From Stanley Kurtz over at NRO’s The Corner:
The Arab Spring is headed for an economic meltdown. Spengler has been pointing this out for months. Now the New York Times is catching on.
Western reporting on the ideologies of the makers of the Egyptian revolution has been atrocious. While the (non-Islamist) revolutionaries are almost always called “secular liberals” or just “liberals,” in fact they are mostly hard leftists and Arab nationalists (believers in Nasser’s “Arab Socialism”), with a much smaller component of people who might actually be called liberals (and even most of these are intensely anti-Israel). At least today’s Times article acknowledges, if only in passing, that leftist parties are emerging as one of the major economic alternatives in Egypt. (I expect the Times to go back shortly to calling all non-Islamist Egyptians “liberal.”)
The most interesting tidbit from today’s news on Egypt’s economy is that the Muslim Brotherhood has put forward an economic plan. According to the Times, the Brotherhood would have “the government require all Muslims to contribute 7.5 percent of their income to a privately run charitable institution under government oversight–essentially a flat income surtax.”
We have no details here, but this certainly sounds like a plan to force Egypt’s tax system to subsidize the Muslim Brotherhood’s charitable infrastructure, the key to their political power.
Muslim Brotherhood? What Muslim Brotherhood? According to Obama’s DNI,James Clapper, they are just a charity , sort of like the Salvation Army…
The Obama administration took the rare step Thursday of correcting its own intelligence chief after the official claimed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper discussed the Islamist group during a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier Thursday. He testified that the organization has “pursued social ends” and a “betterment of the political order,” and downplayed its religious underpinnings.
“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ … is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said.
Many Western analysts agree that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are one and the same. One leading Brotherhood cleric has said: “Kill Jews – to the very last one.” A Brotherhood takeover of Egypt would strengthen Hamas in Gaza.
Another Brotherhood leader told an Arab language newspaper Monday that Egyptians “should prepare for war against Israel.”
The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are rooted in the same ideology. “If the Muslim Brotherhood groups gain a prominent place in the government, this would definitely help consolidate Hamas’s hold on Gaza,” Atiyeh Jawwabra, a political science professor at Jerusalem’s Al Quds University, told The Wall Street Journal’s Joshua Mitnick.