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FTR #736 Taqqiya Sunrise: More about the Muslim Brotherhood and the Piggy-Back Coup in the Middle East

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal broad­cast.

MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

Intro­duc­tion: Since the tur­moil in the Mid­dle East began, we have been treat­ed to numer­ous media pre­sen­ta­tions assur­ing us that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood would­n’t be com­ing to pow­er in the Mid­dle East and/or that if they did come to pow­er, it would­n’t be so bad because they have adopt­ed  a “demo­c­ra­t­ic,” “par­lia­men­tar­i­an,” “plu­ral­is­tic” polit­i­cal view­point. This appears to be an exam­ple of Taqqiya, a prin­ci­ple of Islam­ic war­fare and polit­i­cal strug­gle that oblig­es Mus­lim faith­ful to lie to non-Mus­lims about mat­ters of impor­tance.

After exam­in­ing Wik­iLeaks king­pin Julian Assange’s claims [3] of being tar­get­ed by an inter­na­tion­al “Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy,” we view two op-ed columns print­ed by The New York Times on suc­ces­sive days in Feb­ru­ary, 2011. Authored by Broth­er­hood founder Has­san Al-Ban­na’s grand­son Tar­qiq Ramadan [4] and Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood offi­cial Essi­am el-Erri­an [5], the columns lied brazen­ly about the his­to­ry and method­ol­o­gy of the Broth­er­hood.

Por­tray­ing this fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion as hav­ing been opposed to the Axis in World War II (they were allies of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni), Ramadan lies fun­da­men­tal­ly about the group, adding that it has been com­mit­ted to prin­ci­ples of non-vio­lence (except for fight­ing against Israel). The group is noth­ing if not vio­lent [6], as even a cur­so­ry looks at its his­to­ry will reveal.

The Times’ pub­li­ca­tion of these lies and refusal to print numer­ous rebut­tals that were sub­mit­ted sug­gests that the “Grey Lady” is ful­fill­ing its role as the CIA’s num­ber one pro­pa­gan­da asset, sup­port­ing an oper­a­tion aimed at installing free-mar­ket ide­o­log­i­cal prin­ci­ples in the Mus­lim world, the Mid­dle East in par­tic­u­lar. The Broth­er­hood’s cham­pi­oning of the ide­ol­o­gy of Ibn Khal­dun [7] (viewed by the World Bank as the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion) appears to be cen­tral to its appeal to transna­tion­al cor­po­rate inter­ests. Khal­dun might be thought of as “The Mil­ton Fried­man of the Islam­ic World.”

Recall that the term “Pig­gy-Back Coup” alludes to the influ­ence of the Tunisian upris­ing on the Egypt­ian pop­u­lar revolt and also to the prob­a­bil­i­ty that the Cor­po­ratist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood will be the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the demo­c­ra­t­ic activism of The Jas­mine Rev­o­lu­tion and Tahrir Square, with dire con­se­quences for our civ­i­liza­tion.

Much of the pro­gram sets forth the activ­i­ties of non-vio­lent the­o­reti­cian Gene Sharp [8] and his finan­cial bene­fac­tor Peter Ack­er­man. One of the ide­o­log­i­cal men­tors and sources of inspi­ra­tion for the Tunisian and Egypt­ian pro­test­ers, Sharp’s resume sug­gests that he has been uti­lized by the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty to effect some of the “col­ored rev­o­lu­tions.”

