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Force of Habit

Reader comment on item: Better Dictators than Elected Islamists

Submitted by Michael (Egypt), Dec 11, 2012 at 15:59

The controversy over which is better, Islamists or dictators is a false premise from the word go. It overlooks the simple fact that Islamists are au fond dictators. The right question should be: which is better, an Islamist dictator or a secular one?

It does not take a political scientist to answer this one.

Ever since Morsi took power five months ago, we have not seen but a more aggressive form of dictatorship sponsored by Heavens. Many Egyptians think of Mubarak's days as days of milk and honey in comparison with today. Not only have the Muslim Brotherhood overtaken all state institutions and consolidated their power in the multiple domains of Egyptian life, they have paid little to no attention to the interest and prosperity of the people that brought them to power, and they met opposition with extreme cruelty almost not seen in the days of Mubarak – at least in public. Many strict secular pundits had warned against that before Morsi hit office, but people paid them little regard.

In contrast, some distinguished figures had stood vehemently against any attempt to bring the old regime back (the former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq) and even canvassed for the MB's "spare tire" candidate. Now, when you listen to a renowned political scientist bemoaning the "divergence" of the MB's trajectory from what was supposed to be (instead of admitting his mistake of ever putting his trust in them), you get a better idea how deep the problem goes. It is not only about the West.

The Muslim Brotherhood now typically owns Egypt. Its members have insinuated their way into every sort of state institution or agency. They have taken over the national newspapers, the television, most of the syndicates and guilds, most of the ministries, and to a lesser extent the police and the army. Notwithstanding that their infiltration may not have been welcomed, they are there now, and this is all that matters, for now.

Morsi has already cut back on subsidies on butane gas and electricity, and his new tax hike will include an increase of 10% on steel rebars, 5% on cooking oil, 15-18% on mobile-phone calls, 50-150% on shisha, 100-200% on alcoholic beverages, and LE1.50 per pack on cigarettes. All these steps are part of the proposed plan to the IMF in order for Egypt (in better terms, Morsi and his comrades) to be eligible for the $4.8 billion loan. The MB ostensibly seeks to reduce public deficit through increasing state revenues.

The recent protests against the [Non-] Constitutional Declaration give evidence how much MB members have succeeded in imposing their standards and agenda on the street, and how far they are ready to go in the future. In addition to the still ongoing siege of the High Constitutional Court by Morsi's vigilantes and bullies, 9 people were killed in the ensuing clashes and hundreds were beaten, tortured, and incarcerated. Official records say that at least half of the casualties were among MB's youth, but the vast majority of those who were clubbed, tortured, and wronged were among the anti-Morsi protestors. The striking thing was not how cruel and inhuman these practices were, but how phlegmatic and stolid Egyptians (first and foremost, media and politicians) were at receiving them. Directly after Morsi rescinded his rash Declaration, by issuing a new, watered-down one, the upheaval spontaneously began to calm down. No one speaks of the dead and the tortured ones anymore, as if it never happened. Is it fear, or is it that Egyptians have become used to violence? It is no easy question to answer.

But at all events, bit by bit the Muslim Brotherhood is becoming an inescapable fact by the force of habit. Its members are gaining power, momentum, and confidence. The longer they stay in power the less likely they will ever be eased out.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (72) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
IRANIANS AND THE SHIIA [64 words]DR SAAD , ALBERTA- CANADAApr 14, 2013 00:00205150
2The Shia are coming! and the salafists are not happy [241 words]dhimmi no moreApr 7, 2013 09:17204993
1May be the Shia are not coming! [72 words]dhimmi no moreApr 8, 2013 07:47204993
2Iranians and tourism! [233 words]dhimmi no moreMar 23, 2013 08:16204617
6Morsi and the Black Bloc and real insanity [197 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 4, 2013 13:41203153
Free Press [120 words]Ali BabaFeb 9, 2013 20:14203153
1Another victim and reality [157 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 10, 2013 08:08203153
2The caste system among Muslims in India and our dear Ali Baba is an Arzal right our dear Ali Baba? [283 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 10, 2013 14:36203153
2islamists act similar to dictators. Sadly there are zero islamic nations that have real democracy. [30 words]Phil GreendFeb 3, 2013 13:06203096
1More crimes by the Morsi regime against innocent Egyptians [240 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 3, 2013 10:49203090
Morsi and the unfolding disaster in Egypt [163 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 2, 2013 10:05203062
4Clueless Morsi is now a liar too! [122 words]dhimmi no moreJan 17, 2013 07:44202644
5Shocking video and al-Azhar promotes cannibalism! Really shocking [119 words]dhimmi no moreJan 16, 2013 08:31202627
1Here is a copy of the book كتاب الاقناع متن أبي شجاع and Islamic cannibalism! Really shocking [89 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 23, 2013 10:53202627
1The hypocrites at youtube [142 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 27, 2013 08:43202627
4Islamists and a Coptic state? [156 words]dhimmi no moreJan 15, 2013 08:47202615
1Iran and el-ikhwan and the same old tricks [165 words]dhimmi no moreJan 9, 2013 07:17202541
2The Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and their dirty tricks now this time in the UAE [122 words]dhimmi no moreJan 8, 2013 09:35202518
3The UAE and el-Ikhwan [100 words]dhimmi no moreJan 27, 2013 17:45202518
2The saga of Essam el-Aryan and Egyptian Jews and Sheikh Abu Hasira [283 words]dhimmi no moreJan 6, 2013 08:06202446
2The craziest fatwa of 2012! [222 words]dhimmi no moreJan 1, 2013 08:47202266
7This is hard to believe! el-Ikhwan are inviting Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt so Palestinians can take their place! [208 words]dhimmi no moreDec 31, 2012 14:28202243
It has to get much worse, before it starts to get better [122 words]Abdulkarim Al-habsiDec 29, 2012 04:00202117
Elected by the people [111 words]StasDec 24, 2012 01:39201816
2I question this [247 words]Peter HerzDec 15, 2012 21:14201487
democracy by $$ [92 words]PermReaderDec 15, 2012 12:41201480
1Education [49 words]Swapan Kumar SenguptaDec 13, 2012 06:44201421
Islamists is a curse to humanity [239 words]KamekishDec 13, 2012 00:23201414
A real mess [1012 words]AlexandrosDec 12, 2012 21:40201410
4Torture in Cairo! Shame on el-ikhwan el-muslimeen [140 words]dhimmi no moreDec 12, 2012 19:49201405
11The amazing Shahanda Miqlad and Morsi is told to Irhal or get lost! [406 words]dhimmi no moreDec 12, 2012 13:52201391
1You cannot dictate dictatorship to other countries [60 words]Lars NielsenDec 12, 2012 07:56201372
1When best thing for our president to say is nothing [299 words]Richard StoeckerDec 12, 2012 07:19201371
1Mubarak vs. Morsi [18 words]GeorgeDec 12, 2012 19:12201371
7Remember the Fall of Tsar and rhe rise of Soviet Union [218 words]IsmaelDec 11, 2012 23:53201364
2Actually, elected Islamists are Allah's best gift [139 words]PrashantDec 11, 2012 23:42201363
9"..... cudgeled to Democracy"? [432 words]Ron ThompsonDec 11, 2012 18:15201353
1Jasser ? [81 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
PhilbertDec 11, 2012 18:10201352
Pipes is right and here's proof of why the Muslim world is not a monolith [99 words]PezDispenserDec 19, 2012 16:13201352
1What does it look like? [156 words]IqbalDec 20, 2012 23:13201352
5Egypt people, are you missing Mubarak already? [97 words]NuritGDec 11, 2012 17:03201348
1Morsi's Egypt Is Another Replay of Algeria? [169 words]Rex BouvierDec 11, 2012 16:50201347
2I wonder [197 words]Kepha HorDec 11, 2012 16:40201346
3Force of Habit [641 words]MichaelDec 11, 2012 15:59201345
Better Dictators than Elected Islamists by Daniel Pipes [43 words]BALARABE ABBADec 11, 2012 14:17201344
2dictators vs radical Islamists [174 words]LindaDec 11, 2012 11:14201335
Dictators and Islamists [134 words]slayhyDec 11, 2012 19:58201335
message to Mr Morsi [89 words]MozereDec 12, 2012 04:27201335
1Your slip is showing [71 words]Sense1Dec 12, 2012 11:23201335
Jesus [7 words]LindaDec 12, 2012 12:43201335
Dictators and Islamists [17 words]GeorgeDec 12, 2012 19:23201335
Muslim women and western liberation [279 words]slayhyDec 12, 2012 19:30201335
who follow God's commands is saved [42 words]slayhyDec 12, 2012 19:34201335
nonsense [6 words]slayhyDec 13, 2012 18:56201335
anyone can have a direct line [29 words]slayhyDec 13, 2012 19:01201335
2false prophet [5 words]LindaDec 13, 2012 22:38201335
2About women Slahy talked very intelligently (sarcasm on) [26 words]PrashantDec 13, 2012 22:38201335
Direct Line To God [202 words]MozereDec 14, 2012 03:39201335
we've got it right [166 words]slayhyDec 14, 2012 20:57201335
No regrets [73 words]slayhy55Dec 14, 2012 21:00201335
5And speaking of direct phone line with Allah! [300 words]dhimmi no moreDec 15, 2012 10:09201335
3The bizarre and the strange [165 words]dhimmi no moreDec 16, 2012 12:57201335
4More bizarre and strange and what is with the 55! [328 words]dhimmi no moreDec 16, 2012 13:09201335
Following the Commandments: Love God; Love the Neighbor - The Heart of the Christmas Story [414 words]M. ToveyDec 17, 2012 15:35201335
1Prophecies and Miracles of Muhammad [346 words]slayhy33Dec 17, 2012 22:30201335
Missing the Biblical Keys to Eternal Truth [59 words]M. ToveyDec 19, 2012 18:38201335
Interpretation for Slahy and others [209 words]DEBORAH THE JUDGEJan 2, 2013 11:28201335
1What miracles? [170 words]DEBORAH THE JUDGEJan 2, 2013 11:58201335
1Slayhy, what's up for 2013? [72 words]JeffJan 3, 2013 12:55201335
2You title should have been: Greedy Dictators vs. Religious Dictators [39 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eben SpinonzaDec 11, 2012 08:32201330
7I could not care less..... [119 words]STUART KAUFMANDec 11, 2012 08:14201328

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