Friday, January 28, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood: Not a Bad Thing?

So, yeah, the Usual Suspects are still banging on about how the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the Egyptian protests. Seems a bit unlikely considering the stories going around on Twitter about how Christians and Muslims are working together during the protests.

Regardless, there was a good piece in the Daily Beast talking about how the rise of the Brotherhood in Egypt might not be a bad thing:

The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists. Al Qaeda’s leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, started their political lives affiliated with the Brotherhood but both have denounced it for decades as too soft and a cat’s paw of Mubarak and America.

Egypt’s new opposition leader, former International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei, has formed a loose alliance with the Brotherhood because he knows it is the only opposition group that can mobilize masses of Egyptians, especially the poor. He says he can work with it to change Egypt. Many scholars of political Islam also judge the Brotherhood is the most reasonable face of Islamic politics in the Arab world today. Skeptics fear ElBaradei will be swept along by more radical forces...

...They should not be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Living with it won’t be easy but it should not be seen as inevitably our enemy. We need not demonize it nor endorse it. In any case, Egyptians now will decide their fate and the role they want the Ikhwan to play in their future.
No doubt. The point is not to completely suppress groups like the Brotherhood. It won't work, and will only enrage the populace. No, the point is to encourage all groups of society in Egypt to have a say in Egypt's future, and do what's possible to ensure that one single group doesn't exploit the opportunity to seize power. That's what happened in Iran, where a wide-spread revolution was co-opted by the Mullahs to seize control, and nobody wants to see it happen again.

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