Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi waves to his supporters in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on November 23, 2012. Thousands of ecstatic supporters of Morsi gathered to defend their leader against accusations from rival protesters that he has become a dictator. (-/AFP/Getty Images)
Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi waves to his supporters in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on November 23, 2012. Thousands of ecstatic supporters of Morsi gathered to defend their leader against accusations from rival protesters that he has become a dictator.
(-/AFP/Getty Images)

On the Road to Sharia Law

A look back at Egypt’s shockingly rapid transformation into a radical Islamist state 
 

When President Mohamed Morsi appointed himself a virtual pharaoh of Egypt on November 22, demonstrations broke out across the nation. Thousands of secularists and liberals stormed the neighborhood outside Morsi’s palace, protesting the audacious power grab. They were met by thousands of Islamists who fought back in support of Morsi’s absolute rule. Cries of “no to dictatorship” clashed with chants from the Islamists: “Defending Morsi is defending Islam.”

Then, after 2½ weeks of political turmoil and riots on the streets, Morsi rescinded his controversial decree. Under heavy pressure from the Arab street, we were told, Morsi backed down.

But this was hardly an act of conciliation or compromise from Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood. As columnist Andrew McCarthy wrote, “Morsi grabbed the reins with a shrewd caveat: His dictatorship would end once the draft constitution was approved by Egyptians in a national referendum—which is to say, once the dictatorship had served its purpose” (National Review, Dec. 1, 2012; emphasis added throughout).

As it turns out, Morsi rescinded his decree a few days before Egyptians voted in a referendum on the new draft constitution. Thanks to his 17-day dictatorship, that draft was a sharia-based constitution—exactly what he wanted, and without any interference from the Egyptian courts.

The dictatorship had served its purpose.

“In the end, Morsi got everything he wanted,” author and activist Bassem Sabry told the Times of Israel. “He protected the constituent assembly, the draft constitution and rammed into a referendum when people will have no time to study it against what he had promised before, which is that the document won’t be put into a referendum without sufficient national consensus.”

McCarthy wrote, “In effect, Morsi has used the West’s democracy fetish to put a gun to his population’s head: Either democratically approve anti-democratic sharia or accept the sharia-compliant rule of your democratically elected Islamist despot.”

The Strategy for Sharia

From the beginning, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy has always been to impose sharia law. That’s the real dictatorship here—not Mohamed Morsi. Installing Islamic law as the new constitution has always been the Brotherhood’s top prize. It knew that if it could just force a sharia-based draft through the assembly and past the courts and subject it to a vote, a majority of Egyptians would most likely approve it. It didn’t matter how many freedom-lovers took the streets in protest—what mattered was sidestepping the rest of the government and getting to the national vote.

This has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy from the beginning. As soon as Mubarak was run out of town, it was the Brotherhood—and the White House, by the way—that pushed for free elections sooner rather than later. That’s because the Brotherhood had the best-organized, most popular party in Egypt.

McCarthy wrote, “The Brothers are no fools. They realized that rapidly held elections would favor them, and if they won big, they’d have a hammerlock on the constituent assembly that would write the constitution. They also grasped the disdain in which the West, under progressive regimes, holds military governments. … The Brotherhood knew the U.S. and the EU would be similarly—and self-destructively—supportive of a call for quick elections that would pressure Egypt’s reigning military junta to cede authority to a ‘democratic’ civilian government.

“Consequently, the Brothers insisted that parliamentary and presidential elections could proceed promptly if the public just approved a handful of amendments to the current constitution, with a new constitution to be drafted afterwards.”

That’s exactly what happened. In the country’s historic first free elections, the Muslim Brotherhood’s amendments were adopted by a landslide. The amendments referendum in early 2011 perfectly foreshadowed what happened in parliamentary elections soon after—with supporters of the Brotherhood and its radical allies thumping secular democrats by almost a four-to-one margin.

The courts later declared the results of the parliamentary elections unlawful. But the Brotherhood would not be deterred from executing its Islamist agenda. After promising not to field an Islamist candidate for president, it reversed course and put Morsi on the ballot. And he won!

Prior to the presidential election in June, Egypt’s military court thrust the political process into chaos when it dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament. At the time, we said this power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military might continue for a few months, but that it was only a matter of time before Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood gained enough strength to transform Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

The power struggle with the military barely lasted two months. In August, Morsi fired his top military chiefs and replaced them with Brotherhood loyalists, a move that locked in Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state.

The Brotherhood already controlled the assembly responsible for drafting the constitution. The only remaining roadblock to applying Islamic law in Egypt was the judicial branch. And so, with his November 22 decree, Morsi put himself above the law just long enough for the assembly to hurriedly finalize the constitution.

Morsi had no incentive to back down, McCarthy wrote, “because he is doing what he was put there to do, and he has little to fear. He has already faced down the remnants of Mubarak’s armed forces and replaced them with Brotherhood loyalists—a ragtag collection of Facebook malcontents does not faze him. He also knows the national referendum on the new constitution will go the same way as the original referendum on constitutional amendments: Sharia will win going away.”

