In an article on foreign policy Republican Presidential candidate Michael D. Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, identified the Muslim Brotherhood by name as a group whose “active to call to Jihad” had an influence on the development of Al Qaeda. In his statement, Huckabee also mentions Brother idealogue Sayyid Qutb:
A more successful U.S. foreign policy needs to better explain Islamic jihadism to the American people. Given how Americans have thrived on diversity — religious, ethnic, racial — it takes an enormous leap of imagination to understand what Islamic terrorists are about, that they really do want to kill every last one of us and destroy civilization as we know it. If they are willing to kill their own children by letting them detonate suicide bombs, then they will also be willing to kill our children for their misguided cause. The Bush administration has never adequately explained the theology and ideology behind Islamic terrorism or convinced us of its ruthless fanaticism. The first rule of war is “know your enemy,” and most Americans do not know theirs. To grasp the magnitude of the threat, we first have to understand what makes Islamic terrorists tick. Very few Americans are familiar with the writings of Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian radical executed in 1966, or the Muslim Brotherhood, whose call to active jihad influenced Osama bin Laden and the rise of al Qaeda. Qutb raged against the decadence and sin he saw around him and sought to restore the “pure” Islam of the seventh century through a theocratic caliphate without national borders. He saw nothing decadent or sinful in murdering in order to achieve that end. America’s culture of life stands in stark contrast to the jihadists’ culture of death.
Huckabee’s mention of Qutb by name is unusual for a Presidential candidate and although one terrorism analyst notes that has discussed empowering moderates in the Middle East in order to de-legitimize fundamentalists, this statement would presumably rule out classifying the Brotherhood as moderate. In an article about the Brotherhood posted on an online news portal, the same analyst also notes that Rudi Giuliani’s senior Middle East advisor, Martin Kramer, is opposed to working with the Muslim Brotherhood and has said that The United States has no use for equivocating Islamists. The analyst writes that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) has spoken about the Muslim Brotherhood “as though it is equivalent to Al-Qaeda” focusing on the group’s ties to Hamas and Hezbollah. Finally, the article cites Joshua Stacher, an adjunct history lecturer at the American University in Cairo, who speculates about Barrack Obama’s possible position on the Brotherhood:
…the only presidential candidate who might open communication with the Brotherhood is Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). One of Obama’s senior foreign policy advisors is Daniel Shapiro, who has extensive experience with negotiating peace in the Middle East, and might offer a more nuanced attitude towards the Brotherhood, Stacher said.