INSTRUCTIONS on "how to build a bomb in your mother's kitchen" were found on the computer of a man who blew himself up in a Stockholm street, a court heard today. They were contained in a publication called Inspire, described as an Al Qaeda magazine.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that broken Christmas tree lights like those mentioned in the bomb-making instructions were also found in Taimour Abdulwahab's house in Luton. Abdulwahab died in the explosion on December 11 2010 in the Bryggargatan area of the Swedish capital.
Nasserdine Menni, whose age is unknown, is on trial charged with conspiring with Abdulwahab and others to further terrorist aims, which included the use of explosive devices in the commission of an act of terrorism directed against members of the Swedish public, with intent to murder them.
Under cross-examination today, Abdulwahab's wife Mona Thwany, 29, was asked whether she had heard of Inspire magazine. She said she had read that it was an Al Qaeda magazine.
Ms Thwany was also asked about Christmas tree lights which the police found in her house, which had bits of flex cut off them. She told the court that she did not cut the flex and was unaware whether her husband or anyone else had.
Mr Taylor said: "The instructions on how to build a bomb in Inspire magazine contained details. You needed an ignitor, which could be a Christmas tree light, there were instructions on how to break the light leaving the filament intact. In your house you've got instructions to send pollen presses which turn up in Stockholm, you've got Christmas tree lights cut up to form the very bits that form the ignitors in Stockholm and you've got your bank account being used to pay for these. I suggest you knew perfectly well that your husband's objective was to kill himself in Sweden."
She replied: "No."
Menni is also charged with transferring money to or for the use of Abdulwahab, in the knowledge it would be used for the purposes of terrorism. It is alleged he conspired with Abdulwahab and others from addresses in Glasgow, Luton, Bedford, Syria, Iraq and Sweden between January 1 2003 and March 8 2011. He denies all of the charges against him.
DARNAH, Libya — Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi first took up arms nearly 20 years ago to try to bring Islamic law to Libya. He studied under the Taliban in Afghanistan, and during last year’s uprising he led a local militia council here in a city famous as a cradle of Islamic jihad.
A Fork in the Road
Articles in this series are exploring the rise of political Islam in the Middle East, as Islamic movements struggle to remake the Arab world.
Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, a jihadi turned politician, says, “There is no reason for weapons now.”
But now Mr. Hasadi has refashioned himself as an eager politician running for local office, looking to the ballot box to promote his Islamic values. “There is no reason for weapons now,” he said. “Words are our weapons. Politics needs politics. It doesn’t need force.” [same goal, different means]
In the same town, Sufian bin Qumu leads a militia that flies the black flag of militant Islam. A former truck driver for Osama bin Laden who spent six years as a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Qumu says the Koran is the only constitution he knows. He insists that he will remain armed until Libya adopts a Taliban-style Islamic government.
“I lived in Kabul, in Afghanistan, when it was under Islamic law,” he said approvingly in a recent local radio broadcast that has been his only public statement. “If an Islamic state is established here, I will join it.”
In an unfolding contest here over the future of the Islamist movement, Mr. Hasadi’s vision of peaceful change appears ascendant. For the West, his success may represent the greatest promise of the Arab Spring, that political participation could neutralize the militant strand of Islam that has called thousands to fight and die in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. [Kirkpatrick consistently misreads what he reports on, and makes baseless comments, unsupported by the evidece, from Egypt and now from Libya. It is not reporting to write: "his success may represent the greatest promise of the Arab Spring" but something else].
That hope for democracy,[that is, the naive hope, which by now ought to have been completely dashed, of such people as David Kirkpatrick] ] however, is now imperiled by lawlessness in Libya, signs of sectarian war in Syria and military rule in Egypt. In Egypt, especially, the generals’ attempts to thwart an Islamist electoral victory could validate militant arguments about the futility of democratic reform.
Some in the West fear militants will find new staging grounds. In Darnah, which the United States Army says sent more jihadis to fight the United States in Iraq than any other town its size, Mr. Qumu and other militants still command a following, according to local officials and residents. Many blame Islamist militants for a spate of violent crimes, including the bombing of Mr. Hasadi’s empty Mercedes-Benz.
