In an interview on a European Arabic TV station, the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood denies the existence of Al Qaeda calling the organization an “American invention” while attributing Islami sectarian violence to “American Zionist tricks.” The following is the relevant translation of Mohammed Mahdi Akef’s comments by MEMRI TV, an organization which often translates Arabic media containing Islamist and/or anti-Semitic content:
Interviewer: There are Sunnis, members of Al-Qaeda, who kill civilians in the name of Islam. There are Shiites who kill Sunnis in the name of Islam… ‘
Akef: All these things are American Zionist tricks. The Shiites attack one another, the Sunnis attack one another, and the Shiites attack the Sunnis. But the Muslim Brotherhood has a principle, which I declared from day one: The Shiites and Sunnis are brothers.
‘Akef: I’d like to go back to the issue of Al-Qaeda. There is no such thing as Al-Qaeda. This is an American invention, so that they would have something to fight for…
Interviewer: What about Osama Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and the Islamic state of Iraq?
‘Akef: When one man, or two or three, fight this tyrannical global superpower ‘“ is it worth anything?
Interviewer: Thousands have carried out attacks in the Iraq in the name of Al-Qaeda…
‘Akef: This is a lie. Who says so?
Interviewer: They do. ‘
Akef: No, the Americans and their collaborators say this.
Interviewer: But they claim responsibility for these attacks…
‘Akef: Al-Qaeda has an ideology, which makes them…
Interviewer: You described it once as a perverted ideology. ‘
Akef: Of course it is. This is a perverted ideology, which employs methods that do not please Allah. How can I kill a Muslim when this is forbidden?
(Note: The actual broadcast clip can be seen here. Time 1:33)