Monday, January 31, 2011

Today, we're focusing on Egypt – will the revolution lead to another Islamist Republic like Iran circa 1979, or to some kind of non-Islamist reformed democracy?  Will the revolution that began in Tunisia on December 17, 2010 with the "Slap Heard Round the World" spread to Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, etc.?  Maybe the Middle East "hates" us because our "friends" have been brutal dictators (the Shah, Mubarak, etc.).  42% of Egypt's 80 million people live in poverty.  How do we prevent the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood from co-opting this revolution in Iran the way that the Shi'ite Ayatollah Khomeini did in Iran in 1979?

400-408 – Joel Rosenberg ( former communications advisor to the once-former and now-current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and million-selling author of such page-turners as The Last Jihad, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll, Dead Heat, Epicenter, and Inside The Revolution – is now out with his new book The 12th Imam.  Today, we talk about what's happening in Egypt.  You can watch Joel's "Rapid Response Videos" at

• Joel C. Rosenberg (NRO Blog, 1/31/2011) In Egypt, Radicals and Reformers Battle for Control of a Movement.

In Inside the Revolution, I used three categories to outline the range of players in the region, who they are and what they want:

The Radicals are extremist Muslims who want to overthrow every regime from North Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia and replace them with Islamist dictatorships who believe that "Islam is the answer and jihad is the way." These include groups such as al-Qaeda, Iranian Twelvers, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

The Reformers are moderate Muslims who say that "Islam is the answer, but jihad is not the way; we need more freedom, more openness, more protection of human rights and civil rights, free elections, free markets, and the creation of full-blown Jeffersonian democracies, if at all possible." This category would include Kemal Ataturk; Anwar Sadat; Jordanian kings Hussein and Abdullah II; Moroccan king Mohammed VI; Jalal Talabani and Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq; and the popular pro-democracy movement in Iran.

The Revivalists are former Muslims who say that "Islam is not the answer, jihad is not the way, Jesus is the way — and the only way for our part of the world to move forward and make real and lasting social, economic and spiritual progress is to skip back in our history before Islam and revive what we once had: first-century, New Testament Christianity." These tend to be apolitical and are focused on evangelism, discipleship, church planting, pastor training, and spiritual renewal. Their numbers have swelled into the millions since 1979, despite widespread (and recently intensifying) persecution.

These are the revolutionary forces in the region, people and movements who push for dramatic, sweeping change. Then there is another set of important players:

The Resisters tend to be secular Arab-nationalist leaders who oppose significant change of almost any kind. They may be Muslims, but they don't want to build an Islamic empire. They want to build their own empires. They want to hold onto the power, wealth, and prestige that they currently have, and gain more if they can. They strongly oppose revolutionary movements. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is a classic Resister; so are Syrian president Bashar Assad, Libyan leader Moammar Ghadaffi, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, and, in his time, Saddam Hussein.

The Reticent tend to be weak-willed Arab leaders who seem constantly pulled in opposite directions. They don't have strong convictions. At times they appear to want peace with Israel or a modicum of political or social reform, but then other forces push back at them and they waffle or change their tune. At the moment, Mahmoud Abbas is the best example of a Reticent leader.

● Finally, and most importantly, are the Rank-and-File — these are the billion-plus everyday Muslims citizens who work hard, play by the rules,  and try to find decent jobs so they can feed and educate their families. They long for more freedom and opportunity, but mainly they keep their heads down and try not to be interfered with. They are the audience to which the revolutionaries are playing. They are watching the battle between the Radicals and the Reformers, and they are increasingly curious about the message of the Revivalists. And some of them are making their move and joining one of the revolutionary movements. 

• Victor Davis Hanson (NRO Corner, 1/31/2011) 1979 Redux?

• AP (1/31/2011) Egypt opposition calls for 1 million on streets.

• AP (1/31/2011) More Than 2,400 Americans Seek Ride on Evacuation Planes Out of Egypt.  There are 52,000 registered Americans currently in Egypt.

• Peter Wehner (Commentary, 1/31/2011) The Slap Heard Round the World.

// How hopeful or fearful one feels about the unfolding events in Egypt depends in large measure on which revolutionary model one believes applies to this situation. Is it the French, Russian, or Iranian revolution, which ended with the guillotine, gulags, and an Islamic theocracy; or the American Revolution and what happened in the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Chile, and Argentina, authoritarian regimes that made a relatively smooth transition to self-government? Or is it something entirely different? //

413-423 – Joel Rosenberg

428-437 – Hormoz Shariat, "the Billy Graham of Iran," is the founder of Iran Alive Ministries ( he founded the Iranian Christian Church up in the Bay Area in 1987 which has now grown to four locations and over 400 members – all converts from Islam.  Hormoz is also the host of ICTV, a Christian call-in show in Farsi, beamed into Iran via satellite, where thousands each week make the decision to follow Jesus Christ.  In 1979, he was in the streets of Iran chanting "Death to America" as a good radical Muslim, then he came to USC to get a Ph.D. in computer engineering.  He was spiritually empty, with a divorce date set, and he reads the Koran one more time, not getting any direction.  Then he read the Gospel of Matthew and was confronted with the person of Jesus.  As a result, he came to faith in Christ at Church of the Open Door here in LA.  He's happily married, and lives in the Bay Area, with his three children.  Today, Iran has a population of 70 million, and 70% or 49 million of the them are under the age of 30.

443-452 – Hormoz Shariat,

458-508 – Brigitte Gabriel, author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It, and the founder of, now with 500 chapters across the country, 37 here in California, and a total of 160,000 members, with a full-time lobbyist on capitol hill!  Brigitte's thesis is that Iran is behind all of the unrest throughout the Middle East, that the Muslim Brotherhood is one of their pawns, and they are seeking chaos in hopes they can fill the power vacuum and establish the beginnings of a global caliphate led from Tehran, as they await their Mahdi.

512-523 – Brigitte Gabriel,

528-539 – Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (, an organization "committed to demonstrating the synergy of American democracy and its founding principles with the religion of Islam," is a former Navy Lieutenant Commander in the Medical Corps, former president of the Arizona Medical Association, and today is an Internist in private practice in Phoenix.  Check out the excellent documentary he narrates, The Third Jihad (

544-554 – Dr. Zuhdi Jasser,

558-608 – Tom Doyle, Director of International Ministries and Middle East Specialist for E3 Partners (, "Equip, Evangelize, Establish"), and author of Breakthrough: The Return of Hope to the Middle East (

612-623 – Tom Doyle,

628-639 – Calls

• Breitbart (1/31/2011) US issues terrorist warning for citizens worldwide.

644-656 – Calls

• Peter Wehner (Commentary, 1/31/2011) Why Is Jim Wallis Polishing the Windows on His Glass House?