Anti-War, or Anti-Israel?

March 20, 2005


I was at the London "anti-war" march on Saturday, March 19. It was while doing research at the website of the "Muslim Association of Britain" (MAB) that I found out about the event. That march, of which MAB was a sponsor, was entitled "Demonstration on the 2nd Anniversary of the Illegal War in Iraq". But what I observed during the march was something different: not benign sentiments, but much belligerence against Israel. The reasons are based on the roots of MAB.

According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, that organization has links with the notorious "Muslim Brotherhood". The latter has spawned several of the worst Islamist terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al-Qaeda.

Recent allegations have been made that those links are ongoing. As reported in the February 13 Sunday Times, former MAB president Mohammed Kassem Sawalha has been named as a co-conspirator in a United States case against Hamas illegal activities, including money laundering and weapons purchases. The report alleges that Sawalha "is a former military commander of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organisation."

Testimony before the British government has corroborated the sordid activities of the MAB. A memorandum submitted to the UK Parliament by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust stated, "The MAB is the primary source of pro-Muslim Brotherhood activity in the UK today. Its slogan, "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" summarises its pan-Islamist objectives. MAB and its leading spokesmen have persistently promoted the equation of Israel with Nazi Germany; called for Israel's destruction; lauded the leaders of Hamas; justified Palestinian suicide bombing; and invited radical foreign Imams to preach in Britain. They are a perfect example of radical Islamists adopting a position of political leadership in the Muslim community, and then using that position to promote an extreme and divisive agenda, including a dangerous ambiguity towards the use of terrorism and political violence."

The MAB denies having anything to do with terrorism. But right now an article is present on the MAB website lionizing Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna, whom many counter-terrorism experts consider the originator of the modern Islamist violent jihad ideology. Steve Plaut calls Al-Banna the man "who lit the fuse of this religious radicalism back in 1928." Robert Spencer affirms "Al-Banna founded the prototypical Muslim radical group of the modern age."

The MAB website article praises Al-Banna's "unique efforts" in "elucidating a comprehensive vision of Islam." The article also states that the Muslim Brotherhood "was the only mass movement to resist the Zionist project from its birth." "Zionist project" is their derisive term for the founding of the state of Israel. The legitimacy of the existence of the Jewish state continues to be repudiated by all of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates. They loathe Israel.

The lasting impacts of Al-Banna's "comprehensive vision" were evident at the so-called "peace march" on Saturday. Not only were green Hamas flags in display (see accompanying photos), but slogans calling for the destruction of Israel were heard as well. The meaning of the hundreds of "Free Palestine" signs was clarified by the marchers' nasty little chant, "Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea."

For anyone not familiar with the geography of the Holy Land, learn what that hateful slogan means. From the Jordan River on the east, to the Mediterranean Sea on the west -- those are Israel's borders. So these "peace marchers" concept of a "Free Palestine" means the obliteration of Israel.

The haters of Israel maintain they are not anti-Jewish, just anti-Zionist. This is an artificial distinction. It is only the Jews they want to expel from the land promised them by God. Zionism is a lofty expression of Jewishness, because it is the return to the ancient homeland where the patriarchs lived. It is the fulfillment of the vision of the Biblical prophets, who foretold that God would restore the Jews to the land of Zion after a long exile.

But I do not expect that the likes of the MAB will understand this. Hatred only understands hatred.












Bob Westbrook 3/20/05