posted by Atef Said
Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
My interlocutors in the social world of Islamic media who supported the call for Morsi to step down are not “secular liberal elites” as most accounts would have it. To the contrary: they explicitly believe that secularism cannot be legitimately justified or reasoned from within an Islamic frame. This is because, for them, Islam guides and makes normative claims on every aspect of human life, including political life. They were not against the Muslim Brotherhood because of its similar commitment to the “comprehensiveness” (shumuliyyat) of Islam, but because they perceived organization as arrogant and incompetent, nepotistic and exclusionary. That the Brotherhood claimed to be acting in the name of religion while behaving badly made its actions much worse, but their support for Sisi’s removal of Morsi in no way hinged on seeing the military as a bastion of secularism.
These sentiments illustrate the fact that some Egyptians do not see the Brotherhood’s Islamism and secularism as the only two options available to them in organized political life.
posted by Yasmin Moll
Of course, some of these Islamic media producers were against the coup. But their support for Morsi was highly contingent and not at all predicated on accepting the claim that his party represents Islam.
A particularly egregious example of this can be seen in characterizing the repression of the Brotherhood as, by definition, “Islamophobic.” This characterization takes at face value the Muslim Brotherhood’s continual conflation of “love of religion” with support for its political agenda both before and after the 2012 presidential election.
When the Egyptian government declared the MB to be a terrorist group on December 26, 2013, it essentially gave authorities carte blanche to hunt down MB members, despite the fact that the decision lacked any clear legal or constitutional basis.
The irony, of course, is that authorities have hardly banished religion from the realm of politics. Consider the role of the Salafi al-Nour party in the political scene. The party participated in the planning meetings that led to Morsi’s ouster, and though the new constitution declares that religiously-based political parties will be banned in Egypt, I doubt this will affect the al-Nour party.