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The Ties That Bind Grow More Difficult to Deny
There is a fascinating interview with Mohammed Habib, the deputy supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood where he acknowledges that the Brotherhood has a presence inside the United States.

As I have repeatedly stated, there is nothing illegal about the Muslim Brotherhood being here. What makes the groups that grew out of the _Ikhwan_ so interesting and perplexing is their unwillingness to admit that relationship, despite the fact there is no sanction against belonging to the organization. Why act as a covert front group when you could legally exist?

Habib also defends Sudanese president Omar Bashir against the international arrest warrant issued for him, and has various other statements of interest, particularly naming Hamas (again) as a branch of the MB.

But let's start at the beginning, the ties to U.S. organizations that those organizations have vigorously denied. It is not that this was not known. See this report for the NEFA Foundation I co-authored for a more complete picture of what the evidence is.

The Daily Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (free subscription required) also has an archive of information on the subject.

Here is the extended key passage of the interview on this issue, so nothing is taken out of context. Read carefully, it gives an interesting and disturbing view of the MB agenda in the United States, one much more accurate than it's legacy groups present:

SM: The image of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. and in other western countries — while we aren’t going to say it’s a bad one — is not the image you would like to portray for yourselves.

Mohamed Habib: That’s true!

SM: Why do you think that is?

Mohamed Habib: There are two parts to that. The first part is related to the tyrannical and oppressive regimes in our countries, that try to project a mental image (a really scary and horrifying image) in the minds of the western world that we are against democracy, and freedom, and human rights in general. The other part is the Zionist-American project that upholds double standards and has a special agenda that contradict the interests of our Ummah, and thus finds in the Muslim Brotherhood an obstacle in the way of executing that agenda. Therefore, they unfortunately promote a very wrong and negative image of us. This forces us to act and try to communicate with think tanks and research centers, academics in universities, the people, and the media, whether the local or the international one.

SM: Fine, but we can claim that the Egyptian media is controlled by the Egyptian government, while the western media is not controlled by the western governments. What’s stopping the right image of you to reach the world then? Are they conspiring against you?

Mohamed Habib: No, but naturally there are centers in the U.S. and Europe that carry out the agenda of the U.S. government. But there is also an independent media that has a role in educating the populace, and thus improve our image in their minds.

SM: Is there a Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.?

Mohamed Habib: I would say yes. There are Muslim Brotherhood members there.

SM: Then what are they doing there?

Mohamed Habib: No, there are already existing institutions; there are laws and a constitution that they operate under in order to have a role in serving the American society. They are part of the American society and they want to an active positive role in it, and a part of that is to spread a positive image of Islam along with its values, culture, history and teachings.

SM: This is naturally very important. Who represents you in the US?

Mohamed Habib: Well, there are there those who do represent us, who do that role.

SM: But it’s not CAIR, right? The Council for American Islamic Relations? Many people say that they are your front. Other people say that its ISNA. But back to CAIR, some people from the Muslim Brotherhood have denied having a connection with CAIR. Do they really represent you?

Mohamed Habib: Ehh, this is a sensitive subject, and it’s kind of problematic, especially after 9/11 …

SM: For them to say that there is a relationship between you two?

Mohamed Habib: Yes. You can say that.

One might ask who "those who do represent us, who do that role" are and why it is "sensitive subject, kind of problematic" to name them if its agenda were above board and transparent.

It is interesting to note, as the GDMBR did, that less than two weeks ago, the Egyptian MB officially denied any relationship at all with any U.S. organization. Someone seems not have received the message to continue this denial.

The MB has repeatedly denied it has any representation in the U.S., nor does it maintain any links with any of the Islamic or charitable organizations in the U.S. We have previously clarified that moderate and pragmatic Islamic thought is not exclusive of the MB, however, there are many other Islamic movements and organizations throughout the world that have the same mainstream principles as the MB but not necessarily part of its organizational structure.

In this regard, the MB confirmed that it absolutely has no organizational links, ties, or associations with any of the Islamic organizations in the U.S., including but not limited to: The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Muslim Student Association (MSA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

There are however, ideological similarities between the MB and most of above mentioned Islamic organizations for the fact that these ideologies represent mainstream moderate Islamic thinking. However, some of the founders or members of these organizations were at some point in their lives either members or sympathizers of the MB in their native countries before they migrate to the U.S. or other countries.

Regarding Hamas, Mr. Habib is equally straightforward:

What kind of relationship does the Muslim Brotherhood have with Hamas? Do you offer them support of any kind?

Mohamed Habib: Hamas, like any Muslim Brotherhood entity, is not related to the other entities. But we do support them. We support them with ideas. We support them with advice and vision. We incite the people — in Egypt for example — to donate money and care and understand about the Palestinian cause. Then the civil society institutions carry out the role of facilitators of our support.

Thank you, Mr. Habib.

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