An Egyptian blogger (SM) has conducted an interview with Mohammed Habib, the deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, in which he confirms the existence of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and that there is a “relationship” between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Egyptian Brotherhood. According to the interview:
SM: Is there a Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.?
Mohamed Habib: I would say yes. There are Muslim Brotherhood members there.
SM: Then what are they doing there?
Mohamed Habib: No, there are already existing institutions; there are laws and a constitution that they operate under in order to have a role in serving the American society. They are part of the American society and they want to an active positive role in it, and a part of that is to spread a positive image of Islam along with its values, culture, history and teachings.
SM: This is naturally very important. Who represents you in the US?
Mohamed Habib: Well, there are there those who do represent us, who do that role.
SM: But it’s not CAIR, right? The Council for American Islamic Relations? Many people say that they are your front. Other people say that its ISNA. But back to CAIR, some people from the Muslim Brotherhood have denied having a connection with CAIR. Do they really represent you?
Mohamed Habib: Ehh, this is a sensitive subject, and it’s kind of problematic, especially after 9/11 …
SM: For them to say that there is a relationship between you two?
Mohamed Habib: Yes. You can say that.
Only ten days ago, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website posted a statement denying that the group has any representation in the U.S. and also staing that it has “absolutely has no organizational links, ties, or associations with any of the Islamic organizations in the U.S.”, including CAIR which had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and is part of the “Palestine Committee” of the U.S. Brotherhood. CAIR, as well as all the other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations have consistently denied any relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In another part of the interview, Habib blames the poor image of the Muslim Brotherhood partly on the “Zionist-American project” while also acknowledging the public relations effort mounted by the Brotherhood:
SM: The image of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. and in other western countries — while we aren’t going to say it’s a bad one — is not the image you would like to portray for yourselves.
Mohamed Habib: That’s true!
SM: Why do you think that is?
SM: Why do you think that is? Mohamed Habib: There are two parts to that. The first part is related to the tyrannical and oppressive regimes in our countries, that try to project a mental image (a really scary and horrifying image) in the minds of the western world that we are against democracy, and freedom, and human rights in general. The other part is the Zionist-American project that upholds double standards and has a special agenda that contradict the interests of our Ummah, and thus finds in the Muslim Brotherhood an obstacle in the way of executing that agenda. Therefore, they unfortunately promote a very wrong and negative image of us. This forces us to act and try to communicate with think tanks and research centers, academics in universities, the people, and the media, whether the local or the international one.