's the breakdown: One of our allies--our second strongest ally in the Middle East--is setting the stage for a hostile political party to emerge and define Egypt's relationship to us. (Hostile to what? To secularism, human rights, civil liberties, religious diversity, Western culture, and American interests.)
And by releasing two members of the assassination team that took out Anwar Sadat, Egypt sent a message to the world that Sadat's legacy of peace is null and void. If that isn't a huge green light to islamists, I don't know what is.
Meanwhile, their patron saint sits in an American prison, still providing moral support to terrorist groups and their numberless sympathizers.
The current Administration has dismissed this issue and has even talked about exploring some sort of relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and their friends. They're buying into CAIRs' pr, which is really bs.
The Sheikh isn't the only one who's blind.