Thursday, February 10, 2011

Islamists in their own words

One byproduct of the turmoil in Egypt is the focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. Some, including President Obama, appear to think that the Brotherhood is a legitimate political party; others disagree. Here are a couple of sources to help you decide for yourself.

-- First, thanks to Aylana via Facebook, here's a video of Tariq Ramadan, considered to be the most influential 'moderate' Muslim in France (and certainly a media star in his own right) offering up a prayer in Arabic. Ramadan's grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood, and his brother Hani publicly advocates stoning adulteresses. Tariq in his prayer calls for divine vengeance against all the enemies of Islam (hint: we're on the list).

-- Second, the Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch has translated excerpts from a book, Jihad is the Way, written by Mustafa Mashkur, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 to 2002. His book explains the basic concepts of the Brotherhood's ideology. Among other things, it states that jihad is a religious public duty.

For years, there's been very little reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood in the Western press, and much of what was out there reflected the public face they project in Western languages. I think it's salutary that more and more people are finding out what the Brotherhood really stands for. After all, you can't advocate jihad and be dedicated to non-violence, can you?

Then, although perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, pressure will grow for the White House to seek advice only from non-Brotherhood affiliated Muslim groups. That, my friends, would be a tremendous advance, since right now the Brotherhood appears to have cornered the market.

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