Egypt is still run by a military dictatorship
Children sit atop a tank while an Egyptian soldier stands by during a demonstration against President Hosni Mubarak in Tahrir Square on January 29, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
May 26th, 2011
03:57 PM ET

Egypt is still run by a military dictatorship

Fareed spent last week in Cairo, Egypt talking to people from all walks of life about the revolution, the months after Mubarak fell, and America's role in the region.  I sat down with Fareed to get his main takeaways from his trip.

Amar C. Bakshi: After your trip to Cairo, are you more or less optimistic about Egypt’s future?

Fareed Zakaria: In the short-run, I’m less optimistic. But in the long-run, I remain optimistic.

In the short-run there are enormous pressures. We think of Egypt as having gone through a regime change. But it really didn't go through a regime change. Egypt has been run since 1952 by a military dictatorship. It is still run by a military dictatorship.

Mubarak resigned. A few people around him resigned. But at the end of the day the military still holds power.  They have a huge vested interest in maintaining the current system politically, financially and socially. They aren't going to go quietly into the night.

The great struggle taking place in Egypt is over whether the democratic elements of the new system have the power and skill to erode the strength of the dictatorial elements of the old system. Those dictatorial elements are largely housed in the military.

You saw a very similar process in Indonesia. The Indonesian military was very large, powerful and quite involved in business and the economy after Suharto's fall. Over the following years, it has not been easy to get the military out and to erode its power. The process has been slow. But two democratic electoral transitions later you can see that there is some rebalancing. The democratic parts of the system - the national legislature and the elected president - have gained legitimacy, which gives them power.

So while the military has the power of actual control of facts on the ground, the democratic elements develop a power of their own. This leads to a tussle.

I’m hopeful that Egypt will do as well as Indonesia over the next 10 or 15 years.

I think the people who imagine a Turkish model where the Egyptian military steps back the way the Turkish military did are going to be disappointed. The Turkish military only relinquished power because the European Union absolutely insisted on it and made it a principle of Turkey’s path into the European Union.

Watch: De-Mubarak-ification of Egypt's streets.

For 10 years the Turks were trying very hard to meet every goal that the European Union set. That was the context in which the Turkish military gave up a lot of their power. It has been hugely controversial, difficult and complicated even in that circumstance.

Egypt's ideal model should be Turkey. The realistic goal is Indonesia. What you’re really trying to avoid is Pakistan, where the military has allowed a lot of democratic processes that turn out to Kabuki Theater - behind the curtain the military actually runs everything.

What do you think about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

My preliminary sense about the Muslim Brotherhood – and I don’t say any of this with any confidence, because nobody knows, and I found that even people in Egypt were quite unsure about what to make of them -  is that they are quite strong; they are well organized; and they seem to have more radical intentions than they let on.

They’re quite cagey and circumspect about what they say.  There’s a façade of reasonableness that seems to me to be a façade.

Watch: Amr Moussa says Israel must get serious about peace.

Here I’m reading body language and listening to how they’re negotiating for seats and how they have become more and more demanding over the last few months.

But I do think there are many other elements in the Egyptian system. There is the military. There are the Coptic Christians who make up 10% of the population. There are the urban seculars and liberals.

So I feel as though it is quite conceivable that a truly democratic Egypt will emerge with a diversity of parties and interests and that the Muslim Brotherhood will not be able to dominate.

But everyone is operating in the dark. Everyone tells me the Muslim Brotherhood will get 30% of the vote. I asked a lot of people, “Where does this number come from? How did you decide it was 30% and not 45% and not 20%?”

Nobody had a good answer. There were a couple of polls that had been done and then there was an election that took place in which the Muslim Brotherhood was not allowed to run and so its candidates ran as independents. If you read all the tea leaves, 30% is what you come to. But it's not based on anything like what we would call robust polls.

So the truth of the matter is nobody knows. What you can tell very clearly is that they are well-organized and they have a powerful appeal.  Beyond that it’s very tough to tell.

Watch: Fareed's take is Egypt still is not free.

