Saturday, October 28, 2006

NYU FORUM ON MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD Islam's Useful Idiots Impugn Truthteller

Dear friend,

I notice that you published a report of the meeting last week at NYU on the Moslem Brotherhood. Your report is, unfortunately, full of inaccuracies. I was one of the platform speakers and you will find below my speech as it was delivered. Please compare it against the spiteful and ill-written account from your correspondent. I would be very happy for you to publish it in its present form or to reply to the ludicrous comments in your article. Free speech anyone? Letter here

This is what the enemy does. This is their MO. They lie. It echoes ex-Nazi Hilmar von Campe foreboding remarks at the Walid Shoebat event at Columbia here (audio here) who now lives in Alabama. He was 7 years old in 1933 when the Nazis came to power. He reminded the audience of Josef Goebbels, their chief liar, and the constant repetition of lies, lies and more lies that infected the national consciousness. Constant rhetoric.

Alyssa A. Lappen, Senior Fellow at the American Center for Democracy, covered the New York University Center for Law and Security forum on the Muslim Brotherhood on Oct. 19 for American Thinker here. Read it all before you continue.

The international press cried foul on October 19 after the U.S. denied a visa to a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader. Newsweek, Reuters, ABC News, The National Interest and other media complained that the “moderate” Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) founder Kamal Helbawy was barred from appearing at New York University’s Center for Law and Security. The U.S. also barred entry to Egyptian doctor and MB “guidance counsel” Abd El Monem Abo El Fotouh, who was scheduled to speak in the same discussion on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Helbawy claims to be “moderate.” The U.S. should not prevent “moderates from talking and discussing,” Helbawy stated after being pulled off his flight. El Fotouh is purportedly also temperate.

“At the end of the day, [Islam and the West] have a set of common humanist values: justice, freedom, human rights and democracy,”

he told The Economist in September 2003. Arabists consider El Fotouh “one of the brightest stars of the MB’s so-called “middle generation.”

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t explain their actions. One can only surmise—and applaud.
Today, the MB still calls for “Building the Muslim state…Building the Khilafa…Mastering the world with Islam.”

MB spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi, an Egyptian member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, likewise calls for an Islamic conquest of Europe (starting with Rome and Italy). “[T]he patch of the Muslim state will expand to cover the whole earth....,” he writes. Qaradawi also praises suicide bombing, readily accepts wife beating and calls upon Muslim women to detonate themselves in order to kill Jews.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, on Oct. 19, the Open Forum on The Muslim Brotherhood nevertheless praised Helbawy and El Fotouh as peaceful moderates, and their organization as a peaceful, just, and moderating influence on Middle East and global politics. Their absence was yet another strike against the Bush administration, executive director Karen Greenberg stated. “This center tries to educate one another, policy makers and the public,” she added—a job Greenberg apparently considers more important than public security.

Former Sunday Times senior reporter Nick Fielding then took the floor. He denied the risks the MB poses to the West. Helbawy is “a wonderful human being,” he stated, adding that the 2005 election of 22 Muslim Brothers to Egypt’s parliament-and the Hamas victory in the January 2006 Palestinian Authority votewere cause for celebration. Fielding objected only to “the reward” Muslims received for their free elections-”the silence of the U.S. State Department in the face of Egyptian government abuse,” and the U.S. and international boycott of the Hamas-controlled PA.

The MB is “reformist,” according to Fielding. It provides “the best possibility in the Middle East of leaders who can make deals and stick to them,” he stated, noting their solid political backing in Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria Kuwait and Yemen. The MB, he insisted, has “for the past 30 years…[consistently] followed a non violent” path. The brotherhood’s only problem, Fielding claimed, is its ostracization by such analysts as “The Counterterrorism blog,” whose data he derided.

True democracy would never take root in the Middle East, Fielding predicted. It’s “about as likely as Shari’a being adopted in Washington D.C.,” he joked.

Since then, Lappen has advised me that American Thinker has received complaints from both Mr. Debat and Mr. Fielding as to her representations of their comments.

Lappen's respective replies to Mr. Debat and Mr. Fielding were published yesterday here , and today, here. Go over to American Thinker and read them both

Dear Editor—

It is interesting, and ironic, that both Mr. Debat and Mr. Fielding accuse me of leveraging their respective comments on the Muslim Brotherhood for political gain, when their presentations were both so blatantly political.

Indeed, an altered, and shorter, version of Mr. Fielding’s ostensibly neutral Oct. 19 analysis has been posted at the “official” Ikhwan website. Presumably, he sent them this text. In any case, the “official” Brotherhood apparently views Mr. Fielding’s remarks as a political endorsement—similar to Democracy Now’s far-left political “analysis” of the MB’s purportedly softening line.

Everything on which I quoted Mr. Fielding, he said.

Unfortunately, Mr. Fielding’s supposed “speech as it was delivered” is neither complete nor a precise duplicate of his remarks. Possibly, the text he provided to American Thinker and the “official” Ikhwan website served as his outline. In any case, in his delivered remarks, Mr. Fielding strayed from the above-cited text, and added many other points besides. Certain of Mr. Fielding’s quoted statements hailed from the question and answer period, which the above text also excludes.

And some of those remarks—unaccountably not contained in the text of Mr. Fielding’s “speech as it was delivered”— were also cited elsewhere. Mr. Fielding not only described senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) founder Kamal Helbawy as a “wonderful human being,” (as I reported), but also as a “voice of reason,” as he was quoted in the New York Post. The New York Sun likewise reported on the panel’s praise for the MB and its absent speakers.

