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Commentary & Opinion
Wed June 6, 2012
Herbert London: The Muslim Brotherhood Charm Campaign
The Muslim Brotherhood charm campaign in the U.S. has officially been launched. Now that the Brotherhood is no longer an opposition group, but a political juggernaut controlling a majority of the seats in Egypt’s parliament, a series of meetings with experts in the U.S. have been organized to convince the wary that they are far more moderate than their reputation suggests.
I met with three of these representatives who happen to be well spoken and, if you believe what they say, appear as if trained in Jeffersonian ideas. Despite the question, they continually referred to unity and democracy. When I asked about the status of the Copts, they said Christians will be afforded all the rights of other Egyptians. The following day Copt leadership opted out of the government noting systematic oppression against them. That condition, however, didn’t square with the charm campaign.
Despite rhetorical concessions to democracy, reference to PhD’s earned in the U.S. and a Prada scarf worn by the one female on the team, the Brotherhood has had a plan for dealing with the United States, what one might call a grand jihad from within sabotaging every aspect of Western civilization. This is not simply my personal sentiment, but a Brotherhood memorandum indicating the party’s strategic goal.
These Muslim spokesmen conspicuously ignored reference to the Brotherhood influence all over north Africa. The so-called Arab Spring is their opportunity. And the U.S. State Department has been complicit in extending Brotherhood influence by suggesting this party is composed of moderates with whom we can negotiate. Here is the imperial agenda with a smiling face and a Prada scarf. Why use explosives when you can influence the U.S. with rhetorical astringents?
Sheikh Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Brotherhood in 1928, stated the mission unvarnished by propriety: “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.” His goal was and is to establish a Muslim empire – the global caliphate – from Spain to Indonesia.
Of course this entails the destruction of the West as we know it with Allah the one and only God of the universe. Since direct military confrontation with the West at this time is bound to fail, the Muslim Brotherhood has employed subtle jihadist principles – friendship leagues, inter-faith dialogue, donations to colleges, etc. – designed to encourage confidence in the Brotherhood leadership. After all, “taqea” – or dissimulation to promote the faith – is an acceptable practice.
But the mission is unalterable. Confusion yields rewards since the naïve dupes in the West hope for friendship never realizing they are being led to slaughter. Enemies are confused with friends; free speech becomes an adversary of religious sensitivity and the U.N. is a center of Muslim legitimation. All the while, they smile. These Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen must have been trained to maintain their equilibrium even under verbal assault. As a women seated next to me at this meeting suggested, “They are so refined.”
We see what our philosophical blinders permit. At the moment, the charm campaign seems to be working. Will the West catch on to what is happening? Perhaps, but by then it may be too late.
Herbert Londonis president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book Decline and Revival in Higher Education (Transaction Books).
The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect the views of this station or its management.