Newt Gingrich’s Muslim Brotherhood Fearmongering


Here at CPAC, the annual three-day gathering of conservatives of all stripes, there’s been little buzz about the latest developments in Egypt, with president Hosni Mubarak refusing to relinquish his position as the country’s autocratic leader. But the conflict hasn’t gone completely unmentioned here, with a rare few conservative luminaries briefly discussing the massive unrest in Egypt, the protests and turmoil and potential change in power there.

Former House speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was one of them. At an afternoon CPAC event, Gingrich went out of his way to discuss the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic faction in Egypt that has maintained something of a distance from the protests roiling Cairo and other cities. Gingrich frequently points to “Islamofascism” as the biggest threat to the American way of life today, which he did today, quipping that Islamic terrorists “want to kill us because they want to kill us.”

Gingrich stirred up all sorts of fear about the Muslim Brotherhood, painting them as religiously-driven killers whose “way is jihad.” Here are Gingrich’s remarks in full about the Brotherhood:

This is an organization which has as its original founding slogan that our constitution is the Koran, our way is jihad, and our method is dying for Allah. Now, I don’t know which part of that is complicated. But it strikes me that any normal, reasonable, intelligent person would read that and go, ‘you know, I wonder if there’s something religious here.'”

Middle East experts depict the Brotherhood in far less severe terms. For instance, Islamic scholar Christoper Anzalone recently wrote, “Although it is far from being a force for social or political liberalism, certainly of the kind that is desired by progressives in the U.S. and Europe, the Brotherhood is also not the all-powerful Islamist bogeyman and twin sister of al-Qaeda that it is often portrayed as.” That doesn’t nearly sound as bad as Gingrich would have it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate