Considering Mohammed Morsi and Hamas: The Muslim Brotherhood in Power

Mohammed Morsi, the once democratically-elected ruler of Egypt, died on June 17, 2019 while in court. His death is a useful time to consider the difference between most Arab Muslim countries dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood and that of the Palestinians.

Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood was developed in Egypt in the early 20th century, not long after the British and French Mandates took control of most of the Middle East. It espoused the adopting of Islamic sharia law in all aspects of society and the unification of Muslim lands to thwart western “imperialism.”

The Brotherhood grew to a major force and was involved in a number of violent acts including assassinations before it was banned by Gamel Abdel Nasser. His successors Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak were similarly cautious about them, but it was the “Arab Spring” in 2011 that truly afforded the group to chance to come out from the shadows and run aggressively in the country’s election in 2012. It won 52% of the vote and was declared the winner on June 18, 2012, with the party’s leader Mohamed Morsi sworn in as president on June 30.

Morsi’s tenure would last just a year as concern about how his reforms would play out worried non-Muslims and liberals. The military took over and arrested Morsi and hundreds of other members of the Brotherhood. Many were sentenced to death, with several – like Morsi – spending the rest of their lives in courts pleading for their lives.

Palestinian Arabs and Hamas

The Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Israel and Gaza was launched in 1987 together with the first Intifada, and called Hamas. Hamas published its charter in 1988, calling for the death of Jews around the world and the complete destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. It was the most antisemitic ruling document of any party ever written – including from Nazi Germany.

Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) viewed Hamas as a political rival to his own Fatah party. He did not ban it as much as tried to use and abuse it, much the way political enemies do.

When the Palestinians created the Palestinian Authority and held elections for president and parliament in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Hamas participated with the support of the U.S.’s Bush administration. Hamas won 58% of the parliamentary seats. In its rivalry with Fatah, it fought a mini-war in 2007 to seize control of the Gaza Strip, which it continues to hold to this day.

Saudi Arabia and other Muslim States

The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the Saudi monarchy for both allowing U.S. soldiers on “Muslim land” during Operation Desert Storm, and the ongoing close relationship that the monarchy maintains with the west. The government designated the group as a terrorist organization in 2014, as a long developing post-9/11 U.S. initiative on the “War on Terror.”

Syria banned the Brotherhood and considered membership in the group a capital offense as far back as 1980. The UAE labeled the group a terrorist organization in 2014, around the same time as Saudi Arabia.

The principal backers of the Muslim Brotherhood are Qatar and Turkey. Its messages can be found throughout the Qatar-owned media outlet, Al Jazeera. Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved his country much further towards sharia over his tenure. Both Turkey and Qatar are significant backers of Hamas.


The Muslim Brotherhood has some deep support in the Muslim Middle East, with calls for institutionalization of sharia law and a caliphate, quite similar to the goals of the Islamic State/ ISIS. The MB has been banned and prosecuted by the leaders of most of the Muslim countries as a threat to their ruling status, and the leaders use their military and court system to suppress the group.

The Palestinian Authority does not have a strong leader. Mahmoud Abbas has no military and barely a court system. Abbas cannot bring himself to strike a compromise joint government, and he risks losing foreign funding if the Palestinian government includes a terrorist organization. His attempts to woo the Palestinian Arabs to Fatah have been weak, as he has not brought the economy and self-determination which many had hoped for.

Morsi’s life and death is a window into the Muslim Middle East: people who desire a caliphate and to be ruled by sharia law, in competition with leaders who want to maintain their own power as well as access to money and respect from the western world. As long as that non-Muslim world continues to demand Middle East oil and shipping through the Suez Canal, the tension will continue. When it stops caring, the caliphate of the indigent will be here.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Educating the New York Times: Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood

The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Is Israel Reforming the Muslim Middle East? Impossible According to The NY Times

Hidden Reactor, Silent Reaction

The New York Times Refuses to Label Hamas a Terrorist Group

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Educating the New York Times: Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood

On June 2, 2015 the New York Times once again decided to tell the world that the people of Gaza are suffering.

