In his Jan. 27 Washington Forum op-ed, David Pollock accused the Muslim Brotherhood of “double talk” in Egypt. But his argument appears to be based on an assumption that our English Web site Ikhwanweb.com is a mere translation of our Arabic site Ikhwanonline. These Web sites are separate editorially, which means that Ikhwanweb.com doesn’t simply translate Ikhwanonline but has a different set of editorial priorities and a different audience.
Ikhwanweb’s main mission is to reach out to non-Arabic speakers and to communicate the Muslim Brotherhood’s messages directly instead of relying on third-party translations, which are often inaccurate and biased. One of Ikhwanweb’s missions is to bridge the gaps between the Muslim Brotherhood and Western societies. Furthermore, linguistic differences between English and Arabic can lead to an English text that’s somewhat different than Arabic but still conveys the same facts. We seek to tailor our English discourse to match the background of our Western audience.
But above all, Ikhwanweb does not just translate Muslim Brotherhood statements and opinions; it represents a school of thought that has contributed significantly to reform efforts within the Muslim Brotherhood. Since its launch in 2005, Ikhwanweb has been a beacon for freedom of speech, a defender of human rights and an important channel for young bloggers and activists critical not only of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak regime but also of our own organization. Our platform condemned terrorism and led a campaign to isolate al-Qaeda ideology by exposing its lies and misinterpretation of Islamic teachings. We have emphasized the principles of peace, tolerance and coexistence, which violent extremists were attempting to sacrifice for their radical ideology.
Khaled Hamza, Cairo
The writer is chief executive of Ikhwanweb.com.