The 'moderate' Muslim BrotherhoodBret Stephens compares the attempts by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to pass itself off as 'moderate' to similar efforts by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979.
It's what the good people on West 40th Street like to call a "Times Classic." On Feb. 16, 1979, the New York Times ran a lengthy op-ed by Richard Falk, a professor of international law at Princeton, under the headline "Trusting Khomeini."Read the whole thing.
"The depiction of [Khomeini] as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false," wrote Mr. Falk. "What is also encouraging is that his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals."
After carrying on in this vein for a few paragraphs, the professor concluded: "Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may yet provide us with a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country."
The Times is at it again. Last week, the paper published an op-ed from Essam El-Errian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Council, who offered this soothing take on his organization: "We aim to achieve reform and rights for all: not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians." Concurring with that view, Times reporter Nicholas Kulish wrote on Feb. 4 that members of the Brotherhood "come across as civic-minded people of faith."
Of course, the New York Times is not the only group that's been suckered by the Brotherhood. So has the Los Angeles Times. And so, frighteningly, has President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who just last week called the Muslim Brotherhood 'largely secular.'
What could go wrong?