The Ikhwan's Multi-faceted Foes: 1- Israel, 2-Iran, 3- Saudi Arabia, 4- The
By Khalid Amayreh
The Ikhwan's Multi-faceted Foes: 1- Israel, 2-Iran, 3- Saudi Arabia, 4- The Arab Left
I have no doubt that the vast majority of Arab masses would like to see an authentic but moderate, workable and non-violent version of Sharia adopted and implemented as Law of the land.
Arabs, the bulk of who adhere to the Islamic faith, are almost inherently religious and reject secularism and atheism outright. (Secularism is viewed as hostility to religion not as separation between politics and religion). They are also wary of the blind imitation of western-style liberalism which views religion as a personal, individual matter.
Islam is supposed to build an Umma (community) of faith in Allah, the creator and sustainer of the universe, an Umma based on moral excellence that would uphold the values of justice and social equality, an Umma which, as described in the Quran, would be "the best nation brought out for Mankind, commanding what is righteous and forbidding what is wrong [3:110].
None the less, it is obvious that that the creation of a genuine and successful Islamic model is easier said than done due to a host of factors, including economic poverty, political tyranny, lack of democracy or Shura as well as the political and military hegemony of the enemies of Islam.
I have no doubt that Islam will triumph sooner or later despite the numerous obstacles and conspiracies being hatched against it by its many enemies. This is likely to take some time, but eventually it will prevail.
Today, the Muslim Brotherhood more or less represents the forces of moderate Islam that could lead Muslims successfully toward a future of strength and glory.
This is probably the reason it is being fiercely attacked, vilified and distorted by a plethora of cacophonic enemies and foes ranging from Jewish Zionism to secular Arab nationalism.
In this somewhat long article, I would like to list and describe the main enemies that are striving to see the Islamist experiment of governance in Egypt fail, in the hope of discouraging further Islamist efforts at challenging the autocratic-secular establishment.
There is no doubt that the Zionist entity, with its many tentacles around the globe, represents the number-1 enemy for the Muslim Brotherhood. The reason for this inherent enmity is the rejection by the MB of Israel and refusal to recognize its occupation and colonization of Palestine.
Contrary to Zionist disinformation, the MB is not against Jews as Jews. However, the MB does consider Palestine an Islamic domain. The MB, indeed all Muslims and honest people all over the world, doesn't hate Israel because Israel is Jewish; it rejects Israel because Israel is evil and criminal.
According to MB literature, Jews may live in Palestine (or anywhere in the Muslim world), as equal citizens but not as masters over non-Jews as Zionism insists. Moreover, Jews are not carbon copies of each other. There are peaceful, righteous Jews who would treat others as they themselves would like to be treated. On the other hand, there are other Jews, e.g. the Zionists, who are decidedly evil, murderous, racist and irredeemably dishonest. The former Jews are respected and saluted for their rectitude and humanity. They are the Muslims' natural partners for peace and building a better world for all.
The problem lies with the latter Jews, the Zionists, who murder, steal, destroy and rape and then call their victims terrorists.
Hamas is considered the legitimate daughter of the MB. Hamas is especially reviled by Israel for its refusal to recognize Israel and cede legitimate Palestinian rights, such as the paramount right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees uprooted from their ancestral homeland at the hands of Zionist gangs when Israel was created in 1948.
Needless to say, Israel lost an important strategic ally when ex-president Husni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011. Israel had hoped that secular or western-oriented revolutionaries would reach or seize power in Cairo following the ouster of Mubarak. However, as the Arab proverb says, the wind of the Egyptian revolution was not to the liking of the Israeli ship.
It is widely believed that Israeli intelligence, which never stopped spying on Egypt with which Israel fought three wars, has been actively trying to foment trouble in Egypt, including stirring civil strife and instability, especially following the election of President Mursi. Israel is also encouraging and may be funding some of the thuggish and terrorist elements involved in sabotage and vandalism.
Unconfirmed but widespread reports have indicated that Israel stands behind the terrorist group called "Black Block" which has spearheaded some of the terrorist events of late, including the attempted torching of private and public buildings.
Israel feels it stands to lose immensely in case the Ikhwan succeed in building a successful Sunni Islamist model in Egypt. Hence the unrelenting continuation of Israeli efforts to destabilize and derail the Islamist experiment in the largest and most important Arab country.
One of Iran's most important goals in the Arab world is to prevent or thwart any successful political Sunni model that would compete with and "take the luster away" from Iran 's Shiite model.
Seeking the implementation of this goal, it is believed that the Iranian intelligence has been funding the anti-Ikhwan elements in Egypt.
Sources affiliated with the Egyptian MB have accused Iran of paying undisclosed sums of money to organize demonstrations against the MB and president Mursi. It is true that no hard evidence has been produced to corroborate these accusations. However, it is also true that hundreds of Iranian or Iranian-funded sites in different languages have been waging an aggressive verbal war against the Ikhwan calling them "the Ikhwan of America" and "Zionist Ikhwan." Even this writer has been a target of Shiites vilification, vulgarity and name-calling.
