Egypt's next president may be an Islamist extremist backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. When Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February, the formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood quickly emerged as Egypt's best-organized power bloc. To soothe those who were worried about extremism, the Brotherhood promised repeatedly that it would not field a candidate for the presidency. In recent weeks, the Brotherhood has not only broken that promise but has also taken aggressive steps to crush the competition.
The most recent example appeared on Monday, when an Egyptian parliamentary committee approved a new law that prevents former members of the Mubarak regime from running in presidential elections. The Muslim Brotherhood, which controls parliament, designed the law to terminate the presidential bid of former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
Suleiman is viewed as an enemy of extreme Islamists, a supporter of military action against Iran's nuclear program, and a friend of the U.S. and Israel. He stepped forward for Egypt's presidential race in response to the Brotherhood's decision to field a candidate, and he was counting on winning the vote of those who fear Islamist rule.
The new law means Suleiman will not even be permitted to run.
This law comes just days after another presidential contender was disqualified because of accusations that his mother is an American citizen. The candidate called the ruling an "elaborate plot" by the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that in reality his mother only has a U.S. Green Card.
Some analysts are alarmed that Egypt is lunging toward Islamism and are afraid of the Brotherhood's growing power.
Mona Makram Ebeid, Egyptian politician and professor of political science, said, "I think that Egypt today is at a crossroads and I believe that this is the most serious and dangerous period that we going through in all of Egypt's history, in all of Egypt's modern history since Muhammad Ali (founder of modern Egypt). Today it is the personality of Egypt that is at stake. We must fight for it to keep a secular, civil, modern democratic state."
Western champions of the "Arab Spring" did not expect Hosni Mubarak to be replaced by such an extremely Islamist, anti-democratic regime. They assumed that the revolution meant Egypt was bound for democracy—a victory for freedom.
But not everyone was convinced. Shortly after Mubarak was toppled, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said that "many of the Western world's leaders [saw] what [was] happening in Egypt as good news." But he warned that such world leaders "fail[ed] to see the strength of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood."
Now, with presidential elections only weeks away, it is clear that Egypt's revolution was not the democratic triumph many mistook it for—and that post-Mubarak Egypt is racing toward the Islamist camp.
With the simple tale of an ant, philosopher Dan Dennett unleashes a devastating salvo of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of memes -- concepts that are literally alive.
Full Dan Dennett Talk:
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Archaeology Info: Human Ancestry
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Dan Dennett Religion Lancet Fluke Ants Memes Charles Darwin Reality Belief Science Evolution Atheism Agnosticism Agnostic Education Reason Free Thinking The Universe Natural Selection Biology Evidence Selfish Gene Fifth Ape Humans Chimps Chimpanzees Sapiens Delusional Grandiosity Creationism Christian Zealot Islam Judaism Christianity Fundamentalism Nut Fanatic Intelligent Design Terrorist Bible Suicide Bomber Extremist God Delusion Virus Faith Slavery Superstition Life Death Irrational
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