Monday, February 21, 2011

From The Region: Egypt gets its Khomeini

Barry Rubin writes in the Jerusalem Post, "Friday, February 18 may be a turning point in Egyptian history. On that day Yusuf al-Qaradawi spoke to a giant cheering crowd in Tahrir Square."

Al-Qaradawi, 84-years old, had been in self-imposed exile in Qatar for 50 years but his return to Egypt may mean that Egypt's Khomeini has entered the scene.

And The New York Times reports,

"Sheik Qaradawi, a popular television cleric whose program reaches an audience of tens of millions worldwide, addressed a rapt audience of more than a million Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to celebrate the uprising and honor those who died.

“Don’t fight history,” he urged his listeners in Egypt and across the Arab world, where his remarks were televised. “You can’t delay the day when it starts. The Arab world has changed.”

Rubin points out,

"IT WAS 32 years ago almost to the day when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned in triumph to Tehran to take over the leadership of that country. Qaradawi has a tougher job, but he’s up to the challenge if his health holds up. Up until now, the Egyptian revolution generally, and the Brotherhood in particular, has lacked a charismatic thinker, someone who could really mobilize the masses. Qaradawi is that man. Long resident in the Gulf, he is returning to his homeland in triumph."

Qaradawi has called attacks against Israelis and American soldiers legitimate resistance. And he is considered a terrorist by the US for his support of terror oganizations.

Giving Qaradawi access to Egyptians in the street is asking for trouble. So, in my opinion, the slide to another Islamist government in the Middle East begins.

Read Rubin's report: The Region: Egypt gets its Khomeini and The New York Times, After Long Exile, Sunni Cleric Takes Role in Egypt.


shana maydel said...

Mr. Flatow,
I would have thought by now you certainly would have written about the Fogel family murders. Israel responded defiantly Sunday to such a bloody Palestinian assault against West Bank settlers by approving construction of new settlement housing, retaliating for the stabbing deaths of a father, mother and three small children.This surely will infuriate Palestinians and, together with the attack, I would think would throw an already shaky peace effort into a new tailspin. Wondering if you agree with the Israeli governments decision to build and what impact that would have on any peace there.

Stephen M. Flatow said...

Dear Shana, I do not believe that the Fogel murders are related to Jewish communities in the West Bank or previously in Gaza.
I think this attack, as well as all the others for the past 100 years, are just plain Jew hatred.
Jewish history and its connection to the land of Israel is denied at all levels of the Palestinian and greater Islamic world.
I know there are Palestinians who are fed up with murder and violence directed at Israelis, but their voices are few and very subdued out of fear for their own safety.
Abu Mazen, identified by Rabin to me as a terrorist, cannot bear to strip himself of his long held beliefs that all of Israel belongs to the Muslims. When he and the people around him do so publicly and unequivocally, there might be a settlement within the next generation.