Gjesteskribent

Det muslimske brorskap i Egypt står for en islamsk stat der minoriteter vil få det tøft. Selvstendige, frie borgere vil være ukjent. Det vil være en islamsk stat, styrt av og for muslimer. Det kalles religiøst diktatur.

Likevel er det de som svermer for islamistene, som førsteamanuensis ved Institutt for kulturstudier og orientalske språk ved UiO, Bjørn Olav Utvik. Han er blant dem som har invitert en av Brorskapets ledere, Dr Abd al-Mun’im Abu al-Futuh, til å holde foredrag på universitetet, om mulighetene for dialog mellom Vesten og islam.

Jeg kan ikke se hva Dr Abd al-Mun’im Abu al-Futuh har å gjøre på universitetet. Han er politiker, ikke akademiker. Brorskapet snakker med mange tunger, og han vil aldri si rett ut hva de mener, men avpasse budskapet. Men det er kanskje det som er meningen: Å spre oppfatningen av at Brorskapet er blitt demokratisk og tar avstand fra vold.

Brorskapet representerer den ikke-voldelige delen av islamismen, som er vel så farlig som den voldelige. Den står sterkt i Egypt, Jordan og Syria. Regjeringspartiet i Tyrkia er også islamistisk og ønsker at islam skal prege Tyrkia sterkere. Vi snakker om en islamist-bølge som går over hele den islamske verden. Felles er et ønske om en stat som er grunnlagt på islam. Det skal være kilden for all autoritet, og lovene må ikke stride mot sharia. Dette er en mildere utgave enn jihadistenes kalifat, men det er graderinger. Også Brorskapets stat vil være et religiøst diktatur.

Brorskapet har vært hardt forfulgt opp gjennnom tiden. Men det var de selv som utløste forfølgelsene gjennom å gå til angrep på staten og kulturelle uttrykk som teatre og kinoer i Kairo på slutten av 40-tallet. Undertrykkelsen ble blodig, og Brorskapet tok lærdom. Deres strategi ble å overta samfunnet nedenfra, slik grunnleggeren Hassan al-Banna gikk inn for. Ved parlamentsvalget i desember 2005 fikk Brorskapet 20 prosent av stemmene, til tross for at de ble hindret i å stille som parti. I januar 2006 seiret avleggeren Hamas i de palestinske områdene, en seier Brorskapet oppfattet som sin.

Amerikanerne ønsket å demokratisere Midtøsten. Nå står det klart at det kan bli islamistene som vinner, hvis regimene tillater frie valg. I den forstand er Brorskapet demokratiske. Slik Hitler etter det mislykte kuppet i 1923 bestemte seg for å vinne makten med legale midler. Når makten først var vunnet ville det bli en annen dans.

Selv om Brorskapet er vage, legger de ikke skjul på at det blir en islamistisk stat. Hvor all autoritet utgår fra Koranen.

Det får en rekke konsekvenser, for minoriteter, for kulturlivet, for kvinnene.

Selv om Brorskapet er unnvikende når de blir spurt hva slags stat de vil opprette, er praksis i nasjonalforsamlingen beskrivende nok.

Da myndighetene tillot Bahaiene å få sin tro oppgitt i id-papirer, ble det ramaskrik.
(Mohammad Mahdi Akif er den øverste leder for Brorskapet.)

Bahai må dø

The MB’s attitude toward other minorities reflects a similar approach. When Alexandria’s Administrative Court issued a ruling on April 4, 2006 instructing the Interior Ministry to allow a citizen’s identity card to state that the holder was a Baha’i, the Brotherhood reacted with outrage. In the May 3, 2006 parliamentary debate on the ruling, MB deputies said that the Baha’is were apostates who should be killed. Quoting a hadith attributed to the Prophet Mohammed to support their position, they declared that they would draft a law making Baha’ism a crime and branding the Baha’is apostates. [12]

‘Akif had responded to previous criticism of the MB for linking religion and politics and for seeking to establish a theocracy by saying that the MB is, in fact, proud of linking politics with religion and struggles to do so. Any conception of Islam that limits it to the sphere of worship (‘ibadat) and morals (akhlaq), and that dispossesses it of its role in leading mankind and governing human affairs (siyasat umuriha), contradicts both the truth of Islam as presented by the Prophet Mohammed and the will of Allah. [13] In answer to the same criticism, ‘Akif’s deputy Habib stated on the MB’s English-language website: «Islam, as Imam al-Banna said, is a comprehensive program that encompasses all aspects of life: it is a state and a country, a government and people, ethics and power, mercy and justice, resources and wealth, defense and advocacy, an army and an idea, a true belief and correct acts of worship.» [14]

Kulturlivet

Brorskapet forsikrer at de vil ha kultur, men under overoppsyn. Norges-gjesten, Dr. Abd al-Mun’im Abu al-Futuh, deltok i en delgasjon som oppsøkte Nobelprivsinner Nagouib Mafouz, som var blitt erklært kjetter for sine bøker.