But many former jihadis here say they have put their faith in elections, starting with a vote for a Libyan national assembly expected next month.
“We want our politics to be like Israel,” said Mosab Benkamaial, 25, referring to the Jewish state’s melding of religious identity and electoral democracy. Mr. Benkamaial, who was captured by United States troops in Baghdad, now runs Darnah’s most popular restaurant, a kebab grill called Popeye’s.
Other prominent Libyans who once traveled abroad to fight in the name of Islam are also moving in the same direction. Abdel Hakim Belhaj led an Islamist insurgency in Libya, fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and later joined the Taliban before the C.I.A. captured him in Malaysia. The leader of the Tripoli Military Council, he has founded a political party modeled after Turkey’s loosely Islamic governing party.
“We are not an Islamist party,” said Anas al-Sharif, a former spokesman for the Islamist insurgency.
There are, however, still signs of division among Darnah’s jihadis. During last year’s rebellion, graffiti proclaimed “No to Al Qaeda.” Now the word “no” is blacked out. A few weeks ago, after Mr. Hasadi spoke at a mosque about the coming elections, militants blew up his car.
“For sure we have extremists,” said Mohamed el-Mesori, 52, who leads the local governing council. “There are people who are not with Hasadi because he speaks about democracy and elections,” he said, adding: “Sufian bin Qumu is not yet convinced of that, but we think he is open. People are trying to show him that this is the only way to convince people of your ideas.”
Surrounded by mountains pocked with deep caves, Darnah has been a natural center of guerrilla resistance since the Ottoman Empire. In the 1980s, some of its young men joined the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan, then returned in the 1990s to form the core of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which for a brief time threatened Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.
After its defeat, many, including Mr. Qumu and Mr. Hasadi, fled to Afghanistan.
Most remain deeply suspicious of the West. “So far I have never seen anything good in American politics,” said Mr. Benkamaial, the restaurateur, who spent years in a United States-run prison in Iraq.
Approached by a Libyan intermediary working for The New York Times, Mr. Qumu shouted “Go to hell!” through his door. “I was in Guantánamo for six years, and the Americans weren’t interested in talking to me! Why would I talk to an American now?”
Mr. Qumu, who completed only the seventh grade, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1993 for a drug crime. He escaped, according to government records, and fled to Sudan, where he first fell in with Bin Laden.
He was captured in 2002 by Pakistani intelligence and taken to Guantánamo Bay. In 2008, he was transferred to a Libyan prison.
Now Mr. Qumu has become a lightning rod for fears of renewed Islamist violence, especially among followers of unconventional schools of Islam.
Ultraconservatives who sat out the revolt for religious reasons say they live in fear of the armed jihadis. “My heart is in pain,” said an ultraconservative imam, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Sufis — Muslim mystics — say militants destroyed their place of worship. One prominent Sufi psychiatrist said that Mr. Qumuvisited to argue about Islamic law on beards. “Grandiose,” said the doctor, Monsifa Moussa.
When Mr. Qumu appeared on the radio program in January, callers accused him of ordering killings and harboring foreign fighters, and they demanded to know why he had not taken a more active role in civic life like Mr. Hasadi. “What is it about the city that Sheik Sufian doesn’t like?” one asked.
He pleaded for acceptance, reminding callers of his years in isolation in Guantánamo Bay. “If I speak about it now, you will not hold your tears.”
He said he did not order killings — “You have to be an emir to give such orders” — and would never force women to wear a veil. “Out of the question!”
It is impossible to know how many in Darnah stand behind Mr. Qumu. But some former jihadis and others in their milieu seem embarrassed by his views. “They think they are the only real Muslims in the city,” said Faris el-Ghariani, 32.
Others were open to compromise, like bending the current prohibition to allow alcohol in tourist hotels. “We want Islamic law, but we also want help from the West,” said Mahir el-Musmari, 37, who traveled to Iraq to fight after the American invasion. “We will have to meet halfway.”
