Opinion

Is it permissible to exclude Brotherhood?

May 06, 2021
Is it permissible to exclude Brotherhood?
Mashari Al-Thaydi

Mashari Al-Thaydi

RECENTLY, Saudi intellectual Dr. Khaled Al-Dakheel wrote on his Twitter account: “In the same cultural and political context, you will find that almost all opponents of the political Islam follow the principle of excluding the violator only, and do not believe in the right to freedom, which means that the mentality that governs the positions of two parties is one and the same...”

Some people objected to Al-Dakheel’s words while some others favored them. But it was an old argument dating back to the Arab Spring from December 2010 through the years 2011 to approximately 2013, when the waves of the Arab Spring began to subside, and those waves were ridden by the Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

At that time, the conclusion of the argument from the part of supporters of the Arab Spring revolutions, and by some of the followers of the liberals, is that the principle of freedom for all is a constant principle that includes the right of the Brotherhood and those who sprang out of them, to rule states, manage the affairs of people, and implement their political, intellectual and social programs ... their question was: is this not the requirement of democracy?

This is the moral-political argument, far from the practical purposes and practical coordination between those who aspired power at that time and those who invested in the power of the Brotherhood.

While coming back to some of the responses of Saudi intellectuals to the words of Dr. Khaled Al-Dakheel, we can examine the reaction of the Saudi intellectual Dr. Turki Al-Hamad: “Your statement is not correct at all. It is not to exclude the violator is the goal, but to protect freedom from its enemies. In dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk, the goal is not to give the enemies of pluralism the opportunity to direct society and exclude others, as is evident from their writings. What you call exclusion is a defense of pluralism, not the other way around.”

Similarly, the Saudi critic Dr. Fatima Al-Otaibi wrote in her reaction: “The rejection of political Islam is based on the refusal of ideologies of labeling as infidels (takfeer) and the permissibility of blood-shedding and claiming the possession of the right to judge this world and the Hereafter of people. Why do we reject racism and the exclusion that results from it on the basis of color, gender, and race, and accept political Islam with their bloody consequences?”

The case is that this debate transcends the Arabs and Muslims, and the division among them over the right of extremists and those who use religious ammunition to correct the violators. This is a real global debate because we have seen how the fanatical Western liberals, politicians, and activists, fought for the right of the Brotherhood in Egypt to rule the country, and at the head of these opponents was former US President Barack Obama. But the gloomy days of the Brotherhood in Egypt had proved the nature of the state that they wanted to export to the outside world.

The central question is: What do the people of the region really want? Is it a ballot box and the Sufi faith in it, or they want security, development, and a march toward the future?

By the way, these days we are witnessing attempts by the makers of the Arab Spring, the Spring of Desolation, to revive it again ... even a retired Arab official, one of Col. Gaddafi's friends, is trying to preach this, in a recent television interview.

This article was originally published in Asharq al-Awsat.


May 06, 2021
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