|Israel swings in Tahrir Square|
Reminding us that the Brotherhood still cleaves to the motto "Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope" the article laments
"how few professors of Middle East studies at American or European universities seem able or willing to grasp the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, let alone display any interest in its visceral anti-Westernism or ferocious anti-Semitism. Today, very few academics seek to elucidate its core ideology or long-term goals, let alone acknowledge their incompatibility with liberal democracy, human rights, or a stable world order. Instead, the general consensus was that overthrowing Mubarak would lead to pluralistic democracy with the Muslim Brothers pursuing a benignly constructive role. Typically, fundamentalist attitudes to Egypt’s Jews and Christians, or to the anti-Semitic legacy, were either whitewashed or simply ignored. ...."Regarding its attitude to Jews and Israel, he observes:
"Anti-Semitism and conspiracy-mongering have, of course, been part of Egypt’s political discourse ever since the military coup that brought Nasir to power almost sixty years ago.... But the anti- Jewish conspiracy theories of the Brotherhood and Egyptian preachers are in a class of their own. In an interview on ‘al-Rahma TV’ (26 October 2011), the virulently anti-Semitic cleric Amin al-Ansari even claimed that Jews manipulate women in order to maintain their control of the world, citing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and adding: “... when Zionism and Judaism benefit, it means the decline not only of Muslim women, but of humanity as a whole.”
Such Muslim concern for women evidently did not extend to the chief correspondent for CBS News, the non-Jewish American reporter Lara Logan. In February 2011, she was beaten and raped in broad daylight by a frenzied throng of Egyptian men in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, who were screaming “Jew! Jew!” even as they assaulted her. This shocking event (studiously ignored by the ‘New York Times’ print edition [and of course by the BBC]) was virtually contemporaneous with the return of Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the most celebrated Muslim Brotherhood cleric in the world) to Egypt after fifty years in exile.Having given several examples of Qaradawi's blood-chilling invective against Jews, Professor Wistrich continues:
"If this is not genocidal anti-Semitic incitement, then the term has little meaning. The current supreme leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Budi, undoubtedly shares such views on Israel, Zionism, and the Jews. His advice in 2010 to the Mujahideen in Gaza to continue to “raise the banner of jihad against the Jews, [our] first and foremost enemies” was essentially echoing an undeviating gospel of hatred.
Like Sheikh Qaradawi, the current leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood clearly believe that loathing of Jews and the destruction of Israel is mandated by God himself. Every Jew in the world is thereby designated an enemy within this ideology. Nor is it an accident that Qaradawi, like other Egyptian clerics, should quote an anti-Jewish saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad in a notorious hadith on the preconditions for the Day of Judgment. In his commentary, Qaradawi emphasized that the coming apocalyptic battle will not be “between Arabs and Zionists, or between Jews and Palestinians, or between Jews or anybody else.” His conclusion could not be more explicit. “ This battle will occur between the collective body of Muslims and the collective body of Jews, that is all Muslims and all Jews.”
Such Muslim fundamentalist doctrines on Israel and the Jews are intimately connected to an obsession with purging Muslim countries of all and any Western influences—seen as part of a larger Jewish-Zionist conspiracy against Islam. Since 1928, when Sheikh Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brothers in Ismailiyah, the notion that Jews are by nature evil and can never peacefully co-exist with others has been axiomatic for the fundamentalist organization. An equally self-evident corollary is the denial of any possibility of Jewish self-rule (let alone a Jewish state) or even of civic equality with Muslims.
|A viewpoint expressed in Londonistan|
The establishment of Israel in 1948 further reinforced this Islamist doctrine of Zionism as a malevolent force and a permanent enemy. It was given a more systematic expression in the 1950s by Sayyed Qutb, the most important and influential of the Brotherhood’s thinkers, who was repeatedly imprisoned, tortured, and eventually executed by Nasir’s police state in 1966. For Qutb, the term ‘Jews’ became virtually interchangeable with ‘enemies of Islam’. The struggle against the Jews would continue indefinitely because the Jewish enemy would never rest until Islam was destroyed. Qutb was even convinced that Nasir himself was an “agent of Zionism” as were all the secular nationalist westernizing regimes in the Middle East. Qutb also railed against the “army of the learned”—the secularist professors, philosophers, writers, poets, and scientists carrying Muslim names yet undermining the sacred religion of Islam “in the service of Zionism.” Qutb’s heirs in the Brotherhood were especially outraged by President Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977 and his “fallacious peace” with the arch-enemy Israel.
