U. Denver’s Nader Hashemi Shills for Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Muslim Democracy’

nader-hashemi

Frontpage, by Andrew Harrod, April 5, 2016:

“I can’t have a serious conversation with you about the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and violence because” this author’s question “is driven by a certain ideological agenda,” declared University of Denver Middle East studies professor Nader Hashemi.  His dismissal typified the ideological blindness towards the MB of a March 17 presentation by the Islamist-aligned Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) before about thirty-five at Washington, DC’s National Press Club.

Hashemi concurred with his fellow panelists that enactment of the recently introduced Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act will “pour oil on the raging fires that are consuming” the Middle East.  Despite the act’s extensive catalogue of MB violent support for Islamic supremacy in numerous affiliates across the Middle East, he echoed the panel in rejecting an American terrorist designation for the MB’s founding Egyptian branch.  He contrasted a supposedly moderate MB with extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and (Greater) Syria (ISIS) and warned that when “moderate forms of political Islam are crushed and denied a public voice, radical Islam thrives.”

Citing Rachid Ghannouchi of Tunisia’s MB-affiliated, deceptively moderate-sounding Ennahda party, Hashemi stated that the “only way to defeat ISIS is to offer a better product to the millions of young people in the Muslim world . . . Muslim democracy.”  He drew from the swift fall of Arab dictators in the “Arab Spring” the lesson that “dictatorial rule is fundamentally precarious” and suffers from an “absence of internal political legitimacy.”  The “Arab Spring” validated for him President George W. Bush’s 2003 statement that “stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty,” notwithstanding his costly Iraqi regime change experiment in “Muslim democracy.”

Hashemi concluded that “it is not a coincidence that ISIS emerged and attracted new followers after the crushing of the ‘Arab Spring’” in 2013 in Egypt.  He failed to explain the connection between Middle Eastern dictatorship and the many ISIS foreign fighters from Europe, nor ISIS’s drive to exterminate Christians and other minorities.  Additionally, he ignored that ISIS developed not amidst dictatorial restoration, but rather the bloody Shiite-Sunni sectarian divisions destroying central rule in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has also gained ground in Libya after President Barack Obama engaged in yet another military campaign for democracy during the “Arab Spring” and overthrew Muammar Ghaddafi.

Libya remained central to the discussion that followed when former CSID panelist Esam Omeish from the Libyan American Public Affairs Council, a pro-jihadi, pro-MB lobbying organization, joined the conversation from the audience. This documented supporter of the Palestinian “jihad way” and al-Qaeda-linked Libyan groups asked the panel about “Israeli-centric politics” motivating a MB terrorist designation.  Against all evidence, he asserted that the MB’s “discourse has always been nonviolent” since the organization’s 1928 founding.  “Violence was born only out of circumstance” as the MB reacted to various authoritarian Egyptian regimes, he maintained.

Omeish also rejected the American terrorist designation of the MB-affiliate Hamas as a “very big mistake.”  As evidence, he mentioned Hamas’s Palestinian Authority electoral victories while overlooking Hamas’s 2007seizure of power in the Gaza Strip. Parallel to his analysis of the MB, he argued that Hamas (which is nowaiding ISIS’s Sinai affiliate) “has a violent conflict with a state that is committing state violence” creating “the atmosphere for terrorist activities to happen.”

Hashemi agreed to an “Israeli-centric bias in the debate” over the MB and acquiesced in Omeish’s MB-Hamas apologia, in keeping with Hashemi’s brusqueness towards critical inquiry into the MB.  As with a Daily Callerreporter in a recently reported audience exchange, Hashemi dismissed this author’s post-event question about the MB pursuing Islamic supremacy with both violent and nonviolent tactics according to circumstances.  Hashemi retorted that the “whole question is rooted in a biased analysis of the topic” and that after a “clear break” following Egyptian state repression in the early 1950s, the MB “strategy was nonviolent political change.”

Hashemi claimed that Hamas “engages in its own acts of terrorism, but within a context of a struggle for national liberation.” He dismissed this reporter’s reminder of Hamas’ genocidal charter calling for Islam to destroy Israel by claiming “these are all pro-Israel talking points” amidst an “occupation of an entire people for the last fifty years.” Given “Israel’s attempts to quash the national rights of the Palestinians, if you were living in Gaza you would be sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, I guarantee you. That’s the rational position,” he sputtered.

