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Re: Willful Blindness, etc.

Paul Marshall

Further apropos to James’s Clapper’s contention that that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular,” has “eschewed violence,” and really just wants “social ends,” Corner readers may want to look at the C-SPAN video of the Hudson Institute’s Tuesday panel on Egypt, much of which focused on the Brotherhood.

I argued that one way to judge the Brotherhood, apart from repeatedly parsing its contradictory statements, is to look at what Christian leaders in Egypt are saying. They are not skilled overall political analysts but, as a persecuted minority, they are highly adept at judging how events might affect them. Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican leaders have all expressed their view that the present, bad as it is, may be better than a likely future with a powerful Brotherhood.

Another way is to compare Egypt’s neighboring territories. It is not only Gaza that is ruled by a Brotherhood offshoot — so is Egypt’s neighbor to the South, Sudan. It seized power in 1983 (when it was only the third largest of the Muslim parties), killed its opponents, and has engaged in two genocidal wars. Nor has it shown signs of mellowing in power. Egypt is very unlikely to be like Sudan, but when two of Egypt’s neighbors are already run by MB offshoots, and both are horrendous, it suggests that an Egypt with strong Brotherhood would be a grim place.

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