Anwar Ibrahim is a far cry from the “voice of democracy” he’d like you think he is. Nor is he the “moderate” Muslim he has persuaded some in America to see him as, with friends like Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz. In fact, if a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at the ones we have here: they harken back twenty years, and show Anwar in the company of a man branded by many counter-terrorism experts as a one-time inspiration to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda!
That man is Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Qaradawi, whom the American Jewish Committee has called “a radical Muslim Brotherhood Ideologue” with “xenophobic and anti-Semitic views”, has been linked to Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden through the Bank Al-Taqwa, where he is a principal shareholder and former Sharia advisor . His decades-long leadership role (he has twice been offered a chairmanship and admits that the Brotherhood considers him “their Mufti”) within the Muslim Brotherhood may also indicate a further link to Al Qaeda, as the Brotherhood served as a springboard for Al Qaeda devotees like Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
The Brotherhood, also known as the Ikwhan, was founded in Egypt in 1928 by an Egyptian schoolteacher named Hassan al-Banna, whom Qaradawi cites as a key figure in his own religious and intellectual development. Dedicated to the supremacy of Islam and Sharia law, the Brotherhood’s motto from its earliest day is chilling to Western ears: “Allah our objective; the Quran our constitution; the Prophet our leader; Jihad our way; and death for the sake of Allah the highest of our aspirations.”
The Brotherhood was banned in Egypt decades ago, but going underground, and being forced to create and engage front groups did not slow its evolution. Today the Brotherhood comprises a global network of Islamist extremists that has spawned such groups as al-Jihad and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya in Egypt, Hamas, and mujahideen groups in Afghanistan. Though the Brotherhood often claims to be made up of moderates, it is in reality one of the largest, most influential anti-Semitic, Islamist terrorist groups in the world. Qaradawi now serves as the organization’s spiritual leader, issuing fatwas that legitimize and encourage the most controversial Brotherhood methods and ideas, including suicide bombing, the death penalty for homosexuality, and the rightness of the Holocaust.
Qaradawi tries to masquerade as a moderate Muslim, but his outspoken views mark him as the most dangerous kind of radical;and here he is with Anwar Ibrahim, another so-called moderate:But this is not the only evidence that Malaysia’s Opposition Leader is no moderate Muslim. In fact Anwar seems positively proud of his association with Qaradawi. As recently as 2005, his website featured a picture of him with Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most important leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and in many ways its spiritual father. (The photo has since been removed, Anwar having apparently realized how unwise it was to display it.) No moderate Muslim would want to display such a picture, as Qaradawi represents the very Islamist ideology that real moderates eschew. Yet just two years ago Qaradawi was named as a part of the “board and executive members” for Anwar’s International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Since 2002, U.S. authorities have investigated the IIIT repeatedly on suspicions of money laundering and terror financing. The picture of the two men together may no longer be found on Anwar’s website, but his commitment to a brand of radical Islam that is directly opposed to democracy remains unchanged.
Qaradawi, who has supported Anwar throughout his controversial career, has been banned from entering the United States since 1999. Like Anwar, he claims to represent a moderate form of Islam, but his public record shows otherwise. In August 2005, Qaradawi’s European Council for Fatwa and Research was reported to have used the notoriously anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for theological purposes. Qaradawi has also declared that all Muslims are duty-bound to support Hezbollah; and he has stated that “The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation.”
Anwar not only associates with Qaradawi, but supports his radical pro-jihad, anti-democratic doctrines. Yet, he stresses the opposite when he visits Washington, D.C., and strangely enough Anwar is not only welcome but, in some corners, admired in the United States. Qaradawi has been banned from the U.S., but his influence will continue to filter in as long as moderate pretenders like Anwar are granted unquestioning access to American media and policy makers.
Remember we mentioned the photo of Anwar and Qaradawi that used to be on Anwar’s website? And remember that it was too radioactive for Anwar to keep it there? Well, he may want the world to forget that he’s an ideological scion of the Muslim Brotherhood’s guiding intellect: but that doesn’t change the fact that he is. And it doesn’t change the fact that many photographs of the two together exist.
Whenever Anwar Ibrahim claims to be a moderate, democratic Islamic leader, these images are the first things he must explain. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.