Mr. Hasadi, the jihadi turned politician, boasted that he had just asked a woman to become his fourth wife. He recommended that the West try Islamic corporal punishments, like cutting off thieves’ hands, as a deterrent.
But he is trying to broaden his appeal. Once a schoolteacher, he leads prayers at a local mosque, hosts television and radio programs and courts the local and international news media. He says the Taliban were wrong to restrict the careers of women (they will vote in Libya).
He and Mr. Qumu remain friends, Mr. Hasadi said, and he was working on persuading Mr. Qumu to trust in democracy and lay down his weapons, or at least take down the jihadi flag over his compound.
“You are sullying our image,” Mr. Hasadi said he had told him. “It is fine to have that flag, but if it scares people, why do you have it? You can’t do anything. Why not leave this place?”
What price glory? At a guess, beauty plus 20 per cent. From behind the apartheid paywall of the Sunday Times:
BRITAIN’S mountains, lakes, rivers and beaches are to be given an economic value under plans by George Osborne to audit the entire nation, including its landscape.
He has ordered that Britain’s natural features, from Lake Windermere to Brighton’s beaches, should be valued by economists and accountants appointed by the Treasury.
The aim is to find out how much such assets are worth to the nation, with a value placed even on intangibles such as the beauty of a landscape.
Details of the plan were revealed by Caroline Spelman [...]:
“We want to put the value of nature at the heart of our decision making because a healthy, natural environment is the foundation of sustained economic growth,” she said.
If some of our poets had known this, they might have written with a little more precision. How many golden daffodils in a host? And how many birds in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire? Adlestrop will never be at the heart of our decision making, haycocks notwithsanding.
Financial news just in: the South Downs are up, the Trough of Bowland is peaking, the Peak District has troughed and Cornwall has gone off a cliff.
Cairo (CNN) -- Mohamed Morsi was declared the new president of Egypt on Sunday, following the first democratic election in Egypt's history.
Now let the Muslim Brotherhood rule, and misrule, and make a mess of things, without the Western world, and the ever-miscalculating Americans, sending billions to help it. Let all Western aid be withdrawn, and let the Egyptians, and other Arabs and Muslims, have a chance to see whether or not "Islam is the solution" or whether, in fact, it is Islam, its teachings, its attitudes, its atmospherics, that explain the political, economic, social, intellectual and moral failures of Muslim states and Muslim societies.
No one in the non-Muslim world should do a thing to rescue the Muslim Brotherhood,and the troglodytic Morsi (or whoever may be manipulating, or think he is going to manipulate, Morsi), that stolid and dull and primitive man.
His years in America did not cause him to think, apparently, about the effect of Islam on the wellbeing of Egyptians. His American experience only made his pre-existing deep believe in Islam even stronger. He engaged in mediocre studies, he wrote a mediocre thesis of the most mechanical and third-rate kind. And the .ressentiment he surely felt during his American stay, where at every step his own mediocrity was made apparent (not least in that he had no shining career here awaiting him, and he had to return to Egypt) caused him to seek solace even more in the Islam he always carried with him, and to believe that "Islam is the answer."
It's a repetition of the Iranian revolution, with the same naive people on the left -- remember Abolhassan Bani-Sadr? remember Ghotbzadeh? -- thinking that anything, anything, was better than the Shah.
One hopes that the Egyptian military will simply watch, and wait for the Muslim Brotherhood to make a mess, and the quicker and more complete that mess, the better. And then it will be a time for a military rescue, and ideally for a junta of officers who, unlike the demagogue Nasser, will understand that the enemy for Egypt is represented not by a bogeyman West, but by the ideology of Islam itself, which must be csystematically constrained, and undermined relentlessly by being exposed to critical scrutiny, for everything it does, and has done, for a millennium, to limit the possibliities, in every direction, for people who live in societies where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule.
