Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Controlling Egypt does not make the Brotherhood our partners

I just had a look at the New York Times article,  "As Islamists Gain Influence, Washington Reassesses Who Its Friends Are" .

I should probably have left it alone, but I couldn't stop myself, and now that I've suffered through it, I can at least save you the trouble by summarizing it for you.  In a nutshell, the US doesn't know what to make of the "Arab Spring," which, instead of ushering in an era of happiness and prosperity, has inexplicably (if you live in Washington) been a springboard from which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are rising to power.  There seems to be a strong inclination within the Washington establishment to deal with title, rather than substance, so when it comes to who's in charge in Egypt, or Tunisia, or Yemen, the fact that they might previously have been sworn enemies of the United States now seems less important than the fact that they now receive their mail at presidential mansions. As Victoria J. Nuland of the State Department said, "It’s a new day in Egypt.  It’s a new day in a lot of countries across the Middle East and North Africa.”

Well, that explains that. 

Except, of course, it doesn't.  There is nothing new about the Muslim Brotherhood.  Their goals have not changed.  Their motto remains,
Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
Nor is there anything new about Gemaa al Islamiya, and blithely saying, "It's a new day," does not make it ok that a wanted terrorist from that organization "was welcomed to Washington as part of an official delegation sponsored by the State Department."

A rise to power does not automatically confer legitimacy to an organization, even if that rise occurs through democratic means.

I'm reminded of a guy I knew in grad school, who told me about his thesis, which claimed that gaining political power would force Islamic organizations to become more moderate.  He confessed that he was having a terrible time finding evidence to support his claim.  I wasn't surprised, since most people know that power does not moderate; it corrupts.  He managed to finish his thesis and get it approved, and almost immediately HAMAS came to power and set about - not becoming more moderate, but killing off their brother Palestinians who had opposed them in the elections.

Despite this, we are assured by experts quoted in the Times that, "Americans should not assume that the rise of Islamists puts the United States in greater danger from terrorists. The opposite may well be the case..." Sure.  Because gaining control of a country will not encourage the Muslim Brotherhood that they are following the right path, and winning the presidency and the majority in Parliament will not be seen as a sign from Allah that jihad is the way.
This is what we are expected to believe.  According to Stephen McInerney, of Washington's  Project on Middle East Democracy,  the downfall of Mubarak “is an important step in combating terrorism in the region and undermining its appeal,” because now, "People can freely vent their frustrations and go to the polls to vote.” 

There are only two problems with that.  The first is that the people freely went to the polls and voted in a pro-terror regime.  The second is that Mr. McInerney seems to vastly inflate the importance of democratic processes in an Islamic society.
I'm sure that some will object to my labeling the Muslim Brotherhood as pro-terror.  They will have to get over that.  Reread the Brotherhood's motto, and keep in mind that jihad does not mean, as westerners are so often told, a peaceful process of reflection and self-improvement.  Islamic law, the Koran, the Sunna, and the Hadith are perfectly clear on this; jihad is the violent process by which the world must be made to submit to Allah.  If we needed any hints as to the leanings of Egypt's new government, we got them when the new president, Mohamed Morsi, called upon the US to release Omar Abdel Rahman, the infamous blind sheikh serving a life sentence in North Carolina for terrorism against the US.

So if the people of Egypt vote into power an entity dedicated to jihad, Americans (and Israelis, and anyone who loves freedom) do have reason to be concerned.  Being elected democratically does not automatically mean that a regime will rule justly.  This is why the US Constitution is so full of checks and balances.  In Egypt, where there is no constitution, the checks and balances are nonexistent, or at least, fluid, and all are subject to Islam.

And there is the greatest source of ignorance in this article.  As is the fashion, the authors refuse to acknowledge Islam's designs on the world of unbelievers.  With statements like, "American hostility to Islamist movements, in fact, long predated Sept. 11..." the article infers that Islamic hatred is the fault of the US.  The fact is that Islamic attitudes toward the US are hard-wired.  Whether we withdraw our troops from Saudi Arabia, renounce support of Israel, or submit to the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque, those attitudes will not change.  We remain the infidels, and Mohammed gave his followers very explicit, very limited instructions on how they must deal with us.

Mohammed also gave his followers explicit advice concerning their own government, and democracy does not enter into it at any point. 
"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any opinion in their decision.   Surrah 33, verse 36 of the Qur'an"
Because Allah is the law-giver, it is a blasphemous usurpation for men to make laws of their own.  So while the Muslim Brotherhood may come to power democratically, it can not rule that way for long while remaining true to the part of its motto that says, "Qur'an is our law." 
Is it a "new day" in the Middle East and North Africa?  I suppose it is.  Not, however, because we now have common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is instead a new day in the Middle East because those who tolerated and were willing to work with us have been deposed, and those who hate us, and will continue to do so, have taken their places. 


Ran said...

"...gaining political power would force Islamic organizations to become more moderate."

Right. We know this from history when the Bolshies took Russia. Um, OK, when the Nazis took Germany. Uh, the Commies took Beijing? Hanoi? The White House?

Oh... cr@p.

"He confessed that he was having a terrible time finding evidence to support his claim." Hmmmm...

Steven Givler said...

Yeah. I asked him what it meant if he couldn't find supporting evidence. He said it meant he had to read more. I suggested it could possibly mean that his thesis was wrong, but that was inconceivable. His adviser had assured him it was true...

Ran said...

Related thoughts from Barry Rubin here.

Ran said...

...and unrelated thoughts from a wonderful blogger, here.

Steven Givler said...

Heh heh...