I would strongly recommend reading Jeff Jacoby's magnificent column in The Boston Globe today on The Muslim Brotherhood.
When you consider the effort being made to minimize the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by the likes of Stephen Walt, Tariq Ramadan and, perhaps most notably, Mohammed ElBaradei; Jacoby's words shatter any illusion of moderation or prudence or efficacy for liberal democracy as we understand it on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood:
If Egypt is to have any hope of a transition to a genuine constitutional democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood must not be treated as a legitimate democratic partner. For more than 80 years, it has been a fervent exponent of Islamic, not secular, rule; of clerical, not democratic, sovereignty. Its credo could hardly be more explicit, or more antidemocratic: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.''
The Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader has publicly called for raising young "mujaheddin'' - holy warriors - "who love to die as much as others love to live and who can perform their duty towards their God, themselves and homeland.'' This week, senior Brotherhood figure Kamal al-Halbavi said his wish for Egypt is "a good government like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is very brave.''
Democracy is flexible, but even in the best of circumstances it is incompatible with religious totalitarianism. What the Muslim Brotherhood seeks is the very antithesis of democratic pluralism and a free civil society. Egypt's friends must say so, clearly and emphatically.
For those of you who are eager to see Mubarak leave office immediately please be careful for what you wish because you just might get it.
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