Egypt and the Real Arab Spring: Muslim Brotherhood and Obama on the Wrong Side of History
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
President Obama and important inner circle leaders had hoped to install the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and throughout other parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Issues related to enforced dhimmitude on Coptic Christians, the future rights of women, mainstream Islam, secular Egypt and a whole array of countless different thought patterns all faced a grim future. Even Saudi Arabia, a close ally of America, was watching events uneasily because the tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood and their real objectives remain masked in uncertainty.
The billions of dollars from the Obama administration to the Muslim Brotherhood led President Morsi (Mursi) which was a continuation of past economic policies under Hosni Mubarak – without the Islamist angle – meant that vast numbers of Egyptians couldn’t trust Morsi or Obama. Now the Obama administration is threatening to withhold military assistance to Egypt by dancing around formalities which can be bypassed with ease if desired. After all, shipping military weapons to third parties which benefit al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda affiliates is a cinch when it comes to trying to defeat the government of Syria. Just like invading Iraq under a false pretext but suddenly Obama is using lofty ideals which don’t exist in reality under his leadership. However, he may be forced to backtrack on military assistance because being on the wrong side of history he now needs to play catch up because Egypt is too powerful to ignore.
Coptic Christian leaders and the whole spectrum of Egyptian society irrespective if Muslim, Christian, non-religious or whatever; ignored the pressure being put on certain elements within Egyptian society. Surely, the current American ambassador to Egypt is a lame duck because her behavior smacked of supporting creeping authoritarianism under the Muslim Brotherhood. It must be stated that Adolf Hitler manipulated democracy for his own means but the literature of the Muslim Brotherhood over many decades meant that people understood the real game. Also, make no bones about it, Obama fully understood that in time the Muslim Brotherhood – and other more radical Islamist parties – would threaten democracy and civil society in the long term.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that “After millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic rule, the Egyptian military, under the command of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, removed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi from office Wednesday. In his place, the army’s transition plan calls for Chief Justice of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour to take over until new elections can be held.”
In the same article it states that “El-Sisi’s televised remarks prompted cheers and fireworks throughout Cairo’s packed Tahrir Square. El-Sisi was joined by Ahmed El-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University – a bedrock of Sunni theology – and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II. Copts increasingly found themselves under physical and legal attacks during Morsi’s year in office. The Constitutional Court, meanwhile has stood in staunch opposition to Morsi in the past and may be in position to develop a more diverse and moderate government focused on Egypt’s economic needs.”
The sight of witnessing the army, the Grand Iman of Al-Azhar University and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch was a symbol that vast numbers of Egyptians are united in their disapproval towards the Muslim Brotherhood. It was also telling the people of Egypt that the most powerful Muslim and Christian leaders in this land support a united Egypt against the exclusive policies of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ironically, the Muslim Brotherhood itself was a stop gap from preventing even more militant religious zealots. Despite this, their message of “them” and “the other” wasn’t respected on the whole in Egypt therefore tens of millions of people from all walks of life brought down the Morsi government.
Obama had clearly given the go ahead to silence the leader of the Coptic Christian community by requesting the American Ambassador to Egypt to put pressure on this revered religious leader. Yet the Christian Patriarch ignored Ambassador Anne Patterson just like he ignored Morsi. Instead the Christian Patriarch stated to Morsi that “I cannot stop the Copts from taking part in the protests because this is a matter of their personal freedom. I have no desire to involve the Church in politics.”
Once demonstrations began against the Muslim Brotherhood the brave Pope Tawadros II stated “It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way, through the idea of Rebel and its youth.”
Obama knew full well that many Egyptian ministers had resigned prior to the removal of Morsi. Similarly, Obama fully understood that tens of millions of Egyptians were demonstrating against the increasing tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite this reality and with the knowledge that Coptic Christians were increasingly being crushed – and that elements within the Muslim Brotherhood were using language of sectarianism against the Shia – Obama closed his eyes because he knew that he was on the wrong side of history. Therefore, all the meetings between members of the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood in the corridors of power couldn’t crush the spirit of revolution in Egypt.
The people of Egypt on a whole don’t want to be beholden to the wishes and engineering of America and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians know full well that America only cares about protecting the troika of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Given this reality, the wishes of Egyptians became a distant second under Obama because he believed important think tanks that manipulating the Muslim Brotherhood meant stability.
Gulf powers, powerful Western nations and Turkey have collectively caused untold mayhem in Iraq, Libya and now in Syria. Issues related to human rights is a non-starter because in the land of Saudi Arabia not one Christian church is allowed. This reality, and the fact that America will do anything in order to protect Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – means that other secular based societies can literally go to hell providing chaos doesn’t threaten the troika of nations under the umbrella of Washington. Until the Middle East and North Africa is free from the intrigues of major international and regional powers; then the Arab Spring will turn to dust. Therefore, it is essential that the new revolution in Egypt is allowed to dictate its own move to democracy – albeit, with the army protecting the people from all possible dangers during such a delicate time.
The National Salvation Front in Egypt states that “We would like to confirm that what Egypt is witnessing now is not a military coup by any standards. It was a necessary decision that the Armed Forces’ leadership took to protect democracy, maintain the country’s unity and integrity, restore stability and get back on track towards achieving the goals of the January 25 Revolution. We have full confidence in the commitment the Armed Forces made yesterday that their role would remain to be a national one, and not political, aimed at restoring stability, security and fulfilling the economic and social rights of the Egyptian people.”
“We believe that the joint decisions reached in the meeting yesterday between the Armed Forces and several national forces, and witnessed by respected spiritual figures such as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Coptic Pope, those decisions further confirm that the Armed Forces have no intention to intervene in politics.”
Obama was much more somber because he stated after the removal of Morsi that “The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution.”
It is clear that the Obama is now involved in face saving but his action towards the Muslim Brotherhood is evidence that the current changes in Egypt were not part of the Washington script. Therefore, it is now hoped that the real Arab Spring takes place whereby the empty phrase becomes a fresh start for the people of Egypt. Of course, the next few days, weeks and months are fraught with danger because events can always change unexpectedly. However, it will be difficult to crush the voices of the tens of millions of people who demonstrated against Morsi in Egypt. Therefore, the policies of the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood collectively in this nation became a paper tiger and the hope is that both forces remain to be a paper tiger in order for Egyptians to decide their future.