Dissident Muslims Are the West’s Best Allies in the War on Jihadism

Just as dissidents living in the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact satellites played a key role in bringing about the fall of Communism, so, too, writes Giulio Meotti, can Muslims who speak out against radical Islamism help bring about the victory of democratic liberalism. Meotti describes some of the most prominent of these brave individuals:

Many of these dissidents are women. Shukria Barakzai, an Afghan politician and journalist, declared war on Islamic fundamentalists after the Taliban’s religious police beat her for daring to walk without a male escort. A suicide bomber blew himself up near her car, killing three. Kadra Yusuf, a Somali journalist, infiltrated Oslo’s mosques to denounce the imams, especially regarding female genital mutilation, which is not even required by the Quran or the hadith (post-Quranic traditions). . . .

[I]n France, Hassen Chalghoumi, the courageous imam of Drancy, preaches while wearing a bullet-proof vest. When he goes out on the street, he is accompanied by five police officers with semiautomatic weapons. This is not outside Baghdad’s Green Zone; this is in the heart of Paris. Chalghoumi backed the ban on burkas, made an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial, paid tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo killings, and favored a dialogue with French Jews. . . .

In Italy, an Egyptian-born writer, Magdi Cristiano Allam, is protected by bodyguards for having criticized political Islam. As the deputy editor of Italy’s leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Mr. Allam published a book whose title alone was enough to endanger his life: Viva Israele. . . .

The Palestinian blogger Walid Husayin is also a rarity. Jailed for “satirizing the Quran,” he recently published a book in France about his experience in the Palestinian territories, where his “atheism” nearly cost him his life.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: European Islam, Islam, Moderate Islam, Palestinian Authority, Religion & Holidays, Soviet Union, Women in Islam


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy