The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Mickey Mouse

Did you know that there has been a second Islamic cartoon controversy? This one occurred in Egypt just a few weeks ago. Our legacy media has chosen to avoid the controversy entirely or present it in passing without provided a broader context. No surprise.

A wealthy Egyptian Coptic Christian published a cartoon of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Eric Tragerexplains:
On his well-followed Twitter feed, the Coptic Christian [Naguib] Sawiris posted an image of a bearded, kaffiyeh-clad Mickey Mouse and a face-covered Minnie Mouse, alongside the comment, "Micky [sic] and Minnie after . . . " - in other words, "after" the Islamists gain power. It was a fairly pedestrian, if pointed, piece of political humor, but the anti-ironic Islamists didn't see it that way.

On Monday, 15 Islamic lawyers associated with the puritanical Salafists submitted a complaint to Egypt's general prosecutor, alleging that Sawiris "ridiculed the Islamic faith" and violated a penal code that criminalizes speech attacking "heavenly religions." If convicted, Sawiris would face six months to five years in prison, plus a fine.

And so, the much vaunted “Arab Spring” continues to evolve into Islamist tyranny masquerading as democracy.

Much to the dismay of the liberal Egyptian “college students” who our media praised as a new wave of secular democratic hope and change in Egypt, it appears that the virulently Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (do not for one minute believe they are “moderate’) is set to take over the country.

Trager comments:
It hardly matters that the Islamists are pursuing power through elections. While it goes without saying that Egypt's Islamists are preferable to Hamas and Hezbollah, all three are united by the undemocratic aim of building political systems in which legal debates are inherently religious. And despite the Muslim Brotherhood's promise to create a "state of all its citizens," a legal system based on Islamic law would surely exclude Egyptian Christians, who comprise 10% of the population, as well as the millions of Muslims who want a secular body politic.

Sadly, Islamist authoritarianism appears likely to determine Egypt's political future. The Islamists possess such superior mobilization capabilities, that many liberal parties are joining with, rather than challenging, them. Even the powerful Sawiris has been cowed. In the aftermath of a Facebook campaign to boycott his company, which drew over 90,000 supporters, the billionaire apologized for the cartoon.

It would seem that our State Department and the White House would speak out forcefully in support of Egyptians liberals and against the Islamist parties like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists that are as anti-democratic as they come. It would seem that our State Department and the White House would clearly recognize that Sharia law (the goal of the Islamists) and democracy cannot co-exist. When thinking about our foreign policy approach in Egypt (and analogously in Iran almost two years ago) the phrase “Mickey Mouse” comes to mind.