For years they were the only organized opposition to the regime, which meant that lots of people voted for them as a kind of anti-Mubarak vote. That certainly won't happen going forward. So there are pluses and minuses.

There is a very small chance that Egypt will become Iran. But there is a significant chance that the Muslim Brotherhood will gain more power and might even get a disproportionate number of votes.  And they’re fundamentally an illiberal force in Egyptian politics. Their agenda is quite reactionary. So the key will be for Egyptian democrats and seculars of all kinds to try to combat their influence. This will not work itself out naturally. It will take energy and activism on the part of democrats.

What ought the U.S. role be in Egypt?

What I was struck by is how the U.S. has gotten no credit for helping in the ousting of Mubarak, which is I think quite unfair. I think it’s understandable that people resent America's support for Mubarak over so many decades.

But the truth is it took Bill Clinton a year and a half to abandon Suharto. It took Ronald Reagan two years to abandon Marcos. It took Obama two weeks to abandon Mubarak.

And it’s tough. Things are not as easy as they sound. The President of the United States is not a college professor.

Watch: GPS show with Egypt's revolutionaries and leaders.

So when people say that Obama should denounce Saudi Arabia - which they all told me by the way - it’s not that easy. You’ve got to worry about the effect that would have on the price of oil and what that could do to the global economy and what that would do to America jobs. This is not an idle concern. This is part of the U.S. President's job description.

So I don’t know how much the U.S. can do to change views of America in the short-run. In the long-run if the United States stays engaged and tries to help economically and in building the new democratic system, it can strengthen ties.

Remember, we used to support the South Korean dictatorship and we now have a very good relationship with South Korea as a democracy. Such changes are achievable.

Watch: Mohamed ElBaradei on Egypt's future.

I will say that even though the Israeli-Palestinian issue was not the animating issue in Tahrir Square and that the protesters' principal concerns were with their own democratic rights, all of the student activists and the other people I talked to in Cairo said that if there was a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue it would enhance the America’s image substantially.

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. vic

    To Sarah and others:
    As an American/Egyptian who did not have the chance in his own country to achieve his dream of high education and contribute to the scientific society. I been offered a job in 1975 as a teacher in the bally(or music institute) institute in Cairo with my BS in science and higher diploma from eiin shams univ. I decided to travel with education (work and attend univ.). Any way, After what I have seen in my country Egypt and travel from Arab country to Europe to US and lived several years in each country and follow closely the life style and the politics her is my advise from now untill election day: You have to educate the Egyptian people how to elect what the good for them regardless without involving the religion. As stalen said the religion is opium of the third world, this is very true. You should not have the 50% farmer and labor, these are followers. Strong media is a must and strong judgment system.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  2. Riz

    Though Mr Farid debate well on all religion but out of curiosity what is his religion, he looks like Indian but I don’t think he is Hindi , may be Sikh.

    But what ever said, well said

    May 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • jasoncanada

      There is no religion called hindi ... cos hindi is language ... and yea he is muslim belongs to mubai .. amazing personality

      May 31, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
  3. Joe

    Well I don't think anyone can call Iran a "democracy" and that is exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood wants – all across the middle east. The people saying the Muslim Brotherhood were "not radical" were obama, his administration, and the left. The conservatives have shouted DANGER! from the beginning – only to be criticized by the left and the mainstream media (all backers of obama).

    May 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  4. Khalid

    I just graduated college among 6,000 others. At least 3,000 of them were Asian, and out of 600 students receiving honors (summa, magna, and cum laude) I was one Arab among 550 Asians, Indians, Pakistanis, and other Arabs. White trash America is going down the toilet and they'll be taking Israel with them. Have a nice day!

    May 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  5. Adelina

    Who didn't know this? Christians are going through the same hard time ever. Muslims and all pagans need Judeo-Christian values. Secularism is a dung to mankind; it only works with educated people with Christian heritage (except for some Asian heavy mimickers).

