February 2, 2011

"Why Egypt's Revolution Is Not Islamic" — Part 2.

On Monday, I linked to and we discussed this article by Haroon Moghul. Today, he's on a new Bloggingheads. Topics:
The revolution in Egypt is not Islamic
A primer on the Muslim Brotherhood
The Brotherhood in America
Conservatives fight against Islamic organizations in the US
What Shariah is and isn’t
How Egypt could reduce American Islamophobia
I haven't listened yet, but I was impressed by the article and am interested in hearing him questioned about it.

ADDED: Moghul's interlocutor is Sarah Posner, who has written about "The Roots of the American Right’s Muslim Brotherhood Panic." Yesterday, I listened to Rush Limbaugh (which I always do) and watched Glenn Beck (which I'd never done for more than 5 minutes) and thought they were making overconfident statements about things they were only guessing about.


Fred4Pres said...

Am I a bad person? This made me laugh...

Lincolntf said...

Lemme guess, the way for America to overcome "Islamophobia" is to alter our culture so it doesn't offend the Muslim Brotherhood, right?
Oh, and we should probably allow the Muslim/Arab world to fulfill their Constitutional mandates to slaughter every Jew on the planet, just to be safe.

Mark O said...

Not Islamic?
"Who is it?"

Fred4Pres said...

The current street protests are mostly not driven by Islamists. That is true. But make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood represents about 20% of Egypt and it is Islamist. It's goals are to recreate the Calphanate under Sharia law, eliminate nationalism, spread Islam, drive Jews out of Israel, reclaim lost Islamic lands (i.e., Spain, etc.), and confront Trinitarians (aka Christians).

The street protestors are not organized. The MB is. So yes, there is a huge danger of them sweeping to power. That said, the Army in Egypt is organized and (like Pakistan) have a lot of power. While there are MB sympathizers in the Army, the Army has also assisted in the crack down against them over the years.

Lincolntf said...

I'm still waiting for one of these nitwits to speak out against Ameriphobia. Millions of Muslims regularly gather in city squares to call for the death and destruction of Americans, our allies and our way of life. Never mind what bizarre calumnies they heap upon "the Jew". Yet there's not a peep about "phobias" to be heard from any of the oh-so concerned pinheads.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I'm not optimistic.

I think Obama is about to have his Jimmy Carter moment.

For Americans, I think, self-interest should prevail. And, for me, there are only two questions:

1. Oil. Answer: Drill, baby, drill! Let's find a way to cease crippling our own oil exploration and drilling. Middle East oil only amounts to about 20% of our usage.

2. The continued existence of Israel. Don't know the answer here, but Obama better get a lot tougher quick. The Israelis are unlikely to go along with his plans for their national suicide. They'll fight, as well they should.

Anonymous said...

Took a look at Posner's article.

She's a far leftist, feminist ideologue who's rabidly anti-religion. Her descriptive blurb:

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, is an associate editor at Religion Dispatches.

And, you think that this woman is likely to have the ability to understand the impact that fundamental Islam has on Egyptians?

Sometimes, Althouse, your insularity in academia shows through.

Most Americans, that is conventionally religious Americans, would regard Posner as a nut.

traditionalguy said...

To say that most Americans are Islamophobic is wishful thinking by Mohammed's Guys. Then the SOBs would only need to calm a weak fearfulness of the unknown. The truth is that most Americans do not want to be bothered at all with Mohammed's nonsense, until they start their mandatory murderous attacks with the sword. Then we are resolved to stop them cold. But we are being lead right now by man who was raised as an Islam lover under the spell of the Chant Asserting Mohammed's Domination that is disguised under the phrase Call To Prayer sent out everywhere over public loudspeakers 5 times a day. The Mohammedan guys do want to kill us all, but sorry,fear will not be our response.

Anonymous said...

And to emphasize the loony tunes credentials of the source you've decided to offer up, here's the title of another article on that site:

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Murdered, US Evangelicals Must Take Responsibility.

In academia, people take fruitcakes like Posner seriously. You usually show better judgment.

YoungHegelian said...

It was amusing to hear Robert Wright's naive faith that Islamists in power would be bent to a pragmatic course by the nature of poltical power.

He then went on to proclaim in the next breath that you just can't trust that those crazy-ass American right-wingers not to grab some insane idea from the marketplace and start wacking people.

Familiarity breeds comtempt, I guess.

Lincolntf said...

"Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Murdered, US Evangelicals Must Take Responsibility."

Slanderous garbage like this is what keeps me on "the side" of Evangelicals, despite being a somewhat lapsed Catholic myself. Posner is just another cookie-cutter West-basher (who conveniently enjoys all the freedoms and wealth of the West while actively seeking it's downfall) who lacks the courage to fight real injustice, so instead rails against an imaginary threat. Coward.

jr565 said...

I was watching nightline and so and so Amanpour (can't remember her name) was interviewing some protesters who were saying this wasn't Islamic.

Byron York had an interesting article recently. He mentioned stats that showed that 85% of Egyptians believed in religious freedom. 87% of Egyptians also believed that there should be a death penalty for those who abandon Islam.
One of those two doesn't quite mesh with the other.
People can say contradictory things all the time and their words can produce cognitive dissonance, but clearly, if this is to be believed, they don't really understand the concept of religious freedom the way we do. THey may not even think they are Islamic in the sense that Saudi Arabia is.
Yet let's see Egypt give equal right to Christians and Orthodox Greeks living in the country.

Roger J. said...

I find this line of argument a bit hard to swallow--I make no claims to being an expert in Islam, but my understanding of Islam is there is no distinction between the state and islam. (and when in doubt I usually refer to Bernard Lewis). To a muslim, the state without islam is inherently blasphemous. I actually can understand that argument, but do not subscribe to it.

With respect to the current situation, I think, assuming Mr Mubarek is sincere, he's come up with a pretty good solution. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Who is Sarah Posner and how is she qualified to speak on the matter?

All I can find is that she is a "journalist."

Is she a scholar on Islam or Islamic Law? Doesn't appear so.

She's a journalist, which means that she has the credentials and training to boldly write an assertive story, but none of the training or skill to approach and understand the subject matter.

Haroon Moghul, on the other hand, impressed us all (not) with his compare and contract piece of Egypt to Iran's revolution. It was the point that missed the point.

My presumption regarding the 'goodness' of the Muslim Brotherhood stems from this: if Egypt's secular, socialist government was afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood and kept them in close check, America should be very wary of them.

Or are Sarah and Maroon prepared to accuse secular Islamic Egyptians of being Islamophobes too?

Anonymous said...

Now, I'm going to say the obvious via my late wife, Myrna, a Filipina who often had this to say about the status of women:

The decadence and sloth of the western feminist woman is just as ugly and stupid as the subjugation and mistreatment of women in the Muslim world.

I can't blame Muslims for looking at women like Posner and wondering what in the hell is wrong with western men.

Something has, indeed, gone very wrong in the West that we produce so many thoroughly awful woman like Posner. Freedom, democracy and affluence carry with them some very negative things.

Am I in favor of suppressing horrible women like Posner? No.

Trooper York said...

By all means, listen to pinheads like Sarah Posner and Bob Wright and put your trust in the religion of peace.

traditionalguy said...

OK, I listened to it. Don't bother. It is a slow plod of liberal assertions that Right Wing Crazies do not understand oppressed people like the American Muslims, but that the liberals who have always been similarly oppressed are open to a them. The very real oppression of the women, the legal slavery trade, the bounty to kill Jews and Gays are not discussed by these two speakers carefully sharing their common oppression experiences.

Trooper York said...

These are the people who would give these murderous barbarians the rope to hang us with, now that they don't have the commies to betray our democracy to anymore.

They are truly the enemy within.

Anonymous said...

Americans are Islamophobic?


A woman's husband has just beaten her and has gone off to collect his gun. The police on are her doorstep telling her she is over-reacting, that she is casting him into a stereotype.

If she takes their word for it, she's going to have her head blown off sooner rather than later.

Academics can play this mind-game all they want. That's what they're paid to do, I guess. The Americans I know are waking up; they're finally beginning to recover from this long, long PC hang-over.

Yep, I'm Islamophobic all right and so, too, are the Israelis--with good reason! So, please, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

@Fred4Pres...no not a bad person at all! I am LOL!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Trooper, you are right.

The one thing that can be found on the web regarding Sarah Posner is that she is the author of the book, God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters.

Let's all watch now, as she spectacularly fails to apply the same rigorous measures and gadfly analysis of the political objectives and activities of extreme Islamacists that her book title signals she applies to American evangelical Christians.

Terrye said...