But Mr. Fielding and Mr. Debat should not pretend to be vindicated by any audio tape of the event, to be posted on the Center’s website( as promised on Oct. 25) “before the end of the year at the latest”—unless it is complete and unedited. But that may not be in the cards. Asked if the Center would post the entire session, including the question and answer period, a spokesman stated, “We are considering editing the content,” a process that could easily also exclude many controversial remarks that I quoted from the respective experts. The excuse is time limitation, although streaming digital MP3 downloads are not limited by time. Who is dishonest now?

In another comment not documented above, Mr. Fielding stated, “Saudi Arabia has never adopted the program of the Muslim Brotherhood.” On this point, moderator Peter Bergen challenged him, noting that Saudi Arabia opened its arms to the MB. Indeed, as I have previously reported with Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, the kingdom granted the MB business monopolies, while King Saud funded their establishment of the Islamic University in Medina.

Any Muslim Brotherhood support for terrorism, Mr. Fielding later contended, springs from “wayward connections.” Reports of MB terror financing result from “over imaginative conclusions about how money moves,” he argued. Mr. Fielding admitted that there are “a number of cases where links [can be] seen,” yet he also avowed that the guilty parties in such instances most likely were only “individuals involved.” He concluded, “the Muslim Brotherhood is not a jihadist organization or bent on the destruction of the West.”

The question of whether Islam could politically dominate Europe within a few decades, Mr. Fielding dismissed as “garbage”—“It’s just not true,” he said. Citing Britain as a case in point, he estimated its current Muslim population at “less than two million.” While first generation migrants have a high birth rate, Mr. Fielding said that, barring “mass conversion,” Britain will never be politically ruled by Islam—a point that the audience greeted with laughter.

Mr. Fielding stated that “sometimes the Muslim Brotherhood feels like the Masons,” suggesting a parallel between the Islamist MB and the Freemasons, whose spiritual Masonic Order has been targeted by unfounded conspiracy theories and persecuted by totalitarian regimes. The MB undeniably backs jihad, terror and plans for global domination; the Masons, by contrast, merely open their doors to those interested in joining.

Finally, Mr. Fielding indeed blamed the West’s refusal to recognize Shari’a law in Islamic countries as a “reason for militancy.” He added, in citing another scholar, that countering the spread of jihad organizations requires the West “to address the grievances”—many of them legitimate—of the jihadist movement. Furthermore, Mr Fielding stated—another political comment—that the Muslim Brotherhood should be “supported as strongly as possible” by the West.

If these quotations sound “ludicrous” to Mr. Fielding, I would not disagree. Therefore, he should be more careful when making statements in public forums.

Lappen adds in her correspondence to me [emphasis mine]; Go here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) denied completely any involvement in the current dispute caused by a group of Somali Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, U.S.A, who are refusing to pick up drunk passengers or those carrying alcoholic beverages claiming that Islam prohibits them from driving passengers with Alcohol.
Dr. Mohamed Habib, the first Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, affirmed that Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do whatsoever with what these Muslim cab drivers believe or view mistakenly as religious decree. Dr. Habib described the cabbies' position as “absurd” and added “Muslims must respect and comply with the laws and regulations of the countries they live in and be a good example for their fellow citizens”
Dr. Habib stated that these drivers are free to believe in whatever they think is right or wrong, however, he strongly condemned them for “trying to impose their own personal believes on society” and stated that those drivers must transport passengers anywhere, “those who are refusing to transport certain passengers are indeed breaking the laws and the regulations sanctioned by the local authorities which prohibit discrimination in any form or shape. “These drivers are ought to look for a different type of work which they feel more comfortable with and which can accommodate their own personal believes without causing hardships for others”. The cab drivers had requested that dispatchers exempt them to pick up passengers heading to liquor stores and bars.
Dr. Habib also stated that these cabbies by transporting drunk passengers are indeed protecting society had these passengers driven their own cars and gotten into accidents that might result into the loss of innocent lives.
Meanwhile, Dr. Habib praised the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which regulates taxi service at the airport, for its patience while for two years has been discussing this issue with cab drivers trying to accommodate them. The commission had earlier agreed to let cabbies use lights on top of the cabs to identify drivers who won't transport alcohol so airport employees could direct passengers with alcohol to a willing driver, but later dropped that proposal after many Muslims themselves denounced the cabbies position.
Several organizations and media outlets in the U.S, driven by their own hatred towards the Muslim Brotherhood, have been engaging in a smear campaign and trying disparately to link the Muslim Brotherhood to the current controversy, which the MB has nothing to do with it. These laughable and despicable reports have capitalized on the controversy they helped to create in the first place and frantically panicked about what they called “the Muslim Brotherhood project to islamize the U.S by imposing the Sharia Law on Americans”, which is utterly ridiculous.
The Muslim Brotherhood views and opinions can only be obtained through its official channels and should not be held responsible for other individuals or entities that might try to associate themselves with the group.
The Muslim Brotherhood follows and promotes a moderate interpretation of Islam, and do not condone radical views. In the contrary, the MB has been always a staunch advocate of tolerance and coexistence among Muslims and people of other religions or cultures.

About Ikhwanweb:

IKhwanweb is the Muslim Brotherhood's only official English web site. The Main office is located in London, although Ikhwanweb has correspondents in most countries. Our staff is exclusively made of volunteers and stretched over the five continents.
The Muslim Brotherhood opinions and views can be found under the sections of MB statements and MB opinions, in addition to the Editorial Message.
Items posted under "other views" are usually different from these of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ikhwanweb does not censor any articles or comments but has the right only to remove any inappropriate words that defy public taste
Ikhwanweb is not a news website, although we report news that matter to the Muslim Brotherhood's cause. Our main misson is to present the Muslim Brotherhood vision right from the source and rebut misonceptions about the movement in western societies. We value debate on the issues and we welcome constructive criticism.