Sharp’s finan­cial backer Peter Ack­er­man [9] has an inter­est­ing back­ground as well. For­mer right-hand man to junk bond king Michael Milken, Ack­er­man has numer­ous con­nec­tions to intel­li­gence-linked insti­tu­tions, as well as right-wing think tanks such as the Koch Broth­ers’ Cato Insti­tute.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Gene Sharp’s con­nec­tions to Har­vard Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies [10]; that orga­ni­za­tion’s co-found­ing by for­mer Deputy Direc­tor of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence and John J. McCloy pro­tege Rober­rt R. Bowie [11]; Ack­er­man’s links to the Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace [12], whose Mus­lim World Ini­tia­tive has been scored by con­ser­v­a­tives as a repos­i­to­ry for Mus­lim Broth­er­hood extrem­ists; review of the links between Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Cairo and pro-Mus­lim Broth­er­hood the­o­reti­cians [13] of the Ibn Khal­dun stripe; review of the role played in the Egypt­ian upris­ing by Wael Ghon­im, Google mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive, Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty grad­u­ate and icon of the April 6 move­ment; Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-con­trolled Al Jazeer­a’s release of infor­ma­tion [14] [about the recent peace nego­ti­a­tions dam­ag­ing to the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty  (alleged by both PA and Israeli author­i­ties to be dis­tort­ed and mis­lead­ing.)

1a. Evi­dent­ly feel­ing the heat, Wik­iLeaks chief Julian Assange has shown some­thing of his true nature–not the altru­is­tic “war­rior for truth” that he rep­re­sents him­self as being. In an arti­cle in Pri­vate Eye [15] (UK), Assange posit­ed a Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy against Wik­iLeaks, react­ing to crit­i­cism of his selec­tion of a cel­e­bra­to­ry anti-Semi­te, Holo­caust denier and inti­mate of the Swedish Nazi milieu Joran Jer­mas, aka “Israel Shamir.” [16]

Defend­ing this overt fas­cist, who has stat­ed that “It is the duty of all good Chris­tians and Mus­lims to deny the Holo­caust,” Assange ini­tial­ly blamed the bad pub­lic­i­ty the  group has received over this Nazi on a “Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy.” Con­sid­er­ing that The Guardian (UK) was one of his tar­gets in that rhetor­i­cal flour­ish, the com­ment is as ludi­crous as it is offen­sive and reveal­ing–The Guardian is fierce­ly anti-Israel.

Assange echoed the sub­stance of his remarks about Jermas/“Shamir” in an arti­cle in The New York Times.

. . . . He was espe­cial­ly angry about a Pri­vate Eye report that Israel Shamir, an Assange asso­ciate in Rus­sia, was a Holo­caust denier. Mr. Assange com­plained that the arti­cle was part of a cam­paign by Jew­ish reporters in Lon­don to smear Wik­iLeaks.

A lawyer for Mr. Assange could not imme­di­ate­ly be reached for com­ment, but in a state­ment lat­er released on the Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter feed, Mr. Assange said Mr. His­lop had “dis­tort­ed, invent­ed or mis­re­mem­bered almost every sig­nif­i­cant claim and phrase.”

The Pri­vate Eye arti­cle quot­ed Mr. Assange as say­ing the con­spir­a­cy was led by The Guardian and includ­ed the newspaper’s edi­tor, Alan Rus­bridger, and inves­ti­ga­tions edi­tor, David Leigh, as well as John Kampfn­er, a promi­nent Lon­don jour­nal­ist who recent­ly reviewed two books about Wik­iLeaks for The Sun­day Times of Lon­don.

When Mr. His­lop point­ed out that Mr. Rus­bridger was not Jew­ish, Mr. Assange coun­tered that The Guardian’s edi­tor was “sort of Jew­ish” because he and Mr. Leigh, who is Jew­ish, were broth­ers-in-law. . . .

“Report Says Assange Com­plains of Jew­ish Smear Cam­paign” by Ravi Somaiya; The New York Times; 3/1/2011. [3]

1b. As the Egypt­ian upris­ing was gath­er­ing momen­tum, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-affil­i­at­ed Al Jazeera net­work aired a leaked doc­u­ment con­cern­ing the Israeli/Palestinian Author­i­ty nego­ti­a­tions for a Pales­tin­ian state. Charged by both Israeli and Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty with selec­tive­ly edit­ing the doc­u­ments in such a way as to fun­da­men­tal­ly mis­rep­re­sent the sub­stance of the nego­ti­a­tions, Al Jazeera has strength­ened the hand of Hamas–the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood affil­i­ate in Gaza.

