Mubarak’s Muslim Brotherhood Prophecy

mubarakGatestone Institute, by Raymond Ibrahim:

Violence must always be presented as a product of political oppression, and Islamists as the misunderstood victims.

In a video of Hosni Mubarak when he was still Egypt’s president, the strategies of which he accuses the Muslim Brotherhood have come to pass. What follows are Mubarak’s words from a conference in Egypt (date unknown; author’s translation):

So they [Brotherhood and affiliates] took advantage of the economic situation by handing out money — to one man, 100 Egyptian pounds, or about $30 dollars, [saying,] “Here take this bag of glycerin and throw it here,” or do this or that — to create a state of instability in Egypt. And these groups — do not ever believe that they want democracy or anything like that. They are exploiting democracy to eliminate democracy. And if they ever do govern, it will be an ugly dictatorship. …. Once a foreigner told me, “Well, if that’s the case, why don’t you let them form parties?” I told him, “They’d attack each other.” He said, “So let them attack each other.” I came to understand that by “attack each other” he thought I meant through dialogue. For years, we have been trying to dialogue with them, and we still are. If the dialogue is limited to words, fine. But when the dialogue goes from words to bullets and bombs… [Mubarak shakes his head, and then provides anecdotes of the Egyptian police and security detail being killed by Brotherhood and affiliates. These anecdotes include one about how 104 policemen were killed in 1981, and one about how one officer was shot by MB while trying to save a boy’s life.] The point is, we do not like bloodshed, neither our soldiers’ nor our officers’. But when I see that you are firing at me, trying to kill me—well, I have to defend myself. Then the international news agencies go to these [Islamist] groups for information, and they tell them, “They are killing us, they are killing us!” Well, don’t you [news agencies] see them killing the police?! I swear to you, not one of the police wants to kill them—not one of us. Then they say, “So, Mr. President, you gave orders to the police to open fire indiscriminately?”—I cannot give such an order, at all. It contradicts the law. I could at one point be judged [for it].

Consider Mubarak’s exchange with “a foreigner,” who interpreted Mubarak’s “they’d attack each other” in apparently Western political terms of “dialogue.” The habit of projecting Western approaches onto Islamists—who ironically represent the antithesis of the West—is one of the chief problems causing the West to be blind to reality, one which insists that violence must always be presented as a product of political oppression, and Islamists as the misunderstood victims.

Whatever one thinks of Hosni Mubarak, the following three points he makes have proven true:

  1. Mubarak: “And these groups—don’t ever believe that they want democracy or anything like that. They are exploiting democracy to eliminate democracy. And if they ever do govern, it will be an ugly dictatorship.” Quite so. While paying lip service to democracy, once the Brotherhood came into power under former President Muhammad Morsi, they became openly tyrannical: Morsi gave himself unprecedented powers for an Egyptian president, appointed Brotherhood members to all important governmental posts, “Brotherhoodizing” Egypt (as Egyptians called it), and quickly pushed through a Sharia-heavy constitution. Under Morsi’s one year of rule, many more Christians were attacked, arrested, and imprisoned for “blasphemy” than under Mubarak’s thirty years.
  2. Mubarak: “Then the international news agencies go to these groups [Brotherhood] for information, and they tell them, ‘they are killing us, they are killing us!’ Well, don’t you [new agencies] see them killing the police?!” Now that the Brotherhood has been ousted and is promoting terrorism in Egypt—especially against its Christian minority—trying to push the nation into an all-out civil war, they are in fact feeding the international media the old lie that they are innocent, peaceful victims in an attempt to garner Western sympathy.
  3. Mubarak: “They took advantage of the economic situation by handing out money.” Funded by rich Wahhabi states, the Islamist organizations bought their way into Egyptian society and power. Prior to elections, they paid—bribed—Egyptians to vote for them; and after their ousting, they are paying people—along with beatings and forms of coercion—to stay with them in Rad’a al-Adawiya Square, and provide them with numbers, seemingly for practical and propagandistic purposes.

In Egypt, however, where the Muslim Brotherhood was born, one soon learns that, when “dialogue” does not go the way Islamists want it to, it’s back to terrorism. This requires a more realistic approach, or, in the words of Mubarak, a man who, like his predecessors, especially Gamal Abdel Nasser, is intimately acquainted with the Brotherhood: “When I see that you are firing at me, trying to kill me—well, I have to defend myself.”

