New Age Islam Edit Bureau
20 August 2015
International Readiness for War in
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
With Antiquities Scholar's Killing,
ISIL Steps Up War On History
By James Denselow
Reviving Practice Of Slavery
By Sabria S. Jawhar
Why The AKP Supports Erdogan’s Gamble
By Manuel Almeida
Hezbollah Sleeping Cells in Kuwait
Are a Wake-Up Call
Byu Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
The Questionable Legality Of Military
Aid To Egypt
The Editorial Board
International Readiness for War in Libya
19 August 2015
Inaction against extremist groups makes
confronting them more difficult and costly later. This is Libya’s situation
today, as ever since fighting began, there were many indications of the spread
of extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Ansar al-Sharia threatened to slay Burma’s
ambassador in mid-2012, but no one addressed these threats. A month later, it
attacked the U.S. consulate, killing the ambassador and three others. The
reaction was a limited U.S. commando operation raiding an al-Qaeda affiliate’s
house in Tripoli and arresting him. Four months passed before Washington put
Ansar al-Sharia on the terror list. Meanwhile, the Europeans did not act.
Extremist groups’ activities increased, and
they kidnapped the Libyan prime minister in 2013. Then at the beginning of last
year, another group kidnapped employees at the Egyptian embassy. Despite all
this, the desire to confront terrorists was lacking, perhaps in the hope that
they would just vanish! Worse, the Europeans did not support the only power
that dared declare its willingness to end chaos: the Libyan army, through
General Khalifa Haftar.
Perhaps this was a chance to develop and
manage a Libyan military power that assumes the task of uniting the county,
eliminating militias and imposing a political solution, which was already
available but unprotected. Since such a plan was not supported, the crisis grew
and the cancer of extremist groups spread.
Finally, speaking on behalf of the
Europeans, Italy’s foreign minister said in a few weeks they would have to
militarily intervene if the Libyans did not agree a political solution. The
minister brought up the possibility of expanding the international alliance
against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to include Libya. Why did
they not do so earlier when the task was easier?
Chaos in the Middle East requires
international rules of engagement. There are countries on which it may be
difficult for the international community to impose itself, no matter how weak
they are and unless the relevant governments request this intervention, such as
Yemen in the past or recently Iraq.
A few years ago, when Ali Abdullah Saleh
was still president of Yemen, the Americans gave his government two choices:
fight Al-Qaeda or they would intervene to do so. Yemen approved the presence of
U.S. drones. Iraq rejected intervention until ISIS took over Mosul then Ramadi.
As for Syria, since there is no central government, intervention happened
regardless of the regime’s objections. The problem is that military
intervention to fight terrorist groups has always come late.
Libya is vital to European security and
interests, and is a close neighbour to Europe. The European Union (EU) could
have had a clear stance that in the absence of a strong system, it was willing
to intervene in neighbouring conflict zones that affect its security.
No one favours going back to the time of
foreign interventions, but this may be the only solution amid dangerous
circumstances when systems collapse or weaken, and after approval by the U.N.
Libya is on its way to becoming another
Somalia, as the Italian foreign minister put it. However, the Europeans have
not taken the initiative for a military arrangement like the Americans did in
Worse, some European countries wanted an
amended political model based on quotas by imposing Islamic groups instead of
fully resorting to elections and despite these groups’ poor electoral performance.
The Europeans think this will improve the security and political situations.
This submission to extremists and their financial funders is what prolonged
chaos and caused the spread of ISIS.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News
Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former
editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where
he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of
Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed
has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide
recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded,
thriving and influential position it is in today.
With Antiquities Scholar's Killing, ISIL
Steps Up War On History
19 Aug 2015
In the shadow of the terrible air strikes
that rained down on a marketplace in the Damascus suburb of Douma earlier this
week killing and maiming hundreds, came another death on Tuesday that added to
Syria's death toll of a quarter of a million.
