Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1285, (3 - 9 March 2016)
Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Issue 1285, (3 - 9 March 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Editorial: The Muslim Brotherhood and the US

Al-Ahram Weekly

On Wednesday last week, the US House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee passed a bill calling on the US administration to list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

The bill, if it is passed into law, gives the State Department 60 days to submit a report to Congress proving that the organisation does not engage in, support or advocate terrorist activities. If the State Department is unable to furnish the necessary evidence, it must designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. In order to come into law, the bill needs to be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the White House.

The authors of the bill noted that many countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia, regard the organisation as terrorist and urged the US to do the same. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said: “The Muslim Brotherhood’s embrace of terrorism and the very real threat it poses to American lives and the national security of the United States make it long overdue for designation. This will make it less likely that members of the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to enter the United States.”

If the law were passed, the US administration would be required to bar foreign nationals with ties to the group from entering the US. It would also mean that persons offering material support to the Muslim Brotherhood could face federal criminal prosecution and that the US Treasury would have the right to freeze the group’s assets.

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, who sponsored the bill in the committee, said: “The Muslim Brotherhood continues to pose a global threat. The jihadist movement actively supports and finances terrorist networks around the world, including Al-Qaeda and Hamas. The United States must recognise and sanction the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation as part of our national security strategy.”

If the Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in anything it is in proving that it is a group that is truly without a brain, let alone a patriotic conscience. They have turned themselves into a breed of fanatics pledged to loyalty to a T-shirt emblem, something like football fans. So blind is this loyalty that they are indifferent to the disastrous results this wrought on the nation. Fortunately, a rational, critical intellect prevailed in Egypt, enabling us to discern politicians’ strengths from their foibles, for otherwise we would have been plunged into an outright civil war.

The revaluation of the Muslim Brotherhood that is taking place in the world is a response to the message from countries in this region, and Egypt above all. This message states that the organisation suffers an intrinsic deficiency in its ideological structure that many here thought could be repaired through the application of the moderating influence of democracy. But the Muslim Brotherhood refused to become part of the nation and, instead, tried to turn the nation into a part of its organisation. That was a recipe for grave danger, bloodshed and war.

Perhaps this is why Egyptians throughout history, when choosing between the institutions of the state and politicians have favoured the former. The greatest proof of this is to be found in the events of 3 July 2013, which was not a military coup such as those we are accustomed to seeing in neighbouring countries. Rather, the army took action to respond to the untold millions of people who marched to voice their objection to the then-ruling Muslim Brotherhood troika: its president, its organisation and its political party.

The action was supported by Al-Ahzar, the Coptic Church and the Supreme Judiciary Council, as well as the police. The response reflected the traditional attitude of a vast portion of Egyptians: the institutions of the state are more important than politicians. Were it not for the fact that representatives of the judiciary, the army and Al-Azhar were present in the Constituent Assembly charged with drawing up the new constitution, the majority of Egyptians would have rejected the proposed constitution in the national referendum. This is only logical in the first state in the world to introduce the trilogy: God, the army and prison.

Egypt is far dearer to Egyptians than any political faction and its determination to trade in the blood of our people and our youth to restore the “legitimacy of Morsi”, which would only destroy Egypt and the Egyptian people. So here is our advice to the Muslim Brothers: think over your mistakes and rebuild yourselves on a foundation of Egyptian values as opposed to Muslim Brotherhood values.

Apologise to the Egyptian people and then take part in the electoral process, bearing in mind the public’s lessons to you. Any other choice is to persist in the same backwards course dictated by current Brotherhood leaders. In short, those who do not respect the sanctity of Egyptian blood and the sovereignty of the Egyptian state over the whole of its territory and its borders have no legitimacy, even if they are brought to power by a process that they define as democratic.

The Muslim Brotherhood is losing more and more ground by the day. But it appears that none of them wants to admit this and to halt the group’s haemorrhaging. Despite the recent vote by the House Judiciary Committee, however, the US administration is unlikely to give up the Muslim Brotherhood so easily or quickly.

The organisation is an ace up the American sleeve and a sword to wield over the heads of the peoples and states of this region. Egypt, for its part, will remain strong and resilient while the Muslim Brotherhood continues to lose ground.

 

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