Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Slightly Pregnant

By NIBRAS KAZIMI
New York Sun
January 11, 2006

Folks in Washington nowadays have taken note of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its sister organization in Iraq, the Islamic Party, and optimistically tag such phenomena as "moderate" or "mainstream" Sunni Islamism.

The chief doctrinal difference between the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda is merely tactical: one wants to subvert the system from within, and the other wants to overthrow the establishment.

In many ways, al-Qaeda is the reincarnation of the Brotherhood's military wing that was set up in the mid-1930s as a proto-fascist disciplined corps of youths. Membership in the Muslim Brotherhood was historically a "gateway affiliation" leading to more hardcore and radical fundamentalist ideologies. Al-Qaeda's no. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, was once a Muslim Brother.

While some, like the Brotherhood, dissemble their actions and more radical others assemble for a head-on confrontation, the goal is one and the same: resurrecting the Islamic Empire. They may argue over gestation periods, but both camps are definitely expecting the birth of the New Caliphate.

Accepting the Muslim Brotherhood as "Plan-B" should the regimes in Egypt and Syria or an alternative leadership for Iraq's Sunnis falter and fail is a compromise that is self-defeating for America and what it stands for.

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