Special to the Tribune-Star
Egypt is the powder keg that could blow the Middle East into a new world war. And the root cause is not a big fight for Democracy. The root cause is whether Egypt will be ruled by moderate Muslims or the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has been trying to drag Egypt back to the 8th century A.D. since its beginnings.
The Muslim Brotherhood started in the 1920s when Muslim men were angry and upset about the westernization of Muslim women and its effect on the way they dress, their make-up, and their attitudes. Over the years they have had some successes and some failures. The most recent election gave them hope for total control of this largest of all Muslim countries.
The elected president, Morsi, was educated in America and had the trappings of a moderate leader. The signs that erupted against him were signs of Sharia and a drift toward religious control in Egypt. The army, and this is evident now, does not want a religious leader telling the army what it should look like, how its training should be carried out, and who it should go to war over because of religious beliefs. The people who are dying on Cairo’s streets are not dying for Democracy … they’re dying over whether there should be religious control in this vast country, its people and resources.
Sharia is a kind of government that controls your total existence. How a woman should dress, the fact that a man can wed a 2-year-old and consummate the marriage when the child is 9. And, again, some religious leader will have veto rights over any laws passed by an elected legislature.
The army knows it must have some kind of secular education to keep its fighting forces in the modern state of affairs. The moderates who do not want Sharia know that if the Muslim Brotherhood has its way there will be a Sharia government.
For the United States, it’s a rock and a hard place. If they support Morsi, the elected president, they support an oncoming, total Muslim state. If they support the army and the moderates, they bring the ire of the Muslim Brotherhood down on all Americans in Egypt and our elected officials in America.
The Muslim extremists in other parts of the world have destroyed historical monuments and treasures and have been enemies to any kind of education except that is allowed by the Quran.
For peace and sanity in the Middle East, let us hope the moderates control this terrible fight and carnage, because not only does Egypt depend on it, but the entire world as well.
Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.