The Muslim Brotherhood lives in a Bizarro World. In their universe, the supreme authority is not the God of Islam, to whom all individuals have access through their hearts and innate moral compass (the fitra) but the Guidance Council. In their universe, anybody who is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood is not really a Muslim. In their universe, wisdom comes from Sheikhs who insist that Hindus worship cockroaches and not from the Quran. In their universe, it is okay for a Muslim man to marry a Christian woman but not to wish her a merry Christmas.
In their universe, it is moral to use electoral fraud to secure political power.
In the summer of 2011, during the interminable Tahrir sit-in of July, I took it upon myself to converse with some of the Brotherhood members when they decided to come and invade the square one day while we were there.
We were there for a month – enduring blistering heat and random attacks by both military and thugs. We were demanding such things as wage adjustments, restructuring the security apparatus, and bringing corrupt officials to trial. The Brotherhood came for a single day. Their demands were simply to ‘Enforce Sharia (Islamic) Law,’ as though it were a magic potion or wand that would cure all the country’s social, legal, political, and economic woes.
While arguing with one of the Islamists over the betrayals of SCAF (The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) and the Brotherhood’s insistence on allying with them against the interests of the revolution, one of them approached me, adopted a paternal tone and stance, and asked me what my name was. I knew what he was after; he wanted my name so he could tell whether or not I was a Muslim. I played along.
‘My name,’ I said, ‘is Omar.’
‘Ah! So you’re a Muslim’, he said. ‘So it would appear to be,’ I replied. ‘Well, then, Omar! Haven’t you heard of Sunn’at Al-Istigh’fal?’
If you’re familiar with Islam in any way, that question should stop you dead in your tracks. Sunna refers to the body of Muhammad’s words and actions, and Istigh’fal roughly means ‘pretending to be foolish.’ You have to understand what this means; he was not about to propound a theory or a strategy, no – he was about to explain a behavior that he considered to be Sunna – which is to say – something that Muhammad did.
“No,” I explained, “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Let’s say,” he continued, “that we know that SCAF are bad, but at the moment, it is not in our benefit to say so…so what we do…is we pretend not to notice their evils! We play the fools! Until we can get to what we want.” He said, basking in the wisdom he believed he was imparting to me.
They live in a world in which Muhammad is a lying hypocrite. The Islam, which the Muslim Brotherhood & some Salafis exploit, is not our own, no matter how many times they use the word, and no matter how long they grow their beards.