May 4, 2011
After bin Laden, the torch passes to the Muslim Brotherhood
While gratifyingly symbolic, the death of Osama bin Laden has done little to advance our cause in the war against radical Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood, which predates AQ and has roots all over the Muslim world, is now leading the Islamist cause, and is entrenching itself via the much-heralded "Arab Spring."
LTC Joseph Myers, an AT contributor, has a piece in the Washington Times:
Whenever the United States achieves a victory over al Qaeda in the war on terror, it is another torch passed to the terrorist group's ideological allies, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood.It is the Brotherhood that has accomplished more for the advancement of Islamic jihad politically than anything done by al Qaeda. The organizations share an ideological affinity, only differing in methods for achieving their shared ends.We are seeing a wave across the Middle East from Tunisia to Syria that the Brotherhood is carefully riding. Events are validating the Muslim Brotherhood's different methodology: patience, perseverance, stealth, subversion, political activism, mobilization and access.As a result, many recognize the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, as the more insidious threat.Indeed, the Brotherhood has established a troubling access to our government and national-security apparatus. Our Justice Department recently quashed the terror-financing prosecutions of a host of remaining unindicted co-conspirators from the trial of the Holy Land Foundation charity established by the Muslim Brotherhood in Dallas.
Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman, who for reasons opaque to me has a reputation as a deep thinker, bloviates in the New York Times today with a piece celebrating the Arab Spring as a repudiation of bin Ladenism.
To understand that challenge, we need to recall, again, where Bin Ladenism came from. It emerged from a devil's bargain between oil-consuming countries and Arab dictators. We all - Europe, America, India, China - treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations, and all of us sent the same basic message to the petro-dictators: Keep the oil flowing, the prices low and don't bother Israel too much and you can treat your people however you like, out back, where we won't look. Bin Laden and his followers were a product of all the pathologies that were allowed to grow in the dark out back - crippling deficits of freedom, women's empowerment and education across the Arab world.
Apparently Mr. Friedman is unfamiliar with the concept of Jihad in the foundational scriptures of Islam.