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Why is Glenn Beck freaking out over Egypt and a caliphate?

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck finds in Egypt’s democratic revolution a conspiracy involving left and right. Other conservatives are distancing themselves from Beck’s “delusional ravings.”

By Staff writer / February 12, 2011

Glenn Beck explains how a group of “like-minded” organizations and individuals – from the Muslim Brotherhood to the AFL-CIO – is working to “overthrow and overturn stability.”

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Caliph: A successor of Muhammad as temporal and spiritual head of Islam.

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Caliphate: What Glenn Beck warns could take over much of the western world.

It’s not a “conspiracy,” Glenn Beck says, but just a group of “like-minded” organizations and individuals – from the Muslim Brotherhood to the AFL-CIO (with assorted other fellow travelers in a "red-green alliance") – working together to “overthrow and overturn stability.” And he has the charts, graphs, and a map to prove it.

If such protests become "contagious," he warns, they will "sweep the Middle East" then "begin to destabilize Europe and the rest of the world."

Beck’s latest theory about where the freedom revolution in Egypt is headed may resonate with his hard-core followers. But it has some conservatives wondering if he’s gone off the deep end.

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a regular Fox News commentator, welcomes the debate among conservatives over the political revolution in Egypt.

“It’s a sign of health that a political and intellectual movement does not respond to a complicated set of developments with one voice,” he wrote recently.

“But hysteria is not a sign of health,” he continued. “When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.”

In the conservative National Review, editor Rich Lowry called Kristol’s comments “a well-deserved shot at Glenn Beck’s latest wild theorizing.”

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