This is an email that I received from Stand for Israel:
We have, many times, said that it takes more than an election to be a democracy. Free, open elections are merely an expression of the will of the sovereign people. Democracies are a much bigger thing; they require institutions like a free press, independent judiciary, and others to actually function after the election night celebrations are over. It’s easy to start a democracy, much harder to keep one.It should be noted that the Egyptian election which brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power, with a little help from their friend Barack Obama, was not "free and open." Reportage that I have read suggests that the Copts were sometimes (often?) prevented from voting at the point of a rifle.
We have also, many times, said that Egypt is not a democracy. They’re a country that held a free, open election and – unfortunately – chose to elect the Muslim Brotherhood. The people of Egypt do not enjoy a free press. They do not enjoy an independent judiciary. Half of the population (the female half) does not enjoy basic civil liberties. There is rampant illiteracy (according to the CIA Factbook, more than one in four Egyptians age 10 and over cannot read or write) and growing food insecurity.
And the Muslim Brotherhood has demonstrated a number of times that it is not interested in maintaining a free society. Earlier this week, the Shura Council – the main Islamic legal body in Egypt – approved a new law that would severely restrict the right of the Egyptian people to protest. Protesters will need to notify police three days in advance of a protest larger than 20 people, and keep protests at least 600 feet from government offices (far enough away for the government to safely ignore them). The law imposes stiff fines and jail time for the non-specific crimes of “harming citizens’ interest” or “jeopardizing national security.”
In short, the Muslim Brotherhood is outlawing protest. Which is ironic, since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power following the popular uprising that ousted former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Democracies, it’s worth repeating, are more than the presence of a free election.
The single most under-reported story in the world today is the rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East and the role of the Obama administration in its assistance of that rise. I am confident that future historians will look back on this moment and wonder how it is that Americans watched it without seeing it and saw it without speaking about it.
Syria is next.