An article by a Gulf journalist journalist on the attitude of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood towards the U.S. once again asserts the notion that the Brotherhood supports democracy and human rights. After a general review of various Islamist political parties in the region and a history of the Egyptian’s Brotherhood’s posture toward the U.S., the author takes note of recent contacts between the Egyptian group and U.S. Congressman:
There are many meetings that have been held between a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders inside and outside Egypt and US congressmen and senators. These meetings included members of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau, members of the People’s Assembly, and officials representing the Muslim Brotherhood Political Bureau, i.e. the individuals who draw up the policies and directions of the Muslim Brotherhood. After each meeting, there were statements and leaks to satisfy the US side, and to thaw some of the ice that had frozen the relations between the two sides all along the past decades. However, whenever these statements and meetings were met with rejection, the general guide or his deputy came out to deny such statements, and to stress the firm stance of the group toward the United States. This has perplexed many analysts and researchers, who observe the Muslim Brotherhood, about the stance of the group toward the United States. The group publicly announces its hostility to the United States in its speeches, satellite television programs, and press statements; on the other hand it extends its hand to the United States in the meetings that take place secretly, and then leaks the news to the press in order to gauge the reactions to them. Moreover, some Muslim Brotherhood branches cooperate openly with the United States; for instance the Iraqi Islamic Party has allied itself with the invading US forces, and hence was able to become one of the ruling parties in Iraq, and its leader Tariq al-Hashimi frequently meets President Bush and the US ministers. There is also the Moroccan Justice and Development Party, which is pursuing a strategic relationship with the United States.
The author then reiterates might what be viewed as support for the Brotherhood doctrine of “Defensive JIhad”, based on the common Brotherhood public posture that Jihad is a form of “freedom fighting”:
There are many justifications that some give for changing the Muslim Brotherhood policy toward the United States. They say that they are meeting their counterparts among the leaders of the US civil society or among the US Congress members if the meeting included members of the Egyptian People’s Assembly. Also some say: Why do we not listen to their viewpoint and convey our viewpoint, did not the Prophet sit down with the polytheists and engaged in a dialogue with them? The United States is the ruling power in today’s and tomorrow’s world, why should we be hostile to it? Let us cooperate with it on what we can agree, and guide it in what we disagree, this is in the sense that we can ally ourselves with it on some issues such as those of freedom, democracy, and human rights, and fight and guide it on other issues, such as occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and its continuous support for Israel against the Palestinian cause. Moreover, no power can govern without the consent of the United States, and there are many experiments that prove this; therefore, we should reach some accord with it. Can these justifications change the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamist movement in general toward the United States in the future, or will the elders of the movement keep rejecting all these justifications? I expect that change will take place gradually until they can remove the traditional hostility, which they kept instilling into the Muslim Brotherhood cadres all along the past years.
Muslim Brotherhood organizations around the world frequently assert their support for democracy and espouse what could be considered as a campaign of deception to obscure the nature of the Jihad concept.
(Source: Article by UAE-based Egyptian journalist Salah al-Arabi: “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Relationship with the United States Between Traditional Hostility and Expected Allaince”Al-Quds al-Arabi (Internet Version-WWW)Tuesday, March 11, 2008