Facts prove the Brotherhood’s violent history. The White House itself has condemned the organization’s calls to violence.
By Ryan Mauro:
The White House has rejected a request to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, describing the group as non-violent. The statement is not only at odds with known facts; it’s at odds with statements made by the White House only one year ago.
The White House statement came in response to a petition with 200,000 signatures citing the Brotherhood’s history of violence and how its preachers, particularly Sayyid Qutb, have bred multitudes of terrorists. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently banned the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
“We have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence,” the White House said.
Yet, on July 8, 2013, the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “We also condemn the explicit calls to violence made by the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Alleged Brotherhood Rejection of Violence
Firstly, the White House and many Western officials are misinterpreting an alleged repudiation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood after the execution of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb in 1966.
The reason for the use of the word “alleged” is because there is no Muslim Brotherhood manifesto of unequivocal non-violence anywhere to be found. For all the talk of this momentous change, the Brotherhood has never produced an authoritative declaration explaining this supposed ideological moderation.
The only cited text is a book with a translated title of “Preachers, Not Judges” or “Missionaries, Not Judges.” Sources differ as to whether it was published in 1969 or 1977, and it is said to have been written by the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide, Hasan al-Hudaybi, as he sat in an Egyptian prison.
The book is marked as the “moment” the Brotherhood transformed from a militant group to a non-violent educational group. It is often described as a formal rebuttal to the teachings of Sayyid Qutb.
However, top experts have concluded that the text was not even written by Al-Hudaybi, nor is there any evidence that it was written or endorsed by the Brotherhood.
One such expert is Dr. Barbara Zollner, Director of Islamic Studies at Birbeck College, University of London. Zollner wrote her doctoral thesis on the text; she also wrote a book about Al-Hudaybi.
“Overall, my argument is that Preachers, Not Judges was not written by Hassan al-Hudaybi, and secondly, it is not written as a response to Sayyid Qutb,” she says.
Zollner theorizes that the book is a product of the Egyptian government and Al-Azhar University based on the accounts of Egyptian officials and Brotherhood leaders at the time.
In fact, the book doesn’t even mention Qutb or call on Muslims to discard his preaching. Far from casting Qutb aside, the Brotherhood still exalts him and hasn’t lifted a finger to promote this alleged Al-Hudaybi text. Al-Hudaybi himself never promoted it.
On the contrary. “Qutb’s Signposts remains a standard part of the organization’s introductory membership curriculum … while Preachers, Not Judges has not been reprinted in Egypt for more than three decades and hasn’t appeared in print anywhere in the Arabic world since 1985,” explains Patrick Poole.
If this book were so seminal, the Brotherhood would at least have translated it into English and disseminated it. But, it has not, even though the Brotherhood has a frequently updated English-language website and Twitter handle.
One thing the book does is to rebut the Muslim doctrine of takfirism, a practice where Muslims declare another Muslim as an apostate without a trial or proof of treason. As can be seen historically and today, Takfirism leads to Muslim-on-Muslim violence because it enables Muslim extremists to unilaterally judge a co-religionist’s faith and essentially sentence him or her to death.
The Brotherhood and its apologists will counter that this analysis is proof that the Brotherhood proclaims non-violence today.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to peaceful opposition action. It rejects all forms of violence,” it said in September.
The context of this quote is important. It was said by the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Brotherhood’s political wing in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party, about Egypt and only about Egypt.
A “Non-Violent” Group That Supports Violence Outside of Egypt
Western governments fail to understand that this stance is limited only to Egypt and is in accordance with the Brotherhood doctrine of “gradualism;” a pragmatic strategy of incremental change during periods of weakness.
Contrary to the White House’s statement, the Brotherhood does notrule out violence or terrorism entirely. In fact, it actively encourages violence in places outside of Egypt.
Tellingly, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, Hamas, is officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.
Hamas’ charter states in Part 1, Article 2 that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era.”
In 2006, senior Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian said, “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In 2011, Hamas officially changed its name to include, “a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—Palestine.” The following year, a video appeared showing Hamas leaders, including Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, declaring allegiance to the Brotherhood and specifically to its jihad.
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have never denied their affiliation, nor have they ever condemned each other or severed ties. It is an indisputable affiliation. Former Egyptian President Morsi was actually the main liaison between Hamas and the Egyptian Brotherhood before getting into power.
The Muslim Brotherhood overtly endorses the violent destruction of Israel, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. This fact also has never been disputed by the Brotherhood.
These facts not only discredit the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is non-violent, they discredits the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is not a terrorist group.
Read more at Clarion Project