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Five Lessons from Egypt and the Arab Spring

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The Muslim world cannot use processes from more advanced societies until it accepts the social and moral premises behind them.

By :

1. Don’t Believe Anything You Hear

Egyptian liberals allied with the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow Mubarak and challenge the military. In those heady Tahrir Square days, they ridiculed the idea that Mubarak’s overthrow would benefit the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now those same liberals have teamed up with the military to take down a Muslim Brotherhood government that they told us would never come to power. But don’t be surprised if a year from now, after the military develops too crushing a grip on power, they don’t run back to the Muslim Brotherhood and Tahrir Square repeats itself a third time with the banners and fireworks and chants about the will of the people.

And when it does happen, neither the liberals nor the Muslim Brotherhood will ever remember the time when they were deadly enemies. Instead they will pretend it never happened, the way that Egyptian liberals once pretended that the Muslim Brotherhood wasn’t part of the protests.

Middle Eastern politics is reality-selective. It’s conspiratorial and it’s based around shaky alliances between mortal enemies to achieve short term victories. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood has done so well; it’s one of the few factions to practice long-term thinking.

Everyone else just thinks as far as winning the next battle, getting to power and then letting the unambiguous genius of their vision and the adoration of the people carry them to their destiny.

And then it all falls apart. Again.

 

2.  It’s Not Democracy, It’s Permanent Chaos

Democracy in the Middle East is just another means of political change. It’s not any different than mob action, a coup or an invasion. It’s just a way that one government replaces another.

The voting booth depends on a sense of law and order. It carries very little weight in lawless societies.

In Egypt, mass protests really are as legitimate a means of political change as the ballot box. Probably better. It’s harder to rig rallies of millions of people than it is to fake millions of votes.

The Arab Spring represented political chaos in a lawless society, not social change or cultural enlightenment.

Whoever runs Egypt will still leave it a corrupt place where family connections matter more than merit, where the poor struggle to get by, where everyone resents everyone else, where political alliances fall apart in the blink of an eye and everyone waits around for a tyrant to take matters into his hands and usher in some stability.

Read more at Front Page

 

Think Again: The Muslim Brotherhood

MB protestorsBY ERIC TRAGER:

How did so many Western analysts get Egypt’s Islamist movement so wrong?

“They’re democrats.”

Don’t kid yourself. Long before the Jan. 25 revolution that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, many academics and policymakers argued that his main adversary — the Muslim Brotherhood — had made its peace with democracy. This was based on the assumption that, since the Muslim Brotherhood participated in virtually every election under Mubarak, it was committed to the rule of the people as a matter of principle.

It was also based on what typically sympathetic Western researchers heard from Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and what I heard as well. “Democracy is shura,” Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater told me during a March 2011 interview, referring to the Islamic jurisprudential tool of “consultation.” The implication was that the Brotherhood accepted a political system that encouraged open debate.

Yet since the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Morsy, was elected president in June, the exact opposite has been true. The Brotherhood’s only real “consultation” has been with the Egyptian military, which the Brotherhood persuaded to leave power by ceding substantial autonomy to it under the new constitution. Among other undemocratic provisions, this backroom deal yielded constitutional protection for the military’s separate court system, under which civilians can be prosecuted for the vague crime of “damaging the armed forces.”

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood has embraced many of the Mubarak regime’s autocratic excesses: Editors who are critical of the Brotherhood have lost their jobs, and more journalists have been prosecuted for insulting the president during Morsy’s six months in office than during Mubarak’s 30-year reign. And much as Mubarak’s ruling party once did, the Brotherhood is using its newfound access to state resources as a political tool: It reportedly received below-market food commodities from the Ministry of Supply and Social Affairs, which it is redistributing to drum up votes in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The Brotherhood’s most blatantly undemocratic act, however, was Morsy’s Nov. 22 “constitutional declaration,” through which he placed his presidential edicts above judicial scrutiny and asserted the far-reaching power to “take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.” When this power grab catalyzed mass protests, Morsy responded by ramming a new constitution through the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, and the Brotherhood later mobilized its cadres to attack the anti-Morsy protesters, and subsequently extract confessions from their captured fellow citizens. So much for promises of “consultation.”

As the Brotherhood’s first year in power has demonstrated, elections do not, by themselves, yield a democracy. Democratic values of inclusion are also vital. And the Muslim Brotherhood — which has deployed violence against protesters, prosecuted its critics, and leveraged state resources for its own political gain — clearly lacks these values.

