October 23, 2014

The Moderate U.S. Establishment Position? That the Muslim Brotherhood Might Be Moderate


The Washington Post continues to talk relatively sensibly about Middle East developments. And yet its latest editorial also shows the type of contortions necessary to avoid facing the awful truth of the situation in the region.

The editorial concludes:

Election results notwithstanding, it seems clear that the vast majority of Egyptians as well as Tunisians seek economic progress and respect for human rights, and not a theocracy. Secular citizens and minorities, who make up a large part of the population, will not accept discrimination. Islamic movements will succeed in government, and retain their following, only if they recognize those realities.

Really? Let’s consider this text, as it reveals precisely how the Obama administration and the conventional wisdom in the U.S. policy establishment think about these issues:

“Election results notwithstanding, it seems clear that the vast majority of Egyptians as well as Tunisians seek economic progress and respect for human rights, and not a theocracy.”

Then why did they vote so much for radical Islamist parties? I know that one can consult some polls to say that the people’s main concern is economic betterment, but that also requires ignoring other polls where they show enthusiastic support for Sharia.

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About Barry Rubin

Prof. Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)