Why Egyptian Putschist General Al-Sisi’s Anti-Secular U.S. Army War College Thesis Matters

Posted in full at Pajamas Media  with this title and lede: Egyptian Army General Wrote Radical Thesis While Attending U.S. Army War College—What you need to know about al-Sisi.)

Key extracts from the essay:

Wednesday, 8/7/13, Foreign Policy made available online the 2006 “mini-thesis” of Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, written during his tenure at the Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army War College, within an essay by Eric Trager.

As documented earlier, re-affirmed in an e-mail exchange, below, with the U.S. Army War College Library’s Acting Director, Tuesday, 8/6/13, I was unable to obtain a copy of el-Sisi’s thesis from the Inter-Library Loan office due to its “classification” status:

—–Original Message—–
From: Acting Director,  U.S. Army War College Library

Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 12:09 PM
To: Andrew Bostom
Cc: USARMY Carlisle Barracks AWC Mailbox LIBRARYR; USARMY Carlisle Barracks AWC Mailbox LIBRARYC
Subject: RE: Thesis via Inter-Library Loan/pdf?

Sir,

The U.S. Army War College Library is not able to fill your request. The paper’s caveat, “Distribution authorized to U.S. Government agencies only,” means it cannot be released to individuals or libraries outside the federal government.

The War College Library’s initial rejection of my request Friday 8/2/13 prompted a Freedom of Information Act demand for its release by Judicial Watch, which was honored Thursday, August 8, 2013 (thesis available here), albeit some hours after the thesis had inexplicably appeared online at Foreign Policy.

…Ignoring all of the doctrinal and historical evidence adduced herein, Eric Trager’s  brief analysis of al-Sisi’s mini-thesis, grudgingly conceded that Springborg’s prior assessment that the General was “ an Islamist”, i.e., anti-secular, Sharia-supremacist, “may prove accurate.” But Trager concludes he is more likely “a Mubarak clone.”

Trager’s conclusion thus ignores the most important—and striking—difference between al-Sisi, and Mubarak: al-Sisi’s unequivocal rejection of secularism, and Mubarak’s embrace of it.

Then US Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey’s Tuesday, May 19, 2009, confidential assessment of Mubarak emphasizes his support for a secular model of governance:

Mubarak is a classic Egyptian secularist who hates religious extremism and interference in politics. [emphasis added] The Muslim Brothers represent the worst, as they challenge not only Mubarak’s power, but his view of Egyptian interests. As with regional issues, Mubarak, seeks to avoid conflict and spare his people from the violence he predicts would emerge from unleashed personal and civil liberties. In Mubarak’s mind, it is far better to let a few individuals suffer than risk chaos for society as a whole. He has been supportive of improvements in human rights in areas that do not affect public security or stability. Mrs. Mubarak has been given a great deal of room to maneuver to advance women’s and children’s rights and to confront some traditional practices that have been championed by the Islamists, such as FGM [i.e., female genital mutilation, sanctioned by not merely “Islamists,” in Egypt, as noted earlier], child labor, and restrictive personal status laws.

Now publicly revealed, in full, al-Sisi’s expressed ideology—in both his 2006 mini-thesis, as well as its “leavening” by the recent comments he made to the Washington Post—must be featured prominently in the debate on military, and all other forms of aid to Egypt. Moreover, the fulfillment of his Islamic, Sharia-based vision—which will surely result in the ongoing abrogation of fundamental Western freedoms of conscience and speech, and continued legal discrimination against non-Muslims and women, that have plagued modern Egypt for two centuries, now—also merits serious consideration.

 

 

 

 

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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