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The PJ Tatler

Raymond Ibrahim


May 22, 2012 - 2:12 pm

News continues to emerge days before Egypt’s presidential elections indicating that the Islamists are relying on any and every strategy to gain votes for their pro-Sharia candidates.

Egyptian satire: The child looks at his downcast father as he walks in with a carton of food and reminds his mother that the father was divided between the secular candidates, “but now it’s clear from that carton that he chose someone completely different!”


As we just saw, any number of Islamic authorities—from Yusuf al-Qaradawi to the Sharia Body for Rights and Reform—said that it is an “obligation” to vote only for those Muslims who plan on implementing Sharia law, while it is “forbidden” to vote for any of the secular candidates. In other words, the threats of hell fire are being used to influence Muslims at the voting booths.

But beyond threats and commands are sheer bribes—or, in the following case, a sort of Islamic “bread and circuses.” As they were accused earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood was just caught bribing Egypt’s poor with packets of food. Yesterday an Egyptian activist posted a video on YouTube about “the Brotherhood’s scandal: they buy the votes of the poor through food and drink.” The video shows several poor women sitting with bags of food from the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice” party. The Egyptian activist keeps asking them, “Really, is that how they bought your vote?” even as the women hide their faces and leave…

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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