Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Marc Ginsberg on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

From the Huffington Post:
Given its status as an illegal organization, there are only rough guestimates how many Egyptians would identify themselves as either members or support of the Brotherhood until its cells emerge from their secret hiding places.

That poses a real dilemma for anyone trying to accurately predict the Brotherhood's political strength in any free and fair election, of which there hasn't been any in Egypt.

Moreover, since 1928, its virulent paleo-jihadi salafist ideology remains a cornerstone of its political charter. It's Arabic motto remains unchanged: "Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope... Allahu akbar!"

And despite efforts to sanitize its salafist rhetoric, the Brotherhood is patently undemocratic in its rigid orthodoxy. Although banned, it fields candidates for Egypt's parliament as "independents" and have, by objective observers, accounted for garnering at least 20% of the parliamentary vote in 2005. No one knows what would happen if it were permitted to field more candidates in a free and fair election.

It's preoccupation with Egypt's parliamentary elections is merely a means to an end. The Brothers have been consistent in their goal to use whatever political avenues avail themselves to monopolize power, and then, pass whatever man-made laws are necessary to usher in Allah's ultimate law on the land.

Also, let us not forget that the Muslim Brotherhood is the primary benefactor and best friend of the terrorist organization, Hamas, which it spawned. However it may be cloaked in inoffensive-sounding language, the Brothers share Hamas' unmitigated hatred of Jews and Israel. And it is the hub of a largely underground radical Islamist political wheel, with many spokes in each major Arab nation... a true transnational Islamic political apparatus.

This is just the tip of a deep, foreboding iceberg. It would be short-sighted and naive for anyone to assert that as currently constituted, the Brotherhood has defanged itself to accommodate its future to a globalizing, more peaceful moderate Islamic institution.