The two countries that have made peace with Israel are also the two that are leading the Islamic world in fighting terrorists. In recent meetings with President el-Sisi of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan, it became obvious to me that these moderate Muslim leaders are holding up a twin pillar against terror. President el-Sisi saved Egypt from a potential civil war that could have spun that country into a Syrian-type crisis on steroids. He has received little credit, and conversely has been criticized over his human rights record, as if fighting terror is not a human right.
President el-Sisi figuratively drew a line in the sand against the Muslim Brotherhood. What an eye-opener it was for me to meet with the Grand Mufti and the minister of religious affairs and endowments, who presides over 120,000 mosques in Egypt! Both men speak out strongly against the Muslim Brotherhood and consider it a terror organization.
As an evangelical, I've often wondered where moderate Muslims are, and why they do not speak out. That question has certainly been answered. They are! These two men, under el-Sisi's leadership, have established a division of Muslim scholars who are focused on theologically deconstructing and challenging the fatwas of extremists in the region.
After 9-11, the assumption in the United States has been that the war on terror is one between good and evil, that Americans are leading the charge, and that the Muslim world is not standing up and speaking up. In my mind, after my meetings in Egypt and Jordan, nothing could be further from the truth.
Former President Barack Obama sent a signal to the Arab world through his "apology tour" that the bad actors on the street could game the system, and that America would not cross the red line. He gave the impression, and especially in the Middle East, that a perfect world is a weak and anemic America that embraces the perpetrator and castigates the victim; that people are basically good and can't be held accountable for the wrong they do. We saw the fruit of this in Libya with the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the attack in Tunisia on U.S. diplomatic facilities. We are living with the results of that policy, not only in Libya, Yemen and Syria, but throughout the region.
There is no doubt there was a direct correlation between Obama's support for the Arab Spring and the chaos that occurred during the Arab Spring uprising. Not only have I now become keenly aware of the battle President el-Sisi is courageously waging against radical Islamists, but also that King Abdullah of Jordan is fighting the same war.
General Mahmoud Freihat, chair of the Jordanian Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed that 1.4 million Syrian refugees are now living in Jordan. Only 10 percent are accommodated within official camps; the other refugees live within Jordan's civil society. He stated that the Russian intervention in Syria has enabled President Bashar al-Assad's regime to regain over 50 percent of the Syrian territories. Conversely, the decision by the U.S. to stop funding moderate opposition groups may have an undesired effect on the security of Syria and Jordan.
The general said that these groups may affiliate themselves with extremist organizations to secure much-needed funding. Both President el-Sisi and King Abdullah believe that their nations are in a grave and prolonged battle against the forces of Islamic supremacy—those who desire to impose a violent, extremist version of Islam on their nations, the region, and the world.
Both leaders believe Iran has a death wish, and each expressed that Iran, in essence, has taken over Iraq. President el-Sisi believes the U.S. should boldly declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization as he has done. The surprise was that King Abdullah made virtually the same statement. He clarified his assertion by adding, "So long as the designation is directed at advocates of violence in Islamic supremacy ideology." It was clear he was not referring to the Muslim Brotherhood political parties of Morocco or Tunisia, nor those within his own political party.
One no longer needs to ask the question: "Where are moderate Muslims?" They are in Egypt and Jordan courageously waging the war on terror.
Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of more than 72 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem.
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