It is increasingly difficult to get an accurate sense from the media of what the Muslim Brotherhood, which has won the largest portion of the vote in Egypt, actually believes about the relationship of religion and politics. The NY Times tends to make comparative assessments only — more moderate than the Salafis (who won roughly 30% of the vote), less democratic than the protesters in Tahrir Square, and so on — leading a reader to believe that the Brotherhood stands in a kind of moderate position.
Here is another data point about the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood — taken in large measure from a translation of a book, “Jihad is the Way,” by the former leader of the Brotherhood in Egypt (until 2002), Mustafa Mashhur. The story reports that the organizing principles of the book are these:
- Muslims are “masters of the world”
- Islamic nation’s “rightful position… the teachers of humanity”
- “There is no other option but Jihad for Allah”
- Fighting Israel is “Jihad against the criminal, thieving gangs of Zion”
- Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No!”