I am not so sure that it is true that the Muslims see no difference between the state and Islam. In Iran for instance, the theocracy there is actually turning young people off to Islam because they do not see the difference between religion and that brutal state. That is one reason why some Muslims are more secular, they actually think the combination of the two is bad for their religion, that it makes people less religious not more.

I have not listened to Rush or Beck on this, but I have heard a lot of people on the right express apprehension about what comes next...that is understandable considering the part of the world we are talking about.

However, it is also true that Americans would never tolerate some thug like Mubarak running things for 29 weeks much less 29 years. Back in the 20s and 30s Egypt actually had a parliamentary government, they do not have a history as an Islamic state. I think most Egyptians want more economic and political freedom. That does not mean the Muslim Brotherhood won't try to fill that vacuum, but I don't think most Egyptians are any more interested in them running the country than they are in Mubarak running the country. We can't really expect them to put up with someone they hate just because we don't like the alternative...that sort of policy has obviously not worked for us or for them.

Roger J. said...

I spent a year in Riyadh in 1988--up close and personal with the Saudis--Any one who thinks they have nothing to fear from militant Islam has no idea of what militant Islam really is.

Trooper York said...

Hey maybe Anderson Cooper should tell those Moslem Brotherhood guys that he is gay and see how that works out for him. Let him show us nasty conservatives that we shouldn't be islamophobic and stuff and he can enjoy the tender mercies of the adherents of the religion of peace.

Good luck with that one.

DADvocate said...

It's a too early for anyone, including Moghul and Posner, to be saying where this revolution will go. Power voids leave openings for the prepared power seekers to step in. Radical Islamists have been prepared for years.

Trooper York said...

The Molsem Brotherhood has a lot of shovel ready programs ready to go.

They are ready to dig the graves of Jews, Coptic Christians, gays, athetists and women who do not submit to Sharia law. And knuckleheads like Posner and Wright want to hand them the shovel.

Most times I think people like that are just stupid but sometimes you have to wonder if they are actually evil?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, one thing we do know is at the end of these demonstrations no credits are going to run that say that the ASPCA monitored the locations and no animals were injured in the making of the riots. (See second photo down.)

Trooper York said...

And they try to tell us we have to worry about Glenn Beck. Jeeez.

traditionalguy said...

One last thought on viewing this propaganda production: The Islamic defender reminded me of the criminal defendants that I represented as a young attorney. His story is a long list of why the police and the DA are misusing evidence and that they cannot really prove that he did the crimes that he freely admits to me that he did. He is arrogantly insulting the intelligence of conservative Americans compared to Muslims, and Posner cheers him on.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, from living in Egypt for years, traveling there and in the surrounding countries many times, and seeing things on the ground...

while I think it would be fair to say most Egyptians are not Islamist radicals, the Muslim Brotherhood's goals are very very apparent. And its goal is Sharia and an Islamist State. Similar to that in Iran. And they do make up about 20% of the Egyptian population and are organized.

ricpic said...

For a thoughtful take on the political prospects in Egypt read Amir Taheri. He has an article in yesterday's NY Post, After Mubarak, that you can easily access by googling Amir Taheri NY Post.

There are significant forces in Egypt besides the Muslim Brotherhood so maybe there is a chance for a peaceful exchange of power and a somewhat moderate by mideast standards government. Fingers crossed.

Trooper York said...

My God!!!!

I mean I don't care about those camels but by all means we have to step in to protect thecameltoe!

Anonymous said...

Most times I think people like that are just stupid but sometimes you have to wonder if they are actually evil?

They are deliberately evil.

They are deliberately driving us toward a world war over the status of women and homosexuals.

People like Wright and Posner cannot restrain themselves from grasping for the perks of spoiled children.

It takes too long to explain why, but there really are legitimate reason why societies have always had different roles for men and women, and why societies have always sought to restrain the behavior of gay men. Hell, the AIDS epidemic was a graphic example.

In the west, the spoiled children are determined to advance their agenda of sloth and entitlement without restraint. This will lead inevitably to all out war.

Automatic_Wing said...

Egyptian Christians are terrified of a Brotherhood takeover too, but what do they know? They're probably just a bunch of Islamophobic Glenn Beck listeners.

Fred4Pres said...

So while there would be plenty of opposition to a radical Islamic state in Egypt, it would be foolish not to recognize the strong possibility of things going from bad to worse there.

Lincolntf said...

The worst nightmare of Posner and her ilk is that a country like Egypt would actually become a Western Democracy. People determining what to do with their own lives is anathema to the Left, as evidenced by every single initiative they pursue.

