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Thursday, November 24, 2005

AP backgrounder on the Muslim Brotherhood misses a few facts

The AP helpfully published a background piece on the Muslim Brotherhood after the group made gains in Egyptian elections. Here is what it wrote:
Some facts about the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned but popular Egyptian group that has inspired Islamic movements across the Arab world:

_Founded in 1928 by Hassan el-Banna, who advocated Islamic law and faith in God to rectify a society adrift and dependent on the West.

_Banned in 1954, but tolerated at various levels. It fields its candidates as independents under the slogan 'Islam is the solution,' but their affiliation is known to voters.

_Renounced violence in the 1970s, but the government continues to treat it with suspicion.

_Its welfare and charity work, done with efficiency and dedication, endears it to many, especially the poor.

_Holds 15 seats in the outgoing 454-member parliament. In voting so far it has won 47 seats and is expected to gain more in runoffs and a third round of voting.

Somehow AP improbably missed the fact that the "Islamic movements" it helped inspire include Al Qaeda, Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. For some odd reason, the AP forgot to mention terror altogether in its list of "useful information."

To learn a little more about the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood, check out a Palestine Post article from October 19. 1948 that I had found a couple of months ago: