An adviser to the Department of Homeland Security -- who was recently promoted -- is defending his use of the controversial “R4BIA” four-finger salute symbol associated with the Muslim Brotherhood as decor on his Twitter profile, a choice that elicited criticism on Sunday on the social media site and from one Israeli blog.
Mohamed Elibiary, one of 28 members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, insists the symbol is “bigger than” the Muslim Brotherhood and that to him it means “Freedom4All.” In his Twitter profile, Elibiary describes himself as not only associated with Homeland Security but also as a “proud American” who “hearts” Egypt.
The yellow symbol gained notoriety after Egyptian security forces raided two Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in August, killing hundreds. The larger Cairo sit-in supporting ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi took place at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. Rabaa in Arabic means fourth, hence four fingers and the number “4” planted between the English letters representing the symbol brandished as a tribute to those killed.
One website reportedly set up by Turkish Muslim activists describes the essence of the R4BIA icon as symbolizing more than the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s described as a “symbol of freedom” but also promotes the “return of Muslims to world stage.” It supports “justice for everyone against rotten Western values,” “a pure martyrdom,” “unification of Islamic World,” “the end of capitalists,” and “the end of Zionists.”
“R4BIA is a smiling martyrdom,” says the site.
The call for an “end” to Zionists irked Brian of London of the Israellycool website who writes, “Remember that hand signal for the new global Islamist revolution to take over the world and put an end to all Zionists? Not and end to Zionism, an end to the actual Zionists. That would be me and my friends and family here in Israel.”
Of Elibiary using the symbol on his Twitter profile, Brian blogged on Sunday, “Yup, the US DHS, charged with protecting America from the terrorists. Mr Elibiary is an advisor to the DHS. Well Mohamed is now proudly displaying the R4BIA symbol on his Twitter profile icon. That’s a bit of a shock. Or maybe not.”
Elibiary noticed the criticism and wrote on Twitter, “Some Israelis feeling upset w/ my #R4BIA twibon. Relax, it has nothing 2do w/ y'all & this acct personal only not USG”
But another user Tweeted (expletive warning):
Elibiary retweeted some of the criticism being lodged against him:
@MohamedElibiary You are the proof our President has capitulated to Islamist extremism. Proof Islam has infiltrated senior US government.— D Deryl Downey (@D Deryl Downey) 1380483865.0
Elibiary insists he’s not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also maintains that even if a person supports the Muslim Brotherhood, he can also be a “proud American.” In his profile photo, the U.S. flag is to his right while the R4BIA icon is inserted to his lower left. Elibiary writes:
@LadyDeSade Even if it were true, "support MB", how would that be irreconcilable with being a "proud American"?— Mohamed Elibiary (@Mohamed Elibiary) 1380512640.0
@RMH2345 No, not member. I disagree with analysis that views MB as terrorist so some Islamophobes lump me in with MB & bloggers just repeat.— Mohamed Elibiary (@Mohamed Elibiary) 1380237394.0
The R4BIA hand symbol has become popular among Turkish Islamists, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who used the salute during a speech shortly after the bloody confrontation in Egypt.
The Turkish group IHH has handed out T-shirts and badges with the four-finger icon. IHH calls itself a humanitarian aid group but is described by the Israeli government and some U.S. and European lawmakers as radical Islamist in nature. Its members sailed on the Mavi Marmara, one of the boats of the 2010 Gaza flotilla. Members of the group had reportedly said before the trip that they wanted to die as “martyrs.”
The yellow symbol was also seen on placards and T-shirts at the Muslim Day Parade in New York, which as TheBlaze reported last week also featured black flags associated with jihad.
Elibiary was in the news two years ago when he was accused of leaking confidential documents from the Texas Department of Public Safety to the media in an alleged effort to show the so-called “Islamophobia” of agencies operating under Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in Elibiary to her advisory council while she was still serving in that position.
Last month, he announced via Twitter that he had been promoted by the Department of Homeland Security. “I'm honored to be reappointed to Secretary's Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) and promoted to Sr. Fellow position,” he wrote.
In an interview with Glenn Beck on TheBlaze TV in mid-September, Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, said Elibiary “makes clear his affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood. He makes clear it is his purpose to stop the prosecution of people in connection with material support for terrorism.”
“He’s on the wrong side and that’s not something I believe we need informing our Homeland Security Department,” Gaffney added.
(H/T: Brian of London/Israellycool)