CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood condemned the Boston Marathon bombings Tuesday, but a senior member of the group painted them as part of a conspiracy aimed at undermining Muslims’ moves toward democracy.
In a statement by the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, the group said Islamic law, or Shariah, does not condone violence against civilians, and expressed condolences to the American people and families of the victims.
The party also said that Islamic law “firmly rejects assaults on civilians and doesn’t accept any means of terrorizing people, regardless of their religion, color, or gender.”
“The sinful assaults in Boston ascertain the necessity of solidarity of the international community in efforts to achieve justice and well-being for all nations and communities, and to ensure that these crimes don’t take place again,” the statement said.
The office of President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, also condemned the bombings, calling them “criminal” and expressing solidarity with the families of the victims.
However, in a separate statement, a senior member of the group said the condemnation of the “criminal act” should not stop the interpretation of the “grave incident” as a conspiracy.
Essam el-Erian, deputy leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, said the Boston bombings were one of a number of events aimed at fueling violence and feeding fear of Muslims. El-Erian didn’t say who he thought was behind the conspiracy.
“Who is disturbed by the 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, and the media? Who funds the violence?” he asked.
He suggested the conspiracy also encompassed violence in Somalia and Iraq, and mentioned “suspicious explosions in Syria that derailed that great revolution from its path and prompted smear campaigns.”
Bomb attacks blamed on the Nusra Front, an affiliate of al-Qaida, have sparked concerns about the rise of extremists in Syria’s rebel movement.
The Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt following the uprising that forced longtime leader Hosni Mubarak to step down in 2011. Many of its members, including Morsi, have blamed foreign and domestic conspiracies for the economic and political crises they have since faced.