Skjønnmalingen av Brorskapet

Barry Rubin

Egyp­terne for­tje­ner sym­pati for sine ønsker om fri­het og demo­krati. Men det blan­der seg falske stem­mer i koret. En av dem er ElBa­radei, som har full back­ing fra Det mus­limske brorskap.

Det bør ikke over­raske at ElBa­radei ikke har noe vondt å si om Bror­ska­pet, men tvert­imot for­sva­rer det. Alt­for mange jour­na­lis­ter tror ham. Del­vis fordi det fin­nes en god del aka­de­mi­kere i Ves­ten som ufar­lig­gjør Bror­ska­pet på samme måte, i Norge folk som Kari Vogt og Bjørn Olav Utvik.

ElBa­radei har nylig kom­met med noen utta­lel­ser om Bror­ska­pet som er for drøye. Barry Rubin tar dem for seg:

If ElBa­radei Can’t Tell the Truth About the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood, He Can’t Mas­ter It

By Barry Rubin

Muhammad ElBa­radei bla­tantly lied to CNN. Natu­rally, the repor­ter neit­her cal­led him on it or followed up to ascer­tain the truth.

Here he is tal­king about the Mus­lim Brotherhood

ELBARADEI: “This is a myth that was sold by the Muba­rak regime, that it’s eit­her us, the ruth­less dicta­tors, or above them the al-Qaida types.

You know, the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood has not­hing to do with the Ira­nian model, has not­hing to do with extre­mism, as we have seen it in Afgha­ni­stan and other places. The Mus­lim Brot­her­hood is a reli­giously con­ser­va­tive group. They are a minority in Egypt. They are not a majority of the Egyp­tian people, but they have a lot of cre­di­bi­lity because all the other libe­ral par­ties have been smot­he­red for 30 years.

They are in favor of a federa­list state. They are in favor of a wor­ding on the base of con­sti­tu­tion that has red lines that every Egyp­tian has the same rights, same obli­ga­tion, that the state in no way will be a state based on reli­gion. And I have been reaching out to them. We need to include them. They are part of the Egyp­tian society, as much as the Marx­ist party here. I think this myth that has been per­pe­tua­ted and sold by the regime has no - has no iota of reality.”

Let’s count the lies --and Elba­radei knew he was lying, though he used tricky argu­ments to cir­cle around the blue whale in the room, his Mus­lim Brot­her­hood ally:

1. The Mus­lim Brot­her­hood has not­hing to do with the Ira­nian model, has not­hing to do with extre­mism, as we have seen it in Afgha­ni­stan and other places.

Obviously, the Brot­her­hood is not a clone of the Tali­ban or Aya­tol­lah Kho­meini but it has a great deal to do with extre­mism. Of course, the Brot­her­hood is dis­tinc­tively Egyp­tian, but it is a dis­tinc­tively Egyp­tian Sunni form of extremism.

I’ve wor­ked with Ira­ni­ans, I’ve wor­ked here. There is 100 per­cent dif­fe­rence between the two societies.”

Precisely. But the Brot­her­hood is still a group that wants to set up an Isla­mist society to govern every aspect of life under Isla­mic law as inter­preted by the Brot­her­hood. Ger­many and Japan are more dif­fe­rent than Egypt and Iran but both had fascist regi­mes. The USSR and China are more dif­fe­rent than Egypt abd Iran but both had Com­mu­nist regimes.

2. “The Mus­lim Brot­her­hood is a reli­giously con­ser­va­tive group.”

False. Main­stream Egyp­tian cle­rics are reli­giously con­ser­va­tive. To be reli­giously con­ser­va­tive is to want to main­tain the sta­tus quo. The Brot­her­hood is quite unhappy with Egyp­tian society and wants to change it dra­s­ti­cally. That is why it is a revo­lu­tio­nary group even though it has been pati­ent and care­ful about pushing the revolution.

And the claim that the Brot­her­hood is non-violent is also quite tricky. It dis­solved its ter­ro­rist wing only because of govern­ment pres­sure and has advo­cated ter­ro­rism against Ame­ri­cans and Israe­lis. It applau­ded and incited the assas­si­na­tions of secu­lar acti­vists and Egypt’s lead­ing nove­list. As I’ve pointed out in pre­vious artic­les, its rhe­to­ric sounds quite like al-Qaida (though it is not at all fri­endly toward al-Qaida as an organization).

3. “They are a minority in Egypt. They are not a majority of the Egyp­tian people, but they have a lot of cre­di­bi­lity because all the other libe­ral par­ties have been smot­he­red for 30 years.”

Well, they are less than 50 per­cent. But in a situa­tion of severe repres­sion and har­ass­ment they rece­i­ved 20 per­cent of the vote. Thus, it is rea­so­nable to think they have more sup­port than that. Polls show very hard­line reli­gious views among the majority of Egyp­ti­ans. And no other group has any­where near the level of sup­port that the Brot­her­hood does. Once given a real chance it may grow quickly as has hap­pe­ned in other countries, like Iran.

Inci­den­tally, the Brot­her­hood has been more smot­he­red than have libe­ral par­ties yet remai­ned far stron­ger than libe­ral par­ties. That tells you somet­hing about rela­tive levels of sup­port, tough­ness, and organization.

4. Here is the big­gest lie of all by far:

They are in favor of a federa­list state. They are in favor of a wor­ding on the base of con­sti­tu­tion that has red lines that every Egyp­tian has the same rights, same obli­ga­tion, that the state in no way will be a state based on religion.”

This is so ridi­cu­lous that it can only be told to those who know not­hing about the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood. Accor­ding to its plat­form, the Brot­her­hood favors grea­ter rights for Mus­lims; fewer rights for women, and a strong uni­tary state based on reli­gion. ElBa­radei knows he is con­ceal the group’s true nature.

5. “And I have been reaching out to them. We need to include them.”

Actually, since laun­ching his can­di­dacy for pre­si­dent, ElBa­radei has been depen­dent on the Brot­her­hood, which has fur­nis­hed most of the sup­port for his poli­ti­cal career. He is not merely inclu­ding them, he must give them a big slice of power. And they are far stron­ger than he is, than any libe­ral democra­tic move­ment is in Egypt.

So is it a “myth” that the only alter­na­tive is eit­her the Muba­rak regime (or what might be cal­led the Nasser-Sadat-Mubarak regime)? We are going to find out. But in jud­ging that issue ElBa­radei is lying to us. If he spoke the truth, he might have a bet­ter chance of dis­pro­ving this “myth.” But his lies make me sus­pi­cious that --even if a bet­ter alter­na­tive is pos­sible -- ElBa­radei is going to prove Mubarak’s myth to be accurate.

Opp­rin­ne­lig skre­vet for Rubins blogg

Pos­ted: 01 Feb 2011




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