Islamist apologism in the New York Times?
Islamist apologism in the New York Times?Arutz Sheva graphic

So far in February, The New York Times has run two op-eds sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and a news story favorable to the group’s leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. CAMERA says readers must demand more of the "full picture."

Excerpts of the Times reports on Al-Qaradawi: “…democracy and pluralism [have] long [been] hallmarks of his writing and preaching… He [urges] a civil government founded on principles of pluralism, democracy and freedom… Scholars who have studied his work say Sheik Qaradawi has long argued that Islamic law supports the idea of a pluralistic, multiparty, civil democracy.”

In the same article, however, we read, “But he has made exceptions for violence against Israel or the American forces in Iraq.” 

“In fact,” writes CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), “Qaradawi is a virulent anti-Semite who has called on Allah to wipe out the Jewish people.” He has also defended the Iranian fatwa calling for the death of writer Salman Rushdie, and promoted a “day of rage” against cartoons of Muhammed printed in Sweden and Denmark.

Al-Qaradawi has also issued religious decrees encouraging suicide attacks against Israeli and American civilians, has defended female genital mutilation, and has affirmed Muslim teachings calling for death to homosexuals and for those who leave Islam and encourage others to do the same. He has been wanted by Israel for years, and is banned from entering the United States and Great Britain. Al-Qaradawi also heads the Union of Good, an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the globe that channels money into Hamas institutions in Gaza.

In January 2009, Qaradawi stated that Hitler was a “divine tool” sent to punish the Jewish people for their sins. He also called on Allah to “take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. O Allah, do not spare a single one of them. O Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

Two Op-Eds
Earlier this month, the Times ran two op-eds by Muslim Brotherhood apologists Tariq Ramadan and Essam El-Errian. On Feb. 8, Ramadan wrote in The Times that the Muslim Brotherhood “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 same-sentence contradiction regarding violence remains unresolved.

Just two days later, El-Errian argued on the same op-ed page that 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.” In fact, however, from 1936 until 1949, when the Egyptian government cracked down on it, the Brotherhood’s paramilitary wing carried out numerous assassination attempts against Egyptian and British officials, and acts of violence against Jews, both in Palestine and in Egypt. 

Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff have investigated and reported on connections between Al-Qaeda and leading Brotherhood figures, calling the Muslim Brotherhood a "movement that preaches peaceful co-existence but also supports suicide bombings in Israel and offers inspiration for many violent jihadi groups."

CAMERA urges its supporters to write a letter to Times executive editor Bill Keller, urging the paper “to provide its readers with a more accurate view of the Muslim Brotherhood and its spiritual leader, Yusef Qaradawi, who is fundamentally opposed to women's rights, free speech and religious freedom.”