Two Necessary Books
On June 30th Egyptians took to the streets in a 'second revolution' to demand the removal of the dictatorial President Mohammed Morsi. Raymond Ibrahim's latest book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians is a fascinating read given the context of what is currently happening in Egypt. A second informative book also discusses this topic, A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save his faith, by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser.
Ibrahim's parents emigrated from Egypt to the U.S., and raised him as a Coptic Christian. He is able to use his fluent Arabic and his past travels to uncover the truth about the lack of religious freedom in Muslim lands. Dr. Jasser is also a first-generation American but he was raised as a Muslim who believes in the principles of the U.S. Constitution: liberty, freedom, and separation of Mosque and faith. American Thinker interviewed authors Daniel Silva, Raymond Ibrahim, and Dr. Jasser about their books as they relate to the current events in Egypt.
A quote in Daniel Silva's, a New York Times best-selling author, latest book The English Girl, "If the American President isn't careful, his two most important foreign policy achievements will be a nuclear Iran and the restoration of the Islamic caliphate." Since he once lived in Egypt and was a Middle East correspondent he reflected to American Thinker, "If the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded in cementing its grip on Egypt they would have turned it into something like an Islamic Republic of Egypt."
Ibrahim agrees, and points to the many Arabic videos that show Morsi, the former Egyptian President, as stating, "The Koran is our constitution, Muhammad is our leader, jihad, in the path of Allah, is our way, and martyrdom is our inspiration." In fact, this sounds a lot like a slogan from Al-Qaeda. Ibrahim emphasizes that their very name, Muslim Brotherhood, not Egyptian Brotherhood, shows how this group is not inclusive, nor is it a secular group as James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, referred to them.
Dr. Jasser emphasizes that the West has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to deceive the Egyptian people by defining democracy as elections. "The Obama administration should have understood that democracy is not a light switch that can be turned on, but has to develop over time to get a viable party system. This revolution happened because people realized there was not a mechanism for a no-confidence vote or the ability to impeach Morsi. As much as I am not a fan of the Egyptian military there was no other option. All they did was to remove a dictator."
Ibrahim thinks it is laughable that there are American politicians and media figures who refer to Morsi's election and his government as democratic. Under this regime there was no freedom of religion and no rights for women. In fact, Morsi tried to impose Sharia Law when he was in power.
Dr. Jasser cannot understand how people do not recognize the attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to base their constitution on Islamic theocracy, without having any separation of powers, parameters of free speech and religion, as well as equating criticism of Morsi with criticism of Islam. "I met with some of the Christians and women's groups who refused to stay in the process of modernizing the Constitution because they saw it as a corrupt process."
As Andrew McCarthy pointed out in a recent article, McCain once referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as "a radical group that, first of all, supports Sharia law; that in itself is anti-democratic -- at least as far as women are concerned." Yet, now McCain wants to cut off American aid to the Egyptian military. Ibrahim sees "McCain and those like him as either naïve or cynical. I am hoping for the latter, that he has a plan and is using the aid card as a political strategy. For me, it comes down to either ignorance or stupidity. The human rights issues in Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood should not be ignored. In the book, I tried to show how, in the past, the West did not see themselves as liberal and soft, with a multicultural mentality. Now a lot of politicians in the name of democracy want to support those that are committing atrocities. I am hoping my book shows why that should not be the case."
A quote from Ibrahim's book could almost reflect John McCain's flip-flop: "Long gone are the days when the West, confident, and proud of its own ways, attracted Muslims to its civilizational achievements. Now, apologizing for its 'sins' and demonizing its own Christian heritage while whitewashing the cultures and histories of others, the West only pushes Muslims back to reclaiming their Islamic heritage."
Ibrahim also wants Americans to understand that the Muslim Brotherhood only makes up 4% of the population compared to the Coptic Christians, who make up about 20%. Yet, one of the first things Morsi did was to appoint Muslim Brotherhood members to all the important posts, without any Coptic Christians represented. He also shows throughout the book how the Coptic Christians were the scapegoats for the Muslim Brotherhood and were blamed for everything that went wrong, a la the Jews in pre-World War II Germany.
Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians and A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save his faith are necessary reading for understanding Egypt and the Mideast as a whole. As Ibrahim told American Thinker, "This book shows how Christians are a snapshot for what happens to others under Islamic rule," while Dr. Jasser asserts that "a cornerstone for democracy in Egypt must be a separation and an opposition to Sharia Law." This is no more relevant than today with Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.