Egypt: As Grim Islamists March Toward Power, The Naïve Dance in Tahrir Square

“Germany was having trouble,

What a sad, sad story.

Needed a new leader

To restore its former glory.

Where, oh, where was he,

Who could that man be?

We looked around,

And then we found,

The man for you and me,

And now its....”

--”The Producers”

Almost 80 percent of Egyptian Muslims in nine provinces voted for radical Islamist parties in the second round of Egypt’s election. Roughly 5 percent voted for a moderate Islamic party and about 15 percent voted for liberal parties.

That says it all. In the overall vote -- that is, including the Christian voters -- 70 percent supported  radical Islamists, 47 percent (4 million) supported the Muslim Brotherhood (86 of 180 available seats so far; they might win more), and 32 percent were for the Salafists (3.2 million; the Washington Post seriously underestimated their votes).

The liberal (but not overtly anti-Islamist) Wafd won 1 million; the liberal Egyptian Bloc won almost 800,000; and the moderate Islamic Wasat Party got 370,000.

Incidentally, the vice-chairman of the Wafd said in an interview last July that the U.S. government carried out the September 11 attacks and Anne Frank’s diary was a fake. At least he doesn’t like Iran, though he thinks it is right about the Holocaust being phony. And he’s the liberal.

In preparation for the new order, the military junta is closing down shops selling alcohol. It’s only the beginning. The much-touted Turkish model shows how Islamic law can be introduced gradually and more subtly: simply keep raising taxes on such beverages until no one can afford them. Raymond Stock describes the destruction of Egypt's greatest library.

Egyptians and foreign observers now have two choices: face reality or retreat into comfortable fantasies about moderate Islamists. The Christian population cannot afford to engage in fantasies so it is increasingly fleeing, as documented by Lucette Lagnado in a moving, detailed article on Coptic refugees in the United States.

In “Tahrir: The Seed and the Utopia,” Egyptian blogger Big Pharoah, who spends much of his time in Canada, presents an idealistic but ultimately horrifying vision.  For him, the Tahrir Square of the demonstrators is a paradise where he would like to live.

I sometimes believe there is something supernatural in Tahrir; some kind of energy that transforms whomever chooses to be part of it. They say we Egyptians are lazy. Tahrir is a beehive. During sit-ins, everyone has a thing to do; from the elderly woman who prepares sandwiches to the young men who guard the gates….

It’s believed Egyptians are intolerant. Not a month passes without a sectarian crisis somewhere. Not in Tahrir though. In the square, the Muslim Brotherhood doctor treats patients inside a church. Christians form a protective circle around praying Muslims. In fact, Tahrir might be the only place Christians prayed in outside their churches.

….I tend to look at Tahrir as a mental state. As a seed that was planted in this country. And just like any seed, it is destined to grow. This is the reason why they’re doing everything to choke it. Because if Tahrir came out of Tahrir, this country will change forever and threaten whatever interests they’re trying to protect.