A Democratic Outbreak?
Re: Embracing The Brotherhood
Regarding the article “Embracing the Brotherhood”: But what about the women? How do they fare in all this, when Egypt is now a secular state? I have only been to Luxor and Cairo, but in both places I see women veiled head to toe, women in jeans with head scarves, women in mini skirts and no head scarves, and women in business suits. What they wear, of course, is not the issue so much as what they wear expresses their range of lifestyle options. What happens to these choices? By the same token, in Egypt, women’s health care access and quality ranks near the bottom of the scale globally. Could this actually improve under a different government? What about education, sports, careers and voting rights, inheritance, divorce rights and protection against violence? What does this tendency toward more Islamic governments mean for all of that? And does democracy mean that THEY have a voice, too? If so, will that be a voice backed by equal opportunity, or a voice of desperation because reality does not support that they survive in any way but to submit to the will of men anyway, regardless of what the law says they can and cannot do?
How can you possibly believe that the U.S. government would respond positively to the democratic election of parties that espouse political Islam, radical or not? When moderate Muslim parties won in Algeria and the military invalidated the elections, the U.S. cheered and called it a victory for democracy. There lies the future of Muslim democratic parties. The U.S. will foment or support coups that crush and radicalize them, particularly those with a history of terrorism. This is an utter pipe dream.
While I, too, would welcome an outbreak of democratic process in the Middle East (and, no, I don’t believe our misguided adventure in Iraq will forward that goal)what Mr. Khouri’s article suggests (and is also what I believe will occur) is that unrestrained, fully democratic elections in Arab countries will result in Islamist majorities directly, or indirectly, representing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Mr. Khouri sees this as a good thing and suggests that the MB would embrace democratic processes and ideals.
What bothers me it that, as I have come to understand through a lot of reading from various sources, is that the MB embraces the religious ideals of Wahhabism and that Wahhabism maintains that any government of men, which seeks to establish secular laws that might overrule shari’a law, is considered apostasy and/or polytheism (both punishable by death according to the Qu’ran). Thus, the election of the MB or its “cover” organizations would result in the election of a government committed to establishing a non-democratic, fundamentalist, Islamic country ruled by shari’a law similar to Afghanistan under the Taliban.
I am curious regarding Mr. Khouri’s response to this suggestion.