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*The Muslim Brotherhood Takes Off Its Mask
*The Muslim Brotherhood Takes Off Its Mask:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was never a “moderate” organization...
Recently, though, for reasons I’m not quite sure about yet, they decided to stop playing the game, and we can thank Barry Rubin for paying particularly close attention to this development.
In calling for jihad against America, the West and Israel in terms virtually identical with Osama bin Laden’s rhetoric, the leader of Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood uttered one sentence that explains the contemporary Middle East.The Muslim Brotherhood is not a militia. It can’t seize the capital, and it can’t take on the army. It doesn’t control a state within a state, as Hamas and Hezbollah do. It can’t start a war with another country or draw in foreign powers. It can’t win an election, because Hosni Mubarak’s regime rigs the system. It does, however, have an enormous amount of clout on the streets.
I’ve been to more than a dozen Muslim countries and seen for myself how extraordinarily diverse they are. Some are as secular and irreligious as the nations of Western Europe. Egypt, though, is by far the most politically Islamicized place I’ve ever seen. And by that I don’t mean that Egyptians are more likely to pray and go to the mosque than people in other countries. The Kurds of Iraq are by and large conservative Muslims, but political Islamism barely registers there and is held in contempt by the majority.
In Egypt, it’s different, and you can see it and feel it in Cairo. The liberal and moderate Egyptians I spoke to were keenly aware that they’re part of a small minority that has no political future right now.
One reason for this is that Egypt’s current secular government — which is a less-ideological continuation of the Arab Nationalist regime founded by Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Free Officer’s Movement — has failed Egypt spectacularly in almost every possible way. Egypt’s experience with secular modernity has been a miserable one, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan, “Islam is the solution,” sounds plausible to millions of people.
That isn’t the only reason, of course. Albanians fared far worse under the secular Communist regime of Enver Hoxha — which was similar in a lot ways to Kim Il-Sung’s in North Korea — yet Islamism never caught on there. No single explanation will suffice in Egypt or anywhere else.
Still, Mubarak’s ideology and government is rejected by a huge number of Egyptians for many of the same reasons the Shah’s regime in Iran was in the late 1970s. The Muslim Brotherhood will be a likely replacement if Mubarak’s government implodes or is overthrown. Given that the Brotherhood is becoming more extreme rather than less, the West may want to brace itself.
The Muslim Brotherhood – A Viable Alternative to the Egyptian Regime - http://israelmilitary.net/showthread.php?t=15802
Muslim Brotherhood Jockeys for Power in Egypt
Muslim Brotherhood Jockeys for Power in EgyptHuman Events this morning, I discuss the looming succession crisis in Egypt:
By Robert Spencer
The Islamic supremacist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated--according to a captured internal document--to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within," has its best chance in years to take power in Egypt, with implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Muslim Brotherhood Leader:
Muslim Brotherhood Leader:
Only Jihad Can Restore the Muslim Ummah to Its Former Glory; 'The Hour is Near when [We will] Rid the Ummah of this Foreign Body [Israel] that has been Malevolently Planted in Its Midst'
Since his appointment in mid-January 2010 as the new general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Dr. Muhammad Badi's speeches, sermons, and statements have reflected a pro-jihad stance, which favors resistance as a means to restore the Muslim nation to its former glory and to liberate Arab lands in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and which regards Israel and the Jews as a major enemy.
Following are excerpts from several of Badi's statements:
Read it all> http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4254.htm
The Muslim Brotherhood's Conquest of Europe
The Muslim Brotherhood's Conquest of Europe
by Lorenzo Vidino
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2005, pp. 25-34
Since its founding in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood (Hizb al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) has profoundly influenced the political life of the Middle East. Its motto is telling: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
While the Brotherhood's radical ideas have shaped the beliefs of generations of Islamists, over the past two decades, it has lost some of its power and appeal in the Middle East, crushed by harsh repression from local regimes and snubbed by the younger generations of Islamists who often prefer more radical organizations.
But the Middle East is only one part of the Muslim world. Europe has become an incubator for Islamist thought and political development. Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities, and Islamic organizations. Unlike the larger Islamic community, the Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate goal may not be simply "to help Muslims be the best citizens they can be," but rather to extend Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.
