L.A. Pastor: "Katrina is revenge for slavery"

The Reverend Lewis E. Logan II, senior pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church,in South Los Angeles suggests:

That it is not a coincidence that the storm’s name is a sister. Katrina. For she represents the collective cries of mothers who have lost their sons (applause) to the brutality (louder applause) and the murderous grip of this racist white supremacist American culture (frenzied applause).

I can’t imagine anything more outrageous.

The Forces of Decomposition

William Bennett writes a lengthy article today in RealClearPolitics that a grievance culture has taken hold here in the U.S. and in the U.K. He posits that this culture obscures our focus and dilutes our efforts in the war in which we are currently engaged.

A grievance culture has taken hold in the West, both in England and America-and at exactly the wrong time. Where not long after 9/11 we were angry, we now have become sad, or depressed and confused; and too many have replaced our concept of evil with all manner of diagnoses of syndromes and root causes. We are at war, and yet we are indulging a culture of grievance. My friend Debra Burlingame-whose brother, Chick, was the pilot of flight 77 that was hijacked and smashed into the Pentagon-was recently asked if she missed the post-9/11 commonsense. She answered: “Truthfully, what I miss the most is the anger.” I do too.

It is not just the terrorist threat that we have to deal with now, but the grievance culture under it, that has taken such a strong hold in the West. It may, in fact, prove the greater threat because it takes away our greatest protection against terrorism: moral clarity. Where once our law and culture were based on assigning blame on a perpetrator of wrong, and personal responsibility was a commonplace (as well as commonsense), a new psychology has taken hold in Western culture. Where once we punished and fought, we now psychologize and debate the causes of anger and terror. We, to borrow from Shakespeare, have made the wrong medicines of our great revenge.

Bennett may have something here. He continues:

Last month, in the wake of the worst attack in London since the Blitz, the other-wise forceful Prime Minister Tony Blair took a meeting with two dozen leaders of Britain’s Muslim community to “address the root causes of the suicide bombings” that killed over 50 innocent civilians and wounded over 700 more. In an earlier time, perhaps, we would have known who and what was responsible for the death of those Londoners-the evil and barbaric actions of thugs, of terrorists believing in Islamist fascism. But, the so-called “moderate” Muslims who met with Tony Blair had been paying attention to the cultural shifts we have brought upon ourselves, and they played into them.

After all, they too saw responsibility as other than in the evil terrorists. As the Washington Post reported: “the most prominent of Britain’s Muslim moderates — acknowledged strong disagreements among themselves, with the government and with radicals in their community over who or what is ultimately to blame for the attacks.” And, a Muslim member of the House of Lords stated, “many people are confused as to how to deal with [the bombings].”

Can one imagine Winston Churchill entertaining Germans with a list of grievances that led to the Blitz at 10 Downing? Or, Franklin Roosevelt listening to a group of Japanese at 1600 Pennsylvania who wanted to air their reasons for Pearl Harbor? Tony Blair should have thrown these “moderate” leaders who feed this theology and philosophy out on their ears. Unfortunately, however, those leaders are not alone and, to be honest, we too have mollycoddled supposedly “moderate” leaders as well-both at Crawford and in DC, both with members of the Saudi royal family as with members of Muslim so-called civil rights organizations.

Churchill and Roosevelt took the war to the enemy, they didn’t ask their leaders about their grievance-their countries had heard them loudly and clearly enough, through their actions. But, what our countries today do not hear loudly and clearly enough, is the call of the rightness (if not righteousness) of their own cause. We have replaced what Lincoln called our “political religion”-our dedication to knowing the causes of equality and liberty upon which we were founded-with a politics of religion, and race, and nationality, and culture. We have elevated individual grievances, ethnic thumb sucking and hundreds-year-old resentments and envy above our mutual protection and our commonweal, a word you do not hear much anymore.

I couldn’t agree more. Read the whole article. It is very enlightening.