It is unclear how Al-Jazeera got the doc­u­ments. Were they leaked by Wik­iLeaks and Joran Jer­mas aka “Israel Shamir?”

Clas­si­fied doc­u­ments leaked by al- Jazeera sig­nal that Israeli and Pales­tin­ian peace posi­tions may have been clos­er than pre­vi­ous­ly per­ceived.

Al-Jazeera tele­vi­sion said it had been giv­en access to thou­sands of pages of mem­os and e‑mails of pri­vate meet­ings that show Pales­tin­ian nego­tia­tors were pre­pared to give up claims to parts of east Jerusalem and swap some Jew­ish set­tle­ments in the West Bank for ter­ri­to­ry with­in Israel in 2008 talks. Al-Jazeera did­n’t say how it obtained the doc­u­ments, which cov­ered the peri­od from 1999 to 2010.

Chief Pales­tin­ian nego­tia­tor Saeb Erakat called the reports “unfound­ed, twist­ed and tak­en out of con­text” in a tele­phone inter­view yes­ter­day. Yass­er Abed Rab­bo, a mem­ber of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion’s Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, said at a press con­fer­ence that it was “an orga­nized cam­paign to dis­tort the posi­tions of the Pales­tin­ian lead­er­ship.” . . .

“Leak Shows Israel, Pales­tini­ans May Not Have Been so Far Apart” [Bloomberg]; The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 1/24/2011. [17]

2a. A stun­ning op-ed piece was penned for The New York Times and car­ried by oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. In it, Tariq Ramadan lies through his teeth about the his­to­ry of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

The Mus­lim Broth­ers began in the 1930s as a legal­ist, anti-colo­nial­ist and non­vi­o­lent move­ment that claimed legit­i­ma­cy for armed resis­tance in Pales­tine against Zion­ist expan­sion­ism dur­ing the peri­od before World War II. The writ­ings from between 1930 and 1945 of Has­san al-Ban­na, founder of the Broth­er­hood, show that he opposed colo­nial­ism and strong­ly crit­i­cized the fas­cist gov­ern­ments in Ger­many and Italy. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] He reject­ed use of vio­lence in Egypt, even though he con­sid­ered it legit­i­mate in Pales­tine, in resis­tance to the Zion­ist Stern and Irgun ter­ror gangs. . . .

. . . .Today’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood draws these diverse visions togeth­er. But the lead­er­ship of the move­ment — those who belong to the found­ing gen­er­a­tion are now very old — no longer ful­ly rep­re­sents the aspi­ra­tions of the younger mem­bers, who are much more open to the world, anx­ious to bring about inter­nal reform and fas­ci­nat­ed by the Turk­ish exam­ple. Behind the uni­fied, hier­ar­chi­cal facade, con­tra­dic­to­ry influ­ences are at work. No one can tell which way the move­ment will go.  . . .

“Whith­er the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood?” by Tariq Ramadan; The New York Times; 2/8/2011. [4]

2b. Ramadan’s op-ed piece in The New York Times was fol­lowed, the next day,  by an equal­ly disin­gen­u­ous col­umn by a key mem­ber of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, who also lied about the Broth­er­hood and its “peace­ful” ori­gins, inten­tions and method­ol­o­gy.

In more than eight decades of activism, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has con­sis­tent­ly pro­mot­ed an agen­da of grad­ual reform. Our prin­ci­ples, clear­ly stat­ed since the incep­tion of the move­ment in 1928, affirm an unequiv­o­cal posi­tion against vio­lence. . . .

“What the Mus­lim Broth­ers Want” by Essam el-Erri­an; The New York Times; 2/9/2011. [5]

2c. Aside from the Broth­er­hood’s long asso­ci­a­tion with the Axis and the Under­ground Reich, its vio­lent ori­en­ta­tion could not be more  clear from the his­tor­i­cal record. In Cairo to Dam­as­cus, John Roy Carl­son infil­trat­ed the Broth­er­hood in the imme­di­ate after­math of World War II, chron­i­cling its fun­da­men­tal vio­lence toward Egyp­tians who did­n’t sup­port its polit­i­cal agen­da.

