Mediaman in quandary
the british palestinian azzam al-tamimi is believed to be one of the leading media personalities and intellectuals in the muslim brotherhood. he studied in kuwait, went to the united kingdom and obtained the british nationality and got a doctorate in political philosophy 30 years ago. he has worked as a researcher, lecturer and visiting professor in european, japanese and other universities. al-tamimi then wrote several books in english on islamic movements and their history. his most recent work was about hamas, to which he belongs politically. in 2006 azzam also participated in the establishment of the al-hiwar satellite channel from london. he has held many discussions with various satellite tv channels on the issue of islamic movements. with all this broad background and long history, he was entrapped in a shameful manner by a simple question put to him by the bbc arabic news female anchor. at the beginning of the interview azzam said that the arab spring revolutions wanted to replace the authoritarian regimes and start a democratic process and transform the regimes which did not want to see democracy anywhere in the region because they feared it would happen. here the anchor interrupted him with a question: did the muslim brotherhood, whose system is based on the principle of listening and obedience to the supreme leader, want democracy in the arab world? al-tamimi said: “allow me to tell you that your understanding of the brotherhood is incorrect. the principle of listening and obedience does not interfere with the freedom of opinion and democracy, and has nothing to do with applying it. the interviewer interrupted him again and said the principle of hearing and obedience calls not for thinking. al-tamimi said that this accusation is very dangerous, and that the best thinkers of the nation who ‘embraced’ democracy and human rights are all graduates from the school of the muslim brotherhood. the interviewer asked him to mention one of them, but he kept silent, so she repeated the same question and al-tamimi was silent again and did not answer the question. the intellectual, the holder of a doctorate degree, the lecturer, the academician and the author did not answer even with a single word. in fact, this embarrassing question did not come from the interviewer who is less than half the age of al-tamimi, but it is the truth of the absence of what he claimed. almost a century after the establishment of the muslim brotherhood movement, and because of the nature of its composition and the superficiality of its ideology and thought of its founder, the movement is really incapable of cultural or literary giving, and suffers from failure even in the field of islamic culture. none of the eminent personalities from the movement have thought it worthy to study the criticisms directed at them and the description of their members as shallow in thought because of the application of the principle of hearing and obedience that has completely constrained their thinking and made them mere tools in the hands of their supreme guide, rather as springs of science and knowledge. it is not strange to note that the movement has no creative personality, other than the areas of advocacy and fundraising. there are no distinguished poets, nor famous novelists or anybody else who can be called creative in any other human sciences, despite the length of history and the huge number of its affiliates. is this enough to respond to the naïve among us who love the brotherhood?