Academic Says He Was Not Wrong About The Muslim Brotherhood


In an article for Foreign Policy, academic Dr. Marc Lynch attempts to justify his his long-standing attempt to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood as for force for democracy. The article begins:

BY MARC LYNCH | APRIL 10, 2013 The deterioration of Egyptian politics has spurred an intense, often vitriolic polarization between Islamists and their rivals that has increasingly spilled over into analytical disputes. Some principled liberals who once supported the Muslim Brotherhood against the Mubarak regime’s repression have recanted. Longtime critics of the Islamists view themselves as vindicated and demand that Americans, including me, apologize for getting the Brotherhood wrong. As one prominent Egyptian blogger recently put it, ‘are you ready to apologize for at least 5 years of promoting the MB as fluffy Democrats to everyone? ARE YOU?’ So, should we apologize? Did we get the Brotherhood wrong? Not really. The academic consensus about the Brotherhood got most of the big things right about that organization … at least as it existed prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution. U.S. analysists and academics correctly identified the major strands in its ideological development and internal factional struggles, its electoral prowess, its conflicts with al Qaeda and hard-line Salafis, and the tension between its democratic ambitions and its illiberal aspirations. And liberals who defended the Brotherhood against the Mubarak regime’s torture and repression were unquestionably right to do so — indeed, I would regard defending the human rights and political participation of a group with which one disagrees as a litmus test for liberalism.”

Read the rest here.

Dr. Lynch has also been a proponent of the idea the Muslim Brotherhood could serve as some kind of “bulwark” against Al-Qaeda and related groups.

A post from June 2008 discussed Dr. Lynch’s position that repression was responsible for the “hardline turn” of the  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood . Previous posts have discussed Dr. Lynch’s sympathetic position towards the Brotherhood, his trip(s) to Egypt to meet with Brotherhood leaders, and his flawed use of political science methodology in reaching his conclusions about the Brotherhood’s commitment to democracy.

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