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New York Times cover picture of Gaza,
June 2, 2015

With a large color picture on the front page, the Times included another picture and article inside regarding how the Gazan community has still suffered from a lack of money, jobs and rebuilding of the infrastructure one year after the war “between Hamas and Israel.”  If a reader ever wanted to learn about the scores of people killed in Nigeria, they would have to hunt inside the paper for an article on page A4 (with no picture).  If they wanted to hear about the dozens of Yemeni civilians killed by Saudi Arabia, they would have had to turn to page A12 the day before.  This has been a continuing pattern for the NYT, as outlined in “Every Picture Tells a Story – Whitewashing the World” where the killing of civilians around the world went under-reported, while the suffering of Gazans remained over-reported.

Another trend of the liberal press has been to not label Hamas a terrorist organization, as reviewed in “CNN’s Embrace of Hamas.”  The group simply is a political group dedicated to “resistance.”

The June 2 NYT article “Gazans’ Hopes for Rebuilding After War Give Way to Deeper Despair” has continued to add to the trend of distancing Palestinian Arabs from Hamas, and Hamas from terrorism, as if everything that happened to Gazans was poor luck and happenstance.

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The article referred to the Palestinian Arabs’ “hope” and “Early optimism that global powers would intervene forcefully to rebuild the battered coastal enclave after the 50-day summer war between Gaza’s Hamas government and Israel “.  The article never discussed their hope that Hamas would destroy Israel.

The article detailed the blight in Gaza, stating “Pulverized buildings are still scattered along Gaza’s border areas from the last war. In the rubble of Shejaiya, an eastern neighborhood of Gaza City, near the border with Israel,” but did not discuss that the Shejaya neighborhood was the locus of dozens of tunnels from people’s homes into Israel to commit acts of terror.

It would appear that the NYT further wanted its readers to believe that the people of Gaza made a momentary strategic blunder in aligning itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in a “decision that backfired“:

The Egyptian government, a bitter enemy of its homegrown Islamist party,
the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken extraordinary steps to shut down the tunnels [connecting Egypt and Gaza]  that were the lifeblood of the Gaza economy.

Egypt has opened its border only five times this year, part of a broader policy to punish Hamas, which aligned itself with the Brotherhood, Egypt’s former ruling party,
a decision that backfired when the military seized power in mid-2013.

This is ridiculous.  Hamas IS an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood. It didn’t simply “align itself” in “a decision that backfired.”  Here are quotes from the Hamas Charter (1988):

“Article 2: The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times….

Article 7: The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.”

This is not subject to interpretation. Hamas is an integral part of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement, a group which has been actively banned and persecuted in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Syria for promoting terrorism.

However, such facts muddy a narrative of Palestinian Arabs as innocent victims.  Therefore, the media seems to have concluded that the best way to advance the victimhood tale requires a multi-part effort:

  1. Distance the people from the ruling government and negative reports. Minimize the fact that Palestinian Arabs voted for Hamas, which has led Fatah in every poll since 2006. Explain that the Arabs are frustrated by the Fatah corruption so had no practical choice other than voting for Hamas. Explain Palestinian Arabs being the most anti-Semitic people in the world by using terms like “not surprising” without delving into cause-and-effect.
  2. Stop calling Hamas a terrorist organization. Use terms like “militant” sparingly, and ideally, just “Islamist”.
  3. Refer to Hamas as a political entity. Which it is, like the Nazi party was a political entity elected by the Germans in the 1930s. Quote “political leaders” of Hamas often.
  4. Never refer to the Hamas Charter, which calls for the complete destruction of Israel; murder of Jews and never accepting any negotiated settlement. Skip the long, evil Jewish and Zionist conspiracy theories- those statements are just noise that cloud the picture of Palestinian Arab suffering.
  5. Localize Hamas to an Israeli resistant movement.  In a world that fears the dangerous rise of the Islamic State / ISIS, do not let Hamas get painted as part of a broader Muslim terrorist group (as described above).

If you follow these steps, the Palestinian Arabs can appear as passive victims and not as active participants in a radical anti-Semitic, anti-Western regional movement to install a Muslim caliphate.

Read the press today. Which rules are they using?

 


Related First.One.Through articles:

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

The Death of Civilians; the Three Shades of Sorrow

Honor Killings in Gaza

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza 2014