Four decades of teaching and cultivation have paid off. The student refugees who migrated from the Middle East forty years ago and their descendants now lead organizations that represent the local Muslim communities in their engagement with Europe's political elite. Funded by generous contributors from the Persian Gulf, they preside over a centralized network that spans nearly every European country.
These organizations represent themselves as mainstream, even as they continue to embrace the Brotherhood's radical views and maintain links to terrorists. With moderate rhetoric and well-spoken German, Dutch, and French, they have gained acceptance among European governments and media alike. Politicians across the political spectrum rush to engage them whenever an issue involving Muslims arises or, more parochially, when they seek the vote of the burgeoning Muslim community.
But, speaking Arabic or Turkish before their fellows Muslims, they drop their facade and embrace radicalism. While their representatives speak about interfaith dialogue and integration on television, their mosques preach hate and warn worshippers about the evils of Western society. While they publicly condemn the murder of commuters in Madrid and school children in Russia, they continue to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Europeans, eager to create a dialogue with their increasingly disaffected Muslim minority, overlook this duplicity. The case is particularly visible in Germany, which retains a place of key importance in Europe, not only because of its location at the heart of Europe, but also because it played host to the first major wave of Muslim Brotherhood immigrants and is host to the best-organized Brotherhood presence. The German government's reaction is also instructive if only to show the dangers of accepting Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric at face value, without looking at the broader scope of its activities.
The Muslim Brotherhood
The situation in Germany is particularly telling. More than anywhere else in Europe, the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany has gained significant power and political acceptance. Islamist organizations in other European countries now consciously follow the model pioneered by their German peers.
During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of Muslim students left the Middle East to study at German universities, drawn not only by the German institutions' technical reputations but also by a desire to escape repressive regimes. Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser's regime was especially vigorous in its attempts to root out the Islamist opposition. Beginning in 1954, several members of the Muslim Brotherhood fled Egypt to escape arrest or assassination. West Germany provided a welcome refuge. Bonn's motivations were not simply altruistic. As terrorism expert Khalid Durán explained in his studies on jihadism in Europe, the West German government had decided to cut diplomatic relations with countries that recognized East Germany. When Egypt and Syria established diplomatic relations with the communist government, Bonn decided to welcome Syrian and Egyptian political refugees. Often, these dissidents were Islamists. Many members of the Muslim Brotherhood were already familiar with Germany. Several had cooperated with the Nazis before and during World War II. Some had even, reportedly, fought in the infamous Bosnian Handschar division of the Schutzstaffel (SS).
One of the Muslim Brotherhood's first pioneers in Germany was Sa'id Ramadan, the personal secretary of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Ramadan, an Egyptian who had led the Muslim Brotherhood's irregulars in Palestine in 1948, moved to Geneva in 1958 and attended law school in Cologne. In Germany, he founded what has become one of Germany's three main Muslim organizations, the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland (Islamic Society of Germany, IGD), over which he presided from 1958 to 1968. Ramadan also cofounded the Muslim World League, a well-funded organization that the Saudi establishment uses to spread its radical interpretation of Islam throughout the world. The U.S. government closely monitors the activities of the Muslim World League, which it accuses of financing terrorism. In March 2002, a U.S. Treasury Department-led task force raided the group's Northern Virginia offices looking for documents tying the group to Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In January 2004, the Senate Finance Committee asked the Internal Revenue Service for its records on the Muslim World League "as part of an investigation into possible links between nongovernmental organizations and terrorist financing networks." This privileged relationship with the oil-rich kingdom granted Ramadan an influx of money, which he used to fund the powerful Islamic Center of Geneva and to bankroll several financial and religious activities. Hani Ramadan, Sa'id's son, currently runs the Islamic Center. Among its other board members is Sa'id's other son, Tariq Ramadan, who recently made headlines in the United States when the Department of Homeland Security revoked his visa to teach at Notre Dame University. Sa'id Ramadan's case is not isolated.