Read the rest of this excellent piece at Foreign Policy

Morsi’s Totalitarian Mandate Is Sharia

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By Andrew G. Bostom

Theodore Roosevelt penned these remarkably prescient words in a 1911 letter to his longtime correspondent and friend, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, reflecting upon Roosevelt’s post-presidency visit to Cairo, Egypt, the previous year.

 

The real strength of the Nationalist movement in Egypt … lay not with these Levantines of the café but with the mass of practically unchanged bigoted Moslems to whom the movement meant driving out the foreigner, plundering and slaying the local Christian, and a return to all the violence and corruption which festered under the old-style Moslem rule, whether Asiatic or African.

 

Roosevelt’s concerns about the recrudescence of “old-style Moslem rule” — that is, a totalitarian sharia (Islamic law) not reshaped or constrained by Western law, may now be fully realized a century later.

 

Less than two years after the forced abdication of Egyptian President Mubarak, we appear to be witnessing the ultimate triumph of the electoral ascendancy of vox populi, mainstream Egyptian Islamic parties — and most prominently, the Muslim Brotherhood.  Muhammad Morsi, the Brotherhood’s freely elected presidential candidate, has successfully outmaneuvered a minority coalition of secular-leaning Muslims, and Christians, to orchestrate the passage of a more robustly sharia-complaint Egyptian constitution.

 

Given President Obama’s repeated admonitions (as reported here and here) that Mubarak relinquish power, immediately, during early February 2011, this prior Tuesday, May 19, 2009 confidential assessment of Mubarak by then-U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey raises profound questions about U.S. actions which facilitated his removal, and the subsequent triumph of Egypt’s sharia supremacists.

 

Mubarak is a classic Egyptian secularist who hates religious extremism and interference in politics. The Muslim Brothers represent the worst [emphasis added], as they challenge not only Mubarak’s power, but his view of Egyptian interests. As with regional issues, Mubarak, seeks to avoid conflict and spare his people from the violence he predicts would emerge from unleashed personal and civil liberties. In Mubarak’s mind, it is far better to let a few individuals suffer than risk chaos for society as a whole. He has been supportive of improvements in human rights in areas that do not affect public security or stability. Mrs. Mubarak has been given a great deal of room to maneuver to advance women’s and children’s rights and to confront some traditional practices that have been championed by the Islamists, such as FGM [i.e., female genital mutilation, sanctioned by not merely “Islamists,” but the predominant Shafiite school of Islamic law in Egypt, leading to rates of this misogynistc barbarity among Egyptian women of 95%], child labor, and restrictive personal status laws.

 

The Hard-Won Local Triumph, and Global Aspirations of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan)

 

February 18, 2011 marked the triumphal return to Cairo of Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) “Spiritual Guide” Yusuf al-Qaradawi.  Qaradawi’s own words, accompanied by images and actions during this appearance, reaffirmed his obscurantist, albeit mainstream Islamic Weltanschauung of sharia-based, aggressive jihadism, and its corollary — virulent Jew- and other infidel-hatred, which should have shattered the delusive view that the turmoil leading to President Mubarak’s resignation augured the emergence of a modern, democratic Egyptian society devoted to Western conceptions of individual liberty and equality before the law.

 

Qaradawi’s Tahrir Square appearance foreshadowed events that have transpired, predictably, from the subsequent nearly two years ’til now, punctuated by the open ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and party affiliates within Egypt and across North Africa and the entire Middle East.  Indeed, Qaradawi’s February 18, 2011 “khutbah,” or sermon, to the adoring Muslim throngs that day reflected the longstanding aspirations of “martyred” Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna and was symbolic of an Islamic revival begun earlier by the so-called “Al-Manar modernists” — Jamal Al-Din Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, and Muhammad Rashid Rida — more than a century before Qaradawi took the stage at Tahrir Square.

 

Charles Wendell introduced his elegant 1978 translation of five Al-Banna treatises with a particularly astute summary assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood founder’s Weltanschauung.  Wendell stressed Al-Banna’s seamless connection not only to the Al-Manar modernists, but to traditional Islam itself.  Moreover, Wendell’s concluding observations remain critical to understanding the deep Islamic religious animus towards Israel and the West — so much in evidence today — that Al-Banna and his movement both inspired and reflected.