Trooper York said...

Why would it go from bad to worse?

I mean there has been a long history of islamists accepting democracy and setting up a puralistic society based on the rule of law and not some crazy religious theocracy. Right?

By all means lets listen to these academics and journalists. They know what they are talking about. Right?

Trooper York said...

And they tell us we have to be afraid of what Glen Beck has to say and we should force him off the air. Jeeez.

Lincolntf said...

Don't know if this has already been addressed, but Anderson Cooper was beaten by members of the Egyptian mob.
(via Drudge)


DADvocate said...

...they do make up about 20% of the Egyptian population and are organized.

Which is actually a huge number in terms of gainging control. According to Wikipedia, in 1988 only 10% of the population of the USSR belonged to the Communist Party, only 1.9 million people in 1939. Yet they wielded near absolute control.

Roger J. said...

Terrye--I take your point and am aware that egypt has had some experience with parliamentary democracy--I suspect, however, that for those that ascribe tolerance and moderation to "the people of egypt", they really know only the upper class educated segment of Egyptian society. And the fact that portion is urbane and literate is not representative of other segments of egyptian society.

We made, I believe, the same mistake in Iran--It has a secular elite class, but out in the tribal areas, militant islam was in full sway. We are often ill served by journalists and scholars who only communicate their closed class of confidants ascribing to society as a whole the world view of the elites they know.

paul a'barge said...

Hello Sarah Posner, "The Roots of the American Right’s Muslim Brotherhood Panic"?

Daniel Pearl.

World Trade Center Tower 1.

World Trade Center Tower 2.

need I go on, Sarah? Because yes, I know these were not direct Muslim Brotherhood events, but surely even a little girl like you can follow the links, no?

jr565 said...

at the most basic level - how can a group that calls itself "The Muslim Brotherhood" (and I guess the sisters ain't involved since they have to know their place) not be Islamic? If they take power, they will be pushing Islamism. That is their modus operandi.

Unknown said...

There's a word missing from the post (and article) title.

The word is, "Yet".

Egypt, historically, is a "let the good times roll" kind of place, going all the way back to Pharaonic times. Most Egyptians probably don't want an Iranian Islamist state, but the poor, where the numbers are, seem to be looking in that direction.

What's worrisome is that yesterday the Moslem Brotherhood began making its move. You started seeing, "War with Israel", "We Hate The USA", signs. If that's part of the theme going forward (and it hasn't been up to now), then we'll know they're gaining traction.

PS Agree with Paul on the reasons most Americans have a problem with Islam.

PPS Troop, you're on a roll.

PPPS The camel toe is the most famous in history - Pussy Galore.

Rich B said...

So this Posner woman equates the Muslim Brotherhood with Mike Huckabee? That's a close match. And I believe that the MB had a hand in Sadat's assassination. Nothing to worry about here!

Anonymous said...

No one knows what the final outcome will be, however, photos of the protest do not inspire hope. The protesters are overwhelmingly male and the few women pictured are wearing hijabs. Then there are all the photos of thousands pausing in the midst of protest to prostrate themselves in prayer. They say a picture is worth a thousand words-well based on pictures religion is the predominant theme of these protests.

G Joubert said...

My suggestion, is that rather than write off those who worry about Iran 1979 redux as "uninformed" (which they may or may not be, depending on the case), can you factor in at least some recognition of the fact that Israelis are nervous about these events? And if you can, why might they be nervous?

Unknown said...

I don't know if this answers Joubert's question in an y way, but I don't doubt Israel is a lot more worried today.

The current healine off Fox:

Egyptians Battling in Streets of Cairo

The beginning of civil war?

If so, this might be the Brotherhood's opening.

Terrye said...


The point is it is not our choice. What are we supposed to do? Invade? Tell the people of Egypt to cut it out and line up behind the strong man of our choice?

Thus far backing the strong man has had very mixed results at best. If anything it just gives the Islamists something else to use as propaganda against us.

The people of Egypt have had enough of Mubarak, that is not surprising considering what life is like for most of them.

jr565 said...

A far more realistic assessment of the Muslim brother is by Andrew Mccarthy:


Blue@9 said...

The MB might not be driving the protests now, but the danger is that they'll assert control once the current regime falls. Out of all the protest groups, they're the most organized, have the clearest goals and organizing principles, and are likely the most willing to resort to ruthless methods to attain control.

