The Egyptian Election:  How to Turn a Fact Into a Lie

The Egyptian Election:  How to Turn a Fact Into a Lie

by Sheila Musaji

Nonie Darwish published an article Over 75% of Egyptian Americans Voted For Islamist which was immediately picked up by Pamela Geller who referred to Over 95% of Muslim Egyptian Americans Voted For Muslim Brotherhood.

The factual nugget upon which all subsequent alarmist conclusions are based is simply that it appears that a majority of Egyptian Americans voted for Mohamed Mursi.  There were only two candidates in this election - the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi and the former Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq.  Shafiq was prime minister under Mubarak, and is part of the military network (which also included Mubarak) that has controlled Egypt for decades.

What conclusion did Nonie Darwish draw from this?

While voters inside Egypt are almost equally split 50/50 between Sharia and no-Sharia, we find the votes of American Egyptian Muslims reflecting an unprecedented level of radicalization that surpasses most Muslim countries. This should be very troubling to Americans, especially to those who care about Homeland Security.

Over the last 3 or 4 decades, American Islamic groups and mosques have managed to radicalize a large number of Muslim Americans, especially those who attend mosques. While they publicly tell us they are “moderate” and that there is nothing to fear from Islamic law, they turn around in private and hold the banner of jihad and Sharia and command Muslim Americans not to assimilate in America.

Muslim immigrants to the West have, in general, rejected taking the hard role of positively changing their countries of origin and inspiring them with new ideas of freedom, democracy and human rights. Instead, Muslims in America have focused on building mosques with aid from Saudi Arabia rather than protesting against Iran’s execution of apostates and stoning of women. They have focused on defending and lying about Sharia in America rather than teaching values of life liberty and pursuit of happiness to their countrymen. They have focused on a message of anti-Semitism, blaming America and holding Israel apartheid weeks, rather than on assimilating in America, initiating peace dialogue or holding an olive branch out to Jewish students.

Contrary to logic and to the brotherhood of all humans and cultures, American Muslim groups have maintained the same high levels of hate, anger and victim mentality that exists in many areas of the Muslim world. And now Muslim Egyptians in the West have not only ignored the welfare of the 50% Egyptians who do not want to live under Sharia, but have also ignored the reasonable fears from Islam by the American public and instead insulted them as racists and “Islamophobes.”

...  America must register the fact that American Muslims are more radical than Muslims in many Muslim countries and that this radicalization must be exposed and its source stopped. The U.S. must fight to stop Sharia legally, socially and culturally before we get a demand for Sharia by the growing Muslim population in America. The West must understand that Sharia is rejected and feared by many Muslims in the Middle East and that wherever Sharia is practiced, freedom and democracy cannot exist. The example of Egypt today should be clear as to what America must do to fight Sharia and Islamists and never allow them to flourish. America must never leave the job of fighting Sharia to our children and grandchildren to fight it when it is too late in the streets of America.

Summarizing Darwish’s position:  Anyone voting for Morsi is displaying a sign of radicalization.  Anyone who voted for Morsi may be a danger to America’s homeland security.  American Muslims are lying about their moderation, and not assimilated into America.  Muslim immigrants to America are more concerned about building a new life in America than in changing their countries of origin.  American Muslims have a high level of hate, anger, and a victim mentality.  American Muslims are more radical than Muslims in many Muslim countries.  They must be stopped before our children and grandchildren have to fight them in the streets.

This is hateful propaganda pure and simple.  This is the problem with people whose thinking is so clouded by prejudice that they can only draw oversimplified generalizations about any issue. 

The fact is that most of those who were eligible to vote in this election faced a choice that was to attempt to figure out which choice was the lesser of two evils. 

In an article Egypt’s non-violent jihad and the lurking military crocodile, I wrote

It seems as if the military elite who are all part of the old Mubarak regime are making only cosmetic changes, and will themselves decide who will be in power and who will be allowed to rewrite the constitution.  The Mubarak regime is still in power, only the figurehead is gone.  If that is the case, then it is much too early to rejoice.  Mubarak may be gone, but the military machine of which he was a part is still in power, and it isn’t likely that they will relinquish power without a fight.

In a previous article I used a metaphor from Egyptian mythology to refer to Hosni Mubarak and his regime as scorpions.  I can’t help viewing the Egyptian military in terms of that same mythology. In Egyptian mythology, Sobek was a huge, fierce beast sometimes depicted as a man with a crocodile’s head.  He was associated with negative aspects of human nature like deceit, duplicity, passion, and betrayal.  A very dangerous creature indeed. 

The actions of the Egyptian military remind me of an enormous crocodile lurking in the waters of the Nile. During the time of the people’s revolution in Egypt, the military have remained submerged and silent.  The ripples of their presence and underwater movements are visible on the surface of the water.  It is a very real presence, but it has not yet given clear indications of whether or not it will come out of the water to sun on the banks of the river or to strike viciously at the people on the bank of the river.

