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Bin Laden, the Muslim Brotherhood and Mehdi Hasan

by Paul Goodman

Yesterday, Hamas described Osama Bin Laden as an "Arab holy warrior".  And these are the people, remember, who are sometimes sold to us as a bulwark against Al Qaeda.

So I sent out a tweet asking whether their Muslim Brotherhood counterparts in the UK share this view.  This upset Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman, who accused me of "guilt by association".

Which is puzzling, because Hasan's no more of a member for the Muslim Brotherhood than I am.  I pointed out in reply that I was asking a question, not making a statement, and would be grateful for an answer - from, them, please, not from him.

And today, we have one (spotted by the ever-vigilant Quilliam).  Not from any old British Islamist, mark you, but from one of the most senior ones - Kemal Helbaway.

This is what he said -

"First of All, I ask Allah to have mercy upon Osama Bin Laden, to treat him generously, to enlighten his grave, and to make him join the prophets, the martyrs, and the good people."

Helbaway then develops his thinking -

"We appreciate him as a rich man living in KSA who left this luxurious life and moved to a hard life in mountains and caves. He helped his Afghan brethrens and participated in Afghan jihad effectively"

- Before claiming that Al Qaeda wasn't responsible for 9/11.  (Any guesses who was?)

"I think that what the Americans claim about September 11th was a trick and a bait they accused Al-Qaeda of. All evidences and indications refer that the Americans are the ones who planned this matter, not the Afghans who have weak resources. The plot of 911 story was not tight. It should be reviewed closely and all parties should be listened to."

"Guilt by association", eh?


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