The Brotherhood “works to dissuade the Muslims from violence, instead channeling them into politics and charitable activities,” said Robert S. Leiken, director of the Immigration and National Security Program at The Nixon Center in a recent article in Foreign Affairs, a publication of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. –from this Dallas Morning News article
That sudden scholar of Islam, Robert Leiken, could cheerfully explain his new “expertise” about the Ikhwan and everything to do with Islam the way that candid crook did in the late nineteenth century, Jay Gould or someone of that railroad-magnate or Tammany ilk: “I seen my opportunities, and I took ’em.”
That’s Leiken. A presto-chango artist, he went from being an “expert” on Latin America to becoming a great “expert” on How To Deal With Islam. Nothing he has written so far shows a deep familiarity, or any familiarity at all, with the texts or tenets of Islam. Nothing he has written so far shows any deep familiarity, or any familiarity at all, with the 1350-year history of Jihad-conquest and of the subsequent subjugation of non-Muslims (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and many smaller groups), a conquest and subjugation which faithfully put into practice the doctrines of Islam, derived from Qur’an, Hadith, and sira, as further discussed by Qur’anic commentators and jurisconsults, resulting in a system of codification, or Holy Law of Islam (i.e., the Shari’a).
Here’s something from the New York Sun, June 20, 2007. Read it and weep:
Today the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research will host a meeting with other representatives of the intelligence community to discuss opening more formal channels to the brothers. Earlier this year, the National Intelligence Council received a paper it had commissioned on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood by a scholar at the Nixon Center, Robert Leiken, who is invited to the State Department meeting today to present the case for engagement. On April 7, congressional leaders such as Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic whip, attended a reception where some representatives of the brothers were present. The reception was hosted at the residence in Cairo of the American ambassador to Egypt, Francis Ricciardone, a decision that indicates a change in policy…
A State Department spokesman for the Bureau of Near East Affairs, David Foley, confirmed the meeting Wednesday to discuss a new approach to the Muslim Brotherhood. “We do these seminars, they help inform the policy making process. I am not suggesting someone would decide on a new policy on the Muslim Brotherhood as a result of this,” he said. “This is the kind of consultations we often do. When there are alternative views, let’s hear both sides. We are certainly willing to listen to voices from the outside.”
Making the case today for outreach is Mr. Leiken, who co-authored with Steve Brooke a paper for the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs titled, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood.” That paper argues that Ikhwan has drawn contempt from violent Islamists such as Al Qaeda for its general disavowal of armed struggle. Tracing its history to its founding, the paper says the group today, particularly in Egypt, is genuine in its desire to participate in democratic politics.
Mr. Leiken said yesterday that there are two reasons why America should begin to rethink its prohibition of meeting with the brothers. “A new policy begins to combat some of our isolation in the Muslim world. I see the Muslim brotherhood, particularly in Egypt, as having what the communists used to call a two-line struggle, between moderate and dogmatic factions. Our outreach would help the moderates. That would strengthen those forces who are most willing to recognize the fact of Israel’s existence and more democratic.”
Mr. Leiken is a Harvard graduate and longtime expert on Latin America who broke with the hard left in the 1980s to oppose the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and who became associated with Social Democrats such as Penn Kemble and Joshua Muravchick. He said he thinks diplomacy with Ikhwan could help us help them to moderate Hamas. “It is conceivable that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, aware Gaza could serve as an index, will try use its influence to get Hamas to be constructive,” he said. The Egyptian government has used the Muslim Brothers for at least 10 years as a back channel to Hamas.
Mr. Leiken’s Foreign Affairs paper and classified study for the National Intelligence Council has gotten the attention of senior National Security Council officials and Secretary of State Rice, according to two administration officials…
Did you read it? And did you weep? If you didn’t, never mind. I wept tears of fury and laughter at the sheer farce of it all, enough tears — a “portable and compendious ocean” of them — enough for me, for you, for everyone who read the damn thing.
Robert Leiken. The “expert.” The Ikhwan. State Department officials said to be Greatly Impressed. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice….
Say — do I wake, or sleep?