ANALYSIS: What’s Up With The Washington Post And The Muslim Brotherhood?

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The GMBDW reported earlier this week on Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi, the subject of massive global attention related to his seeming disappearance following a visit to the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. As that post concluded,  the evidence offered strongly suggests that Jamal Khashoggi was not only a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood and close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood but was, in fact, actively supporting Brotherhood-related projects as recently as April of this year. The post also raised the question of how such an individual came to be associated with the Washington Post and noted that this was by no means the only example of the Washington Post showing astonishingly bad judgment with respect to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A subsequent review of other stories we have done reveals further failures by the Post to either report accurately on the subject or even more shockingly, one example of the Post providing a forum for Brotherhood leaders to speak out and to actually interact with their readers:

  • In July 2007, we reported that Newsweek and the Washington Post had joined together to moderate an “interactive conversation on religion” called Muslims Speak Out and which provided a platform for many prominent Islamists around the world including the “spiritual leader” of Hezbollah Hussein Fadlallah, German Brotherhood figure Murad Hoffman, US Brotherhood leaders Muzzamil Siddiqi and the late Taha Al-Alwani, Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rashid Ghannoushi, and Tariq Ramadan the grandson of the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and currently awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault. As we observed at that time, the project provided these individuals with their own personal blog to use for expressing their views and to engage in interaction with readers.
  • In September 2011, we reported that the Washington Post had written about the Washington DC Dar Al-Hijrah mosque and its imam Johari Abdul Malik but failed to identify the close ties between the mosque and the US Muslim Brotherhood. Describing the mosque members only as “intensely committed to their faith and deeply conservative”, the Post article seemingly ignored the mosque’s constitution which requires that four of the nine board members include heads of major US Brotherhood organizations. The article also ignored US Brotherhood speakers featured at the mosque as well as the many Individuals convicted/indicted in terrorism-related cases that have been known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrah.
  • In January 2014, we reported that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi had successfully deceived the Washington Post in an interview in which he claimed that the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) is not “political” despite being headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and despite the many statements it has issued with respect to global political developments. In the interview, Ghannouchi claimed that he had never predicted the “end of Israel” despite clear evidence to the contrary. None of these statements were challenged or rebutted by the Post.
  • In February 2017, we reported on a piece by Veteran Washington Post journalist Glenn Kessler purporting to fact check a series of claims about long-time Hilary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. As we noted at that time, Kessler rightly debuted the erroneous claims about Abedin made by Roger Stone, a top adviser to GOP nominee Donald Trump but then failed to fact check his own, and often erroneous or misleading claims and/or omissions including among other things failing to identify the ties between a Saudi woman’s college headed by Abedin’s mother and US designated terrorist Yaseen Abdullah Kadi, his failure to understand the historical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia, and his failure to identify current ties between the Abedin family and an umbrella group for 86 Islamic organizations, many of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for Al Qaeda. As we concluded “Kessler’s own fact checking here is laughable and  at times displays an astounding lack of knowledge of the subject he is writing about.”
  • Also in February 2017, the Post contained an article about the proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The article cited unidentified “experts” who claimed there was “no evidence” to support the claim that major US Muslim organizations are tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The article also cited the very same groups’ own denial of such ties but failed to do even the most rudimentary investigative research regarding the US Muslim Brotherhood.

The Washington Post seems to have come a long way from the days when it employed experienced investigative reporters with deep knowledge of the subjects on which they were reporting. For example  in 2004 former investigative journalist Doug Farah wrote a series of groundbreaking articles on the Global Muslim Brotherhood for the Post.  It does not seem likely that we will see reporters such as Farah featured in the Post anytime soon.

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