Dr. Essam el-Erian (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Dr. Essam el-Erian, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, has apparently turned to his Facebook page to put out some confounding commentary about Monday's tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon.
According to an English translation, el-Erian expressed sympathy for the American people, but then purportedly connected the bombings to other incidents that have unfolded in the Middle East of late.
The tone was conspiratorial in nature, as the note connected global events and wondered who is planting Islamophobia. Here's how Foreign Policy's Passport blog frames the message:
A common criticism of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has always been that it delivers one message in English to an international audience, and another message entirely in Arabic to its domestic audience. If anyone is ever looking for an example of this, they need to look no further than the Islamist organization's reaction to the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
In English, the Brotherhood's political party released a statement "categorically reject[ing] as intolerable the bombings committed in the U.S. city of Boston," and "offer[ing] heartfelt sympathies and solemn condolences to the American people and the families of the victims."
In Arabic, senior Brotherhood leader and the vice chairman of the group's political party Essam el-Erian took a different tack. In a post on his Facebook page, he condemned the Boston attack -- but also linked it to the French war in Mali, the destruction in Syria and Iraq, and faltering rapprochement between the Turkish government and Kurdish rebels.
"Our sympathy with the families of the victims, and the American people do not stop us from reading into the grave incident," he wrote, launching into a recap of recent violence. "This series of events began with the sending of French battalions to Mali in a war against organisations that are said to belong to Al-Qaeda."
A screen shot from el-Erian's Facebook post
After referencing Mali, the note goes on to discuss Syria, claiming that "bombings intensified" there "in a suspicious manner." And violence, too, it charges, has returned to Iraq.
"Violent explosions returned, rearing their ugly heads again in Iraq, targeting peaceful movements aiming for needed reform," the Muslim Brotherhood leader continued. "After a reasonable calm in Somalia, the capital Mogadishu shook again, leading to lowered confidence in the new president and government."
And he didn't end there. While one might be confused as to what he is alluding to throughout the Facebook post, at the end of his writings it becomes clear: He's looking for someone -- mainly a group -- to blame for what he sees as potentially-coordinated unrest in the Middle East.
"Who disturbed democratic transformations, despite the difficult transition from despotism, corruption, poverty, hatred, and intolerance to freedom, justice tolerance, development, human dignity, and social justice?," el-Erian asked. "Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media? Who funded the violence?"
It's difficult to tell who the Muslim Brotherhood official is blaming for the unrest. But his claims also caught the attention of The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, who called them "bizarre."
We'll leave you with el-Erian's full statement, below (as per mbinenglish.com):
The criminal acts in Boston, which killed three and wounded 244, comes in the context of reproducing an old case that will not return and not produce negative effects on Islam and Muslims.
Our sympathy with the families of the victims, and the American people do not stop us from reading into the grave incident.
This series of events began with the sending of French battalions to Mali in a war against organisations that are said to belong to Al-Qaeda.
Bombings intensified in Syria in a suspicious manner that deviated from the path of the great Syrian revolution, and smear campaigns began.
Violent explosions returned, rearing their ugly heads again in Iraq, targeting peaceful movements aiming for needed reform.
After a reasonable calm in Somalia, the capital Mogadishu shook again, leading to lowered confidence in the new president and government.
The historic agreement, which ended the fiercest regional conflict, between Erdogan and the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is faltering.
A question that forces itself: Who disturbed democratic transformations, despite the difficult transition from despotism, corruption, poverty, hatred, and intolerance to freedom, justice tolerance, development, human dignity, and social justice?
Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media?
Who funded the violence?
The march of the Arab peoples will continue, and the will of right, justice, and dignity will triumph, and Syria will triumph to democratic transition movements with the permission of the victorious One God Almighty, who cannot be rendered incapable.
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