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Opinion: Why is the West bowing before the Brotherhood? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Most of the Western remarks about the Muslim Brotherhood’s exclusion from governance in Egypt seem to indicate that the Brotherhood is controlling the keys to terrorism, and that the West can either instigate it or end it.

I cannot understand how the West believes the Brotherhood is actually administrating Al-Qaeda, or even that it has political and religious powers directing armed groups. I cannot also understand how the Brotherhood’s rule would save the West from terrorism in the world.

This is nonsense. At the time of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s organized operations, the Muslim Brotherhood’s words were not heard or taken into consideration and their ties did not work towards halting the violence. The Muslim Brotherhood never succeeded in supporting Al-Qaeda in any of its operations. The group was bragging about representing the other half of dynamic Islamists.

The ongoing violence since the 1990s is directed by Islamic extremist groups expressing their intentions, ideas and programs. These groups have their own leaders, followers and marketing means. We cannot confuse these groups with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the National Islamic Front in Sudan, the Ennahda Movement in Tunisia, or any other political group. Al-Qaeda and the other jihadist groups do not recognize the Brotherhood or similar political movements: Al-Qaeda believes that such groups are conspiring with the regimes.

On the other hand, why does the West believe that Arabs and Muslims have to accept such political groups, even if they violated rights and sought to dominate institutions? Why do they feel that such groups must be accepted and obeyed? That is what happened in Egypt, as the West is afraid to provoke these groups because, according to them, they can incite terrorism.

Why is the West ready to concede defeat as soon as these groups’ leaders blackmail the West? You either have to submit to their demands or they will wage violence against you; this is what leaders speaking on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, seeking to amplify their threats on English-speaking channels, made sure to convey to Western capitals.

The greatest dangers of terrorism groups come from Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria today; these are neither linked to the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, nor to any Muslim Brotherhood group, whether in Syria, Egypt or elsewhere.

The armed jihadist groups in Libya and Algeria have nothing to do with any of the Islamic parties in these countries.

Two problems occur when the West supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt today and calls for solidarity and dialogue with them, or when the European Union holds a meeting, as it will next week, for this same purpose. The first problem is supporting extremist leaders within the Brotherhood, who entangled the group with their practices that did not take into consideration the government’s rules, but rather only worked to dominate the country.

There are great leaders, such as Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, who seceded from the Brotherhood because of the extremism of the group’s leadership. The world, and not just the West, is expected to push the Brotherhood forces to support moderate historical and young leaders, not leaders such as the current supreme guide or Khairat Al-Shater, Mohamed Beltagy, Safwat Hijazi and others.

The second problem is unsettling any possibility for political reconciliation, where extremists feel they are able to impose any solution on the Egyptians from outside.

Finally, surrendering to the blackmail of extremist groups did not succeed in modifying the behavior of these groups in the past and will not succeed today. Rather, it will strengthen terrorist voices, which say that the West is ready to walk out on the largest Arab country. These are fascist groups that want to dominate the region. What will it be like when they will control Egypt on their own terms?

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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