If you want to understand the Islamic forces that are gaining strength in Egypt and scaring people here and abroad, let me tell you about my dinner in the home of Muslim Brotherhood activists.They sound so enlightened!
First, meet my hostess: Sondos Asem, a 24-year-old woman who is pretty much the opposite of the stereotypical bearded Brotherhood activist. Sondos is a middle-class graduate of the American University in Cairo, where I studied in the early 1980s.
Sondos rails at the Western presumption that the Muslim Brotherhood would oppress women. She notes that her own mother, Manal Abul Hassan, is one of many female Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated candidates running for Parliament.
...I asked skeptically about alcohol, peace with Israel, and the veil. Sondos, who wears a hijab, insisted that the Brotherhood wasn’t considering any changes in these areas and that its priority is simply jobs.
...“We embrace moderate Islam,” she said. “We are not the ultra-conservatives that people in the West envision.”
...So a bit of nervousness is fine, but let’s not overdo the hand-wringing — or lose perspective. What’s historic in Egypt today is not so much the rise of any one party as the apparent slow emergence of democracy in the heart of the Arab world.
Even worse is this video he produced with the piece (h/t EBoZ):
So just for fun, for fifteen minutes after I read this interview I went to the Muslim Brotherhood website. Not the slick one in English, of course, but their Arabic site.
And I did a simple search query: "Jews."
From the results I learned that :
- The IDF is really a bunch of Jewish Nazis,
- The Holocaust was a myth,
- "Hypocrisy is the most prominent characteristic of the Jews,"
- The Talmud tells Jews to lie to gentiles
- Queen Esther seduced the king of Persia in order to get him to support the Jewish desire to perform genocide on tens of thousands of his subjects
- Jews are encouraged to pretend to embrace other religions for purposes of deception,
- "Nazi Jews firmly believe in force, and nothing but force, which makes them kill children, women and the elderly,"
- Jews were behind the toppling of the Caliphate
....along with a call telling Jews not to forget the massacre of Jews at Khaybar and Mohammed's Army is returning.
I have a newsflash for journalists like Kristoff: Arabs are a very hospitable people. They treat their guests with respect. But just because Muslim Brotherhood hosts are charming in person does not mean that their beliefs are any less reprehensible.
A real journalist would know that. A dupe allows himself to be convinced otherwise.
But all it takes is those 15 minutes of research to see the truth, in the Muslim Brotherhood's very own words.