Khaled Asaad was an 82-year-old antiquities
scholar and expert in Palmyra's past. We will likely never know the details of
the story that led to his decapitated body being hung on a column in the city's
central square, his head resting between his feet with an ISIL placard strung
around his chest.
Asaad, who'd spent more than 50 years
working on the Palmyra, one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites, had been in
ISIL's custody for over a month. There is a perverse irony that upon capturing
the city, the militant group filmed the inside of the regime's notorious Tadmur
prison before blowing up the structure. ISIL appears to have replaced one
torture-death facility with another.
Why was Asaad killed? The trade in
antiquities is one of ISIL's main sources of funding. In the retreat from the
city, valuable items were moved or hidden, and ISIL perhaps suspected that
Asaad was the man who knew where the loot was.
Interestingly, unlike so many of ISIL's
killings that are promoted by the group via slick press releases and
stage-managed videos, Asaad's death was reported to the world via Syrian state
antiquities chief, Maamoun Abdulkarim, who'd had the news relayed to him by the
Despite the international horror to ISIL
tactics, its local face has always been more important to maintaining control
over such a large territory and population, and it appears that the murder of
Asaad was meant to send a message locally rather than internationally.
ISIL may be struggling to win hearts and
minds in Palmyra, and the killing of one of the city's best known scholars is
part of what Abdulkarim described as the group's "curse" on the
The killing, however, fits a wider
narrative of ISIL's "war on history". Asaad's death may have been
primarily an extortion attempt, but the group's control of past is an important
part of their narrative of present and vision of future. Relics, ruins and
history are components of ISIL's strategy of imposing a "Year Zero"
on the territory they have defined as a "caliphate".
International concern around Palmyra has
focused largely on the heritage rather than the people. When ISIL entered the
city, the potential loss of one of the region's premier historical and tourist
sites saw people who'd previously ignored the bloody conflict crying out across
the airwaves for something to be done.
This February the UN passed Security
Council Resolution 2199 that looked to crack down on ISIL's funding streams,
including "banning all trade in looted antiquities from Iraq and
History and Historians
In April, the director-general of UNESCO
reminded the world that "the deliberate destruction of heritage is a war
crime” and a national campaign has been launched under the banner: "Save
Yet, Syria's history is not just its
buildings and relics, but also those historians such as Asaad who've dedicated
their entire lives to preserving and protecting the past.
So, while new mechanisms have made it
harder - but not impossible - to smuggle antiquities and this may have had an
impact on ISIL's budget, the mechanisms, ironically, may trigger larger
destruction of ruins and items that have lost their trading value.
In June, Palmyra resident Nasser al-Nasser
told Al Jazeera that ISIL fighters have assembled explosives around several
heritage sites in the city: "We have seen them put the explosives around
several sites; we all fear they might blow these ruins up. We can confirm that
two sites have been mined."
An ancient city rigged to explode, with one
of its greatest minds butchered and on display in its central square, and yet,
international action to resolve the Syrian crisis and potentially save Palmyra
still appears to be a distant prospect.
Despite the market bombings and the killing
of Asaad, the only positive to emerge this week was rare agreement at the UN
where the Security Council has urged "a Syrian-led political process
leading to a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the
More must be done to protect the history
that Asad gave his life for and protect the future of this battered country.
James Denselow is a writer on Middle East politics and security issues
and a research associate at the Foreign Policy Centre.
Reviving Practice of Slavery
Daesh, the gangster thugs who intend to
destroy Islam with its pretzel logic of employing murder and fear as the
cornerstone of its alleged caliphate, has now hijacked our religion to justify
raping preteen girls after kidnapping and selling them into slavery.
The stunning Aug. 13 article in the New
York Times outlining the practice of sex slavery as a recruitment tool for men
to join Daesh should give Muslims pause to consider the ramifications that
these barbaric acts will have on our religion.
Daesh military leaders are claiming that it
is reviving the Islamic practice of slavery. The Times put it this way: “The
systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has
become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the
Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as
While the Times should be praised for
exposing this obscene practice, it unfortunately provides a clumsy and
inadequate explanation of the context of slavery in Islam.
The article does little to support the
inflammatory headline “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape.” It quotes two very
wishy-washy Islamic scholars who provide vague explanations of slavery in
Daesh may very well believe it’s “reviving
the institution of slavery,” but the institution of slavery they are practicing
does not exist in Islam. Slave owners in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon
him) were forbidden from dishonouring anyone let alone slaves.
According to the article, Daesh soldiers
kidnapped more than 5,000 Yazidis for the purpose of enslaving them for sex.
The practice is codified through Daesh’s alleged Islamic courts that notarize
sales contracts of slaves. They use the practice to recruit men as soldiers
“where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.”
The article sheds little light on how Daesh
has perverted Islamic jurisprudence. Slavery was a worldwide practice during
the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) 1,400 years ago. The difference
between slavery in Muslim communities and that of Europe was that in Islam
slavery was a temporary solution during and after wartime and an alternative to
imprisonment and killing. It was never a recruitment tool to enlist men into war.
A Muslim army that had won battle or
conquered a land was encouraged to take slaves instead of killing them in a war
zone or putting them in prison. The goal was to eventually set them free. This
was a highly regulated practice that required slave owners to treat slaves with
dignity, provide them food from their own tables and dress them as owners would
dress their own family. Slaves were taken from the battlefield during war, not
their homes during peacetime.
The female slave was protected and was
entitled to freedom if, in case, she became pregnant. A slave who is beaten
must be set free. Freeing slaves is seen as an act of purification and for the
sake of Allah.
While it is difficult today to wrap our
heads around the fact that there is any humane version of slavery, this system
was seen at the time as preferable to the kind of slavery practiced without
those protections in Europe and later in America. To be clear, sex slavery did
Slavery was eventually phased out in Muslim
communities. It didn’t end instantly with legislation, such as in England in
1833 and in the United States in 1865. In Muslim countries, changes in
practices do not occur suddenly because they will be resisted in society.
We see this today in the similar reactions
to same sex marriage and the banning of the Confederate flag in some parts of
the United States and just about every Muslim country that went through the
Arab Spring. For example, alcohol in Islam was banned on a gradual basis.
First, it was prohibited before prayer, but since Muslims pray five times a
day, alcohol consumption was limited until after Isha (night) prayer. Later it
was forbidden altogether.
Muslims, as with the rest of the world,
have been engaged in many wars since the time of the Prophet, yet they took no
slaves and never considered “reviving” the practice of slavery. Yet Daesh
implemented a regulated system that sanctions rape and slavery, although the
practice has no precedent in Islam. Rape as a weapon is all too common in any
war. But we can examine the conduct of Muslim soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war,
the uprisings in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and the Saudis’ battle against the
Houthis in Yemen and find no instances of government-sanctioned rape or sex
So, does Daesh possess some special insight
and the divine right to institute sex slavery while no other Muslim state has?
No, it doesn’t. Daesh have made it no secret that it wants to strike terror in
the West. It wants revenge for the Iraq war and the kidnapping of Muslims
worldwide to be held indefinitely and without trial. They say they want the
West to have a taste of its own medicine.
The actions of Daesh are the extreme in
every sense of the word. But variations of the Daesh mentality are found in
other governments. Israel kidnaps Palestinian men, women and children by
hundreds and holds them without trial. Israeli government-sanctioned killings
have been well documented and supported by anecdotal evidence from Israeli
Israeli settlers have claimed Palestinian
homes as their birthright without fear of government intrusion. The United
States has all but abandoned the constitutional right to due process. The
global community, at least in the West, does not ascribe these atrocities as
inspired by Judaism or Christianity, although elected officials often make such
pronouncements. Yet the global community labels Daesh’s atrocities as inspired
by Islam although there is no basis in Islam for its conduct.
Instead of creating a “caliphate,” the
Daesh leaders have created a state in which their sole purpose is to inflict
terror on the rest of the world.