 

Hasan al-Banna’s fundamental conviction that Islam does not accept, or even tolerate, a separation of “church” and state, or of either from society, is as thoroughly Islamic as it can be. Any attempt to translate his movement into terms reducible to social, political, or religious factors exclusively simply misses the boat. The “totality” created by the Prophet Muhammad in the Medinese state, the first Islamic state, was Hasan’s unwavering ideal, and the ideal of all Muslim thinkers before him, including the idle dreamers in the mosque. His ideology then, before it was Egyptian or Arab or whatever, was Islamic to the core. Since it embraced all aspects of human life and thought, it was at least as much religious as anything else. [Emphasis added.] Practically all of his arguments are shored up by frequent quotations from the Qur’an and the Traditions, quite in the style of his medieval forbears. If one considers the public to whom his writings were  addressed, it becomes instantly apparent that such arguments must still be the most compelling for the vast bulk of the Muslim populations of today. The nagging feeling that Islam must, and very quickly at that, catch up with the West, had even by his time filtered down from above to the masses after having been the watchword of the modernizing intellectual for almost a century. There was also the notion that all these Western sciences and techniques were originally adopted from Islamic culture, and were therefore merely “coming home” — a piece of self-conscious back-patting that was already a cliché of most Muslim political writing[.] … To this [Islamic] revivalist mentality, nothing could be more hateful than further diminution of the lands traditionally dominated by Islam. I believe that much of the fury and unconcealed hatred of the Zionist state which is expressed by the majority of Arabs will become more comprehensible in light of what the Islamic domain as a concept really means to the Muslims, seen through the lens of Hasan’s exposition[.] … [T]he Muslim Brotherhood … had, on the basis of indisputable historical facts and clear religious traditions, a ready-made program for a world crusade that required only actors and a leader. Islam had from the beginning been a proselytizing faith. The error of the Islamic peoples, as Al-Afghani had pointed out forty years before, had been to cease their inexorable forward march, to abnegate their God-ordained destiny[.]

 

Nadav Safran’s 1961 study of modern Egyptian political evolution through 1952 confirmed that already by the late 1930s, Egypt’s inchoate experimentation with a Western cultural orientation and constitutional polity had failed miserably, and the authentic Islamic ideals of the Muslim Brotherhood’s  al-Banna were prevailing.  He provided this summary of the predominant attitudes by then, which:

 

… reawakened hostility against Britain for violating Egypt’s national rights, and deep resentment for its support of the foundation of Israel. … The Muslim orientation had become predominant, and the opposition to the Western culture on the ideological level had become nearly total, even though in practice imitation of the surface aspects of that culture remained[.]

 

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s popular appeal and resultant political ascendancy were clearly evident at the close of the 1940s. As noted by Richard P. Mitchell, pre-eminent historian of the movement’s late 1920s advent and first quarter century of activities:

 

… by 1948-49, this movement had reached such massive political proportions  as to undermine the claim of the rulers to speak for the Egyptian people. The government’s decision to crush the movement in 1949 was presumably taken because of the organization’s potential threat to the existing political order.

 

Olivier Carré’s 1983 analysis of the profound regional impact of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s described what he termed, aptly, “a striking phenomenon,” which pervaded Egypt, and the Arab Muslim Near East:

 

[W]hen one discusses Islam, as one often does in terms of a social and polit­ical ideal, whether out of religious conviction or because it is in the news, a common language, a sort of conceptual koine [a lingua franca, or widely used language] is found in all Eastern Arab countries — in Muslim schoolbooks, in the speech or behavior of people, whether friends or casual acquaintances, or in press reports on various current events. This common language is derived, ultimately, from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of the Nasserist period and also from what I shall call the “new Muslim Brothers” of the 1970s and 1980s

 

Carré concluded with this foreboding observation, borne out dramatically, at present, by the unfolding events of the so-called Arab Spring, most notably in Egypt:

 

[W]e shall eventually come to speak of a Saudi-inspired and directed neo-Ottomanist utopia, socially based on the middle classes of the Arab East, which is not particularly “new” except by virtue of an acculturation drive. Its militant basis will be Islamic politico-religious groupings of which the new Muslim Brothers is the most significant group.

 

Resilient tenacity and wide, ongoing appeal to Egypt’s Muslim masses enabled the Brotherhood to survive brutal crackdowns under Egyptian autocrats Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak.  Spring Fever, Andrew McCarthy’s invaluable recent primer, chronicles how the Brotherhood’s current savvy, battle-hardened leadership rapidly capitalized on the Arab Spring “democracy” fervor to finally assume governmental power with the imprimatur of parliamentary and then presidential electoral victories.

