Egypt on the brink of embrace of the dark side
The opening scene-setter for the 1996 film "Independence Day" might serve as a metaphor for what Egyptians could face if a draft constitution written by a panel dominated by Islamists and based on Sharia law wins approval in a referendum: "A loud rumble is heard. Suddenly, we are covered in darkness as the shadow engulfs us. Only the image of our Earth hangs in the air, until a huge silhouetted object suddenly blocks our view."
Egypt could well embrace the dark side (to mix movie metaphors) and become the region's biggest force for extremism, just ahead of the Wahabists in Saudi Arabia, even though Iran, with its race toward nuclear weapons, poses the most immediate danger.
The lowlights of the draft constitution ought to alarm all but the most complacent, as well as those who have been in denial, claiming we have nothing to fear from this "peaceful religion," which somehow keeps providing examples to the contrary.
According to the Associated Press, the new draft says, "... the principles of Islamic law" are to be enshrined in the Egyptian constitution. Previously, notes the AP, those principles were open to interpretation, but in the latest draft a separate new article is added that defines "principles" by "pointing to particular theological doctrines and their rules," which will likely result in a stricter interpretation.
Other articles in the draft fail to guarantee equal rights for women, or tolerance for other religious beliefs, including, presumably, moderate Islamic beliefs that conflict with the doctrines of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians won't be allowed to "insult or defame the Prophet," but what constitutes an insult and the punishment for the affront is not spelled out.
Another article preserves military tribunals, allowing them to try civilians. AP estimates 11,000 civilians "were tried before military tribunals during the post-Mubarak transition ..." The constitution does not ban slavery, according to AP, or guarantee that Egypt will adhere to international rights treaties.
...All of this should have been anticipated. The question is, why is Obama and his administration not openly concerned about this turn to the darkside. Do they now concede that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a securlar organization but a groups of radicial religious bigots who openly embrace the evils of Sharia Law. Why are they still acting as if the application of this code from the middle ages is benign? It they care about human rights they should reject this code.