Why the AKP Supports Erdogan’s Gamble
Among Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
characteristics is the ability to issue provocative statements guaranteed to
trigger the wrath of his political opponents. Yet last weekend in the Black
Sea’s Rize province, the words of the President of Turkey and co-founder of the
Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) struck a crucial nerve with the
opposition: “Whether it is accepted or not, Turkey’s system of government has
changed. What needs to be done now is to clarify and confirm the legal
framework of this de facto situation with a new constitution.”
Erdogan’s remarks about a de-facto presidential
system may be a fairly accurate reflection of his first year in office, during
which the president chaired cabinet meetings for the first time in the history
of the AKP. But it was quite a blunt move to admit the rules that have governed
the Turkish Republic will be shaped to suit his own ambitions. It was also an
anticipated confirmation Erdogan’s long standing goal to transform the largely
ceremonial presidential post into an executive one is at the distance of a new
election, which could give the ruling AKP a renewed majority in parliament, or
so the president hopes.
Most likely, Erdogan’s intention was to
steer even more controversy days before the last attempts to form a coalition
government, which if successful could work against his plans. As a senior
government official told Reuters, Erdogan “is getting what he wants after a
masterfully managed two months. It was clear since the beginning that in no way
did he consider any other option than single AK Party rule.”
Opposition leaders reacted vigorously.
Devlet Bahceli, leader of right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said “we
cannot tolerate a home-product Hitler, Stalin or Qaddafi. Turkey is bigger than
one person.” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP),
accused Erdogan of staging a coup the same way military officer and then
President of Turkey, Kenan Evren, prepared the ground for the 1980 military
coup he led by deposing Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel.
On Monday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
confirmed the failure of the talks with Bahceli to form a coalition government.
This followed last week’s unsuccessful talks between the leaderships of the AKP
and the CHP. Then on Tuesday evening, it was announced Davutoglu would hand
over the mandate to form a new government back to Erdogan. According the
constitution, if the prime minister is unable to form a government by August
23, the president has to dissolve the cabinet and call for the formation an
interim power-sharing government until autumn’s election.
Period Of Instability
The boldness of Erdogan’s comments is even
more striking when considering Turkey is going through its worst period of
instability in recent years. To the political deadlock add the rising violence
between the Turkish army and Kurdish militants and the ensuing collapse of the
peace process with the Kurds, as well as the growing threat from ISIS now being
bombed from Turkey’s Incirlik airbase.
However, the president clearly believes
this instability can play to his advantage. The logic is that at a time of
great uncertainty, many voters will reconsider their choice in June’s election
and recast their vote in the coming autumn election in favour of the AKP, the
party that guided Turkey toward years of prosperity and stability via
consecutive parliamentary majorities. There is also the hope among AKP ranks
that the resumption of the conflict with the Kurds can affect the electoral
results of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). In June’s election, the
HDP won 13.1 percent of the vote, surpassing for the first time in its history
the 10 percent election threshold and preventing the AKP from winning another
Given the potentially huge negative impact
of Erdogan’s high risk bet, reliant on instability, uncertainty and
polarization, do AKP’s high cadres remain united around the president’s
The divergences in both style and substance
between Erdogan and former president and co-founder of the AKP, Abdullah Gul,
are well known and the latest episodes are only likely to deepen their
differences. But despite his popularity among party cadres, Gul has largely
kept away from the party’s spotlight. Nevertheless, various Turkish analysts
believe there is growing discontent within the AKP about the impact the
president’s personal ambitions have had on the party’s poor electoral result in
Earlier this year, the influential Deputy
Prime Minister Bulent Arinc made a series of public comments quite critical of
Erdogan’s meddling in the government-led peace process with the Kurds and the
polarizing effect of the president’s approach. Another possible sign of rifts
within the AKP came in February this year, with the resignation of Turkey’s
intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan. Erdogan reacted negatively to Fidan’s
resignation, which was defended by Davutoglu. Fidan’s intention was to run for
parliament, but he ended up withdrawing his resignation in March.
