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Massive protests filled the streets of Cairo in recent weeks following the announcement from new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that he was greatly expanding his powers and that they would not be subject to judicial review.
Many of the same demonstrators who demanded more freedom and the resignation of Hosni Mubarak almost two years ago angrily rejected Morsi's power grab. Eventually, Morsi relented and declared he would not pursue the expanded powers.
But before anyone expects a tidal wave of freedom in Egypt, Arabs for Israel founder Nonie Darwish warned that there's no such thing as a free Muslim country.
"The Islamic system, wherever it is, whether in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, doesn't matter. You can only have two forms of government," Darwish told WND. "It can only be a theocratic Islamist government like Iran and Saudi Arabia or a military, semi-secular dictatorship that has a double face. They appear as Muslims, but really they are tyrants."
Darwish said all these debates over whether to follow Shariah law are disingenuous because all Muslim nations officially adhere to it. The only question is whether Shariah is enforced.
"A Muslim head of state has to rule by Shariah under Islamic law, and all these constitutions in the Middle East have an article that states Shariah law is the law of the land," said Darwish. "Shariah states that any Muslim head of state that does not want to rule by Shariah becomes an apostate and illegitimate and should be removed from office. The No. 1 duty of a Muslim head of state is to do jihad against non-Muslim countries."
As a result, Darwish said any Egyptian leader pursuing policies Americans approve would run into major problems very quickly.
"If a Muslim head of state, let's say Morsi, wakes up one day and says, 'I want to be a real democrat. I want to rule for freedom, equal rights for women, equal rights for Christians, make a peace treaty with Israel and end the jihad against Israel,' what's going to happen to Morsi the next day? He's going to be assassinated, exactly like what happened to (former Egyptian President Anwar) Sadat."
The notion of Muslim liberals should not be encouraging to the U.S., either. Darwish said the popular notion is that these people are reformers, but she says that's not true at all.
"Don't be fooled by the words 'liberal Egyptians,'" she said. "Some of these liberal Egyptians are the most tyrannical and socialist, many of them are very anti-Semitic. They are not for rights. They are not for the peace treaty with Israel, and they attack any president who has good relations with America."
Darwish said Morsi has taken tremendous heat inside Egypt for getting good reviews from the United States for his role in brokering the recent Israel-Hamas cease-fire, with one newspaper calling him a "puppet of America."
Darwish noted that she is no fan of Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood but argued that he should not be forced from office now but, rather, in fair elections when his term is over.