Muslim Brotherhood? What Muslim Brotherhood?

Posted: January 30, 2011 in middle east, opinion/news
Tags: , , , , ,

Turned on CNN this morning just before 7 a.m. and a woman was being interviewed on CNN concerning the revolt in Egypt. I didn’t catch the name since I had literally just walked down the stairs and turned on my PC.) There was a very telling moment, at the end of the interview where the CNN folks asked about the Muslim brotherhood. The response was VERY defensive.

“The Muslim brotherhood is not taking part as a movement” She stressed that the brotherhood was talking part only as “individuals” and called on media not to stress them.

I found that very interesting considering this story:

The leader of Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood warned Saturday that unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States.

Hammam Saeed’s comments were made at a protest outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman, inspired by massive rallies in neighboring Egypt demanding the downfall of the country’s longtime president, Hosni Mubarak.

SISU is going long on this theme.

linking our own tweet (above) a layman’s take on the ongoing Middle East turmoil based upon keeping our virtual ear to the ground in the last period of time:

This is what’s really happening. Muslim Brotherhood poised to co-opt restless populations thoughout Middle East.

“Yes, you are right,” McCotter direct-messaged back. We’re inclined to take the Michigan Congressman’s well-considered assessments seriously.

As I type FOX is on with Lisa Daftari is not ignoring the dangers of an 1979 style revolution when good intentions become co-opted by a more powerful organized group. (forget 1979 think of 1918 in Russia and the blood that followed for nearly a century)

John Bolton continues:

This is a protest that may have been percolated by the Muslim Brotherhood. We all know President Mubarak of Egypt is a dictator, but to compare this protest to the Green Revolution may be foolish.

And lets not forget what polls said in 2007:

In a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ WorldPublicOpinion.org interview survey of 1000 Egyptian Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007, 67% of those interviewed-more than 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”-desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”). The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 74% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”

That is scary. Almost as scary as the concept that Robert Stacy McCain is linking…Robert Fisk?

Cairo now changes from joy to sullen anger within minutes. Yesterday morning, I walked across the Nile river bridge to watch the ruins of Mubarak’s 15-storey party headquarters burn. In front stood a vast poster advertising the benefits of the party – pictures of successful graduates, doctors and full employment, the promises which Mubarak’s party had failed to deliver in 30 years – outlined by the golden fires curling from the blackened windows of the party headquarters. Thousands of Egyptians stood on the river bridge and on the motorway flyovers to take pictures of the fiercely burning building – and of the middle-aged looters still stealing chairs and desks from inside.

Yet the moment a Danish television team arrived to film exactly the same scenes, they were berated by scores of people who said that they had no right to film the fires, insisting that Egyptians were proud people who would never steal or commit arson. This was to become a theme during the day: that reporters had no right to report anything about this “liberation” that might reflect badly upon it. Yet they were still remarkably friendly and – despite Obama’s pusillanimous statements on Friday night – there was not the slightest manifestation of hostility against the United States. “All we want – all – is Mubarak’s departure and new elections and our freedom and honour,” a 30-year-old psychiatrist told me. Behind her, crowds of young men were clearing up broken crash barriers and road intersection fences from the street – an ironic reflection on the well-known Cairo adage that Egyptians will never, ever clean their roads.

I don’t and never have trusted Robert Fisk but he is actually there first hand (talk about a windfall for an international reporter!) so one has to respect that and give his reports the respect that first hand reporting calls for. Yet lets take a peek at once other paragraph from this story:

Their crews, in battledress and smiling and in some cases clapping their hands, made no attempt to wipe off the graffiti that the crowds had spray-painted on their tanks. “Mubarak Out – Get Out”, and “Your regime is over, Mubarak” have now been plastered on almost every Egyptian tank on the streets of Cairo. On one of the tanks circling Freedom Square was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagi. Earlier, I had walked beside a convoy of tanks near the suburb of Garden City as crowds scrambled on to the machines to hand oranges to the crews, applauding them as Egyptian patriots. However crazed Mubarak’s choice of vice-president and his gradual appointment of a powerless new government of cronies, the streets of Cairo proved what the United States and EU leaders have simply failed to grasp. It is over.

