In the continuation of a good week for the global Muslim Brotherhood, at least as far as lists are concerned, global Muslim Brotherhood figure and Malay opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim was named to Time Magazine’s list of the the 100 world’s most influential people. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz wrote the following description of Ibrahim for the magazine:
This devout Muslim leader was an impressive and eloquent advocate of tolerance, democracy and human rights. So we were shocked by his arrest and trial in 1998 on charges of corruption and sodomy. I felt his real “crime” had been to challenge Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose impressive record will be forever stained by his treatment of Anwar. I joined Senator Sam Nunn and others to speak out in Anwar’s defense. When he was finally released from prison in 2004, U.S. policy on Iraq was unpopular in Malaysia, and Anwar was harshly critical. It would have been easy for him to disown our friendship, but he is not that kind of person. He kept the channels of dialogue open, even while making clear our disagreements. Anwar, 60, is back in the center of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main opposition bloc. His future role can be determined only by Malaysians. One can hope that they will embrace his brand of tolerance, valuing dialogue across political differences, and that this courageous leader will continue to play a leading role on the world stage.
Ibrahim actually has many ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood include helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) where he currently serves as a director, representing Asian youth and serving as a trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and appearances at numerous Brotherhood-linked conferences. As a previous post noted, Ibrahim was scheduled to speak last December at a conference in Istanbul that featured a large number of prominent speakers with ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. Ibrahim was also one of the signers of an open letter to the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury warning of the dangers to world peace in the absence of peace between Muslims and Christians. The letter was drafted by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan who last year sponsored the Aman Message that was also signed by many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Previous posts have discussed his role in recent Malaysian protests.
IIIT is trumpeting Ibrahim’s inclusion on the list and Wolfowitz’s glowing review, stating:
Anwar, 60, is back in the center of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main opposition bloc. His future role can be determined only by Malaysians. One can hope that they will embrace his brand of tolerance, valuing dialogue across political differences, and that this courageous leader will continue to play a leading role on the world stage.
It is likely that this development will further enhance IIIT’s seeming re-emergence following the damaging, but not yet completed investigation, into the role of the organization in financing of terrorism.