Another tidbit:

Some days, we hear, the terrorism is caused because we’re “occupying” Iraq; some days it’s because we support Israel (which, until the liberation of Iraq, was the only country in the Middle East where Arab Muslims could vote freely and serve in government). But, there’s a perhaps not-so-obvious problem with this “understanding,” this “sympathy,” and blame-game. We were not “occupying” Iraq on September 11, 2001 (we weren’t even occupying Afghanistan). And Britain has pushed more than any other Western nation for Israeli withdrawal from the lands the Arabs say belong to them. No, it’s not Iraq and it’s not Israel. It’s a corrupt philosophy attached to an evil arm that causes the massive slaughters.

There’s a second problem as well. The so-called grievances of the Muslims are contrasted to nothing-there is no other side of the scale, there is no teaching of what we do right, there is no recogniztion of the wisdom and virtue of our own cause, from our Founding up until today. There is no reality check. One would think Muslims would be at least a little grateful to the countries that have liberated over 50 million of them in the last four years. Or to those same countries (the U.S. and Britain) who, the last seven times they mobilized their militaries, did so on behalf of Muslims. Not so. They are not.


No, this is not a struggle against just any kind of extremism. It is a fight, it is a war-and we know who the enemy is. We should say it. It is Radical Islam. We called the Nazis the German Nazis; and we called the Communists the Soviet Communists. We should call our enemy today by what they are and who they are. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.” It is no accident we are seeing less and less support for the war in the most recent polling. We are corrupting not only our war, but our will to fight by corrupting our language about this war.

And this corruption of language and thought has led to the taking too seriously of the “Muslim grievance.” We need to get up off the couch and tell Muslims that whatever pain they feel, it is not from British or U.S. wrongdoing; indeed, ours has been more their liberation and their medicine than their enslavement and affliction.


We have it in our power to breed heroes and statesmen just as we have it in our power to breed terrorists and traitors. We breed by both example and instruction; and just now we need a great re-learning about what we are teaching and tolerating through our national example and instruction, both in how we treat the enemy as well as in how we treat our own philosophies of statecraft and soulcraft. Our only repatriation can come once we take seriously again our self-evident truths, our political religion. In understanding our Constitution and Founding as the basis of our laws Abraham Lincoln put it this way:

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;–let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;–let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

We’ve lost that teaching, that instilling of public faith in our own country and our own cause. We’ve replaced, and indeed denigrated, that extremism, if you will. Now, what Lincoln had in mind is a good deal different from today’s teachings of the feckless thing we’ve replaced history and government with: social studies. Perhaps W.B. Yeats had it right, “The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Where is Ayn Rand when we need her?

Gaza and Victory?

Joey Tartakovsky writes in RealClearPolitics.com about Gaza. He finds that disengagement was the act of a statesman and explains why:

Q: Israelis fear that Gaza could become “Hamasland” after the withdrawal.
A: Let Israel die.

—Hamas spokesman, in an interview with the Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, on August 18th.

The heartbreaking scenes in Gaza show us what the managed exodus of hundreds of families looks like. It means tearing down synagogues and kindergartens, exhuming graves, and ordering an armed force to resettle its own civilians against their will — at a cost of billions of dollars and what seems like as many tears. But Ariel Sharon’s abandonment of Gaza is the act of a statesman.

For disengagement is in Israel’s interests. Israel has no partner for peace among the Palestinians, nor any interest in waiting for one. Sharon began arguing in recent years that his country had better options than the continued occupation of lands crowded with 3.5 million Palestinians, the price for which Israel paid in terms of military, economic, and moral well-being. He observed, too, that if Israel didn’t act to exclude Arabs, whose birthrate is fourfold that of Israeli Jews, Jews would, within decades, become a minority in lands under Israeli control. Sharon will withdraw settlers and soldiers from the conquered territories — Gaza first and parts of the West Bank (much) later — while finishing a fence to seal a favorable border.

It is, or should be, in Israel’s diplomatic interests. The commitment to peace on the part of the “international community” is being tested: as Israel accedes to the decades-long demand of the United Nations and European and Arab states, will these groups pressure the Palestinians, too, to act for the sake of peace, as demanded by every Middle East peace text since Middle East peace texts began? We will see.

