Our fear of criticizing the Brotherhood



Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Published — Sunday 23 December 2012

Last update 23 December 2012 12:28 am

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Since their rise to power, the Brotherhood in Egypt has become the holy cow that many refrain from criticizing for fear of attacking Islam. This type of rule will not be accepted, for the Brotherhood is a political party with rights and obligations just as the other parties.
The protectors of the group have begun waging a relentless campaign against anyone who dares criticize the practices of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, trying to make the system invincible and according the party a sanctity it does not deserve just because it labels itself Islamic with its members printing a dark spot on their foreheads that symbolizes lengthy prostration. For us, the Brotherhood is a political entity that makes good decisions and bad mistakes and therefore deserves appreciation or criticism according to its deeds.
I say to the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region that we have lived through this media terrorism for years. They have fought us many times before and have not succeeded nor will they ever succeed. One day, their followers will discover what their seducers have done as they did in previous campaigns. We have also faced this media terrorism before by Hezbollah when we were accused of betrayal and being agents for the Zionists merely for discussing its actions.
Those who were fighting us unjustly yesterday turned today on Hezbollah and are using the language even we shy away from. The same thing was said to us and against us because of Iran, which claimed it was the champion of Islam and the enemy of Israel. But now they have adapted an attitude which is the completely opposite to what it was before and argue against Iran more than we do. These are the same people who were defending the regime of Bashar Assad and who believed his speeches about Arabism and Palestine and fighting the West. They closed their eyes and ignored his crimes that did not just start in March last year when the revolution of the Syrian people against him began, but even when he killed tens of Lebanese leaders, he and his colleagues were called “the objection front” and anyone who criticized him was in the Israeli camp, and in the garb of all this they were defending his crimes.
We remind those who sneer at us what they said at the time of the rise of Al-Qaeda when they defended the worst group in history, when they raved about them as if it were the resurrected Khalid bin Al-Walid Brigade. I say to all who sanctify Hassan Nasrallah and attack us because of Iran, Bin Laden and Assad: Do not rush to judge those who criticize the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or elsewhere. This is politics, they are politicians and most importantly, they are not a flawless group.
Unfortunately, just after a few weeks of assuming power in Egypt, the Brotherhood did not hesitate to resort to slander and dishonesty. What they said about their rival Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei is one example of their style of defamation of adversaries. They claimed he had sold Iraq, destroyed it and committed other transgressions, whereas those who follow politics closely know he is an Arab who ran international organizations with integrity and morality and who refused to implicate the international organization in the Iraqi conflict. All this was erased with a stroke of a pen and a different history of the man was written just for the sake of dominating the political arena by character assassination of their adversaries.
I realize it’s hard for some to differentiate between those who are preoccupied with Islam as a religion and politicians who raise religious slogans and that is why they use religion with opportunism. Criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood in power does not mean we are criticizing the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) but a normal political group like any other. When we criticize socialist movements it does not mean that we are against the values of social justice just like when we criticize the Baathists and Nationalists, it does not mean the rejection of the concept of Arab unity.
That is why we should not be influenced by campaign slogans, either religious or national. These are politicians and these are political parties. Taking a stance against a justice-driven party does not mean that we are with injustice and to stand against freedom does not mean we call for slavery. They are just names such as the names of individuals named by their owners to seduce the public.
Unfortunately, it’s the same audience who stumbles out of one intellectual blunder and falls into another, the same mistakes coming back with new names, new suits and new expressions. For this, only those who revere religious symbols such as the Brotherhood or others like them should give them the right of way, but as for us, we should not pay the slightest attention to this rhetoric.

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