In a recent interview with prominent TV journalist Christiane Amanpour, who never misses an opportunity to promote repellent moral relativism about fundamentalist Islam, Middle East analyst Marwan Muasher declared, “The Muslim Brotherhood has been used for a long time as a scare tactic” (emphasis added). This eyebrow-raising dismissal of legitimate concerns about the world’s largest Islamist movement went unchallenged by Amanpour — no surprise there — although Muasher did weakly concede this: “that is not to say they don’t have designs.”
“Designs” indeed. Nothing less ambitious than the downfall of the West and the establishment of a medieval dystopia known as the worldwide caliphate. Is it a mere scare tactic to point out that internal Brotherhood documents themselves reveal that the “elimination of Western civilization” is the Muslim Brotherhood’s endgamel? Or that the Brothers’ motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”?
Considering these “designs,” the group’s swift, successful entrenchment around the globe, and its spawning of such alumni as current al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, only the willfully naive or complicit could claim that the Brotherhood shouldn’t be taken seriously as a threat.
Whichever Muasher is guilty of, he feels perfectly comfortable inviting the Brotherhood into the political mix of the Arab world’s current turmoil. A recent report reveals that Muasher, a former Jordanian diplomat, has praised the revolutions rocking the region and has called for the inclusion of Islamist groups in any pluralistic, fledgling democracies that may emerge. The ostensible reasoning is that Muslim fundamentalists like the Brotherhood have a legitimate role to play and deserve to be allowed to compete on the supposedly level playing field of the marketplace of ideas. It might even temper their radicalism.
That all sounds very fair-minded and inclusive. But as with most theories, this one doesn’t mesh especially well with reality — in this case, the reality that Islamists tend to be more ruthless, organized and effective than their political opponents in the Arab world, that they are currently well-positioned to seize power, and that they will tolerate pluralism and democracy only as long as it takes them to acquire that power. After that, well, welcome to the caliphate.
But there may be more in play here than simple fairness and wishful thinking on Muasher’s part. He happens to oversee research for the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, funded by leftist multi-billionaire George Soros, one of the world’s most politically influential men. Soros is waging his own personal ideological war against America by shoveling seemingly limitless funds into organizations giving life to his “progressive” vision of social justice.
That vision, like the Muslim Brotherhood’s, identifies America and Israel as the “Great Satan” and “Little Satan” respectively, who must be demolished to pave the way for a purifying, redemptive utopia. These common enemies unite progressives and Islamic fundamentalists in what David Horowitz has coined an “unholy alliance.” As Andrew C. McCarthy writes in The Grand Jihad, “With their collectivist philosophy, transnational outlook, totalitarian demands, and revolutionary designs, Islamists are natural allies of the radical Left.”
Thus Soros and his spokesmen like Muasher see opportunity in the unrest roiling the Middle East and North Africa — opportunity to support the enemy of their enemy. The numerous ties of Soros and his Shadow Party cohorts have been documented; they include the master puppeteer’s own Open Society Institute and various anti-Western Islamist groups in the revolutions. It has been confirmed, for instance, that the International Crisis Group (ICG), led in part by Soros, has long petitioned for the Egyptian government to “normalize” ties with the previously banned Brotherhood — for example, in a June 2008 report called “Egypt’s Muslim Brothers: Confrontation or Integration?” And this talking point is echoed by Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress: “Any real democratic opening would lead to greater participation of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in a future Egyptian government.”
Soros himself has put forth this argument. In a February Washington Post editorial entitled “Why Obama Has to Get Egypt Right,” he asserts with almost comic optimism that “the Muslim Brotherhood’s cooperation with [Egyptian opposition leader] Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system.”
Considering some of the past peace prize winners, from terrorist troll Yasser Arafat to underachiever-in-chief Barack Obama, being a Nobel laureate is hardly a glowing recommendation anymore. And only the very dim or the very disingenuous can claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has any intention of playing “a constructive role in a democratic political system” — and George Soros is no dim bulb. He knows that the Brotherhood’s usefulness is in a destructive capacity, helping the Left to undermine American and Israeli power abroad.
(Not coincidentally, Mohamed ElBaradei sits on the board of Soros’ ICG, along with others who advocate dialogue with Hamas, the Muslim Brothers’ violent Palestinian branch. And as I have written elsewhere, “as the former head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency… ElBaradei repeatedly stonewalled international efforts to put the brakes on Iran’s ambitions.” No friend of Israel or America, he.)
But by calling for the Muslim Brotherhood to be given a seat at the table and a hand in fashioning the future of the Arab world, George Soros may be biting off more than he can chew with this alliance of convenience. To quote Andrew McCarthy again:
Revolutionaries of Islam and the Left make fast friends when there is a common enemy to besiege. Leftists, however, are essentially nihilists whose hazy vision prioritizes power over what is to be done with power… Islamists, who have very settled convictions about what is to be done with power, are much less so. Even their compromises keep their long-term goals in their sights. Thus do Leftists consistently overrate their ability to control Islamists.
Whatever nasty surprise awaits Soros and the Left in the long-run, at the present time they and the Muslim Brotherhood are solidifying a formidable alliance that threatens American capitalism, sovereignty, and security at home and abroad.
By Mark Tapson