Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Brotherhood’

Rand Paul and Egypt

July 8, 2013

Senator Rand Paul sent two tweets attacking “neocons” for supporting for military coup in Egypt and urging that foreign aid be cut off.

  1. In Egypt, democratic authoritarianism is replaced with military junta. American neocons say send them more of your money.

  2. In Egypt, governments come and go. The only thing certain is that American taxpayers will continue to be stuck with the $1.5 billion bill.

Personally, I would prefer that the military rule over Egypt rather than the Muslim Brotherhood. The military is less likely to start a war with Israel or massacre the Copts. Ideally, of course, would be democracy, but there is more to democracy than just regular elections. If there is no respect for the rights and property of the minority, or if the majority is perfectly happy voting themselves into slavery, than democracy doesn’t work all that well.
What seems to be forgotten by neocons and others is that democracy is not the ultimate end of government. The whole reason to have government is the protect the rights and liberties of the people ruled. A democratic government that is responsive to public opinion is more likely to protect people’s rights, but even a democratic government can be tyrannical towards the minority. We don’t just want democracy in places like Egypt. We want a government that will not oppress any of the people.
Getting back to Egypt, I think our best policy would be not to interfere in their politics. Just as in Syria, there are no clear good guys, and certainly no Washingtons or Jeffersons. It would probably also be a good idea to reduce the aid we give them, and cut out any military aid completely. There is no point in arming a potential adversary.

 

Advertisements

Eleven Years Since 9/11

September 11, 2012

 

Another year has gone by and it is September 11 again. I am not sure if I really have anything to add to my comments from last year. There have been memorials going on all over the country and the world, but all of these are useless if we do not heed the lessons we should have learned from that tragic day.

I know that few Americans are paying attentions to foreign affairs lately. We have a bad economy to contend with and a presidential election coming up. I wish that more Americans, including some in the White House, would realize that the world is still a dangerous place, even if Osama bin Ladin is no longer in it. We ought to be a lot more concerned about how the Arab Spring is rapidly turning into the Islamic nightmare all over the Middle East. We ought to be thinking how many more bin Ladins there are in the next generation of young Arabs, who are frustrated by the abject failure of their societies and decide to take those frustrations out on the successful, this time with the full support of an Islamist government in Egypt, Syria, or Turkey.

We also should get over the political correctness and admit that Islam is a problem. I know that the great majority of Muslims are like anyone else and want no trouble with their neighbors. The problem is that Islamic theology recognizes no distinction between mosque and state and Islamic scriptures do encourage violence against unbelievers. I really don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but pretending that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance will not make the problem go away, nor will pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood is secular or that Iran does not want nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, we remember and hope that we never have cause to mourn again.

May God continue to bless America.

 

 

Profile in Folly

July 23, 2012

 

I came across this opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, which grants John McCain a profile in courage for his opposition to an investigation of Huma Abedin, a Deputy Chief of Staff for Hilary Clinton who may have some links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy and other paranoid anti-communists saw Reds under the bed – and in the State Department. Today a fringe group of conservatives believes similarly that Islamic fundamentalists have infiltrated the deepest recesses of the American government.

In refuting such an aspersion made by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., against a State Department official, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has struck a profile in courage that should encourage other conservatives to distance themselves from crackpot conspiracy theories.

On Wednesday McCain defended Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who serves as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a letter to the inspector general of the State Department, Bachmann and four other Republican representatives had warned that Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” The letter was one of five sent to inspectors general of various agencies citing “serious security concerns” about Muslim Brotherhood penetration.

Now, as it happens, those paranoid anti-Communists were absolutely correct. There really were Communists in the State Department who really were spying for the Soviet Union and really were trying to influence policy. Joe McCarthy was right. The problem with Sen McCarthy was that he was something of a bully and a buffoon who brought discredit on a very important cause. After fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB archives were briefly opened for inspection and McCarthy and others have been vindicated. If anything, US counter-intelligence agencies were not paranoid enough.

The Soviet Union is gone and China is trying to become, well whatever China is trying to become, not doctrinaire Communist at any rate. We have nothing to fear from Communism anymore. This does not mean we have no enemies. As incredible as it may seem, there really are people in the world who hate America and seek to do us harm. Where would I get such a crazy idea?

 

I can’t imagine.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization dedicated to setting up Sharia Islamic rule wherever they can. They are close to gaining power in Egypt, and other Middle-Eastern nations, and they do not like the United States. They are smarter than al-Qaeda, though, and while they are willing to use violent terrorism when necessary, they are aware that violence is often counter-productive, especially in Western countries. Therefore, many members of the Muslim Brother prefer to use what they call “stealth jihad”, that is slowly and quietly gaining control of a country’s institutions with the ultimate aim of imposing Shariah.

It might be easy to dismiss this, and the Muslim Brother does not have the resources or sophistication that the Communists had. Fewer well educated Westerners are likely to become enamored with an Islamist organisation than they were with various Communist Parties. Still, it would be foolish to ignore the very real threat that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists pose. Perhaps as foolish as pretending that the Soviets were no threat.

Numa Abedin apparently has relatives who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is likely that she herself has no Islamist sympathies but it is not paranoid or foolish to investigate the matter, nor is it being an islamophobe (whatever that is exactly) to suggest that anyone with connections with an organization hostile to the United States not be permitted access to any classified material. John McCain is not being courageous here. he is being a fool.
.

 

Worst of Both Worlds

June 24, 2012

I said that with Obama we get the corruption and lawlessness of Richard Nixon and the incompetence and fecklessness of Jimmy Carter. Last week, we saw the lawlessness with Obama’s invoking of Executive Privilege. This week, we will see the incompetence and stupidity of his foreign policy. The weeks starts off with the Muslim Brotherhood‘s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, winning the presidential election in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi has officially won Egypt’s presidential election and will be the country’s next president, the electoral commission has announced.

Morsi picked up 13.2 million votes out of just over 26 million, giving him about 51 per cent of the vote. His competitor, Ahmed Shafik, the final prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, received 12.3 million. More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated.

The president-elected delivered a victory address on Sunday night. He spoke on state television, long a medium which demonised him and the Muslim Brotherhood. He thanked the Egyptian people for their votes, calling them “my family” and “my beloved,” and promised to work to “restore their rights.”

“I have no rights, only responsibilities,” Morsi said. “If I do not deliver, do not obey me.”

He also reached out to the army, the police, and Egypt’s intelligence services, thanking them for their work in protecting the country, and promised to “preserve” the military.

This is not, to put it mildly, a positive development for US interests, peace in the region, or freedom for the Egyptian people. In fairness, there is not much Obama could, or really should, have done about this. I suppose this election was more or less a fair one and many Egyptians perhaps prefer Islamist tyranny over the incompetent military despotism they have been enduring. Still, it was indecent for Obama to throw Mubarak under the bus by calling for an end to his rule last year. It was indecent and unwise, considering who his opposition really was.

But, I can and do fault Obama for his apparent cluelessness over what Morsi’s victory most likely means for Egypt. I am going to quote the entirety of this article in Politico.

The White House congratulated Egypt‘s president-elect Mohamed Morsi on his victory in that country’s presidential election, calling it a “milestone” in the country’s transition to democracy.

“We look forward to working together with President-elect Morsi and the government he forms, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States,” press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Morsi, a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party, was announced as the winner in the election Sunday morning — but the extent of the powers of the presidency are still in flux with Egypt’s military threatening to curtain the powers of the presidency.

“We believe that it is important for President-elect Morsi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government. We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians.  Millions of Egyptians voted in the election, and President-elect Morsi and the new Egyptian government have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry,” Carney said.

“The United States intends to work with all parties within Egypt to sustain our long-standing partnership as it consolidates its democracy.  We commend the Presidential Election Commission and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for their role in supporting a free and fair election, and look forward to the completion of a transition to a democratically-elected government,” Carney said. “We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability.  And we will stand with the Egyptian people as they pursue their aspirations for democracy, dignity, and opportunity, and fulfill the promise of their revolution.”

I sincerely hope that this is just for sort of diplomatic nonsense that Presidents are expected to say on such occasions. Because if Obama really believes the sentiments in his Press Secretary’s statement, than he is even more naïve than the people in the Carter administration who believed the Ayatollah Khomeini would just be a religious figurehead in a democratic Iran. Indeed, I am beginning to see a frightening similarity between what is going on in Egypt and the events in Iran back in 1978, and the American president’s reactions.

Meanwhile, Israel is becoming more nervous, with good reason. In the article from the AP, Prime Minister Netanyahu tries to put a good face on the election results, but he is clearly unhappy.

Israel’s prime minister says he hopes peace with Egypt will remain intact after it chose an Islamist president.

Israel has been apprehensive about the possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood taking the top spot in neighboring Egypt, because the veteran Islamist group does not formally recognize Israel.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979.

Reacting to the announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate won, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped the treaty would stand.

“Israel expects to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace agreement between the two countries, which is of interest to the two peoples and contributes to regional stability,” Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has said it would maintain the treaty but would demand changes in it.

I do not think there will be open war any time soon. The Muslim Brotherhood would seek to consolidate its power in Egypt first and, as long as the military has any influence , they will prefer to keep the peace rather than start a war they know they could not win. There might be trouble a few years down the road though. If the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule does not improve Egypt’s economy, they could well decide to start trouble with Israel as a distraction. I think that it would be a very good idea for the US to limit military aid and cooperation with Egypt right now, and make it very clear, as Obama has not, that continued economic aid is contingent on the Egyptian government keeping peace with Israel and respecting the rights of religious minorities. But, this would require a more clear-headed grasp of events in the Middle east than anyone in the Obama administration has so far shown.