Hashemi’s biased presentation evinced no desire to inquire rigorously into the MB’s history and nature, or to entertain critical questions from audience members. He simply displayed hostility to honest research and apologias for pro-jihad, pro-Hamas, and anti-Israel propaganda.  Unfortunately, these vices characterize the Middle East studies establishment’s repeated malfeasance towards the indisputable reality of Islamist dangers.

Harvard Prof: “Islam is not the major obstacle . . . for democratization in Muslim societies”

Cesari-300x174Jihad Watch, By Andrew Harrod, Feb. 6, 2015:

“Islam is not the major obstacle . . . for democratization in Muslim societies,” declared Jocelyne Cesari, a Harvard and Georgetown University professor of Muslim politics, on January 27 at George Washington (GW) University. Cesari’s presentation of her book, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy, before an audience of about thirty failed to justify her overconfident contention that the Muslim world’s authoritarianism has no basis in Islamic doctrine.

Opening her discussion of Islamic religion and rights, Cesari warned correctly that “political Islam is not going to die.” Muslims worldwide view the separation of religion and politics “as something that doesn’t fit . . . their national identity or culture.” She added that, “Islam is . . . appealing as a form of political mobilization” as opposed to other “alternative ideologies” such as that of “socialists.”

Cesari noted how the “politicization of Islam” extended to “so-called secular states” within Muslim-majority societies. She described a “certain brand of Islam” as having a “hegemonic status” in the “state institution” and a “central element of the new national identity,” such that “being a citizen is also being a good Muslim.” Even post-Ottoman Turkey, having “removed Islam from the public space,” sought to “nationalize Islam” by controlling religious institutions, a “breakdown with the Islamic tradition” that established Muslim scholars’ independence from rulers.

She pointed out a similar “institutionalism of Islam” in the areas of education and law in states such as the oft-touted “moderate” Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Other than Turkey, these states “did not let go of sharia,” but “changed” or “reduced” it to domains such as family law. “You cannot learn calculus without having references to Islam” in Pakistani schools, she added. Saddam Hussein also “paid a lot of attention to” a “completely instrumentalized” Islam in which he “built a fiction” that “never, never touched upon” Shiite-Sunni differences.

Strangely, Cesari’s commentary on the omnipresence of political Islam did not impel her to question the compatibility of Islamic faith with freedom.   She asserted counterfactually that, for legitimating liberty under law, the “resources in the Islamic tradition are the same” as “in the Jewish tradition or the Christian tradition.” Contradicting Islamic history, she stated that, “nothing in Islam” demands an “Islamic state” and that “not even one part” of the “totalitarian project” in the current Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “existed historically.” “The idea that Islam subsumes everything is a modern . . . not a traditional idea,” she later elaborated. In her imaginary conception of Islam, the “role of religion is not about state institutions,” but “improving the common good of the people.”

In her analysis of numerous national school curricula, Cesari found a “very intolerant” Islam, but “not because the Islamic tradition is intolerant” with any uniform theological “genetic or DNA deficit.” “The problem,” she declared, “is the lack of the Islamic tradition.” Thus, Europeans seeking to counter Islamic radicalism “need more Islam.”

Much of Cesari’s skewed perception of Islam stemmed from a misunderstanding of the Ottoman Empire, the only Islamic regime she viewed positively. She praised the alleged “built-in . . . pluralism” that gave Muslim legal schools “thought provoking, critical” debate at a time of European Protestant-Catholic strife, a “pluralism” that, in fact, included brutal Ottoman oppression of Christians and other non-Muslims. Contrary to Islamic doctrine, she claimed that non-Muslims counted under the Ottomans as “part of the umma” or Muslim community. Invoking this mythology of Ottoman multicultural coexistence, she described the oppressive empire as “very decentralized” among its various millet semiautonomous yet subordinate religious communities.

Cesari’s own statements contradicted her advocacy of governmental “equidistance” among all faiths for majority-Muslim countries. A “Westernized . . . secularized elite,” she observed, often created polities “more state-nation” than “nation-state” in newly independent Muslim-majority countries throughout history. Pakistan’s founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, for example, represented a “very tiny Westernized, British-ized minority” that, ultimately, had to recognize that “Islam has to play a role in the new nation.” Jinnah, she added, “would have a nightmare to see what Pakistan has become.”

