Daniel Pipes should be congratulated for his clear exposition of the desirability of a dictator over a radical Islamist in the Middle East and in particular, Egypt (“Islamists are worse than dictators,” Commentary, Tuesday). While Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi’s predecessor, was a dictator, he was a pragmatic president sensitive to international opinion and aid from the United States. Though Mr. Mubarak was certainly not liberal, under him, the Coptic Christian population was protected from militant Islamists, and the military was able to act as a counterbalance in extreme cases.
No such safeguards exist under the theocratic regime Mr. Morsi is trying to establish. There are no checks and counterbalances and there is little protection of Egypt’s large Coptic Christian population. Not only the United States but the international community (and Israel in particular) will regret the replacement of the dictator Mr. Mubarak for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s Mr. Morsi.
The United States would make a mistake in funding Egypt or supporting the funding by international bodies until a clear course is established for the new Islamist regime.
Silver Spring, Md.