Egypt and Iran: why different outcomes?



In the article below, Zafar Bangash asks the same question I addressed in my July 4th Press TV article “Egypt Needs a Real Islamic Revolution” .

We agree that the Muslim Brotherhood (the Ikhwan) walked into a trap set by the enemies of the Islamic awakening, and that the only way forward for Egypt – and the other Muslim-majority countries ruled by pawns of the Zionist-dominated West – is to forget about working within the system, and patiently organize Iranian-style Islamic revolutions.  –KB


Egypt and Iran: why different outcomes?


… by Zafar Bangash, Crescent International


(August, 2013) – In Egypt the Ikhwan failed within one year while in Iran, the Islamic movement has established a government that is still in place and going strong. Why? The Ikhwan made the mistake of working within the system while Imam Khomeini understood that the existing system had to be demolished.

Egypt and Iran are two very important countries. Developments in either affect the entire region. Consider the military coup against the elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi. Despite his faults — and there were many — the manner in which the US-Zionist-aligned military overthrew Mursi’s government raises serious concerns among Muslims and even non-Muslims that believe in respecting people’s rights and how power is exercised. The July 3rd military coup has taken Egypt back to square one.

In fact, the old jahili system was never abolished. The ouster of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 was merely cosmetic since remnants of the old regime remained fully entrenched in all major institutions: the military, police, interior ministry and the judiciary, to name a few. These remnants had the full backing of the business class, which had been the principal beneficiary of the old system.

In this column we repeatedly questioned the Ikhwan’s wisdom of operating within the old system. It was also unrealistic to assume that just because the Freedom and Justice Party, political wing of the Ikhwan, won the election that it would be allowed to implement its policies freely. Mursi and by extension the Ikhwan’s approach was flawed on many counts — not the least of which was to work within the old system. No luxury class in any society has ever given up its privileges voluntarily. These have to be taken away, by force if necessary, to ensure fairness and justice in society.

Let us compare this with Iran. On August 4, Dr. Hassan Rohani will be sworn in as president of Iran after his victory in the June 14 elections. Unlike Egypt, there is no threat of a military coup against Dr. Rohani, despite the fact that Iran’s military is arguably stronger than Egypt’s. How has Iran become coup-proof while Egypt like almost every other Muslim country suffers at the hands of the military?

The Islamic movement in Iran led by Imam Khomeini clearly understood the nature of the imposed order in society. The Imam was absolutely clear: the Shah and all the institutions he had built were illegitimate and had to be uprooted. Nor did the Imam overlook the fact that such measures would arouse the wrath of the imperialist powers that would attempt to undermine the Islamic Revolution and the fledgling Islamic State.

Thus, the masses had to be prepared for the long hard struggle ahead, as the Prophet (pbuh) had done in Makkah and Madinah. The Imam purged the military of the corrupt top brass and put them on trial for crimes against the Iranian people. Concurrently, the Sepah was established as a revolutionary force that prevented the military from carrying out a coup. Iran’s military was deployed to its primary function: defence of the borders, not to lord over people’s representatives.

In Egypt on the other hand, the Ikhwan and Mursi assumed that if they played within the existing system and surrendered to US-Zionist interests, they would be allowed to complete their term in office. The haste with which the military overthrew Mursi surprised even seasoned observers.

It was assumed that the military would allow sufficient time for Mursi to fail — he was set up to fail by the entrenched old guard — and people would automatically turn against him. This would have happened had he been given enough time but it seems Egypt’s imperialist and Zionist masters got impatient and decided to strike.

This brings us to the question of clarity of thought in the Islamic movement. Most leaders of Islamic movements fail to analyze the socio-economic and political order in society properly. They assume that there is nothing wrong with the prevailing system; and all that is needed is for good, honest men to run it more efficiently.

Events in Egypt have once again exposed the fallacy of such thinking and the price the Ikhwan have had to pay. This scenario will no doubt repeat itself in every Muslim society where such faulty thinking prevails. True leadership sets a directional course, and inspires and guides people toward achieving it.

