Hey, now. That’s Islamophobe talk. Or “racist” talk. Do these comments make Essam Abdallah a “racist,” or do they make him an “Islamophobe?” Or can it be both? Inquiring minds want to know. “Egyptian Liberal Slams American Islamists,” from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, February 16:
The most powerful oppressors of liberal Muslims in modern times aren’t Arab dictators or armies, according to Essam Abdallah, an Egyptian liberal intellectual. Abdallah, who teaches at Ain Shams University in Cairo, writes that the main threats today emanate from “Islamist lobbies” such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
Months into the “Arab Spring” revolutions that swept across the Middle East last year, it became apparent “that the Western powers, and the Obama Administration have put their support behind the new authoritarians” of the Middle East, Abdallah writes. Islamists like the Ennadha Party in Tunisia, the Muslim Brotherhood, and some members of Libya’s ruling Transitional National Council “have been systematically supported by Washington at the expense of real liberal and secular forces.”
In Washington, the two main forces of the “Islamist lobby” are “Muslim Brotherhood [Ikhwan] fronts” (which Abdallah defines as CAIR, MPAC and the Islamic Society of North America) and a “pro-Iranian lobby” spearheaded by NIAC.
Since the early 1990s, CAIR and its allies “have attacked Copts, Southern Sudanese, Lebanese, Syrian reformers, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Muslim dissidents in the United States,” he writes. “The Ikhwan of America demonized any publication, book, article, or interview in the national media or local press raising the issue of secular freedoms in the Middle East.”
During the 1990s and continuing into the years after 9/11, Middle East dictators joined Islamists in working to crush supporters of liberal democracy. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak; Syria’s ruling Assad family; Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi; Sudanese ruler Omar Bashir and “Khomeinist regimes” in Iran “fully supported the so-called Islamophobia campaign waged by CAIR and its Iranian counterpart NIAC against dissidents calling for secular democracy in the region,” Abdallah adds. “The dissidents were accused of being pro-Western by both the Islamists and the dictators.”
Today, the Islamist networks are targeting Walid Phares, whose 2010 book “The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East” predicted the reform campaigns which swept across the region last year. “As a freedom activist from the Middle East, Phares is a force driving for a strategic change in U.S. foreign policy towards supporting secular democracies in the region,” Abdallah concludes.
Abdallah’s full article can be found here. In part, he says:
[…] Months into the Arab Spring, we realized that the Western powers, and the Obama Administration have put their support behind the new authoritarians, those who are claiming they will be brought to power via the votes of the people. Well, it is not quite so.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Nahda of Tunisia, the Justice Party of Morocco and the Islamist militias in Libya’s Transitional National Council have been systematically supported by Washington at the expense of real liberal and secular forces. We saw day by day how the White House guided carefully the statements and the actions of the US and the State Department followed through to give all the chances to the Islamists and almost no chances to the secular and revolutionary youth. We will come back to detail these diplomatic and financial maneuvers which are giving victory to the fundamentalists while the seculars and progressives are going to be smashed by the forthcoming regimes.
In the US, there are interests that determine foreign policy. And there are lobbies that put pressure to get their objectives met in foreign policy. One of the most powerful lobbies in America under the Obama Administration is the Muslim Brotherhood greater lobby, which has been in action for many years. This lobby has secured many operatives inside the Administration and has been successful in directing US policy towards the Arab world. Among leading advisors sympathetic to the Ikhwan is Daliah Mogahed (Mujahid) and her associate, Georgetown Professor John Esposito. Just as shocking, there is also a pro-Iranian lobby that has been influencing US policy towards Iran and Hezbollah in the region. […]
Since the 1990s CAIR and its allies have attacked Copts, Southern Sudanese, Lebanese, Syrian reformers, Assyrians and Chaldeans, and Muslim dissidents in the United States. The Ikhwan of America demonized any publication, book, article, or interview in the national media or local press raising the issue of secular freedoms in the Middle East. The Islamists wanted to eliminate the liberal cause in the Arab world and replace it with the cause of the Islamists. What is also shocking is that CAIR and its allies stood by the oppressive regimes and visited them, claiming they speak on behalf of the peoples. CAIR and the Brotherhood fronts in America destroyed systematically every project that would have defended the seculars and liberals originating from the Middle East. The notorious and well-funded Islamists of the US allowed no book, documentary, or show on the liberals in Arab civil societies to see the light….