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Emet m'Tsiyon

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Did James Clapper Falsely Claim that the Muslim Brotherhood Is "largely secular" & Not Extreme?

Just about everybody knows by now that James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence [sic!] made some dumb comments about the Muslim Brotherhood. He said that it was "largely secular". This statement was so blatantly false and indeed ridiculous that both bloggers and American politicians and former American officials ridiculed him for it and/or demanded that he leave his post. What the statement meant, that is, what its purpose was, was to get the American people to accept the Muslim Brotherhood as rulers of Egypt. Here are quotes from Clapper on the Politico site, although it is not the full statement as originally published on Politico but a short version after he had "clarified" his original remarks:
In response to questioning from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) about the threat posed by the group, Clapper suggested that the Egyptian part of the Brotherhood is not particularly extreme and that the broader international movement is hard to generalize about.

“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said. “They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.”

The Brotherhood uses the slogan, “Islam is the answer,” and generally advocates for government in accordance with Islamic principles. The movement has as a broad goal unifying what it perceives as Muslim lands, from Spain to Indonesia, as a “caliphate.” [on Hot Air][disclaimer on Politico]

Clapper said later in the hearing:
Clapper said later in the hearing that the Brotherhood in Egypt runs 29 hospitals "not under the guise of an extremist agenda." He said the group fills a vacuum caused by the absence of government services, but added, "It is not necessarily with a view to promoting violence or overthrow of the state. [available on Judith Klinghoffer's blog]
Experts like Walid Phares reacted with amazement [here]. Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed deep disagreement with this claim by Clapper, when interviewed by Fox News.

Let's analyze and try to characterize Clapper's statement. He portrays the MB as not extreme and not religious [obviously a lie], as innocuous and even as humanitarian and working for "social betterment." This silly characterization of MB was supported later in the statement by the claim that it runs 29 hospitals. He says that it not a disciplined, unified organization, implying that it is not a group to worry about. Rather he claims, the MB is: "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam." Now, I cannot refute his claim that the MB has "decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam." But supposing that they said it and that they "eschewed violence," is Clapper incapable of understanding that when a group like the MB is in a weak position, it might pretend to be non-violent, innocuous, generously intentioned and so on. That is called taqiyya in Arabic and has been often practiced by religio-political movements [most religious movements in Islam are also political] that need to show obeisance to a strong enemy, at least for the moment.

Of course, the word "eschew" implies that previously they had endorsed violence. In fact, the now fallen Mubarak came out of the same regime that Nasser and Sadat established in 1952, with American and British help at that time. Nasser also had MB support in his takeover in 1952. However, after the takeover was well established, the MB turned against Nasser and tried to assassinate him after which he treated the MB and its leaders very severely. Earlier, in 1948 the MB had sent a delegation of armed men to fight to prevent Israeli independence. Naturally, the British, who controlled the border at that time [before May 15, 1948], allowed the armed Muslim fanatics to cross the border to fight the Jews.

More recently, after the treaty with Israel, Sadat gave more freedom than previously to the MB. The native Egyptian Christians, the Copts, the purest descendants of the ancient Egyptians, suffered from the increased influence of the MB --and Sadat himself was assassinated by an offshoot group of the MB.

Clapper's statement is a lie and Clapper surely knows it. So he is lying to the Congress and the American people. Given many other statements and policies of the Obama administration, as well as overt and covert actions of the Obama govt, such as encouraging the pro-Hamas "Gaza Freedom" convoy that tried to break Israel's legitimate blockade of Hamas-run Gaza, we may conclude that Clapper and Obama & Co. want to promote the Muslim Brotherhood, probably as a coming government of Egypt or to ensure that MB gets a role in a future Egyptian govt. Clapper was using his presumed professional expertise to try to persuade the American people that there is nothing to fear from the MB.

Clapper clarifies [here]
Barry Rubin on Obamamaniac's Egypt policy [here] & on the MB's real aims [here]
Translation of a book by an MB official where he spells what the MB really stands for, as he sees it, not as Clapper or Obama sees it [here] [h/t Judith Klinghoffer]
John Roy Carlson on the MB's war on Israel [with British cooperation] and the MB's plans for Egyptian Jews [here]
Melanie Philips on Obama's zigzags and promotion of the MB [here]
2-15-2011 Bret Stephens of the WSJ on the Muslim Brotherhood's propensity to be all things to all men, that is, to deceive the West into thinking that the MB is somehow nice and innocuous [here]

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