FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Obama Administration unable to acknowledge the threat of Islamists in the Middle East
As the Middle East stands before a tipping point, the United States needs to provide leadership towards liberty and freedom and away from the Muslim Brotherhood
PHOENIX (November 8, 2011) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) issued the following statement regarding the statements from the US Department of State on the acceptability of Egypt being run by the Muslim Brotherhood:
“Remarks made on November 4 by US Special Adviser William Taylor, the State Department’s special coordinator for Middle-East transitions, regarding the likely victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian parliamentary elections, demonstrate a dangerous lack of appreciation for the negative impact of Islamism upon their nations and upon global security and peace. While preferring to stay out of the ideological battle going on within emerging democracies in the Middle East, the Obama Administration ends up ushering in the strongest horse while compromising core American principles of universal human rights. The administration’s positive attitude towards Islamists gives them a legitimacy which empowers their ascendancy and violates our own advocacy for the genuine ideas of liberty and freedom.
When asked what the United States reaction would be to a Muslim Brotherhood victory, Taylor said ‘I think we will be satisfied, if it is a free and fair election.’ He continued by stating, ‘What we need to do is judge people and parties and movements on what they do, not what they’re called.’
There is no mystery about who the Muslim Brotherhood is in Egypt or who the Ennahda party is in Tunisia. The ideological position of these Islamist movements is well documented and completely open for anyone to read and it is in direct contrast to the founding principles of the United States and the United Nation’s principles of Universal Human Rights no matter which way the Islamists try to spin their platforms. Taylor’s inability to recognize that does not bode well for the change we all hope comes to the Middle-East or for the soft power which the United States has maintained for so long with secular advocates of liberty in these now emerging nations. If the Islamists ascend we will have facilitated quasi-theocracies. If they do not, we will have alienated the secularists who are our natural allies. The United States needs to provide principled leadership that supports groups and organizations that will be focused on bringing the people of Egypt true freedom. We cannot provide support to Islamists whose ideological positions ultimately see the world through a lens which is Islamo-centric and in direct conflict with western secular democracies.
The Middle-East is now at a tipping point and its peoples are going to be a lot more open for change towards secular freedom now than if Islamists were to take hold and set into motion Islamist inspired constitutions and legal systems. The people of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt marched in the streets this past Spring and in the case of Libya fought a bloody civil war to bring freedom to their people. The Islamists are winning elections in these countries, not because they are the most preferred, but because they are the largest and most politically organized bloc. The remainder of the secular groups are so numerous and fractionated that they are rendering themselves ineffective to the Islamists. Without a concerted effort from our government to take the side of liberty-minded secularists in the ideological battle on the ground, we will have lost our greatest opportunity in a generation to bring the people of the region real freedom and bring true national security to the West from the threats of Islamist terror.
Taylor’s assertion that ‘As long as parties, entities do not espouse or conduct violence, we’ll work with them,’ continues to subscribe to a dangerously myopic vision that believes that “violent Muslim=bad” and “non-violent Muslim = good.” Violence is merely a symptom of the broader problem. The continued use of this dangerous theory open’s the gate to continued ideological breeding of a radical Islamist militancy that ends in violence and will allow the Middle East to exchange one fascism for another. Just because the Muslim Brotherhood or Ennahda is not preaching violence today does not mean that they are organizations that the United States should be supporting. Just because they come to power legitimately does not mean that they will establish governments rooted in equal access, pluralism, universal human rights. We need leadership in Washington with the ideological backbone to advocate within these countries for governments that embrace values that every free human being desires rather than Islamism which is supremacist. Elections are not the victory. Freedom for these nations will never come from the Muslim Brotherhood or any other organization that sees an Islamist form of governance as the solution. Theocracy breeds corruption and oppression. We cannot be seen by the people of these countries as supporting yet another regime that will put yet another yoke around their necks.
Let us use the documents that founded our Republic as our guiding principles in how we deal with the transitions in these countries and who we should and should not support. Supporting non-violent Islamists in today’s Middle East is like supporting non-violent communists during the Cold War of the 20th century. Let the United States be the advocate for freedom for all of these people as we were at the fall of the Soviet Union.”
About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.
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