No more illusions. No further evasions. Tolerate not a single additional apologetic explanation. Admit no further concessions to a false moral and cultural relativism, writes Hussein Ibish. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has now fully exposed itself as what many of us have been trying to explain it is: paranoid, chauvinistic, reactionary, retrograde, and, above all, misogynistic.
The Brotherhood has reminded us, in a bizarre rant against the UN Commission on the Status of Women, that Islamism in practice invariably prioritizes misogyny (and homophobia). But this is merely the vanguard of a much broader set of intended and inevitable repressions against minorities, individuals and, eventually, all opposition.
Islamism doesn’t have the intellectual depth of a systematic political ideology. It has no specific economic theory or program beyond mercantilism, with some (apparently malleable) suspicions about interest. It doesn’t have an analysis of class or other key social structures. Its ‘theory’ of the relationship of the individual and society simply empowers those claiming religious authority and ‘authenticity’. It has no distinctive defense strategy, foreign policy, developmental program, or anything like that.
Instead, it boils down to a set of extremely reactionary social attitudes that don’t have any real implications for such key issues of governance.
So much for the notion of the Brotherhood as moderate, open-minded, equitable, or pluralistic, or the idea that power will moderate them, at least as an organization. By releasing this document now, to the surprise, dismay, and astonishment of many, the Brotherhood has proudly reconfirmed its core orientation as authoritarian, intolerant, oppressive, and, above all, viciously misogynistic.
No one in Egypt or abroad will be able to claim “we had no idea” about the Brotherhood’s actual ideology. Their rule is not just a threat to Egyptian women, but to everybody.