An Interview with Muslim Brotherhood’s #2, Mohammed Habib
The next leader of Egypt's banned extremist Islamic group talks about Barack Obama, CAIR, and why he feels misunderstood.
August 24, 2008 - 1:21 am
SM: Why do you think that is?
Mohamed Habib: There are two parts to that. The first part is related to the tyrannical and oppressive regimes in our countries, that try to project a mental image (a really scary and horrifying image) in the minds of the western world that we are against democracy, and freedom, and human rights in general. The other part is the Zionist-American project that upholds double standards and has a special agenda that contradict the interests of our Ummah, and thus finds in the Muslim Brotherhood an obstacle in the way of executing that agenda. Therefore, they unfortunately promote a very wrong and negative image of us. This forces us to act and try to communicate with think tanks and research centers, academics in universities, the people, and the media, whether the local or the international one.
SM: Fine, but we can claim that the Egyptian media is controlled by the Egyptian government, while the western media is not controlled by the western governments. What’s stopping the right image of you to reach the world then? Are they conspiring against you?
Mohamed Habib: No, but naturally there are centers in the U.S. and Europe that carry out the agenda of the U.S. government. But there is also an independent media that has a role in educating the populace, and thus improve our image in their minds.
SM: Is there a Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.?
Mohamed Habib: I would say yes. There are Muslim Brotherhood members there.
SM: Then what are they doing there?
Mohamed Habib: No, there are already existing institutions; there are laws and a constitution that they operate under in order to have a role in serving the American society. They are part of the American society and they want to an active positive role in it, and a part of that is to spread a positive image of Islam along with its values, culture, history and teachings.
SM: This is naturally very important. Who represents you in the US?
Mohamed Habib: Well, there are there those who do represent us, who do that role.
SM: But it’s not CAIR, right? The Council for American Islamic Relations? Many people say that they are your front. Other people say that its ISNA. But back to CAIR, some people from the Muslim Brotherhood have denied having a connection with CAIR. Do they really represent you?
Mohamed Habib: Ehh, this is a sensitive subject, and it’s kind of problematic, especially after 9/11 …
SM: For them to say that there is a relationship between you two?
Mohamed Habib: Yes. You can say that.
SM: Gotcha. What kind of relationship does the Muslim Brotherhood have with Hamas? Do you offer them support of any kind?
Mohamed Habib: Hamas, like any Muslim Brotherhood entity, is not related to the other entities. But we do support them. We support them with ideas. We support them with advice and vision. We incite the people — in Egypt for example — to donate money and care and understand about the Palestinian cause. Then the civil society institutions carry out the role of facilitators of our support.
SM: Thank you for your time sir.
Mohamed Habib: Thank you.