Middle East studies in the News
The Muslim Brotherhood's Political Pilgrims [incl. Ingrid Mattson]
The Left's political pilgrimage vis-à-vis totalitarian monstrosities continues unabated. With the Islamo-Fascist Muslim Brotherhood now poised to share governance in Egypt in the post-Mubarak era, progressives worldwide are salivating with glee. And it's to be completely expected of course: the Left has a long and eerie tradition of worshiping at the feet of tyrants and terrorists. The Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological forebear of Hamas and al-Qaeda. Its top priorities are to implement Sharia law, annihilate Israel, and purify Egypt from American and Western infections with human blood. Naturally, the Left has now found a new target for a political romance.
The usual suspects are leading the progressive charge: the notorious Obama fundraiser group Code Pink, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), A.N.S.W.E.R., and the International Action Center (IAC), founded by Ramsey Clark. These leftist groups are now on the frontlines cheering on the Islamists in Egypt as Khomeini-style killing fields loom ominously on the horizon for the Middle Eastern country. Members of the political faith simply can't contain themselves from worshiping at the feet of tyrants who are set on perpetrating a mass slaughter and are intent on bringing the carnage to America. Anti-American "feminist" Naomi Klein set the tone perfectly a few years back for her comrades when, ina column in The Nation, she enunciated her heartfelt longing for Muqtada al-Sadr's killing fields to come to New York.
And so, our Radical-in-Chief is unsurprisingly joining in on the Progressive-Brotherhood love-fest, extending his hand of solidarity to the Muslim Brotherhood and giving the Islamist group a green light to share power in a post-Mubarak Egyptian government.
Obama is, of course, just doing what comes naturally to him, as he revealed his own political romance with radical Islam immediately upon taking office. Back in February 2009, for instance, Obama made sure to reward Hamas for launching rockets into Israeli towns and cities by flirting with the terrorist group and announcing plans to place $900 million of American taxpayers' money into its blood-soaked hands. The president followed up by going on his own political pilgrimage, traveling to the Middle East in April 2009 to bow in front of the Saudi king. The love affair was brought to a climax two months later, in June 2009, this time when the president traveled to Cairo University to address the Muslim world andinvited at least ten Muslim Brotherhood members to attend.
Thus, it makes total sense that the president continued to indulge in putting quite distinguished people on his "guest lists." When the Obama White House had its infamous 2010 Ramadan dinner, the guests included two Islamists: Ingrid Mattson and Salam Al-Marayati. Mattson heads the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. An Islamic "charity," the Foundation was convicted in 2008 for funding the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. Al-Marayati heads the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an anti-Israel organization that spends most of its time obfuscating and equivocating about the terrorist threat. Al-Marayati has distinguished himself with his view that if Islamic groups were suspects for the 9/11 attacks, then Israel should be as well, since it had the "most to gain."
While the president plays his part, leftist scholars and journalists are also joining the Brotherhood odyssey. Bruce Riedel is particularly distinguishing himself in this theater. A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, Riedel is, unsurprisingly, one of Obama's chief advisors on the Middle East and is promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that the U.S. needs to befriend and show warmth to the group — as well as to Hamas and Hezbollah. In his mind, the onus is on the United States to "understand" the Muslim Brotherhood, because it "is the most reasonable face of Islamic politics in the Arab world today."
Salon reporter Justin Elliott, meanwhile, is calling for an American dalliance with the Brotherhood. He is joined by John Feffer, co-director of the leftist think tank Foreign Policy In Focus, who is hailing the Islamist group, titling his recent Huffington Post article "Two Cheers for the Brotherhood." There are also the likes of Islamist apologists and leftists like Reza Aslan who are trying to get the Brotherhood into power in Egypt by sanitizing it. As Aslan adamantly implores for all of us to understand, the Muslim Brotherhood is not really so bad and doesn't represent a threat at all. Why? Well, because "people like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum" are just as dangerous since they are "two men whose views on the role of religion and politics are almost identical to those of the Muslim Brotherhood." That's a comparison for the record books.
In reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood, all these leftists are taking a page from the book of their guru Jimmy Carter, who has led his political flock by example — and, oh, let us count the ways. Carter pulled the rug out from under the shah's feet in 1979 and helped the Ayatollah Khomeini achieve power in Iran. He went out of his way, during the Gaza War in the winter of 2008–2009, to support Hamas, whose main purpose is to annihilate Israel — and whose members spend time reading Mein Kampf anddoing the Nazi salute.
In a Washington Post piece titled "An Unnecessary War," Carter spoke dismissively of Israel's thirst for life as if Article XI in Hamas' charter doesn't exist and as if the Nazi organization is some kind of social welfare agency. Getting down into the moral sewer for the millionth time in his life, he referred to "a defensive tunnel" being dug by Hamas — you know, sort of like the Nazis had to build the "defensive" chambers at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Treblinka.
Carter also did his progressive duty and traveled to meet and worship the objects of his veneration in person. In April 2008, he embarked on a political pilgrimage to Cairo and Damascus to show his personal affection to various mass murderers. Part of his itinerary included a face-to-face passionate encounter with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, the mastermind of several high-profile terror attacks.
Carter was clearly trying to outdo MIT professor Noam Chomsky in dancing with Islamist devils. It remains a debatable question who wins on the tally sheet of this particular leftist dance-off. It could legitimately be argued that Chomsky has outscored all other members of the political faith in setting the tone for the Left's current Muslim Brotherhood romance.
Back in May 2006, for example, he traveled to Lebanon to consummate a political love affair that he had begun in the 1990s. Arriving in a southern suburb of Beirut, Chomsky entered the headquarters of Hezbollah and warmly embraced the terror organization's secretary general, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. It was a thrilling moment for the professor, for finally he could apologize to a Nazi for being a Jew in person. And there Chomsky was, with the distinguished honor of standing in the company of the bloodthirsty jihadist murderers who had slaughtered 241 American servicemen at the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and, of course, untold numbers of Israeli citizens over many years.
Chomsky justified these murderous crimes as "legitimate resistance" against an oppressor. Having praised the terrorist organization throughout the 1990s, Chomsky could now put his complete seal of approval on Hezbollah. And he did: he gave his blessing to Nasrallah, praised his cause, and approved his refusal to disarm.
And so, the current leftist romance with the Muslim Brotherhood has its solid foundations to stand on. The historical precedents and inspirations are there, in infinite numbers, to give guidance and sanctioning for the new terror-loving and monster-venerating political pilgrims of our time.
Jamie Glazov is the editor of FrontPageMag.com. He is the author of the new book United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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