In a conversation following the lecture, Cesari, relying upon her umma analysis, rejected this reporter’s suggestion that states in the Muslim world are weak precisely because widely recognized Islamic doctrine demands allegiance from the faithful to Islam above all others. Thus, governments in Muslim countries must always maintain Islamic legitimacy or face upheaval, as did Iran’s deposed Shah in 1979. Governments can seek this Islamic mandate of heaven through a combination of winning the dedication of the devout or controlling religious institutions, as in Turkey, so as to suppress dissent.

Cesari’s combination of facts and wildly incorrect theories were redolent of cognitive dissonance. She perceived state-sponsored intolerant Islam, supposedly the result of theological misunderstanding, everywhere except in her mythical vision of the Ottoman Empire. Facts, however stubborn, cannot always overcome politically-correct, multicultural delusions.

Thankfully, various audience members retained a more critical view of Islam. One individual caustically described France, with its poorly assimilated Muslim immigrant population, as having been “invaded by a marauding force.” Cesari’s audience gives hope that such academics will not have the last word on Islam.

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project; follow him on twitter at @AEHarrod. He wrote this essay for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum

Security Expert: Our Southern Border Is A War Zone

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Center For Security Policy:

In Part 2 of The Daily Caller’s video interview with Clare Lopez, a senior official with the Center for Security Policy, she explains how the collapse of America’s southern border was a planned, willful refusal to maintain national sovereignty. Citing a January budget request from the Department of Homeland Security requesting funding based on the expectation of new flows of some 65,000 immigrants including children, Lopez thinks Americans, especially at the border, are threatened.

She discusses how narco-traffickers are flowing through, organized in columns at night in military formations guarded by sentinels and scouts, and armed with advanced weaponry. To her, the southern border is a war zone. As these undocumented immigrants are dispersed by air or bus throughout America, the threat widens, she reports.

To Lopez, President Obama is “consciously trying to diminish America’s leadership in the world.” She discusses the “great purge” that occurred early in the Obama administration where there was a comprehensive removal of training materials from departments and agencies who were engaged in ferreting out jihadi threats from radical Islamic terrorists. This purge, Lopez says in this video interview, “crippled and neutralized American national security interests.”

Discussing lessons learned from the Iraq war, Lopez says, “the U.S. never understood the “fundamental incompatibility between Islamic law and liberal western democracy, and in particular, the U.S. Constitution.” She continues, “Islamic law and Islam’s doctrine mandates inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, between men and women.” She ends by stating, “As long as a people remain enthralled to Islamic law, there cannot be genuine, true liberal Western style democracy.”

To view Part 1, Clare Lopez on Benghazi, click here.

Brigitte Gabriel and Zuhdi Jasser disagree on the idea of instilling Jeffersonian Democratic Ideals in the Middle East

In the first video they seem to agree on the nature of threat from the rise in Islamic terrorism and lack of moderate Muslim condemnation of it. In the second video however a point of contention arises over why moderates are not speaking out. Zuhdi believes it is due to a lack of committed, sustained American leadership to help Muslims “evolve into a Jeffersonian type Democracy” over a period of generations (nation building) “Brigitte is shaking her head “No”. She says you must first confront the ideology driving radicalization. Watch…

Brigitte Gabriel Explains the Rise of Jihad

 

Why has jihadist threat escalated in last 3 years?

 

 

The Mirage of Political Islam

Miguel Montaner

Miguel Montaner

America should help, not hinder, the secular democrats of the Muslim world.

By 

“You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

President Obama delivered these words in his Cairo speech, five years ago today, when he reached out to rehabilitate Islam and Islamic civilization in the eyes of the world — and redeem America in the eyes of the global Muslim community after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The Cairo speech was part of the road map based on the advice of the 2008 report “Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations With the Muslim World,” drafted by the leadership group on United States-Muslim engagement, composed of former senior government officials, both Democrat and Republican, as well as scholars (myself included), political analysts and international relations experts. All of us were concerned about the divide between America and the Muslim world, and we recommended that the new president deliver a major speech in a significant Islamic capital — Cairo, Istanbul, Jakarta or Rabat — directly addressing the Muslim world. That’s what Mr. Obama did at Cairo University on June 4, 2009.

