In Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, which is generously reviewed by VDH in the current edition of NR, I argue that Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood will follow (and is following) the trail blazed by Turkey’s Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Brotherhood-influenced party, the AKP. This path is called the “Turkish Model” by enthusiasts of “Islamic democracy.” As I demonstrate in the book, the Turkish Model is actually a formula for turning a society that is pro-Western and reasonably democratic into a sharia state — the implementation of sharia, Islam’s societal framework, being the goal of all Islamic supremacists. As Erdogan put it, “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination” — not a way of life, but a route to Islamization.
For various reasons, I contend in the book that Egypt will descend into sharia totalitarianism much more quickly than the decade it has taken Erdogan to accomplish the still ongoing process in Turkey. That theory is borne out more with each passing day. One of Erdogan’s key tools of intimidation and the crushing of dissent is the abuse of prosecutorial authority. Mohamed Morsi is proving a quick study.
One of Morsi’s early moves was to sack the prosecutor general and appoint a Brotherhood loyalist, Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah. (See this photo of Morsi meeting with Abdallah within minutes of the latter’s swearing-in.) Today, in the middle of the debate over the new sharia constitution that Morsi is planning to ram-rod through in a referendum next week, the Egypt Independent reports that Abdallah has opened an investigation against several of Morsi’s principal political opponents — including former presidential candidates Amr Moussa and Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as Ahmed al-Zend, the head of the so-called “Judges Club” — on suspicion of espionage and sedition.
The report elaborates that the investigation is based on a lawyer’s complaint, alleging that
Moussa met with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and agreed with her to fabricate internal crises, and that all of the politicians named in his complaint then met at the Wafd Pary headquarters to implement the “Zionist plot.” He requested that the accused be banned from travel and that the Wafd Party headquarters be confiscated for investigation. Filing criminal charges against opposition figures was a common practice during former President Hosni Mubarak’s era.
Yeah . . . and it’s a common practice in Islamic “democracies.”