Given the Trump administration focus on rebuilding damaged alliances with traditional Middle Eastern allies that were neglected by President Obama, Israeli, Emirati, Saudi and Egyptian views on issues such as terrorism and whatever relationship the Muslim Brotherhood has to that, will have more influence in the US in the coming years than say, the Qatari narrative that had much weight during the Obama years.
On that note, this is a fascinating article that was published in Al-Hayat, a major regional newspaper, by a distinguished Saudi anthropologist. It sheds some interesting light on those perspectives mentioned above, so I decided to translate it.
There’s alot in here – but I mark in blue what I think are the more noteworthy points, with my commentary at the end on what this may mean from a Trump administration Counter-Terrorism perspective.
The Soft Terrorism of the “Brotherhood” is the Foundation of violent religious movements
Al-Hayat Newspaper. 17 January 2015. Abdullah Hamidaddin
The phrase “soft terrorism” entails a totalitarian vision of the world, the self, the “other,” and history. This causes the individual to be in a state of continuoius existential struggle with himself and his society, if not the entire world. By contrast, “hard terrorism” takes the form of traditional violence.
While it may be true that “Soft terrorism” isn’t violent per se it does create a climate that is conducive to people committing various acts of social and political violence, given that the rejection of the “Other” may lead all the way to that person committing actual violence.
Soft terrorism includes two components. The first is the formulation of this totalitarian vision. The second is its spread.
These two factors first began to take shape in the late 19th century as a reaction to Western imperialism, and the fragmenting of the Ottoman Empire. However, it was only with the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood [late 1920s] that they developed into a comprehensive ideology propagated by political and cultural activists. The “Brothers” were inspired from their beginning by the ideas of National Socialism in its Nazi formula and the Leninist version of the Marxist vision.
This process reached its climax with Sayyid Qutb. Readers of his famous books “Signposts in the Road” or “In the Shade of the Quran” got the feeling they were actually reading “What Is to Be Done” by Lenin or “Mein Kampf” by Hitler.
In fact, the most dangerous thing the “Muslim Brotherhood” did – whether intentionally or not – is their fusion of the Leninist/Nazi vision of the world with [the Muslim] religion. This meant that the sanctity of Islam was lent to a violent, exclusionary ideology. As a result, what is now known as Political Islam is little more than Nazi/Leninst ideology with an Islamic facade but with no relationship to Islam itself.
The study of the relationship between the ideas of the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the ideas of Nazism/Leninism is not something new. Unfortunately, however, it has not gotten quite the attention it deserves because most analysts uncritically accept that Islam is the inspiration of Political Islam.
For example, when Sayyid Qutb put forth his ideas using references from the Koran and the Hadith, too many people just assumed that Islam is in fact the inspiration for his ideas. They don’t imagine that Qutb would have taken the ideas he already had in his head before writing his books and attributed them to Islam. As if Qutb himself even thought that’s what he was doing!
Continue reading “Translation: Gulf views on the Muslim Brotherhood (Nazism/Leninism in a Muslim facade?)”