The Ugly Face of the Muslim Brotherhood

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It is the season of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are now everywhere. Their rise is not spontaneous, of course.

Qatar is now officially sponsoring the emergence and promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood around the world. Qatar seems to have abandoned its Arab nationalist pretensions and settled instead on various trends and currents of Islamism (even the Taliban now has a base in Doha, Qatar).

In Egypt, The New York Times uncovered an intensive flirtatious relationship between the US government and the Ikhwan. But the newly found love is two-sided: varieties of Islamists from Tunisia to Palestine (exemplified by Hamas) are now sending signals of reassurance and moderation to the US and even Israel. Hamas is now (deceptively and in contradictory messages) expressing willingness to abandon armed struggle against Israeli occupation and to settle its aspirations for 22 percent of Palestine (Hamas is now officially following in the footsteps of Fatah – and Fatah was launched by individuals inspired by Ikhwan thinking).

It is now clear that the Ikhwan (and variants of them) will dominate the new political arena vacated by the ouster of a few Arab dictators. In Egypt, there is a competition between the Ikhwan (sponsored by Qatar) and the Salafis (sponsored by Saudi Arabia). They are, more than any other political current – or as much as the liberal right-wingers – willing to compromise with the remnants of the ousted regime and with US and Israel. The signs are evident now.

The Syrian Ikhwan, however, may become an extreme example of opportunism that has characterized the movement.

I saw Muhammad Tayfur, the Deputy General Inspector of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood of Syria on MTV the other night. His discourse reveals much about the movement. Tayfur was pitted against Jubran Urayji of the SSNP (a pro-Syrian political party that does not express any disagreements with the Syrian regime). Urayji intended to expose the hypocrisy of the Muslim Brotherhood and he succeeded. He simply asked Tayfur about the Ikhwan’s plan to liberate the Golan Heights. Tayfur did not hesitate to give his answer. He said that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood believes in peaceful struggle to liberate the Golan Heights. Here, the hypocrisy of the long-standing Ikhwan’s stance is revealed. For years, the Ikhwan have been (rightly) mocking the stance of the Assad regime vis-à-vis the Golan: they have consistently criticized the inaction of the regime towards Israel and its unwavering willingness to negotiate peacefully with Israel.

So the Syrian Ikhwan now admit that they will settle for the same position of the Assad regime. It is now clear that they have no objections to the foreign policy of the regime toward the Arab-Israeli conflict (with the exception of support for Hezbollah and Hamas which the Ikhwan and their right-wing liberal allies would end promptly). After all those years, the Ikhwan now basically admit that they have no objections to the inaction by the regime on the Golan front. The Ikhwan would then continue the policy that basically relegates the plight of the people in the Israeli-occupied Golan to either divine intervention or to the US-dominated “international community.”

But Urayji was not satisfied: he wanted to embarrass Tayfur further. He asked him for the stance of the Ikhwan on Palestine. Tayfur mumbled some incomprehensible words before saying that the focus will be on internal matters, as if the state that occupies Palestine is different from the state that occupies the Golan Heights.

This is not the only sign of appeasement by the Ikhwan toward Israel. Rashid al-Ghannushi – who does not travel much – traveled all the way to the US to basically give a reassuring speech before an affiliate of the Zionist lobby. The Egyptian Ikhwan barely speak about Palestine anymore and The New York Times reported that officials of the movement pledged to US officials that they would respect the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

In Lebanon, al-Jemaah al-Islamiyah, were bought off by Saudi money and are now allies of the Lebanese Forces.

But this hypocrisy and political transformation of the Ikhwan (at least in their rhetoric) will come at a price. The Ikhwan probably assume that people won’t have a second voting chance to reassess their early political choices.

Comments

I do not think that the Muslim Brothers had a "political transformation."

One recalls the events that led to the release of Hassan Al-Banna, their founder from prison. The arrangement was that they stop burning Cairo (now they car bomb Syria) in return for: 1) no more demands for independence; 2) a stop to the terror campaign.

They kept their part of the bargain. They even went the extra mile, by trying to assassinate the President who was fighting Britain's occupation - because he would not allow them to meddle in the affairs of Egypt!

The Muslim Brothers are focused on their peculiar interpretation of Islam, an interpretation unshared by any in movement in the history of Islam - apart, possibly the Assassins, and we know who these were, and what cosey and mutually beneficial relationship they had with the Crusaders in Syria!

@Anonymous

People of the Arab states may be calling for an Islamic-style regime. That doesn't mean they'll get one. Not under the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood anyway. This entity exists to capitulate to Western-Imperial interests as evidenced in its willingness to broker deals with Washington. It has not taken an active stance against Israel in Egypt. Its keeping relatively quiet. This does not bode well for the Palestinians.

Islam under the Brotherhood promotes a set of political values that seeks to victimise and demonise the people it purports to be working in the interests for. In expressing support for Western intervention their allegiances are made explicit. And those allegiances are not in alignment with the people. However 'Islamic' they label themselves.

P.S. I am a Muslim WOMAN. And I certainly would not want to be led by the Muslim BROTHERHOOD. The name of this organisation discourages my participation.

I suppose that supporters of SNC are asking NATO/Saudis to bomb Syria to facilitate the full surrender to Zionists. Of course, NATO would not help on another precondition.

Rashid al-Ghannushi – who does not travel much – traveled all the way to the US to basically give a reassuring speech before an affiliate of the Zionist lobby

where is the proof.

In your block you commented on the salafist giving an interview with zionists. I searched for it and found out that truly a zionist introduced himself as an iraqi journalist to make an interview with the salafist. There was no talk about the peace treaty at all. You can read it in the online version of Al Ahram if you don`t believe it.

