The US Muslim Brotherhood is weighing in with reactions to the confrontation between Israel forces and a flotilla of ships composed largely of organizations tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Before any investigation of the incident has had time to take place, the Israeli actions are described in the various statements either as a “massacre” or an “attack with deadly force” and all call for an end to the blockade of Gaza. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) statement makes reference to an Israeli “massacre”:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/31/10) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged President Obama to condemn what the Muslim civil rights group called an Israeli “massacre” of civilians on a flotilla of ships in international waters seeking to bring humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip. Israeli commandos killed at least 10 civilians in a pre-dawn raid on the flotilla. Israel’s attack on the flotilla has already been condemned by the international community.A number of Americans, including former Ambassador Edward L. Peck, are among those taking part in the humanitarian aid effort. Other passengers include Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland. The nationalities of the dead are not yet known. On Friday, CAIR‘s San Francisco Bay Area chapter (CAIR-SFBA) expressed concern for the safety of three local residents aboard the flotilla.In a statement, United Nations officials said: “We wish to make clear that such tragedies are entirely avoidable if Israel heeds the repeated calls of the international community to end its counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza.” “It is imperative that President Obama not only speak out strongly against this massacre of civilians but also demonstrate our nation’s outrage at Israel’s brutal actions by taking concrete steps to end the humanitarian siege imposed on Gaza with America’s support,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Our nation must now work to end the inhumane and illegal siege on Gaza.” Awad also urged the president to live up to his statement one year ago in Cairo in which he said that America will not turn its back on “the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.”
The statement by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) refers to the “unwarranted deadly use of force “:
(Plainfield, IN – May31, 2010) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemns the unwarranted deadly use of force by the Israeli military against unarmed humanitarian ships in international waters. The ships, Gaza Freedom Flotilla, were bringing badly needed supplies to the people of Gaza who have been under a choking and illegal blockade by Israel for the last three years. Over 700 peace activists of all faiths, from America and around the globe including academicians, law makers, and Nobel Prize winners were aboard 6 ships carrying over10, 000 tons of humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza. Turkish customs, who inspected the ships prior to departure from Turkish ports, assert that no weapons were on the ships. The international community and the United Nations have condemned the irresponsible actions of Israeli commandos and the flagrant violation of international humanitarian law by Israel. However, many rights groups assert that the lack of any real consequences for the continuous violation of international law has given Israel a sense of impunity and has made any progress towards peace and justice in the Middle East more distant.ISNA calls on president Obama and Congress to demand an end to the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza and to launch an investigation into the massacre in order to hold those responsible accountable for the murder of at least 19 (according to many media outlets) and the injury of over 60 civilian peace activists.
The statement by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) calls the Israel action a “deadly attack on a convoy of unarmed international peace activists”:
The Muslim Public Affairs Council today called upon the Obama administration to condemn Israel’s deadly attack on a convoy of unarmed international peace activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, which has at least 10 people dead. Media reports indicate over 60 people were also wounded after Israeli Defense Forces descended on the aid convoy in international waters while sailing for the Gaza Strip. Named the Freedom Flotilla, and led by the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (Humanitarian Relief Foundation), the convoy of six cargo and passenger boats is the most ambitious attempt yet to break Israel’s three-year blockade of Gaza. The Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of the aid, said that Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of one of the ships and “immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians.” In light of this illegal attack which took place in international waters, it is imperative that the Obama administration also demand that the Israeli government lift the three-year-old siege on Gaza. …“For what crime were these people attacked and killed?” said MPAC Communications Director Edina Lekovic. “The killing of the aid workers is a criminal act and the Israeli government should be held responsible for their murder by the Obama administration.” Israel has falsely claimed it is not occupying Gaza, but this event shows clearly that Israel is willing to use deadly force to prevent much-needed humanitarian supplies from reaching the population of Gaza. The collective punishment of Gaza is a war crime, a violation of international law, and a massive impediment to any peace process. Last year, President Obama presented a major speech on U.S.-Muslim World Relations, a major part of which addressed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If the United States is perceived as silent or weak on condemning the continuous harassment of non-violent humanitarian activists that culminated last night in the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, then the dwindling U.S. credibility for any peace process will be dealt another major blow.
