Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The predicament of the Brotherhood’s support | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Our region has witnessed and is witnessing several tremors over a brief period. There is the battle for the state in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood and the general public, the repercussions of the eight-day war in Gaza, the international recognition of the Palestinian state – if only as an observer – and the fall of the Bashar al-Assad regime taking shape.

Each story on its own can be considered a tremor, but let us stop to consider the one that has struck the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region, or shall we call them the Brotherhood’s cheerleaders! They seem to have lost their senses judging by their responses to all those who disagree with them. Of course there are a number of reasons why many disagree with them, including the Brotherhood’s coup in Egypt, which is impossible to defend, as well as the eight-day war in Gaza and the manner in which it ended. In the wake of the end of the Gaza war, where the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are now acting as guarantors of a ceasefire, we now hear their leaders insisting that all factions must respect the truce with Israel. Furthermore, Khaled Mishal recently acknowledged the 1967 borders, which means that there is now no difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. In the wake of the Gaza truce, a strong tremor occurred within the ranks of the Brotherhood’s supporters, where they labeled any Arab who claimed the result not to be a victory for Hamas as “Zionists”, “agents” and “traitors”. The question here is: Traitors against whom? Agents of whom? How can they be Zionists when the Gaza truce is sponsored exclusively by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian President and Hamas? Praise for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s role came from the leaders of Israel and America, and even Time Magazine described President Mursi as currently the most important man in the Middle East after the Gaza agreement, which ended on the same terms as previous agreements signed by the Mubarak regime in 2005.

The issue, or the predicament, does not stop here. Some say that it is the provocation of the liberal media against the Brotherhood that pushed them to seize power, and the question here is: Was this not the same excuse used during the emergence of al-Qaeda terrorism in Saudi Arabia? Let us stop here for a moment, for what is coming is even more dangerous. The world is currently warning Bashar al-Assad against using chemical weapons, with condemnation coming from America, Europe, NATO and of course Israel, and here lies the real predicament for the Brotherhood cheerleaders. Prime Minister Netanyahu has come out to say that his country is closely following the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, saying: “I heard President Obama’s important remarks on the subject and we see things the same way”, i.e. with regards to intervention in Syria! And the question here is: what if we woke up and found Israel had attacked the al-Assad regime and destroyed its chemical weapons, would the Brotherhood cheerleaders then side with al-Assad, despite him killing more than 40,000 Syrians, merely because Israel had intervened? Or would they remain silent? If they choose the latter, then the question that must be asked is: what about the decades of Brotherhood provocation against the peace process and Israel?

This genuine predicament tells us that no one should involve religion in politics. Politics cannot be transformed into black and white through the pulpits or by issuing insults, for the matter is more complicated than that. This is the predicament in which the Brotherhood’s cheerleaders find themselves in today, particularly as they have failed to notice that the Brotherhood is America’s friend. In fact, we can add Israel to this list now, whilst the Brotherhood is no friend of moderate states or the liberals. Evidence of this can be seen in the Gaza truce, and the West’s silence towards the Brotherhood coup in Egypt, and therefore the Brotherhood and its cheerleaders are in a predicament, and the worst is yet to come!