Obama’s failure to support democratically elected President Morsi of Egypt lit the jihadist web with news, mostly views really, about recent events in Egypt and America’s hypocritical response. Bending the law to make believe there was no military coup in Egypt is only the most recent exposure of a nation saying one thing and doing another. Faced now with selecting actions to fulfill his promise to respond now that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, he is being watched closely by jihadists ready to pounce on any sign of hypocrisy and weakness in American foreign policy.
A critical element of modern jihadist doctrine is the absolute rejection of Democracy. Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, viewed by al-Qaeda’s al-Zawahiri as a “teeming ocean of knowledge and scholarship.” A study carried out by the Combating Terrorism Center of the United States Military Academy concluded that al-Maqdisi "is the most influential living Jihadi Theorist" and that "by all measures, Maqdisi is the key contemporary ideologue in the Jihadi intellectual universe".
So as we carefully thread our way through options in Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the restless Islamic world, we must be mindful of this fundamentalist notion, clearly stated by al-Maqdisi: “Participatory democracy is forbidden for pious Muslims.” Jihadists view laws built by men as an insult to Islam since the only legitimate lawgiver is the Koran (as interpreted by the jihadists).