THE POWER ELITE AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
March 5, 2012
I ended Part 8 of this series with the announcement of Yemen’s presidential election on February 21. The result of that election was Abdurabah Mansur Hadi was elected with the support of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The leader of Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB), cleric Abdel-Majid al-Zindani, in January 2010 warned the country not to allow “occupation” by foreign powers as it cooperates with the U.S. in counter-terrorism (The Global Muslim Daily Report, January 13, 2010). And in “Unconstitional, Disorderly, and Non-peaceful” (Al-Ahram Weekly Online, October 6-12, 2011), one learns that al-Qaeda figure Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, had been residing in the homes of various Yemeni MB leaders, and “frequented the farm of the Islamist leader Abdel-Majid al-Zindani.”
The founder of the MB, Hassan al-Banna, was an admirer of Adolf Hitler from the 1930s. During WWII, al-Banna in 1942 set up branches of the MB in Palestine and what was known then as Transjordan. Another prominent MB member was Sayyid Qutb, and in David Ignatius’ “A ‘cosmic wager’ on the Muslim Brotherhood” (Washington Post, Feb. 15), he explained that Qutb’s “encounter with the United States in the 1940s proved poisonous. After visiting New York, Washington, Colorado and Los Angeles, he concluded that ‘the soul has no value to Americans’.” Ignatius then went on to assess that “the Obama administration has made what might be described as a ‘cosmic wager’ on the Muslim Brotherhood’s peaceful intentions. By courting them in 2009, the United States helped legitimize their political aspirations; by refusing to come to Mubarak’s rescue during the Tahrir Square protests a year ago, the United States all but guaranteed that the Brotherhood would emerge as a dominant political force in a new Egypt.”
After “courting” the MB in 2009, Patrick Cooper in “U.S. Embassy Sponsors Irish Muslim Business Conference” (IrishCentral.com, October 7, 2010) related how the U.S. ambassador to Ireland presented President Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, to the Irish MB leader Imam Hussein Halawa (who has strong ties to the global MB). Cooper indicated “a main point of the conference was the need for Sharia law compliant financial products to be used…. Ambassador Dan Rooney congratulated the organizers and said that the U.S. was ‘solid partners’ in the venture.”
In Egypt, on January 11 Mohamed Morsy (head of the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party) stressed that U.S.-Egyptian ties in the future must be “balanced,” and that the U.S. should adopt a “positive position concerning Arab and Muslim causes.” On the same day, Egypt’s 3-phase lower house parliamentary elections concluded, with the MB controlling 47.18% of the seats and the Salafist Al-Nur Party gaining 24.29%. The Salafists want to impose Sharia Islamic religious law, and the MB says it will not “immediately” insist on an “integral application of Sharia.” In other words, it’s only a matter of time before the MB imposes Sharia.
Almost a year before the January 2011 revolution in Egypt, one of the Power Elite’s mouthpieces, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs (March 26, 2010) headlined an article, “Egypt’s Hero?” by Steven Cook about Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei. After the revolution began, though, the MB withdrew its support of ElBaradei for president, and on January 14, 2012 he announced he was withdrawing from the race, saying “the [Mubarak] regime has not yet fallen.” The newspaper Al-Sharouk announced that “ElBaradei has stripped bare the former regime” and Al-Masri Al-Youm said: “The ElBaradei bomb explodes in the face of the military.” In Abeer Tavel’s “Why Now, Mr. ElBaradei?!” (Al Arabiya News, January 15), one reads that “ElBaradei knows quite well that taking such a step [withdrawing from the presidential race] at this time would definitely shake the country.” The writer then ominously notes that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was unlikely to allow ElBaradei to win anyway! The MB and the Salafists had a different take on ElBaradei’s withdrawal, though, both saying he wasn’t favored by Islamist groups who won the parliamentary elections.
