Finally Some Positive News from the Middle East

Here are two reports from Egypt. The first is from Associated Press:

CAIRO (AP) — Tens of thousands of opponents of Egypt's Islamist president massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in cities around the country Sunday, launching an all-out push to force Mohammed Morsi from office on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. Fears of violence were high, with Morsi's Islamist supporters vowing to defend him.

Waving Egyptian flags, crowds packed Tahrir, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and chants of "erhal!", or "leave!" rang out. (end of Associated Press excerpt)

Now here is

CAIRO –  Protesters have stormed and ransacked the Cairo headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Islamist group.

An Associated Press video journalist at the scene says protesters stormed the six-story building in an eastern Cairo district Monday morning, leaving the heavily fortified villa with furniture and files.

Footage on local TV networks showed smashed windows and smoke billowing out of the building. One protester was seen removing the Muslim Brotherhood sign from the building's front wall. (end of excerpt)

Wow. Kaboom. OK, so what is significant about these two stories?

It is this: After decades in which Islamist radicals have been terrorizing and oppressing entire nations, the people of Egypt are striking back. The ransacking of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters can only be seen as a major blow against one of the extremist groups in the Middle East and the potential start of a wider backlash against militant Islam.

This is a good sign. These movements can grow on themselves. If the Egypt protesters succeed it will be a signal to the rest of the Middle East.

Morsi was legitimately elected president but the Egyptian people are disturbed by his plan to impose Islamic laws and to otherwise make Egypt a religious Islamic state through the government.

This comes after years in which the militants seemed to be having their way in nations all over that region. They took over Iran. For year they have detonated car bombs, executed civilians, waged dirty war against America and attacked Christian churches in Iraq. They have taken over in Egypt and already have pushed that nation to the limits. They have sought to shoot their way into power in Syria.

Meanwhile Egypt’s economy has suffered a precipitous decline under Morsi and energy shortages are widespread. Tourists, who for decades provided a major boost to the Egyptian economy, have been frightened away by the radical government and political instability.

This Egypt uprising dovetails with growing protests in Turkey over prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's authoritarian measures giving more and more power to Muslim fundamentalists. Turkey for decades has been a model of what is called “secular Islam” in which the government of an Islamic nation is free from its religious factions. Turkey has been an ally of the United States for decades and even is a member of NATO.

Here is more about Egypt from Associated Press giving a clue about who the protesters are:

(Morsi opponents include) an array of secular and liberal Egyptians, moderate Muslims, Christians — and what the opposition says is a broad sector of the general public that has turned against the Islamists. They say the Islamists have negated their election mandate by trying to monopolize power, infusing government with their supporters, forcing through a constitution they largely wrote and giving religious extremists a free hand, all while failing to manage the country.

The opposition believes that with sheer numbers in the street, it can pressure Morsi to step down — perhaps with the added weight of the powerful military if it signals the president should go.

"Today is the Brotherhood's last day in power," predicted Suliman Mohammed, a manager of a seafood company who was protesting at Tahrir, where crowds neared 100,000 by early afternoon. (end of AP excerpt)

This is extraordinary. Let us pray that it continues, particularly after some Muslims have turned violently against the Coptic Christians in Egypt. And this comes after many of the same protesters had pro-American Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak deposed, not expecting that a vastly worse regime would step in.

It has. And a majority of the Egyptian people do not like it. And you can rest assured that many in the Egyptian military do not like it either and may well be prepared to side with the anti-Islamists if push comes to shove.

This could be part of a turnaround for the entire Middle East. Here is the New York Times reporting recently on Iran:

TEHRAN — In a striking repudiation of the ultraconservatives who wield power in Iran, voters here overwhelmingly elected a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.

The cleric, Hassan Rowhani, 64, won a commanding 50.7 percent of the vote in the six-way race, according to final results released Saturday, avoiding a runoff in the race to replace the departing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose tenure was defined largely by confrontation with the West and a seriously hobbled economy at home.

Thousands of jubilant supporters poured into the streets of Tehran, dancing, blowing car horns and waving placards and ribbons of purple, Mr. Rowhani’s campaign color. After the previous election in 2009, widely seen as rigged, many Iranians were shaking their heads that their votes were counted this time. (end of New York Times excerpt)

The cyclical nature of political regimes may finally be coming into play in that region. After radical regimes have exhausted themselves, the people rise up. And the majority in Iran always has been oriented toward freedom, toward the United States and toward a modern lifestyle and economic growth, things that the Muslim government has opposed. Whether Rowhani can succeed is iffy in a place like Iran, but his election is a good start.

These turns of events in Iran, Egypt and Turkey certainly must come as a surprise and shock to American Democrats who consistently have sided with radical Islam. After all it was Democrat US president Jimmy Carter who got the ball rolling by abandoning the pro-American Shah of Iran in 1979, leading to the ascendancy of the oppressive ayatollahs in one of the biggest and most important nations in the region.

Then in 2011 Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton cheered the ‘Arab Spring’ revolts in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia when we American conservatives warned about the potential rise of people like Morsi. We conservative were right. Mubarak was infinitely better than Morsi.

Of course pro-Morsi protesters are gathering too. So this is not a done deal. But the sacking of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters is perhaps akin to the “shot heard ‘round the world” that was fired at Lexington, Massachusetts in April 1775, setting off the American Revolution. And that is something to think about as the American Fourth of July celebration approaches.

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