Reading of Government plans to put a price on every valley, mountain and hill in Britain, I wondered what will happen to Britain plc stock when every valley is exalted, and every mountain and hill made low. Or worse still, the crooked straight? But first, as you will see from my post title, I thought of Hills of the North Rejoice, and wondered if this hymn was still sung. The answer is yes, but it has been devalued, as Catherine Rowett laments:
The English Hymnal didn't have Charles Edward Oakley's hymn "Hills of the North Rejoice" in it.
Nor does the New English Hymnal have it.
But the New English Hymnal has a kind of fraudulent version that is apt to catch you unawares. There's a hymn in that book that begins "Hills of the North Rejoice" and if you're not on your guard, you'll think you're going to be lucky, when hymn 7 is announced, and that you're going to be treated to those lovely bits about "river and mountain spring", "deep in your coral caves", "lulled be your restless waves", "soon shall your sons be free", and "Shout while ye journey home!".
But look out! Don't let them sell you a counterfeit. The version you'll get if you're in a NEH church won't give you any of that. All those lines have been torn out (and not just those). In fact what you'll get from the NEH is not Oakley's hymn at all, but a kind of low grade pastiche, written by the EDITORS. (According to the book it's based on something by Oakley, and indeed the first line of every verse is plagiarised from Oakley's "Hills of the North", but nothing else remains of that hymn, apart from a very badly distorted version of the last verse).
Let's do a few comparisons:
Verse 1. Here's what we should get:
Hills of the North, rejoice;
River and mountain spring,
Hark to the advent voice;
Valley and lowland, sing;
Though absent long, your Lord is nigh;
He judgment brings and victory.
Here's what we get instead from the EDITORS:
Hills of the North Rejoice
Echoing songs arise,
Hail with united voice
Him who made earth and skies:
He comes in righteousness and love,
He brings salvation from above.
Now why do that? The point of "river and mountain spring" was that it was supposed to be something typical of the northern lands (as the rest of the verses had something typical of the other corners of the compass). Cut that out and the whole point of the hymn is lost. Well, guess what? The editors have cut all those out. So why, I ask you, are we singing about hills of the north and so on? Why?
And here's another puzzle. Why have they cut out the reference to the advent voice? And why have they cut out the reference to the "absent long" and to the judgement? Don't they understand that advent is about the Lord coming in judgement? Why do we substitute righteousness, love and salvation for judgement and victory? Is it that the editors, doubtless themselves inhabitants of these northern hills, don't much fancy having the Lord come in judgement? No, I should think they don't...
Now take a look at verse 2. Here's what it should say:
Isles of the southern seas,
Deep in your coral caves
Pent be each warring breeze,
Lulled be your restless waves:
He comes to reign with boundless sway,
And makes your wastes His great highway.
Here's the Editors' rather sad pastiche in place of verse 2:
Isles of the Southern seas,
Sing to the listening earth,
Carry on every breeze
Hope of a world's new birth:
In Christ shall all be made anew,
His word is sure, his promise true.
Gone are the coral caves. But what does it mean "sing to the listening earth"? What? And what has happened to the idea that Christ at his coming in judgement will still the waves and stop the winds? Wasn't that rather a picturesque and imaginative motif? And notice the loss of that biblical image of making the waste places plain and the highway for the coming of the Lord.
Well, I could go through verse by verse. Let's just observe that Oakley's authentic verses about the East ("on your dark hills, long cold and grey...") and the West ("ye that have waited long, unvisited unblest") get their delicate beauty partly from the neat way in which they sum up something of the history of Christianity and its transmission to lands that had a prior history before the arrival of Christianity. They get their beauty from the combination of that senstivity to the history of these lands, combined with a sense that the Second Coming will be to all, and that all will be gathered into the City of God without prejudice concerning their origin or how late they came to Christianity. All of that is, of course lost, in the new version, and no doubt those features have been deliberately lost, probably because the editors couldn't understand the meaning and thought it expressed a kind of racism.
Yet it wasn't Oakley who was racist. It's the NEH editors. Just take a look at the last verse.
Here's verse 5 in the NEH version:
Shout, as you journey on,
Songs be in every mouth,
Lo, from the North they come,
From East and West and South.
In Jesus all shall find their rest,
In him the sons of earth be blest.