After 1979, their spiritual leader and the chief editor of 'al-Dawah' [The Call to Islam], Umar al-Tilmisani, spared no effort in denouncing the diabolical nature of the Jews and Israel’s malicious intent to destroy the Islamic foundations of Egypt....
For al-Tilmisani and his fellow Muslim brothers thirty years ago, normalization with Israel was the greatest “catastrophe” imaginable — nothing less than “the most dangerous cancer eating away at all the life cells in our bodies.” Exchanging ambassadors with the Jewish State was equivalent to “opening the gates of evil on Egypt,” a spiritual death in exchange for the bribe of billions of American dollars and final capitulation tothe “world Zionist conspiracy.”
|Courtesy: Edgar Davidson|
Following Sadat’s assassination (a revolutionary fundamentalist act), the already cold peace with Israel became virtually frozen - not least because of the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. During the next three decades of Hosni Mubarak’s repressive rule, demonization of the Jews continued unchecked in the Egyptian media, despite massive American economic aid to Egypt and a common strategic interest with Israel in containing Islamism. Nonetheless, anti-Semitism remained, as before, the daily bread of Egyptian politics. Mubarak and his government colleagues permitted it as a safety valve and an outlet for popular rage that might otherwise have turned against the corruption of the regime. The fundamentalists, in turn, maintained their long-term goals of one day destroying the peace with Israel, thereby “saving Islam” and establishing an authentic Islamic state ruled by Sharia law.
As recently as 1 January 2012, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood,Rashad Bayoumi, told the Arabic daily al-Hayat that his organization will never “recognize Israel at all,” whatever the circumstances. He emphasized that the Brotherhood regarded Israel as a “criminal enemy” and would initiate legal proceedings toward cancelling the 1979 peace treaty....
With regard to Israel and the Jews, the fundamentalist attitude has never deviated during the past few decades, closely linked as it is to a truly paranoid fear of “Judaization”—often a synonym for secularism, westernization, liberal modernity, or “globalization.” Paradoxically, Brotherhood ideologues, despite their rabid anti-Westernism, have no problem in drawing liberally on non-Muslim sources for their radical anti-Semitism .... Egypt has long been saturated by this type of semi-pornographic stream of anti-Semitic vitriol directed at the “Satanic Jews,” publicly licensed and frequently legitimized by seemingly respectable journalists, academics, and Egyptian intellectuals. Such libels have been common among Nasirists, a number of Egyptian “liberals,” and even some leftists as well as among Islamists of every shade or coloring. Though the question of Palestine is often present as the trigger for such deep antagonism, much of the hostility also relates to the presumed “cultural assault” on Egypt that derives not only from Israel’s physical existence but from the imagined “essence” of Judaism and Jewry. [My emphasis]
The current unleashing of radical Islamist forces throughout Egypt has hardly improved matters. Thus, at a venomous Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque on November 25, 2011, Islamic activists ominously chanted “Tel Aviv, judgment day has come,” vowing to “one day kill all Jews.” The rally had been called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization” and was peppered with hate-filled speeches about the “treacherous Jews.” There were explicit calls for jihad and for the liberation of all of Palestine as well as references to the well-known hadith concerning a future Muslim annihilation of the Jews. Ahmed al-Tayeb, head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University (the most senior clerical authority in Sunni Islam), even claimed that to this day Jews everywhere in the world are seeking to prevent Egyptian and Islamic unity. He added: “The al-Aqsa Mosque is currently under an offensive by the Jews... We shall not allow the Zionists to judaize al-Quds [Jerusalem].” Such threats have been a consistent theme among Egyptian Islamic preachers and spokesmen of the Muslim Brotherhood for the past eighty years.
The theme of the “treacherous Jews” has deep roots indeed in the Quran and hadith. It has also animated the Palestinian Hamas ever since its creation twenty-four years ago—inspiring its visceral Jew-hatred, rabid anti-Westernism, and jihadist ideology. Not surprisingly for an organizational offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s Sacred Covenant of 1988 includes in its preamble an emphatic quote from Sheikh Hassan al-Banna: “Israel will exist, and continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it...” [My emphasis] Hamas’s Islamic credo, its advocacy of jihad, its anti-Semitic world-view, and hatred of Israel are all inextricably linked to the ideology of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood—of which it proudly claims to be the Palestinian wing. Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant underlines, for example, the continuous jihad of the Brotherhood against “the Zionist invasion” in 1936, 1948, and 1968, as the unbreakable chain connected to the founding of Hamas itself in 1988. All of these revolts were driven by the same conviction that Palestine is an inalienable possession “for all generations of Muslims” until the end of time.'Read all of Robert Wistrich's footnoted article here
And while on the subject of brotherly love: