Professor William Jacobson of Cornell Law School writes that “the yuppie revolution in Egypt is over.” He points to the return to Cairo, in triumph, of Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who had been exiled by Mubarak. al-Qaradawi spoke to a crowd of, reportedly, more than a million Egyptians in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Sheik al-Qaradawi has been whitewashed somewhat in the liberal press, but he is a hard-core radical Muslim. Discover the Networks has the details. Here is al-Qaradawi on the Jews, in January 2009:
Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.
And on the United States and its efforts in Iraq:
All of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation. The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately.
To be fair, al-Qaradawi did include some conciliatory words in his speech on Friday. For example, he included Egypt’s Copts in his greeting. But his audience knows perfectly well what he stands for. Professor Jacobson posted this video, via Israel Matzav. One of the chants you hear translates, “To Jerusalem we go, for us to be the Martyrs of the Millions.”
To Jerusalem we go? That could be a big problem for both the U.S. and Israel, whose security policies have long rested on the historic peace between Egypt and Israel.
One of the western media’s favorite Egyptian rebels is Google executive Wael Ghonim. No surprise there: if you had to choose among radical clerics like al-Qaradawi, hooligans like those who assaulted Lara Logan, and a suave, Westernized Google exec, whom would you want to interview? Ghonim was present on Friday and intended to address the crowd, but he was barred from the platform by al-Qaradawi’s security. He left the stage in distress, “his face hidden by an Egyptian flag.” Is Ghonim Egypt’s Kerensky? Well, at least Kerensky got to rule for a while.
I very much hope I am wrong, but I am getting a here-we-go-again sense about events in Egypt and, I am afraid, through much of the region.