Al Arabiya Columnist: Muslim Brotherhood U.S. presence marginal
” … a group that has caused them little or no harm directly and that was not linked to September 11.”
– Sonia Farid, regarding Muslim Brotherhood in U.S.
Sonia Farid, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Cairo University and writes a guest column for Al Arabiya. Many of her articles focus on Egyptian governmental reform and are critical of the Muslim Brotherhood.
She recently wrote, “Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization? “ highlighting a petition by Dick Morris to “Declare the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization” and how such a call could be applied to Egypt.
Ms. Farid dismisses Morris’ concerns regarding Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) activity in the United States, writing:
“… It is more interesting to speculate whether Americans would in fact sign this petition against a group that has caused them little or no harm directly and that was not linked to September 11. Although it does mention Terrorism with a capital T in reference to the MB’s global influence, the petition addresses America and is aimed at protecting American national security. “
In reality, the Muslim Brotherhood, through U.S. based front groups has managed to cause significant harm to the security of the United States. MB political influence efforts, have resulted in domestic security and law enforcement programs to become severely compromised. Examples include the Ft. Hood shooting/trial as well as the intelligence failures leading up to the Boston Marathon Bombing.
In regards to September 11th, Ms. Farid is apparently not aware of Al-Qaeda’s origins – Osama bin Laden, Saif al-Adel and Ayman al-Zawahiri were MB members. According to news reports, a 2002 raid of the Bosnian offices of the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), an Illinois-based Muslim charity disclosed payments made to Al Qaeda as well as direct correspondence between bin Laden and BIF officials. BIF officials and activities have been linked to U.S. MB financing operations.
Ms. Farid adds:
“At the end of the day, the MB is not a major source of concern for average American citizens and they are unlikely to rally behind such a cause.”
This statement brings to light a common misconception – that the Muslim Brotherhood has very little activity in America.
There is nothing that could be farther from the truth.
Through such groups as IIIT, MAS, ISNA, MPAC and others, the MB has been influencing U.S. domestic and foreign policy. The current backing of the MB in Egypt and Syria was facilitated through the efforts of MB front groups operating within the U.S..
The main reason American citizens would not rally behind such a cause has more to do with public apathy and ignorance.
To her credit, Ms. Farid does seem to reverse her opinion on Morris’ petition towards the end of her commentary – even suggesting that Egypt could learn from it:
“Apart from the American habit of labeling as terrorist any entity that might remotely undermine its interests or those of its allies, Morris’s petition in particular underlines two important facts. The first is that designating a group as a terrorist organization is not a symbolic action to indicate condemnation of a group’s activities, but a practical one. The state, he explains, would make sure this group is denied any assistance. Therefore, taking such a step in Egypt would mean blocking through legal means all the channels through which the MB receives financial and logistical aid. The second issue is the importance of identifying the enemy; otherwise you may as well wage war against the windmills. “
For many in the U.S., the important issue is that they actually recognize they have an organized enemy working to dismantle the way of life as they know it.
SIDE NOTE/COMMENT: I’m not a big proponent of Dick Morris but his petition/web site refers to Citizens for National Security (CFNS). This is an excellent group that focuses on research and education regarding the extremist Islamic threat. I highly recommend their 2011 “Homegrown Jihad in the USA” as a condensed guide in understanding the Islamist progress in the U.S..