Note that Carl­son infil­trat­ed the Broth­er­hood and obtained an inter­view with Has­san al-Ban­na.

He [Has­san el-Ban­na, the Moor­shid or supreme guide] also had a spe­cial assas­sin squad, entrust­ed with the duty
of liq­ui­dat­ing polit­i­cal oppo­nents. El Ban­na resent­ed a ver­dict
that Judge Ahmed el Khazin­dar Bey met­ed out against a
Moslem Broth­er, and ordered him liq­ui­dat­ed. One of the
Moor­shid’s hench­men took care of this assign­ment, aid­ed by
an assis­tant who pumped six bul­lets into the judge.

Under pub­lic pres­sure Cairo’s police chief staged a few
raids and made a few arrests. El Ban­na was annoyed. He
ordered his ter­ror squad to “teach the police chief a les­son.”
The lat­ter was prompt­ly killed by a hand grenade while on a
tour of inspec­tion of Fouad Uni­ver­si­ty.

When the pres­i­dent of Fouad com­plained, he was denounced as a “Euro­pean,”
pub­licly insult­ed, and nar­row­ly missed being shot.
El Ban­na played for high stakes. Not con­tent with liq­ui­dat­ing
a judge and a police chief, he ordered Abdel Maguid
Ahmed Has­san, a twen­ty-three year old stu­dent and a mem­ber
of his ter­ror squad, to car­ry out his duty to Allah. A reli­gious
sheikh told Has­san that the Koran sanc­tioned the
mur­der of the “ene­mies of Islam and of Ara­bism,” where­upon
Has­san duti­ful­ly swore to kill any trai­tor the Moor­shid named.

Has­san retired and spent his days in med­i­ta­tion, prayer, and
prepa­ra­tion. On the tenth day after his oath he donned a
police­man’s uni­form and went to the Min­istry of Inte­ri­or,
where he wait­ed for the Egypt­ian prime min­is­ter, Mah­moud
Fah­my el Nokrashy Pasha, to emerge. As soon as Nokrashy
Pasha appeared, fol­lowed by his body­guard, Abdel whipped
out a pis­tol and shot the min­is­ter dead, his duty to the Moor­shid
and to Allah ful­filled, his place in heav­en assured. . . .

Cairo to Dam­as­cus by John Roy Carl­son; Alfred A. Knopf & Com­pa­ny [HC]; Copy­right 1951 by John Roy Carl­son; pp. 90–91. [6]

3a. Con­sid­er­able insight into the machi­na­tions under­ly­ing the Pig­gy-Back Coup can be gleaned from a New York Times pro­file of Gene Sharp.

. . . . When the non­par­ti­san Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter on Non­vi­o­lent Con­flict, which trains democ­ra­cy activists, slipped into Cairo sev­er­al years ago to con­duct a work­shop, among the papers it dis­trib­uted was Mr. Sharp’s “198 Meth­ods of Non­vi­o­lent Action,” a list of tac­tics that range from hunger strikes to “protest dis­rob­ing” to “dis­clos­ing iden­ti­ties of secret agents.”

Dalia Zia­da, an Egypt­ian blog­ger and activist who attend­ed the work­shop and lat­er orga­nized sim­i­lar ses­sions on her own, said trainees were active in both the Tunisia and Egypt revolts. She said that some activists trans­lat­ed excerpts of Mr. Sharp’s work into Ara­bic, and that his mes­sage of “attack­ing weak­ness­es of dic­ta­tors” stuck with them.

Peter Ack­er­man, a one­time stu­dent of Mr. Sharp who found­ed the non­vi­o­lence cen­ter and ran the Cairo work­shop, cites his for­mer men­tor as proof that “ideas have pow­er.”

