The Muslim Brotherhood's Propaganda Offensive
By American Thinker | by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
Monday, April 2nd, 2007 @ 7:56PM
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is heightening its U.S. propaganda offensive in advance of the 2008 presidential elections, taking advantage of the political uncertainty and opposition to the current Administration’s defense policies against radical Muslim terrorist organizations and states.
Incredibly, “Hear Out the Muslim Brotherhood,” an op-ed in the Boston Globe on Sunday March 25, portrayed the outlawed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as a reforming tool to promote democracy and stability there and throughout the Middle East, and praised the MB for “surviving” decades of oppression by previous Egyptian regimes.
However, a referendum on March 26, 2007 in Egypt banned “the creation of political parties based on religion.” The MB, the biggest opposition group boycotted the vote and later criticized the results because of low voter turnout.
The MB, which is illegal in Egypt, Libya and Syria, operates in at least 70 countries. It is busy preparing the ground to establish Islamic global dominance, successfully using Western democracy to legally inject itself into the political process, while using the free media to portray the Brothers as reformers and protesting any attempt to limit their subversive activities. Indeed, even the Wall Street Journal agrees that in Egypt the MB “has become something of a default opposition.” Criticizing Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak for the latest crackdown on the MB, the Journal declared, “Not even a modern-day Pharaoh can forbid people from gathering in mosques.”
The Journal recognized that “free elections are no guarantee that liberals will win.” The Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority is a recent reminder. But since “[P]ast attempts to suppress the Brotherhood have only increased its popularity,” the Journal disapproves of Mubark’s crackdown, and laments the U.S. “weak criticism,” since “tolerating authoritarian regimes in the interest of “stability” ensures that liberals will always lose.” Similar arguments were made by Human Rights Watch, which also demanded the immediate release of hundreds of Muslim Brothers from Egyptian prisons.
In addition to the Globe, Foreign Affairs and the New York Times have lately also run apologias for the Muslim Brotherhood. In “Strategic Thinking about the Muslim Brotherhood,” published in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs, Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke argued that “the differences between the Brotherhood and the jihadists abound, and it is imperative to differentiate them…[thus] we should begin to explore whether the moderate current of the Muslim Brotherhood is a worthy interlocutor.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times is busy whitewashing one of the MB’s most corrosive European leaders, Tariq Ramadan, who was barred last September from the U.S. because he funded Hamas. Ramadan’s protest was published last October in The Washington Post. In his op-ed, Ramadan declared that unlike the enlightened Europeans who allow criticism, especially regarding the war on terrorism, “the U.S. government’s paranoia has evolved far beyond a fear of particular individuals and taken on a much more insidious form: the fear of ideas.”
But Ramadan’s “ideas” and influence among Muslims are nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, his association with and direct involvement with al-Qaeda operatives in Europe, Africa and the Middle East is well documented by Spanish and French courts.
That information, however, seem to have escaped the attention of U.S. media outlets that keep singing Ramadan praises. Lately, The New York Times seems to be serving as Ramadan’s mouthpiece.
A lengthy favorable profile of Ramadan’s appeared in the February 4, 2007, NYT Sunday Magazine. At the end of the 5,181 word article, “Tariq Ramadan Has an Identity Issue,” Ian Burama concluded: “Ramadan offers a different way… values that are as universal as those of the European Enlightenment… these values are neither secular, nor always liberal, but they are not part of a holy war against Western democracy either. His politics offer an alternative to violence, which, in the end, is reason enough to engage with him, critically, but without fear.”
Further arguments on Ramadan’s behalf were made in the April 1, 2007 New York Times Book Review, by Stephanie Giry. Praising Ramadan’s latest book — tellingly titled “In the Footsteps of the Prophet” — Giry recommends, “Taking him [Ramadan] literally could be one way to get beyond his critics’ accusations, as well as the paranoid legalism of the State Department.” Moreover, she finds “Ramadan’s universalist, apolitical view of Islam” as the “the pragmatic resolution of social frictions.”