And disengagement is in the interests of Palestinians, who will soon have their chance to build a state. Theoretically, that is. There is little to suggest that Palestine will avoid the fate of its Arab neighbors: poverty, misrule, nepotism, and violence. But they won’t have occupation to blame. The impending disaster of Palestine belongs to them, not Israel.

While he makes a compelling argument, the disruption of the lives of Jewish settlers who lived there for nearly 40 years, the possibility of Gaza turning into a terrorist training camp and the proximity of Hamas to populated cities of Israel now, make one wonder if it really is in Israel’s best interest. Perhaps, in the long run it will turn out to be. We shall see.

He continues….

The Israeli sin is occupation and the Palestinian sin is terrorism. But now Israel makes redress. What have the Palestinians done? Nothing. Actually, that’s not true: they’ve been busy partying. And praising themselves: “This pullout is the result of our sacrifice, of our patience,” said President Mahmoud Abbas. In another speech: “The credit [for the withdrawal] goes to the martyrs.” Abbas has no plans to confront the terrorists under his dominion. (Nor has a single terrorist been arrested during his tenure.) On the contrary, the martyrs are gearing up for a new round of holy war. Critics of the withdrawal warned that its greatest peril was that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah would interpret Israel’s sacrifice as their victory.

The critics were right. As Palestinian groups celebrate carnival-style, basking in praise from across the Arab world, one doubts that many of them actually believed that the end of occupation meant the end of fighting. Were that true, last week’s events would be cause to lay down their rifles; instead, they seem readier than ever to discharge them. Unless, of course, occupation referred not to the ’67 ceasefire borders, but to Israel proper. A newly-bold Hamas spokesman explains: “We do not and will not recognize a state called Israel. Israel has no right to any inch of Palestinian land.”

The cutthroats of Hamas, like Jack the Ripper in his infamous letter to a London paper, have informed their pursuers that they shan’t quit ripping till they do get buckled. Islamic Jihad took potshots at departing settlers, and even attempted a suicide bombing on the first day of evacuations, which Israel intercepted. But another bomber did make it through on the Sunday after withdrawal, maiming 10 in the city of Be’er Sheva. With these groups there is no “peace process.” There is a war process. Israel must meet the next wave of Palestinian shootings, stabbings, rocket attacks, and suicide bombings with retaliation swift and fierce.

Read more.

End the Debacle Ms. Sheehan

From Arab News:

End the Debacle Ms. Sheehan
Steve Darnell, Arab News

It is time to put an end to the “Cindy Sheehan debacle” in Crawford, Texas. Since I am not one to sugarcoat a subject I will start by simply saying: Ms. Sheehan is a liberal nut case who needs to be put in her place.

I know these are strong words to use against a “grieving mother”, but the time for grief is over. Ms. Sheehan’s own hateful words ended her grievance.

Cindy Sheehan, who returned to her camp outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas Thursday after going to California to care for her ailing mother, is demanding to see President Bush over the death of her son in Iraq. Her son, 24-year-old Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq last year. She has also started protesting the war in Iraq and has since become the poster child for the anti-war wackos who are calling for the complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

For the record, Ms. Sheehan already saw President Bush in June of last year when Bush met with families that have lost sons and daughters in Iraq. At that time Ms. Sheehan seemed to appreciate the meeting. “I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,” Cindy said after their meeting, “I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.”

Now, apparently the grieving mother has changed her mind about President Bush, calling him the “biggest terrorist in the world”.

The Drudge Report produced transcripts of a speech Ms. Sheehan recently gave at San Francisco State University where she said, “We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!”

She continued her anti-war tirade saying, “The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a US-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war.”

“We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up… in Washington, we will impeach all those people.”

Ms. Sheehan also proved her lack of intellect stating, “We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.” I must admit, nuclear war is news to me. Has anyone else heard of this?