Read more at American Thinker

Egyptian President Morsi: A Fugitive Addresses World Leaders

by ASHRAF  RAMELAH:

Historically, the Egyptian prison cell has been the incubator for monumental  accomplishments, such as the formation of Al Qaeda and the current  presidency of Egypt. It has provided the necessary network, doctrine and  framework to spawn greater goals. Perfect plans have been hatched and prepared  in Egypt’s prison block, allowing bad actors like Muhammad Morsi to plot their  next move. Within a few days of Hosni Mubarak’s confinement of Morsi to the Two  Sahrawi branch of the Wadi el Natruon Penitentiary during Egypt’s January 2011  uprising, Morsi broke out. He was a pawn in the execution of the Muslim  Brotherhood’s long awaited scheme to take over Egypt.

Morsi was under arrest for suspicion of treason and not yet officially a  sentenced criminal at the time of his escape. He might never have received a  trial. Hard core Islamists like Morsi have always been thrown behind bars by  Egypt’s dictators in order to prevent successful insurrections and the rise of  full-blown Sharia.

So on January 29, shortly into the revolutionary crisis and on the fourth day  of telecommunication darkness throughout Egypt (a complete shut down of phones  and internet), the doors of prisons around the country (including the Two  Sahrawi Penitentiary) flung open and prisoners fled to the streets. No sooner  had Morsi emerged from his vault when a satellite phone landed in his hands for  an interview already set up with Al Jazeera. It has been widely speculated  throughout the Arabic press that Hamas terror cells provided this capability and  linked him to the airwaves.

While the overthrow of Mubarak’s reign was underway, it was rumored that  Mubarak himself had set Morsi free along with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and the  whole of Egypt’s criminal lot in order to sic them on protestors in the streets.  But it is now widely believed that Mubarak never ordered open the prison doors,  at least not at the Two Sahrawi. According to many Egyptian sources in the  Arabic press (see journalist Tawfik Okasha YouTube video investigation in  June 2012 at Al- Phareen in Egypt), Mubarak considered Morsi a realistic  threat to his government.

Intelligence coming from the Egyptian Secret Service indicated to Mubarak’s  regime that Morsi was a spy cooperating with the CIA to overtake the uprising of  January 25. Supposedly, Mubarak was informed that the Muslim Brotherhood  received the sum of two billion dollars via Qatar. Where Mubarak never really  feared fredom fighting youths, the Muslim Brotherhood was a formidable  force.

Three months later at the end of April, Morsi became president of the newly  formed political party of the banned Muslim Brotherhood called Freedom and  Justice which would catapult him to the top position in the country in just  another fourteen months. Throughout the pre-election season of 2012, Morsi had  always been known as the “stebn,” the Arabic term for the proverbial spare tire.  This meant he waited on the sidelines as an alternative candidate of the Freedom  and Justice Party in Egypt’s presidential bid second to the favored Keraat El  Shater. It was anticipated El Shater would be blocked by the election commission  and become an illegal selection.

Then began the campaign of deception where the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to  the outside world (i.e. the American administration) to be moderates and  democracy lovers and attempted to convince freedom fighters inside Egypt who  shed blood for this debacle that their views were considered and respected and  their goals were one and the same with the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course at this  time, Morsi emphasized how he would respect all international treaties including  the 1979 peace agreement with Israel. The “ballot gazwa,” referred to as a  “democratic election” by Morsi and the West, brought Morsi to power after his  party members delivered groceries and cash to buy votes. As the world knows by  now Morsi represents the worst possible outcome for Copts, all freedom-loving  Egyptians, the Middle East and the West.

Read more: Family Security Matters

FamilySecurityMatters.org  Contributing Editor Ashraf Ramelah is founder and president of Voice of  the Copts, a human rights organization drawing attention to the  suffering of Coptic Christians in Egypt and educating as to the chilling effect  of Sharia (Islamic law). 

