The global Muslim Brotherhood is reacting to the Israeli air attacks on Hamas in Gaza, generally describing the action as a “massacre or using similar inflammatory language.” Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, perhaps the most important leader of the global Brotherhood was reported to have criticized on Al Jazeera what he called the “silence” of the Arab world and urged “the entire Islamic nation to stand against this criminal and savage aggression,” . A statement from the Egyptian Brotherhood called the Israeli actions a “bloody catastrophe”:
Since decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has been following up on the events in Palestine and have resisted side by side with their Palestinian brothers all attempts of Israeli invasion, aggression, tyranny, and terrorism against the Palestinian people in the land of Palestine. After threatening to eliminate resistance, especially the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, the Israeli settlers now carry out their criminal operations attacking Palestinians in Gaza leaving hundreds of women and children killed and thousands injured and spreading destruction. Unfortunately, however, Arab and Islamic regimes remain silent, some even conspiring and conniving with Israelis in this bloody catastrophe after Israeli terrorist statements were made loud and clear from Cairo with officials” consent. The MB strongly declares its refusal of these criminal attacks, terrorist practices, plots and conspiracies that are being plotted in the night against the Palestinian resistance, Hamas” fighters, and their brothers in the remaining Palestinian factions.
The statement went to call on Arabic and Islamic countries to provide weapons to the “Palestinian people” and to sever all relations with Israel. A statement in Arabic took the unusual step of calling for a public demonstration in Egypt against the Israeli military action.
The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group representing the European Muslim Brotherhood, issued its own statement referring to “ruthless massacres” and describing the Israeli actions as “unprecedented in its nature”:
With tremendous grief Muslims in Europe are following up the tragic news through the media. These are the barbaric attacks against the Palestinian citizens in the blockaded Gaza Strip. These crimes are being carried out by the invading Israeli army using its most deadly power and military air power since Saturday 27th of December. The ruthless massacres taking place executed by the Israeli military machine are aimed at unarmed people. Hundreds of innocent people fell dead as mortars and many injured in the first few hours of the massacre. Such development is unprecedented in its nature and can not be justified in any way. It can not be met with silence. The air strikes and the appalling attacks are being concentrated over a small stretch of land which has the highest human concentration in the world. What is happening is an unreserved mass murder carried out upon the inhabitants. The human nature can only be shocked at the terrifying and murdering of an entire nation taking place. With all the horrifying details appearing as events unfold. It is noticed that the air raids take place at the time when children are leaving their schools maximising terror and death amongst children. Religious worship places were bombed with worshipers inside. This makes this military operation a barbaric and savagery assault. In the face of this massive situation and the horrendous massacres which seem to be still at the start of a greater campaign, we stand with the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip. he Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) condemned in a “bloody massacre just commit the Israeli occupation army against the people of Gaza already beleaguered, isolated, imprisoned, deprived of water , Food, medicine and electricity.
The Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), a FIOE member organization, condemned the Israeli attacks as “a bloody massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against the people of Gaza” while the Muslim Association of Britain, another FIOE member, referred to the Israeli actions as a “brutal and criminal attack” and a “savage crime.” Ahmed Al-Rawi, MAB President and former FIOE President, went further calling for action by the International Criminal Court and referring to Israeli leaders as “Zionist war criminals”:
What the Zionist Occupation has done today constitutes a flagrant crime against humanity, against defenseless people who do not have the most basic means to defend themselves in the face of the Israeli killing machine. He added, ‘the attack on Gaza is by all standards a blatant violation of international law and affront to all standards of human conduct. We call upon the world community to bring the Zionist war criminals to justice before the International Criminal Court.’ Al Rawi called upon Islamic organizations in Britain and civil society bodies to demonstrate their unreserved solidarity with the Palestinian people by providing all forms of humanitarian assistance and support and protesting against the barbaric Zionist campaign. The MAB urges the British government to condemn in unambiguous language the Israeli war crimes. Finally we urge the European Union and international community to adopt whatever measures are needed to end Israel’s criminal aggression.
The British Muslim Initiative (BMI), a spin-off of the MAB will join other U.K. far-left and Palestinian support organizations in a demonstration on Sunday to stop the “slaughter” in Gaza.
In the U.S., a statement from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), also spoke of a “massacre.”:
Despite the public ‘green light’ given to the Israeli military by the Bush administration, American Muslims join our fellow citizens who respect international law and the sanctity of human life in repudiating this massacre carried out using U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons. It must be clear by now that the only future offered to the Palestinian people by the outgoing administration was one of perpetual subjugation and humiliation at the hands of the Israeli occupiers. Unfortunately, our nation’s timid response to this tragic episode will only serve to fuel anti-American sentiments in the Muslim world. We therefore call on President-elect Obama to demonstrate his commitment to change our nation’s current one-sided Mideast policy by speaking out now in favor of peace and justice for all parties to this decades-long conflict. We also call on world leaders to take direct action to end Israel’s counterproductive and wildly disproportionate attacks and to end the humanitarian siege of Gaza, which led to the recent breakdown of the ceasefire.
A Muslim American Society (MAS) statement referred to “mass killing”:
MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), condemns today’s mass killing of a reported 195 civilians in the Gaza Strip as Israeli warplanes and helicopters pounded the region in what has been described as one of the bloodiest days in the history of the Palestinian conflict with Israel. “This escalation of violence has taken on the form of wholesale warfare against the civilian population, using weapons that are, in part, supplied by the United States to Israel in clear violation of the U.S. Arms Control Export Act,” stated MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director, Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey.
The MAS was established in 1993 by leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and a Chicago Tribune investigation has revealed the close ties between the MAS and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
None of the global Muslim Brotherhood statements made mention of the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that precipitated the attack nor the refusal of Hamas to renew the six month truce with Israel that expired on December 19. An earlier post discussed stepped up its efforts by the global Brotherhood to help defeat the Israeli blockade of the Gaza