TBE Assignments Editor

The Muslim Brotherhood's favorite bank?

Dear Foreign Correspondents,

It’s a journalistic and academic commonplace to maintain that the Muslim Brotherhood derives some (or a lot) of support by providing social services for the poor-middle classes.

It’s also a journalistic and academic commonplace to maintain that the government is heavily involved in licensing and generally sticking its nose in everything. And it’s not exactly possible to run a medical clinic or whatever in secret, even if you’re totally deمحظورة out like مظاهر محظورة . (That’s a Kriss Kross reference.)

Where these two common places overlap lies an interesting story angle.

Bonus incentive: Al-Baradei will return on the 19th, and you’ll surely get a story out of it. But between now and then nothing is likely to happen that will get your name in the newspaper/magazine.

Sample pitch: OMG! The new MB leader is SUCH a fundo!!! He’s like a salafi and stuff and that means he wants to return to the roots of the Brotherhood where they help poor people and totally indoctrinate them about the caliphate and make them eat McEurabia sandwiches! YUCK! But it turns out the government is totes tolerating it, and it might be an islamofascist PLOT!



Filed under Conspiracy Theories, Hip Hop, Journalism, Politics

3 responses to “TBE Assignments Editor

  1. that 3amrak ya basha,

    Some of us journos have looked into this, but frankly no one in Christendom cares so it doesn’t get published.

    The MB has wide room to operate clinics and other institutions. The fact is, the bureaucracy that controls such things operates at a local level most of the time, and does its job either according to the law or according to bribes and wasta. Plenty of MB local-level leaders are for instance medical doctors, no one is going to deny them membership in the Doctor’s Syndicate (certainly not president Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh or Treasurer Essam al-Erian) and at the local level they are allowed to open the private clinics from which to operate (they do not operate in official Ikhwan al-Muslimeen Clinics, “Where Islam Is The Solution To Your Healthcare!”) The security services, meanwhile, will have their informants loitering around for anything suspicious, but are not about to prevent people getting treated, and in fact may very well bring 3amm Hameda to get a look at his boil that is really getting stinky lately.

    So is it government connivance with the MB or simply that everyone is operating under the law, and under a longstanding policy that religious folk can do what they want as long as it’s not political. Besides, if you want to say the Egyptian government is Islamofascist, you better look elsewhere, like its enforcement of Sunni orthodoxy against people like the Quraniyiin or or the Shia.

    I have used, a while back, a nice quote from a MB guy who said: “Sometimes I think some of these government people are more fundamentalist than we are.”

    Bonus bitchy comment: 95% of what I’ve seen published on the Badie election in the foreign press more or less follows the first half of your suggested pitch. Who cares!? This is back to the pre-2005 standard for the MB, not a salafi revolution that will [start movie trailer voice] spark a war for the soul of the original Islamist group that started it all [end movie trailer voice].

    Extra bonus comment: Key to understanding the MB is understanding the provincial middle class Egyptian mindset. It is also the key to understanding the regime.

  2. nottooshaabi

    Thanks for your comments and information.

    As for your theory of the provincial mindset, we await a longer exposition.

  3. Ah, that’s a long explanation. Perhaps for a future post.

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