Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Crispin Blunt, the gay Tory parliamentarian, has emerged as one of the most vocal British defenders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee is an odd figure to head up the defense of Islamists. After two decades of marriage in which he denounced “homosexuality,” Crispin dumped his wife, who had allegedly helped finance his career, and came out of the closet.
The timing was perfect. As one source put it, “Despite his recent gaffe, his position as a minister is safer now than ever before.” The unpleasant white aging politician was now an official minority.
But Blunt often appears less animated by gay rights, aside from a vocal defense of the dance club drug “poppers,” than by Islamism. The former chair of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding was a known opponent of the Jewish State. He had even accused Israel of perpetrating “a Holocaust of equal proportions” against its Muslim attackers.
At the time, Blunt suggested that the British government was inconsistent in favoring military intervention in Kosovo, but not Israel.
Crispin Blunt’s current crusade though extends far beyond opposing Israel. Instead he has launched into a defense of “political Islam,” especially the Muslim Brotherhood, from government criticism. Even before the UK government’s inquiry into the Brotherhood had been conducted, Blunt rushed in to preemptively attack it and asserted that listing the terror group as terrorists would be a “betrayal of our values.” The mind boggles at pondering what values would be betrayed by listing the terror group whose members included Osama bin Laden and the current leader of Al Qaeda as such.
Blunt threw a tantrum over the visit of President Sisi to the UK. In the smeared pages of Al-Guardian, he fumed that Egypt must be “prevented” from suppressing the Brotherhood and putting its leaders on trial. “We must make clear that failure to find a way to allow the Islamists back into the democratic space is simply unacceptable.” He insisted that, “These forces have their... place here in our democracy and we will support them having their place in democracy elsewhere.”
One wonders how long Crispin Blunt would avoid being thrown off a building if political Islam truly wins a place in the UK. But Blunt’s latest shot across the bow in defense of a hateful Islamic ideology is here.
The report, "'Political Islam' and the Muslim Brotherhood Review" claims that Islamists are “notable” as “the historic and current victims” of political violence in the region. One might say the same thing about Nazis in Europe with equal validity.
It admits that there “there are cases where political Islamist groups have inspired individuals to commit violent acts,” but argues that, “no political movement can entirely control its individual members or supporters, particularly under extreme provocation”. It insists, with little regard for history or current events, that the Muslim Brotherhood is not violent and it presents as proof that “if the Muslim Brotherhood supported or condoned violence, then Egypt would be a far more violent place today.”
That’s the defense of a serial killer who contends that if he were truly a monster, he would have a hundred bodies buried in the backyard instead of only eight. If the Muslim Brotherhood were truly violent, wouldn’t it be engaged in violent campaigns in all of the countries in the region instead of barely a third of them?
The report perversely states that the ability of theocrats to run for office should be “one of the key criteria for defining free elections in the MENA region”. Defining free elections based on the ability of unfree political movements to use them to seize power and eliminate free elections is backward.
But the whole report is shot through with this sort of ten pence Comintern in green nonsense.
The miserable enterprise becomes obvious when the report dedicates a section to trying to separate Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood entity, from the Muslim Brotherhood. The actual exchange with Ibrahim Mounir, the Deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, is unintentionally hilarious.
The Muslim Brotherhood is “unequivocal, unambiguous and unconditional” in rejecting violence. Furthermore “violence has no place within the ideological nor operational construct of the Muslim Brotherhood.” But the Brotherhood disavows responsibility for what its “local” branches will do in a country “in response to provocation and abuse by a regime”. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more.
The report laughably informs us that the Deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood had rejected Hamas terrorism because it violates “the four Geneva Conventions’ and “numerous United Nations Resolutions.” If there’s anything that an organization whose motto is, “The Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope” is governed by, it’s UN resolutions.
Before that, Mounir had already stated that, “The Muslim Brotherhood firmly believes that it is not acceptable to carry out any violent attacks outside Palestinian territories.” Which is to say Israel.
So much for the four Geneva Conventions which don’t hold a candle to one Koran.
Mounir piously assures us that the “Muslim Brotherhood condemn any narrative which contains anti-Semitism” and respects Christians and Jews. That would come as news to all the Coptic Christians whose churches were being burned by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
And news to the “Spiritual Leader” of the Brotherhood, Sheikh Qaradawi ,who had declared, “Allah imposed Hitler upon the Jews to punish them. ...Allah willing, next time it will be at the hands of the believers (Muslims).” He defended killing Jewish babies. His greatest wish was to make it to Israel where, “I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews.” Maybe Crispin can meet up with Qaradawi and talk Holocaust.
The Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi had called for “raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.” When the Hamas leader met with Badi, he claimed that it was the "jihadi movement of the Brotherhood with a Palestinian face.”
And yet the best part of the Mounir exchange comes when the Muslim Brotherhood man is asked about corporal punishment. Mounir answers that he supports imposing the corporal punishments of Sharia. Crispin Blunt ought to be a little more interested in that one. Qaradawi had called for lashing gay men.
"'Political Islam' and the Muslim Brotherhood Review" insists that Islamists can be democratic. Badi and the Brotherhood would beg to differ. Referring to gay marriage, Badi stated that democracy stops at the Sharia line. “It is not permissible for democracy to allow what's forbidden or forbid what's allowed even if the entire nation agreed to it.” Perhaps Blunt can explain why he is defending the democratic participation of a Muslim movement that is clear about its opposition to democracy and to him.
At a meeting chaired by Crispin Blunt, Mounir replied to a question about sexual freedoms by claiming that, “We in the Muslim Brotherhood did not have a chance to make a real and thorough study of the issue.” One would have thought that over a thousand years of Islamic jurisprudence would be enough.
This is the same event at which he claimed that “there is no such thing as animosity or hatred towards Judaism or Jews” and that Hassan al-Banna loved Christians. Hassan’s idea of love involved fighting Christians until they paid tribute.
This sort of “Who do you think you’re fooling” stuff pervades the report. Every possible excuse and defense of Islamists is tossed out on the table. We are told that it’s not their fault that Islamists are bad. They’re just the “products of societies where illiberal attitudes were prevalent.” You almost expect Crispin and Co. to break out into a rousing chorus of, “Gee, Officer Krupke.”
Why did our poor Islamist lads wind up as products of societies with “illiberal attitudes”? Because those societies are Islamic. You might as well argue that Goebbels was a victim of his own propaganda.
There is a magnificent perversity to the whole affair.
Crispin Blunt is fighting for a violent and intolerant ideology that would have to choose between having him whipped or thrown off a building. Blunt raged over a government ban on “poppers.” The political Islam that he adores would do far worse than prevent him from having his “poppers.”
And yet it is those who have the most to lose from the triumph of Islam over freedom who fight the hardest for the former over the latter. That is not only true of Blunt, but of our civilization.