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Guided by Bigotry, US Islamophobes Weigh In on Egypt

Kalia Abiade • Jul 17, 2013

It seems that everyone has something to say about the ongoing political unrest in Egypt. And everyone — from veteran columnists in well-established publications to overnight social media experts — seems to have “the solution” to the ongoing problems. Much of the analysis — armchair and otherwise — seems to lack any insight about the actual situation on the ground or the history that got Egypt to this point.

David Brooks sullied the pages of the New York Times by saying that “practical ineptitude” has been the problem not only in Egypt, but also in Algeria, Iran and Palestine. He argues that the Egyptian Army was right to overthrow their democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, because Egypt just can’t do democracy.

“It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.”

“The basic mental ingredients.”

Besides being overly simplistic, it’s exactly the kind of bigoted argument that far-right, anti-Muslim activists on much less prominent platforms would make.

Brooks’ words only give credence to the arguments of writers whose mission is to malign Muslims in the U.S. and abroad. These anti-Muslim writers are capitalizing on the uncertainty and instability to play up their most reliable stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs.

FrontPage Magazine “reports” on a supposed “fatwa” that allows “female Islamists [to offer] their sexual services to their male counterparts so they remain motivated to continue the struggle for their cause.” Another FrontPage article says the U.S. should step in now or not only will Egypt have no identity, they’ll be part of a “worldwide Caliphate.”

As is often the case, Pamela Geller’s commentary on Egypt is out of sync with reality. She regularly relies on the public’s lack of real knowledge about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt, in general, to make her case. This situation is no different.

She takes a shot at her usual targets, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), saying they “have suffered a devastating blow” with Morsi’s ouster because they, naturally, are “Muslim Brotherhood groups.”

Despite consistent efforts by Geller, Spencer and others to link CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood, Ahmed Rehab the president of the Chicago chapter — and a regular focus of anti-Muslim attacks — has been outspoken about his position in favor of Morsi’s ouster.

Her tactic is no different when it comes to criticizing President Obama.

“Obama’s loyalty to the Brotherhood ought to be the subject of congressional hearings. He thinks they’re the guardians of democracy in Egypt?” she asks. “By consistently supporting Islamic supremacist regimes, Obama has damaged our standing in the world.”

The problem, again, is that her claims are pulled out of thin air and are in direct contrast with a report that the Obama administration may have actually been involved with undermining Morsi.

What is clear is that there are few people chiming in on this subject with actual knowledge about Egypt or its history, and there are some who have no desire to learn more — or perhaps fact check — before they go on their bigoted rants. Anyone truly interested in understanding what is happening and what’s to come in Egypt would be wise to ignore those who hope to latch on to any unrest or negativity during this uncertain period for the country to advance their anti-Muslim agenda in the United States.

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