Nuance is for Sissies
|Friday, May 4,2007 23:12|
If you think the main problem with the Bush administration is that its approach to the Middle East is too nuanced, you"ll love Mitt Romney. Here"s Shadi Hamid on last night"s debate:
One thing kind of bothered me. [Romney] was talking about the jihadist/terrorist threat, and listed Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Iran... and then the Muslim Brotherhood? Huh? The Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence in the 1970s and represents the leading opposition bloc in the Egyptian parliament (with 88 members). The group has publicly committed itself to the rules of the democratic game.
Right. The Muslim Brotherhood is a large, complex organization. Some of its radical wings may engage in various unsavory activities. But the bulk of the movement has renounced violent jihad and, in places like Egypt, made a point to participate in elections (for which they"ve earned the wrath of Ayman Al Zawahiri). Not only that, but they represent a broad swath of "mainstream" Islam. Lumping them in with Al Qaeda is a terrible idea. See, for instance, Marina Ottaway in TNR, or Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke"s recent look at the group in Foreign Affairs.