Nevertheless, the AKP seems the have closed
its ranks in recent months, a move that the clout Erdogan wields helps to
explain. Above all, a public split within the AKP at this point could be fatal
for its ambitions in autumn’s election. At stake is nothing less than the AKP’s
dominant position in Turkish politics, the lure of government jobs in a new
cabinet, and the survival of the patronage network that grew around AKP’s
hegemony in Turkey. However, it is far from guaranteed that the strategy of
pushing for a new electoral round will bring the result Erdogan eagerly
Manuel Almeida is a writer, researcher and consultant on the Middle East.
He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London of Economics and
Political Science and was an editor at Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Hezbollah Sleeping Cells in Kuwait Are a
By Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Kuwait’s discovery of a massive secret
weapons cache, including rocket launchers, machine guns and grenades, in the
hands of one of Hezbollah’s sleeping cells allegedly plotting to overthrow the
government should be viewed as a harbinger of Tehran’s future malicious
intentions. An immediate response, beyond mere verbal condemnation, is needed
from GCC States.
Apparently such cells have been in
existence for 16 years awaiting the moment to strike. The Arab Times reveals
that all 25 Kuwaiti, Lebanese and Iranian suspects were trained in Lebanon and
reports that a foreign intelligence service had warned the Ministry of Interior
almost a year ago of an upcoming terror plot “against Kuwait by a sleeper cell
belonging to Hezbollah.”
Together, Gulf states make-up one
interlocking body formed on the basis of geography, common history and ties of
blood. When one of its extremities is injured the others are more vulnerable.
Therefore, all GCC member states must take the toughest measures possible to
protect their borders and to use every available tool to root out those who
would harm us.
Many expressed their surprise at Kuwait’s
lack of decisive action to thwart these kinds of threats, and I could not agree
more, given Iran’s destructive meddling in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and
Iran is the mastermind behind many regional
troubles, but Hezbollah is the implementer. Kuwait needs to get tough but its
democratic system of governance and constitution may be restraining the
authorities. Kuwaitis tend to treat their constitution with reverence but it is
not a holy book. If its civil liberties provisions endanger the country, it should
be changed to give the government a free hand to deal with individuals or
parties having dubious links to foreign governments and organisations.
Muna al-Fuzai, a Kuwaiti journalist, hit
the nail on the head when she wrote, it is imperative to “put an end to the
intervention of pro-Iranian parties in Gulf states, whether in Kuwait or other
states and those who support them...”
Indeed, if democratic freedom means opening
up ones house to enemies, however they are disguised, then who needs it! Let us
not be fooled by the illusion of western-style democracy. In my view, Kuwait’s
parliament is holding the country back from political stability, economic
growth and from adopting stringent security policies. The democratic process
permits infiltration by parties covertly serving an Iranian agenda.
Years ago, some Kuwaiti lawmakers displayed
their loyalty to Hezbollah during visits to Lebanon, appalling when one recalls
Hezbollah’s multiple attacks on targets and assassination attempts in Kuwait
during the 1980s. Kuwait should purge parliament of treasonous representatives
too cosy with Iran.
Kuwait was one of the first countries to
declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, yet the organization still manages
to remain active on Kuwaiti soil. No citizen should be allowed to jeopardize
Kuwait’s national security and anyone who does so, should face the death
Kuwait’s experiment with democracy needs
fine-tuning. In the meantime, I would ask GCC member states, in particular
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to respectfully urge Kuwait to call for a State of
Emergency in the first instance. Moreover, every Gulf State must be on alert
for Iranian plots.
Iran’s Thirst for Hegemony
Most of this region’s troubles are rooted
in Iran’s thirst for hegemony. That is known! So, the Obama administration’s
portrayal of Iran as a benign entity insults our intelligence.
We are not safer just because Iran’s
nuclear ambitions are curbed for 10 years - on the contrary, the ayatollahs
will soon be flush with $80 billion to fuel Tehran’s troublemaking regional
proxies and affiliates. Here is the evidence straight from the horse’s mouth.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will always
support the current resistance front and of course, with the nuclear agreement,
it will have more power to side with its friends in the region, said Ali Akbar
Velayati, a high Iranian official who is also the Secretary General of the
World Assembly of Islamic Awakening.
