A British former intelligence official is telling us that we’re paying too much attention to Al-Qaeda, and ought to be focusing on global warming instead. And Mahdi ‘Akef of the Ikhwan, coming from the other side of this great conflict, is telling us that Al-Qaeda doesn’t even exist.
I think both these guys have a point, but it’s not the point they were trying to make. The Al-Qaeda threat has been exaggerated, and the global jihad threat of which Al-Qaeda is only a part, and of which the Muslim Brotherhood itself is also a part, has been virtually ignored. Few realize that Israel faces a mortal threat from people who hold the same ideology as that held by those who attacked us on 9/11 (note, also, ‘Akef’s remarks about “Palestine”). Almost no one realizes what those same ideologues are doing right now in Europe, and in America as well, without setting off a single bomb.
“Muslim Brotherhood Leader Sheikh Mahdi ‘Akef: We Are Ready to Send 10,000 Men to Palestine, But Egyptian Government Should Arm Them; There’s No Such Thing as Al-Qaeda — The Americans Made It Up,” from MEMRI (thanks to Twostellas):
The following are excerpts from an interview with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt leader Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef, which aired on Al-Hiwar TV on November 30, 2007.
Â· To view the clip of this interview, visit: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1627.htm.
Â· To view MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 409 “Public Debate on the Political Platform of the Planned Muslim Brotherhood Party in Egypt,”visit:
Â· To view the Muslim Brotherhood MEMRI TV page, visit: www.memritv.org/subject/en/345.htm.
The following is the Al-Hiwar interview:
Interviewer: “During the Israeli aggression against Lebanon, you said that the Muslim Brotherhood was prepared to arm 10,000 young men, and to send them to Lebanon in order to support the resistance. Does this apply to Palestine too?”
‘Akef: “This applies to any country under occupation. One of the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood is to rid the Arab and Islamic nation of any foreign rule. The Muslim Brotherhood must support all the forces of resistance in the Arab and Islamic world.”
Interviewer: “From where will they get the weapons?”
‘Akef: “I don’t know. I was talking about men, not weapons. I said we would recruit 10,000 men…”
Interviewer: “Armed men…”
‘Akef: “No, you added the word ‘armed.’ The government must arm these people. When I fought in Palestine, the government knew about it. The government trained and armed us. As you well know, the military commanders worked with the Muslim Brotherhood. When we fought the English in 1951 in the [Suez] Canal, the government knew about it. We would undergo weapons training within [Al-Azhar] University.”
Interviewer: “There are Sunnis, members of Al-Qaeda, who kill civilians in the name of Islam. There are Shi’ites who kill Sunnis in the name of Islam…”
‘Akef: “All these things are American Zionist tricks. The Shi’ites attack one another, the Sunnis attack one another, and the Sh’iites attack the Sunnis. But the Muslim Brotherhood has a principle, which I declared from day one: The Shi’ites and Sunnis are brothers.”
‘Akef: “I’d like to go back to the issue of Al-Qaeda. There is no such thing as Al-Qaeda. This is an American invention, so that they will have something to fight for…”
Interviewer: “What about Osama bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and the Islamic State of Iraq?”
‘Akef: “When one man, or two or three, fight this tyrannical global superpower – is it worth anything?”
Interviewer: “Thousands have carried out attacks in the Iraq in the name of Al-Qaeda…”
‘Akef: “That is a lie. Who says so?”
Interviewer: “They do.”
‘Akef: “No, the Americans and their collaborators say this.”
Interviewer: “But they claim responsibility for these attacks…”
‘Akef: “Al-Qaeda has an ideology, which makes them…”
Interviewer: “You described it once as a perverted ideology.”
‘Akef: “Of course it is. It is a perverted ideology, which employs methods that do not please Allah. How can I kill a Muslim when this is forbidden?”
A non-Muslim? Sure. Fire away.