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Muslim Brotherhood decries foreign intervention against Islamic State

The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected foreign intervention in the Middle East under the pretext of confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying the intervention is nothing but “a new attempt to divide the Middle East”, Anadolu news agency reported.

The agency cited a statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday saying: “A large number of regional extremist organisations have recently emerged possessing advanced weapons and huge sums of money to attract young enthusiastic Muslims who lack sufficient knowledge about Islam. These organisations exercise extremism, cruelty and brutality in the name of Islam, not only distorting the image of Islam, but also giving its enemies a pretext for a new intervention in Islamic countries to sabotage and kill its people.”

The statement noted that: “This is what has happened after the emergence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, which defeated two armies with such power and seized swathes of territory and cities in the two countries while killing its opponents without mercy.”

It continued: “Now the US calls for an international alliance to fight this organisation after Secretary of State John Kerry met in Jeddah with nine Arab countries, as well as Turkey, to confront this serious terrorist threat, all the while we the people of the region do not even know who stands behind it and who supports it.”

The Muslim Brotherhood warned of a “fierce war where Muslims fight each other, with thousands of victims falling and huge sums of money wasted, creating new divisions in the region.”

With regards to Egypt, the movement denounced Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s exploitation of events in the region “to convince the world that the Muslim Brotherhood practices terrorism”, insisting it educates its members to respect human life according to Islamic teachings and not only because of human rights and the rule of law.

In a similar statement issued on Tuesday, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria announced its rejection of extremist groups that deviate from the true Islamic course, describing the Islamic State as a “radical organisation that commits heinous crimes”.

The latter statement said: “We refuse to engage in a war under the pretext of fighting terrorism while in truth it is a war on Islam. The US and the West and all concerned must define terrorism before any move against terrorists to avoid targeting moderates.”

It added: “We also refuse international intervention inside Syrian territory because the Syrians alone will liberate Syria and uproot extremism and terrorism… We reject any position or statement that puts us in front of one of two options: the rule of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad or the radical Islamic State”.

US President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a four pronged plan to combat the so-called Islamic State, including carrying out air strikes against the organisation’s sites; increasing support for ground troops, including Kurdish and Iraqi forces as well as Syrian moderate opposition groups; preventing sources of funding for the organisation; and continuing to providing humanitarian assistance to civilians.

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