Iran and its Iranian satellite Hezbollah
have a single goal, ideological and physical domination of the Arab World, its
prime target being oil-rich GCC States. Why do Gulf countries maintain
diplomatic relations with a country that has boasted its control of Arab
capitals and used proxies to attempt to overthrow our leaderships?
The call by Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid
al-Attiyah for a dialogue between the GCC and Iran, was backed by Oman but
rightly met with deep reservations from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. Iran
is not seeking reconciliation but rather supremacy and Gulf States should not engage
with its game that amounts to a PR exercise for western consumption.
The GCC should cut all diplomatic and
economic ties with Tehran and Beirut starting with the withdrawal of
ambassadors from both Iran and Lebanon, which has recently benefited from
billions in aid from the countries Hezbollah is attacking. Its ingratitude is
Kuwait dodged the bullet this time.
Together, our leaderships must do all in their power to ensure there won’t be a
Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman
and public figure. He is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group - one of the most
successful conglomerates in the Gulf. Al Habtoor is renowned for his knowledge
and views on international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his
efforts to promote peace; and he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for
his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international
politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number
of books. Al-Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE
construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor
Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one
flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake
a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly
The Questionable Legality of Military
Aid to Egypt
Aug. 19, 2015
Egypt’s rising authoritarianism has been
met with a collective shrug in Washington, which sends Cairo $1.3 billion in
military aid each year.
One notable exception is Senator Patrick
Leahy, who is raising alarm about human rights abuses Egyptian security forces
have committed as they battle militants in the Sinai Peninsula. He recently
asked Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter whether Egypt had run afoul of
a federal law he sponsored that bars military units that have committed human
rights abuses with impunity from receiving American aid.
“According to information I have received,
the number of militants has steadily increased, due, at least in part, to
ineffective and indiscriminate operations by the Egyptian military and the lack
of licit economic opportunities for inhabitants of the Sinai,” Mr. Leahy wrote
in the July 20 letter.
Mr. Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, is
asking a rhetorical question. It is abundantly clear to the senator and Egypt
experts in the American government that Egypt’s security forces have committed
abuses with impunity in recent years. In May, the State Department told
Congress in a report that security forces have “committed arbitrary or
otherwise unlawful killings during the dispersal of demonstrators, of persons
in custody and during military operations in the northern Sinai Peninsula.”
Mr. Leahy’s point is that continuing to
enable a despotic government by shipping over American Apache helicopters,
missiles and ammunition is not only unwise but almost certainly unlawful. Mr.
Leahy points out in his letter that the Egyptian government has prevented
American government officials, journalists and human rights organizations from
traveling to Sinai to investigate because of safety concerns. The real reason
is likely that it wants to keep the evidence of its scorched-earth approach to
fighting militants hidden.
That will become even easier for Egypt now
that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt granted his government sweeping
powers to continue cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, a political
movement, and other opponents under the guise of fighting terrorism.
The new counterterrorism law, which was
formally adopted on Sunday, codifies the harsh and counterproductive approach
the government has taken toward the political opposition and establishes new
tools to stifle dissent. It will also make getting credible news about Egypt
even harder. Publishing information that is at odds with the government’s
account of military activities can now be punished with a fine of at least
The Leahy law compels the State Department
to ensure that military assistance and aid is withheld from foreign troops that
have committed abuses without being held to account. Over the years, it has
been applied rigorously in some parts of the world and largely ignored in
Mr. Leahy’s letter, by calling attention to
the fact that the law is being flouted in Egypt, should compel the Obama
administration to rethink its feckless Egypt policy. It may also prompt other
lawmakers to consider whether their continued largely unconditional support of
the Egyptian government is backfiring.
While Egypt undoubtedly faces a genuine
terrorist threat, its current approach may well be producing more militants
than the government is able to execute or lock up. The implications of that
should be of grave concern to the American government.