I think it is time for our gloves to come off. Many columnists around the country have “tip-toed” around the Sheehan controversy because they have respected the loss of her son. But now Ms. Sheehan is showing her true colors: Liberal activist, not loving mother. I think it is time to fight back.

Ms. Sheehan and other appeasers around the world provide the fuel that feeds the fire of terrorism. If not for this fuel, terrorists would realize that they do not have a chance to sway the minds of people and would end the bombing. Terrorists are not stupid, they understand that bombing innocent civilians will not change the minds of the strong, but will break the will of the weak. So they attack the weak and the weak fold.

Spain is a good example of this reasoning. Would the terrorists have attacked Spain if the whole population stood strong against terrorism? No. What would be the point?

Every time an appeaser voices his or her opinion against the war in Iraq terrorists gain hope that they can change the will of the people. So whether they want to admit it or not, appeasers protesting the war in Iraq are indirectly responsible for the death of the innocent. And the death of our soldiers.

In fact appeasers are directly responsible for the death of Ms. Sheehan’s son, not George W. Bush. If the whole country was united for the war in Iraq, I doubt if the terrorists would have started their suicide bombing campaign.

Using this logic Ms. Sheehan has become the biggest terrorist in the world, not George W. Bush as she so eloquently stated. And the liberal media has become her ally by spreading the word of her protest to the terrorists.

One other point: Every time Ms. Sheehan opens her mouth in protest she is dragging the legacy of her son through liberal muck. Her son was a hero who volunteered to serve his county and died protecting the constitution. Now his mother has become a traitor who is using the war on terror to wage a war against a president whom she does not like. What sense does this make?

Does Ms. Sheehan want her son to be known as the son of the liberal wacko from California sitting in a ditch in Crawford, Texas, or would she like her son to be known as a young man who died protecting the people of the United States?

She is no longer a grieving mother but has become a target in the battle against liberal activism and it is time the war was taken to the enemy.

Unfortunately her son’s good name will soon go down in history as the son of a wacko liberal instead of a war hero.

>— Steve Darnell is a self-syndicated columnist and can be reached at http://www.stevedarnell.com

Previous related posts:
An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan
Where the Focus Should Be
The “You Don’t Speak For Me, Cindy” Tour

Italian Red Cross protects Iraqi Insurgents

More reason to be concerned about the Red Cross.

Italy’s Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the freedom of two Italian aid workers kidnapped last year in Baghdad, an official said in an interview published Thursday.

Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing chief of the Italian Red Cross, told La Stampa newspaper that he kept the deal secret from U.S. officials, complying with “a nonnegotiable condition” imposed by Iraqi mediators who helped him secure the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who were abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28.

“The mediators asked us to save the lives of four alleged terrorists wanted by the Americans who were wounded in combat,” Scelli was quoted as saying. “We hid them and brought them to Red Cross doctors, who operated on them.”
They took the wounded insurgents to a Baghdad hospital in a jeep and in an ambulance, smuggling them through two U.S. checkpoints by hiding them under blankets and boxes of medicine, Scelli reportedly said.

Also as part of the deal, four Iraqi children suffering from leukemia were brought to Italy for treatment, he said.

Scelli told the newspaper he informed the Italian government of the deal and of the decision to hide it from the U.S. through Gianni Letta, an undersecretary in Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government who has been in charge of Italy’s hostage crises in Iraq.

“Keeping quiet with the Americans about our efforts to free the hostages was an irrevocable condition to guarantee the safety of the hostages and ourselves,” he told La Stampa. He said Letta agreed.

I suppose Italy justifies this because they were able to rescue two of their citizens, but what lesson was taught to the terrorists?

It has begun: Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza

As many of us have predicted, the Palestinians have taken advantage of Israel’s departure from Gaza and fired rockets into Israeli cities.

A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza hit the Negev city of Sderot around noon Thursday. A second rocket was also fired, and landed between Sderot and Nir-Am. Over 5900 rockets and shells were launched from Arab Gaza at Israeli targets over the last few years.

