Muslim Brotherhood Set to Run Libya: What Could Go Wrong?
Ah, the Arab Spring. Hope and Change. Freedom and liberty. A new wind blowing through the Middle East.
And the rise of "moderate Islam" in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just what is a "moderate" Islamist? Maybe they want to kill Jews over a longer period of time than "extremists." Perhaps they'll allow women to show a little ankle. Could be that they might allow 3.2 beer to be sold.
Whatever a "moderate" Islamist is (and we should ask the Obama administration since they know all about stuff like this), the Muslim Brotherhood has struck a deal with secularists in Libya to take over the government.
Oh...did I mention the elections are Saturday and the deal is already in place? Some might find the idea of an election outcome being decided ahead of time as not very democratic. Well, it's clear you know nothing about the Arab Spring. This is democracy "Islamist style" where only one electoral outcome is to be expected and any deviation that doesn't give the Brotherhood power is due to fraud -- or Satan, or something.
While the elections for a 200-member National Congress is unlikely to grant a majority to any one faction, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies are confident they can join their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt at the helm of leadership.
Negotiations between the Muslim Brotherhood and a secular-based political movement led by former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril have focused on forming a post-election government as soon as the result is known.
An adviser to Mr Jibril said the former prime minister was likely to take the post of figurehead president with Mustafa Abu Shagour, currently interim deputy prime minister of the Muslim Brotherhood, taking the prime minister's slot as head of government.
The Muslim Brotherhood would dominate the ministries.
In the run-up to the elections, Libya's interim government has struggled to maintain law and order.
A threatened electoral boycott by federalists in Benghazi, the second city, has rattled Libya's rebels turned leaders. Leading figures fear that large numbers in the city that triggered the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi may shun the polls, undermining the legitimacy of the election.
Recent attacks on foreign diplomats in Benghazi by Jihadists, a series of ugly micro-conflicts between militias in the Nafousa mountains leaving 105 dead and 300 wounded in the last fortnight and fierce clashes between Arabs, Tebu tribesmen and Tuaregs in the south have put the country on edge.
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade -- least of all our friends in the Muslim Brotherhood -- but Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen are as close to economic and political basket cases that you can get and still exist as a nation state. When the inevitable voter backlash occurs as the Brotherhood is unable to effect change and bring prosperity to citizens, will there be a competitive election with other political parties who might not agree that sharia law is the way to go, or socialism is the economic answer?
I submit that this is when we will see just how "moderate" the sharia-loving Islamists truly are.