Mr. Sharp, hard-nosed yet exceed­ing­ly shy, is care­ful not to take cred­it. He is more thinker than rev­o­lu­tion­ary, though as a young man he par­tic­i­pat­ed in lunch-counter sit-ins and spent nine months in a fed­er­al prison in Dan­bury, Conn., as a con­sci­en­tious objec­tor dur­ing the Kore­an War. He has had no con­tact with the Egypt­ian pro­test­ers, he said, although he recent­ly learned that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood had “From Dic­ta­tor­ship to Democ­ra­cy” post­ed on its Web site. . . .

. . . . Mr. Ack­er­man, who became wealthy as an invest­ment banker after study­ing under Mr. Sharp, con­tributed mil­lions of dol­lars and kept it afloat for years. But about a decade ago, Mr. Ack­er­man want­ed to dis­sem­i­nate Mr. Sharp’s ideas more aggres­sive­ly, as well as his own. He put his mon­ey into his own cen­ter, which also pro­duces movies and even a video game to train dis­si­dents. An annu­ity he pur­chased still helps pay Mr. Sharp’s salary. . .

“Shy U.S. Intel­lec­tu­al Cre­at­ed Play­book Used in a Rev­o­lu­tion” by Sheryl Gay Stol­berg; The New York Times; 2/16/2011. [8]

3b. Sharp has enjoyed appoint­ments at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies.

Sharp was born in Ohio.[1] He received a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Social Sci­ences in 1949 from Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, where he also received his Mas­ter of Arts in Soci­ol­o­gy in 1951.[3] In 1953–54, Sharp was jailed for nine months after protest­ing the con­scrip­tion of sol­diers for the Kore­an War.[1] In 1968, he received a Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy in polit­i­cal the­o­ry from Oxford University.[3]
Sharp has been a pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts Dart­mouth since 1972. He simul­ta­ne­ous­ly held research appoint­ments at Har­vard University’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Affairs since 1965.[1] In 1983 he found­ed the Albert Ein­stein Insti­tu­tion, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion devot­ed to stud­ies and pro­mo­tion of the use of non­vi­o­lent action in con­flicts worldwide.[4] . . .

“Gene Sharp”; wikipedia.org [10]

3c. The Har­vard Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies was found­ed by Robert R. Bowie, an indi­vid­ual with numer­ous con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

Robert R. Bowie (born August 24, 1909) is an Amer­i­can diplo­mat and schol­ar who served as CIA Deputy Direc­tor from 1977–1979.
Robert Bowie grad­u­at­ed from Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in 1931 and received a law degree from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty in 1934 and turned down offers to work as a cor­po­rate lawyer with New York’s major law firms, return­ing to Bal­ti­more to work in his father’s law firm, Bowie and Burke. He served in the U.S. Army (1942–1946) as a com­mis­sioned offi­cer with the Pen­ta­gon and in occu­pied Ger­many from 1945 until 1946. In 1946 he resigned as a lieu­tenant-colonel. He taught at Har­vard from 1946–1955. The youngest pro­fes­sor of the school, he was a trust­ed con­fi­dant to John J. McCloy the “unof­fi­cial chair­man of the Amer­i­can estab­lish­ment”. Dur­ing peri­ods of leave from Har­vard between 1950 and 1952 Bowie worked for McCloy as one of his legal advis­ers in Germany.[1]
He served as Direc­tor of Pol­i­cy Plan­ning from 1953–1957; co-founder of Har­vard’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Affairs (1958); Coun­selor for the State Depart­ment from 1966–1968. He is a mem­ber of the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions, the Tri­lat­er­al Com­mis­sion, and the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Diplo­ma­cy. He is a recip­i­ent of the Legion of Mer­it and the Com­man­der’s Cross of the Order of Mer­it of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many. . . .

“Robert R. Bowie”; wikipedia.org. [11]

4. Ack­er­man has served as an advi­sor to the Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace, whose Mus­lim World Ini­tia­tive [18] has  been cit­ed by crit­ics as a the­ater of Islam­ic extrem­ist pen­e­tra­tion and activ­i­ty.

