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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood's Five-Year Plan

The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it will not run a presidential candidate and will not seek a parliamentary majority in the coming elections.  This announcement is being hailed as a sign of moderation, but it is no such thing.

The Muslim Brotherhood must know that if it were to assume power so quickly, there would be a military backlash.  Much as the military in Turkey at one time (but no longer) was the guardian of secular society, so too the military in Egypt will be seen in the short run as the protector of secular Egyptian society.  So long as the military is independent and strong, the Muslim Brotherhood must tread lightly.

Victor Davis Hanson makes the case that the Muslim Brotherhood will follow the Iranian model, with only a year or two needed to take control:
In other words, when the crowds go home and return to their jobs, the most zealous, organized, and ruthless will go to work to consolidate power. Let us hope for the best — a secular, pro-Western constitutional republic backed by a professional military — and prepare for the worst — two to three years of revolutionary fervor as Islamists, month by month, gain control of the Arab world’s largest state after coming to power by one man, one vote, one time.
I certainly don't discount that things could move that quickly, particularly if there were some event which provided a trigger mechanism for a takeover. 

But the Muslim Brotherhood's announcement leads me to believe that it will follow the Turkish model, in which Islamist political parties over time gained influence over and ultimately control of the government, and used such power to purge the military of secular forces.  While Turkey is not Iran, yet, the power center of secularism has been neutered.

If the transition in Egypt is not handled well, and if the more secular forces do not have time to organize and consolidate power in the coming years, the result will be an Islamist state. 

Whether the Islamists in Egypt follow the Iranian or Turkish model really doesn't matter.  The end result will be the same.

Hopefully there will be a new model, the Egyptian model, with a very different result.

Related Posts:
Turkey is Lost to Islamists
The "Save The Babies of Turkey" Flotilla
Turkey Looking Like The Next Iran

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  1. Kamal Al-Hilbawi, Former Speaker of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Febrruary 7, 2011

    "The only foreign intervention in this revolution is that of Israel."

    "We think highly of a country that has a wise government, a country that confronts Western hegemony, and is scientifically and technologically advanced. Unfortunately, these characteristics can be found only in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

    Kamal Al-Hilbawi

    Muhammad Ghanem, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Representative in London, January 30, 2011

    "I am absolutely certain that this revolution will not die, and that the next step must be one of civil disobedience. This civil disobedience will generate strife among the Egyptians. This disobedience must include halting passage through the Suez Canal, stopping the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Israel, and preparing for war with Israel."

    Muhammad Ghanem

  2. Unfortunately, secularism isn't strong enough to stand against Islamism.

  3. This strikes me as wise counsel. Definitely a Turkish more than an Iranian template if that's how matters develop. For the moment, at least, the MB has been forced to admit that this was not their moment. I think they had thought that it was. The ayatollahs were forced to the same admission. It also cools heels in other ME countries.

    But they'll be back. Like ego, the collectivist delusion is forever young.

    Another thing: multiple layers of powerful cross-currents there are connected globally, intensifying the element of surprise.

    And it may be worth noting that the Turkish Army still stands, neutered some but not neutralized. The military personality is like no other and civilian authority cannot stand without the support of it in force (and not police, which is different, but military specifically).

    Additionally, both Turkey and Egypt have business interests, which are abhorrent to Islamists/Mohammedans.

    And finally, no ME country is self-sufficient in war or peace materiel. Islamists/Mohammedans talk big but they can't support themselves because their ideology/idolatry (it is not a religion) is legalistic and dis-economic. They are not interested in "building out" (= economics), except for mosques, of course. And I include the ayatollahs. They are nothing without European, Japanese and American technology. And where they take over, they cause such an effusion of blood as to affix targets to their first and fourth chakras. In other words, they are unable to maintain both an habitable, defendable environment and their precious ideology.

  4. I generally agree with Viator except that what I expect to see is civil unrest, not civil disobedience. I expect Islamist bombings and violence mixed with calls for trials to punish and execute "crimes against the people of Egypt" and to purge the Army of secularists.

    I see this deteriorating into a situation where the secularists are forced to compromise in the face of growing violence. Having no one to turn to, the people will eventually just go back to cowering in the shadows to await their ultimate fate.

    "Dem wit da guns make da rules". The MB is armed and organized and so without outside interference, the people of Egypt will fail. Ideas are no match for guns and bombs.

  5. 5 years will give Israel plenty of time to become both energy independent and under a missile shield. The US can make major progress in the same direction if Obama is kicked to the curb next year.

    If it's a 5-year plan, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Egypt and their scary tourism economy are no threat. If they want to start something, they can always relearn the lessons of their forefathers.

  6. We have 8 (so far) CPAC videos posted right now on Common Cents...


  7. Excellent. You've done a little research. Why can't we expect at least as much from our MSM who spend their time whitewashing Erdogan and whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood. Bad enough that the IHT featured an op-ed by Hassan al Banna's grandson but today's NYT features a "news analysis" that tells us how wonderful and moderate the organization is:

    Founded by a schoolteacher named Hassan el-Banna in the Suez Canal town of Ismailiyya in 1928, it quickly became the most important political contestant in the country, boasting a vibrant press, delivering weekly lectures from mosques and reaching out to students, civil servants, urban laborers and peasants. It was banned in 1954 under Gamal Abdel Nasser, the founder of Mr. Mubarak’s state, weathering a brutal crackdown that instilled in it the iron discipline of a clandestine movement.

    The repression, which persisted until last month, produced some of the Muslim world’s most militant thinkers, among them Sayyid Qutb, who had a profound impact on militancy across the Muslim world. But remarkably, the movement also evolved over those same years, pursuing coalitions with other political parties since 1984, joining street protests with leftist groups and entering a feeble Parliament as independents, whose demands were not enforcement of Islamic strictures but opposition to martial law.

    Its former leader turned heads in 2005 when he offered a play on the group’s traditional slogan, “Islam is the solution.” “Freedom is the solution,” he declared.

    This is what passes for hard hitting journalism these days. That's why need blogs.