March 21, 2004

Bolshevik, menshevik

While googling for information on Ayman Mohamed Rabi' Ayman al-Zawahri, the Egyptian who's Osama bin Laden's chief "ideologist" and number two man -- and appears to have either escaped or perhaps never been in danger of apprehension at all (see this article for details), I came across this curious piece of information:

Back in Egypt in 1991, he published "The Bitter Harvest," a condemnation of the moderate Muslim Brotherhood and justification for jihad, then in 1992 joined bin Laden in Sudan, where both were under the protection of Hasan al Turabi, who like the two Islamists, is well educated and radical.

Now, the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate in the same way that Archangel has a moderate climate relative to the North Pole, but leave that aside. I was reminded of something I wrote about a while back, the full text of the Zarqawi letter -- allegedly written by al Qaeda's man in Iraq. In his section on the Sunnis in Iraq, he wrote,

3. The [Muslim] Brothers

As you have observed, they make a profession of trading in the blood of martyrs and build their counterfeit glory on the skulls of the faithful. They have debased the horse, put aside arms, said “no jihad” … and lied.

Their whole effort is to extend political control and seize the posts of Sunni representation in the government cake whose creation has been decided, while taking care in secret to get control of the mujahidin groups through financial support for two purposes. The first is for propaganda and media work abroad to attract money and sympathy, exactly as they did during the events in Syria, and the second is to control the situation and dissolve these groups when the party ends and the gifts are distributed. They are now intent on creating a Sunni shura body to speak in the name of the Sunnis. It is their habit to grab the stick in the middle and change as the political climate changes. Their religion is mercurial. They have no firm principles, and they do not start from enduring legal bases. God is the one from whom we have sought help.

It appears that the only people the various brands of Islamists despise more than Infidels, Jews, and other Muslims are themselves...

Posted by Ideofact at March 21, 2004 11:17 PM

Well i think all this recent hype in the news about osama and his friends is for the american public in order to win the upcoming elections. and partly an effort by the Musharraf Govt. to win little bit of favours from americans.

Posted by: Moiz at March 22, 2004 09:46 AM

According to Professor Abdullah Saeed, the key difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda is that the former are "neo-revivalists" who claim the right to create their own scriptural interpretations while the latter are "traditionalists" who regard classical interpretation as authoritative. Thus, although the MB's interpretation is a relatively militant and strict one, it has major doctrinal differences with al-Qaeda, as illustrated by Zarqawi's condemination of its theology as "mercurial."

Posted by: Jonathan Edelstein at March 22, 2004 11:13 AM

That would also appear to explain bin Laden's frequent citing medieval theologians like Ibn Taymiyyah as well as for contemporary figures like Sayyid Qutb or Abdullah Azzam.

Posted by: Dan Darling at March 24, 2004 10:46 PM