The Big British Left-Liberal Blind Spot

This was published at The Propagandist by Hadar Sela

Professor Barry Rubin draws our attention to an important shift in the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood: explicit endorsement of the extremist jihadist program of Al Queda and its affiliates.

Unfortunately, as Prof. Rubin points out, they’ve made their intentions known in Arabic. Will the West notice?

“This is one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.”

However, the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood happens to be “the most powerful group, both politically and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America” makes it imperative that Western leaders, policy-makers and commentators rid themselves of the current debilitating blind spot which causes them to largely regard events in the Middle East as having no bearing upon their own environment.  Generally speaking, much of the West’s media, academia and politicians seem determined to avoid seeing at all costs the connections between the anti-Israel rhetoric on their streets and the creeping influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in their own countries, with all its implications.

For considerable time now, the anti-Israel campaigns in Europe and America have been largely orchestrated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates. Moshe Dann has provided a comprehensive and useful overview of the Muslim Brotherhood and its partner organizations in North America. The situation in Europe is, if anything, even worse.In the UK Hamas activists operate openly and in some cases have achieved a remarkable level of entryism into British institutions.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s foothold in Britain became significant with the arrival there of its official spokesman for Europe, Egyptian-born member Kamal El Helbawy in the mid 1990s. In 1997 Helbawy founded the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), together with fugitive Hamas commander Mohammed Sawalha, Azam Tammimi (who between 1989 and 1992 worked for the Muslim Brotherhood’s in Jordan) and the son of the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq, Anas Al Tikriti. Since then, numerous Muslim Brotherhood associated organizations have sprung up in the UK, often connected to at least one of the four above names. They include the Palestinian Return Centre, Interpal, the Institute of Islamic Political Thought, the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and media outlets such as the monthly Hamas magazine ‘Filastin Al Muslima’ and the ‘Palestine Times’.

Also operating in the UK are several organizations set up by the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) which is the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella organization in Europe, established in 1989. The Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) for example enjoys links with the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations as well as close links with the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in British universities.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

3 replies »

  1. This is terrifying in its implications, Hadar Sela. I can imagine that you felt the same chills and revulsion at the results of your research as I did in reading your account of them.

  2. Also check out Lorenzo Vidino’s new book here http://tinyurl.com/34lmt55

    (available on Kindle too) – The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West

    Open quote “In Europe and North America, networks tracing their origins back to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements have rapidly evolved into multifunctional and richly funded organizations competing to become the major representatives of Western Muslim communities and government interlocutors. Some analysts and policy makers see these organizations as positive forces encouraging integration. Others cast them as modern-day Trojan horses, feigning moderation while radicalizing Western Muslims.

    Lorenzo Vidino brokers a third, more informed view. Drawing on more than a decade of research on political Islam in the West, he keenly analyzes a controversial movement that still remains relatively unknown. Conducting in-depth interviews on four continents and sourcing documents in ten languages, Vidino shares the history, methods, attitudes, and goals of the Western Brothers, as well as their phenomenal growth. He then flips the perspective, examining the response to these groups by Western governments, specifically those of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States. Highly informed and thoughtfully presented, Vidino’s research sheds light on a critical juncture in Muslim-Western relations.” end quote

    Vidino poses a question – the Muslim Brotherhood – firefighters or arsonists?

    Short-term firefighters and long-term arsonists?

    The short answer is perhaps arsonists fullstop.