This willful blindness to Ramadan’s agenda to globalize the Shari’a and establish the Caliphate is so prevalent that the media apparently chose to ignore his arrest on March 13, 2007, at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, for “insulting a public agent.” The incident was reported only by the Terror Finance Blog, while the international media kept mum. A week later, a local Swiss newspaper Tribune de Gen￨ve, reported the story with Ramadan’s complaint that, “he had to spend the whole night in a dirty cell because of the police ‘overzealousness’.” Ramadan, who faces up to 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of €7,500, is expected to be sentenced by a criminal court on April 6.
And Ramadan does not work alone. Feeding his arguments, the MB’s Ikhwan English website, developed in late 2006, runs articles promoting the “benevolence” of the movement and the MB’s ” reform and moderation,” and praising multiculturalism as the way to proliferate Islam.
On the MB Arabic website, however, their leader Mahdi Akef, in his February 22 weekly address, reassured his followers that “the jihad will lead to smashing Western civilization and replacing it with Islam which will dominate the world.” Moreover, Akef decreed that in the event that Muslims cannot achieve this goal in the near future, “Muslims are obliged to continue the jihad that will cause the collapse of Western civilization and the ascendance of the Muslim civilization on its ruins.”
Akef further declared that “the Western offensive against Islam,” is failing. His evidence: “the failure the American war machine to break the rock of the Iraqi opposition, the difficulties facing the coalition forces in Afghanistan, and the military defeat of the Israeli armed forces in Lebanon and against the Palestinians.” Hence, Akef called on the Arabs and Muslims to continue their terrorist attacks against the U.S. and Israel “until they withdraw completely from the Middle East.” Akef’s decrees and ideas of global Islamic domination are not new. They were established by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna in 1928, and can be found on ummah.net/ikhwan.
The MB states its goals under the heading “Establishing the Islamic government,” outlining the specific guidelines to achieve them. The MB instructions include: “Preparing the society is achieved through plans for: spreading the Islamic culture, the possible media means, mosques, and Da’awa [inviting others to Islam, an obligatory duty for Muslims], work in public organizations such as syndicates, parliaments, student unions.”
Indeed, the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, took over the Palestinian Authority in January 2006, and gave the MB its first field test of grabbing power via democracy, to then enforce Shari’a law.
Hamas’ “accommodation” of the unity government ratified on March 17, without recognizing Israel and reiterating the Palestinian’s “right” to “violently resist the occupation,” is akin to the Iraqi’s right to violently resist the U.S. and U.K. forces there. A ringing endorsement was published by the U.S. based pro-Hamas, virulently anti-American, al-Jazeerah Info, on March 26. Indeed, defeating Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. serve the overriding MB purpose of overthrowing all secular governments and imposing global Islamic law (Shari’a).
Evidence of Muslim Brotherhood violence, repression and authoritarianism upon taking power is abundant in the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. A recent report by The Australian, documents the “Strict observance of Sunni Islam, through the rigid enforcement of radical Islamic law, espoused by the global jihad network that follows the bin Laden worldview,” which has taken hold there.
In February, six Rafah pharmacists were attacked for selling Viagra to youths. And in March, at least eight women accused of immoral behavior and fraternizing with men outside their immediate families were hunted down and assassinated because “death gave them honor that their conduct in life had not.” A ninth victim who survived multiple gunshots stated from her hospital bed that she recognized her tormentors as members of the Hamas executive force. “So long as Hamas is in Gaza, the situation will keep developing,” she stated.
Since Hamas, apart from Al Qaeda, is the most active branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, stating, “The Brotherhood has consistently demonstrated a long-term commitment to working peacefully…” is evidently false and misleading.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed-and How to Stop It, Director of American Center for Democracy, (ACD) and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Alyssa A. Lappen is a senior fellow at the ACD.