Mideast Expert Phares: Egyptian Turmoil Could Push It Into Jihad hands

Friday, 28 Jan 2011 04:08 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Ashley Martella

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The unrest in Egypt could lead to a Muslim Brotherhood takeover that would shift the U.S. ally away from the Free World and into the arms of jihad, Mideast expert Walid Phares tells Newsmax.TV. The Obama administration has abandoned those representing the best hope for democracy, the author and terrorism expert says.

“The main concern in the United States is that if the opposition wins . . . and the Muslim Brotherhood are the ones who take over, and that’s only an if, then we’re going to see Egypt shifting away from the relationship with the Free World and actually connecting with the forces of jihad in the region,” he said.

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The worst-case scenario would be toppling Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and bringing in the Muslim Brotherhood, said Phares, a Beirut native who now is a U.S. citizen. “Egypt will shift completely and become an Islamist, jihadist state,” he said.

Another troubling scenario would be a protracted struggle that would be felt not only in Egypt but also in Israel, Iran, and throughout the Mideast.

“Iran is taking advantage of us withdrawing from the region and abandoning the democracy forces, ” said Phares, an adviser to Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the U.S. House.

“Under the Obama administration, unfortunately, we saw an abandonment of these youths, of these women, of these minorities, of these NGOs, of these cab drivers in Iran, in Lebanon, in Egypt, in Algeria and in many other places,” he said of those struggling for an end to oppression. “And the response today is that the youth is rising even without leaders, even without connections to the West, they are the ones pushing against the authoritarians but unfortunately those who may take advantage and intercept that revolution may be for a while the Islamists, the jihadists.”

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