“This is the most wonderful time in which to live and be among the young people who are helping your country and bringing about change during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state,” Ginsburg said, according to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. “Think of the people who lived before you and did not have this opportunity because they lived under a dictatorial regime.”
Two things to note that have already happened before Justice Ginsburg’s praises:
…In a matter of months, Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafists have beaten a path from marginalised religious sect to major political force…
We meet the president of the Salafist Al Nour party as he leads prayers at a mosque in Alexandria. “Before the revolution prayers were on more general subjects…now we are freer and we can be more frank,” Emad Abdul Ghafour tells us.
Like fellow members, he’s brimming with confidence. They’ve just scored 24% of the vote in Egypt’s landmark elections, making them the second biggest bloc in parliament. Not bad for a political party founded just nine months ago.
Hosni Mubarak’s departure in February 2011 has seen Egypt’s Salafists emerge from the shadows. Before, they operated in the half-light, in little mosques like these, the former leader’s security services – wary of Islamists – never far away.
Now, they can openly advocate their agenda. Their ideal society is that of the first Muslims, one based on a strict adherence to the Koran and Sharia law.
What is striking among the party’s leaders and supporters is the belief that this model will soon become reality. They’re buoyed by election results which have seen Egyptians vote overwhelmingly for Islam – the Salafists coming in second only to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The second is that the most popular movement in Egypt — the Muslim Brotherhood — is on the same page with the second most popular movement:
Whatever their disagreements may be about how Sharia should be implemented, if the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis do succeed in imposing Sharia upon Egypt, we will see restrictions on the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the rights of women and non-Muslims. Wherever and whenever Sharia has been implemented, this has been the case. Yet in the U.S., we are forced to believe on pain of “Islamophobia” charges that Sharia is so multiform as to have no particular content and is fully compatible with Constitutionally protected freedoms — and on the basis of these false claims, anti-Sharia legislation is struck down.