Aside from the sexist language "sons of earth" which was not there in Oakley's original, and the fact that they can't do punctuation, you'll see that in this verse the words are spoken by a third party observer. As we sing this hymn we do not identify with the people coming from the four corners of the earth: rather we stand apart and comment that "they" are coming from funny far away places. And we order them to shout. But we, we are somehow out of it. Superior? People from the ancient lands that got there first? Or what?
Not so in Oakley's. No, for Oakley we belong to a great fellowship of members from all corners of the globe and we are all summoned together into God's kingdom, despite the fact that we were (all of us) so late receiving the gospel. In Oakley's version it is "we" who journey home, not "they", and the you in "shout while ye journey home" is us addressing each other; it is thus "we" who have songs in our mouth, not "you" or "they". We are all arriving together; we are drawn from all corners into Christ's undivided kingdom. "Lo from the North we come, from East and West and South". This is precisely not racist: we are all in it together and we all become free from having been bondsman:
Shout, while ye journey home;
Songs be in every mouth;
Lo, from the North we come,
From East, and West, and South.
City of God, the bond are free,
We come to live and reign in thee!
I have to say that I can't really imagine why this bizarre surgery has been carried out on an innocent hymn, which was very much a favourite with many ordinary sound and upright Christians. But this much is clear: the finished product is not only entirely lacking in the poetic imagery of its superior model, and in any theological significance or content, but has also introduced a quite offensive selection of racist and sexist thinking, that was entirely lacking from its predecessor's rather elegant egalitarianism.
Martin Kramer: Memorable Quotes On The Muslim Brotherhood
Memorable quotes: a nostalgic medley.
• Marc Lynch (Muslim Brotherhood putting forward a presidential candidate “will reveal itself to be a strategic blunder”) http://on.fb.me/MOlklz
• Tom Friedman (“The popular trend is not with the Muslim Brotherhood”) http://on.fb.me/MOkBRk
• Juan Cole (“that almost certainly hurt the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood in the upcoming elections“) http://on.fb.me/LJKrDi
Try to find something -- anything -- in the article re-posted below that you have not read a thousand times before. At the end, what new information has been conveyed, or what original analysis offered, or what striking aperçu offered to make things clearer, or even what turn of phrase has been so memorable that it made an otherwise empty article worth reading? Find even one.
There is nothing, not one thing, in this article that has not been said, and that you have not read, a thousand times before. There is nothing about Egypt, its possiblities, its choices, its future, or about American policy, and what it should or could be, or a thing about Islam -- though the Muslim Brotherhood is all about Islam. Instead, the climax of this nikomy ne nuzhnaya stat'ya (not-needed-by-anyone article) is the obvious: that the military can fight back to contain the Ikhwan, as it did in Algeria, or it can allow itself to slowly stripped of its power, as in Turkey. It is clear that Feldman, who apparently sees nothing wrong with the latter, has no idea of what the MB will mean for Egypt. But why should he? His entire professional life -- until he attempted to do a presto-chango makeover, not successful, I'm afraid, into a "scholar of American constitutional law" -- has been one of misunderstanding Islam, its ideology, its meaning, its menace. The titles of two of his books give you some idea; "After Jihad" and "What America Owes Iraq." And now he clearly thinks the military should relinquish its power, and let the Ikhwan have its way and sway.
He's beyond, apparently, taking in and making sense of things. Too far gone. The next time the Harvard Law Faculty decide to rush to hire "an expert on Islmaic law," they might do well not to rely on the recommendations of John Esposito or Roy Mottahedeh, but on Hans Jansen, or Bernard Lewis, or a dozen others, in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who would have seen through the likes of Noah Feldman in a minute.
From The Washington Post:
Egyptian election crisis
The Muslim Brotherhood and the military need to find common ground soon
By Noah Feldman, Washington Post
June 24, 2012
Image Credit: AP
Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for president, Mohammad Morsi, attend Friday prayers in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 22, 2012. Egypt’s ruling military council on Friday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for raising tensions by releasing presidential election results early and insisted its recent decisions that granted the generals sweeping powers were necessary for running the country.
