Lawrence Wright begins his history of al Qaeda and the road to 9/11 with the story of Muslim Brotherhood ideologist Sayyid Qutb, the fellow whose brief residence in Greeley, Colorado in 1949 contributed to his intense hatred of the United States. Qutb found Greeley to be a den of iniquity, what with the sock hops and friendly women to whom he was exposed as a student at the Colorado State College of Education.
Qutb was a great inspiration to Osama bin Laden et al. You can get a pretty good handle on the Brotherhood via its credo: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Or you can take a close look at its Hamas franchise, a terrorist organization committed by charter to the violent destruction of Israel. The Brothers have Jews on the brain, of course, but not only Jews. They don’t much like Christians or other infidels either.
You won’t learn much about the Muslim Brotherhood from one Ahmed Tharwat, whose column — “Stop fearing the Muslim Brotherhood” — the Minneapolis Star Tribune saw fit to post over the weekend. Despite the title of the column, Tharwat doesn’t actually want to talk about the Brotherhood. Indeed, Tharwat is annoyed by questions about the Brotherhood.
Immediately after expressing his annoyance, Tharwat bewails — what else? — the “orthodox Jewish brotherhood, who have been terrorizing the Palestinians for years, grabbing land, denying the inspiration of a whole nation[.]” Rather than talk about the Brotherhood, Tharwat wants to change the subject, as in his peroration:
Don’t ask me about Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafi no more. Ask me about the Tea Party and their Salafi way of thinking, which is embraced by the Republican Party establishment.
Don’t ask me about the Muslim Brotherhood sweeping the Arab world no more.
Ask me about Islamophobia sweeping our nation in the post-9/11 era — where Muslims are not even accepted as consumers, with another low from the Lowe’s home-improvement chain, pandering to some Christian evangelical paranoia and canceling its ad campaign from a TV show that dared to show Muslims as mainstream Americans.
Don’t ask me about the Muslim Brotherhood no more. Ask me about the Koch brothers-hood bankrolling the Salafi evangelical racist movement in this country.
Don’t ask me about the Muslim Brotherhood no more, because no matter how wacky they look, or seem, no matter what they do and say, they are still my brothers.
Well, thanks for clearing that up. It’s almost enough to make you wonder if standards are slipping a bit over at the Star Tribune.
If you want to learn something about the Muslim Brotherhood, you will have to turn elsewhere. I suggest Andrew McCarthy’s NRO column “Fear the Muslim Brotherhood.”