    May 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  6. Jorge

    the only force that is stopping the christian copts from being utterly enslaved into dhimminitude and into complete destruction are hte military. How can zakaria says such rubish??!I know islam damages the human brain, rips apart basic rationality and shreds to pieces even commen sense but zakaria is just going too far.why doesn't zakaria say that the muslim-brotherhood-salafist-jihadist alliance are hte force that ARE fighting the military to enforce barbaric sharia law, more church burnings, more christian girls kidpappings,forced marriages and forced conversions to islam, as the authorities look the other way and do absolutely NOTHING!!?!?!! are a dellusional FOOL!

    May 28, 2011 at 4:13 am | Reply
  7. Jorge

    What egypt and all the muslim world needs do do is to give a fair treatment to all citizens, muslim and non-muslim, and stop opressing wimen, non-muslims brutally under the threat of death, violence or economical and political sanctions.And becky anderson, STOP lying along with the CNN nework tha islam is a religion of peace since it is NOT, NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE.

    May 28, 2011 at 4:17 am | Reply
  8. Jorge

    when a muslium gets the basic human right to leave islam without getting assassinated by fellow muslims, THEN and ONLY THEN maybe we can say that muslims are peaceful, but the fact is islam is NOT, NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE AT PEACE with anyone since it is a totalitarian supremacist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, christianophobc, judeophobig,paganophobic,SECULAROPHOBIC ,DEMOCRATOPHOBIC,WIMENOPHOBIC,ATHEISTOPHOBIC,AGNOSTICOPHOBIC ultra-violnet, belligerant,destructive, poisonous ideology that promotes and indeed IS PURE EVIL!

    May 28, 2011 at 4:23 am | Reply
  9. Mickey25

    While Fareeds report on Egypt is the most logical and accurate I've read (and I've traveled thru those areas myself, although before the revolution), we still really don't know what kind of government they'll end up with. They still could end up with something worse than the military. Also, from what I observed when I visited Egypt, I don't believe the military could be overthrown if they decided to stay in power. People demonstrating impresses the media but not a serious military force like I observed everywhere in that country.

    May 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  10. Egyptian male

    who ever remarked about that is an ignorant person, the civilian and the military are one so everything is going perfect only people which adores to make bullshit rumors like Americans,European and Israelis (Jews) which holds all international media enjoys to envy the Egyptians and the Arab worlds, even the Americans as they say we are a democracy country they don't even apply it for them it's only word to say in front of the world. So see who is talking?????

    May 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  11. levend

    People seem to think democracy is going to spread through the middle east, I think it won't dictators will be replaced thats all. Most current dictators are linked to foreign powers e.g Saudi King is linked to US, Tunisia use to be linked to France, Libya to Italy, Algeria is linked to France..... You honestly think these countries will let their puppets leave without having alternatives.

    May 29, 2011 at 2:54 am | Reply
  12. Jorge

    Egyptian are a disastrous example of everything that os WRONG and EVIL to the backbone..tanks to islam, the most demented, insane,irrational, sel-destructive and totally repulsive and abominable ideology all made out of inorance, fear, stupidity, blind hatred and braindead and abrainwashed imbecility. You are a traitor and a parasite to yourself and to can take islam and shoive it up your rectum..that is the only useful purpose for islam..idiot..retard!!

    we know the military and the muslim majority are one, along with the repulsive muslim-brotherhood, salafist, mujaheed-jihadist you are just confirming my claim that fareed zakaria is an idiot which I agree- even so inside the egyptian army there are still some reasonable people who know the islamists using democray to get to power will start a war on israel, and as per conseqyuence egypt will be totally destroued. those are the intelligent official inside that stinking muslim sh&&thole. the muslim brotherhood will inforce sharia that awill obliterate the coptic christians, the true one and only egyptians and democracy altogether all along.

