Truther Leading Egyptian Presidential Race

Oh, great: a 9/11 “truther” is the front-runner in Egypt’s presidential race:

Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, formerly a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, led the field of 13 candidates with 32 percent of the vote in a survey released Monday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Mr. Abolfotoh expressed his views on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an interview last year with Egypt scholar Eric Trager.

“It was too big an operation …. They [the United States] didn’t bring this crime before the U.S. justice system until now. Why? Because it’s part of a conspiracy.”

Maybe we shouldn’t complain; polls suggest that a substantial proportion of American Democrats are “truthers.” Still, it’s discouraging. Abolfotoh is viewed by some as a “liberal” Islamist:

The 61-year-old Mr. Abolfotoh, who left the Brotherhood last year, has been dubbed a “liberal Islamist” by some reporters partly because he said he believes that a Christian should be able to run for president – a view that put him at odds with the Brotherhood’s leadership.

How liberal can you get? But wait!

In a recent Egyptian television interview, Mr. Abolfotoh qualified that position. He said that, while parties are free to nominate whomever they want, Egypt “cannot have a president who does not have an Islamist orientation.”

Easy come, easy go. Mubarak blamed Barack Obama for his being overthrown. I’m not certain that he was right, but the complaint was not implausible. Another great moment in “smart diplomacy.”

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