Peter Ack­er­man is on “the U.S. Advi­so­ry Coun­cil of the Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace.” [4]

“Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace”; Source­watch. [12]

5. Ack­er­man’s resume is inter­est­ing, for a pro­mot­er of social jus­tice.

Peter Ack­er­man was born in New York City, Nov 6 1946, and edu­cat­ed at Col­gate Uni­ver­si­ty and the Fletch­er School of Law and Diplo­ma­cy (Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty) where he earned a PhD in Inter­na­tion­al Relations.[10]

After his grad­u­a­tion he joined the junk-bond deal­ers, Drex­el Burn­ham Lam­bert, and for most of the next fif­teen years, he was the right-hand man to Michael Milken the “Junk-Bond King”. He became the key deal-mak­er and strate­gist for the com­pa­ny, and his inno­v­a­tive approach to deal-mak­ing, togeth­er with his unusu­al aca­d­e­m­ic qual­i­fi­ca­tions, earned him the nick­name “the absent­mind­ed pro­fes­sor”. But the record shows that he was far from absent mind­ed. . . .

“Peter Ack­er­man”; Source­watch. [9]

6. [Upris­ing leader Wael] Ghon­im has been wide­ly pub­li­cized as a grad­u­ate of Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Cairo. The broad­cast relates part of an inter­view with Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a pro­fes­sor at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty who is very pro-Islamist and pro-Broth­er­hood. Inter­est­ing­ly and sig­nif­i­cant­ly, Ibrahim is the founder of the Ibn Khal­dun Cen­ter for Devel­op­ment Stud­ies, named after a 14th cen­tu­ry Islam­ic advo­cate of free mar­kets. Khal­dun is high­ly regard­ed by the Broth­er­hood and that atti­tude has led the cor­po­rate busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port the Broth­er­hood.

Note that no less an author­i­ty than the World Bank views Ibn Khaldun—revered by the Brotherhood—as “the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion”!

In the days of the caliphate, Islam devel­oped the most sophis­ti­cat­ed mon­e­tary sys­tem the world had yet known. Today, some econ­o­mists cite Islam­ic bank­ing as fur­ther evi­dence of an intrin­sic Islam­ic prag­ma­tism. Though still guid­ed by a Qur’an­ic ban on riba, or inter­est, Islam­ic bank­ing has adapt­ed to the needs of a boom­ing oil region for liq­uid­i­ty. In recent years, some 500 Islam­ic banks and invest­ment firms hold­ing $2 tril­lion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ties of the West. British Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer Gor­don Brown wants to make Lon­don a glob­al cen­ter for Islam­ic finance—and elic­its no howl of protest from fun­da­men­tal­ists. How Islamists might run a cen­tral bank is more prob­lem­at­ic: schol­ars say they would manip­u­late cur­ren­cy reserves, not inter­est rates. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood hails 14th cen­tu­ry philoso­pher Ibn Khal­dun as its eco­nom­ic guide. Antic­i­pat­ing sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics, Khal­dun argued that cut­ting tax­es rais­es pro­duc­tion and tax rev­enues, and that state con­trol should be lim­it­ed to pro­vid­ing water, fire and free graz­ing land, the util­i­ties of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khal­dun the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] His found­ing influ­ence is a sign of mod­er­a­tion. If Islamists in pow­er ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over com­merce.

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3–10/2006. [19]

7. Excerpts from the inter­view with Saad Eddin Ibrahim indi­cate his sup­port for Islamists. In fact, Gamal Al-Ban­na, the broth­er of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood founder Has­san Al-Ban­na is on the board of direc­tors of the Ibn Khal­dun Cen­ter for Devel­op­ment Stud­ies!

Saad Eddin Ibrahim: This is one of the projects we are work­ing on in the Ibn
Khal­dun Cen­ter. On our Board of Trustees is Gamal al-Ban­na – the only sur­viv­ing
broth­er of Has­san al-Ban­na, the founder of the Mus­lim Broth­ers. He is in his mid
80s but lucid. . . .

