In 1979, as the Ayatollah Khomeini was seizing power in Iran and turning a largely peaceful secular revolution into a brutal Islamic theocracy, the New York Times ran an op-ed column entitled “Trusting Khomeini.” The column argued that Khomeini was being depicted unfairly as an anti-Semitic theocratic reactionary when instead,
Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country
We all know how that turned out.
Last Sunday, the New York Times ran a “news analysis” on its front page, a primary message of which was that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood can be trusted because it “has long disavowed its violent past” and “has de-emphasized the mainstays of Islamic activism.” They are a “counterexample” to Hamas, the Times writer tells us, forgetting that the Muslim Brotherhood created Hamas.
Moreover, what happened in Iran, we are assured, could not possibly happen in Egypt. According to the Times article, the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing like the radical Islamists who seized power in Iran. Rather, the Muslim Brotherhood is:
a mainstream group that stands as the most venerable of the Arab world’s Islamic movements
The lame stream media refuses to take the time to examine what the so-called “mainstream” Muslim Brotherhood actually believes, as expressed by its own leaders when they are not trying to fool the Egyptian public and the West into thinking they are a democracy-loving moderate organization.
I have written extensively about this, with quotes from these leaders, which I won’t bother to repeat here. However, to dispel any lingering doubt that if the Muslim Brotherhood gets into power – either directly or through stooge “independents” loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood such as the apologist for Iran’s nuclear program, Mohamed ElBaradei – we won’t see a strong tilt towards the Iranian Islamic theocratic model of government, I am quoting here from an interview with Kamal Al-Hilbawi, former speaker of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which aired on Al-Alam TV (Iran) on February 7, 2011 (as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute):
The only foreign intervention in this revolution is that of Israel. They destroyed the gas pipeline, so that the revolutionaries would be accused of using explosives.
No one would accept a destructive Iranian role in Egypt, or elsewhere. We think highly of a country whose president is important, courageous, and has a vision, which he presents in the UN, in Geneva, and everywhere. We think highly of a country that has a wise government, a country that confronts Western hegemony, and is scientifically and technologically advanced. Unfortunately, these characteristics can be found only in the Islamic Republic of Iran
And then there is the senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Kamal al-Halbavi, who said he hoped Egypt would have
a good government, like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is very brave
Let’s hope that sanity will prevail and that there are enough secularists with strong convictions, backed up by an army that does not want to see an Iranian-style government, who will prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from taking power. However, even if the Muslim Brotherhood gets their wish and creates their version of “a good government, like the Iranian government,” the New York Times and other members of the lame stream media will simply proceed on to the next revolution and praise their radicals as sincere, peace loving believers in the rights of all the “people.”
Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.