Remember that the Iranian revolution started out as a broad-based revolt by all manner of Iranian society, including trade unionists and the middle class. But when the dust settled, the Islamists took control because they were willing to jail or kill their opponents.

Anonymous said...

When Muslims talk to us in the West about Islam and related issues, we usually get only taqqiyah. Enough taqqiyah. Let them go away and come back when they're ready to face and tell the truth.

joe six-pack said...

I believe that the reason we are seeing such a rise in "Islamophobia" in the US is because so many have done what I did after 9/11.

I had only a very childish view of Islam prior to 9/11. It was a religion, as I know them.

It did not take long to understand where the root causes of so many wars going on throughout the world originate. I have studied history for more than 40 years and have never seen so many good reasons for open warfare.

Islamic nationalism IS just one of the root causes of the war. Just the one issue of a 'religion' fielding an army is worth waging war over. "lands" and "Waters" are defended by Nation-states, not Religions. No taxation of non-believers that exempts payor from military service. Islam as a form of government is at war against us.

With all of the anti-American feelings that have been running throughout the Middle East for decades, I find it difficult to beleive that we are going to see a friendlier Egyptian government after all this sorts itself out.

roesch-voltaire said...

At this point Egypt is still a dictatorship back up by the military-- what the future will bring and what role the Muslim Brother hood will play is up for grabs, but because of the diversity of groups in Egypt there is no reason to think they could control the coup, but things change. Frankly I think Juan Cole combined with reports from Al Jazera will give a more informed picture of what is happening on the ground.

BJM said...

The problem we're having understanding the Egyptian crisis is that our media absolutely sucks.

Our media is so eager to reinforce their narrative that they ignore their lyin' eyes (deja vu?).

I've been reading European and Southeast Asian papers online since the trouble began and they seem to have a much better handle on the underlying issues.

Egypt is a failed state as it cannot feed, employ or educate its people. A coalition government will be in disarray for months as it tries to grapple with the transition to power and mollify interest groups. The economy will worsen and again force people to the street.

A post-Mubarak govt will simply be a beard for a hard line Islamic state as it was in Iran.

How many times do we have to see this movie before we get it?

BJM said...


Frankly I think Juan Cole combined with reports from Al Jazera will give a more informed picture of what is happening on the ground.

Frankly I think you have your head up your ass if you think either are unbiased or honest sources.

I have been watching AJE from the first reports and while they were the only source of live images on the ground in the beginning; it's laughable to think they are anything but anti-US/Western propagandists.

dick said...

I really wonder about the academics and the "intelligentsia" in this country. Do they ever pay any attention to what the people they support actually do rather than what those same people say? Look at the posting by Althouse here. She read the article and it made sense to her. That and a couple of bucks will buy you a Starbucks Latte. Much better question is what do these people who write the articles actually do when they can. I would wager that what they do has very little to do with what they say.

Look at the president. Remember all the things he said that seemed logical when he was running for office and all the promises he made. How many of them has he carried through on. You know, the bit about publishing the laws for 5 days before he signed them, closing Gitmo, pulling our troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan, stimulus to create jobs, etc. From what I have seen he has carried out just about zero of them. How about his very forward looking foreign policy. Working with our friends to help solve the problems sure doesn't seem to play well with what he said; in fact he has just about chased away all our long time friends. And yet the intelligentsia and the academics still for the most part think he is about the best thing since sliced bread.

This Sarah person is just more of the same. Says one thing and practices another and the academics and intelligentsia only pay attention to what she says. If only what they said would magically make that thing happen then all would be well but that is not what this crew does.

G Joubert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick Stanley said...

Posner is a typical dingbat, but Moghul is quite reasonable and makes a lot of sense. So when she shuts up, and he talks, the interview is worth listening to.

G Joubert said...

Fact is, there are many "informed" people out there who find clear parallels between what happened in Iran in 1979 and what is happening now in Egypt. Check out this post and interview today at Powerline by their new member, Michael J Totten.

Me, I say people who reflexively dismiss the threat are Robert Wright-like leftwing kool-aid drinkers and/or elitist dreamers.

Your Correspondent said...

There are 2 groups in Egypt strong enough to lead the country, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army. Neither one is democratic. The masses in the streets are very pro-democracy, but not organized or funded.

The chances for democracy in Egypt are poor. The main options seem to be a government, down the road, that is either pro-western or pro-Iranian.

Got a preference?