Being my Egyptian brother’s keeper?

by nkronos on February 3, 2011

Suddenly and now that it is obvious Mubarak is on his way out, Kirsten Powers decides to wake up to the menace that is the Muslim Brotherhood:

As a liberal, I have a very hard time with the idea that I’m not supposed to care about a potential government that is oppressive to minorities and women.

The virgin-free hell you say!

The problem with the squishy thinking of the uncertain enemy of my known enemy is my friend is…it circularly makes everyone your friend–as long as they’re fighting with one another. Why not believe under the same logic that conservative Americans are on your side–against the worse enemy who would take away your right to vote, choose a profession, and even own property?

Has it ever occurred to these media simpletons the inherent implication of calling your movement a “brotherhood”? I think that means “no girls allowed.”

Powers’ piece has her comparing what she’s learned from Middle Eastern “experts” with her relative and others actually living in Egypt. The former rely on what the Brotherhood will say openly, despite many of their public positions being vague. How naive does one have to be to believe that a group facing government repression and needing all the public support it can get will be in open disagreement with media and other potential supporters?

I’m reminded of Jimmy Carter’s astonishment over Leonid Brezhnev’s invasion of Aghanistan: “He lied to me!”

This isn’t to say that Mubarak deserves our support. He’s an oppressive dictator. But all the Americans who are supporting the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the new government need to understand who they really are. Beyond my own personal concern for the treatment of Christians and women, fundamentalist Islamic governments generally aren’t known for being pro-American.

I shared with my Egyptian relative that most experts I spoke to here believe that Turkey is the model that Egypt will follow.

Again, laughter.

Powers need not travel so far to have her beliefs derided openly; informed Americans would be happy to laugh at her at home.

Revolutions don’t have a tremendous track record of careful modulation. That America, especially under the leadership of an inexperienced President with liberation-movement leanings, can orchestrate Egypt’s transition from afar to the exact balance of majority rule, minority protection, and peaceful co-existence with neighbors and the US…well, anyone with a sense of history should understand that believing this likely is building minarets in the air.

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