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The real clash is two types of (Sunni) Islam

Reader comment on item: Islam and Democracy - Much Hard Work Needed
in response to reader comment: Agree with Dr. Pipes

Submitted by There is NO Santa Claus (United States), Feb 9, 2011 at 10:59

We see this in Pakistan already.

The clash is not between Sharia and Democracy. The clash is between Islamism and nationalism. Individual Muslim nations adopt Sharia (or at least portions of it) as their law but do not set forth establishing a Caliphate. This is different than the imperialist version of Sharia promoted by the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood). It is this imperialist form of Sharia which is (in my opinion) destined to fail in Egypt.

Egypt made significant efforts at regional hegemony under Nasser and was rewarded with military defeat, economic chaos and a local Communist threat that has long been forgotten. When Nasser died, his successors decided wisely to focus on internal development and consolidation of the military's rule. This strategy was for the most part, successful. I tend to doubt the Egyptian military is anxious to set about a war of conquest on behalf of the Ikhwan.

Today, we see bombings in Pakistan by "militant Muslims". One has to ask why Muslims find it necessary to bomb a country that is thoroughly Muslim. The reason is that Pakistan's rulers are nationalists; not imperialists. The Islamists who carry out these bombing attacks envision a wider Islamic empire.

As Egypt transfers power to a new leader, this very same kind of clash may occur. The mere fact that most Egyptians support Sharia as a legal system is emphasized by too many news commentators. These news commentators routinely fail to recognize the strong nationalist sentiment in Egypt. Egypt was a nation long before the U.K., U.S. or Russia.

Thus, the clash is not between Democracy and autocracy. The clash is between nationalism (with Sharia) and Islamism (or what used to be called "Pan-Islamism") which is an imperialist movement. If nationalism wins the day, gradual drift toward democratic reforms are possible.

If the Ikhwan siezes power in Egypt (I for one do not think this is likely.), the sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf may be their first target; not Israel. Here again, news commentators can't talk about anything in the Middle East without the "What about Israel?" line. That is why I visit this site instead of listening to FOX News, CNN et al. In my view, a takeover of Egypt by the Ikhwan will threaten the ruling families of the Persian Gulf nations and nobody seems to be talking about that.

Submitting....

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