Muslim Brothers rushing to the rescue of the Turkish lira

The worst part of this despicable bartering is how the Turkish regime presents itself as the brave defender of Muslim honour.
Friday 17/08/2018
People walk past a currency exchange shop in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP)
People walk past a currency exchange shop in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP)

I would like to borrow the term “fez’a” that my friend Fahd al-Shelaimi, president of the Gulf Forum for Security and Peace, used to describe the swarming and jostling of the Muslim Brothers to rescue the Turkish lira from falling down the proverbial rabbit hole.

“Fez’a,” in Gulf Arabic, refers to the quick mobilisation of tribal members and friends and their immediate flight to the rescue of one of theirs in deep trouble. “Fez’a” carries positive connotations of loyalty and bravery. The term fits perfectly the senseless frenzy among the Muslim Brotherhood as it jumped to the rescue of the Turkish economy.

The incident reminds of the many times the Muslim Brothers leaped onto the rescue bandwagon, whether in the Palestinian territories; Afghanistan; Somalia and its many famines; Pakistan and its many earthquakes; and what have you in a long list of disasters and hardships that befell Arab and Muslim countries.

Taking advantage of the popular sympathy created by these hardships, the Muslim Brothers collect donations and egg people to give more.

There is a reproduction of the process in the case of Turkey, except that this time the purpose is known and the intention is clear.

Usually, the funds collected for the Palestinians or some other cause would vanish and no one knew where they went. This time, the Muslim Brothers are brazenly asking people to give to support the Turkish economy and in the name of religion. What they omitted to say is that religion has nothing to do with a political and economic crisis created by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s misguided policies.

The worst aspect of this despicable bartering using religion is the naive impression that the Brotherhood is pushing down the throat of every Muslim, namely that the Turkish regime is the only brave defender of the honour of almost 1 billion Muslims.

It is this kind of illogical childish thinking that is sweeping the Muslim umma towards the precipice.

Investigations by Arab and Western countries concluded that only about 5% of the funds collected reach their intended targets. Most of the fortunes amassed go towards financing terrorist networks and terrorist operations in Arab countries.

A few months ago, the Muslim Brothers celebrated the downfall of the Egyptian pound and now they’re stunned by the fall of the Turkish lira. Members of the Brotherhood in the Gulf are shamelessly begging for help in the most primitive manner.

Notorious Kuwaiti Salafi cleric Hamid al-Ali is blacklisted as a fundraiser for terrorist networks in more than one Arab country. He has no shame in claiming one thing and its opposite. Now he’s telling the umma that supporting the Turkish economy is a religious duty for every Muslim.

This is the same person who, in October 2016, was jubilant about the fall of the Egyptian pound, the currency of another Muslim country.

What the Muslim Brothers excel at is deforming reality and shaping it to fit their sombre objectives. The Brotherhood’s version of any conflict with the West is specially distilled for the simple-minded consumer of their discourse as a vital battle between the Muslim caliph and the Crusader king. It is a holy war in which every Muslim must take part by buying Turkish liras and Turkish products and supplying the Muslim caliph with the needed hard currency to ensure his victory in this fateful battle.

If this isn’t the silliest scenario, I don’t know what is.

It’s the type of discourse that we have been hearing over and over again since the “Islamic revival” that coincided with the Khomeini revolution in Iran in 1979. It is this kind of discourse that blocks reasoning and appeals to the primitive emotions that is responsible for sending thousands of young people to fight battles that do not concern them and only serve the evil agendas of power-hungry parties and individuals.

Averroes is often quoted as having said: “The political trade in religions thrives in societies where ignorance is widespread and, if you want to control the ignorant, you must cover every falsehood in religious guise.”

Ignorance is the real enemy in Arab societies. It’s through ignorance that merchants of religion slip in and, along with them, alarmist political agendas built on spewing hatred and destroying all that is decent and humane. They have defaced Islam and Muslims and destroyed countries. Their basic motto is: Anything that feeds our interests is welcome and anything that feeds national or people’s interests is foreign to us.

The Muslim Brothers live in their own version of reality. Their ideology has only one purpose: control the minds and souls of simple folk, then seize power. They will not shy away from using the modern means of the real world to spread their ideology and this is why they are everywhere.

In open societies that reject opportunism and demagogy, they will keep a low profile to survive but they will come out pouncing and fighting wherever there is no one to challenge their ideology and discourse.