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Thursday, June 30, 2011
ZOA Criticizes Obama For Recognizing & Legitimizing Islamist, Anti-Semitic, Anti-American Muslim Brotherhood

June 30, 2011

Contact Morton A. Klein at: 212-481-1500


ZOA Criticizes Obama for Recognizing & Legitimizing Islamist, Anti-Semitic,
Anti-American Muslim Brotherhood

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized President Barack
Obama for recognizing and legitimizing the Islamist, anti-Semitic,
anti-American Muslim Brotherhood, which is currently a part of the interim
Egyptian government. A U.S. official claimed as justification of this move
that “The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing… It is
in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for
parliament or the presidency” (Tim Mak, ‘U.S. recognizes Muslim Brotherhood,’
Politico, June 30, 2011).

The Muslim Brotherhood – also known as The Ikhwan – was founded in 1929 by
Hassan Al-Banna. Before and during World War Two, it collaborated with Nazi
Germany. It was also the precursor of Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror
movements. Its leading intellectual figure, Sayyid Qutb, is the source of
the argument used by Islamists that governments not ruled by sharia are
apostate and, therefore, legitimate targets of jihad. As Jayshree Bajoria of
the Council on Foreign Relations has written, “Establishing an Islamic state
based on sharia is at the center of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, both
in Egypt and among the group’s many offshoots abroad.” Middle East experts
Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke have written that the Muslim Brotherhood
“followed the path of toleration and eventually came to find democracy
compatible with its notion of slow Islamization.” Shadi Hamid, a Middle East
expert at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center, has described it as “the
mother of all Islamist movements.”

Last year, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Muhammad Badi’, spoke
enthusiastically of jihad and called for a state based on Islamic law. He
also spoke optimistically about the U.S. heading for a collapse. His
second-in-command, Rashad Al-Bayoumi, emphasized earlier this year the
objective of abrogating the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The Muslim
Brotherhood platform, leaked in August 2007, calls for jihad, states that
“Islam is the official state religion and Islamic sharia is the main source
for legislation.” It also states that the president and legislative branch
will be advised by clerics, who must approve decisions and that non-Muslims
will be barred from the presidency, which is also held to be unsuitable for
women. The Brotherhood’s slogan is ‘Islam Is The Answer.’ Al Qaeda and the
Muslim Brotherhood both seek a new Caliphate and their disagreement has been
over tactics, not goals. Under repression in Egypt, the Brotherhood
renounced violence domestically, but not globally and, in particular, not
against Israel, against whom it calls for jihad. It has adopted slogans such
as "Islam is the solution" and "jihad is our way.” The Palestinian branch of
the Brotherhood, Hamas, is a blood-soaked terrorist organization which calls
in its Charter for the destruction of Israel and the worldwide murder of

The Obama Administration has sought to engage with this bitterly
anti-Semitic, anti-Western anti-America organization even before this year’s
political upheaval in Egypt. In June 2009, ahead delivering his speech to
the Muslim world in Cairo, President Obama invited the Muslim Brotherhood
leadership to attend, including Mohammed Saad el-Katatni, the head of its
parliamentary bloc. Following the Obama Administration’s early and
ill-advised call for the Hosni Mubarak regime to go, then-White House press
secretary Robert Gibbs called for “a host of non-secular actors” – a clear
allusion to the Muslim Brotherhood – be part of a future government; Obama
adviser Bruce Riedel argued that America “should not be afraid of the Muslim
Brotherhood”; while Obama’s National Intelligence director James Clapper
described the Brotherhood as being “largely secular” and not particularly

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “From early in his
Administration, even before the current upheaval in Egypt arose, President
Obama has gone out of his way to legitimize this vicious Islamist movement
that has inspired jihadists all over the world. The Muslim Brotherhood seeks
to eliminate Israel, Western democracy and indeed non-Muslim governments
throughout the world. It is absurd to ignore this because the Brotherhood
has found it tactically expedient not to publicly emphasize all its goals or
because it believes it can ease its way slowly into power by using
democratic processes that will come to an end as soon as it attains ultimate

“President Obama is legitimizing a fundamentally illegitimate movement.
President Obama should be opposing and exposing the danger posed by the
Muslim Brotherhood with all his might, not engaging it, now that it has
benefited from his dangerous and ill-advised policy of supporting the
removal of the Mubarak regime and calling for elections in Egypt at a time
when clearly only extremist, Islamist elements can prevail.

“A 2007 University of Maryland survey shows that 67% of Egyptians favor all
Arab countries untied as one Islamist state. A 2010 Pew poll indicates that
74% of Egyptians favoring the imposition of strict sharia (Islamic) law. The
death penalty for those who convert out of Islam is supported by 84% of
Egyptians. So a Muslim Brotherhood takeover is possible. It is the very
antithesis of what the Obama Administration should be encouraging. It is
stunning – and alarming – that the Obama Administration is facilitating the
strengthening of a dangerous anti-Israel, anti-American group like the
Muslim Brotherhood.

“A Muslim Brotherhood regime would take control of a massive Egyptian army,
twice the size of Israel’s, trained by the U.S., possessing ballistic
missiles, chemical weapons, hundreds of U.S.-made warplanes, thousands of
tanks and dozens of ships, purchased with over $40 billion of U.S. military
aid. The Muslim Brotherhood may not attain ultimate power in Egypt in the
immediate future, but its path to such power is being laid today – and
facilitated by President Obama.”

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