- NOTE: I was asked on Facebook whether it is OK or proper to assassinate Muslim Brotherhood leaders to solve the Egyptian crisis. I posted the following answer:
In re assassination of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
I strongly believe that the systematic killing of Muslim Brotherhood leaders will never solve the problem. This is actually what past “moderate” or “secular” Egyptian governments did. Former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hosni Mubarak did not just incarcerate former Muslim Brotherhood leaders; they also resorted to assassination.
Also, I don’t think it’s proper, or even moral, to adopt the evil ways or strategies of one’s enemy. Like Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said: “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
Let’s not forget that the highly influential Muslim Brotherhood was created in the 1920s. The Muslim Brothers were very much patient and knew how to plan long term. What we’re dealing with here is a religious political ideology that is stronger, more potent, more radical and more dangerous than any statist ideology (.e.g, communism, socialism, fascism, Nazism, etc.)
You cannot destroy an evil political ideology by simply killing its ideological leaders or most fanatic political adherents. The only way to kill it is to teach the people the right and proper idea. This is because every evil political ideology is like a deadly virus that poisons or infects the human mind.
In fact, Hitler was inspired by Islam that he wanted to establish his own Nazi religion. He saw the potential of a radical religion in establishing and keeping political power. This idea is never new to 20th century despots and tyrants. It’s a very old political model. The Greeks had their own institutionalized religions– albeit polytheistic religions– to preserve political power, and this is why Socrates was ordered to drink hemlock for mocking the gods and trying to influence the youth. Egypt also had its own state-imposed religion. Western monarchs during the dark ages and medieval era allied with the Vatican City to perpetuate their stay in power. The monarchs enjoyed “divine legitimacy”, whereas the Vatican City received protection and was guaranteed absolute political power in
return. And this is why the world witnessed centuries of religious wars in the past. Intolerant monotheism plus political ideology is more dangerous than any “secular” isms.
In the past, every Egyptian pharaoh or Attila or medieval monarch or Ottoman Sultan had to secure the unconditional support and blessing of an spiritual leader. Today, the president of Iran needs the divine guidance and blessing of the Ayatollah. The Middle Eastern monarchs may be able to perpetuate their stay in power as long as they enjoy the religious support of the powerful Islamic clerics.
Now what’s the solution? The only solution is for the Egyptians to understand the proper concept of freedom, which means freedom from, or the absence of, government or political force or compulsion.
Assassination of influential MB political and ideological leaders will only embolden the Islamists and their followers. And I believe that this is the reason why the Egyptians voted for Mohamed Morsi in 2012.
Like the communists, the MB Islamists knew how to exploit martyrdom and to practice ideological subversion not only to gain the support of the Egyptians, but also to get the sympathy of global governments, particularly America and the EU. This is what Ayatollah Khomeini did in Iran. The Western world perceived him to be a martyr and a great political leader and advocate of freedom and equality that Western liberal intellectuals like Michel Foucault thought Ruhollah Khomeini was a saint.
But like I suggested in my post, the Arab Spring in the Middle East was designed to empower the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s just the beginning of what credible political analysts call “Muslim Civil War” between Sunnis and Shia muslims.
Islamic countries like Turkey and Qatar have shown political support of the Muslim Brotherhood, while Jordan, United Arab Emirates
and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni monarchies fear MB’s continued political expansion in the Middle East. This, according to both political and Islamic experts, led to the civil wars in Turkey, Syria, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.
Now the real problem here is not the Muslim Brotherhood and the Sunni monarchies in the Middle East. The source of all political conflicts and civil wars in the region is religion. It’s political Islam. The ongoing political strife in some parts of the region, which might affect even established Sunni monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE, simply shows the worsening conflict within Islam.
Thus, the only solution is that the people in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries must renounce political Islam and establish secular governments. Yet the election of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi in 2012 shows the people wanted political Islam. Fortunately it only took them two years to realize they made a grave mistake. Now millions of Egyptians are back in the streets of Cairo to withdraw their support of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers. But whatever their political choice, America and the rest of the semi-free world should let Egypt decide. Let the Egyptians learn from their mistakes.
Yes, America and Europe may continue to give Egypt, whose leaders publicly stated that America and Israel are Egypt’s main “enemies”, billions of dollars in monetary aid as well as military support (e.g., F-16 jets and additional foreign troops), but it is impossible to teach the concept of rights and freedom to a people who embrace mysticism and who have long renounced reason.
It is very ironic that the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a long history of anti-Americanism and of exploiting anti-American propaganda in order to get public support against so-called moderate or “secular” Egyptian governments, is now being funded and militarily supported by the United States under the Barack Obama regime.
Egypt’s ongoing social and political conflict is reminiscent of the systematic destruction of the Library of Alexandria, one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world, first by the early Christian fundamentalists and then by the early Muslims.