    May 29, 2011 at 2:58 am | Reply
  13. Jorge

    One more thing egyptian are not an egyptian abut an arabised prostitute.only the copts are egyptians, speak egyptian, walk egyptian and think egptian..all muslims from that stinking sh-&&thole are foreigners and should leave islam so that they cna recover their own cultural and civilizational identity that is definitely NOT arabic, a foreign parasitical disease that has been destroying egypt and egyptians for far too long. HOOO!!..Have i "hurted your muslim feelings"...(of wife-beating animals, mass-murderers and suicide bombers)?'s the solution..shove islam, false prophet muhammad and his impotent pet allah up your rectum and problem solved!!

    May 29, 2011 at 3:05 am | Reply
  14. saeeda

    Muslims this is a time to open your eyes, if USA is that much worry then why they dont help Zimbabwe people and why the dont do D / attacks on Somalia pirates all africa is full of problems but USA or others the can not see that ?

    May 29, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  15. RAJ

    very educative

    May 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  16. Ted Ward

    So at last it is clearly said: all the hoopla was about democracy, and people power, but really its was just a cleverly handled soft coup within the ruling and wealthy military class.

    May 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  17. Jorge

    I wonder why CNN and fareed zakaria or becky anderson don't report this??..FEAR of reprisals from bullying thugs-muslims.stupidity, cowardice and politically correctness-sold out to islamofascism speaks louder..and the oil..the stupid stupid oil addiction when we don't even need; that poison that fuels the global jihad and the destruction and enslavement of the west into dhiminnitude :

    Algerian Christian gets five years in jail for "blasphemy"
    This story helps to demonstrate why "blasphemy" laws and other legislation curtailing free speech to shield Islam from insults and "provocations" (real or imagined) must be resisted: "While Algeria professes that it upholds religious freedom, it also embraces a blasphemy law that, by its very nature, can be used to prosecute anyone who does not adhere to the religion of Islam."

    At the end of the day, merely expressing a belief at variance with Islam is "blasphemy," and the fact that one could have the gall to think such thoughts and admit to them out loud could be construed as "insulting." That is what has happened to Siagh Krimo. "Algerian Christian Given Five Year Prison Sentence for Blasphemy," from International Christian Concern, May 27:

    Washington - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that an Algerian Christian was sentenced to five years imprisonment for blasphemy in Oran on Wednesday after sharing his Christian faith with a neighbor. The verdict came days after authorities forced the permanent closure of seven Protestant churches in Algeria's Béjaia province.
    Siagh Krimo was charged by the Criminal Court of the Djamel District in Oran, who based their decision on Article 144 bis 2 of the Penal Code which criminalizes acts that "insult the prophet and any of the messengers of God, or denigrate the creed and precepts of Islam, whether by writing, drawing, declaration, or any other means." Krimo has ten days to appeal the sentence.
    Krimo, who is married with a nine month old child, was arrested on April 14, along with another Christian, Sofiane, after sharing his Christian faith with a neighbor. Sofiane was released soon after the arrest, while Krimo was detained for three days. Krimo was known to hold weekly prayer services at his home, which Algerian Christians suspect were being closely monitored by the police.
    The prosecutor at Krimo's trial, held on May 4, failed to present as a witness the neighbor who accused Krimo of proselytizing and making defamatory statements against the Muslim prophet Mohammad. Algerian Christians were hopeful that Krimo would be acquitted of all charges. "Good news, the judge, after having invited Krimo to use wisdom and return to Islam, has ended the affair," an Algerian church leader in Tizi Ouzou told ICC on May 4. "We hope this will end well."
    The previous paragraph suggests Krimo left Islam for Christianity, though it is not stated elsewhere. In that case, he would also run the risk of being killed for apostasy from Islam, according to Muhammad's own orders.