From the moment the Egyptian regime was toppled in February 2011, the nation’s military and its Islamic democrats were set on a collision course. Now we’re seeing the crash. Aided by a Constitutional Court ruling rolling back parliamentary elections, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has dissolved parliament and appointed 100 ‘experts’ to write a new constitution.
For good measure, the military stripped the powerful Egyptian presidency of existing powers — just in time, because the next day it became clear that Mohammad Mursi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, had won the presidency.
Parliament plans to convene this week with its own constitutional committee. Egypt is far beyond constitutional crisis: It is teetering on the edge of collapse. For those who greeted last year’s Arab Spring with excitement and optimism, it may be surprising that the central conflict in Egyptian politics is between the military and the Islamists.
After all, it was a cross-section of Egyptian society, galvanised and to some degree led by young secularists, that brought the country to a standstill and a long-serving dictator to his knees.
Article continues below
In demanding freedom, Egypt seemed to have reclaimed its historic position at the vanguard of the Arab world. But experienced observers knew that the Egyptian situation was far more complicated than it seemed from watching the grave and joyful protesters in Tahrir Square.
For one thing, the protesters didn’t actually bring down Hosni Mubarak, the former dictator who suffered a stroke on Tuesday. By refusing to leave the square even under intense and violent pressure from the police, they weakened the president drastically. It was the army that delivered the coup de grace.
The night before Mubarak was forced from office, he was still insisting that he could stick it out. Alone, the protesters probably could not have forced him to resign. By declaring Mubarak’s presidency over, the military asserted that it was ultimately in charge. This decision to jettison Mubarak did not stem from ideals, but rather from the fact that Mubarak was aging and there was no easy transition in sight.
The military council was gambling that it could ride out the wave of public unrest more effectively without the figurehead of traditional autocracy.
As for the Islamists, they rallied to the cause of the Arab Spring only very late in the game — after it became clear that their absence would permanently damage their credibility with the public. The Muslim Brotherhood knew perfectly well that most of the people in Tahrir Square were not its constituents.
Nearly a century of resistance to Egypt’s succession of corrupt monarchs and autocrats had taught the Brothers that quiescence, not revolt, was the way to stay alive. Yet the Brotherhood came up with a brilliant strategy for the medium term: to gain power through democratic action.
A protest movement, no matter how broad-based, is not the same as a formal election. Demonstrations involve speaking up, spontaneous action and bravery. Politics requires deep organisation, legwork and stolid respectability.
The Brotherhood believed, correctly, that regime change would lead to an election. And they knew they could shine. Since the Algerian elections of 1990, Islamic democrats had won the majority of the seats they contested in every even modestly free election in the Arabic-speaking world.
The Brothers were lucky. The peaceful revolutionaries of Tahrir Square were instinctual democrats. Whether out of sincerity, naivete or a combination, they demanded elections that were sure to deny them power. The military went along. The Brotherhood won the biggest share in the parliament — and now it has won the presidency, too.
So the army represents the traditional power structure in Egypt, and the Brotherhood represents the will of the people as it would be defined in an ordinary democracy. Their clash is the real thing: a head-to-head confrontation between autocratic force and popular majoritarianism. Its resolution will determine, to a great extent, the future of democracy in the entire Arab world. It will determine once and for all whether the Arab Spring was real.
The struggle could be peacefully resolved in several ways — none very likely. The Brotherhood could fold, accepting the position of token power under the thumb of the military. This would mean sacrificing credibility as well as ideology. If the Brotherhood were to accept such a wholly a subordinate position, it would squander its historic opportunity to marry religious legitimacy with constitutional democracy — its goal for the past two decades.
Alternatively, in a perfect Brotherhood world, the public would return to the streets in opposition to the army and the Supreme Council could back down. The difficulty is that a substantial minority — 48 per cent — of Egyptians voted for the military’s preferred presidential candidate, Ahmad Shafiq.
