Michael Totten

Watch Out

If it’s really true that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is picking up 40 percent of the vote while the Salafists are winning another 25 percent, the West and especially Israel need to brace for serious trouble.

I’ve always scoffed at those who describe the Muslim Brotherhood as moderate. It’s not at all an objectively moderate organization, and certainly not by any Western standard. Conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans are moderates. These guys are authoritarian theocrats. If a Christian counterpart existed in the United States, they’d be called fascists.

They really are moderate compared with the Salafists, though. The Salafists are the Taliban-style totalitarians that produced Al Qaeda.

Liberal and secular parties are doing better than they did in past elections that were stacked by Mubarak’s regime. Previously, the the only viable options were the Brotherhood and the now-banned government party. Egytpians have more choices this time for parties that are not suppressed. The liberal parties blossomed in their own miniature springtime. That’s something, but it isn’t enough, not if they only represent one third of the country.

I don’t know what’s coming next, but it’s not at all likely to be anything good.