    The prosecutor, doubtful he would win the case on so little evidence, reportedly asked the judge to have Krimo's sentence reduced to a two year imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 Algerian dinar. However, some believe that higher authorities in the Algerian government were involved in reaching the final decision. "The judge would have normally acquitted Krimo of all charges, but I think he received an order from his superiors to strike hard," said an Algerian representative of the Association of Protestant Churches (EPA).
    Krimo's sentence follows an order received by the EPA on May 22 to close seven Protestant churches in the province of Béjaia. The notice stated the churches are to be closed in accordance with Ordinance 06-03, which requires churches to obtain government permission to hold services. Though the EPA has made efforts to comply with the ordinance, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs have refused to register churches or to approve permits quickly.
    Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, "Algerian Christians have been under attack in recent weeks as laws have been increasingly enforced to discriminate against them. Earlier this week, seven churches in Béjaia were ordered to close. Now, an Algerian Christian is on the verge of being unjustly imprisoned for accusations of criticizing Islam. While Algeria professes that it upholds religious freedom, it also embraces a blasphemy law that, by its very nature, can be used to prosecute anyone who does not adhere to the religion of Islam. We urge Algeria to acquit Siagh of all charges and repeal Article 144 bis 2 of the Penal Code."

    May 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  18. Jorge

    hey zakaria..learn with the master robert spencer and stop peing a pawn serving the global jihad while pretending ther is nom such thing and that islam is a religion of peace when it is the miost evil, ruthless supremacist ideology ever to attack mankind like the black plague of the last 2 millenia:

    Egyptian military "playing both sides" between "extremists" and non-Muslims
    The Egyptian military is seeking to maintain stability through the path of least resistance, hoping to maintain the status-quo, more or less, by pursuing a policy of steam-control. In practice, the military's actions amount a process of establishing conditions for an arrangement with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is in the best position to take power after jumping through a few procedural hoops for outside consumption, like the "constitutional reforms" that were ramrodded through a hasty referendum a few weeks ago.

    The military had an incentive to rebuild the church in Imbaba in order to place a sort of "speed bump" in the path of the Salafist juggernaut. And where there is one step forward in Imbaba, there are other steps back, like those detailed below, and the cancellation of an expatriate Egyptian Christian's citizenship on the grounds that he "insulted Islam" and "showed allegiance to Judaism."

    "In Imbaba, army restores Coptic church torched by Salafis," May 27:

    Cairo (AsiaNews) – Egypt’s ruling military council is paying for the reconstruction of St Mary’s Coptic Church in Imbaba (Cairo), which was destroyed during clashes between Salafis and Christians on 8 May. Eight people died and 116 were wounded during the incident. However, sources told AsiaNews that the army was itself involved in the original violence. In fact, soldiers tend to do nothing to prevent clashes and allow the culprits to go free.
    In the past few days, artisans have been working on the Church roof. The original structure was destroyed by fire. They are also trying to repair damaged frescoes and paintings. Everything should be completed within three months.
    Church sources told AsiaNews that what the military is doing is a positive sign that can help avoid more sectarian clashes. However, there are still lingering doubts about the army’s good faith.
    “The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is acting like Pontius Pilate,” other Christian sources said. “On the one hand, they are giving a free rein to Muslim extremists; on the other, they are promoting reconciliation by rebuilding destroyed buildings.”
    A call for another ‘day of rage’ today in Tahrir Square is raising more suspicions. Small secular groups issue the announcement in order to demand a new constitution and more security in the streets.
    For their part, many Christians are afraid that they might suffer more discrimination and restrictions at the hands of Muslims.
    Also known as dhimmitude, under Sharia law.

    “Inside the government, no one is strong enough to oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist groups,” one said.
    For instance, in Ain Sheim, a neighbourhood in southern Cairo, Muslims reiterated their opposition to the reopening of the St Abraham Coptic Church, scene of sectarian violence on 19 May.
    Muslim leaders took the decision during a meeting with the local Christian community that was deserted by the military.
    On their own initiative, local Muslim authorities signed a decree that imposes the indefinite closure of the church and bans Copts from conducting any religious celebration.
    Their supporters surrounded the church and hurled stones at the Copts, and at the church.

    May 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • jasoncanada

      here we go again one more d bag retard is back with his hatefull messeges ... did you even read the whole article??