Following Ramadan's ten-year presidency of the IGD, Pakistani national Fazal Yazdani briefly led the IGD before Ghaleb Himmat, a Syrian with Italian citizenship, took the helm. During his long stewardship (1973-2002), Himmat shuttled between Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Intelligence agencies around the world have long scrutinized Himmat's terrorist connections. He is one of the founders of the Bank al-Taqwa, a powerful conglomerate dubbed by Italian intelligence, "Bank of the Muslim Brotherhood," which has financed terrorist groups since the mid-1990s if not earlier. Himmat helped Youssef Nada, one of the Muslim Brotherhood's financial masterminds, run Al-Taqwa and a web of companies headquartered in locations such as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Bahamas, which maintain few regulations on monetary origin or destination. Both Himmat and Nada reportedly funneled large sums to groups such as Hamas and the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front and set up a secret credit line for a top associate of Osama bin Laden.
In November 2001, the U.S. Treasury Department designated both Himmat and Nada as terrorism financiers. According to Italian intelligence, the Al-Taqwa network also financed several Islamic centers throughout Europe and many Islamist publications, including Risalatul Ikhwan, the official magazine of the Muslim Brotherhood. After the U.S. Treasury Department designation, Himmat resigned from the IGD's presidency. His successor was Ibrahim el-Zayat, a 36-year-old of Egyptian descent and the charismatic leader of numerous student organizations.
The fact that IGD leaders Ramadan and Himmat are among the most prominent Muslim Brotherhood members of the last half-century suggests the links between the IGD and the Ikhwan. Moreover, reports issued by internal intelligence agencies from various German states openly call the IGD an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. In particular, according to one intelligence report, the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has dominated the IGD since its early days.
The Muslim Brotherhood—led by Ramadan and Himmat—sponsored the construction of the imposing Islamic Center of Munich in 1960, aided by large donations from Middle Eastern rulers such as King Fahd of Saudi Arabia who, according to a 1967 Sueddeutsche Zeitung article, donated 80,000 marks. The Ministry of Interior of Nordrhein-Westfalen states that the Islamic Center of Munich has been one of the European headquarters for the Brotherhood since its foundation. The center publishes a magazine, Al-Islam, whose efforts (according to an Italian intelligence dossier), are financed by the Bank al-Taqwa. According to the interior minister of Baden-Württemberg, Al-Islam shows explicitly how the German Brothers reject the concept of a secular state. Its February 2002 issue, for example, states,
In the long run, Muslims cannot be satisfied with the acceptance of German family, estate, and trial law. … Muslims should aim at an agreement between the Muslims and the German state with the goal of a separate jurisdiction for Muslims.The IGD, of which the Islamic Center of Munich is one of the most important members, represents the main offshoot of the Egyptian Brotherhood in Germany. But the IGD is also the quintessential example of how the Muslim Brotherhood has gained power in Europe. The IGD has grown significantly over the years, and it now incorporates dozens of Islamic organizations throughout the country. Islamic centers from more than thirty German cities have joined its umbrella. Today, the IGD's real strength lies in its cooperation with and sponsorship of many Islamic youth and student organizations across Germany.
This focus on youth organizations came after Zayat's succession. He understood the importance of focusing on the next generation of German Muslims and launched recruitment drives to get young Muslims involved in Islamic organizations. But a Meckenheim police report on the sharply dressed Zayat also reveals alarming connections. German authorities openly say he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. They also link him to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi nongovernmental organization that seeks to spread Wahhabism, the radical and intolerant Saudi interpretation of Islam, throughout the world with its literature and schools. WAMY, which falls under the umbrella of the Muslim World League, has the stated goal of "arming the Muslim youth with full confidence in the supremacy of the Islamic system over other systems." It is the largest Muslim youth organization in the world and can boast unparalleled resources. In 1991 WAMY published a book called Tawjihat Islamiya (Islamic Views) that stated, "Teach our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the oppressors, and teach them that our youngsters will liberate Palestine and Al-Quds [Jerusalem] when they go back to Islam and make jihad for the sake of Allah." The sentiments in Tawjihat Islamiya are the rule rather than the exception. Many other WAMY publications are filled with strong anti-Semitic and anti-Christian rhetoric.
