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The Facebook Caliphate

So how’s that old Arab Spring going? You remember — the “Facebook Revolution.” As I write, they’re counting the votes in Egypt’s presidential election, so by the time you read this the pecking order may have changed somewhat. But currently in first place is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, who in an inspiring stump speech before the students of Cairo University the other night told them, “Death in the name of Allah is our goal.”

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In second place is the military’s man Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and a man who in a recent television interview said that “unfortunately the revolution succeeded.”

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In third place is moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a 9/11 Truther endorsed by the terrorist organization al-Gama’a al-Islamiya. He’s a “moderate” because he thinks Egyptian Christians should be allowed to run for the presidency, although they shouldn’t be allowed to win.

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As I said, this thrilling race is by no means over, and one would not rule out an eventual third-place finish by a rival beacon of progress such as Amr Moussa, the longtime Arab League flack and former Mubarak foreign minister. So what happened to all those candidates embodying the spirit of Egypt’s modern progressive democratic youth movement that all those Western media rubes were cooing over in Tahrir Square a year ago? How are they doing in Egypt’s first free presidential election?
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I don’t know about you, but I have the feeling that Messrs. Morsi, Shafiq, and Abolfotoh are not spending much time on Facebook, or even on Twitter. Indeed, for a “social-media revolution,” the principal beneficiaries seem to be remarkably antisocial: Liberated from the grip of Mubarak the new Egypt is a land where the Israeli embassy gets attacked and ransacked, Christians get killed and their churches burned to the ground, female reporters for the Western media are sexually assaulted in broad daylight, and for the rest of the gals a woman’s place is in the clitoridectomy clinic.

Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

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