      May 31, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • Jorge

        I did read the whole article and I also read zakaria's books and many other articles..he is a muslim and a stealth jihadist..very inteligent but he has an agenda-promoting islam. He is no democrat or westerner or else he would be denouncing the source of the problem that is ISLAM itself you idiot. Go to school and take zakaria with you.do8cheb*g!

        May 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
      • jasoncanada

        i never ever seen or read anything where is trying pump up islam .. so what if he is muslim .. thats aint mean anything ...
        so if you are jewish or christian that means you are trying to promote your relgion?? yea just finishing high school and working at mcdonals or wal mart doesnt mean you are educated you fool ...
        I am not muslim or american thank God .. i am canadian .. wonder your ars wholes are hated around the world ... christians have killed more pple then anything other religion since bigning .. so calm down go shove some thing cold up ur arss .. your are just jealous he is east indian and probly makes more money in your country then your whole family lol

        May 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  19. US SLAVE

    "Egypt is still run by a military dictatorship"

    So Is The US......!

    May 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  20. Joe Keselman

    I'm a political scientist (retired), expert in authoritarian politics and revolutions, though not on Egypt, as such. However, I've been following Egypt closely since Jan. 25, reading back in time as well.
    I'm very pleased with Zakaria's piece. Finally, somebody is making sense.
    I am, however, far more pessimistic about the outcome. I think it will be illiberal for sure.
    First, Zakaria criticizes the 30% prediction for the Brotherhood. I couldn' agree more. They will overwhelm the outcome. The signs are very clear. they backed the constiutional amendments in the referendum, and the outcome was 78%, I believe. They have become more and more demading over time, I'm sure, because they sense their strength.. The liberal forces have shown they don't have a strong social following outside the urban educated groups and the Copts.
    Furthermore, and no one has pointed this out, there is clearly a tacit understanding, perhaps even explicit, between he Brotherhood and the military. As between the youth groups and the Brotherhood, the military favors the latter.And the Brotherhood, once in power, is quite capable of making a pact with the military for mutual support.
    Finally, Zakaria mentions three possible paths, those of Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey. We would all prefer for Egypt to follow Turkey's. Even here, the Turkish path is problematic, with respect to freedom of the press, it is seriously lacking, as many journalists in Turkey will attest. And, concerning Egypt, it took Turkey almost seven decades to arrive where it's at, And where will the external pressure to advance to a more democratic system come from in Egypt, for there is no equivalent of the European Union?
    All in all, Egypt will be, in all likelihood, a quasi-Islamic, pseudo-democratic, military co-dominant, illiberal state.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  21. Haddad

    My understanding is that they serve camel sh!!t on toast after the revolution . Enjoy! Mubarak was better than Jesus compared, with more than only fish and bread. Egyptians : do not worry, brotherhood Obama will soon flood the Nile with rice fields. Yea. Time to eat what you sow and you know what it is. Right?. If you cannot digest that the Muslim Brotherhood will fix your problem. They always advocate perpetual ramadan. Good for Egyptians' pathetic souls.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  22. Jorge

    ason come from a disastrous nation of multicultural rubish that is totally infected by islamic supremacism. right now in canada if any one dares to criticise islam might lose his job and even be arrested for the "crime" od using their freedom of speech. Islam is abominable you idiot, but since you, along with zakaria refuse to go to school, here comes some basic schooling for your sorry a"zz you stup+d r't'ard:
    Islam has the world's record of genocide. Its victims, over more than
    1,350 years, number in the hundreds of millions, many more than the
    victims of the Holocaust and World Communism combined. Muslim genocide is
    still ongoing in the Sudan, Ivory Cost. Mauritania, Somalia, the
    Philippines, Indonesia, and, to a lesser extent in other Muslim countries.

    "The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in
    history, bigger than the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the
    massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the
    slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish
    and Portuguese." – Francois Gautier

    More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the
    Spanish Inquisition combined. Islamic terrorists murder more people every
    day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.

    "A Muslim apostate once suggested to me a litmus test for Westerners who
    believe that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance: try making that
    point on a street corner in Ramallah, or Riyadh, or Islamabad, or anywhere
    in the Muslim world. He assured me you wouldn't live five minutes."

