Senior Muslim Brotherhood official links Boston blasts to global anti-Muslim conspiracy

April 16, 2013

Essam el-Erian's original, Arabic-language Facebook post.

Essam el-Erian, a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's political party, began his public Facebook post Tuesday on the Boston Marathon blasts with a condemnation of the crime and sympathy for the victims. From there, though, el-Erian quickly took a turn into conspiracy theory, apparently arguing that the incident was part of some larger, global conspiracy against Muslims.

His message links the incident to everything from the French military intervention in Mali to political unrest in Turkey to a recent bombing in Iraq, asking, "Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media? Who funded the violence?" He does not name the force he believes is behind the alleged conspiracy.

El-Erian is vice chairman for the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party and was formerly a member of the Brotherhood's "guidance" leadership staff. His message, originally in Arabic, was translated by a site run by Cairo-based journalists and dedicated to translating Brotherhood-penned articles to English.

The Brotherhood's official, English-language press releases have avoided conspiracy theory, focusing on condemning the incident and expressing sympathy and solidarity with the United States. But, as Foreign Policy's David Kenner notes, the Brotherhood is developing a bit of a reputation for saying one thing in English and something very different – sometimes a good deal more provocative and paranoid – in Arabic.

Here's el-Erian's full statement:

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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Max Fisher · April 16, 2013