“According to Dr. Ahmad Al-Rab’i, former Kuwaiti minister of education, “˜The beginnings of all of the religious terrorism that we are witnessing today were in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology of takfir [accusing other Muslims of apostasy]. Sayyid Qutb’s book Milestones was the inspiration and the guide for all of the takfir movements that came afterwards. The founders of the violent groups were raised on the Muslim Brotherhood, and those who worked with Bin Laden and Al-Qa’ida went out under the mantle of the Muslim Brotherhood.– — from this article
It is important that readers of this paragraph understand that one hand giveth and the other hand taketh away. It is useful to quote Ahmad Al-Rab’i on the ideological connection of Hassan Al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 in Egypt, with today”s Jihad. It is not surprising that the Muslim Brotherhood was founded when it was founded. For 1928 was six years after Lord Cromer’s administration came to an end, an administration that brought a semblance of efficiency and good government to the Egyptian Civil Service. It was during the seeming high-water mark of British (Infidel) influence, in what might be called the “Age of the Yacoubian Building,” when Copts were decently treated, and Jews could go to the Alliance Israelite, and Italians and Greeks and others known as “Levantines” were not yet subject to the fury of an unleashed Egyptian Muslim hostility toward non-Muslims living in Egypt, which expressed itself in the early 1950s, as the ancien regime tottered and fell.
The re-egyptianization of the state came after World War II from the true-blue Muslims who resented not only the English, but the equal treatment of the Copts, the Jews, the assorted “crusader” or “frangi” Infidels, the Italians, Greeks, Armenians et al. Most of them had all of their property seized. They themselves were left penniless and then expelled, under that hideous man — who was nonetheless regarded as an enemy, despite his under-the-“secularism”-there-was-Islam ways, Gamal Abdel Nasser. This has always been described, misleadingly, as merely Egyptian “nationalism.” But below the surface was the essential substratum of hatred of Infidels, perceivable if not always properly perceived.
But the comment by Ahmed Al-Rabi’a also misleads. For it is written by a Muslim who is mainly worried about the Ikhwan/Al-Qaeda penchant for attacking other Muslims, accusing them of being less than full Believers, the ideology of what is now called “takfirism.” But the internecine warfare in Islam, the declaring of some Muslims to be insufficiently good Muslims, is not really new. It has always existed. And the attacks by one Muslim group on another go back 1300 years. What, after all, was the origin of “taqiyya,” if not the desire of one group of Muslims, the Shi’a, to hide their faith, to protect themselves, from the murderous attacks by another group of Muslims, the Sunnis, who essentially treated the Shi’a as untrue Muslims, as Infidels? That is, the origin of “taqiyya” demonstrates the very “takfirism” that, Dr. Ahmed Al-Rabi’s statement intends to suggest, is merely a product of the twentieth-century, of Hassan al-Banna’s Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood), and Maududi, and “Milestones” and all of it leading to the natural heir of all of this, Al-Qaeda.
The Muslim Brotherhood is identified with, got its start in, Egypt. Its founder, Al-Banna, was the grandfather of Tariq Ramadan, whose hissing presence, with that tongue you always half-expect to flicker out, always reminds me of that line by Robert Frost: “Where the snake stood up for evil in the Garden.” But the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan, existed — its ideas existed, its views existed — long before it was formally created by Hassan Al-Banna. It merely reflects mainstream Muslim views.
American tolerance and even support (that foreign aid that supplies more loot for Mubarak’s Family-and-Friends Plan) for the current regime in Egypt has not hindered the activities, but has indeed contributed to local support for, the Muslim Brotherhood. And right now, if that Mubarak regime goes, and Mubarak’s attempts to create a dynasty (hell, everyone’s doing it — even in the U.S.A.) fail, it will be hard for Mubarak’s son, Son of Pharaoh. He is the one who gives off such an unpleasantly oily impression, like so many in the Middle East, of these second-generation sons of tough, even thuggish fathers. They may wear Western clothes, and be to the oil-or-jizyah financed manner born, but they remain awkwardly primitive in their interior existence, which is the only thing that counts.
If American aid to Egypt, which means the rulers of Egypt, is cut off, that will make it less, not more, likely that the MB will not inherit that land. American policy toward Egypt would best be taken by endowing the title of that spiritual with a different meaning:
“Go down, Pharoah, go down in Egypt land.”