The Arab Spring Or The Islamist Ascendency?

Andrew McCarthy, author and U.S. prosecutor of the first World Trade Center bombers, on the alleged “Arab Spring”:

Screaming “With our blood and soul, we will defend you, Islam,” jihadists stormed the Virgin Mary Church in northwest Cairo last weekend. They torched the Coptic Christian house of worship, burned the nearby homes of two Copt families to the ground, attacked a residential complex, killed a dozen people, and wounded more than 200: just another day in this spontaneous democratic uprising by Muslim hearts yearning for freedom.

In the delusional vocabulary of the “Arab Spring,” this particular episode is known as a sectarian “clash.” That was the Washington Post’s take. Its headline reads “12 dead in Egypt as Christians and Muslims clash” — in the same way, one supposes, that a mugger’s fist can be said to “clash” with his victim’s face. The story goes on, in nauseating “cycle of violence” style, to describe “clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians” that “left” 12 dead, dozens more wounded, “and a church charred” — as if it were not crystal clear who were the clashers and who were the clashees, as if the church were somehow combusted into a flaming heap without some readily identifiable actors having done the charring.

The thugs in question were Egyptian Muslims. Were they representative of all Egyptian Muslims? No, but it would be more accurate to portray them as such than to suggest, as the Pollyanna narrative holds, that Egypt (and Tunisia, and Yemen, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Algeria, and …) is teeming with legions of Gamal al-Madisons.

This is the Egypt where the toppling of the pro-American, pro-peace Mubarak regime was celebrated by the rape of CBS correspondent Lara Logan amid the familiar chants of “Allahu Akbar!” The same Egypt where, just a few weeks ago, Islamist factions wiped out the proponents of democracy by a whopping 78–22 margin in a referendum on the formation of a new government. The result ensures a Muslim Brotherhood hammerlock on the new parliament, and perhaps even the presidency — a Brotherhood leader having announced this week that he will run against the popular but weak Amr Mousa…

[The] “Arab Spring” is not the Arab Spring. It is the Islamist ascendancy. Like good democracy fetishists, though, the media is seeing the Egypt it wants to see. To the contrary, in the real Egypt, Islamist ideology is the mainstream, coursing from the beating heart of Al-Azhar University through every part of the country. Without the much-derided Mubarak around to clamp down on it, Islamists have Copts and secularists paralyzed by their habitual “unrest” and “clashes.”…

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