Since then, Egypt has experienced the “Arab Spring,” followed first by the Muslim Brotherhood’s election to power, and then its downfall. If Mr. Obama’s message of 2009 had been conveyed again more forcefully to Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi, before he was ousted by the army last July, the hopes of Arabs and Muslims around the world after the Cairo speech might not have been as disappointed as they are today.

Sadly, every one of the “ingredients” for democracy listed by Mr. Obama was flouted by Mr. Morsi during his tumultuous year in office. He forced the passage of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 2012 constitution, issued edicts imposing himself over the judiciary, failed to provide protections to Coptic Christians, started vendettas against journalists and activists and treated the secular opposition as enemies to be excluded from political life. In short, the Egyptian president furthered the political aims of the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of the nation, exactly as Mr. Obama had cautioned against.

The result is that the Obama administration has found itself in an uncomfortable position. As the president remarked to the United Nations General Assembly last September, “America has been attacked by all sides of this internal conflict, simultaneously accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and engineering their removal of power.”

But if the administration had been more critical of the Brotherhood’s infringements of democratic rights, it might have avoided this situation. Instead, when asked about Mr. Morsi’s fiat of November 2012 that gave his regime extraordinary powers, a State Department spokesman responded, “this is an Egyptian political process.” Mr. Obama may have said that “elections alone do not equal democracy,” but America acted as though elections in Egypt were sufficient. In the words of America’s ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, “the fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won” — as if that settled the issue of the Brotherhood’s fitness for democratic rule.

Read more at New York Times

Mustapha Tlilia novelist and a research scholar at New York University, is the founder and director of the N.Y.U. Center for Dialogues: Islamic World – U.S. – the West.

Democracy Versus the Muslim Brotherhood

egypt-police-car-bombing-afpBreitbart, by :

Mr. Abdul Fattah Sisi has run a quiet election campaign. The former Egyptian general and Minister of Defense rose to prominence after siding with ​the protest by ​33 million ​​Egyptian​s​​​​ that toppled the M​​uslim Brotherhood​ rule of Muhammad Morsi. ​Sisi​ is now expected to be elected to t​he​ nation’s highest office.

Though campaign posters for Sisi are common, he himself has made few public appearances, with several events canceled over security concerns stemming from Islamist militants affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al ​Qaeda. This insecurity is not unfamiliar to Egyptians; an assassin affiliated with the Brotherhood killed President Anwar Sadat in 1981 for the crime of making peace with Israel.

While some decry the interim government’s heavy-handed approach towards the Brotherhood, the MB have made it very difficult for Egypt to progress toward democracy. ​Sisi is seen by many in Egypt as a hero for having rescued the nation from the Muslim Brotherhood and responding to the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked terrorists responsible for numerous attacks since Morsi was removed. A common refrain heard among Egyptians is that the Muslim Brotherhood were not interested in supporting the nation of Egypt but instead establishing a theocractic caliphate.

Sisi is expected to easily win against Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist candidate who favors a strong state role in the Egyptian economy. Expat voting ended May 19th, with Sisi winning 94.5% of votes cast. The election will be held over May 26th and 27th, and results are expected between June 1st and 3rd. The government has offered to release all but 300 Muslim Brotherhood members from prison in exchange for ​the Brotherhood’s ​participation in the democratic process, but the Islamist movement continues to demand the reinstatement of Morsi and the execution of generals and politicians responsible for their removal from power, all while embracing a rhetoric of jihad and martyrdom.

Instead of participating in a democracy that leaves space for Christians and non-Islamist Egyptian Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideological affiliates have embraced violence, not merely violent rhetoric. On Monday, May 19, three policemen were killed by gunmen just outside Al ​Azhar University, one of the world’s oldest ​Muslim ​institutions of learning ​and the most important Sunni theological authority.​

Last Saturday four people were injured by an explosive device set off at a rally for Sisi in the Ezbet El-Nakhl neighborhood of Cairo, one of Cairo’s poorer, largely Christian districts, ​and earlier this month ​Sisi announced that two attempts on his life had been stopped.