Book Burning in Egypt

January 1, 2012

In the year 642 the Arab armies led by Amr ibn al-Aas captured the city of Alexandria in Egypt. According to some reports, al-Aas wrote back to the Caliph Omar for instructions on what to do with the famous library. Omar wrote back that if the books agree with the Koran, al-Aas should destroy them as they are unnecessary, if they do not agree with the Koran, destroy them as they are blasphemous. It is not clear whether that story is true or not. Other reports have the library destroyed by a Christian mob, or by Julius Caesar. Whether it is true or not, it would seem that at least some of the increasingly powerful Islamists in Egypt wholeheartedly agree with the supposed sentiments of the Caliph Omar, as can be seen in this article in Israel Today.

On December 17, an Egyptian mob – presumably of the type that has been voting for the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour – demonstrated that they have no intention of “modernizing” or adopting Western-style pragmatism when they torched the Institute of Egypt in Cairo.

Among the casualties of the Islamist assault were some 192,000 rare books and manuscripts.

The Institute of Egypt was established by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in the late 18th century. For centuries the Institute of Egypt housed priceless chronicles of the nation’s history, as well as the findings of hundreds of top scholars and scientists.

The Institute of Egypt symbolized Egypt’s connection to the West, and for many its establishment was the start of the “modern era” in Egypt. And that is why it had to go. Because Egypt’s Islamists have no intention of modernizing, not on Western terms, at any rate. Like the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, their ultimate goal is to return Egypt to a medieval form of life where a strict interpretation of Sharia Law governs the actions of all.

If the library was established by Napoleon, than the books probably don’t agree with the Koran.

Thanks to Jihad Watch for mentioning this.

 

Muslim Brotherhood Gaining in Egypt

December 1, 2011

Oh, crap. Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood seem to be doing very well in the Egyptian elections. I didn’t expect any other outcome but I don’t like reading about it. Here is the story in Israel National News.

Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt’s parliamentary elections say Islamist parties have won a majority of the contested seats in the first round. The judges spoke on condition of anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.

They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.

Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.

Continued success by Islamists will allow them to give Cairo’s government and constitution a decidedly Islamist character. It could also lead Cairo to shift away from the West towards the Iranian axis.

I think that it might not have been such a good idea to throw Mubarak under the bus quite so quickly. He may have been an SOB but he was our SOB and probably won’t be as bad as whoever ends up running Egypt.

Why do I keep having flashbacks to 1979?

 

Beach Tourism in Egypt

August 29, 2011
Retouched versions of this picture from the ge...

Image via Wikipedia

If you are planning to go sun bathing in Egypt, you had better plan your trip sometime soon. The Muslim Brotherhood, or at least, its affiliated political parties wants to place tougher restrictions on tourists in Egypt can wear and do.

Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered a severe blow since the outburst of anti-regime demonstrations in January. But that did not stop the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from demanding stricter regulations over what tourists can do and wear while visiting the country. The party is urging officials to ban skimpy swimwear and the consumption of alcohol on Egyptian streets.

“Beach tourism must take the values and norms of our society into account,” Muhammad Saad Al-Katatny, secretary-general of Freedom and Justice, told Egyptian tourism officials on Monday. “We must place regulations on tourists wishing to visit Egypt, which we will announce in advance.”

The call for new strictures on tourists comes as Egypt debates the role of Islam in the post-Mubarak era. Freedom and Justice is competing in elections scheduled for this autumn for parliament and opinion polls show a majority of Egyptians favor a greater use of Islamic law and mores. But a vocal minority worries that Egypt risks becoming an Islamic republic.

I am sure there is a larger number of Egyptians who are looking forward to Egypt becoming an Islamic republic. Of course this sort of thing will hurt their tourism industry. I don’t see large numbers of tourists going to Iran these days. But, I suppose economic considerations are secondary to doing the will of Allah.

Personally I don’t have a problem with banning bikinis or alcohol. I do worry about this though.

But bathing suits are not the only worry of Egypt’s Islamists. Abd Al-Munim A-Shahhat, a spokesman for the Salafi group Dawa, has said that Egypt’s world-renowned pharaonic archeology – its pyramids, Sphinx and other monuments covered with un-Islamic imagery – should also be hidden from the public eye.

“The pharaonic culture is a rotten culture,” A-Shahhat told the London-based Arab daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, saying the faces of ancient statues “should be covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden.” He likened the Egyptian relics to the idols which circled the walls of Mecca in pre-Islamic times.

I doubt that would be a popular position to take in Egypt, since I suspect that the vast majority of Egyptians are proud of their country’s ancient history. Still, there is a link between radical Islam and iconoclasm. Remember the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban. Egypt has generally been more liberal, but the Sphinx’s nose was chiseled off in 1378 by a Sufi named Muhammed Sa’im al-Dahr when he discovered Egyptian peasants worshipping it. He was hanged for vandalism afterwards, so maybe the Egyptians are still more sensible than some in the region.


%d bloggers like this: