This morning New Yorker editor David Remnick weighed in on the situation in Egypt. He declared, confidently:
There comes a point when a thing demands its proper name. A coup is a coup. A despot is a despot. And a massacre is a massacre.
But, some things do not demand a proper name. Like, the Muslim Brotherhood. Remnick’s attitude toward the Brothers is mild when compared to his visceral hatred of the military.
The despots are conducting a massacre. The Brothers should be, in Remnick’s words, mistrusted:
You can mistrust the politics and the ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood. You can point out that, during its year at the head of an elected government, it exploited its victory to embed its religious ideology and its goals as deeply as possible in the new constitution. Its views on women’s rights, its efforts to intimidate journalists, and attacks by its supporters on Coptic churches and Christian believers are just a few of its deplorable features. The history of the Brotherhood and of its impact in the Middle East inspires no admiration. But how does a military coup, along with the kidnapping of an elected President, and widespread, indiscriminate arrests, announce the resumption of democratic practice? Islamists make up roughly a third of the Egyptian population. The slaughter on the streets will surely radicalize many of them, and set back democratic development throughout the region.
Making the Muslim Brothers champions of “democratic development” takes more than your average, everyday blindness. Since the Brothers are sworn enemies of “democratic practice” one understands perfectly, even if Remnick does not, that suppressing them promotes democracy. Why should we worry about radicalizing the supporters of a radical terrorist organization?
We should try to undermine their support by suppressing them.
Note especially Remnick’s rhetoric. He talks about the Brotherhood “views” on women’s rights, as though all it had were opinions. What about the active abuse and harassment of women, what about the female genital mutilation, what about the wife beating that is countenanced by Sharia Law?
It’s not just about views.
Remnick finds the “attacks” by Brotherhood supporters on Coptic Christians “deplorable,” but what about the murder of Coptic Christians.
Compare Remnick's milquetoast rhetoric with this article from the Huffington Post. It tells about recent Brotherhood attacks on Coptic Christians. We are not dealing with people who we might not trust; we are dealing with terrorist thugs committing pogroms. They were doing it more subtly before the coup; they are doing it more openly now.
This, from the Huffington Post:
After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like "prisoners of war" before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.
In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism.
Christians have long suffered from discrimination and violence in Muslim majority Egypt, where they make up 10 percent of the population of 90 million. Attacks increased after the Islamists rose to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power, emboldening extremists. But Christians have come further under fire since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted on July 3, sparking a wave of Islamist anger led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged since Wednesday, when chaos erupted after Egypt's military-backed interim administration moved in to clear two camps packed with protesters calling for Morsi's reinstatement, killing scores of protesters and sparking deadly clashes nationwide.