Daily Israel Report

US Columnists Warn Against Muslim Brotherhood

“Let's make good and certain we know what we're wishing for in Egypt," warns one commentator, referring to freedom-loving but misguided Americans.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/14/2011, 11:36 AM / Last Update: 2/14/2011, 5:35 PM

Following the initial euphoria in the U.S.about the achievement of freedom in Egypt, columnists are now warning that the medium- and long-range prognosis does not bode well - neither for Egypt, nor for the West.

Writing for JewishWorldReview.com, author Prof. Waller R. Newell of Carleton University in Ottawa says that historically, “the initial reformist phase of [revolutions such as that in Egypt] focusing on individual rights and opportunity, is swept aside by radicals who want an egalitarian and collectivist political order.” Specifically, Newell writes, in Egypt “we can predict a similar outcome for Mohammed El Baradei's and other reformers' opening to the Muslim Brotherhood's leaders.”

Analyzing the progress of such revolutions, Newell concludes, “Should El Baradei (himself no friend of the U.S.and quite hostile to Israel) manage to lead the reformers in a coalition, he will be the transitional liberal figure… For the Muslim Brotherhood [is] waiting in the wings, bent on creating an Islamist collective ruled by the extreme version of Sharia law, an imitation of the Iranian theocracy. And, already, quite predictably, they are beginning to say that their new Egypt will pursue an aggressively anti-Western, and above all anti-Israel policy, making common cause with their revolutionary partners in Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.”

Muslim Brotherhood Member Gives Away the Secret
“A senior member of the Brotherhood has already announced that their aim will be to ‘prepare the Egyptian people for war with Israel’ and called for the Suez Canal to be closed so as to disrupt the West's oil trade. Another announced that a newly elected legislature's first duty will be to re-consider the peace treaty with Israel. As a matter of course, as soon as they can, the Brotherhood will terminate Egypt's tourist industry, one of its chief sources of income and an employer of many of the people demonstrating in Cairo today, because they regard tourists as a foreign taint and their interest in ancient ruins as promoting paganism. As Islamist revolutionaries, whatever more palatable image they may choose to present for now, they do not have the slightest interest in raising the Egyptian people's standard of living, because they detest liberal individualism and economic freedom.

Revolutions Take Time...
“As for the many commentators who observe that [the Muslim Brotherhood has] not yet asserted a leading role over the demonstrators, proving that the opposition is ‘broad-based,’ why would that surprise anyone after a mere three weeks? Five years elapsed between the opening of the French Revolution and the Terror of 1793. It took two years for Bani Sadr to go from being the president of the new Iranian Republic to being impeached by the Khomeinists and driven from the country… I predict that, within a few months of a transitional reformist regime taking over, headed by a coalition of largely secular reformists, we will see enormous demonstrations in the streets by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, far better organized and militant than the ones that drove out Mubarak, a sea of banners shouting for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of all American and western influence.

“Let's make good and certain we know what we're wishing for in Egypt. Authoritarian regimes can transition to liberal democracy, but it is an infinitely complex and potentially dangerous process.”

Muslim Brotherhood's True Goals
Barry Rubin, writing on his RubinReports blog site, details the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood. He says that contrary to El Baradei’s reassurances, the organization “has a great deal to do with extremism [ - ] a distinctively Egyptian Sunni form of extremism…The Brotherhood is quite unhappy with Egyptian society and wants to change it drastically. That is why it is a revolutionary group, even though it has been patient and careful about pushing the revolution… It dissolved its terrorist wing only because of government pressure, and has advocated terrorism against Americans and Israelis. It applauded and incited the assassinations of secular activists and Egypt's leading novelist… Its rhetoric sounds quite like al-Qaeda… According to its platform, the Brotherhood favors greater rights for Muslims; fewer rights for women, and a strong unitary state based on religion…  El Baradei has been dependent on the Brotherhood, which has furnished most of the support for his political career. He is not merely ‘including’ them [as he claims]; he must give them a big slice of power. And they are far stronger than he is..."

Obama Reminiscent of Chamberlain
New York Post columnist Arnold Ahlert adds that the Obama Administration’s refusal to condemn the Muslim Brotherhood or work against it “bears a remarkable resemblance to the fine line walked by Neville Chamberlain, whose ‘peace’ with Hitler was another seminal moment in time when such abject naivete coupled with arrogance strutted itself on the world stage… Israel certainly understands the stakes, and pundits in that country have made it clear that they consider the Obama administration's determination to move the process along as quickly as possible --which accrues to no one's interest more than the Muslim Brotherhood -- as a ‘bullet in the back from Uncle Sam.’"

"Jewish Americans?," Ahlert asks. "One can only wonder if there is a tipping point with regard to this administration in particular, and/or progressivism in general. Does the thought of Israel being potentially surrounded by those who yearn for its annihilation, and knowing that such potential is being facilitated by this president, raise cause for concern? If not, what does? It is really possible to ignore the historical parallels between the inexorable rise of Nazism and the current path of Islamic jihad?”