February 19, 2012

Ignatius: Obama's “cosmic wager” on the Muslim Brotherhood’s peaceful intentions.

David Ignatius penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on February 15th that looks at Obama's course of conduct toward the Muslim Brotherhood, commencing in 2009 with his oft-cited Cairo speech. He says, by courting the MB:
the United States helped legitimize their political aspirations; by refusing to come to Mubarak’s rescue during the Tahrir Square protests a year ago, the United States all but guaranteed that the Brotherhood would emerge as a dominant political force in a new Egypt.
I think that there is some merit to this claim. This leads to the question of whether or not there has been significant damage to anti-Mubarak liberals who want a more democratic and pluralistic Egypt? Some say yes and point to the evidence on the ground.

I wonder what occurred after meeting in secret with MB legislators, and direct meetings with the MB thereafter, only to be misled by the MB as to their electoral ambitions?

I also agree with the view set forth by Olivier Roy, related by Ignatius, that: 
“Democratic culture does not precede democratic institutions; democratic culture is the internalization of these institutions”
Does this apply to the MB? Is it justified to believe that a path of tacit support, where the MB predominates over the internalization of institutions, will be fundamentally democratic in approach? The MB mission is clear that it wishes to destroy democracy, and establish a system of intolerance, especially toward non-believers. Consider, for example, what the American MB said about its strategic goal of "settlement" in North America:
“The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Thus, is accommodating the MB a poor wager? Is gambling even appropriate in a matter such as this, that may have far reaching consequences? Does Obama pay sufficient attention to its purpose NOT to pursue democracy?

A bit more about the MB:

Putting aside the Obama's performance in dealing with the MB for a moment, I am more critical about how the liberals have been affected, in Egypt, in America, and elsewhere. These are people who share our values of human rights, but sound warnings, based on experience, that political Islam does not seek democracy, but to impose the norms of Shari'a and coerce others into submission. For speaking out, often a great personal danger, they are often treated like pariahs, when we should be saluting everywhere their bravery and cause. This is where Obama has performed worst, turning away from those who are oppressed and want to create societies that stand for universal human rights, in favor of those who do not such creations.

I am surprised by the influence possessed by MB American affiliates, particularly after their exposure as fronts for the MB, knowing its mission. Now the Government seeks to remove any hint that political Islam, as envisioned by the MB and others, exists as a threat to democracy. MB entities say things for Western consumption that obscure their actual intentions, and are provided with disproportionate power to decide what is proper expression and censor anything they do not like. Who could ask for anything more?

These issues should concern all those who promote Western ideals of liberalism, irrespective of political candidate. But that is not how it seems to work these days, where more seems to depend on candidates than anything, sometimes resulting in the strangest of bedfellows.

(Tip to Doodad)


  1. No matter how you look at it, the MB is bad news. Hanging with them is such terrible hypocrisy. One may as well be playing with Nazis.

  2. I honestly do not get it, the extent to which we are able to suspend reality.

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