New York Times Covers Up for Its Favorite Muslim Brother

New York Times' “moderate” Tariq Ramadan caught on unearthed video calling down divine vengeance on those he considers Allah’s enemies.

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The media fog machine is in full operation on the scene of the Egyptian upheaval. The International Herald Tribune – the global edition of the New York Times – today published an article (“Whither the Muslim Brotherhood?”) by Europe’s favorite Islamic scholar, Tariq Ramadan. The article promotes the childish notion that we should accept the nature of an organization on the basis of its public pronouncements. Specifically, Ramadan claims that the once-violent Muslim Brotherhood has seen the democratic light and is deserving of a role in the future government of Egypt.

According to Ramadan:
Respect for democratic principles demands that all forces that reject violence and respect the rule of law (both before and after elections) participate fully in the political process. The Muslim Brotherhood must be a full partner in the process of change. In the end, only democracies that embrace all nonviolent political forces can bring about peace in the Middle East…

In the article, Ramadan predictably insists that America adhere to its values and chides America for worrying about whether the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to use this popular uprising as a stepping stone to power as had happened in Iran and many other revolutions prior:
Citing the voices of dangerous Islamists to justify not listening to the voices of the people is short-termist as well as illogical.

In typical dismissive fashion, Ramadan wants us to ignore the logically uncomplicated worry that it might be hard to discern the genuine “voices of people” yearning for freedom from the voices of “dangerous Islamists” hoping to use this opening to gain power.

Concealing inconvenient facts is part of the sophisticated deception art practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood and by Islamist scholars like Ramadan; and in this they are aided by the formerly mainstream media. The IHT’s byline for Ramadan, correctly discloses that he is the grandson of Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it fails to mention Mr. Ramadan’s close political ties to the Muslim Brotherhood today, or his periodic extremist pronouncements -- like his suggestion that car bombings against U.S. soldiers in Iraq are legitimate. It also omits the fact that under the Bush administration, Ramadan’s American visa was revoked for his having taken part in fundraising for Hamas in France.

Ramadan is usually extremely guarded in his public speech. However, Americans for Peace and Tolerance has obtained – and Palestinian Media Watch has translated -- a sermon delivered by Ramadan in Paris in 2008, where he strays from the usual talking points about peace and democracy.
Allah, we ask You because You are Allah. Allah, strengthen the faith of our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Allah, strengthen their faith in Palestine and make them triumphant over their enemy, Your enemy, the enemy of Islam with Your mercy, oh Generous One.

Allah, strengthen their faith in Palestine, in Chechnya, Afghanistan, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, in Egypt, Sudan, Kashmir, and in every land, and on every battlefield. Allah, strike our enemies, Your enemies, the enemies of Islam.

This prayer in Arabic belies Ramadan’s lip-service to peace and democracy. It also exposes his true feelings toward the Muslim Brotherhood’s political opponents – as well as what he would like to see happen to them. It is important to note here that in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, those considered enemies by the Islamists movements may well be dictatorial regimes. But in Kashmir, what Ramadan characterizes as the “enemy of Allah” is India – a vibrant, though infidel, democracy. In “Palestine,” it’s Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. In the Sudan it’s the oppressed black African tribes in Darfur and in Southern Sudan, who have had to endure genocide and enslavement for decades at the hands of Omar Bashir’s Muslim Brotherhood-inspired regime. And in Afghanistan… - it’s us, the United States. This sermon doesn’t sound like a call for nonviolent democratic forces to bring about peace in the Middle East. It sounds like a call to arms against perceived enemies – the U.S. included – under the banner of Islam with the sanction of Allah. We’ll send it along to the New York Times, but somehow we don’t imagine they’ll judge it “news that’s fit to print.”

Hassan Al Banna coined the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto in the 1920s: “Allah is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Quran our constitution, jihad our way and dying for the sake of Allah our supreme objective.” Almost 100 years later, his grandson is echoing many of this motto’s themes behind closed doors while covering up his true ideology with slick strategic deception. And as is often the case with anti-Western ideologues, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune are glad to give him cover – and a platform.

By Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov, President and Research Director of Americans for Peace and Tolerance

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