Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Brotherhood’s true colors | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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One can only be astounded by those in Egypt and the Gulf, specifically some in Saudi Arabia, who are shocked by what the Muslim Brotherhood has done in Egypt, where the President has granted himself new powers not held by any ruler since the pharaohs. It was as if they, i.e. those who are shocked, were waiting for the Brotherhood to rule democratically along the lines of America and Europe.

With respect to everyone, this is not the time for courtesies. Since the January 25th revolution, a very small number, particularly in this newspaper, were alert and warned of what the Muslim Brotherhood was doing in Egypt. This was not because these writers were fortune tellers, but rather because they had read history well, and they knew that past experiences of Islamic rule were not commensurate with democracy. Rather, Islamic currents have traditionally pursued an irreversible and uncompromising road to seizing power, using a simple means whereby they speak in the name of God and denounce all those who oppose them as infidels, outside agents or Zionists.

Thus, what is happening in Egypt was expected, and we warned of it at length. We said: Fasten your seatbelts! And we were told: Give Mursi a chance! The Egyptians, particularly the political and youth forces were told: Put the constitution first. Do not simply be firewood for the Brotherhood’s battles with the military, do not become preoccupied with the stories of remnants, and do not become absorbed in hatred for Mubarak, because revenge does not build nations. The Egyptians were also told: To vote for Shafik is to choose the civil state, and to vote for Mursi is to choose the religious state, along the lines of Iran, and this is what is happening in Egypt today. No one listened, and distrust and incitement prevailed.

In the Gulf, specifically in Saudi Arabia, we have seen the Brotherhood bloc suddenly emerge on some satellite channels, in newspapers, and on social networks. A wave of misinformation and incitement has spread to trigger chaos across the Gulf, with Brotherhood members and those allied with them trying to deceive everyone for different reasons but with the same goal; to normalize the Muslim Brotherhood model in the Gulf, taking heart from what has happened in Egypt. In addition to the great incitement in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Jordan was also targeted. Yet the irony here is that those inciting for the Jordanian King to abdicate today and also justifying the Egyptian President’s moves to monopolize power! We are now being overwhelmed by justifications, between those trying to tailor democracy so that it fits with the Brotherhood’s objectives, and between those who have been shocked by what has happened but do not want to say they were wrong to trust and defend the Brotherhood in the first place!

Indeed the justifications of the Brotherhood members themselves, and those affiliated with the group, are the most laughable. Some of them say that the road to democracy requires certain dictatorial decisions, whilst others say that Mursi’s actions are only temporary, and that he must be given a longer chance. This is a bigger joke than “give him a chance for the first 100 days”!

Hence, what the Muslim Brotherhood did in Egypt was to be expected, and some rational minds warned of it. This was not a case of fortune telling; for in politics you cannot overlook history, geography, culture, constitutions, experiences, and the actors involved. Anyone who went to the trouble of reading one book about the Muslim Brotherhood would not have been shocked by what they have done, and there would be no need today for these ridiculous justifications!