Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

“What if the Muslim Brotherhood…?” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A colleague writing in a Saudi Arabian newspaper published an article criticizing the decision made by an Israeli court not to recognize marriages between Israeli nationals and Arabs [law does not permit Arabs married to Israeli nationals with Israeli citizenship]. The writer has every right to criticize this racist decision; that is not the issue.

In the beginning of the article in question, the Saudi writer asked “what if a Muslim Brotherhood member from the Freedom and Justice Party issued a statement saying that the Muslim Brotherhood does not recognize the marriage of an Egyptian national and a Jew, even if this marriage took place decades ago? Of course, this would receive criticism from across the world, from the far north of Canada to the farthest southern point of Antarctica; the Muslim Brotherhood would be accused of hateful racism, blind extremism and opposing human rights!” End quote.

However the question that must be asked here is: why did the Saudi writer reduce all Muslims to the Muslim Brotherhood? Why did he not say “what if a Muslim…?” Why did he not say “Muslim regime” [instead of Muslim Brotherhood]? The logical answer is that the writer, like many others in the region and in Saudi Arabia, has begun to feel a sense of arrogance due to the rising star of the Muslim Brotherhood in most regional countries that were affected by the Arab Spring, or the Arab earthquake. If the writer was talking about the situation in Egypt in particular, why did he not say “what if a Salafist..?” The Salafists are closer to the incitement against everything to do with Israel, even if they – like the Muslim Brotherhood – believe that there is nothing wrong with negotiations, and they no longer repudiate anybody who recognizes the Camp David Accords with Israel, after they previously viewed anybody who defended this as being a traitor!

This is true arrogance, and that is why today we are seeing people come out to defend the Muslim Brotherhood, acting as if they are the Muslim Brotherhood ambassadors to Saudi Arabia or other Gulf states. These same people are also trying to refine the image of [Rashid] Ghannouchi, despite his previous – and confirmed – position on the Gulf. They are trying to convince us today that the Muslim Brotherhood is the solution, whilst the [Muslim Brotherhood’s] slogan was previously, “Islam is the solution.” However if these people opened their eyes a little they would realize that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are in a quagmire, as it has now become halal to target them after they descended to the political arena; people are no longer telling their members, “may Allah reward you, Sheikh” but rather are asking them about how they should pay their bills and complaining that there are not enough jobs. This represents a huge change. If the level of arrogance had not reached this stage, the writer would not have written “what if a Muslim Brotherhood member…did not recognize the marriage of an Egyptian national and a Jew”, for he has forgotten that Islam permits marriage between Muslims and Jews, for Jews are one of the people of the book; so how can the Muslim Brotherhood prohibit something that was permitted by God Almighty?

Therefore, this arrogance by the disciples of the Muslim Brotherhood is dangerous, as it distracts us from the vital question, namely: is the Muslim Brotherhood capable of building a state according to the principle of “giving food against hunger and security against fear” [Surat al-Quraish; Verse 4], where the religion is God, and the state is for everybody?

The indications are not good, therefore discussion and caution is required, particularly after Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood rejected [Turkish Prime Minister] Erdogan’s famous advice!