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Useful Idiots

By Caroline Glick:

You have to hand it to the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. They  know how to play power politics. They know how to acquire power. And  they know how to use power.
Last Friday, the  day before voters by most accounts elected the Brotherhood’s candidate  Mohamed Morsy to serve as Egypt’s next president, The Wall Street Journal published  a riveting account by Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley of how the  Brotherhood outmaneuvered the secular revolutionaries to take control of  the country’s political space.
The Brotherhood  kept a very low profile in the mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square in  January and February 2011 that led to the overthrow of then-president  Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood’s absence from Tahrir Square at that time  is what enabled Westerners to fall in love with the Egyptian  revolution.
Those demonstrations led to the  impression, widespread in the US, that Mubarak’s successors would be  secular Facebook democrats. The role that Google’s young Egyptian  executive Wael Gonim played in organizing the demonstrations was  reported expansively. His participation in the anti-regime protests – as  well as his brief incarceration – was seen as proof that the next  Egyptian regime would be indistinguishable from Generation X and Y  Americans and Europeans.
In their report,  Levinson and Bradley showed how the Brotherhood used the secularists to  overthrow the regime, and to provide them with a fig leaf of moderation  through March 2011, when the public voted on the sequencing of Egypt’s  post-Mubarak transformation from a military dictatorship into a populist  regime. The overwhelming majority of the public voted to first hold  parliamentary elections and to empower the newly elected parliament to  select members of the constitutional assembly that would write Egypt’s  new constitution.
As Egypt’s largest social  force, the Brotherhood knew it would win the majority of the seats in  the new parliament. The March 2011 vote ensured its control over writing  the new Egyptian constitution.
In July 2011,  the Brotherhood decided to celebrate its domination of the new Egypt  with a mass rally at Tahrir Square. Levinson and Bradley explained how  in the lead-up to that event Egypt’s secular revolutionaries were  completely outmaneuvered.
According to their  account, the Brotherhood decided to call the demonstration “Shari’a  Friday.” Failing to understand that the game was over, the secularists  tried to regain what they thought was the unity of the anti-regime ranks  from earlier in the year.
“Islamists and  revolutionary leaders spent three days negotiating principles they could  all support at the coming Friday demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir  Square. They reached an agreement and the revolution seemed back on  track.”
One secularist leader, Rabab el-Mahdi, referred to the agreement as “The perfect moment. A huge achievement.”
But then came the double cross.
“Hours  before the demonstration, hard-line Salafi Islamists began adorning the  square with black-andwhite flags of jihad and banners calling for the  implementation of Islamic law. Ms. Mahdi made frantic calls to  Brotherhood leaders, who told her there was little they could do.”
Checkmate.
THE  DIFFERENCE between the Brotherhood and the secularists is a fundamental  one. The Brotherhood has always had a vision of the Egypt it wants to  create. It has always used all the tools at its disposal to advance the  goal of creating an Islamic state in Egypt.
For  their part, the secularists have no ideological unity and so share no  common vision of a future Egypt. They just oppose the repression of the  military. Opposing repression is not a political program. It is a  political act. It can destroy. It cannot rule.
So  when the question arose of how to transform the protests that caused  the US to abandon Mubarak and sealed the fate of his regime into a new  regime, the secularists had no answer. All they could do was keep  protesting military repression.
The Brotherhood  has been the most popular force in Egypt for decades. Its leaders  recognized that to take over the country, all they needed was the power  to participate in the elections and the authority to ensure that the  election results mattered – that is, control over writing the  constitution. And so, once the secularists fomented Mubarak’s overthrow,  their goal was to ensure their ability to participate in the elections  and to ensure that the parliament would control the constitution-writing  process.
To achieve these goals, they were  equally willing to collaborate with the secularists against the military  and with the military against the secularists. To achieve their goals  they were willing – as they did before Shari’a Friday last July – to  negotiate in bad faith.
While instructive, the  Journal’s article fell short because the reporters failed to recognize  that the Brotherhood outmaneuvered the military junta in the same way  that it outmaneuvered the secularists. The article starts with the  premise that the military’s decision to stage an effective coup d’etat  last week spelled an end to the Egyptian revolution and the country’s  reversion to the military dictatorship that has ruled the state since  the 1950s.
Levinson and Bradley claim,  “Following the rulings by the high court this week [which canceled the  results of the parliamentary elections and ensured continued military  control over the country regardless of the results of the presidential  elections], the Brotherhood’s strategy of cooperation with the military  seems failed.”
But actually, that is not the  case. By permitting the Brotherhood to participate in the elections for  parliament and the presidency, the military signed the death warrant of  its regime. The Brotherhood will rule Egypt. The only thing left to be  determined is whether its takeover will happen quickly or slowly.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.