Alan John­son: You have argued for an alliance of sorts between democ­rats and
‘mod­er­ate’ Islamists. In August 2006 you wrote that ‘Main­stream Islamists with
broad sup­port devel­oped civic dis­po­si­tions and ser­vices to pro­vide are the most
like­ly actors in build­ing a new Mid­dle East.’ And in Decem­ber 2006 you com­plained
about an ‘unjus­ti­fied fear of mod­ern Islamists’ and called for a pol­i­cy of dia­logue and
inclu­sion, say­ing ‘Hamas, Hezbol­lah, Mus­lim Broth­ers – these peo­ple you can­not
get rid of; you have to deal with them … the name of the game is inclu­sion.’ You deny
that these organ­i­sa­tions are inim­i­cal to democ­ra­cy, point­ing out that Islamists have
nev­er come to pow­er via elec­tions and then reneged on democ­ra­cy. Warn­ing that
‘the Islamist scare is prop­a­gat­ed and mar­ket­ed by auto­crat­ic regimes to intim­i­date
the mid­dle class and the West, to ward off any seri­ous demo­c­ra­t­ic reforms,’ you
have urged a pos­i­tive response to Hamas and Hezbollah’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in elec­tions.
While you warn that ‘no sober ana­lyst would con­sid­er this a final com­mit­ment by
Islamists to democ­ra­cy,’ you believe ‘the process of trans­form­ing them into Mus­lim
democ­rats is clear­ly under way.’ Now, these views have raised some eye­brows. Can
you set out your think­ing? . . .

“A Pol­i­tics of Inclusion:An Inter­view with Saad Eddin Ibrahim”; Dis­sent Mag­a­zine; Spring/2007. [13]

8. New York Times colum­nist Thomas Fried­man high­light­ed the dif­fi­cul­ties ahead for democ­ra­cy activists in Egypt and else­where.

. . . . But fas­ten your seat belts. This is not going to be a joy ride because the lid is being blown off an entire region with frail insti­tu­tions, scant civ­il soci­ety and vir­tu­al­ly no demo­c­ra­t­ic tra­di­tions or cul­ture of inno­va­tion. The Unit­ed Nations’ Arab Human Devel­op­ment Report 2002 warned us about all of this, but the Arab League made sure that that report was ignored in the Arab world and the West turned a blind eye. But that report — com­piled by a group of Arab intel­lec­tu­als led by Nad­er Fer­gany, an Egypt­ian sta­tis­ti­cian — was prophet­ic. It mer­its re-read­ing today [20] to appre­ci­ate just how hard this demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion will be.

The report stat­ed that the Arab world is suf­fer­ing from three huge deficits — a deficit of edu­ca­tion, a deficit of free­dom and a deficit of women’s empow­er­ment. A sum­ma­ry of the report in Mid­dle East Quar­ter­ly in the Fall of 2002 detailed the key evi­dence: the gross domes­tic prod­uct of the entire Arab world com­bined was less than that of Spain. Per capi­ta expen­di­ture on edu­ca­tion in Arab coun­tries dropped from 20 per­cent of that in indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries in 1980 to 10 per­cent in the mid-1990s. In terms of the num­ber of sci­en­tif­ic papers per unit of pop­u­la­tion, the aver­age out­put of the Arab world per mil­lion inhab­i­tants was rough­ly 2 per­cent of that of an indus­tri­al­ized coun­try.

When the report was com­piled, the Arab world trans­lat­ed about 330 books annu­al­ly, one-fifth of the num­ber that Greece did. Out of sev­en world regions, the Arab coun­tries had the low­est free­dom score in the late 1990s in the rank­ings of Free­dom House. At the dawn of the 21st cen­tu­ry, the Arab world had more than 60 mil­lion illit­er­ate adults, the major­i­ty of whom were women. Yemen could be the first coun­try in the world to run out of water with­in 10 years.

This is the vaunt­ed “sta­bil­i­ty” all these dic­ta­tors pro­vid­ed — the sta­bil­i­ty of soci­eties frozen in time. . . .

“If Not Now, When?” by Thomas Fried­man; The New York Times; 2/22/2011. [21]