Skip to main content

Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood: The Spin Cycle

PART I of IV

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), retired Air Force Lieutenant General James Clapper, is responsible to the President for all national security intelligence. Today, LtGen Clapper testified before a Congressional committee, "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."

The first thing that jumped out at me when I read LtGen Clapper's statement was the obvious oxymoron, that an organization called "Muslim Brotherhood" could be or would be secular. I checked my dictionary to confirm that I actually did know what "secular" meant, and I did: "not concerned with or related to religion."

As I was shaking my head about how the DNI could seriously consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be secular, an official in the DNI's office "clarified" the DNI's statement: "To clarify Director Clapper's point, in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak's rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation. He is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization."

Well, maybe he's aware of it and maybe he's not. It doesn't matter. What matters is the narrative he's pushing about an organization that's a serious threat in the Middle East. There is quite a lot of misinformation out there about the Muslim Brotherhood and there is also quite a lot of disinformation out there. The Muslim Brotherhood is not only not a secular movement, it's not some harmless political party either.

One of the most prominent lines making the rounds right now is that the Muslim Brotherhood has been secular and purely political in Egypt for the past 2 or 3 decades. Well, the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed in Egypt for the past 30 years. Of course, it's been largely political over the past three decades!

No one reports why President Mubarak outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood in the first place. The reason? It assassinated Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar Sadat. And it wasn't the first time the "movement," as DNI Clapper describes it, assassinated an Egyptian leader...

Tomorrow in Part II, I’ll continue with a little history that explains where, when, and how the Muslim Brotherhood found its inspiration. Read on and see if you can find a libertarian amongst them...

Popular posts from this blog

Way to Go, GEICO!

I'm sure you've seen the GEICO Insurance commercial where the squirrel runs out into the middle of the road, causing a car to swerve and run off the road. After the car crashes, the critter's little squirrel buddy runs out and they high-five and dap each other. They're pretty proud of themselves as GEICO goes on to preach about how easy it is to get GEICO. So, I was driving down a narrow road early yesterday morning when a squirrel ran out in front of my car just like that one did in the GEICO commercial. The road was fairly narrow so I didn't even hesitate in my decision to bear down on that squirrel rather than steer out of my lane to miss it. Before you judge me as insensitive and cruel, let me say that there was no way that I was going to veer off the road into a ditch or a tree and leave a couple of tree-climbing rodents to high-five each other in the middle of the street at my expense. Instead, I lined up on that squirrel. He got all bug-eyed when he realiz

Serving with Uncle Mel

One of the rewards of a career in the military is the opportunity to serve with truly great people up and down the chain of command. That was certainly the case for me. This is a story—part of the story—of one of those genuinely great people, Melvin W. DeMars, Jr.  On October 18, 1983, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (HMM-261) and the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) was underway on the helicopter carrier USS Guam (LPH-9) for a deployment to Lebanon as part of its Mediterranean deployment with the U.S. 6th Fleet. The squadron had already been to Lebanon after the Israelis invaded in June of 1982, so they had every expectation that the plans to return there were pretty firm. They were at sea for about a day, headed east toward the Mediterranean when, at around midnight on October 20, 1982, the Guam turned south. There wasn’t a lot of information circulating around the ship that indicated that anything had changed, but the Marines in the squadron knew that when you’re headed for

Yellow Footprints: An Anniversary Reflection

Hurry Up and Wait... I grew up in a small community in southern Illinois–Newton, Illinois–where people generally knew each other or at least knew   of   each other. It was–and still is–a nice town. It’s the kind of town that still holds a fall parade where tractors and marching bands own the streets. People sit along the curb in their chairs while the kids play along the street. The people there cherish the tempo and lifestyle, quietly aware that if everyone lived that way, it would be a much better world. I wasn’t exactly setting any academic records in high school, so I needed a change of pace and some way to transition to a successful track somewhere, somehow. I had thought about the military, but I hesitated to follow through. I wasn’t sure I would be cut out for the military life, and I didn’t know which branch of the service to enter. I was very certain that if I did join the military service, it wouldn’t be the Marines because I was pretty sure I couldn’t make it there. However,