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The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute
It’s been a year since Mohammad Morsi took his oath of office, and the Egyptian public has had enough. Millions have come out into the street to protest Morsi’s rule. Perhaps many Egyptians could be forgiven for voting for the Muslim Brotherhood. After all, during the Brotherhood’s eight decades in opposition, they could promise Egyptians the world and never have to deliver. And what pious Muslim wouldn’t be attracted to the Brotherhood’s slogan, “Islam is the Solution”?
As soon as they won power, however, the Muslim Brotherhood dispensed with its patina of moderation and its embrace of democracy. The younger generation Brotherhood acolytes who charmed Western reporters on the street soon found their testaments to Muslim Brotherhood democracy to be wishful thinking. Even as Egypt hemorrhaged foreign reserves, Morsi preferred to enforce Islamist dictats on women, minorities, and moderate Muslims. Rather than bolster jobs, Morsi prayed for Israel’s destruction and embraced Hamas.
Throughout the region, Islamists claim to have a solution to worldly problems that secular governments do not. In every country they control, however — Iran, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt — it soon becomes clear their goal is power, not good governance. Muslim Brotherhood acolytes like Mohammad Morsi, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Ismail Haniyeh always confuse democracy with majoritarianism and mob rule; it is long past time they realize that true democracy is about accountability and rule-of-law. If the Muslim Brotherhood only focused their malevolence on their domestic audience, that would be tragic. But their incitement and the terrorism they promote make every Islamist-dominated country a security risk to moderate regimes and to the democracies that value individual freedom and liberty above collective identity.
Rather than subsidize the Muslim Brotherhood, the United States should stand back and let them fail. American taxpayer money is not an entitlement and should never subsidize hateful or anti-American regimes. The harder they fall, the better. Let the Muslim Brotherhood be discredited in the eyes not only of Egyptians, but all Arabs and Turks and, indeed, the world. Perhaps then the region can begin its long climb to recovery. And more liberal movements can finally get the domestic attention in the Middle East they deserve.
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