When the collective energies of even a small number of ordinary people are harnessed for the achievement of a pre-set goal, the results are often spectacular. This is what the Sirah of the noble Messenger (pbuh) teaches us.

When even highly qualified people fail to take account of these simple facts, they end up paying a heavy price. This explains why the Ikhwan have failed in Egypt and why the Islamic movement succeeded in Iran. If Muslims care to reflect, they would easily understand this basic point.

Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought


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Kevin Barrett

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

He is Host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard driving weekly LIVE call in radio show. He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

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  1. This article firstly suggest getting elected by 13 million gives you the right to usurp the democratic process and use one election to make an Islamic dictatorship. Morse only barely gained power, and when he showed his colors of selling out to the IMF, and worse yet, of wanting to enter the Syrian war, he infuriated the populous and 33 million demanded he leave. That’s the very definition of democracy.
    Secondly, the revolution was never an Islamic one, the brotherhood had minimal role in the Anti-Mubarak protests, but when it was election time, they were the only side to have strong media representation (By Al-jazeera) plus heavy funding from Qatar, and still, one the first round of elections, they received 25% of the votes against little known players. Today, if you repeated the election, Morsi and the brotherhood would have no chance to win because the vast majority of the Egyptian people now hate the Muslim brotherhood for their selling out of the countries independency, and its social services (subsidies).

  2. The massacre of unarmed men, women, and children protestors perpetrated by Egyptian security forces in many Egyptian cities on Wednesday and Friday, August 14 and 16, 2013 is an unimaginable and heinous crime.

    We, the American Muslims, strongly condemn this mass murder of innocent people of Egypt. We call for the protection of human life and freedom of expression and assembly in Egypt.

    As a Muslim and a human being, we should and must let our voices be heard by the American and Egyptian authorities to stop this bloodbath immediately.
    The minimum we can do is to make du’aa for the victory of Muslim brothers and sisters who are striving to establish justice and corruption free society in Egypt and also please write and/or phone calls to:

    1) Egyptian Embassy: Tel.: 202-895-5400; Fax: 202-244-4319;
    E-mail: [email protected]

    2) US Secretary of State: 202-647-4000; 202-647-6575
    3) The White House: 202-456-1111; 202-456-1414
    4) Saudi Embassy: Tel.: 202-342-3800; E-mail:

    Please spare some time and watch the following moving video on the topic. May Allah reward you for your good deeds. Aameen.

    Best regards,
    Info. Desk, Muslim Leaders of NY

    • sorry. I don’t condemn without knowing details. stop using terms like “we” in American Muslim. before representing somebody ask for their representation. you are behaving like dictator. best is to put out poll and declare what majority thinks. and if majority ignores the poll the report it as they have no opinion rather than reporting 2nd position. thanks

    • We heard the same in Iraq, as Israeli snipers shot American soldiers in order to enrage them enough to begin killing Iraqi civilians. I am not sure exactly who is killing the civilians and neither are you. We do know of one 10 year old girl the MB murdered outside a church. We know that took place. Nobody knows for sure exactly who is shooting protesters from the roof tops yet.

    • Yes, routine it seems.

      ‘Mossad/CIA Murdered U.S. Troops In Iraq’


  3. An insightful article.

    I have never heard of him this is from his Wikipedia web page:

    On February 14, 2010, at a conference entitled “Media War on Islam,” Bangash stated the “Israeli-owned” International Consultants on Targeted Security runs security at Amsterdam airport, and therefore “the Israelis are in control of security,” and thus allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board a Detroit-bound plane with concealed exposives.

    Brian:If the quote is accurate, the source has been removed from the Web, I agree.

    • I love this line from the National Post article:

      “… a video was shown that mocked 9/11 by putting the Muppet Show logo over slow-motion footage of the second plane’s impact, with screams of terror for audio.”


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