Monday, 21 February 2011

Whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood, BBC style

Tarik Kafala the BBC's Middle East (Web) Editor is in Cairo, I knew this because that is one of the excuses that the BBC are using as to why my complaint from last year about anti-Israel bias is still being investigated - you can read more about this matter from this link. Tarik Kafala posted an article over the weekend and it is entitled 'Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood promotes moderate path'. The article starts by eulogising the Muslim Brotherhood for its building and running of 'hospitals, schools, banks, community centres, and facilities for the disabled in cities and towns all over the country (Egypt).' The article devotes a lot of space to portraying the Muslim Brotherhood as a social services organisation, operating outside that of Egypt itself.

But the article starts with this sentence 'The Muslim Brotherhood - the biggest opposition force in Egypt - is mistrusted in the West and by some in Egypt. The BBC's Tarik Kafala investigates its platform and activities.'
So does Tarik Kafala address the reasons for the mistrust?

If you read right down the article, and most peoiple as Tarik Kafala knows, won't then you find this section:
'With its conservative Islamist agenda and its historical links to radical and sometimes violent groups, it is feared and mistrusted in the West and to some extent in Egypt.

Its many critics fear it will seek to come to power through the ballot box and institute Sharia Islamic law, moving Egypt in a far more conservative and anti-Western direction.

Dr Issam al-Arian, the Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman, is himself a medic. He runs his own private medical lab and volunteers three days a week at the Islamic Medical Association.

"The worry about us in the West is the result of bias and double standards," Dr Arian says.

The movement, he says, wants to be a party representing all kinds of Egyptians.

"We will serve Muslims, Christian, men and woman, young and old. Many friends - Christians I am talking about - are asking us when we will form a party."

He insists the movement is genuinely democratic, and will have to compete with emerging parties for the votes of Egyptians.

"The West should respect this, and after elections respect the wishes of the Egyptians.

"It is in the West's interest to honestly pursue its own interests in the Middle East. The main demand of our revolution was for democracy, and this cannot be put this on hold across the region because of the fears of six million Israelis."'
So some people fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will institute Sharia law if elected. Why might some people think that? Maybe because the Muslim Brotherhood believe that the Quran and Sunnah constitute a perfect way of life and that Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood's goal was originally stated as to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia. The Muslim Brotherhood teaches that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedom to the extent allowed by the laws of Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood's sister organisation runs Gaza, ask the people there whether they feel free and liberated under the rule of thugs who throw opponents off of the top of buildings, shoot at wedding parties and hide rocket launchers in residential buildings.

Did you spot the omission in the above quoted promise?
"We will serve Muslims, Christian, men and woman, young and old. Many friends - Christians I am talking about - are asking us when we will form a party."
What about the remaining Jews in Egypt, will they be served by the Muslim Brotherhood? Or will the Muslim Brotherhood that disseminates Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations and whose Supreme Guide, Mustafa Mashhur, told journalist Khalid Daoud in 1997 that he thought Egypt's Coptic Christians and Orthodox Jews should pay the long-abandoned jizya poll tax?

Tarik Kafala's article also includes some quotations from Mrs Makram-Ebied, a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, who:
'believes that the Brotherhood was savvy in its handling of the protests.

"They were there, but they did not overwhelm things," she says.

Mrs Makram-Ebied believes that the Muslim Brotherhood can and should become a legal party if it "plays by the rules".

These are, she argues: "no Sharia law and real democratic elections, not just once, but again and again".

"This appears to be what they want and, in time, they should become something akin to the Christian Democrats in Europe."'

Tarik Kafala's piece ends with this section:
'For Egypt's eight million or so Christians, the Brotherhood's call for Sharia law to be made the law of the state is particularly worrying.

Attacks on Christians have been on the increase. On New Year's Eve, 21 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside a church in Alexandria.

"I felt this solidarity building after the massacre of New Year's Eve. People were aghast. So there was a beginning and Tahrir Square epitomised what we were all looking for," says Mrs Makram-Ebeid, herself a Christian.

"My hope is that the new generation will come out with new ideas for a secular, democratic and pluralistic country. But it will take time." '
Finally a mention, albeit a brief one, of the anti-Christian attacks that have become more frequent in recent years, not that people who rely on the BBC for their news would have heard of all of them, or all of the facts of those that the BBC did manage to report.

So there we have it, a report on the Muslim Brotherhood by the BBC's Web Middle East Editor, Tarik Kafala, that deals gently with the fears that many have about the Muslim Brotherhood and portrays the Muslim Brotherhood primarily as a extra-State social services organisation. Nary a mention of the Muslim Brotherhood's past, it's Islamist beliefs or its leaders' comments over the years that they want to "Kill Jews – to the very last one.” Not even a mention that one reason why 'six million Israelis' have 'fears' is partly because one Muslim Brotherhood leader told an Arab language newspaper recently that Egyptians "should prepare for war against Israel."

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