Sisi has not been the only target. Egypt’s Interior Minister announced Wednesday that the country had foiled several high-level assassination plots organized by the Brotherhood, including attempts to kill not only the interim president, but the Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, and several high-ranking members of Egypt’s police force. The greatest test of Egypt’s domestic security since the Islamists were​​ deposed with the support of the population will come ​​this week as the ancient country of Egypt attempts its second ever f​ree election.​

​The Council for Global Security is a Washington-based​​​ non-profit organization that support democracy, prosperity and the protection of minorities in the in the Middle East.

The Blair Doctrine

ipeI-450x313by Daniel Greenfield:

Tony Blair’s latest speech on Islam is significant as much for what it doesn’t mention as for what it does. Not long ago, a speech of this sort would have been rich with contrasts between dictatorship and democracy. Democracy, the audience would have been told solemnly, equals freedom and modernity.

Instead Blair mentions the word ‘democracy’ only three times.

The first time he’s referring to Israel and the second time he disavows the entire program of dropping elections on Muslim countries and expecting their populations to make the right choices. Instead he argues,

“Democracy cannot function except as a way of thinking as well as voting. You put your view; you may lose; you try to win next time; or you win but you accept that you may lose next time. That is not the way that the Islamist ideology works.”

This is very much a post-Arab Spring speech and though he offers obligatory praise of that over-hyped phenomenon, the lessons he has drawn from its failure make for a changed perspective.

How changed? Blair endorses the Egyptian popular overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and urges support for the new government within the larger context of “supporting and assisting” those who take on “Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood”.

That’s an impossible position in Washington D.C., but it emerges naturally out of an understanding that democracy isn’t enough and that an Islamist political victory inherently dismantles democracy.

“Islamist ideology”, Blair says, has an “exclusivist” ultimate goal, which is “not a society which someone else can change after winning an election”. The Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups, he says, are both part of an “overall ideology” in which “such extremism can take root”. They are all totalitarian group that differ on “how to achieve the goals of Islamism” rather than on “what those goals are.”

Democracy is downright destructive in a political landscape in which Islamic political forces compete. Instead Blair’s new doctrine replaces democracy with religious freedom.

The former British Prime Minister calls for supporting “the principles of religious freedom and open, rule based economies.  It means helping those countries whose people wish to embrace those principles to achieve them. Where there has been revolution, we should be on the side of those who support those principles and opposed to those who would thwart them.”

That position, Blair continues, leads him to support the Egyptian uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood and even interim Assad rule until a final agreement is concluded.

While that may not seem like much, imagine the last 15 years if the obsession with using democracy to replace dictatorships had instead been turned to promoting religious freedom at the expense of Islamic rule. Imagine if we made tolerance for Christians and other religious minorities into the defining line instead of the meaningless one of holding majority rule Muslim elections.

The Blair Doctrine surgically replaces democracy with religious freedom while leaving the larger worldview so common in European and American political circles untouched so that it does not seem like a shift, but a natural adaptation to the failures of the Arab Spring.

Blair cannot and will not say that the problem with democracy in countries with an Islamic majority is the tyranny of the majority, nor does he ever use the word ‘secularism’, and his rhetoric is largely dependent on assumptions made in the aftermath of the Cold War by a comfortable West.

He speaks positively of globalization, without conceding that the UK has a terrorism crisis largely because of it. He briefly mentions the export of ‘radicalism’ from the Middle East, but aside from the Muslim Brotherhood’s growing power in Europe, he doesn’t elaborate.

To a multicultural left that already embraces Burkas and FGM, his speech is rage fodder. But while Blair may have helped turn Islam into a problem in the UK, it’s his foes on the left who have championed its worst aspects.

Tony Blair is no Geert Wilders and the UK’s problem with Islam is in no small part of his making due to his government’s immigration policies, but revolutionary ideas are more likely to be accepted from thoroughly establishment sources.

In his speech, Blair argues that reactionary Islamic rule is the problem, rather than mere tyranny. It’s a shift that invalidates the entire political Islam movement behind the Arab Spring. And for all the many ways that he covers his tracks, subdividing Islam from Islamism, he does hold a nearly firm line on Islamic rule. That is a rarity in a world order which had come to embrace political Islam as the future.

Read more at Front Page

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