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Editorial: Muslim Brotherhood Hits the Obama Campaign Trail
Editorial: Muslim Brotherhood Hits the Obama Campaign Trail
The ongoing controversy in the U.S. surrounding resignation of Mr. Mazen Asbahi, Muslim-outreach advisor to presumptive democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, is quite intriguing.
Monday, August 11,2008 12:59
by Khaled Salam IkhwanWeb

The ongoing controversy in the U.S. surrounding resignation of Mr. Mazen Asbahi, Muslim-outreach advisor to presumptive democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, is quite intriguing. Mr. Asbahi is an Arab American corporate attorney who resigned last week amidst allegations of old loose ties with individuals associated with organizations thought to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Mr. Asbahi’s crime is that he also appeared as a guest speaker before such organizations allegedly linked to the MB. Islamic organizations in the U.S. described the campaign against Mr. Asbahi as “nationwide efforts by Islamophobes who seek to deny Muslims access to the political process.”


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.


During the 1960s, many members of the MB have fled Egypt to escape persecution by the Egyptian regime. Most of them settled in European countries or the U.S. and benefited from the atmosphere of freedom and prosperity in these countries and continued to practice and promote moderate Islamic thought. Thus, several local Islamic organizations were created to help Muslims integrate within their local communities and engage in charitable work mandates by Islam. Islamic work worldwide was also enriched by Muslim students who studied abroad and were keen on practicing their religion. In the U..S, several of these local active groups have merged and created large national organizations widely known throughout the country.


Most of the alleged ties between the MB and any of the U.S. based organizations were extensively scrutinized during the Holy Land Foundation trial and were found groundless by the juries in court case that ended in mistrial. The prosecution in this case failed to establish any evidence that link the MB as an organization with any of the Islamic organizations in the U.S., but instead presented the court with notes, diaries and minutes of meetings among individuals who were not in any form or shape part of the MB and were not representing it, although they might of shared its ideology as we previously alluded to.


The so called Global Network of the Muslim Brotherhood is merely a Hollywood fiction that only exists in the minds of those who created it as part of their scare tactics to insight fears among the public and instigate government hostilities. There is no “global network” for the Muslim Brotherhood, but rather coordination among the different MB chapters in various countries, in which the MB has formal presence or representation, which clearly does not apply to the U.S. This coordination among international MB chapters mainly revolves around political issues, sharing experiences in the field of public Islamic work and exchange new ideas.


We call on the public to carefully examine any allegations spread by special interest groups in the U.S. to smear certain individuals or groups for political gain in a heated presidential campaign season. These radical special interest groups and lobbies are driven by extreme hate towards Muslims and feel that Islamic moderation and the presence of strong Islamic organizations in the U.S is a major threat to their extreme ideology of hate and evil.

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tags: Obama / Mr. Mazen Asbahi / Islamic / America / (CAIR) / (MPAC) / (MAS) / (IIIT) / a Hollywood fiction
Posted in Editorial , Obama  
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