Translating Words, Interpreting Events

The Shockingly Rapid Radicalization of Egypt

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by Joel Hilliker
The Trumpet

How radical is the new Egypt? This radical: Critics of the Islamist president are being stripped naked and crucified on trees outside the presidential palace.

Not even two years ago, Egypt was an ally of the West, ruled by a man who banned the Muslim Brotherhood and suppressed political Islam. The nation’s transformation into an Iranian-aligned fundamentalist Islamic state has been blindingly fast.

Suddenly Egypt has a Muslim Brotherhood president. Its secularist military has been neutered; its military leadership replaced by what are surely Brotherhood-aligned thinkers. It is about to get a new constitution drafted by radicals.

Western pundits—most notably within the Obama administration—who gushed about the Muslim Brotherhood being a moderate political force that can be worked with are being rebutted daily by the shocking news leaking out of Egypt.

Several Arabic websites have reported on the barbarity with which the Muslim Brotherhood is treating opponents of President Mohammed Morsi. Raymond Ibrahim of the Middle East Forum translated a couple of these sources. One of them, Egyptian website El Balad, reported that when one of the president’s well-known critics and his supporters gathered around the president’s palace, they were flanked by MBsupporters who “attacked them with sticks, knives, and Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the deaths of two and the wounding of dozens.” Another source wrote, “A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed thatprotesters belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

Welcome to the new Egypt. So much for the hope that ousting President Hosni Mubarak would lead to greater freedom.

In fact, the Brotherhood is taking full advantage of the laws that gave Mubarak control over Egyptian media. The Brotherhood has inserted its own editors into the major state-owned papers. The second-largest, Akhbar Al-Youm, will be run by a descendant of the MB’s founder. President Morsi has also appointed a Muslim Brotherhood member as his new information minister. Now, the Brotherhood is directing its most vicious energy against journalists and media outlets it considers critical of President Morsi.

On August 8, MB supporters by the thousands stormed the media production facilities of 6-October, a major media complex in Cairo; they locked the doors and physically attacked several journalists. Egyptian authorities have shut down the Al-Faraeen television network, falsely accusing its owner of calling for Morsi’s assassination and banning him from travel. They removed copies of the Christian-owned newspaper Al-Dustour from newsstands and condemned it for allegedly “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law.” Why? It ran a front-page editorial warning of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt.

In Ibrahim’s words, Arabic websites are saying that “these attacks are part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to intimidate and thus censor Egypt’s secular media from exposing the group’s Islamist agenda …” (emphasis added). How ironic. Determined to avoid appearing radical, the Brotherhood is using most radical bullying tactics.

The rapidity of Morsi’s moves to consolidate and expand his power has taken even pessimistic observers by surprise. He spoke relentlessly during his campaign about democracy, promising tolerance and freedom. In his inauguration speech, he declared, “We carry a message of peace to the world.” But he has since demonstrated a very different character. “He plans to soon replace many of Egypt’s 27 provincial governors with Brotherhood members or sympathizers of the group and purge the judiciary of judges known to be opposed to its policies, according to the insiders familiar with deliberations in Morsi’s inner circle,” wrote USA Today. “They spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.”

Clearly, their fears are justified.

Al Azhar University in Cairo—”Egypt’s most authoritative Islamic institution,” Ibrahim says—issued a fatwa against critics of the Brotherhood, calling violence against them “a religious obligation.” Radical cleric Wagdy Ghoneim issued a fatwa explicitly condoning the murder of anti-Brotherhood protesters; Sheikh Hashem Islam also called for their murder. “Resist them; if they fight you, fight back, if they kill you, you are in paradise, if you kill them, there is no blood money,” Egypt Independent quoted him as saying.

Another group that is suffering under the new Islamist regime is Copt Christians. Violent discrimination against them has ramped up rapidly. Last week, Islamist groups in Egypt distributed flyers calling for the killing of Copts, which it called “the enemies of the religion of Allah.” Since then, Muslim mobs have been attacking Coptic villages with impunity, burning and plundering properties and even murdering Christians. In the short time since Morsi was elected president, over 100,000 Copts have reportedly fled the country out of fear.

At the beginning of 2011, when Hosni Mubarak came under intense popular pressure, many in the West saw it as a positive development that would herald a wonderful new age for Egypt. The Trumpet, however, didn’t view it that way at all. That is because we had been writing for nearly 20 years about a biblical prophecy that Egypt would take a dramatic turn toward Islamic radicalism.

In our April 2011 edition, with Mubarak on the cover, we retraced our repeated iterations of this prophecy back two decades (“Prophecy Comes Alive in Egypt!“).

“Islamic extremism is gaining power at a frightening pace in Egypt. I believe this prophecy in Daniel 11:42 indicates you are about to see a radical change in Egyptian politics!” Gerald Flurry wrote in July 1993.

The Iranian-led radical Islamic movement is “very strong in Egypt and Algeria. … This religion will probably take control of both countries very soon,” he wrote in December 1994.

“Islamic extremism—which spawns terrorism—is gaining power at a frightening pace” in Egypt, Mr. Flurry wrote in June 2003. ”Does that mean radical Islam will soon control or direct Egyptian politics? Bible prophecy answers YES.” Mubarak being removed from the scene “could radically change Egyptian politics” along the lines of Iran’s 1979 revolution, he wrote.

“Egypt is about to experience a RADICAL CHANGE!” Mr. Flurry warned after President Obama spoke in Cairo in June 2009. Considering that President Obama had invitedmembers of the Muslim Brotherhood to his speech, he said, “No doubt the Muslim Brotherhood is going to gain control of Egypt.”

This is now a fulfilled prophecy. Read the entirety of that Trumpet article to see just how pinpoint accurate the forecasting was—based on the prophecy of the Bible. Two years ago, Egypt was a Western ally, ruled by a man who suppressed radical Islam. Today it is an Iranian ally, ruled by a radical Muslim.

And as Raymond Ibrahim wrote, “Under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the bottle has been uncorked and the Islamic genie set loose. Expect much worse to come.” ▪


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