The Brotherhood and the West; Has Time Come for reconciliation?
|Wednesday, February 15,2006 00:00|
|By Emad Kamal , Ikhwan Web|
The ongoing political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood does not only bring about a seeming change in the Egyptian political map but also announces possible changes that might effect the western interests in the entire region. The West has been long a main player in the Arab and Egyptian arena. This role whether negative or positive is one of the political facts of the region so the question of the moment is not on how the brotherhood can put an end to that role but is on how to keep the current changes as far as possible from endangering the western interests to keep them away from imperiling their political future.
For tens of years, These Western interests have been kept intact over alliances with the Egyptian ruling regime. In return the Egyptian regime needed the western support because of its illegitimate presence. Therefore, the Muslim Brotherhood’s outshining of the moment suggests a rise of a new political movement that does not draw its legitimacy from the west but from the populaces, and they have no individual or class ambitions that guarantee its adherence to advocate the Western benefits. So the Egyptian-western relation would face a new trend in case of a MB government.
On the MB side, what seeds for a possible conflict with the west is not a clash of interests, but
the lack of trust in the western intentions towards the Islamic movement in general and the MB in particular. They usually talk about the western enthusiastic reaction towards the imprisonment of a figure like Dr Ayman Nour or Dr Sad el-Din Ibrahim versus the negative reaction towards the imprisonment of thousands of them. They know that the killing, torture and imprisonment they face is never to be done unless a green light is given to the Egyptian regime to do so. A situation that makes them seek an only possible support through the public by adhering themselves to the anti-western general attitude. A situation that might develop into a typical scenario of the region where a new-born regime supports itself with a foreign conflict that makes it the defender and patrol of its people against that cruel foreign monster. A condition that gives it a great excuse to keep in power and to take any measures against its opponents.
On the other hand, the West lacks confidence in the whole Islamic movements. So far, they do not seem to be able to understand the genuine diversity among the Islamic movements and how the MB is different from Al qaeda or al-jihad and similar terrorist movements. This fact is explicitly illustrated in the swinging stances and conflicting statements regarding the Brotherhood. A conflict that is nourished by many members and on various levels starting from. the lashing statements of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader towards The USA, to the Zionist propaganda links the Brotherhood to Nazism, and the anti-Brotherhood statements of some politicians inside the American Administration, …etc.
Unfortunately, amid all these flammable elements of conflict, one can hardly observe tangible efforts to bring views closer or to create a sort of understanding suffices to stop or enfeeble the Western possible flood over the Brotherhood or the last possible revolutionary actions against the western interests in the region.
As a growing political power, the Brotherhood should initiate reconciliatory bids since it has an agenda that needs an obstruction-free and clear atmosphere to be put in action. In our opinion, if the Brotherhood’s present efforts directed to bridge gabs with marginalized political and ideological powers in the region was partially directed towards bridging the gab with the west it might have been more successful.
Pragmatically, the Brotherhood action on the level of drawing closer to the West should exceed mere talks or rhetoric writings to engage into a comprehensive and gradual revision of its agenda. The Brotherhood’s agenda includes heaps of issues and targets that are not only impossible but partly contradict with the western interests in the region. The agenda targets the full liberation of Palestine, resisting the Western influence, supporting the political independency, achieving Arab and Islamic solidarity, solving inner political and economical problems, activating democracy, reforming the educational sector and the state institutions, fostering the Islamic culture, Islamizing arts, brining back the Islamic Caliphate…etc., This agenda should be closely organized, according to its precedence, and should be precisely timetabled. Accordingly, some items will certainly be cancelled or put off for the favor of speeding up others, or otherwise to enter an unequal conflict with the West.
Unquestionably, we do not mean by sorting out the program objectives to replay the watchdog role for the west but to have a pragmatic political program that has a good chance to be put into effect. A program that differentiate between the Brotherhood as a long-standing opposition group and the Brotherhood as a growing political power foreseen to participate in the role of a whole country.