Another conciliatory gesture that generated internal dissent was directed toward Egypt’s secular and liberal elite. In December, Abu al-Futuh and another second generation leader, Hisham Hamami, paid a symbolic and unprecedented visit to the author Najib Mahfuz, considered by many in the MB to be a heretic because of his book Awlad Haretna («The Children of Our Neighborhood»). The visit, and what was said during it, was strongly condemned by many in the MB ranks, who came close to labeling ‘Abu al- Futuh an apostate. [36] The resistance to these overtures came not only from the old guard, but also from middle-aged and younger members educated in the movement’s dawa institutions. Al-‘Aryan has complained that the curricula in these institutions, developed when the MB was being persecuted, are imbued with salafi radicalism and suspicion of others and need to be reformed. [37]

Abu al-Futuh described his visit to Mahfuz as a way of assuring artists, writers, and others with an interest in literature and culture that the MB is not against creative freedom and culture. [38] He was supported to some degree by Habib, who declared that the MB «in principle is not against culture, arts and creativity,» and that political reform should include freedom of the press, of criticism and of thought. He emphasized, though, that the people’s representatives should «bring to accountability those bodies or institutions that promote pornography, homosexuality or moral perversion under the guise of creativity. It is essential to subject those so-called creative works to examination and review by specialized and expert people.» [39]

USA må ut av regionen

Brorskapet har samme syn på USAs rolle i regionen som Al Qaida: Amerikanerne må trekke seg ut. Man er villig til å forhandle om betingelsene, bla. kan man tenke seg at EU hjelper til med tilbaketoget fra Irak og å få avviklet det sionistiske prosjekt som det påtvang regionen. Det vil se demonteringen av staten Israel!

On the international front, the plan focuses on what it refers to as the threat to Egyptian and Arab national security. That threat emanates from the despotism and self-centeredness of the ruling elites, from the «Zionist entity» Israel and from American intervention in the region’s affairs. In response, the MB proposes taking five steps: cooperating with elites and political forces against «the American and Zionist project»; mobilizing Arab and Islamic public opinion against «the project of hegemony and barbaric globalization»; building up a resistance force based on popular solidarity and elite consensus that will thwart this hegemonic project and demand reform of governments and the economy; working to balance relations with the American people and opening a dialogue with the American government to discuss, on an equal footing, a U.S. withdrawal from the region; and opening a dialogue with Europe that will help the United States out of its military quandary and encourage Europe to bear its responsibility for «exporting the Zionist project to our countries.» The MB plan also calls for a review of worsening minority problems in the region and for blocking what it terms Zionist and American efforts to capitalize on historical grievances of minorities in order to threaten the region’s states and peoples.

Sionistenes og amerikanernes spekulative utnyttelse av minoriteters historiske klagemål, er Brorskapets eufemisme for amerikanernes frigjøring av shiaene, som Brorskapet åpenbart er imot. Slik tildekkes alle reelle politiske motsetninger som ikke passer inn i deres kram.

Problemene med autoritære dysfunksjonelle regimer og en svulmende befolkning uten fremtidsutsikter, tilskrives det sionistisk-neokonservative hegemoni-prosjektet som må avvises for enhver pris.

Forhold til USA

Det gjøres et nummer av at andre radikale grupper kritiserer Brorskapet. Men det er en uenighet om taktikk. Holdningen til USA og Vesten er den samme uforsonlige. Men Brorskapet er en stor bevegelse som rommer flere ulike tilnærmingsmåter.

MB discussions propose two main approaches to the United States—a black-and white one that accepts inevitable conflict and rejects any form of dialogue, and a more nuanced vision that allows for dialogue but only under seemingly prohibitive conditions. The first approach, reflecting traditional MB attitudes, sees no room for engagement with the United States because the MB’s agenda and the American agenda are totally at odds. [61] ‘Akif, who holds this position, has dedicated several missives to portraying the United States as the embodiment of evil.