Meckenheim police also link Zayat to Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines, a French school that prepares European imams. Several radical clerics lecture at the school and several European intelligence agencies accuse the school of spreading religious hatred. German authorities also highlight the fact that he is involved in several money laundering investigations. Zayat has never been indicted for terrorist activity, but he has dubious financial dealings and maintains associations with many organizations that spread religious hatred. The IGD may have changed leadership after the U.S. Treasury's designation of Himmat, but it did not change direction.
While the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has chosen Munich as its base of operations in Germany, its Syrian branch is headquartered in Aachen, a German town near the Dutch border. The former Carolingian capital, with its famous university, is now home to a large Muslim population including the prominent Syrian Al-Attar family. The first Attar to move to Aachen was Issam, who fled persecution in his native country in the 1950s when he was leader of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Other members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood soon followed. With time, Islamists from other countries adopted Attar's Bilal mosque in Aachen as their base of operations. From hosting exiled Algerian terrorists to operating a charity designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a financial front for Hamas, Aachen is well known to intelligence agencies throughout the world.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood base in Aachen kept close relations with their Egyptian counterparts. For example, confirming the tendency of important Muslim Brotherhood families to close alliance through intermarriage, Issam al-Attar's son married the daughter of Al-Taqwa banker Youssef Nada. Links between the two Muslim Brotherhood branches are more extensive than a single marriage, however. The Aachen Islamic Center reportedly received funding from Al-Taqwa. Staff members have rotated between the Islamic Centers in Aachen and Munich. For example, Ahmed von Denffer, editor of the Islamic Center of Munich's Al-Islam magazine, came to Munich from Aachen.
Nevertheless, some distance remains. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has never joined the IGD, instead preferring to keep some form of independence.
Of all of Zayat's financial activities, the one that has attracted the German authorities' greatest suspicion has been his association with officials of Milli Görüş (National Vision, in Turkish). Milli Görüş, which has 30,000 members and perhaps another 100,000 sympathizers, claims to defend the rights of Germany's immigrant Turkish population, giving them a voice in the democratic political arena while "preserving their Islamic identity." But Milli Görüş has another agenda. While publicly declaring its interest in democratic debate and a willingness to see Turkish immigrants integrated into European societies, some Milli Görüş leaders have expressed contempt for democracy and Western values. The Bundesverfassungsschutz, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, has repeatedly warned about Milli Görüş' activities, describing the group in its annual reports as a "foreign extremist organization." The agency also reported that "although Milli Görüş, in public statements, pretends to adhere to the basic principles of Western democracies, abolition of the laicist government system in Turkey and the establishment of an Islamic state and social system are, as before, among its goals."
Milli Görüş' history alone indicates why the group should be considered radical. Former Turkish prime minister Nehmettin Erbakan, whose Refah Party was banned by the Turkish Constitutional Court in January of 1998 for "activities against the country's secular regime," is still Milli Görüş' undisputed leader, even if his nephew Mehmet Sabri Erbakan is its president. The 2002 European Milli Görüş meeting held in the Dutch city of Arnhem, where Nehmettin Erbakan was the keynote speaker, provides a glimpse into Milli Görüş' ideology. After a tirade against the evils of integration in the West and U.S. policies, Erbakan declared that "after the fall of the wall, the West has found an enemy in Islam." A Bundesverfassungsschutz report reveals Milli Görüş' real aims:
While in recent times, the Milli Görüş has increasingly emphasized the readiness of its members to be integrated into German society and asserts its adherence to the basic law, such statements stem from tactical calculation rather than from any inner change of the organization.Milli Görüş pushes an agenda similar to that of the IGD, even if its target is more limited. Nevertheless, both Milli Görüş and the IGD collaborate on many initiatives. There is also a family connection. Zayat married Sabiha Erbakan, the sister of Mehmet Sabri Erbakan. The siblings' mother is also involved in politics and runs an important Islamic women's organization in Germany. The Zayat family is active as well. Ibrahim el-Zayat's father is the imam of the Marburg mosque; other members of his family are involved in Islamic organizations. As Udo Ulfkotte, a political science professor specializing in counterespionage at the University of Lueneburg and an expert on Islamic terrorism, notes, the Erbakans and the Zayats lead networks of organizations that aim at the radicalization, respectively, of the Turkish and Arab communities in Germany.
