Wednesday, 9 February 2011

“Whither the Muslim Brotherhood”

Letter to the International Herald Tribune, the international edition of the New York Times:

TARIQ Ramadan is wrong to imply that the Muslim Brotherhood was strongly critical of the fascist governments in Germany during the Second World War (“Whither the Muslim Brotherhood”, IHT, Feb 9).
Hassan al-Banna, Ramadan’s grandfather and founder of the Brotherhood, together with Banna’s brother in arms, the execrable and murderously anti-Semitic Mufti Amin al-Husseini, were excited by the Third Reich’s battle with Britain the hated colonialist, and the Nazis’ grand aim of exterminating all Jews.  An early Muslim Brother, al-Husseini wrote for the Brotherhood’s magazine, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun throughout the war, in enthusiastic support of the Third Reich.

THE Mufti decamped to Berlin during the war from where he broadcast messages to Muslims supporting Germany’s fight against Britain and promoting Hitler’s holocaust.  He raised a Muslim brigade to fight for the Reich in Europe and promised to be Hitler’s dedicated agent for genocide of the Middle Eastern Jews after the presumed defeat of the Allies. [1]
The Brotherhood was so driven by anti-colonialism, in other words, that it supported Germany against Britain. And –  by happy coincidence –  the Nazis shared the Brotherhood’s hatred of Jews and its plan to exterminate them.
IT is possible, as Ramadan suggests, that the Brotherhood is now a soft puppy, a warm agent of social change.  It is possible that it eschews its early anti-Semitic origins and forswears its basic aim, which in al-Banna’s own words is "
to dominate . . . to impose its laws on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet."[2]  We should be open to that possibility that the Brotherhood, in Ramadan’s words, is now driven by a vision of “democratic freedom”.
BUT we’d be wise to keep our eyes open and not let them be wooled over by the likes of Ramadan’s apologia for his grandfather Hassan al-Banna.   If the Brotherhood remains true to its aims, they are profoundly anti-western and violently anti-Semitic.

Yours, etc.

[1] Icon of Evil, Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam, John Rothmann and Alan Dershowitz, Transaction, August 2009
[2] "A Hundred Years of War?", Clifford D. May, Assyrian International News Agency, 4 Oct 2008.