By | Ali Javanmardi
December 5, 2020
Above image, U.S. State Department, CC By 2.0.
Islamism in media has held a keen interest in U.S. elections. In this piece, Ali Javanmardi showcases the propaganda and U.S. electoral influence of Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti.
When the Saudi Ulama Council issued a statement calling the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organization,” anger was aroused among politicians, activists, and across the Muslim world, among whom a name attracts the most attention: Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti.
— محمد المختار الشنقيطي (@mshinqiti) November 24, 2020
Example of al-Shinqiti’s twisting of the American narrative. The statement made in this tweet is incorrect. Trump did not order the transfer of power to Biden, he authorized the General Services Administration to comply with the protocols preparing for power transition, if his election contest is not successful.
The Mauritanian political activist, al-Shinqiti, reacted on Twitter.
“I am convinced that the statement of the Saudi Council of Ulamas is only a buzz, to divert Muslim public opinion away from the great victory in Azerbaijan”. (Note from the editor: this statement is based on erroneous propaganda spread by various sources, including Islamist, which has attempted to make Az’s territorial reclamation from Armenia into a religous conflict although Az is a secular Shia majority country that rejects Islamism.”)
He added, “They wanted to lessen the jubilation over the predicament of (French) President Emmanuel Macron, and that of the defeated Donald Trump. We shouldn’t be concerned about these trivial media bubbles that aim to distract from the boycott of French products, which comes against the backdrop of the French offense against Islam and the Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him.”
The Qatari media together with al-Shinqiti, the imminent Muslim brotherhood figure also rejoiced at Trump’s electoral results, blaming President Trump for Qatar’s great suffering! They published many expressions of joy and stressed that they are pleased by this defeat more than by the victory of his rival Biden. They maligned Trump and his policies, which they said harmed the entire world, and especially condemned his policy toward Qatar, saying that he had “sold” this country to its rivals – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain – and allowed them to boycott it throughout his term in office.
The Qatari press published cartoons mocking President Trump for being ousted from the White House and consigned to the “trash bin of history.”
Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti reposted old tweets by Donald Trump accusing Qatar of supporting terror and commented: “No country except Palestine suffered from Trump’s injustice more than Qatar. From the first day, Trump sold out Qatar to the despicable members of the ‘Arab Likud’ and the counter-revolutionary [countries, i.e., the countries boycotting Qatar: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain] while giving them the green light to impose a discriminatory siege on Qatar throughout his term in office. This is because Trump wanted collaborators, rather than allies, and he found what he was looking for in those insolent people of Abu Dhabi, the fools of Riyadh and the Pharaohs of Egypt.”
— محمد المختار الشنقيطي (@mshinqiti) November 7, 2020
Another example of al-Shinqiti’s treatment of the narrative. “Departure #ترمب Racism and arrogance have receded, arrogance and treachery have diminished … America without him is better, and the world without him is more beautiful.”The narrative effectively takes the side of left-wing narrative abroad. The undermining of a western leader is weaponized by the agendas of propaganda in the MENA.
Also, the former director-general of Al-Jazeera, Yasser Abu Hilala, retweeted a photo of the Qatari Emir, Tamim bin Hamad, with President-Elect Joe Biden, and wrote: “Qatar’s relations with the U.S. were very strained in Trump’s period. They deteriorated with the outbreak of the Gulf crisis when Trump implicitly accused Qatar of supporting terror.
Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti was born in 1966 in Mauritania. After studying Islamic jurisprudence and translation (from Arabic to French and English), he worked as a teacher of Islamic education and Arabic literature in several Mauritanian high schools.
During this period, between 1989 and 1996, he was also an editor and translator of Mauritanian newspapers (al-Kalam, al-Islah, al-Diyaa). Between 1997 and 1998, he worked in Sana’a (Yemen), as a professor of Qur’anic Exegesis and Arabic Grammar at al-Eman University. Between 1999 and 2000, he worked as a professor of Islamic Principles and Arabic Language at Islamic Center (Washington DC), American Open University (Virginia), and Islamic Center of Modesto (California). Between 2001 and 2003, he was director of the Islamic Center of South Plains in Lubbock, Texas.
Note from the editor: The brand of Salafism that this Mauritanian contributed to has benefited from the infusion of Muslim Brotherhood activists fleeing Nasser in Egypt in 1960s who had been welcomed by King Fahd, and that particular Salafi schools alinging with Islamism became known to the world as the “Salafi jihadists” such as practiced by Al Qaeda and various ideological extremists.
He also ran the Al-Fiqh al-Syasi magazine website (www.fiqhsyasi.com), or http://almawqef.com. He has published several books on political thought in Islam, Islamic literature, Islamic movements, and dialogue between the Islamic world and the West.
— محمد المختار الشنقيطي (@mshinqiti) November 5, 2020
Another example of al-Shinquit’s twist on the narrative.”#Trump becomes president of the separatist transitional council in the southern United States after his refusal to hand over power.” #Presidentialelections. A harmful narrative that might insinuate Trump wishes to form a separatist government in the United States.
It is important to note that posts held by personalities like Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti, a Mauritanian migrant in Saudi Arabia, situated them at the heart of networks that have contributed to shaping modern Salafism beyond the kingdom. He was among the small handful of scholars teaching at the IUM when it opened in the early 1960s, moreover, he has contributed to the development of the Saudi religious sphere.
He has published several books on political thought in Islam, Islamic literature, Islamic movements, and dialogue between the Islamic world and the West. He writes on the aljazeera.net and fiqhsyasi websites.
For a deeper look at Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti’s recent activities, visit the websites that he promotes on his social media platforms: https://easts-wests.net also https://www.cilecenter.org/about-us/our-team/dr-mohamed-el-moctar-shinqiti