IGD and Milli Görüş are active in their efforts to increase political influence and become the official representatives of the entire German Muslim community. With well-endowed budgets, their mosques provide social services, organize conferences, and distribute literature nationwide. As the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Landesverfassungsschutz) in Hessen notes:
The threat of Islamism for Germany is posed … primarily by Milli Görüş and other affiliated groups. They try to spread Islamist views within the boundaries of the law. Then they try to implement … for all Muslims in Germany a strict interpretation of the Qur'an and of the Shari'a. … Their public support of tolerance and religious freedom should be treated with caution.It presents a problem that politicians and security services in Germany view the IGD and Milli Görüş so differently. But, as Ulfkotte wrote about Zayat in his book, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten (The War in Our Cities), "politicians of all colors and parties try to reach out to him." For example, the prestigious Berlin Catholic Academy invited Zayat to represent the Muslim point of view in an inter-religious meeting organized by the academy in October 2002. German politicians and Christian institutions regularly partner themselves with Milli Görüş in various initiatives. Milli Gazete, the official journal of Milli Görüş, once stated that "Milli Görüş is a shield protecting our fellow citizens from assimilation into barbaric Europe." Nevertheless, German politicians meet regularly with Milli Görüş officials to discuss immigration and integration issues. The fact that an official like Ahmed al-Khalifah, IGD secretary general, represents Islam before members of parliament who are discussing religious tolerance, shows the success of Brotherhood-linked organizations' efforts to gain acceptance as the representatives of German Muslims. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution well described these efforts, saying that Milli Görüş (and the IGD) "strives to dominate regional or nationwide federations and umbrella organizations for Muslims which are increasingly gaining importance as interlocutors for state and ecclesiastical authorities and thus to expand its influence within society."
Zentralrat, the Islamist Umbrella
In 1989, under the auspices of Abdullah at-Turki, powerful dean of Bin Saud University in Riyadh, the Saudis created the Islamische Konzil Deutschland (Islamic Council of Germany). Turki assumed the presidency with other top positions held by Ibrahim el-Zayat, Hasan Özdögan, a high-ranking Milli Görüş official, and Ahmad Khalifa, an officer from the Islamic Center of Munich. While an official German parliament report describes the Islamische Konzil as just "another Sunni organization," such an assumption indicates a dangerous misunderstanding of the Saudi relationship to German Islamists.
The trend toward consolidation took a step forward in 1994 when German Islamists realized that a united coalition translated into greater political relevance and influence. Nineteen organizations, including the IGD, the Islamic Center of Munich, and the Islamic Center of Aachen, created an umbrella organization, the Zentralrat der Muslime. According to a senior German intelligence official, at least nine out of these nineteen organizations belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. The German press has recently investigated the Zentralrat president, Nadeem Elyas, a German-educated Saudi physician and an official of the Islamic Center of Aachen. Die Welt linked Elyas to Christian Ganczarski, an Al-Qaeda operative currently jailed as one of the masterminds of the 2002 attack on a synagogue in Tunisia. Ganczarski, a German of Polish descent who converted to Islam, told authorities that Al-Qaeda recruited him at the Islamic University of Medina where Elyas sent him to study. Elyas said he could not remember meeting him but did not deny the possibility that Ganczarski, who never completed high school, might have been one of the many individuals he had sent over the years to radical schools in Saudi Arabia. Saudi donors paid all of Ganczarski's expenses. Ganczarski was not alone. Elyas admitted to having sent hundreds of German Muslims to study at one of the most radical universities in Saudi Arabia.
The Zentralrat, which portrays itself as the umbrella organization for German Muslim organizations, has become, together with the IGD and Milli Görüş, the de facto representative of three million German Muslims. Even though the IGD is a member of the Zentralrat, the two organizations often operate independently. Their apparent independence is planned. With many organizations operating under different names, the Muslim Brotherhood fools German politicians who believe they are consulting a spectrum of opinion. The media seek the Zentralrat's officials when they want the Muslim view on everything from the debate about the admissibility of the hijab (headscarf) in public schools, to the war in Iraq, and so forth. Politicians seek the Zentralrat's endorsement when they want to reach out to the Muslim community. Many German politicians are uninformed about Islam and do not understand that the view and the interpretation of Islam that the Zentralrat expresses, as does the IGD and Milli Görüş, is that of the Muslim Brotherhood and not that of traditional Islam. Accordingly, the Zentralrat expresses total opposition to any ban of the hijab, supports Wahhabi-influenced Islamic education in schools, and endorses a radical position on the Middle East situation. While many Muslims endorse these views, the problem is that the Zentralrat neither represents nor tolerates those with divergent views. Moderate German Muslim groups lack the funding and organization of Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups. In terms of numbers, influence on the Muslim community, and political relevance, the Zentralrat and its two most important constituent parts, the IGD and Milli Görüş, dominate the scene. With ample Saudi financing, the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to become the voice of the Muslims in Germany.
Recently, the German public was shocked to hear what is preached inside Saudi-funded mosques and schools. In the fall of 2003, a hidden camera-equipped journalist from Germany's ARD television infiltrated the Saudi-built King Fahd Academy in Bonn and taped what it taught to young Muslim children. One teacher called for jihad against the infidels. While the images elicited a rebuke from German politicians, the rather sterile debate about Saudi influence on German Muslims has not effected tangible change. Saudi officials and Saudi-run nongovernmental organizations continue to groom Muslim Brotherhood organizations.
First Germany, Then Europe
While the Muslim Brotherhood and their Saudi financiers have worked to cement Islamist influence over Germany's Muslim community, they have not limited their infiltration to Germany. Thanks to generous foreign funding, meticulous organization, and the naïveté of European elites, Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations have gained prominent positions throughout Europe. In France, the extremist Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (Union of Islamic Organizations of France) has become the predominant organization in the government's Islamic Council. In Italy, the extremist Unione delle Comunita' ed Organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia (Union of the Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy) is the government's prime partner in dialogue regarding Italian Islamic issues.
In parallel to European Union integration efforts, the Muslim Brotherhood is also seeking to integrate its various European proxies. Over the past fifteen years, the Muslim Brotherhood has created a series of pan-European organizations such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, in which representatives from national organizations can meet and plan initiatives. Perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood's greatest pan-European impact has, as with the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland, been with its youth organization. In June 1996, Muslim youth organizations from Sweden, France, and England joined forces with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth to create a European Islamic youth organization. Three months later, thirty-five delegates from eleven countries met in Leicester and formally launched the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), which maintains its headquarters in Brussels.
According to its official publications, FEMYSO is "a network of 42 national and international organizations bringing together youth from over 26 different countries." FEMYSO proudly stated in 2003 that over the preceding four years it had become
The de facto voice of the Muslim youth in Europe. It is regularly consulted on issues pertaining to Muslims in Europe. It has also developed useful links with: the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Youth Forum, and numerous relevant NGOs at the European level.Ibrahim el-Zayat, who held the presidency until his commitments in Germany forced him to step down, even used the FEMYSO perch to address the European Parliament. Because the Muslim Brotherhood provides the bulk of FEMYSO's constituent organizations, it provides the "de facto voice of the Muslim youth in Europe." While FEMYSO claims that it "is committed to fighting prejudices at all the levels, so that the future of Europe is a multicultural, inclusive and respectful one," such statements ring hollow given the position of sponsors like the World Assembly of Muslim Youth which believes that "the Jews are enemies of the faithful, God, and the Angels; the Jews are humanity's enemies. … Every tragedy that inflicts the Muslims is caused by the Jews."
The Muslim Brotherhood's ample funds and organization have contributed to their success in Europe. But their acceptance into mainstream society and their unchallenged rise to power would not have been possible had European elites been more vigilant, valued substance over rhetoric, and understood the motivations of those financing and building these Islamist organizations. Why have Europeans been so naïve? Bassam Tibi, a German professor of Syrian descent and an expert on Islam in Europe, thinks that Europeans—and Germans in particular—fear the accusation of racism.
