On Sunday, election monitors declared Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi the victor in Egypt’s first democratic election since Hosni Mubarak stepped down 16 months ago amidst the Arab Spring protests. At least one US congressman is not happy about the news, and once again has resorted to anti-Muslim rhetoric in the process.
Allen West (R-FL) took to his Facebook page and called the Arab Spring a “radical Islamic nightmare,” before proposing that the United States reaffirm support for “Coptic Christians and Israel” and cut off foreign aid for Egypt:
I call upon President Barack Obama to cut off American foreign aid to Egypt, denounce the results of this election, repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood, and all radical Islamist political entities.
West’s knee-jerk reaction to the Muslim Brotherhood completely discounts the historic significance of the Egyptian elections. As The New York Times notes, Morsi’s victory is the first sign of the emergence of an electoral democracy in a country accustomed to military rule. He is just Egypt’s fifth president, and the nation’s first from outside the military.
Perhaps more noteworthy, the ruling transitional military coucil officially recognized the outcome of the election, and are preparing to formally hand over power, a sign that the violence many feared may be avoided entirely and that, as the White House mentioned, the transition to democracy may stay on track despite numerous setbacks last week.
West also sought to tie President Obama to the election results, writing “what an incredible faux pas by the second coming of President Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration.” In fact, many Republicans initially applauded President Obama’s handling of the early turmoil in Egypt, and there is no evidence to suggest that the Obama administration’s policies helped sway the elections one way or another.
The Muslim Brotherhood has long been a bête noire for West, who sees Brotherhood infiltration even at the F.B.I. His views toward American Muslims in general, likely informed by his associations with Islamophobic groups, include other similarly wild-eyed fantasies where all Muslims are responsible for the September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda attacks on America.