Shas party MK Eli Yishai said that the rockets fired at Sderot were just an “appetizer” compared to what is to come. “Even before we have turned off the engines of uprooting and expulsion, our fears have proven true. The dream of an end to the season of Kassams has been shattered.”

Yishai called upon Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to hand over Gaza to the Palestinian Authority until PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas commits publicly to stopping the firing of rockets on Israeli towns. Yishai added that handing Gaza over as Kassam attacks continue is the equivalent of “an invitation to shoot Kassam rockets at the city of Ashkelon.”

The IDF has yet to respond to the attack, though PM Sharon has repeatedly promised to deal harshly with post-withdrawal terrorism emanating from Gaza. Other proponents of the withdrawal, as well, have promised that after such a withdrawal, Israel will be able to respond harshly to attacks over her borders.

Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal questioned why the IDF did not respond to Thursday’s Kassam rocket attack. He said that officials promised that following the Disengagement, any rockets fired into the western Negev from Gaza would be met with a stern response.

Moyal added he will not be responsible for the welfare of students in schools with rooftops that were not fortified to withstand rocket attacks, adding those schools simply will not open.

While many schools remain unprotected, none of the western Negev’s private homes are included in the plan. The Shabak (General Security Service), which is responsible for the security in and around Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Sycamore Ranch, however, is unwilling to take such chances, and has recently fortified the windows and roofs of the Prime Minister’s Negev home against rocket attacks.

Thursday morning, Lebanese terrorists fired two Katyusha rockets at northern Israel. One hit the northern moshav [cooperative settlement] of Margaliyot, near Kiryat Shemonah and the other landed in Lebanese territory. No one was hurt, but damage was caused to a chicken coop.

A high alert has been declared in the north, and the IDF is investigating the attack. Israel has filed a formal complaint with the United Nations.

Well, that should certainly help.

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan

From Clifford May in the Modesto Bee:

Dear Cindy Sheehan:

I know you want to talk to President Bush about the conflict in Iraq, the war in which your son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was tragically killed. I also know that while the president met with you previously, he is not eager to see you again – not now that you are affiliated with Moveon.org and supported by David Duke and handled by slick public-relations professionals.

So let me suggest an alternative: Come visit with me. Our meeting probably won’t get much publicity, but I can promise you an interesting discussion. I could have some people join us – for example, a few of the many Iraqi freedom fighters with whom I’ve been working for the past several years, many of them women, as well as democracy and human-rights activists from Syria, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries.

You say you want to know, “What is the noble cause that my son died for?” They would answer: Your son died fighting a war against an extremist movement intent on destroying free societies and replacing them with racist dictatorships.

The Iraqis will want to tell you what life was like under Saddam Hussein – the mass murders of hundreds of thousands, the women and girls who were gang-raped by Saddam’s cronies, the creative forms of torture that were ignored by the “international community.”

I know several Baghdadi businessmen whom Saddam suspected of disloyalty. He had their right hands amputated. Want to meet them? The doctors who were forced to perform these amputations are worth chatting with as well.

It’s true, as you and others have pointed out, that we did not find Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. But don’t be misled into believing that Saddam never had any. Indeed, he used chemical weapons against the Kurds, slaughtering thousands in villages like Halabja, where mothers laid down in the streets and embraced their children in their final moments. We can show you pictures. We can introduce you to survivors.

Like you, I wish America’s intelligence agencies had known more than they did about Saddam’s capabilities. But Saddam’s intentions were never in doubt.

Cindy, you’ve been calling for the United States to get out of Iraq at a time when our enemies in that country include the most aggressive and lethal branch of al-Qaida, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Can you not see that if we were to retreat from Iraq now, it would be a historic defeat for the United States?

Read the whole thing

The fact is that Cindy Sheehan and her backers do not want to discuss the situation reasonably. They want publicity and they want to create an impression that they represent a majority of Americans, which they most certainly do not.

Previous related posts:
The “You Don’t Speak For Me Cindy” Tour

The Gates of Fire

If you want to get a true idea about what our servicemen are facing each day in Iraq, please read the dispatch from Michael Yon in Iraq. Michael is an author and journalist chronicling the events which will lead to a stabilized democracy in Iraq.


Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.

On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.

Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.

Reading the accounts in this dispatch and seeing the combat photos are more realistic and exciting than any war movie you might see. The men in our armed forces are truly remarkable and are truly heroes.

He concludes with:

Iraqi Army and Police officers see many Americans as too soft, especially when it comes to dealing with terrorists. The Iraqis who seethe over the shooting of Kurilla know that the cunning fury of Jihadists is congenit[al]. Three months of air-conditioned reflection will not transform terrorists into citizens.

Over lunch with Chaplain Wilson and our two battalion surgeons, Major Brown and Captain Warr, there was much discussion about the “ethics” of war, and contention about why we afford top-notch medical treatment to terrorists. The treatment terrorists get here is better and more expensive than what many Americans or Europeans can get.

“That’s the difference between the terrorists and us,” Chaplain Wilson kept saying. “Don’t you understand? That’s the difference.”

The Tail that Wags the Blog

A very funny piece appeared last Sunday in the Washington Post by Joel Achenbach about his blog. (Hat Tip: Sandmonkey):

I constantly tell myself: Ignore the blog. Do your work. You are an enormous literary figure and cultural icon, not a mere “blogger.” You must produce high-end journalism with grand themes and huge groaning multi-syllabic words like “eschatological,” and you can’t be dribbling away all your ideas on the blog. Be strong! Resist the blog!

And then . . . I hear it yowling.

The blog is hungry. The blog will not be ignored. It is an insatiable little beast, a creature still unclassified by science — hairy, warty, slobbering, with its own fiendish agenda. I often fantasize about killing the blog, but I worry that it will respond just like the crazed computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey”: It will try to kill me first

I know exactly how he feels.

The continual focus-grouping explains why most bloggers write as though their primary goal is to rise in the Google search results. The more you mention people like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the more readers you will have, and the more links, and the more you will rise in Google’s estimation. I have nothing really to say about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and am not even remotely interested in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but I know that my blog will be read by more people if it mentions famous celebrities who might be secretly boinking, such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

And let me just add, purely for the sake of Google: sex, alien abduction, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Lindsay Lohan, jumbo hooters the size of watermelons, Dick Cheney, Mark of the Beast, Armageddon, free money.


Egyptian Intellectual: Don’t Let Opponents of Democracy Take Over in Middle East


Egyptian Author Tarek Heggy: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Goal Is to Establish a Militarized Religious State as a Base for Waging War on the Infidel West

In an article in the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, Egyptian author and intellectual Tarek Heggy responded to recent indications that Washington is ready to accept the risk of having the Muslim Brotherhood in power. In his article, Heggy points to the organization’s fundamentalist, anti-democratic character, and asserts that while democratic reforms are necessary, they should not be made in a hasty manner that would allow the opponents of democracy to take power.

The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

The “Muslim Brotherhood” Aims to Take Over the Islamic World

“With eruption of public protests in Egypt against and the government’s anti-democracy crackdown, public attention has focused on the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is a transnational organization, established in Egypt in 1928, which aims to take over the Islamic world. Its goal is establishing a Caliphate, a religious militarized state, as the base to wage war against the ‘infidel’ West. The Muslim Brotherhood today is the best-organized political force in many Arab countries.

“The hasty promotion of democracy may bring the Brotherhood to power in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and elsewhere. While some in Washington are ready to accept this risk, it may entail dangerous unintended consequences.

“It is important to understand the political thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood, in hopes of shedding some light on an issue many people in the world need to understand.”

The Brotherhood Wants to Subject Politics to the Shari’a

“Unlike Western democracies, which guarantee the political participation of all citizens regardless of ideology, opinion or religion, the Brotherhood makes political participation of individuals in society subject to the principles of Islamic holy law (the Shari’a). While in the West, the legislative and judiciary branches of government monitor state actions to ensure they conform to democratic rules, the actions of the state would be monitored by the Brotherhood to ensure they conform to the rules of Shari’a.

“The Brotherhood guarantees freedom of belief only for the followers of the three revealed (Abrahamic) religions. The Brotherhood’s position on religious minorities can be summed up by its insistence [that] a non-Muslim can never become president and [that] non-Muslims will be subject to the Shari’a principles on which the entire legal system will be based.

“While Western democracies guarantee absolute freedom of the individual as long as it does not impinge on the freedom of others, the Brotherhood limits the freedom of thought within the strict parameters of a code derived from the Shari’a. The Brotherhood calls for restoring hisbah, which allows a private citizen to prosecute any individual who commits an act he considers a breach of the Shari’a even if the plaintiff himself was not personally injured by it…”

Women’s Political Participation Would be Limited to Municipal Elections

“In Western democracies, women enjoy the same political rights as men. But as far as the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, women’s political participation would be limited to municipal elections. There is no question, for example, of a woman ever becoming head of state. To further marginalize women and exclude them from any meaningful public role, the Brotherhood calls for educational curricula to include material appropriate for women, tailored to suit the female nature and role and insists on complete segregation of the sexes in classrooms, public transportation and the workplace.

“The organization calls for an economic system based on respect of private property. At the same time, however, it insists the system be based on the principles of Islamic Shari’a, which criminalizes charging interest on borrowed money, as by banks. They also call for state ownership of public utilities.”

The Brotherhood Calls for Revival of the Caliphate

“Contrary to the democratic governmental system, based on peaceful rotation of power by elections, the Brotherhood calls for a government based on the principles of Shari’a and the revival of the Islamic Caliphate.

“The freedom of association enjoyed by civil organizations in a democracy would, in an Islamist system, be conditional on their adherence to the strictures of Shari’a.

“The Brotherhood opposes the notion of a state based on democratic institutions, calling instead for an Islamic government based on the Shura (consultative assembly) system, veneration of the leader and the investiture of a Supreme Guide. In this, they are close to the model established by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran, which enables diehard conservatives (a group to which the Supreme Guide belongs) to nip any reform or renewal in the bud.”

The Brotherhood will Never Recognize the Legitimacy of Israel

“Over the last 57 years, the Brotherhood has opposed all attempts for a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The organization will never recognize the legitimacy of Israel.

“The Brotherhood calls for a constitutional and legal system based on the principles of Shari’a, including cruel corporal punishments in the penal code (stoning, lashing, cutting off the hands of thieves, etc.). The Muslim Brotherhood has never condemned use of violence against civilians, except when directed against Muslims.

“Finally, modern progress is realized by two tools – science and modern management. These are two disciplines of which the Brotherhood has not a vaguest idea. Instead, it promulgates a retrograde ideology, which can be deadly for sustainable economic development, growth in investment, and equality.

“Promoting democracy in the Middle East is an imperative necessity for all humanity. Given the right steps, the peoples of the Middle East (as Professor Bernard Lewis has repeatedly expounded) are capable of flourishing democratic societies. However, a hasty transformation is likely to be disastrous for the forces of progress in Egypt and in the Middle East.”


[1] Roz Al-Yousef (Egypt), May 13, 2005. The article, translated by the author into English, was published by The Washington Times on June 3, 2005.

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The U.S., particularly the State Department, should heed intellectuals from the Middle East who want democratic societies to thrive there. They will be the ones who will be the advocates of democracy when it arrives.

If it is true that there are those in the administration who are willing to accept the risk of The Muslim Brotherhood acceding to power in Egypt, or other radical Muslim factions coming to power in other countries in the Middle East, I would hope they would re-think that policy. Our goal is to create democracies that are supported by a majority of the people. If radical organizations take over, democracy will end. We have to be careful.

Sometimes it seems that the administration is in a hurry because they want to accomplish lofty goals before the end of the current administration’s term. In the case where radical groups who are enemies of Democracy and the West may rise to power, I would suggest that more time be taken to make sure of the right result, rather than try to accomplish something before the expiration of a political term if it might have significant unintended consequences.