Radicals in sheep's clothing have learned that they can silence almost everybody with the accusation of xenophobia. Any criticism of Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations is followed by outcries of racism and anti-Muslim persecution. Journalists who are not frightened by these appellatives are swamped with baseless and unsuccessful but expensive lawsuits.
In some cases, politicians simply fail to check the backgrounds of those who claim to be legitimate representatives for the Muslim community. As in the United States, self-described representatives for the Muslim community are far more radical than the populations they represent. In other cases, politicians realize that these organizations are not the ideal counterparts in a constructive dialogue but do not take the time to seek other less visible but more moderate organizations, several of which exist only at the grassroots level, impeded by financial constraints.
What most European politicians fail to understand is that by meeting with radical organizations, they empower them and grant the Muslim Brotherhood legitimacy. There is an implied endorsement to any meeting, especially when the same politicians ignore moderate voices that do not have access to generous Saudi funding. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of radicalization because the greater the political legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, the more opportunity it and its proxy groups will have to influence and radicalize various European Muslim communities. The ultimate irony is that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna dreamed of spreading Islamism throughout Egypt and the Muslim world. He would have never dreamed that his vision might also become a reality in Europe.
Lorenzo Vidino is deputy director at the Investigative Project, a Washington D.C.-based counterterrorism research institute. "Homepage," Muslim Brotherhood Movement website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
 The Chicago Tribune, Sept. 19, 2004; also see Daniel Pipes, The Islamic States of America?, FrontPageMagazine.com, Sept. 23, 2004.
 Khalid Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," The Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International, Fall 2000, pp. 12-5.
 Richard Labeviere, Dollars for Terror: The U.S. and Islam (New York: Algora Publishing 2000), p. 141.
 Georges Lepre, "Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen SS Handschar Division 1943-45," Schiffer Aviation History, Jan. 2000, pp. 31-4.
 M. H. Faruqi, "Les Frères Musulmans. Politique de 'rabbaniyya,' les prières avant le pouvoir Dr. Saïd Ramadan, 1926-1995," Historique du Centre Islamique, Islamic Center of Geneva.
 "Prasidenten der IGD," Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
 Faruqi, "Les Frères Musulmans," Historique du Centre Islamique.
 "Senators Request Tax Information on Muslim Charities for Probe," U.S. State Department news release, Jan. 14, 2004.
 Fouad Ajami, "Tariq Ramadan," The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 7, 2004.
 Labeviere, Dollars for Terror, p. 122.
 Official dossier on Ahmed Nasreddin (hereafter Nasreddin dossier), Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica (Italian secret service, SISDE), Apr. 6, 1996, p. 10.
 Ibid., p. 24.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Newsweek, May 12, 2004.
 "Recent OFAC Actions," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Nov. 7, 2001.
 Nasreddin dossier, p. 31.
 "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland" Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004; "Islamismus," Landesamt fur Verfassungsschutz, Hessen website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
 "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
 Official Guide to the Munich Mosque (Munich: The Islamic Center of Munich), purchased by the author at the Milli Görüş' bookstore, Cologne, Feb. 2004.
 "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
 Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), July 29-30, 1967.
 "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
 Nasreddin dossier, p. 31.
 Report on radical Islam, Baden Württenberg state Verfassungsschutzbericht, 2003, p. 48.
 "Koordination mit Zentren in folgenden Städten," Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
 Report on Ibrahim el-Zayat, Cologne police, Aug. 27, 2003, p. 3.
 David Kane, FBI senior special agent, affidavit in "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention," United States of America v. Soliman S. Biheiri, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The affidavit also details WAMY's links to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
 Kane, "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention."
 The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 15, 2003.
 Report on el-Zayat, Aug. 27, 2003, p. 4.
 Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," pp. 12-5.
 Klaus Gruenewald, "Defending Germany's Constitution," Middle East Quarterly, Mar. 1995, p. 10.
 See Al-Aqsa Foundation, "Recent OFAC Reports," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, June 6, 2003.
 Nasreddin dossier, p. 9.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," pp. 12-5.
