Human Rights First has posted an interesting true or false series of questions about the Muslim Brotherhood ( no women there I guess) as it relates to the current struggle in Egypt.
I read the post from HRF earlier but after watching a discussion on Anderson Cooper 360 which included Somalia born Dutch feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her concerns about the effects that the Muslim Brotherhood government could have on the rights of women and LGBT people I thought it was important to post it.
The Neil Hicks article paints the overall picture and then goes on to answer the questions:
A major problem with speculations about the future role of the Brotherhood is that they are just that—speculations. This is uncharted territory for Egypt. No one—possibly not even the Brotherhood—knows right now what it might do if it is presented with an opportunity to run openly in free elections. Bold assertions of what they will or will not do should be viewed with skepticism. The Brotherhood have already stated that they do not intend to run a candidate for the presidency. There is no doubt that in a future, more open political climate in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood will be a force on the scene.
There are valid concerns about what the impact of the Muslim Brotherhood might be, and there are steps that responsible authorities in Egypt (whoever they might be) would be well advised to take to guard against threats to human rights and the development of an enduring democratic system in a new Egypt.
Interestingly, while the article paints a picture of the Muslim Brotherhood as moderate it notes that when it comes to the rights of women and religious minorities ( and one would assume other minorities too) there needs to be constitutional protection ASAP.
A stronger role for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s government presents a potential threat to women’s rights, the rights of religious minorities and basic political freedoms. TRUE
The Brotherhood has an ambiguous position on many human rights issues, notably on the rights of women and religious minorities and on freedom of expression. For example, a policy platform that was released in 2007 required that the President of the Republic could not be a woman, and provided for a Council of Islamic scholars who would vet legislation for its compatibility with Islam, following the pattern of the Council of Guardians in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The publication of this regressive platform caused rare open disputes between Brotherhood leaders, some of whom objected strongly to its contents. One can speculate about what the public platform of a free Muslim Brotherhood would include, but there’s no question that the tendency of the Brotherhood to arrogate to itself the right to judge what constitutes proper Islamic practice and to condemn practice it finds un-Islamic presents risks to the enjoyment of basic rights and freedoms by many Egyptians. Brotherhood supporters speak of “Islamic democracy;” they note that the overwhelming majority of Egyptians are Muslims (which is true) and that many are pious believers (also true). Some take the leap of suggesting that as the Brotherhood is the party of Islam, they automatically speak for this majority and should therefore prevail. Such thinking is a threat to democratic principles.
Read the full Q & A here.
When Anderson Cooper gets passionate he transforms from being an excellent journalist into something much more. As was the case with his Katrina coverage he lets his feelings show sometimes and that makes for powerful television. Last night he aimed his guns at Mubarak’s repressive regime.
( embedding has been disabled so just click through to see it on YouTube.
And for anyone who didn’t see Anderson getting angry during Katrina coverage here is an example: