doesn’t think much of
my take on the election of Mohamed Morsi as President of Egypt.
He doesn’t believe Morsi’s election represents an Islamist takeover
Well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
John cites a recent article
by Elliott Abrams in support of his contention. The crux of Abrams’
argument is that Egyptian liberals will benefit in the long run
with the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood. Abrams writes, “If
Morsi wins, the MB will be in charge—and have to deliver. And when
they fail, as I expect they will, it will absolutely clear whom to
I think Abrams’ assessment is entirely too optimistic. It’s
easy for the Muslim Brotherhood to be in favor of democracy when it
means they win elections. But the real test of one’s commitment to
democracy is one’s ability to accept defeat at the polls. Let’s
suppose the Muslim Brotherhood falls flat on its face and
proves as inept at governing at their predecessors. What is to
stop them from canceling regularly scheduled elections? But let’s
say the election proceeds as scheduled and they lose. Does anyone
think for a moment that the Muslim Brotherhood is prepared to
relinquish power to people they deem to be infidels? Besides, all
one need do is look at Gaza. Hamas (which is essentially an
offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) was considered the honest
alternative to Fatah. Well,
Hamas has shown itself to be every bit as corrupt as Fatah. But
Hamas isn’t going anywhere.
Abrams also doesn’t think a Muslim Brotherhood–ruled Egypt
will be eager to go to war with Israel. But if Abrams is correct
that the Muslim Brotherhood can’t manage the economy, what other
card would they have to play? Egyptians might hate being poor
under the Muslim Brotherhood, but they hate Israel a whole lot
more. The only circumstance under which Egyptians would
truly turn against the Muslim Brotherhood would be if
they abandoned their opposition to the Camp David Accords.
About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.
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