Sunday, January 18, 2015

Egyptian Update

'Egypt's Al-Sissi deserves the Nobel Prize for speech on Islamic extremism'

You know that won't happen. The Nobel Prize is reserved for only the most frivolous and ridiculous of recipients.

Al-Sisi Ascendant


"WHEN he addresses the UN General Assembly on September 25th, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will surely have reason to feel pleased. The former field-marshal’s first 100 days as president, following a strong electoral win in June, have brought economic and diplomatic advances as well as hope to Egyptians wearied by years of political turmoil. Yet the health of the most populous Arab state remains fragile. Full recovery will take more time and less of a few things, not least reliance on heavy-handed police to silence dissent."

I have to confess, that I have some reservations about how he seized power. Even though the Muslim Brotherhood, the previous government, was bad news all around, their rise to power was more or less democratic and al-Sisi's seizure was anything but. Still, strongman tactics are sometimes necessary when a rotten to the core regime needs to be taken down.

Still, and all, I have to agree with Bolton on this one:

Egypt's president is a courageous warrior who has the guts to confront radical Islam.

"When Egyptian President Anwar Sadat traveled to Jerusalem in 1977, he shattered decades of isolation and war with Israel to search for peace. No single act in the former general’s remarkable career showed more courage. In 1981, Muslim Brotherhood assassins made Sadat pay with his life for standing against the pan-Arabist conventional wisdom of his era.

This New Year’s Day, Egypt’s current president (also a former general), Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, followed directly in Sadat’s footsteps. At Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, he spoke forcefully against today’s Western conventional wisdom regarding Islam and terrorism.

Just days later, on Jan. 6, Christmas Eve for Coptic Christians, Al-Sisi spoke at Egypt’s principal Coptic church, an unprecedented appearance by an Egyptian president.

Whether the Muslim Brotherhood or other radicals will make Al-Sisi pay the same price as Sadat remains to be seen. But Al-Sisi’s gestures, for audacity and surprise, are historic. And they demand the West’s recognition and support."
[---]
"They also present us with a stark contrast. In 2009, Al-Azhar, a noted center of Islamic teachings, co-hosted President Obama’s famous speech to the Muslim world. There, and in countless other speeches, Obama demonstrated an unwillingness to frontally criticize Islamicist terror — and connect it to a significant thread of radical religions faith — perhaps for fear of being seen as attacking Islam itself

Egypt’s president has destroyed this debilitating misconception, demonstrating that clear-thinking Muslims fully understand how radical Islamicists and the all-too-common religious ideology they espouse constitute a mortal danger to Muslims themselves."

Egypt: Abdul Fattah al-Sisi profile
"Mr Sisi appears to be genuinely popular. Far from being a stern military figure, he has a softly-spoken but charismatic presence, often seen smiling and known for emotional speeches. At a concert in 2012, his words famously had artists on the stage with him in tears.

Many Egyptians see in him the strong leader needed to overcome the instability that has beset Egypt since the mass protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square ended Hosni Mubarak's long rule in 2011.

But his ascendancy has left some worrying that it heralds a return to the authoritarian security state that prevailed under Mr Mubarak, rendering the Tahrir Square revolution a brief experiment in democracy."


Egyptian President Al-Sisi Delivers Speech That May Change the World Forever


"In a speech delivered at Al-Azhar at the end of 2014, Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi called to combat extremist ideology and said: “We need to revolutionize our religion.” Calling for “religious discourse that is in keeping with its times,” Al-Sisi warned that “the Islamic nation is being torn apart and destroyed” by extremism."




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