Of course, the Western media will try to put a positive spin on these earthshaking developments. They’ve done that from the start. Since the revolution began in February 2011, reporters have tried to make it look like the Egyptian population is teeming with secular democrats. The reality, though, is that radical Islam is the predominant ideology in Egypt. Most Egyptians want strict Islamic rule.

And they’re about to get it. You can expect Western commentators to continue their defense of Morsi by saying things like the principles of sharia are not the same thing as sharia.

But that’s just willful blindness. It’s McCarthy who’s right: Sharia will win going away.

What the Bible Prophesied

Now let’s go back to something my father wrote almost 20 years ago: “Islamic extremism is gaining power at a frightening pace in Egypt .… There is a prophecy that indicates Egypt will probably fall to Islam—or be strongly influenced by Islam” (Trumpet, July 1993).

That prophecy he spoke of is in Daniel 11, beginning in verse 40: “And at the time of the end [that is, just before Jesus Christ returns] shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

The king of the north is the German-led European superpower—the final resurrection of the prophesied “Holy” Roman Empire. The king of the south is radical Islam, headed by Iran.

But there is another critical player in this end-time clash. Notice verse 42: “[The king of the north] shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”

Egypt won’t escape this whirlwind attack from the north. That means it has to be allied with Iran in these latter days. That’s what God prophesied 2,500 years ago. And that’s why, for as long as the Trumpet has been around, we’ve been telling you that Egypt would transform into an Islamist state!

“I believe this prophecy in Daniel 11:42 indicates you are about to see a radical change in Egyptian politics,” my father continued in that 1993 article. In 2006, he told readers to watch for Cairo to distance itself from Washington. He spotlighted the Muslim Brotherhood and said that if it got control, it would form a strong alliance with Iran.

Here is what he wrote on June 22, 2009: “Egypt is about to experience a radical change! No doubt the Muslim Brotherhood is going to gain control of Egypt.”

This prophesied event has now been fulfilled.

An Assist From America

Verse 43 continues, “But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt [notice again the emphasis on Egypt]: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” When the king of the north overtakes his enemy to the south, he takes the spoils of Egypt, as well as Libya and Ethiopia. This indicates that those three countries must have been his enemies, part of that “king of the south” power bloc.

This shows that Egypt is the top prize, as far as Iranian-led radical Islam is concerned. It also means that Egypt will play a critical role in radicalizing all of northeast Africa.

“We need to understand the enormous impact that Egypt working with Iran will have in the Middle East and even globally,” my father wrote in the October-November 2012 Trumpet. “This Iran-Egypt axis is going to change the game in the Middle East—particularly in Libya and Ethiopia.”

The game has certainly changed. And probably the most stunning aspect of this radical transformation throughout the region is the help provided by the United States.

Consider the November war between Hamas and Israel. Hamas, of course, is the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is why Morsi repeatedly blamed the war on Israel, even though Egypt had provided a helping hand in supplying Hamas with the rockets that started the war in the first place. After Israel finally retaliated in Operation Pillar of Defense in November, Morsi immediately recalled Egypt’s ambassador in Tel Aviv and sent his prime minister to visit Gaza City in support of Hamas. A Muslim Brotherhood official even threatened to get involved in the conflict in support of Hamas.

And yet, in the end, it was the United States that helped turn the ceasefire agreement into a political boon for Mohamed Morsi. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton abruptly left her tour of Asia with President Obama to fly to Egypt and attempt to help pressure Israel into a ceasefire. And when the ceasefire was agreed to on November 21, Egypt got the credit for brokering it.

“I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence,” Secretary Clinton said the day the ceasefire was agreed to. She went on to call Egypt a “cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”

That same day, the New York Times reported that President Obama had been impressed with President Morsi’s “pragmatic confidence” throughout the Israel-Hamas crisis. According to White House aides, Mr. Obama was pleasantly surprised by how little ideology there was in Morsi’s politics.

The very next day—you can’t make this up—was the day that Mohamed Morsi awarded himself unchallenged control over Egypt. In a matter of months, Morsi had grabbed dictatorial powers greater than Hosni Mubarak ever had! And when the secular democrats returned to the streets in protest, the Muslim Brotherhood rounded many of them up and beat them into submission inside torture chambers, according to a front-page story in the New York Times, December 10.

America’s response to Morsi’s abusive power grab? It raised “concerns” for many Egyptians and for the international community, the State Department said. The New York Times said the widespread reports of Egyptian citizens writhing in torture chambers were hurting Morsi’s “credibility”!

What a drastic difference from the leave now or else ultimatum the United States gave to Hosni Mubarak back in February 2011. “You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now,” Mubarak told abc shortly before he was run out of town. He had already agreed not to seek reelection eight months down the road. But he warned that an abrupt transition would result in a chaotic scene that would enable the Muslim Brotherhood to turn Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

Today, some are finally waking up to the frightening truth about Egypt, but it’s already too late. The Muslim Brotherhood is now firmly in control. Mohamed Morsi grabbed absolute power just long enough to put Egypt on the road to sharia law. And all along the way, the United States has been helping to make sure the Islamists have a smooth and comfortable ride.