read the editor’s highlights free inside this issue
This week’s highlights, accessible to non-subscribers:
p1 Cover: A tangled web p3 Leader: Egypt’s new theocracy p5 Contents p7 Portrait of the week p9 Diary: Ozzy Osbourne p14 Private Eye’s private life:
Christopher Booker p18 Top gear: Tom Hollander p20-21 Say no to windfarms: Matt Ridley p22 Selling our birthright: William Cash p41 Books and Arts: opening page p42-45 Books pages p52-53 Arts pages p64-67 Classifieds p69 Life: opening page
Swipe horizontally to move from story to story, or tap the screen to bring up the navigation controls. Swiping the page previews will take you to the next available page.
let us know what you think of our ap, our website, the magazine, and anything else you like. Email: email@example.com
Suffering from stage fright ozzy osbourne
15 October 2011 ❘ £3.20
a restaurant for psychos
Tanya Gold am i famous enough for a free car?
Tom hollander www.spectator.co.uk ❘ est. 1828
A tangled webAtangledwebAtangled
A tangled webFoxisnottheonlyministertobe caught by lobbyists, says James Forsyth
Fox is not the only minister to be Fox is not the only minister to be Fox is not the only caught by lobbyists, says James Forsyth
Win a night with
Win a night with
ZonE € 5
. E uro
. uaE aED32
iCE £ 3
. Export pr
Public art has become a plague
The child ISA scam Merryn Somerset Webb
Making wind farms obsolete
Matt Ridley invesTmenT
COVER_15 Oct 2011_The Spectator_ 1
BSCRIBE AND receive Free iPad Acess to the full edition every week FRE DELIVERY of the printed magazine every week FRE MEMBERSHIP OF SPECTATORPLUS, giving you access to exclusive events and discounted offers
JUST £12 FOR YOUR FIRST 12 ISUES ubscribe at: www.spectator.co.uk/subscribe established 1828
Egypt’s new theocracy
The massacre this week of Coptic Christians in Cairo stands as a bloody corrective to the idea that the ‘Arab Spring’ was a wonderful uprising of the masses against dictators. Revolutions are not, in themselves, causes for celebration if they create a vacuum that can be filled by evil. The deliberate mowing down of dozens of peaceful demonstrators by armoured vehicles (hundreds of others were shot at point-blank range by Egyptian soldiers) is the starkest indication yet that the land of the Pharaohs is fast becoming a fundamentalist Islamic state, with the blessing of its powerful military establishment.
The slaughter was the worst act of sectarian violence in modern Egyptian history, and it was all the more shocking for having been encouraged by state television news presenters and perpetrated in large part by an army that refused to open fire on demonstrators during the revolution. Radical Islamists even tried to set ablaze a Coptic hospital where the injured were being treated. One soldier was caught on video telling a crowd of Muslims, to a volley of cheers, how proud he was to have shot a Copt in the chest.
None of this should come as a surprise. The massacre is just the latest outburst of violence against Egypt’s Christians — and, to a lesser extent, moderate Sufi Muslims — following the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. The ruling military junta has refused to arrest the perpetrators of such violence, even when their identities are well-known. Coptic leaders have instead been told to sit down with their tormentors as part of a series of supposed inter-faith dialogues. The Copts would appreciate what George Orwell said of freedom: without the ability to tell someone what they don’t want to hear, it exists in name only. Without fail, the junta has backed the Islamists’ demand that contentious places of Christian worship be boarded up.
Judging from this week’s events, Egypt’s military rulers now appear more than willing to sacrifice not just the churches but the security — and if necessary the lives — of the country’s Christian minority. One can argue about whether the Islamists are manipulating the military or vice versa. But it is increasingly clear that Christians in Egypt will — like those in post-Saddam Iraq — find they have to flee into exile or accept their new status as second-class citizens.
Rather than implementing political pluralism in Egypt, the military regime last
The slaughter was the worst act of sectarian violence in modern
Egyptian history month banned all public demonstrations and strikes, extended the hated Emergency Law and warned of a zero tolerance approach to anyone who undermined public security. Sadly, only Copts have since taken to the streets to protest the loss of freedom. Just before the latest state-orchestrated violence erupted, an opinion poll revealed that 90 per cent of Egyptians still have faith in the army as the guardian of the revolution. Perhaps it’s everyone but the Coptic minority, who make up roughly 10 per cent of the population.
The pact struck just after the revolution between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, in which the latter supported the status quo in return for legal status as a political party, is solid. The Brotherhood, with its long-cherished aim of establishing an Islamic the spectator | 15 October 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk state, looks set to triumph in the parliamentary elections in November and January. The more important presidential election may now not happen next year, as promised. This will give the military time to select a candidate from within its own ranks to run. Every Egyptian president since 1952 has come from the armed forces.
Contrary to the Arab Spring mythology, Egypt is the historic trendsetter in the Arab world. It is turning into the opposite of the secular model provided by Turkey, where the secular army keeps Islamist movements in check. Secure in their officers’ clubs and gated communities, and following no religious or political ideology, it matters not at all to the generals whether Egypt is ruled by a band of religious fanatics. When Coptics were attacked by Islamic fundamentalists in the New Year, ordinary Egyptian Muslims were so appalled that they sat in the front pews of churches for the Coptic new year in defiance of potential bombers. But the mood seems to be changing.
The West sometimes flatters itself with the idea that history is running in its direction. Such vanity led many analysts to think that Tunisia, Libya and Egypt would now be rushing to ‘become more like us’. The truth is that from Baghdad to Islamabad, ‘modernising’ often means forcing women to wear the veil and attacking Christians.
There is now an entirely new persecution of Christian minorities who had lived in peace with their neighbours for generations. To his credit, the Archbishop of Canterbury was in Zimbabwe this week to complain about the persecution of Anglicans — but church leaders cannot be left to deal with this new evil on their own. It concerns us all.