In an article The Muslim Brotherhood’s historical challenge written earlier this month, Tariq Ramadan wrote

Having won by a small margin, the MB could not very well contest the outcome, and all the other candidates displayed great caution. But the days that followed the election provided disturbing indications. Curious coalitions, unexpected declarations by one candidate or another created a sense, among the people, of being caught in a difficult and frustrating choice. One candidate directly affiliated with the former regime, and another representing an organization whose message had been muddled and contradictory, an organization that surely represented one third of popular opinion, but that had also agreed to deal with the military out of concern first and foremost for its own political fortunes. Encouraged and perhaps hypnotized by the Turkish and Tunisian examples, the MB may well have believed that their time had come.

But it is impossible to overlook the succession of strategic and tactical errors and political failings that are likely to have a high cost, not only for the organization, but also for the entire country and its future. Management of diversity of opinion internally; the newly-created party’s rigid membership regulations; the absence of openness to the youth; the expulsion of dissenting voices; the decision to participate in the presidential election; relations with the military, etc.: all these factors raise serious and fundamental questions about the organization’s orientations and objectives. In the aftermath of the first round, everything tends to indicate that the MB may well have functioned as a cat’s paw for the military. A victory for Ahmad Shafiq is now probable, given the prevailing confusion—and the manipulative skills of the former regime. The life sentence handed down to Mubarak and the acquittal of his sons and the other co-accused must be interpreted symbolically. Far from favoring the MB, it revealed the SCAF as a powerful behind-the-scenes presence. In Egypt’s emerging new order, certain people are to be protected and others simply relocated; but much of the former regime’s practices will persist.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that

A coalition of non-Islamist leaders and revolutionaries announced their support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate today, overcoming a year and a half of bitter disagreements to unite against the attempt of the Egyptian military to hold on to power.  The show of unity increases the Brotherhood’s leverage as it faces off against Egypt’s military rulers, who this week limited the authority of Egypt’s incoming president and granted themselves sweeping powers that will extend past the end of this month, when they had promised a full handover to a civilian government.

...  Hassan Nafaa, a longtime liberal opposition figure who was among those announcing support for Morsi today, said that the coalition’s objective was to force Morsi to publicly commit himself to democratic values. “For us the point is not to support Mohamed Morsi against Shafiq, but to support democracy,” he said. “We need a democratic system and we feel that the SCAF is trying to manipulate and extend its mandate for an unlimited time, and this is not democratic at all.”

The deal also guaranteed non-Islamist forces representation in a new government if Morsi wins. Dr. Nafaa said the Brotherhood’s record of broken promises over the past year was worrying, but that secularists no longer had a choice but to unite with the Brotherhood against the military. “We hope that he will honor his promises and we are watching. We don’t have any other solution,” he said.

The Voice of America reports

The presidential election – the first after strongman Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in a popular uprising early last year and widely considered the country’s first free one – pits Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi against former air force pilot and short-term Mubarak era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. Candidates favored by many Egyptians who rose up for change nearly 18 months ago did not make it into the second round.

For many voters, both in the U.S and Egypt, the choice they now face is one that forces them to identify, as they put it, the lesser of two evils - a choice between recreating the old regime they see represented by Shafiq, and building an Islamist state with limited civil liberties, as many expect Egypt would look like under Morsi.

We are between the devil and the deep blue sea; neither choice is a good choice at the moment. However, one has to make a choice, non-voting is not an option,” said Millad Bessada who drove two hours from his home in the state of Maryland to the polling station at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Bessada added that he decided to vote for the “devil he knows” rather than selecting the one he doesn’t. His choice, Shafiq, is seen by many as the “quick fix” candidate capable of restoring law and order in country that has been in turmoil, both political and economic, since the uprising began.

This is the choice that voters were given, and all they can do is hope that their choice will lead to a democratic system.  How they voted certainly doesn’t prove any of the claims made by Nonie Darwish or Pamela Geller, or the rest of the Islamophobia network.

I have written previously about Darwish and her propaganda tactics.  And, Geller’s “love” for Muslims is legendary, as is her “truth telling”.  As I’ve said before, if Muslims are so terrible why the need to tell so many lies? 

There is a reason that many outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promotes an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.   There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

These people consistently promote the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

The claim that “truth tellers” are being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia is nonsense.  The further claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews also proves that Islamophobia doesn’t exist is more nonsense. 

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.   The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, and it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism.



The Muslim Brotherhood’s historical challenge, Tariq Ramadan

Nonie Darwish Perfects Double Speak, Sheila Musaji

Nonie Darwish Caught in a Pool of Lies

Egypt’s non-violent jihad and the lurking military crocodile, Sheila Musaji

Tens of Thousands at Tahrir Demand end of Military Rule, Juan Cole