    Islam is at perpetual war with the non-Islamic world (the Qur'an 4:76,
    60:4). Muslims must hate
    the non-Muslims, humiliate them, distrust them, deceive them at every
    opportunity, and kill them when the situation is appropriate. This is the
    stipulation of the central doctrine of Islam. A Muslim who does not
    emulate this cardinal premise of Islam is not a Muslim at all.

    Killing, assassination, terrorism and bloodshed are the DNA codes of
    Islam. Even if the whole world converts to Islam, the true Muslims will
    continue perpetrating bloodshed. If they don't get the blood of infidels,
    they kill one another. This is the legacy of 1400 years of Islamic rule.
    The best example is Pakistan or Iraq where 97% of the population is
    Muslim, yet there is bloodshed of Muslims by Muslims. A Pakistani suicide
    bomber killed at least fifty Muslims (worshippers) while they were praying
    in a mosque on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. This is the stark proof that
    violence and killing are inseparable from Islam.

    Terrified, many non-Muslims often ask: what do the Islamist terrorists
    want? They want to convert the entire world into an Islamic Paradise.
    There is no surprise in this. During his days, Muhammad had asked the
    Muslims to terrorize the world until Islam rules supreme (Quran 3:85, 5:3,
    5:33). Qur'an exhorts the Muslims to keep fighting (with swords, not
    spiritually) until they perfect the world through Islamic purification and
    domination (Qur'an 9:5, 9:29, and 9:33). In
    reality, it means imposing on the non-Muslims (or the non-Arabs) the
    Arabic and Bedouin culture (also known as Islam) by force, murder and

    We must recognize that the real enemy is not the terrorists. Rather, it is

    "Christians believe that "love conquers all." Well, love does not conquer
    Islam." – Bill Warner

    "Just as cancer cannot be reformed... Islam can't be reformed either and
    it must be eradicated for the world to be saved." – Ali Sina

    "The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law...In an
    Islamic state, there is in principle no law other than the shar'ia, the
    Holy Law of Islam...The idea that any group of persons, any kind of
    activities, or any part of human life is in any sense outside the scope of
    religious law and jurisdiction is alien to Muslim thought." – Bernard

    "Apologizing to the Muslims for the Crusades is a complete betrayal to the
    Crusaders who sacrificed their lives to stop Muslim invasion." – Galadriel
    (anonymous evangelical Christian)

    May 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  23. Jorge

    More basic world history 101 schooling lessons for dellusional wimps like jason canada and stealth jihadist zakaria:

    The term “human being” has no meaning inside of Islam. There is no such
    thing as humanity, only the duality of the believer and unbeliever. Look at the
    ethical statements found in the Hadith. A Muslim should not lie, cheat, kill or
    steal from other Muslims. But a Muslim may lie, deceive or kill an unbeliever if
    it advances Islam.

    There is no such thing as a universal statement of ethics in Islam. Muslims are
    to be treated one way and unbelievers another way. The closest Islam comes to a
    universal statement of ethics is that the entire world must submit to Islam.
    After Mohammed became a prophet, he never treated an unbeliever the same as a
    Muslim. Islam denies the truth of the Golden Rule.

    By the way, this dualistic ethic is the basis for jihad. The ethical system sets
    up the unbeliever as less than human and therefore, it is easy to kill, harm or
    deceive the unbeliever.

