Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan continues her support in Cairo of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its members currently on trial by a military tribunal. In a statement posted on the Brotherhood’s English language website, Ms. Sheehan explains her view of the Brotherhood as moderates, citing the article in Foreign Affairs by Nixon Center scholar Robert Leiken which appeared in 2005:
Of course, when some people hear the term “Muslim Brotherhood” they are automatically going to be translating that into “terrorist.” These are the same people who get their “news” from Fox and believe that almost 5 million “terrorists” have been killed wounded or displaced in Iraq. These people could not be more wrong about the people of Iraq or the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). According to a scholarly article in Foreign Affairs (March/April 2007), the MB “reject global Jihad while embracing elections and other features of democracy.” The MB is a moderate Islamist group that is the largest and most influential in the world. The MB promotes change through the ballot box, non-violent protest and charity. As a woman, I may not like that the men (always nicely garbed in Western suits) wipe their hands off on their coats after they shake my hand, but they are in no way terrorists and are often targeted by radical Islamist groups that do not agree with the MB’s moderate positions.
Earlier in the piece, Ms. Sheehan appears to cast doubt on the role of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the 911 attacks:
Although the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al and the 40 members of the Muslim Brotherhood could not be more different, there are also some similarities. We all know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is accused of being the “mastermind of 9-11” (hey, wasn’t that Osama bin Laden before it was Saddam Hussein?), however very few Americans know about the case of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Ms. Sheehan goes on later in the piece to link the Egyptian trial to human rights in the U.S.
How do these military tribunals in Egypt and Guantanamo affect us here in the US? Americans always receive fair and equal treatment under the law, right? Wrong! Madam Justice’s fabled scales are heavily weighted to benefit the wealthy or the established ruling class. Ask any person of color or poor citizen here how the American justice system works for them. There is no place for secrecy or suppression of dissent in any free, open or democratic society. In allowing these military tribunals to continue the very cornerstone of human rights is being shattered.
Earlier posts detailed the background of Ms. Sheehan’s visit and other activities she has engaged in while there.
(Note: Video of Ms. Sheehan in Cairo is available here.)