Archive for February, 2011

Youth, Movements and The Muslim Brotherhood

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The other day, a really smart, well educated and conventional 20 something—call him John—wrote to me about developments in Egypt and said that he, like young people everywhere, has an optimistic view that given the opportunity the youth of the world would end all this conflict. He said he believes that Washington propaganda is keeping the War on Terror going. He felt that somehow this causes repression of the people, creating hatred that fuels terrorism. “Let freedom ring!” he said.

I recognized my own words in his message. I understood his remarks about Egypt. All of these movements are inspiring. Think of Prague, Berlin and all of fall of the Soviet Union. Tiananmen Square (was there this fall–amazing!). It’s always youth who lay it on the line for change. I’m all for it!

Even though JOhn grew up with my kids, he didn’t know about my radical youth. So, I told him that I had a fair amount of experience in “changing the world”. I got “clean for Gene” and campaigned for Jerry. I marched in sympathy during Mississippi Summer in 1964. I marched on Washington in 1969. I witnessed the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. I was in the Student Strike in 1970. I voted for Carter. I remember when Sadat made peace with Israel. And I watched it fall apart when the PLO and Yasser Arafat arrived, and Hamas and Hezbollah were born.

Through it all, I learned a few things about idealism, movements and politics. When I participated in civil rights marches, anti Vietnam War marches, and the student strike of 1970, I chillingly observed that behind the scenes were the professional organizers, who were usually the people from Communist League or the Socialist Workers Party, or offshoots like the Weathermen. They were professional “community organizers”. They had an infrastructure to produce flyers and organize rallies and provide speakers. It was sickening to see them take over our little strike at Wesleyan. Eventually, they were irrelevant—and we all went home for summer break. The Left is a vast and well-organized movement that exploits youth. It “never lets a good crisis go to waste”. Believe me, the Left is in Egypt, too.

I started to change my mind about liberal politics by the time I had a family and saw the destruction of the Carter years and the glory of the Reagan Revolution, but I’ve grown more conservative since 911 and the rise of socialism. Not that they are related, especially.

Who represses Arab youth? Mullahs, sheiks, socialists, terrorists, dictators, etc. Who sponsors terrorism? Same answer. Who exploits Arab youth? Same answer. This certainly creates hatred, and that is manipulated by…same answer. When Arab youth overthrow dictators, the Mullahs, terrorists, sheiks, socialists and (replacement) dictators are laughing because they will step in to fill the vacuum. The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. This whole situation is special and the stakes are quite high. The Arab/Muslim situation is about as bad as it can get because there is almost no hope. Everyone is so poor and the land is so barren. They don’t really have a lot going for them. They don’t have the up side that, say, China has.

On top of that, theocratic Muslim society is doomed because the religion is laced with a dark side. Unlike Christianity which certainly had its dark side, Islam is still in the dark ages. Until Islam joins the modern world, the cycle will continue. Puzzled by all of this, I read the Koran and some very good books about Muslim Society. (See, What Went Wrong, by Princeton scholar Bernard Lewis

The teachings of the Koran are not homogenous. There is the “kinder, gentler” Koran (Meccan), full of peace and admiration for Jews and Christians, that Mohammed wrote when he imagined they would recognize him as the Prophet. Then, there is the hateful, violent part (Medinan). When the Jews and Christians didn’t embrace Mohammed as The Messiah, he raised and army and slaughtered them at Medina. Then he wrote the part of the Koran that instructs Muslims to murder the infidel and establish the world-wide Caliphate. After that comes the Hadith, which is part of a tradition of manipulation of Islamic doctrine to suit the political purposes of the Muslim world as it developed, also encompassing Sharia. Until Islam can move beyond these Medieval traditions, the cycle of violence is likely to continue. Arab youth are just cannon fodder, kept uneducated and poor by those in power. Islam, as a theocracy, has a long tradition of manipulating its people in the name of divine interpretation of scripture.

Western society beat back Islamic aggression, eventually, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. But Modern Western leaders have squandered their resources on social programs, so now they have no choice but to stand by on a platform of political correctness and watch as Islam destroys itself. I hope it doesn’t destroy the rest of us in the process. One thing for sure, China isn’t going to let this hopeless foolishness happen over there, even though there are many Muslims in China.

George W. Bush may turn out to have been correct in believing that by establishing a democracy in Iraq, Arab youth everywhere else might look on and say, “Gee whiz, I want some of that, too!” Ironically, the Arab youth who are leading the early stages of the upheaval in Egypt want a democratic, secular solution, it would appear—perhaps they like the idea of elections in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, it is likely that democratic developments in Egypt might not last for long because of…the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Ronald Reagan were president now, things would be different. You weren’t around then, but on the day he took office in 1981, the Ayatollah decided to release the American hostages who had been held by Iranian thugs for 444 days. Why? Because Reagan stood for freedom and was willing to defend it. I can’t say that about our current inexperienced and misguided leadership.

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