When I announced that The award for the person most consistently wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood goes to … Roger Cohen of The NY Times, it was suggested that I acted in haste.

Why in the world had I not given the award to Thomas Friedman, SoccerDad asked.

Well, because he’s Thomas Friedman, and I was thinking of naming the award the Thomas Friedman Award For Delusional Wishful Thinking and thought it might be awkward to award the Thomas Friedman Award to Thomas Friedman.  And Cohen has been particularly over the top, and worthy of the award.

The Muslim Brotherhood used its power to obtain a referendum on a new Constitution drafted by Islamists without input from the opposition, in which the opposition asserts the rights of religious and political minorities and civil liberties are not protected.

Opposition protests were beaten back by Muslim Brotherhood counter-protesters, and Mohamed Morsi kept his eye on the prize, getting the new Constitution in place, even as Cohen clung to the delusion that Morsi was acting in good faith.

The first day of the referendum was yesterday, and by all accounts the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies are leading, Egypt opposition alleges referendum rigging as Islamists claim victory:

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has claimed victory in the first round of the country’s bitterly divisive constitutional referendum, with opposition forces complaining of large-scale rigging and violations.

Unofficial results from Saturday’s first round showed 56% approval to 43% rejection on a low turnout of 33%, with a clear no win in Cairo, one of the 10 governorates where polling took place. The referendum is to be held in the country’s remaining 17 governorates next Saturday – where prospects for a no win are poorer.

The figures were reported by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the Brotherhood, whose results have proved accurate in previous elections.

If, as expected, the trend is confirmed, the referendum will bolster the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who was elected president on a 51% mandate last June….

How has Friedman reacted to all this?  By wondering if Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood will become India or Pakistan:

But if it is still true [that Christians in Egypt are not in positions of power] in a decade or two, then we’ll know that democracy in Egypt failed. We will know that Egypt went the route of Pakistan and not India. That is, rather than becoming a democratic country where its citizens could realize their full potential, instead it became a Muslim country where the military and the Muslim Brotherhood fed off each other so both could remain in power indefinitely and “the people” were again spectators.

A decade or two to find out if the Islamists have grabbed permanent power?

We know it already.

Barring some electoral miracle which votes down the new constitution, Egypt is Pakistan not India.  The opposition knows it, that’s why they are so furious.

The only ones who don’t seem to know it are columnists at The NY Times.


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