Parliament met for the first time on January 23, with the MB’s Mohamed al-Katatni as speaker and two deputy speakers from the Salafists’ Al-Nur Party and the liberal Wafd Party. January 25, 2012 marked the 1-year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution that ousted Mubarak from power, and demonstrations were held then and on January 27 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. On the latter date, however, according to Associated Press (AP) reporters Sarah El Deeb and Aya Batrawy in “Islamists, protesters scuffle at Egypt rally,” the “Muslim Brotherhood supporters and secular protesters hurled bottles and rocks at each other and got into fistfights… as their differences boiled over at a rally by tens of thousands…. Some protesters complain the Brotherhood sought to drown out other protesters by blaring religious anthems, Quranic recitations and music.” Remember, as I wrote earlier in this article, the MB only said it would not “immediately” insist upon the imposition of Sharia. But you can be sure it’s coming!
At the end of January, MB’s Freedom and Justice Party head Morsy spoke at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s headquarters on his party’s vision of Egypt’s future. And according to “As government-in-waiting, Egypt’s Brotherhood finds voice” (Al Arabiya News, February 26), an unnamed Western diplomat in Cairo claimed: “If you want to influence the next government’s policy, you need to talk to the Brotherhood, and you need to talk to them in depth.”
AP reporter El Deeb in “Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood wants government sacked” (February 9) wrote that the MB "called on the ruling generals to sack the military-appointed government, saying it has failed to manage the deteriorating security and economic situation in the country," and that "Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said the military should appoint a Brotherhood representative as prime minister, who would then form a new government."
On February 24, the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party announced it had won 107 seats (about 59%) in the Egyptian Parliament’s upper house, with the Salafists’ Nour Party winning 46 seats and the Wafd Party 19. It should be remembered, though, that the upper house’s powers are limited, and it can’t block legislation from the lower house.
In “Cleric says ex-Brotherhood man best for Egypt presidency” (Al Arabiya News, February 15), MB spiritual advisor Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi described former MB member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh as the “leading candidate” for president in the election to be held on May 23 and 24 with a run-off vote on June 16 and 17 and final results to be released on June 21. The article indicated that al-Qaradawi’s remarks could influence the supporters of the MB to vote for Fotouh. However, on February 23 Fotouh was attacked by three men and suffered a concussion (he was released from the hospital the next morning). Was this a warning to him not to run for the presidency? In “Post-revolution Egypt chooses its president on May 23” (Al Arabiya News, March 1), one reads that “many analysts see [Amr] Moussa [former Arab League chief] as the front-runner but say much will depend on what kind of backing he can secure from the Muslim Brotherhood….”
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been living in Qatar, and in “Did the Libyan Leadership Deceive the West?” by Jonathan Halevi (Jerusalem Issue Briefs, October 27, 2011), “the [Libyan] rebels are said to have received about $2 billion from the Qatari government. Qatari involvement is likely to produce a regime in Libya that follows the political orientation of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, thereby giving the Muslim Brotherhood an open door in the new Libya.” In 2004, Qaradawi issued a fatwa (Islamic religious decree) indicating Muslims could kill Americans in Iraq.
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According to a Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report he is also considered a “spiritual guide for Hamas and has issued fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens. Moreover, he is the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS, begun July 11, 2004), which on February 27, 2012 issued a “Statement on Qur’an Burning in Afghanistan” saying “IUMS calls for an immediate investigation so as to punish the perpetrators of this criminal act… the burning of some copies of the noble Qur’an by some American soldiers who do not care for the sanctity of Muslims in their lands. It is unfortunate that this is not the first time for American soldiers to commit this sacrilege; they previously burnt copies of the noble Qur’an in Afghanistan and America.” How did American soldiers once again “accidentally” burn the Koran? Isn’t there a learning curve somewhere regarding this, and couldn’t they have simply turned them over to Afghan President Hamid Karzi’s religious leader for proper disposal?
© 2012 Dennis Cuddy - All Rights Reserved