- - Thursday, January 8, 2015

NEW YORK — The biggest story not yet covered appropriately in mainstream media plays out now in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attacks the root causes of continuing conflict between certain adherents of Islam and freedom-loving secularists, in defiance of President Obama and of fierce critics.

Living in a nation of 87 million persons, where an estimated 90 percent are Muslim, President el-Sisi is certain that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization, or a force for good and so his government holds hundreds of members of that organization in prison, where many face death sentences, including former President Mohammed Morsi.

To see what President el-Sisi confronts now, peruse the still-operating English language website of the brotherhood.

President el-Sisi plays for his life against determined internal and external opposition while President Obama merely preens before friendly partisan crowds.

Recently this year, the fully engaged leader of Egypt began a drive to reform Islam from within.

His address to religious authorities at Al-Azhar University in Cairo on Jan. 1 is a stunning “must-read” and “must-share” development that only now is getting attention it so richly deserves.

Wednesday, President el-Sisi put in a public appearance at a Christmas mass in Cairo-an historic first in Egypt’s modern history.

Working with allies including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, el-Sisi is channeling foreign capital into a raft of development programs that may finally spark economic progress inside Egypt, while cutting off external funding from states such as Qatar who until recently had been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide.

Meanwhile, our president and his addled foreign policy team cannot bring themselves to understand that radical Islamic jihadism is a practice that must be wholly discredited and then expunged from the modern lexicon, should we actually wish to remain an interconnected set of global markets.

What the West can learn watching events in Egypt

Like it or not, America and allies who cherish freedom and modernity are already at war.

Our president cannot bring himself to admit that a large number of “folks” will continue harming all who refuse to submit in precise ways to the will of God, wherever each of us may live.

Meddling relentlessly outside our own borders in jurisdictions where he, and we, have no official authority, Mr. Obama cannot argue successfully that self-appointed enforcers of radical Islamist precepts have no right to mete out their brand of justice inside American and allied territories.

Refusing to be candid with any but a small clique of partisan cronies, our commander-in-chief has set the table for a full course global conflict — though he may believe he can run away from the reality spread out before us, history will prove him wrong.

If America and remaining allies are serious about achieving progress in the quagmire the “War on Terror” has become, we must understand what animates our enemies and then work with true friends to vanquish dread foes.

Apply some enlightened logic

At the core of continuing conflict is an irreconcilable difference between those who see net benefit in freedom under secular law and those who require others to surrender free will and submit to a rigid set of religious precepts.

For years, informed analysts have warned of dangers posed to freedom-loving secular nations by rigid and intolerant humans who claim they are only following instructions set from on high.

We learn now in France how dangerous it is to be naive — modernity has potent enemies who will strike hard and do grievous harm, even when cartoons offend and excite them.

Moreover, certain firebrand extremists display implacable intolerance.

Apologists for the latest set of outrages carried out by these ignorant and ignoble thugs abound—and their arguments run the predictable gamut, including blaming cartoonists for inciting their own murders, alleging income and material inequality are structural causes of violence, or accusing those who are outraged now of succumbing to Islamophobia.

Surely, anger is no excuse for murder.

Clearly, no freedom loving nation can allow mini-states to emerge within and then advocate hate and destruction of their host.

Differences of opinion even concerning religious matters are never actually settled using violence.

We are reminded now of a different view with which free people can not possibly reconcile, or tolerate — no person may kill anyone for failing to submit to the dictates of Islam, or to any other religion.

Each of us is endowed with free will for excellent reasons.

Unlike Mr. Obama, the president of Egypt grasps a chance to achieve greatness.

We need to join with him, stand up for freedom, and reject barbarism.

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