Well, it appears that the Islamists running Egypt are continuing to follow the “playbook”.
As you probably heard, Egypt approved a new constitution last month – though there were reportedly substantial voting irregularities and a voter turnout of less than 33%. This new Egyptian constitution defines Egyptian law as being derived from “the principles of Islamic law” and has no explicit protections regarding the rights of women or religious minorities. But don’t worry, the Islamists say; they’ll respect minority and women’s rights.
Yeah, right. Suuuuure they will. The rest of the Islamic world does that so well – especially in those places where anti-Western Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood have influence.
In short: the new Egyptian constitution gives anti-Western Islamist hard-liners the green light to take over. And that appears to be precisely what the former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and current Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, is beginning.
He’s now shaken up his cabinet, replacing three former cabinet officers with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Surprise, surprise, surprise!
Let’s see – take power through anti-Western street protests while the US stands by and does nothing; gain a veneer of legitimacy via an election held shortly afterwards; re-write the Constitution to eliminate Western influences like religious freedom and women’s rights; ram the new Constitution through in a hasty referendum; and marginalize the opposition afterwards. So far, we could be talking about either Cairo, 2011-13 – or Teheran, 1979-1980.
Unfortunately, the next steps in the “playbook” are fairly nasty ones. Let’s see if/when they occur.
I’m hoping they won’t. But history says they likely will – and that we’ll be feeling the effects for decades.