The Muslim Brotherhood is trying its best to put a positive spin on its goals, and an Op-ed piece in today’s New York Times by Essam El-Errian, a member of the guidance council of the Brotherhood, makes the group sound like America’s Founding Fathers.
“Moving forward,” he writes, “we envision the establishment of a democratic, civil state that draws on universal measures of freedom and justice, which are central Islamic values.”
He continues: “We embrace democracy not as a foreign concept that must be reconciled with tradition, but as a set of principles and objectives that are inherently compatible with and reinforce Islamic tenets.”
No mention in the Op-ed that the Brotherhood, since its founding in Egypt in 1928, is committed to seeking Islamic rule there, and the entire region, and that its slogan is “Islam is the solution.”
No mention, either, of public statements by prominent Brotherhood ideologues preaching violence against non-Muslims, especially Jews and Israel.
Some of the group’s leaders have said in recent days that a priority for the Brotherhood would be an end to the 1979 peace agreement with Israel, but the pitch to the Western media of late is that the Brotherhood embraces non-violence, democracy and equality.
Not surprisingly, Israel is worried that a vacuum in Egyptian leadership could result in a Brotherhood takeover. For now, Jerusalem is wisely maintaining a low-key stance over the chaotic events in Egypt, hoping the rest of the world, including those in Washington and Cairo, recognize the dangers of a group whose leaders may sound like Jefferson but whose intentions seem closer to Khomeini.