Thanks to democracy, 2005 was a huge year for radical Islamist groups in Egypt
Tuesday, December 27,2005 00:00
By Philadelphia Church of God

 Thanks to democracy, 2005 was a huge year for radical Islamist groups in Egypt, Israel and Iraq.

Democracy has scored some significant victories in the Middle East recently. Over the past three weeks, successful democratic elections have been conducted in three of the region’s most eminent nations—Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian-controlled areas within Israel.

The outcome of these democratic elections isn’t all good though. Look closely, and it’s clear that there is an awfully bleak side to Middle Eastern democracy.

In The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington spoke of the “democracy paradox”—that “adoption by non-Western societies of Western democratic institutions encourages and gives access to power to nativist and anti-Western political movements.” What has happened in Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Iraq recently are the latest examples of a reality that has played out in the Middle East time and again. In all three cases, democratic elections have increased the power of some of the most radical Islamic political parties in the entire region.

Democracy has certainly prevailed, but some of the region’s most notoriously dangerous Islamist parties have been the greatest benefactors.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood (mb), an outlawed Islamic fundamentalist party, had a six-fold increase in the number of seats it holds in the Egyptian parliament. Now the largest opposition party to President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, the mb is an organization of staunch Islamic conservatives, with a strong desire to see Islamic law become the foundation of the Egyptian government. Grounded in anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Western ideology, the mb is closely aligned with radical Islamic groups throughout the Middle East.

In Israel, Hamas, the terrorist group sporting a political mask, experienced massive success in Palestinian municipal elections. Boosted by the fracturing of the ruling Fatah party, Hamas’s gains are timed perfectly as the group ramps up its efforts for greater success in January’s parliamentary elections. As Hamas seeks legitimacy by evolving into a political party, don’t be fooled by the dark suits, press conferences and peaceful rhetoric. Hamas is a terrorist group through and through, bent on shoving Israel off the map and into the sea—and it is prepared to use whatever means, political or otherwise, to do so.

It’s highly likely that Hamas will have great success in next month’s parliamentary elections. As the Christian Science Monitor noted recently, “Although public opinion surveys show support for Hamas to range between one fourth and one third of the Palestinian public, analysts say that 40 percent of the legislature is a realistic goal for the Islamists, and some believe that a majority could be within reach” (December 19). Democratic elections are helping this terrorist group gain a foothold in Palestinian and Israeli politics.

Just east of Israel, in Iraq, there’s a very worrying side to the pictures of joyful Iraqis sporting ink-marked fingers and smiling faces, excited at the opportunity to participate in democratic elections. The fact that thousands of Iraqis turned out to freely vote for the political party of their choice is certainly something to smile about. However, the reality of which parties most Iraqis voted for is not.

“Stretching newfound democratic muscle upon their first chance to elect a full-term government, Iraqis overwhelmingly threw their support behind religious parties defined along sectarian lines and ethnicity” (ibid., December 21). Thanks to democratic elections, it’s very likely that Iraq’s new government will be comprised of a fundamentalist Islamic political party or combination of parties.

According to results released last week, the United Iraq Alliance, the Shia-dominated party that dominated the interim government, received about 44 percent of all ballots counted so far, with the main Sunni groups said to have received between 15 and 20 percent of seats in parliament. Secular Shiite candidate Iyad Allawi, who was favored by the United States for his moderate views and pro-American stance, experienced a sharp decline, gaining only about 8 percent of the vote.

Although Sunnis are alleging voter fraud and intimidation and calling for an audit by international organizations, it’s no hoax, and there’s no doubt that most Iraqis voted for a radical Islamist party to run their government—whether Shiite or Sunni.

As the Christian Science Monitor stated, “With more than three quarters of the country giving a vote of confidence to Islamist parties, last Thursday’s vote raises the prospect of Iraq being more overtly religious than ever before” (ibid.). When it’s all said and done and the votes are counted, Islamic religion and law will form the foundation of the new Iraqi government. Such a scenario doesn’t bode well for America.

2005 has been a fantastic year for Islamic political parties in the Middle East. Iran elected as president possibly the most radical Islamist in its history. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt experienced its greatest electoral success ever. Iraqi Islamic parties are growing more popular, and in spite of America’s benevolence, the Iraqi people are increasingly demanding the removal of U.S. troops from their nation. The terrorist group Hamas has expanded its horizons, taking on a political face, and has been embraced by the Palestinian people.

Democracy is fueling the rise of Islamist parties throughout the Middle East. How long will it take before Western nations recognize the flaws of democracy?

The American president’s goal of ending tyranny in our world is impossible for any human being to achieve—because this world yet suffocates in the stranglehold of the most malevolent tyranny of all: that of the devil, who “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

Scripture explicitly describes how Satan rules men’s minds. He intoxicates them with perverse religion; he pollutes their thinking with counterfeit ideas of freedom; he drives them to seek to establish world peace through the ways of war. These satanic concepts are going to collide violently with the naive notions of peace and freedom being floated by Western politicians.

The idea that the U.S. will end tyranny in the world is about to perish in flames. Tyranny will wax strong. And the United States—immoral and unteachable, in need of correction by the rod of God’s anger (Isaiah 10:5-6)—will get a powerful dose of it!

God alone can give freedom—end tyranny—establish peace. And, as His Word is sure and cannot be broken, it is an absolute certainty that this is exactly what He will do.