Age of liberal demagogues – Trump vs. Muslim Brotherhood

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
Age of liberal demagogues – Trump vs. Muslim Brotherhood
Liberals beware Trump is on the prowl, and he means business. This time America’s 45th US President is going after the infamous Muslim Brotherhood, and liberals have a lot to say on the matter. Welcome to 2017, the year of demagoguery.

For those of you still reeling from the “Muslim Ban,” news that the Trump administration is currently looking to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, courtesy of one Senator Ted Cruz, must have felt like another blow to the solar plexus.

On January 10, Sen. Cruz opened the festivities against everything “Islam-like” by reintroducing a Bill to Congress that, if enacted, would brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Right on cue, activists and all manner of liberals have decried the ignominy of Trump’s cronies, hammering on about America’s descent into the throes of fascism. I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I believe the United States threw its moral high-ground into the river when a boisterous President George W. Bush over a decade ago, split the world in two with his: “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.

While I do not hold Senator Ted Cruz, or the Trump administration for that matter, in high esteem … orange is not my color, I find demagoguery insufferable. I categorically refuse to be played for a fool on account Muslims have become liberals’ Holy Grail against President Trump.

More importantly still, I will not be bullied into supporting the Muslim Brotherhood for it has the word “Muslim” in it. Who are we kidding here? Can I gently remind everyone what this organization stands for, speaks for, and most troubling still, what powers it harbors behind its veneer of respectability?

Call me crazy but America’s sudden love affair with all things Muslims screams too much of a manipulation for me to buy into it – never mind bite into that poison apple. While I welcome people’s rejection of those policies which rhyme with fascism, I must say that I would have much preferred America’s interjection of genocide.

If anyone were to choose between irrational xenophobic policies and wanton murder across several continents I would assume that reason would dictate the former. One can reform insanity … death is somewhat permanent!

Sorry America, but singing Kumbaya on Capitol Hill rings hollow in the face of your overwhelming quietism before the cruelty of your government’s military interventionism.

Here I must recall the remarks State Senator Richard Black made during our last interview: “The war against Syria was a war of aggression, instigated by foreigners attacking a neutral, non-belligerent country. What has been particularly galling to me, is that the US and Great Britain were training terrorists in Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia and that we were arming and funding Al-Qaeda, the same force that attacked the Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9-11. Our covert assistance to Al-Qaeda, which had murdered 3,000 Americans, was treason of breath-taking dimensions.”

If it is outrage you are after, I would suggest you fall behind Senator Black and direct your righteous anger at those demons eating away at all of our freedoms – that would be a tad more constructive than a sea of pink hats wearing questionable outfits while calling it socio-politically progressive.

But hey, whatever helps you sleep at night!

So what Sen. Ted Cruz wants to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood? Would it be that terrible to see an organization dismantled which has flirted with the radicalism of Wahhabism, all the while promoting religious exclusionism to rise itself holiest of all?

The main argument so far has been that the Muslim Brotherhood holds such a monopoly on American-Muslim civil societies that a ban would collapse countless organizations, and thus sit Muslims outside the mainstream.

Shenaz Kermalii argued in The Independent that: “Blacklisting an Egyptian group with alleged links to terrorism has a direct impact on American citizens because these “affiliates” encompass several US Muslim advocacy organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA).

Although I understand the logic behind such reasoning, rationalizing “terror” on the basis it would be inconvenient to American-Muslims is sheer insanity. Let me put it to you differently: would you ever ask an oncologist to keep some cancer rather than risk life with a physical deformity?

Before you ask, yes I am aware that most will call for solidarity out of fear. Trump and Co. will keep coming at Muslims from all angles until only dust is left on the floor. I hear you … but I still can’t bring myself to support an organization which ethos is anchored on labeling all “others” infidels deserving the slaughter.

And yes I will admit that back in 1928 the Brotherhood may have looked like a good idea since focused on bringing positive social change. But that was before one nasty Sayyid Qutb decided to preach bloodshed as a grand religious cleanse. Qutb’s writings helped inform the Islamist ideology known as Qutbism, which advocates violent jihad—and the killing of secular Muslims—to implement sharia.

Which part does sound like a good idea?

Here is my question: are we arguing Trump administration’s new plan out of spite or are we wholeheartedly suggesting defending radicalism? How fast can you spell Freudian displacement?

In the face of Trump’s insanity, I maintain that any, and all efforts spent toward the disappearing of radicalism/exclusionism are a good idea - especially when it involves the Muslim Brotherhood.

May I dare suggest that Trump’s administration is but the product of a grand-scale Muslim witch-hunt both Democrats and Republicans have been keen to package under the cute label: national security.

What gives today is that President Trump does not bother much with branding. Ultimately the joke is on us.

I’m not alone advocating a little soul searching. Dr. Seyed Ammar Nakhjavani – Imam Ali Chair at the Hartford Seminary happens to agree with me. He noted: “The second we compromise our principles for the sake of convenience or out of fear, we have already lost the argument. Radicalism’s best weapon has been its ability to embed and weave itself within civil societies. We owe it to ourselves to tackle this issue rationally, away from the hype of politics.”

So maybe a little more thinking and less reacting …

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.