Breaking news:

The pipeline from Egypt to the zionist entity was bombed for the 13th time.

Ps:

A Leftist anarchist atheist Egyptian group claimed the attack.

Correction:

Ansar al-Jihad claims responsibility for pipeline explosion saying:

“The Islamic nation can clearly see how Muslims in Egypt, particularly in Sinai, suffered from the oppression of Hosni Mubarak and his criminal allies, the so-called Israel, occupier of Palestine, and the Americans.”

“We strive to fulfill the oath of our martyr, Osama bin Laden, who said ‘I swear by Almighty God that America and whoever lives in America will not live in security — something we do not have in Palestine — before all the infidel armies leave Muslim lands.”

I should have know that Leftist atheists groups can only sit sing and tweet....

Must be another plot by Muslim Brotherhood Qatar Benladenites and America against America for (whatever reason I havent invente yet).

Assalamou alykoum,

Yesterday I read on a blog called "Angry Arab" that israel needed Mubarak rescue after Muslim Brotherhood deputy head said:

"We will not recognize Israel under any circumstances; we are talking about an occupation entity and a criminal enemy,".

Today I read the opposite from the same author.

Also today there was an israeli flag on the toilets floor of the Carthage airport in Tunis (http://bit.ly/zRW6rj) were Ismail Haniyeh arrived to meet with the (apparently zionist) Rashed Ghanoushi and Ennahdha prime minister Jbeli with Ennahdha supporters singing :

"The people want to liberate Palestine"
"Jihad Jihad Martyrdom or Victory".

Mr AbuKhalil should write an article called:

"How the Islamists are deceiving the West with empty statements."

The worst day of Mr Abu Khalil life will be when he will have to announce on his blog the Liberation of Palestine and the demise of the zionist entity : By the Islamic Arab army.

In your dreams salafi.

ya haram. The palestinian cause is not a prize to be won or something that earns you bragging rights. It's a struggle against the injustice of a most unjust entity. I don't care who helps out or how, as long as they have a clear distinction of justice and injustice. So if it is in "his dreams" because he cares about the plight of the palestinian people, then you should wish him well. I hope As'ad and his fans think along those lines if they truly care.

Obviously you never went to egypt recently. A great part of egypt living in more miserable conditions than the palestinians. How do you expect to fight zionism. Oh of course you expect empty angry pro palestinian speeches with no results. No. This BS brought nothing to arabs in general nor to the palestinians. It`s time to speak less and work hard. The chinese solution to Hong Kong.

You make strong points As'ad. However, your characterization of Islamists tends to be a little too conspiratorial and dogmatic. You make it seem as if the rise of Islamists in Arab countries has everything to do with Qatari "sponsorship" and "money", and nothing to do with their strong grassroots support amongst their respective populations. You also completely ignore the fact (perhaps deliberately) that western countries have been pressuring Tunisia and Egypt to allot room for Secularists in the government.

Also As'ad, your co-ideologists in the left have their fair share of opportunists and demagogues, especially in Egypt. Yet your rhetoric is framing this as a US-Zionist conspiracy which victimizes "secular progressive" while lionizing "islamic reactionaries". I don't buy it, even though I am no fan of ikhwan and its opportunistic compromises.

The reality is that Arab populations want Islam in the public sphere, there's no denying that. And there's also no problem with that either... as long as we have leaders who guarantee our rights, free us from neo-liberal agendas, and aim towards Palestinian liberation.

Nearly all Islamist are blacklisted in the US and Europe since decades. They are not sitting in american Universities and creating Fantasy-revolutions. With all the leftist Apple gadgets like iPhones and MacBooks.

Funny how USA and Europe are more than ready to bring some Islamists to power by their bombs (see Libya). I am not sure about IPhones, but sure some Islamists are happy to create revolutions with NATO/Saudi bombs - and now they are going to repeat it in Syria.

By the way, what "leftist" there is in Apple? It is a capitalist corporation.

"Funny how USA and Europe are more than ready to bring some Islamists to power by their bombs (see Libya)" More than ready. Are you kidding me. All so called Islamist are blacklistet in the west.

Lybia? Why Ghadafi refused to hold election?. Syria? why the Assad regime refuse to hold election?. But I can assure you that there will be no NATO Bombardment in Syria since the Zionist are very satisfied with the Assad regime. The Golan Border is quite and the economy miserable. And it`s corruption and incompetence assure zionist that it stays so. The sectarian Nature of the regime and therefor it´s overall weakness and dependency on foreigners plays too in zionist hands since the focus of it`s military and secret service is to defend only the sectarian status quo.

What about egypt. What about Tunisia?, What about Algeria 1992?, what about Gaza 2006?.

The arabs will not sacrifice there future for the sake of russia. Russia is strong enough to go it`s own way.Are you getting it?. Anyway. Before the russians throw the zionist embassy out of there country please stop to comment on arab newspapers.

WHY the West supports Saudis (who sure have elections all times, right?). WHY the West supported every Islamist who was willing to fight for Western imperialism - without a word about need for elections.

Iran HAS elections. What is a position of the West about Iran? The same as about Syria, of course. As long as NATO saw Qaddafi as a foe, he was a foe, when he tried to mend relations with the West, they were happy - all this with the SAME regime without elections.

Iran in 1953 was a democracy. What the West did back then? Yes, it toppled the elected government (calling it toppling the dictator by the people) adn installed a shah. How many elections shah agreed for?

Not mentioning all NATO/USA crimes against non-ME states, both with or without elections, and support for the worst dictators - lackeys of the West.

One more time - NATO bombs NOT because of the lack of elections. Or it would bomb Saudis long ago. NATO bombs ONLY non-puppets.

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