The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, has won enough votes in the first round of Egypt’s presidential elections to make it through to round two, according to partial election results.
The runoff elections will pit the two most popular candidates against each other on June 16-17, with the winner scheduled to be announced June 21. The preliminary results show Morsi’s rival to be Ahmed Shafiq, a member of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s inner circle.
The Islamists already control Egypt’s parliament and constitutional committee. They seem very likely to take the presidency too.
This threatens to violently destabilize the Middle East.
Morsi’s campaign was launched by Egyptian cleric Safwat Higazi. Morsi sat in the front row of the rally,while Higazi told an enthusiastic crowd: “We can see how the dream of the Islamic caliphate is being realized, Allah willing, by Dr. Mohammed Morsi” (translation by memri).
“The capital of the caliphate … will be Jerusalem, Allah willing,” he said, as thousands cheered.
“Morsi will liberate Gaza tomorrow,” they cheered. “Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem,” ran another chant. “Come on, you lovers of martyrdom, you are all Hamas,” sang Higazi.
Russia’s state-owned press reported that Morsi told his supporters: “The Koran is our constitution, the prophet is our leader, jihad is our path, and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
Shafiq isn’t much more moderate—just perhaps more pragmatic. During the election, he’s been boasting that he shot down two Israeli airplanes in the ’60s.
Egyptian public opinion about Israel means that a democratic Egypt will mean big changes for Israel. Ninety-seven percent of Egyptians see Israel as one of Egypt’s biggest threats. Sixty-one percent want to end the peace treaty.
Egypt is continuing to push toward radically changing the Middle East. ▪