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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

World Muslim Brotherhood declares war on Sharon's disengagement plan

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report: At 78, the fiery Egyptian preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi is a household name in the Muslim Arab world, commanding great respect as a leading theologian and star status for his religious phone-in program over Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arabic television station. Jailed repeatedly in his home country for inciting religious violence, he operates out of Qatar as a member of the supreme Shura council of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in most Middle East countries, and heads a European Islamic canonical law council. In his broadcasts, the radical preacher publicly champions suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians. All the same, British law enforcement authorities saw no need to hamper Qaradawi’s activities when he landed in Britain this week.

The business that brought him to London is revealed here exclusively by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources. The preacher placed before a World Muslim Brotherhood conference a working document drawn up at “a secret meeting of the movement” somewhere in the Middle East, calling on all brethren in the Muslim world to rise up and foil Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and, most of all, to combat any potential Egyptian or Jordanian role in its implementation. The Brotherhood was exhorted to resort “to all means available.”

The London conference endorsed the resolution and stressed its importance by adding: “No power can prevent the Brotherhood from thwarting this scheme, even if it entails direct and open confrontation with the governments of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The struggle will be uncompromising.”

This is the first time in many years that the Muslim Brotherhood, ideological soul-mates of al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist organizations in the Middle East and Europe, has crossed the line between radical doctrinal rhetoric and operational violence, threatening Israel, the Palestinian areas - and Arab governments too - with a campaign of terror.
Hullo? Is anybody home out there? Sharon offers part of the Holy Land to Arabs, offers to get all the Jews out beforehand, but will leave their homes and farms intact for the taking . . . . and these guys declare war in response?

Here are their reasons:
1. Withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will relieve the Israeli government of a heavy burden.

2. It will thrust the Palestinian leadership to the sidelines of government in the two territories. Already Arafat is forced to pretend to kowtow to Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman.

3. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak offered Sharon guarantees to preserve calm in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s withdrawal.

4. Instead of opening the way to further major Israeli withdrawals on the West Bank, Sharon’s disengagement will slow the process down.

5. The West Bank’s future will be up for grabs and Israel will have a free hand to exercise its will in the territory including finishing the construction of its defense barrier.

6. Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip would turn the clock back to the discredited solution-in-stages resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

7. The disengagement plan would reduce any Palestinian state that does emerge to the status of Arab protectorate rather than independent state.

8. Political or government changes in Israel could cause the plan to be ditched at any moment before or during execution.

9. Egypt was refused guarantees specifying Israeli political and military conduct in return for Cairo’s assistance in implementing disengagement.

10. All these considerations lay bare the perils inherent in Sharon’s plan and underline the urgency of thwarting it any price.

I especially enjoyed reading Reason #3 for declaring a war: the threat of "calm."

Funny how people freely call Bush a warmonger, but never these mullahs, or whatever they are. (I'm starting to resent having to learn so many Arabic terms and names - mullahs, imams, fatwas, jihad, shahada . . . Abu Dis and Abu Dat...)

Sorry, but today I have seen the enemy and the supporters and worshippers of the enemy. If you go out into the world, at least the lefty pro-Palestinian protest world, and you openly condemn the random blowing up of pregnant ladies and babies and little children, you'll have an argument on your hands.

Think about that; it's very crazy. People should be alarmed.