“Al-Qaeda probably will find it difficult to compete for local support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that participate in the political process, provide social services, and advocate religious values. Non-violent, pro-democracy demonstrations challenge Al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist ideology and might yield increased political power for secular or moderate Islamist parties.”
That’s the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, speaking to the Senate on January 21. He famously embarrassed himself earlier in his tenure by referring to the Muslim Brotherhood as a “secular” group that has renounced terrorism. It has been blunder after blunder for Clapper, making me wonder: What does he have to do to get fired?
In the above quote, Clapper isn’t only displaying ignorance of the Muslim Brotherhood by referring to it as a “moderate Islamist” party—he’s describing them as part of the solution. In keeping with the Obama Administration’s narrow focus on Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood is viewed as a counter to Zawahiri’s group because it is (supposedly) non-violent.
It is technically true that the Brotherhood competes with Al-Qaeda, but someone really needs to remind Clapper that the Muslim Brotherhood is still the same thing as Hamas and pursues the same ends as Al-Qaeda.
And even though the two groups compete, violent jihadists like Al-Qaeda still grow out of the toxic ideology that the Muslim Brotherhood espouses. The Brotherhood contributes to the swamp from which Al-Qaeda-types emerge, even if the Brotherhood disagrees with some of the group’s actions.
H/T to Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report for noticing Clapper’s statement first.