It’s classic Fisk to hit the US on this. But before people get delirious about the future need to read this Michael Totten post from 2005 while he was there with Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh:

“My biggest fear,” he continued, “is that if the Muslim Brotherhood rules Egypt we will get Islamism-lite, that they won’t be quite bad enough that people will revolt against them. Take bars, for example. Most Egyptians don’t drink, so they won’t mind if alcohol is illegal. The same goes for banning books. Most Egyptians don’t read. So why should they care if books are banned? Most women wear a veil or a headscarf already, so if it becomes the law hardly anyone will resist.”

“How many people here think like you do?” I asked him.

“Few,” he said. “Very few. Less than ten percent probably.”

What was the future he saw:

I asked Big Pharaoh what he thought would happen if Egypt held a legitimate free and fair election instead of this bullshit staged by Mubarak.

“The Muslim Brotherhood would win,” he said. “They would beat Mubarak and the liberals.”

I was afraid he was going to say that.

“I’ve had this theory for a while now,” I said. “It looks like some, if not most, Middle East countries are going to have to live under an Islamic state for a while and get it out of their system.”

Big Pharaoh laughed grimly.

“Sorry,” I said. “That’s just how it looks.”

He buried his head on his arms.

“Take Iranians,” I said. “They used to think Islamism was a fantastic idea. Now they hate it. Same goes in Afghanistan. Algerians don’t think too much of Islamism either after 150,000 people were killed in the civil war. I hate to say this, but it looks like Egypt will have to learn this the hard way.”

“You are right,” he said. “You are right. I went to an Egyptian chat room on the Internet and asked 15 people if they fasted during Ramadan. All of them said they fasted during at least most of it. I went to an Iranian chat room and asked the same question. 14 out of 15 said they did not fast for even one single day.”

How many will end up dying and what kind of war will ensue while the under 30’s learn this lesson?

Meanwhile Joe Scarborough notes something on Twitter.

The Luxor attack and its aftermath explains why the Muslim Brotherhood has gone to great lengths to take no credit for this uprising.

I think its more than that, I think that given the experience of the Iranian revolution and what it produced, and the reality of Islamic terror it is impossible to not understand what an Islamic state would mean.

What is the best move? I’m very torn. I’ve always maintained that people have the right to be wrong. If the people actually WANT this kind of thing what can you do? I think in the end you have to let the people learn this the hard way and deal with things as they come. The best hope is that Egyptians learn from the Iranian mistake. The Egyptian people have the right to make their own choices, and they will also reap what they sow. Part of being free is living with the consequences of your decisions.

  • There are consequences for supporting Islamic terror.
  • There are consequences for going to war with Israel.
  • There are consequences for choosing to be an enemy of the US.
  • There are consequences for supporting Iran
  • There are consequences for closing the Suez Canal

And that doesn’t even touch the consequences internally, but those internal consequences are on them.

Do we have a strong or wise enough administration in the White House to make that case without trouble?

Update: missed Michael’s link, silly me, put in now.

Comments
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  2. ahmed says:

    I’m Egyptian and I didn’t fast a single day in the last 18 years! (I’m 47) :), and I do identify with Big Pheroah’s fears… However, I have noticed that recently, people of Egypt have started to become disillusioned with the MB after their poor performance in the parliament, and their failure to support many events (such as the current revolt), so it might be true that there support might be around 20% of the population as suggested by Al-Baradei. What makes them more visible, is that they are better organized, and they have a louder voice. but then again, I might be wrong!

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  4. […] very real dangers for the world, as the potential for destabilizing of the Middle East with a radical Muslim takeover of Egypt could occur. The riots and violence should not be treated as a joke — should not be […]