In FrontPage this morning I offer some background on the Muslim Brotherhood:
Game over: Barack Obama has endorsed a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new, post-Mubarak government for Egypt.
This should come as no surprise. Obama has behaved consistently all along, from his refusal to back the protesters in Iran, who were demonstrating against an Islamic Republic, to his backing of these protesters in Egypt, to whom he has just given a green light to establish a government that, given numerous historical precedents, will likely be the precursor to an Islamic Republic.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that a post-Mubarak Egyptian ruling group “has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.”
Robert Malley, an Obama adviser and Mideast negotiator for Bill Clinton, explained that Obama’s expression of willingness to see the Brotherhood as part of a ruling coalition in Egypt was a “pretty clear sign that the U.S. isn’t going to advocate a narrow form of pluralism, but a broad one.”
In The Post-American Presidency, Pamela Geller and I profile Robert Malley, Samantha Power, and other fierce foes of Israel in the Obama Administration. In light of the information we reveal in the book, the Administration’s stance toward the Muslim Brotherhood comes as no surprise. But the ideology and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood will come as a surprise to most Americans, especially now that the mainstream media is retailing numerous soothing falsehoods about the group. Thus they warrant a closer look.
Contrary to claims that it is a moderate organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually the prototypical Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia group of the modern age. Founded by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood emerged as a response to colonialism and Western influence in the Islamic world. Al-Banna wrote that “a wave of dissolution which undermined all firm beliefs was engulfing Egypt in the name of intellectual emancipation. This trend attacked the morals, deeds and virtues under the pretext of personal freedom. Nothing could stand against this powerful and tyrannical stream of disbelief and permissiveness that was sweeping our country.” His remedy? Restoration of Islamic law as the ruling principle of governance.
Al-Banna consequently decried Kemal Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate in secular Turkey, which he complained separated “the state from religion in a country which was until recently the site of the Commander of the Faithful.” Al-Banna characterized it as just part of a larger “Western invasion which was armed and equipped with all [the] destructive influences of money, wealth, prestige, ostentation, power and means of propaganda.”
Al-Banna’s Brotherhood had a deeply spiritual character from its beginning, but it didn’t combat the “Western invasion” with just words and prayers. In a 1928 article al-Banna decried the complacency of the Egyptian elite: “What catastrophe has befallen the souls of the reformers and the spirit of the leaders?…What calamity has made them prefer this life to the thereafter [sic]? What has made them…consider the way of struggle [sabil al-jihad] too rough and difficult?” When the Brotherhood was criticized for being a political group in the guise of a religious one, al-Banna met the challenge head-on:
We summon you to Islam, the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam, and if this smacks of “politics” in your eyes, then it is our policy. And if the one summoning you to these principles is a “politician,” then we are the most respectable of men, God be praised, in politics . . . Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world. . . . We believe that Islam is an all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order.…