Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Yet another case of the bloggers getting it right and the mainstream media (MSM) getting it wrong.
From the beginning of the egregiously misnamed "Arab Spring", the MSM was off beam.  They'd hardly heard of the Muslim Brotherhood.  "Muslim who?"  Then it was "oh well, yes, the Muslim Brotherhood... but they won't get into power", then "Well, maybe they will, but they're secular now"...(*)
They were wrong on all counts, and the counter-jihad bloggosphere were right on all counts.  The likes of Spencer, Ibrahim, Pipes, Rubin, BCF and many others were clear at the beginning that the revolutions would lead to Islamists in power. And here they are.
Of course, at the time, when they pointed this out, these bloggers were reviled in the MSM as "cynical", or "racist anti-Arabs", or the evergreen "Islamophobes".  But the results are there: they got it right.  So who should you listen to now, the New York Times, or the bloggers?
Barry Rubin does a good job of summarising the issue, in "Egypt: A Muslim Brotherhood President Does Not Prove That We Are All 'Chimps'".
To be fair to the BBC World Service radio, which I get here in Hong Kong, they've now given some straight coverage of the Brotherhood. Yesterday they had on a guest, Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who pointed out that all Muslim Brothers are indoctrinated in a 5-step process on the ideology of the Brotherhood and the need for Sharia law to be implemented.  The new president, Muhammad Morsi, may be making moderate sounding statements about the protection of minority rights, the rights of women, the freedom to dress how one wants and so on.  But his true Brotherhood colours will come to the fore sooner or later. And the Army is no bulwark, for they are not interested in any philosophy other than the protection of their widespread commercial interests, and in political power to that end. They may well strike a deal with the Brotherhood and then all "moderate" bets are off.
Later: See Trager's excellent article on the MB and Muhammad Morsi, here.
*EG Thomas Friedman, NYT, 13 Feb '11: And, as we sit here today, the popular trend is not with the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, what makes the uprising here so impressive – and in that sense so dangerous to other autocracies in the region – is precisely the fact that it is not owned by, and was not inspired by, the Muslim Brotherhood. [source]
Nine months later, Friedman again (without mea culpa!): The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood and the even more fundamentalist Salafist Nour Party have garnered some 65 percent of the votes in the first round of Egypt’s free parliamentary elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak should hardly come as a surprise. [Huh?  As Martin Kramer says, "Unless you're Tom".....
Earlier: MSM gets it wrong too on "moderate" Indonesia. And is late to the party on Christian travails in Egypt.