Saturday, February 16, 2013

About the Muslim Brotherhood

Some articles and quotes about the Muslim Brotherhood:

- On Mistaking Mohamed Mursi for His Mask: America's role as the MB's primary beast of burden didn't begin even with the January 25th Revolution. Or rather, the revolution did not start on that date. Arguably, it really began on June 4, 2009. On that day, Obama gave his famous “speech to the Islamic world” from Cairo University (Egypt's first secular university, founded in 1908), but also sponsored by al-Azhar University (Sunni Islam's most prestigious center of learning, established by the Shi`ite Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century). Not only was the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership invited to attend, but to sit in the front row—thus excluding Obama’s official host (according to protocol)—President Mubarak.

- What Every American Should Know about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Delivered by Eric Trager: this article gives an overview of what it takes to become a Brotherhood member (a 5 to 8 year process of vetting), discusses the strong hierarchical nature of the Brotherhood (even Morsi is rumored to obey his spiritual leader) and how the obligation to pay 6 to 8 percent of your income to the Brotherhood gives it a solid financial base. It is pessimistic about the democratic nature of the Brotherhood: I was in the [Tahrir] Square that day for a couple of hours prior to the announcement [of the results of the presidential elections] (in part because the announcement took such a long time to make). Before the announcement, the Salafists—those are more radical Islamists—were marching around the Square declaring their willingness to die in fights with security forces if Morsi were not named president. The Muslim Brothers who had been camped out in the square for two weeks had been told by their leaders to be prepared to fight if Morsi were not named president. So, it’s true that the Brotherhood participated in elections and won power through elections; but, had those elections gone the other way, they were prepared to fight. Thus they were not willing to abide by democratic rules in the event that the election didn’t go their way.

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