Is Angela Merkel lost in translation?

Badria al-Bishr
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No, Germany’s Angela Merkel hasn’t spoken Arabic, at least yet, but it was interesting watching her speaking on an Arab affair in her strong German tones.

Merkel said: "Egypt must not exclude the Muslim Brotherhood from the new political roadmap."


Although her statement seems right and although excluding the Brotherhood is an act that opposes democracy, I would have preferred Mrs. Merkel to take the Brotherhood to Germany before she decides to lecture about Egyptian affairs.

Let her experience their governance so she can tell us, after learning through practice, where she would put the Brotherhood if they are included in her government. I am not talking about the Brotherhood as a religious group here but as a party.

Let her tell us what will happen if, for example, the Brotherhood attains power in Germany and the first thing they do is issue a law that prevents German television stations from imitating the German premier. What if the supporters of the victorious party besiege the constitutional court and prevent judges from entering it? What if a constitutional declaration that protects the president's decisions and rejects appeals against them is made? Or what if the leader in Germany disdained the constitutional court's decisions and sacked the attorney general? What if during his first appearance before the public, Germany's president said "If I make mistakes, correct me," but then got angry with the first attempt to do so?

Mursi’s failed governance

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi’s statements were contradictory even when he alleged working at NASA. He later said: "I did not say I worked at NASA." Working at NASA is not an important experience in the president's work but a cabinet that collapses during its first year of governance and that is incapable of providing gasoline and electricity and advises people to sleep in one room or to sleep wearing cotton shirts is a failed government.

What's strange is that this time the Brotherhood were the ones to jump into the lap of western regimes, and they sat on Merkel's lap in Germany.

Dr. Badria al-Bishr

When this description angers it, it becomes a tyrannical government. This is in addition to the intelligence and financial corruptions of which documental proof of them was published the second the Brotherhood was ousted. The most surprising of what I read is the victory of 3,000 preachers in a ministry of endowments' competition in which all winners were Salafis, while all al-Azhar graduates were excluded. Doesn't this move represent the simplest forms of exclusion that America and Germany preach on? Or does Mrs. Merkel need a translation?

What's strange is that America's and Germany's stance on Egypt was quick and clear. The stance resulted in blocking aid under the excuse that America does not help people who toppled an elected president. Although the response sounds convincing to the democratic world that speaks the same language, this language differed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad although he inherited power and although he killed more than 100,000 of his people.

It seems that western regimes have realized that there is a way that costs nothing to annihilate us, and that would be to make us clash with one another.

But what's strange is that this time the Brotherhood were the ones to jump into the lap of western regimes, and they sat on Merkel's lap in Germany. And today, the Brotherhood was the ones who requested the West to act as a mediator between them and Egypt's national parties. Now, who would've known we would live long enough to see this day?

I don't know how they’d say that in German.

This article was first published in al-Hayat on July 21, 2013.

Dr. Badria al-Bishr is a multi-award-winning Saudi columnist and novelist. A PhD graduate from the American University of Beirut, and an alumnus of the U.S. State Department International Visitor program. Her columns put emphasis on women and social issues in Saudi Arabia. She currently lectures at King Saud University's Department of Social Studies. Twitter: @BadryahAlbeshr

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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