Now that runoff results are in from the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, it’s clear that the Islamists are running the board. As Samuel Tadros writes in the National Review, that includes not only the Muslim Brotherhood but also one faction of the Salafist Alliance that the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization. Gamaa Islamiya waged war against Egyptian society in the 1980s and 1990s, collaborated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad to assassinate Anwar Sadat in 1981, and its one-time spiritual guide Omar Abdel Rahman, aka the Blind Sheikh, is now serving time in a U.S. prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In last week’s elections, two members of Gamaa Islamiya won seats in Asyut.
It’s for this reason, among others, that Tadros has distinguished himself as a liberal Egyptian activist critical of the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February. Today, he and his colleague at the Egyptian Union for Liberal Youth Amr Bargisi, another TWS contributor, explain what might be in store for their beloved country if the situation is not clearly understood:
To begin a serious discussion on what can be done in our country, Egyptians must acknowledge that the Tahrir uprising was no liberal revolution. Western observers must realize that this is not a stark morality play, but political decision-making between alternatives that are all bad. As the government borders on bankruptcy and the security situation deteriorates (the natural-gas pipe line to Israel and Jordan was bombed nine times since February), the first priority should be defending the very existence of the Egyptian state, now solely represented by the military. This is certainly an awkward position for advocates of limited government, as we are. But if the military falls, nothing will stand between the Egyptians and absolute anarchy.
Read the rest here.