Given the extent of its public support, there is little reason for the army to go gently. Nor will it be content to control a US-bankrolled military fiefdom — the generals know that over time, the Brotherhood will try to change the army by urging the promotion of younger, Islamist officers.
There is one model for compromise between the Brotherhood and the military, in which genuine power-sharing subsists over time: Turkey since the Justice and Development Party took power in 2002. The Turkish military has gradually lost its controlling place in government, a fact the Supreme Council will not ignore.
Egyptians would also do well to recall the example of Algeria. After the first contemporary Arab democratic experiment took place there two decades ago, the military reacted to Islamist victory by reversing the electoral results and declaring martial law. The war that followed lasted for years. More than 100,000 people were killed in vicious guerilla fighting.
Unless the Brotherhood and the military can find common ground soon, Egypt will be on a similar path.
L'affiche du second tour de la présidentielle en Egypte a de quoi frustrer la jeunesse du Caire. Elle qui a fait la révolution pour écrire une page nouvelle et se retrouve à devoirchoisir entre deux vieux démons : Ahmed Chafik, ancien premier ministre chargé de la répression, et Mohamed Morsi, le candidat intégriste des Frères musulmans.
Les démocrates laïques envisagent le boycottage, mais pas l'inaction. La place Tahrir est de nouveau investie. Le quartier général de campagne du candidat des militaires a été incendié, le compte Twitter des Frères musulmans piraté. Dans les urnes, le parti a reculé depuis la consultation des législatives.
Même s'ils restent en tête, les Frères ont perdu bien du crédit en donnant le sentiment de composer avec les militaires. Rien de très nouveau. La confrérie a toujours louvoyé entre opposition radicale de façade et négociations politiciennes de coulisses, sous le protectorat et la monarchie. Nasser, qui avait compris leur jeu, leur offrit le rôle de martyr en les réprimant d'une façon terrible, jusqu'à faire oublier que les démocrates laïques étaient aussi emprisonnés et torturés...
Encore aujourd'hui, les intégristes restent les mieux organisés, grâce à leurs mécènes et à leur réseau de mosquées, pour apparaître comme la seule alternative. Notamment dans les campagnes, misérables, où ils sont parfois les seuls à assurer un semblant d'Etat. Il suffit de peu dans un pays qui compte plus de 70 % d'analphabètes et 42 % d'habitants vivant avec moins de 2 dollars par jour... A la vue de ces chiffres, nul ne pouvait douter qu'une révolution profiterait, dans un premier temps, aux Frères musulmans.
Dans le scénario imaginé par leur fondateur, Hassan Al-Banna, ses envoyés allaient convertir en profondeur plusieurs peuples et fairetomber, comme un fruit mûr, les régimes en place. Héros de cette nouvelle "indépendance" et moteur d'une internationale islamiste, ils se voyaient gouverner pour plusieurs décennies et mettre en place leur credo : "Le Coran est notre Constitution." Lentement mais sûrement, ce scénario se réalisait, jusqu'à l'accident. Ce jour où l'Histoire a trébuché et où toute une jeunesse - pas seulement islamiste - s'est soulevée.
Tout est possible
C'est le paradoxe que ne comprennent pas ceux qui regardent ce "printemps" et son "automne" comme le scénario du pire. Les islamistes, c'est vrai, n'ont jamais été si présents dans tous les gouvernements du monde arabe... Mais la dynamique des décennies à venir n'est plus entièrement de leur côté. Une autre voie se dessine enfin, portée par une jeunesse connectée à Internet, dévoreuse de débats contradictoires, et bien décidée à transformer ces révolutions en chemin vers la démocratie réelle, c'est-à-dire l'alternance.
Si la première génération de gouvernements issus de ces élections rend les clés en fin de mandat, tout est possible. Les islamistes se frottent déjà à la dure réalité du pouvoir et de la responsabilité. Leurs belles promesses se fracassent sur l'autel de la crise économique.
Voiler les femmes ne suffira pas à faire oublier le chômage à l'origine des révoltes. Le feu n'est pas éteint. Il couve sous les cendres et peut repartir à tout instant. La seule question est quand ?