Muslims maneuvering in Egypt

February 16, 2011


The events of recent days in Egypt offer a sober lesson to westerners who think the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak resembles the American Revolution.

Much of the television commentary revealed complete ignorance about the history of the region and of Egypt and especially the clear and present danger of a theocratic coup by the Muslim Brotherhood. First prize for those who are clueless about what is transpiring before their blind eyes goes to James Clapper, director of National Intelligence (though the runner-up prize goes to a TV commentator who compared demonstrators in Tahrir Square to America’s tea party movement.)

Clapper told a congressional hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.”

Perhaps Clapper can explain then why the Brotherhood endorsed Hitler’s goal of eradicating the Jews and conspired to assassinate the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, “The Muslim Brotherhood no longer openly conducts terrorist operations; it is primarily a political organization that supports terrorism and terrorist causes. Many of its members, however, have engaged in terrorist activities and the group has spawned numerous terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is not just one of “a variety of movements” within Egypt, as Clapper asserted, but a powerful and influential religious-political force any “democratic” movement must reckon with. According to a 2009 study by WorldPublicOpinion.org, 64 percent of Egyptians view the Muslim Brotherhood positively, while only 16 percent have negative views. Sixty-nine percent think the Brotherhood favors democracy. Just 22 percent say they are too extreme and not really democratic.

Douglas Schoen has advised four Israeli prime ministers, as well as the prime minister of Turkey. In a commentary for Foxnews.com, Schoen writes he believes there is “at least a 50 percent chance, if not more, that a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood or a party with a generally similar approach and orientation will win the next presidential election.”

Why? Consider a Pew poll conducted last year which showed 48 percent of Egyptians say that Islam plays a large role in politics in Egypt and 85 percent say Islam’s influence in politics is positive. Only 2 percent said it is negative. “Not surprisingly,” writes Schoen, that a Zogby poll found two-thirds of Egyptians think, “Egyptian life would improve when clerics play a more central role in the political life of the country.”

The fanatics know how to “play” the West, using images and words such as “freedom” and “liberation” to make us think they mean what we mean by those words.

Thanks to pathetic reporting by The New York Times and other media sycophants more than 50 years ago, Fidel Castro, following the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, was also seen by many as a liberator of Cuba. “I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement,” Castro said at the time. Only after he consolidated power, did he tell the truth: “I am a Marxist-Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.”

Deception is not limited to communists like Castro. Deception is also a strategy of others who would dominate the world by religious-political doctrines. Last Saturday, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood announced it will not try to win the presidency of Egypt, nor will it attempt to win a majority in parliament. Given the Brotherhood’s statement of purpose and past record, this announcement should be seen as a tactical maneuver designed to fool Western governments, rather than a change in objectives.

I’m betting on the Muslim Brotherhood, or an affiliated organization with similar goals, to eventually gain political power in Egypt.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Poor Cal. One of his favorite dictators has gone down. And how did he go down? Through peaceful protests by mostly secular-thinking folks that completely discredited the notion that only the violent revolutionary techniques favored by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda can rid the Middle East of its corrupt autocracies.

As hysterical as Cal is about the Muslim Brotherhood, they were mostly observers over the last two weeks, not the leaders. And what Cal fails to note amid all his fear-mongering is that the Muslim Brotherhood disavowed violence long ago.

And what's Cal really got to bitch about, anyway? The fact is that the military was in control before Mubarak stepped down, and they're still in control. They may very well find a new dictator that Cal can fall in love with all over again.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 1 month ago

Strangely interesting, Mr. Thomas, but ironic. If we were to substitute "America's Founders" for "Musim Brotherhood" in your text, it might sound like the distortions the Tea Party deliberately make that suggest America was founded as a Theocracy by Religious Firebrands who wanted nothing more than a direct pipeline from their sky god to the houses of governance. Our thug is gone and he may be replaced with new thugs who will torture and oppress another part of the populace in the name of a 'loving god.' Rumsfeld is right and we cannot control all events in this volatile region. Another irony, the same folks who regularly wail that the President is trying too hard to control this country's politics and economy and that it should stop criticize the same President for not being able to pull political strings around the world and control OTHER countries.

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