The Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has claimed that an earlier interview in which he acknowledged both the existence of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its relationship to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was “misinterpreted by some observers.” According to a statement posted on the Egyptian Brotherhood website:
The interview with Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Mohamed Habib published in Pajamas media on Sunday has stimulated several debates about the existence of the so called “Muslim Brotherhood fronts” in the US. Because the interview was misinterpreted by some observers, Dr. Habib responded with the following statement to Ikhwanweb,“There are certain individuals in the U.S. and in other parts of the world who adopt the moderate Islamic ideology. We consider these individuals Muslim Brotherhood advocates because they endorse a similar ideology to ours. However, these individuals are not part of the organizational structure of our movement in Egypt. Some of them take part in Islamic institutions or charities in the U.S. or other countries, some others don’t. But the common ground among them is that they all work within the framework of the U.S. constitution and law, and they are all keen on serving their American society in which they live, based on their faith in their duty to carry out a positive role in the nation to which they belong. Part of that role too is to spread a positive image about Islam. Therefore I would like to emphasize that there are no ties, links, coordination, or directions between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and these individuals or any institutions in which some Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. have an active role. There are no membership or coordination links with any individuals in the world who adopt our way of thinking.”
This statement reveals both an extraordinary sensitivity to this topic and a rather inept approach to damage control on the part of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. As an earlier post has discussed, first the Egyptian website posted a statement from an editor denying the the group has any representation in the U.S. or links to any U.S. followed 10 days later by Dr. Habib’s interview in which he stated in part:
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.
Dr. Habib has used similar language in a 2004 newspaper interview to describe the relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and the Muslim American Society (MAS) which Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef said in the same article that he helped to found “by lobbying for the change during trips to the U.S.” In the interview, Dr. Habib stated:
MAS’ precise connection to the Brotherhood is a sensitive issue, says Mohamed Habib, a high-ranking Brotherhood official in Cairo.”I don’t want to say MAS is an Ikhwan entity,” he says. “This causes some security inconveniences for them in a post-Sept. 11 world.”
Another previous post has discussed the evidence for both the existence of a U.S. and global Muslim Brotherhood which includes statements by the Egyptian Brotherhood’s leaders on the subject. Dr. Habib’s latest statement on the subject is notable for coining the term “Muslim Brotherhood advocates” which appears to be a rather tortured means of both denying and confirming the truth which he previously confirmed.