Global media is reporting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has urged Arab and other world powers to intervene in Syria. According to a Reuters report:
CAIRO | Mon May 28, 2012 4:51am EDT (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called on Arab and other world powers on Monday to intervene in Syria after 108 people were killed in the town of Houla in an attack it blamed on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Images of the bloodied bodies of children and others slain in Houla have shocked the world and highlighted the failure of a six-week-old U.N.-backed ceasefire to stop the violence in the 14-month uprising against Assad’s rule. ‘The Muslim Brotherhood calls on Arab, Islamic and international governments … and the people of the free world to intervene to stop these massacres, especially after the failure of international forces and international monitoring to stop them,’ spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said in a statement. He did not say exactly what the world should do about Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate in Egypt’s presidential elections topped last week’s first-round poll, unofficial results show. The Islamist group already dominates both houses of parliament after earlier elections. The U.N. Security Council on Sunday condemned Assad’s government for firing heavy weapons at Houla. Ghozlan also called on Syrians to put aside their differences and unite to ‘bring down the regime, make the revolution succeed and free the heroic Syrian people’. He said the Syrian government’s crimes were worse than those of Genghis Khan, a warrior who founded the Mongol empire in the 13th century. Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood is part of the opposition to Assad, whose father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, bloodily crushed an armed Islamist uprising in the 1980s. The Syrian and Egyptian branches of the Brotherhood share the same ideology but have no direct organizational links.
GMBDW notes that the Reuters claim about “no direct organizational links.” is a meaningless disclaimer provided without evidence or context.
The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star has recently published an article titled “Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes ” which traces the dominant role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the opposition to the Assad regime. The article begins:
ISTANBUL: At a meeting of Syria’s opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar Assad. With many living in the West, and some ditching their trademark beards, it is hard to differentiate Brotherhood from leftists. But there is little dispute about who calls the shots. From annihilation at home 30 years ago when they challenged the iron-fisted rule of Hafez Assad, the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar. Careful not to undermine the council’s disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun. ‘We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don’t want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council’s head,’ former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni told supporters in a video. The footage is now being circulated by Brotherhood opponents, seeking to highlight its undeclared power. ‘We nominated Ghalioun as a front for national action. We are not moving now as Muslim Brotherhood but as part of a front that includes all currents,’ said Bayanouni.
Read the rest here.
Writer and analyst John Rosenthal’s has examined of the cooperation between the Obama Administration and the Syrian opposition focusing on the role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have noted that the SNC includes at least two known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted.
In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported on moves by the U.S. Government to reach closer relations with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
For a comprehensive account of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in 2006, go here.
For a comprehensive account of Islamist activities in Syria in 2006, go here.