Muslim Brotherhood to Ryan Mauro: We Support Violence against ‘Aggressors and Invaders’
by RYAN MAURO
October 2, 2012
The "non-violent" group says it isn't so non-violent.
On August 10, I posed a question to the Muslim Brotherhood on its official English-language Twitter page about whether it supports attacks on Israelis and U.S. soldiers in Muslim lands. The supposedly "non-violent" Islamist group's reply was, "if they were aggressors and invaders of our lands no matter what nationality."
The answer was evasive, yet telling. The Brotherhood did not want to confirm the fears of a Western audience, nor could it disappoint its Islamist supporters. So, the Brotherhood replied in the affirmative without posting an incriminating quote.
The Brotherhood consistently condemns Israel (including civilians) and the U.S. military as "aggressors and invaders of our lands." In the conversation that followed, the Brotherhood provided the rationale for attacks on Israelis and U.S. soldiers (and even the U.S. itself), while carefully giving itself enough wiggle room to deny that it was actually calling for acts of violence.
The exchange began when the Brotherhood tweeted an article where it denied participating in protests in Cairo that resulted in the death of a journalist. The title is, "Muslim Brotherhood: We Do Not Use Force or Violence Against Opponents."
I asked, "Unless they are Israelis or American soldiers in Muslim lands, right?"
On June 26, the Brotherhood sent out a tweet attacking me as "delusional" and a "scaremonger" that should "spread hate somewhere else," so I wasn't confident that I'd get a response but the Brotherhood replied, "unless if they were aggressors and invaders of our lands no matter what nationality? Of course."
Again, that is precisely how the Brotherhood depicts the U.S. military. The top Brotherhood cleric, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, even approved attacks on the U.S. military and ordered Muslims to side with the Taliban against the U.S.
At this point, another person pointed out that my question referred to Israelis as a whole and he stated that Israeli civilians are not "aggressors and invaders." The Brotherhood again responded with evasion, asking "and who said they are?" The Brotherhood's position has always been that Israelis altogether are legitimate targets. Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. It just knew that saying that on an English-language Twitter page wouldn't be the wisest thing to do.
"We said ‘no matter what nationality,' and not referring only to soldiers," the Brotherhood then tweeted (my emphasis).
But if attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas are acceptable because they are invading Muslim lands, then would that make the U.S. itself a target? I asked, "Stage country sending the ‘aggressors' is a legitimate target then, right?"
The Brotherhood's response: "yes, according to International Law, it's an act of war."
The Brotherhood isn't dumb enough to say it sanctions the killing of U.S. soldiers or attacks on the U.S. in an English forum like this, but it certainly provided the rationale.
"Thanks for being honest enough to admit that MB supports attacks on the US," I replied.
The Brotherhood had been put into an awkward position. It admitted supporting attacks on "aggressors and invaders of our lands" and the countries that dispatch them but "aggressors and invaders" is exactly how it defines the U.S. military and Israel. Either the Brotherhood had to concede that American soldiers and Israelis are not "aggressors and invaders" or it had to confirm what the answer implies-that these are legitimate targets.
The Brotherhood's word games went into overdrive. It said my question was "hypothetical" and "we said if a country invades/attacks us by sending troops or terrorists (not soldiers), then it's, acc to IL [according to international law], a legit target." My scenario, it said, was like the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after being attacked on 9/11.
This public exchange is just another example of the deceptive semantics tricks the Brotherhood uses. It condemns "terrorism" but doesn't consider Hamas to be a terrorist group. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said in 2011, "We don't use violence against anyone" but attacks on Israel are "resistance." The group participates in elections and praises democracy but Sheikh Qaradawi explains our "democracy is different" because "Sharia as a political system has limits." The Muslim Brotherhood is "moderate" because Al-Qaeda, by comparison, is extreme.
The West falls for it so easily. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in February 2011 that the Brotherhood "has eschewed violence." In April, a spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, defended the White House's meetings with the Brotherhood because they "are committed to democratic principles, especially nonviolence."
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood may not carry out acts of violence itself but it certainly gives the theological stamp of approval for violent jihad. It cannot be argued that the Egyptian Brotherhood is "committed" to nonviolence when it authorizes and promotes violence and its branches act on it.
The West needs to wake up. The Brotherhood just said that it supports jihad against "aggressors and invaders of our lands." That, in their minds, is what the West is.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters' national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.