Moreover, Iran reacted extremely negatively to statements by President Mursi a few months ago when he declared that Egypt would safeguard the interests of "Ahlus- Sunna wal-Jamaa" (Sunni Muslims.)
More to the point, it is no secret that Iran would want to spread its Shiite version of Islam in Egypt, an endeavor that is being successfully frustrated and resisted by the Egyptian Sunni Islamists, whether Ikhwan or Salifists.
Hence, Iran views the predominance of Egyptian Sunni Islamists in the largest Arab country as the worst possible scenario impeding Shiite infiltration in the Arab (Sunni) world.
3- Saudi Arabia
It is well-known that Saudi Arabia is vehemently against the Arab Spring. Saudi Arabia has given safe haven to a number of officials and operatives affiliated with previous regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, including ex-president Zeinul Abedeen Bin Ali and his wife.
Indeed, while Saudi Arabia did back the Libyan revolution, mainly because of the bad chemistry between King Abdullah and former Libyan dictator Mua'amar Qaddafi, the Saudi establishment was visibly dismayed, seeing the removal from power of both Bin Ali and Mubarak.
The Saudi monarchy seems to view the Ikhwan as an ideological threat to the kingdom's traditional but increasingly questionable Islamic legitimacy. Formally, the Kingdom doesn't highlight this dimension of its policy. In fact, the Kingdom occasionally courts and gives warm reception to some of Ikhwan's most prominent symbols, such as Sheikh Yousuf Qaradawi.
However, Saudi and Saudi-funded media, such Al-Arabiya TV and the London-based al-Hayat and al-Shark al-Awsat newspapers, have been vehemently attacking the MB while giving the Egyptian un-Islamic or even anti-Islam opposition the benefit of the doubt.
Saudi writers like Abdul Rahman el-Rashed and Tareq al-Humeid routinely spew their venom to discredit the Ikhwan and the entire Islamic ideology.
The former is notorious for his scathing attacks on the Palestinian Islamist liberation movement (Hamas). He is the author of the pornographically mendacious remark that "while not all Muslims are terrorists, all terrorists are Muslims." For this writer, the usurpation of Palestine by Zionism and expulsion of the bulk of its people to the four winds must be an act of charity and altruism.
4- The Arab Left
The Arab left, a natural foe of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been quite vociferous and brazen in its hostility to the ascendance to power by the MB in Cairo.
The Arab left has two wings, the Marxist-Leninist camp and the Pan-Arab nationalist camp. However, despite their immense differences and recalcitrant mutual bickering, the two camps seem to have one thing in common: sullen hostility to the Islamists.
The Marxist left is nearly nihilistic. It rejects Islam rather intrinsically. Hence, its principled opposition to any Islamist government, even if such government came through ballot boxes.
In their opposition to the Ikhwan , some leftist figures would employ classical Communist disinformation and propaganda tactics to distort and besmirch the Islamists' image. One Egyptian Marxist, a former member of the Egyptian Communist party, had the audacity to call the Ikhwan "the new Zionists." In a certain sense, the denigration of the leftist discourse to this base level reflects their intellectual and moral bankruptcy.
It also reflects their frustration and desperation. Indeed, the triumph of the Islamists, the traditional foes of the Marxists, would constitute the greatest calamity to befall them after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Similarly, the secular Pan-Arab nationalists have been equally inimical to the rise of the Ikhwan. One Nasserist writer compared the rise of Ikhwan in Egypt following the 25 January revolution with the rise of the Nazi party in Germany in the early 1930s.
The analogy is of course infinitely corrupt. The Nazis destroyed Europe and killed or caused the death of over 50 million people. The Ikhwan, on the other hand, resisted tyranny, despotism and autocracy, sacrificing their lives and careers for the freedom of their people and country. Indeed, most of the leaders of the Ikhwan spent the prime of their lives in Nasser's, Sadat's and Mubarak's dungeons and bastilles.
Hence, any comparison between the Brotherhood and the Nazis should be viewed as a mere fornication with facts, history and even language.
"To the thugs belongs the final say"
The Ikhwan are not infallible or sinless. But they have the legal and moral right to play by the rules of democratic game like everyone else. In Egypt, the opposition to the Ikhwan only begrudgingly accepts the rules of democracy. This is why the Constitutional Court annulled the elections of the democratically elected parliament, citing some procedural errors.
One of the CC judges, Tahani Gabali, even had the temerity to tell one American correspondent that "we had to act in order to prevent the Ikhwan from taking over the country."
Even forces which claim to be democratic play down the ballot box, insisting that either the government accepts and heeds their demands or they will burn the country.
What kind of "democratic" logic is this?
Would anyone of us imagine thousands of Republicans marching to the White House to burn it down upon learning that a Democratic president has won elections?
Yes, the U.S. is not Egypt and Egypt is not the United States. However, there is one timeless principle that all democracies share: The masses are the ultimate arbiter in any dispute.
Unfortunately, some of the Egyptian opposition groups disagree rather starkly and shamelessly. They effectively say that "to the thugs belongs the final say."