What the Ikhwan Get Right

While there is much to criticize in the ideology and behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood, there is one remarkable aspect to their movement. They emphasize institutions over people. This is a critical component of their success and it is one that Egypt’s liberals, and in fact Egyptians in general, should consider emulating.

The Brothers do not wait for that one charismatic leader that will rescue every thing. Instead they plod ahead with the people at hand, building electoral and political machines that will survive the winters of oppression. The problem is that their institutions are tethered to an oppressive, supremacist and coercive ideology. Those who oppose that would do well to build an equivalent and equally powerful machinery to espouse more liberal and open-minded ideas. Were they to do so Egypt would be offered a clear choice, not the lesser of two evils.

Among the new forces in Egypt, and in remnants of the old cosmopolitan Egypt, there are enough green offshoots that give reason for hope. The mission is to give them enough time and shelter to mature.



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