As regular readers will know, the GMBDW recently posted on the what we see as the madness engulfing both Democratic and Republican parties in the US with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood. Although we believe we equally and fairly addressed both parties, we received no protest in connection with our posting on the Democrats. In contrast, we received several communications from readers with respect to our post titled “The Madness Of The Republican Party- Clare Lopez For Deputy National Security Advisor?” Since these messages highlight critical issues in the fight to combat the Global Muslim Brotherhood, we thought we would classify the criticism and take up each issue one at a time.
1. Is the GMBDW Slanted or Biased?
Issue: One reader said that the posting had a “negative slant and headline” and that we should “report in an unbiased fashion.” Another reader called the post a “hit piece” and said that if can’t show something Ms. Lopez said that was untrue we should publish a retraction. That reader also said that he and others inside of government, “while appreciating our work, are stunned you would put out such a poor piece to attack Ms. Lopez.”
Our Response: It is not clear to the GMBDW how the post in question suffered from bias or “slant.” We believe that we were quite clear in our criticism of Ms. Lopez and the movement she represents and that the criticism, as opposed to being based on allegations of factual error per se, were instead based on what we view as the incorrect, ideologically based, and dangerous assertions about the nature of Islam that that we characterized as the “Shariah Hypothesis.” Readers who wish to understand the basis for our criticism of the Shariah Hypothesis can find our arguments in the original post and we will not repeat them here. Instead, we would pose the question to the persons who contacted us, and to other who may have similar concerns, what do they believe might be motivating us to suddenly bias or slant our reporting? Have we ever shown any inclination to do so in the past and if so when was that and in what regard? On the contrary, we believed we have strived mightily to adopt a fair, balanced and measured view of the Global Muslim Brotherhood that while not glossing over any of the threats it poses, has never crossed the line into conspiracy thinking, Islamophobia (yes it exists), or other forms of extremism.
2. What Makes a Great Analyst?
Issue: One reader called Clare Lopez “a realist, an honest broker and darn good analyst” who would make a “great deputy national security advisor.” This reader also told us “some of the finest minds in the national security business grace the Center for Security Policy.” Another reader calling Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gaffney “great intellects and patriots.”
Our Response: The GMBDW meant to cast no aspersions on either the patriotism or intelligence of Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gaffney. That said, perhaps one of the greatest flaws in any intelligence analyst is the unshakable adherence to a preconceived interpretation of the facts. This failing can be seen, for example, in what Israeli intelligence in 1973 called “The Concept” basically the notion that Egypt would not attack Israel because it was unprepared and unwilling to do so. Therefore, the Israelis ignored the warning signs that might have averted their lack of preparedness in facing the Egyptian assault which followed. We believe that the “Shariah Hypothesis” is analogous to The Concept because of its rigid insistence to the notion that all that needs to be understood about the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, can be found in the Koran which is said to serve as the “master plan” for world Islamic domination. Aside from being dangerous as we have discussed in our posting, this viewpoint can only mislead analysts who are ignoring the critical understanding provided by the notion of Islamism, the 20th century extremist political philosophy that while of course drawing heavily upon the religion of Islam, is not identical to it. We believe that prima facia evidence of analytical rigidity and ideologically-based thinking is the inability and/or willingness to even listen to dissenting voices. It is our experience that the Anti-Shariah movement, led largely by individuals such as Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gaffney, suffer greatly from this failing as evidenced by the echo-chamber nature of their conferences and events.
3. Is the US Government Infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood?
Issue: One reader took issue with our analysis of the idea that the the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated” the White House. That reader said “The White House IS teeming with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and GMBW should know that better than others”. He also told us that the former Program Manager for CTTSO and Irregular Warfare at the Pentagon publicly said the Muslim Brotherhood “controls the decision-making process for the US national security apparatus”
Our Response: The GMBDW is fully aware of the public evidence that individuals linked to the US Muslim Brotherhood have served in various White House positions and yes, our awareness is based largely on the fact that it was the GMBDW who is most cases actually exposed these individuals in the first place. We are also on record as opposing the notion these individuals infiltrated the government and believe that in fact, the evidence shows that most were brought into the government precisely because of those ties as the Obama Administration sought to expand its outreach to the Islamic world, largely under the control of Islamism at this point in time. That said, we believe that “teeming” is a highly exaggerated characterization as we count only two such individuals currently serving in a White House capacity- Rashad Hussain, who is actually serving currently at the State Department, and Huma Abedin the aide to Hillary Clinton whose known ties to Islamism run from her family and not to Ms. Abedin herself (with the except of appearing on the masthead of the family journal.) As for the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood “controls the decision-making process for the US national security apparatus”, this strikes us as outright and dangerous paranoia and we have no clue what would lead this individual to makes such an outlandish assertion.
4. Who can be trusted?
Issue: One reader said that if we called Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gaffney ““anti-Islam extremists,” our commentary can’t be trusted.
Our Response: We find this comment perhaps most disturbing of all as it implies that if a source one follows publishes something that one disagrees with, then one should go ahead and disregard it entirely. Of course, if a source is found to be consistently in error with regard to what it is reporting, this is a serious issue. However, we believe that the GMBDW has an impeccable record for accuracy and when errors of fact are reported to us, we quickly post a correction. Although we actually did not call Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gaffney “anti-Islam extremists” we have to say that the Shariah Hypothesis by its very nature is both anti-Islam by its very nature and extreme as it lies far outside the mainstream of scholarship and research and lends itself easily to various forms of rightwing extremism. Readers may disagree with our interpretation here of course but we would be greatly saddened if almost 10 years and thousands of mostly unique posts on the Global Muslim Brotherhood were simply dismissed because of this disagreement. Further, we believe that it is this kind of segregation into self-imposed media ghettoes that lies behind much of the current ideological polarization in the US. We encourage our readers not to fall into this destructive trap.
5, Is the GMBW going weak?
Issue: One reader asked us bluntly “Why is GMBW going weak now?”
Our Response: We believe this question shows a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the GMBDW. Although we have been one of the most consistent and most critical voices long working to combat the pernicious influences of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, we do not consider “the enemy of our enemy to be our friend.” We have in the past characterized the anti-Shariah movement and similar ideological forces as “an assorted collection of ideologues, religious zealots, pundits, and outright extremists who are either unfamiliar with anything resembling genuine scholarship on these issues or choose simply to ignore it for reasons of their own.” We see no reason to change that characterization now and as we have written above and in the past, it is the view of those espousing the Shariah Hypothesis which have made our work almost impossible in the US as those in the media and other relevant actors seem so intent on refuting this extremism that they appear to refuse to event consider properly covering the subject. We have discussed this phenomenon at length in March in our post titled “The Republican Candidates, Islamophobia, and the Muslim Brotherhood- Please Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater.” (Interestingly, the UK has not yet succumbed to the ideological polarization on these issues and it is indeed still possible there to be heard by the mainstream media as we did with the Times of London who credited us for assisting in their investigation of the UK Muslim Brotherhood.) As to our timing in seemingly now adopting a more aggressive posture in this regard, the GMBDW believes given all that is going on politically in the world today, it is more important than ever for people of goodwill ever to speak their minds forcibly in the interests of our rare and precious democracies. We do not view this as weakness.