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Hamas, Teddy Bears in Sudan and the Muslim Brotherhood
There are two places where the Muslim Brotherhood exercises governmental power-Sudan and the Palestinian territories. That is, where it controls the levers of the state. It seems to me it is worth looking at these states to see how the Brotherhood would govern if given the chance, and to see the real agenda of the organization that claims to represent moderate, modernizing and tolerant interpretations of Islam.

For an excellent summary of why the Muslim Brotherhood is such an important topic, see this new paper by Hillel Fradkin of the Hudson Institute.

To give the core arguement:

The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 and, as such, is the oldest formal and organized expression of Islamism or Salafism. It is certainly the oldest mass and ultimately worldwide Islamist movement. In accordance with that conception, it is today an impressively widespread movement, having at this point many, many branches in both Muslim countries and Muslim minority communities in other countries. Its accumulated experience forms by far the greatest part of the history of Islamism, and it remains the Islamist organization with the greatest general impact on Muslims overall. This alone would suffice to render it an important subject of study.

But this does not suffice to exhaust its centrality. For because of its long history, it has by now had a substantial impact on almost all other Islamist organizations in a variety of ways. Many have been inspired by it—Jamaat-e-Islami of South Asia founded by Maulana Maududi, for example. Some, like Saudi Wahhabism, have collaborated with it and been profoundly influenced by that association. Others have grown out of it, led by defectors who ultimately rejected its approach and set a new and frequently violent course of their own. This includes al-Qaeda, the Brotherhood being one of Osama’s first intellectual influences. Indeed, for many Muslims who eventually wind up in the most radical terrain, the Brotherhood and its sister organizations serve as an entry point. Few Islamists have remained unaffected by its existence, therefore, whether in a positive or negative sense—and sometimes in both.

In short, since its founding the Brotherhood has constituted the broad and essential base of the Islamist movement, which in itself is a remarkable achievement. For reasons to be mentioned later, it has also provided the essential framework of the movement.

But lest I be misunderstood, let me immediately say and stress what I just implied—that the Islamist movement today and broadly understood embraces a wide variety of viewpoints, tendencies and organizations that are sometimes at odds with one another. We will have many opportunities to discuss and do justice to these divisions later. But here I want to note the commonalities. All Islamists are joined together by at least three factors: the desire to purify and thus revive Islamic life; the desire to restore the worldly fortunes of Islam; and the conviction that both can be achieved only by reappropriating the model of Islam’s seventh-century founders, the Salaf or virtuous ancestors, which include Mohammed and his closest companions or followers.

The first, now in the news, is Sudan, where a middle-aged British teacher has been sentenced to 15 days in prison for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Mohamad." Angry crowds of thousands are in the streets of Khartoum, demanding her death. She was found guilty of inciting religious hatred.

So, an Islamist regime that claims it cannot stop genocide in its national territory and where not one person has been tried for the crimes of Darfur, is able to pounce on this heinous offense involving a teddy bear and a lack of cultural awareness. Not only pounce, but try and sentence the perpetrator in less than 48 hours. Justice can be swift when the government decides to move.

As I wrote recently, the regime in Sudan (faced with an absolute and stunning silence by the rest of the Arab world and a weak and ineffective response by the rest of the world), is still allowing the genocide to flourish while blocking the deployment of an effective UN peacekeeping mission.

Genocide and an intolerance for teddy bear names is not how I would define a commitment to tolerance, peace and democratic rule.

Hamas, defined in its own charter as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, also has given a pretty clear indication of how it interprets the _Ikhwan's_ definition of tolerance. Among the first things the Hamas government has sought to do is impose sharia law.

Hamas has, in the area it controls, waged a Taliban-like crusade against all things deemed un-Muslim. This includes the narrowest interpretation of Islamic teaching.

Again, hardly the recommendation that would lead one to believe that their actions are consistent with their words, at least the words they say in English, directed at the infidels, and not at their home base.

What is depressing is that people like Leiken and others who continually advocate for engagement with the international Brotherhood refuse to look at the most powerful evidence in hand-the actual behavior of the _Ikhwan_ when given true power. I think that is a good place to start.
With Little Fanfare, Yousef Nada Kept on U.N. Terror Designation List
Darfur (Again)
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