Forget the Bin Laden Pics: There's No Time To Lose with Egypt and Iran
First -- buried beneath the headlines of bin Laden’s death in Pakistan -- was news out of Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood was now planning to field candidates in 50% of the parliamentary districts in the upcoming elections. Originally planning to contest only about a third of the seats, the Brotherhood -- according to a recent Pew Research poll -- now enjoys a favorable opinion among 75% of Egyptians. Meanwhile, the secular parties supposedly motivated and empowered by the Arab Spring have yet to form a viable opposition to a pending Islamist plurality.
Second, even before the scheduled election, the current provisional government of Egypt has in the last two weeks “opened a new page” with its longtime enemy and ideological opposite, Iran. After three decades, ambassadors are being exchanged and both countries are focusing efforts on Hamas, which the Mubarak government disavowed.
Which brings me to my third point. While we in the West are fixated on the death of Osama, the post-Mubarak government has quietly forged an alliance between Hamas and Fatah. Since Hamas has had the ongoing support of Iran and now appears to have diplomatic and possibly even financial backing from a new Egypt, this can only mean this new alliance will place Hamas in charge of both Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas, a designated terrorist organization like al-Qaeda, was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood for the express purpose of destroying the state of Israel as per the Quranic instructions handed down through the prophet Mohammed.
Osama bin Laden, like Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Anwar Al-Awlaki, and Yusuf Qaradawi, all still at large, was not a gangster or outlaw. He was a committed soldier under the banner of the prophet. Until we understand that distinction, the words of Ayatollah Khomeini must be listened to:
Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless.
(By the way, if you assumed this statement from the ayatollah came after he had deposed the shah, created the Islamic Republic of Iran, and held the American Embassy in Tehran hostage for 444 days, you’d be wrong. That quote is from 1942.)