Although the Muslim American Society has not yet issued a statement, the MAS Civil Rights Director Ibrahim Ramey wrote in his blog that “killing is not only a by-product of the U.S. war system, but a result of the spread of that system throughout the world”:
I had planned, sometime last week, to write an essay for a different kind of Memorial Day: a day that would commemorate not just American soldiers who have died in combat, but the countless civilian victims of American militarism as well. It would have been a tribute to the unnamed Filipino, Vietnamese, Central American, Iraqi, Afghan, Somali, and other people who have died because American weapons, American proxy governments, American-equipped mercenaries, and American economic interests were responsible for killing them. It would have been, in my own voice, a witness against war itself, and a tribute to the lives of non-combatants who now constitute the great majority of victims of armed conflicts around the globe. It would have been a call for a different kind of tribute-a tribute to those killed in war, regardless of nationality or faith or cause. But the tragedy of the horrendous Israeli attack this morning on the civilians in the Free Gaza flotilla compels me to say more: that killing is not only a by-product of the U.S. war system, but a result of the spread of that system throughout the world. Even though American fingers were not on the triggers of the Israeli weapons that killed the Free Gaza activists, the military power ad political cover provided to Israel by the United States is material factor in what Israel does in Gaza, and i all of Palestine. The billion of dollars in military assistance that American has committed to back Israel was, without a doubt, an integral part of this assault, just as U.S.incendiary munitions and helicopter guns were strategically used by Israel to kill Palestinian civilians in the 2008-2009 war in Gaza. Indeed, the government and military of Israel can continue their policies of economic warfare, occupation, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian areas because they have the backing of the world’s greatest-and only-military superpower. We should all know this, and realize the complicity of the American people in maintaining a system that results in the killing of these-ans so many other-innocent people. There is nothing honorable about imperialism or colonial conquest. The argument could be made that others in the world commit acts of brutality and murder against the innocent. That is indeed true. But that is no excuse for what is done by America, directly or though proxies., in the name of “democracy”, or “freedom”, or even the security of what is called our “national interests”. The only “national interest” worth defending is universal peace and justice. What happened on the high seas to the activists aboard those ships was a crime. So this is yet another Memorial Day. But rather than waive the colors of a flag that facilitates and orchestrates the killing of non-combatants-as all armies kill non-combatants-I will choose to remember and honor the unnamed millions of human beings who have died in wars that they took no part in starting, or prosecuting. The most recent of these victims are the 20 or so peaceful activists killed by Israeli forces, in international waters, aboard ships filled with cargo to help make the lives of the people of Gaza a little brighter.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) statement makes reference to the ” massacre of innocent international peace activists by the Israeli military”:
JAMAICA, New York (May 31, 2010) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in a press release issued today strongly condemned the massacre of innocent international peace activists by the Israeli military. ICNA expresses strong condemnation of the unprovoked attack by Israeli military forces on the Freedom flotilla, which was carrying humanitarian aid including food, medicine and wheelchairs to blockaded Palestinians in Gaza.Several media sources reported that at least 20 civilian international peace activists were brutally murdered and many more severely injured by the Israeli forces in this unjustified and unprovoked military assault in international waters. Among those on the flotilla were the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire of Northern Ireland and a Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein, age 85. We urge our government to condemn this despicable act, and we join the international community in calling for a swift investigation by the United Nations of this assault in order to hold responsible parties accountable for this tragedy.
A Hudson Institute report identifies CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, and the MAS as important parts of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is generally considered to represent the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami. ICNA has a particularly close relationship with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the U.S. Brotherhood, and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years.
GMBDW coverage of the Gaza flotilla incident has illustrated the heavy role played by the leadership and organizations of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.