    Now mind you, unbelievers have frequently failed at applying the Golden Rule,
    but we can be judged and condemned on its basis. We do fall short, but it is our

    There have been other dualistic cultures. The KKK comes to mind. But the KKK is
    a simplistic dualism. The KKK member hates all black people at all times; there
    is only one choice. This is very straightforward and easy to see.
    The dualism of Islam is more deceitful and offers two choices on how to treat
    the unbeliever. The unbeliever can be treated nicely, in the same way a farmer
    treats his cattle well. So Islam can be “nice”, but in no case is the unbeliever
    a “brother” or a friend. In fact, there are some 14 verses of the Koran that are
    emphatic—a Muslim is never a friend to the unbeliever. A Muslim may be
    “friendly,” but he is never an actual friend. And the degree to which a Muslim
    is actually a true friend is the degree to which he is not a Muslim, but a

    Non-political Islam is religious Islam. Religious Islam is what a Muslim
    does to avoid Hell and go to Paradise. These are the Five Pillars—prayer,
    charity to Muslims, pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting and declaring Mohammed to be
    the final prophet.
    But the Trilogy is clear about the doctrine. At least 75% of the Sira (life of
    Mohammed) is about jihad. About 67% of the Koran written in Mecca is about the
    unbelievers, or politics. Of the Koran of Medina, 51% is devoted to the
    unbelievers. About 20% of Bukhari’s Hadith is about jihad and politics. Religion
    is the smallest part of Islamic foundational texts.

    Political Islam’s most famous duality is the division of the world into
    believers, dar al Islam, and unbelievers, dar al harb. The largest part of the
    Trilogy relates to treatment of the unbelievers, kafirs. Even Hell is political.
    There are 146 references to Hell in the Koran. Only 6% of those in Hell are
    there for moral failings—murder, theft, etc. The other 94% of the reasons for
    being in Hell are for the intellectual sin of disagreeing with Mohammed, a
    political crime. Hence, Islamic Hell is a political prison for those who speak
    against Islam.

    Mohammed preached his religion for 13 years and garnered only 150 followers. But
    when he turned to politics and war, in 10 years time he became the first ruler
    of Arabia by averaging an event of violence every 7 weeks for 9 years. His
    success did not come as a religious leader, but as a political leader.
    In short, political Islam defines how the unbelievers are to be dealt with and

    Warner: The history of political Islam starts with Mohammed’s immigration to
    Medina. From that point on, Islam’s appeal to the world has always had the
    dualistic option of joining a glorious religion or being the subject of
    political pressure and violence. After the immigration to Medina, Islam became
    violent when persuasion failed. Jihad entered the world.
    After Mohammed’s death, Abu Bakr, the second caliph, settled the theological
    arguments of those who wished to leave Islam with the political action of death
    by the sword. The jihad of Umar (the second caliph, a pope-king) exploded into
    the world of the unbelievers. Jihad destroyed a Christian Middle East and a
    Christian North Africa. Soon it was the fate of the Persian Zoroastrian and the
    Hindu to be the victims of jihad. The history of political Islam is the
    destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa.
    Half of Christianity was lost. Before Islam, North Africa was the southern part
    of Europe (part of the Roman Empire). Around 60 million Christians were
    slaughtered during the jihadic conquest.
    Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus
    The first Western Buddhists were the Greeks descended from Alexander the Great’s
    army in what is now Afghanistan. Jihad destroyed all of Buddhism along the silk
    route. About 10 million Buddhists died. The conquest of Buddhism is the
    practical result of pacifism.
    Zoarasterianism was eliminated from Persia.
    The Jews became permanent dhimmis throughout Islam.
    In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400
    years of jihad.
    Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the
    glory of political Islam. These are the Tears of Jihad which are not taught in
    any school.

    May 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  24. KB NJ

    Very nice article – thank-you Mr. Zakaria for your efforts. One comment, though:
    "What I was struck by is how the U.S. has gotten no credit for helping in the ousting of Mubarak, which is I think quite unfair." Really? I'm not "struck" by this at all. Kudos to Obama (from a Conservative) for handling the situation extremely well, but do you honestly think Egyptians would credit the US for any of this? First, we're certainly not well liked, partly for good reason, in this region. Second, what did we actually do aside from keeping out of it and NOT supporting Mubarek? Not that we should have done more (thank-you Pres.), but we should also not expect any credit.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
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    I find it rather difficult to take anything Fareed Zakaria says too seriously after he invited the conservative airhead Ann Coulter to his show last week.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Reply
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