Egypt: The Revolution Continues
From the Editor, February 2013.
Over the past several months my Egyptian wife and I have been watching several Arabic news channels daily on satellite TV and have gained quite a clear understanding of all that has been happening on the ground in Egypt. We have also been talking regularly to our extended family in Alexandria and it is now clear that Egypt's popular revolution has now been subverted by the new president and his radical Ekhwan associates (the Muslim Brotherhood).
The first thing that was obvious to us is that there have been many deeply disturbing developments in Egypt that have gone almost totally unreported by the western media, and I suspect that even many western politicians are unaware of these disturbing developments.
As many may know, Mohammed Morsi took the very controversial move of granting himself unprecedented executive powers, effectively placing his authority above all question and even above the judicial branch of government. In reality, he takes his orders directly from the Morshed - the official religious head of the Muslim Brotherhood. The hotly disputed draft constitution was actually not written by any representatives of the people, or subject to any legal or public review. It was, in fact, delivered to the presidential palace in its final form at 2am in the morning, straight from the office of the Morshed.
The draft constitution was passed with what the government claim was 63.8% in favour of the new constitution. However, it was a farce referendum that exposed many well documented cases of vote-rigging, bribery and electoral fraud. Boycotting also resulted in a far lower turnout than anyone expected, with only 32.9% of eligible voters making their way to the polls.
However, even more disturbing than the fraud itself, is what the new constitution has been reported to contain. Here are a few examples that have been covered in Arabic media:
The Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Bob Carr, previously praised Mohammed Morsi as someone who could be an influence for peace and stability in the Middle East. However, Mr Carr's advisors may have misguided him because they appear unaware of who they are actually dealing with:
Surely Australia can no longer support this tyrant by acknowledging his legitimacy any longer. We urge the Australian government, in co-operation with other governments around the world, to begin talks with opposition parties within Egypt and to work with them towards a peaceful transition of power as the revolution continues.
Without proactive international pressure I am not optimistic that a peaceful resolution is possible and the possibility that civil war may errupt is a very real concern. The Muslim Brotherhood has shown a willingness and propensity for violence, and if the radical Islamisation of Egypt is permitted to continue without international opposition, it is feared that Egypt, once an anchor of stability in the region, may become a new breeding ground for Islamic extremism. Australia, along with many other nations throughout the world, may see a flood of asylum seekers as 12 million Egyptian Christians and many more millions of moderate Muslims, seek to escape from organised oppression and religious persecution.
I'd encourage all believers everywhere to pray for strength and boldness for Egypt's Christians, for their protection, and also for the confounding and dividing of the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood. Isaiah chapter 19 reveals that both Egypt and Syria have a special place in end-time prophecy and will actually be allies with Israel in being a blessing to the Earth, but as that passage also suggests, difficult times will come first. Interestingly, right now we are seeing trouble and political distress in both Egypt and Syria. Maybe we are seeing Bible prophecy unfolding before our eyes.
I would also encourage concerned citizens around the world to contact their respective governments to voice concern about how the western governments appear to have gone soft on the Egyptian leadership at the very time when diplomacy may actually achieve some protection for the Egyptian people. Particularly for the 12 million Christians of that nation.
Amidst the current upheaval there is also a great opportunity for the church in Egypt. Many muslims are actually shocked and disgusted with all that the Muslim Brotherhood are doing: their broken trust with the Egyptian people, the economic mismanagement of the country, the blatantly broken promises of the new president, the erosion of social freedoms, particularly for women, and their use of violence. Whilst the very strict interprettation of Islamic law is creeping over Egyptian society like a dark and ominous shadow, the people are rising up and beginning to challenge it.
The other real hope is that that as masses of ordinary Egyptians, Muslims and Christians alike, become increasingly bold in their aspirations for political and social freedom, that many Muslims may also find new courage to defy social convention and to consider conversion to Christ. There are many Muslims throughout the Arab world who secretly believe and yet resist open conversion for fear of restribution or conviction under strict anti-conversion laws.
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