No one, least of all, the Obama Administration, knows the answers to these questions. But one thing should be clear: The President’s misplaced embrace and empowerment of the ‘moderate’ Muslim Brotherhood was based on wishful thinking, not fact.
While they certainly learned how to leverage the election process, the Muslim Brotherhood is contemptuous of democracy. Back in 1981, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Spiritual Leader Mustapha Mashour declared: “Democracy contradicts and wages war on Islam. Whoever calls for democracy means they are raising banners contradicting Gods plan and fighting Islam.”
*In his inaugural speech in Tahrir Square he promised to secure the release by the U.S. of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
*He reneged on his promise to appoint a Christian woman as vice president.
*He blocked a constitutional amendment limiting presidential power.
*He precipitated a November walkout by liberals and secularists from Egypt’s Constituent Assembly by barring the Egyptian Supreme Court from interfering, demanding retrial of Mubarak-era officials, and authorizing himself as president to take any measures necessary to protect the revolution.
And then there is President Morsi and the Jews:
In his first speech on Egyptian unity, broadcast from a mosque, the President was seen answering “amen” to Sheikh Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour’s prayer: “Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.”
On Morsi's watch, Cairo’s only synagogue lost its public designation as a Jewish House of Worship.
With only a few hundred Jews left in Egypt, why should this matter?
Because when Morsi was elected, many world leaders and media pundits anointed him as a role model for twenty-first century moderate Islam. Not the Simon Wiesenthal Center. For two decades we identified Morsi’s mother ship, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as the most dangerous anti-Semitic organization since the end of World War II. And nothing has changed.
Since its founding, MB, whose accomplishments include creating terrorist Hamas, has a consistent history of spouting exterminationist anti-Semitism, wrapped in Quranic verses:
*Muslim Brotherhood’s influential Yusuf el-Qaradawi in 2009: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them even though they exaggerated this issue he managed to put them in their place….There is no dialogue between us [Muslims and Jews] except by the sword and rifle. . . . [We pray Allah] to take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. . . . do not spare a single one of them. . . . count their numbers and kill them down to the very last one.”
*Current Supreme Leader Mohamed Badi in 2010: “ [We will] continue to raise the banner of jihad against the Jews, [our] first and foremost enemies . . . resistance is the only solution against the Zion-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. . . We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you.”
For the MB, there is no greater insult you can hurl at someone than to label your enemy a Jew. That explains its ludicrous attack against the interim President, Chief Justice Adly Mansour. The MB website labeled Mansour a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, which was then re-classified as a Jewish sect, thus transforming him into the spawn of the dreaded Jews.
Of course, in 2013, Egyptians did not take to the streets over Israel or Jews. It was Morsi’s anti-democratic fiats, mismanagement of the economy, including the imposition of puritanical Islamic laws like the barring of men and women bathing together at public beaches, that virtually stopped the Egyptian tourist industry and the billions it generated.
So what’s an American president to do? Automatically suspend aid for deposing an elected president or reward the Egyptian military for deposing an extremist?
Tough call. But consider that back in 1932, the Nazi Party won the largest number of votes in German elections. Instead of calling new elections, President Hindenburg handed over the reins of power to Hitler, who would use the pretense of a democratic mandate to crush true democratic values.
In 2013, President Obama should grab the opportunity created by Egyptians who courageously stood up to Morsi to reset our policies.
By voting with their feet, Egyptians are living proof that there really are tens of millions of moderates, but none who march under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is those true moderates, along with the original Tahrir Square civil society activists, and the forsaken Coptic Christians who deserve America’s unambiguous support as they struggle to establish an Egypt guided by real democratic values.
Cooper is the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization.