From the Republican platform adopted this week:
We recognize the historic nature of the events of the past two years – the Arab Spring – that have unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades. In a season of upheaval, it is necessary to be prepared for anything. That is true on the ground in the Middle East, and it will be equally true in the next Administration, particularly with a new President unbound by the failures of the past. We welcome the aspirations of the Arab peoples and others for greater freedom, and we hope that greater liberty – and with it, a greater chance for peace – will result from the recent turmoil.
I hope that Mitt Romney becomes our new president, but if he is going to be “unbound by the failures of the past,” he should ignore the above plank. To truly “be prepared for anything,” the new president would have to understand that what the “Arab Spring” has “unleashed” is Islamic supremacism. Whether we face up to it or not, that is the mainstream Islam of the Middle East.
My imminent new book, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, acknowledges that there are indeed democrats in the Middle East; the problem is that they are vastly outnumbered. With due respect to the GOP’s “Islamic democracy” enthusiasts, the “aspirations of the Arab peoples,” in the main, are not for “greater freedom.” In the Middle East’s predominant construction of Islam, the concept of freedom is decidedly not our idea of liberty; it is “perfect slavery,” as the 13th Century Islamic scholar Ibn Arabi put it — selfless submission to sharia, Allah’s framework for society which dictates all of human life, from the great matters down to the small details.
Contrary to the tired retort of Sen. McCain, former Secretary Rice, and the rest, what I just said is not an insult. Trying to understand one’s adversary is a form of respect, not ridicule. It is not that the Muslims of the Middle East don’t grasp the Western notion of liberty; it is that they don’t want it. They think their civilization is superior. They are wrong, but they’ve been wrong for fourteen centuries, and they are certainly not going to change now when they are winning.
When considering current Republican thinking, it is useful to contrast it with the reality on the ground in Egypt, who’s new president — the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi — will get the red-carpet treatment from President Obama later this month. A tweet from my friend Jay Sekulow highlights this item from his American Center for Law and Justice, courtesy of Matthew Clark:
Middle East news media have reported that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.” Those opposing the new radical Islamic regime include Christians, and experts have suggested that “extra brutality is reserved for Christians.”
The ACLJ just sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to take action to stop this atrocity.
Our letter states:
Recent news stories concerning what is currently transpiring in Egypt should cause grave concern to the Department of State, to the Obama Administration, and the civilized world in general. . . . It appears that secular Egyptians and Coptic Christians are at heightened risk. Such barbarity cannot simply be overlooked by the Government of the United States and the rest of the civilized world. The United States Government must condemn such actions in the strongest terms possible and must encourage other nations to do so as well.
The letter also urges Secretary Clinton and the Obama Administration to “cut off all aid” to Egypt unless and until Egypt takes decisive action to prevent further brutality and prosecute those who committed these heinous acts.
Christians in Egypt need our support more now than ever, as the radical Muslim Brotherhood continues to pose a grave threat to their very lives.
The ACLJ adds that it has started a petition to urge the Obama administration to condemn Egyptian atrocities and cut off funding to its new, Muslim Brotherhood-run government. You can find and sign it here.
In his acceptance speech at the GOP convention, Gov. Romney vowed: “We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign legacy of Truman and Reagan, and under presidency we will return to it once again.” Mitt is right, as long as he does not confuse what that legacy is. What President Reagan championed was democratic principles, not procedures. A popular vote does not a democracy make, and if the popular vote installs totalitarianism, as it has in Egypt, then it augurs the very opposite of democracy — real democracy. The legacy that Mitt praised is a proud one precisely because it condemned, worked relentlessly against, and ultimately defeated totalitarianism.