Friday, December 21, 2012

Egypt on Verge of Becoming a ‘Totalitarian Islamist State’


Middle East expert Walid Phares says this weekend’s vote on a new Egyptian constitution is part of a broader strategy by President Mohammed Morsi to transform the country into a “totalitarian Islamist state” like Iran.

“They forced the referendum on Egyptians without judges, monitors, and under the pressure of their street militias,” explained Phares, an advisor to the anti-Terrorism Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.

“That's what the forces of civil society are seeing today. Egypt is divided between the Islamists and the rest of the country.”

Following the first round of a two-stage referendum, Egyptians narrowly voted in favor of a constitution shaped by Islamists but opposed by other groups who fear it will divide the Arab world's biggest nation, according to officials in rival camps speaking to the Associated Press.

As of late Sunday afternoon, Phares said that the results showed an approval margin of nearly 60 percent for the referendum, which he said may be even higher when all the votes are counted.

“The opposition, including 80 percent of Egypt's judges and elections bureaucracies have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of rigging the process,” asserted Phares, who served as a senior advisor on foreign policy to the Romney campaign.

The decades-old Brotherhood is the region's largest and best-known fundamentalist Islamic organization, one that gave rise over the years to such terrerorist organizations as al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad.

“For example large areas known to be liberals saw their ballot boxes being removed, their votes canceled,” said Phares. And he said that Egypt’s separate voting centers for women were staffed primarily by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

“The bottom line is that the results of the referendum in Alexandria, Cairo, and major cities has been in favor of Morsi and his constitution,” said Phares, who authored "The Coming Revolution." “Technically, the measure is passing, despite the fierce opposition by seculars and liberals.”

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