News emerged Friday that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is pondering an update to its long-standing slogan: "Islam is the solution." It is unclear at this point whether the existing statement will continue on, co-existing with other more tame assertions, or if it will be scrapped in favor of a new slogan altogether. Official comment by Brotherhood leadership on the move has, thus far, proven to be overwhelmingly ambiguous.
The lack of clarity should come as no surprise to those who closely monitor the actions of current and past leaders of the Sunni Islamist party and its global affiliates. Over the years, the Brotherhood's Egyptian leadership has remained committed to its core goals of restoring the historical Caliphate and dismantling all non-Islamic governments through a combination of warfare – both violent and political. However, the group's outward message – especially toward a Western audience – has been less than candid about these aims.
In the U.S., the Brotherhood's American progeny has acted in a similar fashion. During the 2007-08 trial of the Richardson,TX-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), evidence emerged demonstrating U.S.-based Muslim Brother, and former HLF President, Shukri Abu Baker's commitment to the way of the Brotherhood:
"War is deception. We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart and we never thought of deceiving it. War is deception. Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you're leaving while you're walking that way. Or do we have to be ...UI. Deceive your enemy."
Baker, and fellow HLF official Ghassan Elashi were both members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee – an organization formed under direct order of the "executive office of the Brotherhood in the Levant countries."
While Brotherhood leaders explain today's action as a "precaution against obstacles that it might face from the government, especially as articles within the constitution emphasise [sic.] the danger of practicing politics based on religion," it may be part of something else – something all too familiar.
It may be yet another example of the Brotherhood's continued effort to hide its true doctrine beneath a veneer of "moderation" and to further deceive those not paying close attention to what's in motion beneath the surface.
In that light, perhaps the Brotherhood should consider something more outwardly and blatantly vague: "A Party that Does Stuff about Things."