Tuesday, January 24, 2012

They Wuz Robbed!

Follow this closely because it's rather--you should pardon the expression--Byzantine: Daniel Pipes says the Islamists only "won" the Egyptian election because the land's military rulers perpetrated a gigantic fraud. The real winners were likely the "liberals," but the military stole it on the Islamists' behalf so that Egyptians would want the military to remain at the helm.

Whoa, that one made my head spin.

Update: Andrew McCarthy crunches the numbers rather differently:
The most influential figures and institutions in Islamic societies are those revered for their mastery of Islamic law and jurisprudence — such authorities as top Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning for over a millennium. In places where Islam is the central fact of life, even Muslims who privately dismiss sharia take pains to honor it publicly. Even regimes that rule by whim nod to sharia as the backbone of their legal systems, lace their rhetoric with scriptural allusions, and seek to rationalize their actions as Islamically appropriate.
If you understand this, you understand why Western beliefs about the Arab Spring — and the Western conceit that the death of one tyranny must herald the birth of liberty — have always been a delusion. There are real democrats, authentically moderate Muslims, and non-Muslims in places such as Egypt and Yemen who long for freedom in the Western sense; but the stubborn fact is that they make up a strikingly small fraction of the population: about 20 percent, a far cry from the Western narrative that posits a sea of Muslim moderates punctuated by the rare radical atoll.

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