In the new American global order, he maintains, mankind is divided into ten classes: Americans and Zionists are in the first one, Europeans in the second, and lastly the tenth class is comprised of the inhabitants of the Arab, Muslim and Asian worlds. [62] That global order—or global nightmare—is actually run surreptitiously by the Sons of Zion. [63] Since the United States raised the battle cry in its war on terror, the international community, particularly the West, has followed it and apparently accepted its flawed analysis. The American government insists that whoever joins its alliance is a «democrat» and whoever disagrees with its means of fighting terror is a terrorist himself or a supporter of terror. [64] The MB, ‘Akif says, has been in the vanguard of those who view the American call for democracy and freedom with suspicion. The United States has, after all, a dark history of imperialism, continues to aid despotic regimes, is in total alignment with the Zionist project, and craves our resources. [65] Speaking in March at the fourth conference of the «International Campaign Against the American and Zionist Occupation»—which was held in Cairo using the slogan «For the Resistance in Palestine and Iraq; Against Globalization, Imperialism and Zionism»—‘Akif called for an economic boycott of imperialist states. He said that cultural products should be included in this boycott because they are designed to transform thoughts, morals and behavioral patterns and to increase susceptibility to imperialism. [66]

Taking a more moderate approach, some members of the second generation faction have declared an interest in opening a dialogue with the United States, but they recognize the multiple risks involved. The Egyptian government might accuse the MB of colluding with foreign powers. Takfiri and jihadi groups, Iran, Hizbollah, and even radicals within the movement itself might accuse the MB of treason. Finally, the MB might be manipulated by the Americans. Shortly after the parliamentary elections, al-‘Aryan nonetheless stated that the MB welcomed dialogue as a cultural and human value, within the context of its revivalist vision of Islam and its commitment to the gradual and flexible implementation of sharia. It welcomed open and public discussion with any segment of American society other than the U.S. administration, he said. MB members have participated in meetings with members of Congress and are willing to continue to do so. Even meetings with official representatives of the administration would be possible if they were public, known to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, and served the interest of Egypt and the Arab homeland. [67]

Det er møter som dette som utlegges som moderasjon av enkelte. Men uforsonligheten er ikke til å ta feil av. Interessant nok har Brorskapet rådet Hamas-regjeringen til ikke å løpe etter Israel, men å gjøre seg kostbar og utilnærmelig.

De har også fått råd om å legge skjul på sine egentlige hensikter.

Al-‘Aryan went on to advise Hamas to learn from the example of the Zionist movement and the Jewish state—that is, to use a lot of talk about peace to disguise its true aims. Hamas should simultaneously work hard to build a strong, united Palestinian society capable of achieving its real goal of replacing Israel with a Palestinian state. [75] Al-‘Aryan further counseled Hamas to play hard to get. It should not appear to yearn for negotiations or dialogue, or to knock on the doors of the Jews, Europe, or the United States. Let everyone come knocking on the Palestinians’ door, he said. [76] To a large extent, these tips indicate the MB’s own tactics in dealing with such matters.

Brorskapet ble av mange ansett for å ha stagnert på 80-tallet, men har nå gjort et comeback. Det teller på knappene om det skal gjøre et fremstøt for å overta makten. Foreløpig dyrker det å være i opposisjon. Men det var særlig blant de unge at de fikk stemmer under desember-valget, under slagordet. «Islam er Løsningen».

Since the 1980s, many have accused the Egyptian MB of just pretending to be a religious revival movement while actually remaining ideologically and intellectually conservative, even stagnant. It focused almost exclusively on cultivating its organization and its members’ loyalty, they charged, and suffocated innovative, creative thinking. Several of its most prominent thinkers defected, and its stature among the world’s other MB organizations declined. Though formally it still holds the leadership of the International Organization of the MB, such figures as Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (who left the Egyptian MB), or the non-Egyptians Rashid al-Ghannouchi, Hassan al-Turabi and Faisal al-Mawlawi, have become the leading religious and intellectual authorities in the international movement.

But the Egyptian MB views its indisputable success in the 2005 elections as a vindication of its approach. Though external pressure may have forced Mubarak to allow for some degree of free elections, which in turn allowed the MB to assert electoral power for the first time, this electoral power was created by the MB, through its dawa and social activities. Its electoral success, therefore, can be expected to strengthen the hands of those in the MB who reject change. If the movement is getting stronger the way it is, they may well argue, why change its methods, let alone objectives? If the slogan «Islam is the solution» resonates with hundreds of thousands of voters, why replace it with another, more neutral slogan that might mollify the Copts but also produce a scantier harvest of votes? And why risk dangerous confrontations with a declining regime fighting for its survival when the MB now has the momentum?

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood After the 2005 Elections

by Israel Elad-Altman
Published on Wednesday, November 01, 2006