'Muslim Brotherhood site rife with anti-Semitism'

Ikhwanonline.com regularly features Holocaust denial, condemnations of Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

freedom and justice party, Egypt_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
freedom and justice party, Egypt_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Arabic website of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is rife with anti- Semitic and anti-Israel content, according to a recent report by a US-based media monitoring group.
The report found that the Islamist group’s website, Ikhwanonline.com, regularly features articles denying the Holocaust and warning Muslims against the covetous and exploitative nature of the “Jewish character.” Other articles extol jihad and martyrdom, condemn Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and denounce negotiations as means for regaining lands lost by Islam.
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The study was published last week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit group that monitors and translates Arabic and Farsi media. Based in Washington, it was founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, an Israeli former intelligence official, adviser and diplomat.
The Brotherhood has emerged as the biggest winner from the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak, taking some 45 percent of votes in recent elections for the lower house of parliament. In the 11 months since Mubarak’s ouster, however, the Brotherhood has issued contradictory signals over its willingness to maintain the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
Early this month Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, its deputy leader, told Arabic media the group would never recognize the Jewish state.
“This is not an option, whatever the circumstances, we do not recognize Israel at all. It’s an occupying criminal enemy.”
A week later, Essam Al-Arian, deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), assured The New York Times the party would in fact honor the agreement.
MEMRI’s latest report, however, gives no indication the Brotherhood has changed the virulently anti- Semitic, anti-Western rhetoric that has characterized the movement for more than eight decades.
One common motif on the Brotherhood’s site is “Jewish character” and its supposed history of sowing evil in the world.
In May 2010, following Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid, a writer named Mahmoud Abd Al-Rahman wrote on the website, “For ages, human society has faced the problem of the Zionist Jewish character. All nations and cultures are in agreement over the nature of the disease intrinsic in the Zionist character... namely sanctification of money, sex, robbery, interest and treachery.”
“We saw this in pharaonic Egypt, and in the Canaanite, Amalekite, Babylonian, Persian and Roman [eras],” he wrote. “During the pharaonic era, it was written on the tomb of [the pharaoh] Marnephtah, ‘The Egyptians have annihilated the Zionists.’”
Since Mubarak’s exit the Brotherhood has sought to to position itself to Western media as a moderate, pragmatic movement dedicated to promoting a prosperous, tolerant Egypt. But the last 11 months have seen no appreciable change in tone when addressing their constituents in their native language.
In June of last year, a sermon posted on Ikhwanonline by Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie said, “Allah warned us against the deceit of the Jews and their dangerous role in sparking wars... The war in Sudan and its division are their handiwork; the internal struggle and war among the Palestinians is [part] of their plan.”
Two months later, Muhammad Ali Dabour, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and lecturer at Cairo University, wrote on the website: “Throughout all of history, the Jews have failed to keep their word. They always employ a double standard and act in their own interests, even if it means destroying the entire world.”
“Breaking agreements and treaties is easier for them than drinking water or breathing air. Such are the Jews. Such is Jewish nature. Though they flatter, act hypocritically, and embitter the entire world, we Muslims must not be deceived by them,” Dabour wrote.
Another common theme on the website, the report found, is Holocaust denial.
Fathi Shihab, the official responsible for the Brotherhood’s labor dossier, wrote in 2010 that the Holocaust is a “tale” Israel uses as political leverage. In reference to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he wrote, “The entire world, and Germany in particular, has become yearly scapegoats of world Zionism, and has capitulated to the greatest political extortion in history.”
The Holocaust, he added, was “invented by the American intelligence apparatuses with the Allies’ collaboration during World War II, in order to harm the image of their German adversaries and justify the great destructive war against the Axis countries’ military and civilian installations.”
The article approvingly cites three French Holocaust deniers – Robert Faurisson, Henri Roques and Roger Garaudy – as well as Norman Finkelstein, the American author of the book The Holocaust Industry.
Ikhwanonline regularly calls for Israel’s destruction. In November, Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Bar, a member of the Brotherhood’s General Guide Office and the International Union of Muslim Scholars, wrote that the Palestinian cause “will remain a prime concern for the ummah [the Arab world], until Allah heralds the end of the racist state of occupation, and until the last of the people of our ummah fights the swindling Jews and their armies and delivers the land from their wickedness.”
That same month Saleh Sultan, head of the IUMS Jerusalem Committee, wrote on the website: “There is nothing to stop the destruction of holy places other than a clear message saying: ‘Kill a Zionist in response to every stone [dismantled] from the honorable Al-Aqsa.’”
Sultan continued: “Together, we will all expose the facts of the Judaization of Jerusalem and the plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we will get ready to say: ‘Kill a Zionist for every stone of Al-Aqsa.’”
Finally, the study found Ikhwanonline replete with denunciations of negotiations with non-Muslims and calls for martyrdom and jihad.
In October a writer named Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al- Masri wrote that the conflict between Muslims and Israel is, at heart, religious and that jihad must be waged wherever Islamic land is occupied: “The conflict between the Zionist state and the Muslim ummah is not like the fight between a landowner and a plundering occupier. This fight is, in essence, a struggle of faith, a cultural struggle [over] fate and existence...The Koran indicates this fight [will continue] until the Day of Judgment.”
In an article published following the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange, Al-Bar exalted jihad and martyrdom as the path to liberating Palestine – from “the sea to the river” – as opposed to negotiations, which had consistently failed to yield results.
Al-Bar describe the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo as one of the milestones of Egyptian revolution: “Egypt’s popular position stressed a clear resistance to any Zionist diplomatic presence on its soil. This great achievement was one of the expressions of the blessed Egyptian revolution and a clear sign of the progress of the Arab-Islamic enterprise for liberation, at the expense of the Zionist enterprise, which is breaking apart from day to day.
“Do not say: ‘The sower has sowed, and the oppressor has reaped; Al-Aqsa is gone; our Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and Safed are lost.’ Victory for Allah is at hand. The enemies of Allah will receive no help from Him. The aggressor will never achieve his aim in Jerusalem, as long as we have one child in it.
“Oh brothers, Allah has granted the ummah, which excels at producing death and knows how to die honorably, dear life in this world and eternal bliss in the next. The weakness that leads to our humiliation is love for this world and hatred of death.”
He continued with praise for martyrdom: “Prepare your souls for a great deed. Work toward death; it is then that you will be granted life. Act toward honorable death, and you will earn complete happiness.”