Waiting For Futouh

Issandr el-Amrani reports that prominent Muslim Brotherhood moderate Abdel Menem Abul Fotouh was scheduled to speak on a panel at NYU a few days ago. Surprise, surprise, Fotouh was not able to attend. He, apparently, was denied entry into the US. As a result, the audience had to endure the predictably aimless interjections of several non-experts. I think Peter Bergen is great, but he is expert on Al-Qaeda, not an expert on the Brotherhood.

I can’t believe I actually have to make points which are (or should be) so self-evident to even the most unintelligent of observers – but if we want to understand political Islam, then we have to actually listen to what Islamists themselves say. This doesn’t mean that we have to agree with them, support them, or like them. But, considering that the Muslim Brotherhood will, notwithstanding acts of God, come to power in Egypt sooner or later, we should do our best to understand them before we get caught by surprise 10 or 20 years down the road. This is yet another example of how alarmist fears of political Islam coupled with a senseless visa policy damage our strategic perception of Islamism and render us unable to anticipate or pre-empt policy dilemmas.

I interviewed Futouh at length in late July, while the Israel-Hezbollah war was going on, and he had much to say that, I think, would be of interest to US policymakers, if only they’d listen. He is part of the Brotherhood’s moderate “faction,” a faction which grows smaller and more embattled – the not-so-surprising result of the Bush administration’s needlessly polarizing approach to everything Middle-East related. The moderates within the Brotherhood are trying to modernize their organization and prepare it for the give-and-take of democratic politics, but they are having a hard time of it. The deteriorating situation in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon, and exponentially high levels of anti-Americanism contribute to an environment that makes being a “moderate” increasingly precarious. But, then again, because we don’t let people like Futouh into our country, we would have no way of knowing that.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Waiting for Futouh:

Other Topics

Ikhwanweb Covers The NYU Forum On The Muslim Brotherhood
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Waiting for Futouh
DemocracyArsenal.org – New York,NY,USA
Open Forum At NYU On The Muslim Brotherhood 
Denied Entery
Muslim Brotherhood Member Blocked From Participating in NYU Panel 
NY Sun
British Muslim leader barred from US entry
The News – International – Pakistan
Muslim Brotherhood Member Blocked From Participating in NYU Panel
New York Sun – New York,NY,USA
Open Forum on The Muslim Brotherhood
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
United States stops entry of British Muslim leader
Reuters – USA
Muslim Brotherhood Opens Office in Washington
AINA – Modesto,CA,USA
Engaging Moderate Muslims—Really?
Steven Brooke, National Interest Online – Washington, U.S
WH On Wrong Side Of Muslim Brotherhood
CBS News – New York,New York,USA

Related Topics:

MB Today [About MB]
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
Online Library
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
The Future of the Muslim Brotherhood
Amr Al-Chobaki, Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies – Cairo, Egypt