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January 22, 2010

We're Still Getting Basic Facts Wrong about the Middle East, 8 Years Later
Posted by Shadi Hamid

I give up. I don't mean to be overly dramatic about this, but when I read sentences like the following, I get  frightened for the future of our country. It's been, what, 8 years since the 'war on terror' began, but we still get basic facts about Islamist groups really, really wrong:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has also started providing some basic services to locals in the country's rugged hinterlands, long neglected by the government, according to residents of the areas... It's unclear how organized and widespread the social-welfare efforts are. But similar efforts have been important to the success of other Islamic militant groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.

Keep in mind this is a news article (not an opinion piece). Yes, you read it right, the authors proceeded to lump al Qaeda with not only Hezbollah and Hamas, but with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Ok, I think we need some Islamism 101:

1. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a militant organization. It hasn't engaged in violent activity for more than four decades (it renounced violence in the 1970s).

2. Over the last 15 years, the organization has publicly committed itself - in Arabic - to many of the foundational components of democratic life, including alternation of power, popular sovereignty, protection of minority rights, and so on. 

3. The Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda really, really dislike each other. It's pretty self-evident why. The Brotherhood calls its followers to the ballot box; Al Qaeda calls its followers to take up arms and blow things up. Don't take my word for it. Ayman al-Zawahiri, AQ's no. 2 - in his suggestively titled book The Muslim Brotherhood's Bitter Harvest in 60 Years - accuses the Brotherhood of "lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim men into lines for elections...instead of into the lines of jihad."


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Yeah the group has also focused as much on local complaints as they have railed against perceived Western and foreign threats to Yemen. In the same August edition of its publication, the Yemen group ran an article on the unjust way the government distributes oil revenues pumped from wells located in the southern tribal lands of Mareb and Shebwa, two places known as al Qaeda strongholds.....

Muslim Brotherhood are refusing violence and condemning terrorism wherever it was or whoever committed it.
Hassan Albanna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) expelled those who assassinated the Egyptian PM in 1948 from the brotherhood., the official English website for Muslim Brotherhood is completely clear in this issue, They made a section entitled "MB Vs Qaeda"
Muslim Brotherhood has solved their own part of the equation, and they refused terrorism and violent actions.
The coming step should be played by the western administrations, and Middle Eastern governments to engage Muslim Brotherhood and moderate political Islam in general

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

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