Wednesday, September 27, 2017

NYT Obit of Muslim Brotherhood Sanitizes the Man's Career, Beliefs

A Muslim Brotherhood bigwig died the other day. Here's the obituary that appeared in the New York Times:
Mohammed Mahdi Akef, a former leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood who had been detained since 2013, died on Friday in Cairo. He was 89.
Talaat Fahmy, a Brotherhood spokesman, said the cause was complications of cancer and other health issues. He said that Mr. Akef’s family had requested that he be released from custody because of his health, but that the request was declined by an Egyptian court.
Mr. Akef, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood from 2004 to 2010, was among hundreds of members arrested after the Egyptian military’s 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood.
Mr. Akef was initially convicted on charges of inciting violence and disturbing general security and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The verdict was overturned on appeal, and he was facing a retrial.
The Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in elections after the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. But the military toppled the group after widespread protests against it.
Mr. Akef, a physical education teacher, was born in 1928 and joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940. He was later part of its armed wing, known as the Special Apparatus, which carried out a series of assassinations and attacks in response to the British occupation of Egypt.
The group was accused of a failed assassination attempt against President Gamal Abdel Nasser, setting the stage for a heavy crackdown. Mr. Akef was imprisoned from 1954 until 1974.
After his release, Nasser’s successor, Anwar el-Sadat, embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and Mr. Akef was appointed to a government post. 
As relations between Egyptian leaders and the Brotherhood fluctuated, Mr. Akef rose through the group’s ranks, eventually ascending to its top post in 2004. A year later, the Brotherhood participated in the country’s parliamentary elections, winning 20 percent of the seats. 
After Mr. Mubarak’s ouster, the group won all of Egypt’s elections, parliamentary and presidential, giving it a rare moment of triumph that quickly ended when Mr. Morsi was forced out of office...
A physical education teacher? A man who fought against the British occupation of Egypt? Someone appointed to a government post by Anwar Sadat?

Wow, he sounds like a pretty terrific dude, no?

Well, no. Not if you consider some career highlights that, go figure, the Times omitted. Stuff like this, for example:
  • Akef got in on the ground floor, and was a leader of, the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization dedicated to the sharia-zation of the planet and the outfit that continues to inspire the likes of Al Qaeda and ISIS;
  • in the mid-1970s, this hardened Islamist "moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work as an advisor for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and was in charge of its camps and conferences. He took part in organizing the biggest camps for the Muslim youth on the world arena; in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Australia, Mali, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, Britain and America"; and that
  • in 2005 "he denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, and accused the United States of attacking anyone who raised questions about the Holocaust."
Rather changes your overall impression of the deceased, don't you think?

No comments: