The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Ascendant in Egypt
The death toll in Syria has exceeded 500. But we’re not calling for Assad to step down. And we’re not bombing Syria. Even though Syria is very friendly with Iran. And supports Hezbollah and Hamas. No. We’re acting cautiously with Syria. Because Assad is a man the Obama administration is banking on to reform Syria. He’s the moderate. Friend of the Christian community in Syria. Holding the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamism at bay. Because Iran is bad. Hezbollah is bad. Hamas is bad. And the Muslim Brotherhood is especially bad. So we’re going to tread lightly in Syria.
This is exactly the kind of caution the Obama Administration did NOT exercise in Egypt. Pity, because everything the world is worried about in Syria may be happening in Egypt (see Muslim Brotherhood to contest half of Egypt parliament by Reuters posted 4/30/2011 on The Jerusalem Post).
The Muslim Brotherhood said on Saturday it will contest up to half of Egypt’s parliamentary seats in elections scheduled for September.
But the group said it will not field a candidate for the position of president in an election due to held after the parliamentary vote.
The Muslim Brotherhood was no secret in Egypt. Or their ties to Iran and Hamas. But the Muslim Brotherhood wasn’t involved with the democracy protests. Sure, they were the only organized, albeit illegal, opposition party. But that was nothing to worry about. Because this was an outpouring of young people and their yearning for democracy. Much like those young people who yearned in Iran in 1979.
The Muslim Brotherhood is regarded as the most organized political force in Egypt after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February and the dissolution of his National Democratic Party…
The Brotherhood is an Islamist group founded in the 1920s and has deep roots in Egypt’s conservative Muslim society.
So what is there to worry about? This spontaneous yearning for democracy by the young will no doubt triumph. Unlike a well organized movement that goes back to 1920. And that has deep roots in Egypt’s conservative Muslim society. There is no reason that the Egypt revolution will be just like the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Just because it parallels the Iranian Revolution doesn’t mean it will end up like the Iranian Revolution. In theocracy.
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood denies being Islamist
As if to assuage this very concern, the Muslim Brotherhood is telling their critics that their Islamist party is not a theocratic one. That they will gladly cooperate with the secular powers (see Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood sets up new party posted 4/30/2011 on the BBC).
It has sought to allay fears of an Islamist parliamentary majority, and said it would be willing to co-operate with secular parties.
Mohammed al-Mursi, the head of the new Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters in Cairo: “It is not an Islamist party in the old understanding, it is not theocratic.”
Just like Ayatollah Khomeini assured the young revolutionaries in Iran not to worry. Their government would be a secular government. And it was. Until it became a theocratic one. You see, he lied. He told everyone what they wanted to hear. All the while making Iran a theocracy.
But that won’t happen in Egypt. Because the people who want to turn Egypt into a theocracy are telling us they don’t want to turn Egypt into a theocracy. So there’s nothing to worry about.
Egypt Reopens Gaza Border Crossing, Hamas Cheers
Or is there? The Muslim Brotherhood is not exactly what one would call fans of the state of Israel. No. They would fall more into the anti-Israel camp. Like Iran. And Hamas. With Gaza bordering both Israel and Egypt, and with Hamas in power in Gaza, what happens in Gaza vis-à-vis Egypt would be a good indicator of things to come. So let’s take a look at what’s happening in Gaza (see Egypt intends to reopen Gaza crossing by Michael Birnbaum posted 4/29/2011 on The Washington Post).
Egypt plans to reopen a border crossing with the Gaza Strip as soon as possible, a spokeswoman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Friday, worrying Israel and bringing an end to a blockade of the territory that had been deeply unpopular inside Egypt…
Access to Gaza from Egypt had been severely restricted at Israel’s request after the Islamic movement Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization, and Israel imposed a blockade on the territory because officials said they were concerned about weapons and explosives being transported across the border.
If one didn’t know any better, one would think that Egypt may be moving away from Israel and towards Iran/Hamas. Because their action will help weapons get into Gaza where Hamas can fire them on Israel. Which is sort of their thing. Launching weapons into Israel. So maybe there’s something to worry about here with this new Egyptian direction.
Egypt has moved in recent days to bolster its relationship with Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned in Egypt during Mubarak’s reign. The change reflected popular sentiment and helped Egyptian diplomats broker a deal this week between Fatah and Hamas that will unify the two main factions in the Palestinian territories. Egyptian diplomats have also announced their intention to increase ties with Iran.
Okay, so they’re throwing open the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. They’re improving relations with Hamas. And Iran. I think we’re past ‘maybe’. I think it may be time for someone to start worrying. For despite all of their denials about their theocratic intentions, their actions speak louder than their words. It’s beginning to look a lot like Poland in 1939. A country surrounded. Flanks secured. Good propaganda. And a burning desire to launch a war of annihilation. I’d be surprised if Israel wasn’t worried.
Israel isn’t Feeling the Love
Oh, come on, you say. That’s just ridiculous. The Palestinians are just a peace loving people. And Hamas is just a political party. Comparing them to Nazi Germany is a bit extreme to say the least. Besides, what have they ever done to suggest that they want to annihilate the state of Israel (see Barak to UN chief: Hamas must recognize Israel by Haaretz Service and Reuters posted 4/30/2011 on Haaretz)?
Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday and expressed concerns about the unity agreement that was recently reached between Fatah and Hamas.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization that fires rockets at Israeli towns and recently used an anti-tank missile against a school bus,” Barak said.
“Therefore, we expect that world leaders, including, of course, the head of the UN, to make cooperation with such a joint government, if it is established, conditional on the government accepting the Quartet’s conditions, which are the recognition of Israel, the abandonment of the path of terror and the acceptance of all previous agreements with Israel,” Barak continued.
Well, yeah, there’s all of that. A long history of violence towards Israel. And the refusal to recognize them as a sovereign state. But other than that, what has Hamas ever done to suggest that they want to annihilate Israel?
One thing for sure, Israel isn’t feeling the love these days.
Democracy Losing in Egypt
Democracy may lose in Egypt. Just as it did in Iran following the 1979 Revolution. Which will empower Hamas. And that open border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will greatly help Hamas in their struggle against Israel. With an able assist from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pity we didn’t think this through better before saying Mubarak had to go.
Things are so bad with an ascendant Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that we’re backing off on the crimes against humanity in Syria. There the price of innocent civilians killed is an acceptable cost to keep the Muslim Brotherhood at bay. But not in Egypt. And Mubarak didn’t even set the army on his people. But he had to go. No ifs, ands or buts about it. But Assad is okay. He just needs to tone it down a little. Kill a few less people.
All the while Israel sits and waits. Their world is changing. And there’s little they can do about it. They hope for the best. And no doubt plan for the worse. Like in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. When the tide of war was going against them and defeat looked imminent. They had suffered great losses and desperately needed U.S. aid. Which was not forthcoming. So Israel began preparing some nuclear weapons to stave off defeat. This got the attention of the U.S. Who replaced Israeli’s material losses. Which kept them in the war. Kept them from going nuclear. And allowed them to win a favorable peace. And the Arab world has hated the U.S. ever since.
So much hatred in the Middle East. And so many old scores to settle. It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. And all I can say is that I’d sure hate to be in our shoes.
Tags: Assad, crimes against humanity, democracy, Egypt, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iran, Iranian Revolution, Islamism, Islamist, Israel, Middle East, Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood, secular, secular government, Syria, theocracy