In recent months there have been multiple reports in Washington that the U.S. may begin a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood – the world's most prominent Islamist organization. As the U.S. News & World Report of April 25 reported, U.S. intelligence officials have been meeting with members of the Brotherhood and one unidentified source called them, “probably more a part of the solution than a part of the problem.” Some Washington think tanks have also begun to float this in the nation's capital.
It should be noted that the philosophy of the Brotherhood – which has inspired the likes of Al-Qaeda and Hamas (which defines itself as the groups' Palestinian branch) today is led by many telegraphic spokesman who often appear on Arab TV stations in favor of terrorist attacks. For example, Dr. Abd Al-Muni'm Abu Al-Futuh, from the General Guidance Council of the Muslim Brotherhood appeared on al-Jazeera TV on April 25, 2004, where he stated:
We, as Muslim Brotherhood and as the world leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, support the armed resistance in Iraq against the American occupier, one hundred percent. I personally, as all members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and around the world, wish to carry weapons against the American occupation…This is a matter of religion, not politics. When a Muslim land is occupied, Jihad becomes an individual duty….
Deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Al-Sayyid Ahmad Al-Habib, made a similar appearance on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV, on April 8, 2004:
The truth is that the resistance, whether in Iraq or in Palestine… defends the nation's honor…Therefore, the issue…martyrdom (i.e. suicide) operations carried out by boys and girls, and also the operations carried out by the Iraqi resistance – these redeem self-confidence and hope, because a nation that does not excel at the industry of death does not deserve life.
Last year Muhamad Madi Othman 'Akef took over as the Brotherhood's “supreme guide.” At the time he gave a series of interviews laying out the ideology of his group. He explained it was “a religious duty” to attack American and Israeli soldiers and speaking to the Egyptian weekly Al-Arabi on January 18, 2004, he denied being in dialogue with the U.S., which he dubbed“Satan.”
Discussing the coming collapse of America, 'Akef gave an interview to the Egyptian weekly Nahdhat Misr on January 21, 2004: “The matter of America's attempt to take over the world is not new…I expect America to collapse soon. The elements of this collapse in America [already] exist, and Allah is the Savior.”
According to the Muslim Brotherhood website last year 'Akef discussed the coming conversion of Europe and America to Islam: “I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America, because Islam has logic and a mission. The Europeans and the Americans will come into the bosom of Islam out of conviction.”
Having explained the pro-jihad terrorist ideology of the Brotherhood, in this limited space, it is difficult to understand how anyone in the U.S. would consider a dialogue with the group. In fact this has infuriated many in the Middle East including some of the most prominent pro-American reformists who the U.S. should be listening to. For example, Kuwaiti intellectual Ahmad Baghdadi wrote a series of articles in January 2005 in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa and Egyptian weekly Akhbar Al-Yaum calling for outlawing and disbanding the Brotherhood.
Calling the group a “terrorist organization” he questioned the “U.S.'s silence regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that [this organization] supports terrorism, whether by supporting Bin Laden … or by publishing terrorist fatwa's…calling to destroy democracy….”
Baghdadi warned the U.S. not to believe the Brotherhood and the possibility it could moderate, claiming:
The policy of bribing religious organizations is a total failure, since these religious organizations are like snakes. You can never know when and where they will bite you. Thus, the best policy for dealing with [these] snakes is to kill them right off…Reliance on these organizations means the destruction not only of democracy, but also of the future,e which the U.S. aspires to achieve through its “Greater Middle East” program. Staying silent in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood's…activities [only] multiplies its strength and reach. The day will come when the only solution for this will be confrontation, and it is better that this be now and not later.
It should be noted that Baghdadi's ongoing criticism of Islamists has led him to seek political asylum in the West.