The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has issued a statement condemning the Indian terrorist attacks while at the same time making reference to “legitimate grievances”:
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) strongly condemns the tragic multi-pronged terrorist attack which recently took place in Mumbai, India. At several high-profile locations within Mumbai, according to international news reports, over 85 people have been killed and hostage situations have emerged at several major Mumbai landmarks. In addition to cafes and train stations, the terrorists also targeted the famous Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels; two of Mumbai’s best-known five-star hotels. In a statement today, ISNA said: “As the largest Islamic organization in North America, we at ISNA condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the brazen and vicious terrorist attacks which recently took place in Mumbai, India. India is the largest democracy in the world, where over a billion people of all religions, castes and ethnic backgrounds have co-existed for centuries. There is no doubt that there are serious and legitimate grievances among the Indian population over discrimination, social and economic marginalization and outstanding political conflicts. However these conflicts can and must be resolved within the political framework of Indian democracy, and never with violence. There is no justification for terrorism. We send our sincere prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of these attacks. We hope that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes will be brought to justice in the immediate future.”
A previous post titled “Muslim Brotherhood Positions On Terrorism- Denial, Deception, Defense, And Obstruction” identified the concept of “legitimate grievances” as a one of the key component sof the Muslim Brotherhood rhetorical strategy for responding to Islamic terrorism. The third component of that strategy is “Defense”:
Having staked out the positions that Islam is not violent and that Jihad is not connected with violence, the Brotherhood is left with the task of defending the violence carried out by Islamist groups. Since according to the Brotherhood these groups cannot, by definition, be motivated by Islamic ideology, there can be only one answer- they are fighting because of “legitimate grievances” and hence are sometimes referred to by the Brotherhood as “freedom fighters”
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) took a different approach, issuing a statement appearing to reach out to the U.S. Jewish community:
As the tragic events continue to unfold in Mumbai, India, the Muslim Public Affairs Council today shared its sadness over the deaths of so many, including five hostages killed at a Chabad hospitality center. New York-based Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife Rivka, were among those taken hostage and killed at the Chabad-Lubavitch hospitality center which served as an outreach center for travelers of the Jewish faith MPAC expresses its condolences to the Jewish community and the various other communities whose members were involved in the tragic series of terrorist attacks in recent days. MPAC has sent letters of condolences to the Indian embassy, and encourages people of all faiths and nationalities to stand together against those who seek to divide our communities. Media reports indicate that more than 150 people have been killed in the attacks. Those responsible for these brutal and immoral attacks should be swiftly brought to justice. Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose.
MPAC was established in the mid 1980’s by individuals whose backgrounds are likely rooted in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and since its inception has acted in concert with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization, like other U.S. Brotherhood organizations, has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and support for terrorism. Despite this background, MPAC has been more willing than some other U.S. Brotherhood organizations to engage in relations with the U.S. Jewish community.
As previous posts have discussed, ISNA has also been making unusually strong efforts to develop partnerships with U.S Jewish groups.