The Epicurean Guide to Terrorism
The Los Angeles Times has a fantastic story about how rising food prices in the Middle East are being alleviated by… Islamic fundamentalist organizations.
But the global food crisis has carved out new opportunities for the Brotherhood and other hard-line groups across the Muslim world. Increasingly unaffordable prices underscore criticism of autocratic governments and drive more people toward fundamentalist groups. Though the Brotherhood fared poorly last year in municipal elections, it has been steadily gaining ground in recent months, sweeping votes for the leadership of Jordan’s professional associations.
“We used to win some and lose some. Now, we win all of them,” said Zaki Bani Arshid, leader of the Islamic Action Front, the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. “The government which tried to marginalize us politically for years has now given us a big gift.
“The increase in food prices has challenged America’s goals in the Middle East at a critical juncture, when it is attempting to win support from friendly governments for an Israeli- Palestinian peace initiative and for confronting Iran and Al Qaeda.
And here’s where the choice really is between whether you want to win or lose a winnable fight against extremism. If you want to win, you’ll support what it takes to feed people. If you want to win, you’ll ask yourself who you want a poor family in Jordan to turn to in its hour of crisis: the U.S. or the Muslim Brotherhood. If you want to win, you’ll stand with the politician that wants the U.S. to be the ones that family turns to.
Now, the Muslim Brotherhood is most certainly not Al Qaeda: in fact, one of the premiere preoccupations of Ayman al-Zawahiri back in Egypt was to destroy the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. But, still, the Muslim Brotherhood is an illiberal entity that supports lots of things we don’t like. Isn’t it better for a hungry family to say, “Huh, the U.S. does a whole bunch of stuff I don’t like. But when I couldn’t feed my family, it was the U.S. that was there to help me…”?
And if you don’t want to win, you’ll say that what happens in Jordan is a Jordanian problem and we can’t feed the world and anyway poverty and terrorism are different issues.