Oh look! Here’s an article from the Hon Daniel Levy in Foreign Policy.
One cannot support participatory democratic politics in the Arab world while being totally allergic to the role that democratic Islamists will play. These movements are part of the legitimate political mix.
Absolutely. Well said.
They are more often than not at loggerheads with Al Qaeda, and far from being Al Qaeda-lite, they are frequently the most effective bulwark against Al Qaeda-style extremism.
Oh dear. Oh dear me. How very stupid.
If he’d read Harry’s Place before writing this article, he’d have seen this, from past General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akef:
بمناسبة المقاومة والجهاد.. هل تعتبر أسامة بن لادن إرهابيًا أم مجاهدًا إسلاميًا؟
بكل تأكيد مجاهد، وأنا لا اشك في صدقه في مقاومة الاحتلال، تقربًا إلى الله عز وجل.
Question: Regarding resistance and jihad…do you consider Osama Bin Laden a terrorist or an Islamic Mujahid?
Akef: Certainly, a mujahid, and I have no doubt in his sincerity in resisting the occupation, drawing closer to God Almighty.
And here is the new Muslim Brotherhood General Guide, Muhammad Badi:
[The Arab and Muslim regimes] are disregarding Allah’s commandment to wage jihad for His sake with [their] money and [their] lives, so that Allah’s word will reign supreme and the infidels’ word will be inferior…
“Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”
Back to the Hon Daniel Levy:
Nathan Brown, an expert on Islamist parties, has warned against US policymakers being misled by a tendency towards “Ikwanophobia” (ikwan is Arabic for the Muslim Brothers’ movement)
Right, so now the problem is Ikwanophobia? The Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate and conservative movement? It is a bulwark against Al Qaeda? This is crazy talk! Who on EARTH can the Hon Daniel Levy have been talking to?
habibi adds: on a related theme, here is Peter Oborne in The Spectator on some of his favourite nutters:
Critics of this analysis argue that political Islam, far from being an escalator to terrorist violence, plays an important role in preventing it. The East London mosque, for instance, is accused by its critics of hosting apologists for terror. On the contrary, say its defenders, it is an important community centre, very much part of David Cameron’s Big Society. Certainly unorthodox views are expressed, but this is because it plays an important role in enabling Muslims to vent their anger and frustrations.
Up the road from where I live in Highbury, north London, is the North London Central Park mosque (or Finsbury Park Mosque as it used to be known). For years it was an unpleasant and dangerous place because it had fallen under the control of Abu Hamza and a group of thuggish al-Qa’eda apologists. Then one day we woke up and Abu Hamza was gone. It was not the British state which dislodged him, but his Muslim congregation. I understand that many of them are political Islamists who have sympathies with Hamas – extremists with no place in Britain according to Michael Gove and the Quilliam Foundation. Life is much better now, but the Quilliam memorandum nevertheless damns our local mosque as one of its ‘entry-level Islamist groups’.
According to the jungle drums in Whitehall, the neoconservatives have won and David Cameron will shortly be defining the terms of their victory in a speech, billed to address the twin issues of ‘security and extremism’. Before he speaks, I hope that the prime minister will consider this: Baroness Warsi was not the only one excluded from the Global Peace and Unity Conference last October. Also stranded outside were 30 or so supporters of al-Qa’eda sympathiser Anjem Choudary of the now proscribed al-Muhajiroun. They stood outside in the cold and wet, urging ordinary, law-abiding Muslims not to enter because to engage with British democracy was haram – forbidden.
Hamas? No problem! Life is much better now!
As for the “bulwark” thesis, oh yes, for one example, the East London Mosque and British ikhwanis in the shape of the Muslim Association of Britain did absolutely sterling work against al Qaeda preacher and recruiter Anwar al Awlaki when he lived in the UK, didn’t they. Then they did even more to stop Awlaki after he left these shores to join his jihadi brothers in Yemen. Of course they did.
Why don’t Levy and Oborne get together to make a documentary on the dangerous idiocy of “ikhwanophobia”?