 "Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Gorus," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
 Annual report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz), 2000, Cologne, p. 174.
 Annual report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz), 1999, Cologne, p. 165.
 Agence France-Presse, Jan. 16, 1998.
 Mehmet Ülger, "Manifestatie Milli Görüş in Arnhem," De Humanist, July 2003.
 Annual report, Bundesverfassungsschutz, 2000, p. 198.
 Udo Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten (Frankfurt: Eichborn Publishing, 2003), pp. 32-3.
 Author interview with Udo Ulfkotte, Frankfurt, Feb. 2004.
 Within the German federal system, each state has its own Office of the Protection for the Constitution (Landesverfassungsschutz), which is independent from the national Bundessverfassungsschutz.
 "Islamismus," Landesamt fur Verfassungsschutz, Hessen.
 Frankfurt: Eichborn Publishing, 2003.
 Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 38.
 "Christentum und Islam," German Association of Muslim Social Scientists (GMSG), Oct. 26, 2002.
 Anti-Semitism Worldwide 1998/9 (Tel Aviv: Stephen Roth Institute, Tel Aviv University, 2000).
 Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 38.
 Annual report, Bundesverfassungsschutz, 2000, p. 174.
 Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 164.
 Ibid., p. 162.
 Hartwig Mueller, head of the Verfassungsschutz of Nordrhein Westfahlen, interview on German television SWR, Mar. 21, 2003.
 Die Welt (Berlin), May 6, 2003.
 Michael Waller, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, Oct. 14, 2003.
 The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2003.
 Die Welt, May 6, 2003.
 Author interview with Ulfkotte, Frankfurt, Feb. 2004.
 Time, Nov. 2, 2003.
 Ibid., Apr. 27, 2003.
 Renzo Guolo, Xenofobi e Xenofili. Gli Italiani e l'Islam (Bari: Laterza Publishing, 2003), p. 14.
 "The Global Community," MABOnline, Muslim Association of Britain, Dec. 20, 2004.
 Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations brochure, emailed to author by a representative of FEMYSO, Jan. 2004.
 "L'Islam en Europe ou L'Islam d'Europe," conference program, European Parliament, Brussels, Dec. 11, 2002.
 FEMYSO brochure.
 "Animosity toward the Jews, " A Handy Encyclopedia of Contemporary Religions and Sects (WAMY), FBI translation from Arabic; Steven Emerson, statement to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, July 9, 2003; Kane, "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention."
 Bassam Tibi, Islamische Zuwanderung, Die gescheiterte Integration (Munich: DVA, 2002), p. 135.
The muslim brotherhood
View it all here> http://www.investigativeproject.org/...timony/353.pdf
“The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States: A Brief History”
“The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States: A Brief History”
View it all here> http://www1.nefafoundation.org/misce...ikhwan1007.pdf
Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood may be all but completely swept out of parliament.
"No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My gun is still working and I will get these bastards" - Arun Khetarpal, PVC (India's highest military decoration)
The Muslim Brotherhood in the MENA region
The Muslim Brotherhood in the MENA region
By Olivier Guitta
I wrote a paper on the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco for the Center for European Studies.
You can download the full paper in pdf here:
Please do keep in mind it was written back in February 2010.
Please find below an excerpt:
The end of the 1920s found the Muslim world in total disarray due to the expansion of European colonialism and, even more importantly, the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate and its replacement by a secular republic in Turkey in 1924. Al-Ikhwan al- muslimun, also known simply as the Ikhwan or the Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in 1928 by an unassuming Egyptian schoolteacher, Hassan al-Banna. The creation of the MB was to some extent a response to these two events, an attempt to fill the void and reunite the ummah (the Muslim nation).
Interestingly, the MB, a Sunni organisation, did not view itself as a political party but rather as a grassroots political movement engaged in mass mobilisation. Thus in order to gain access to the largest possible target audience, the MB created local branches and divisions for adults, youth and women. The MB also built schools, hospitals, factories and welfare societies, and distributed food so that it could attract a large following. This greatly helped al-Banna draw on the support of the small Egyptian bourgeoisie while enjoying very good relations with the Egyptian King Farouk, who saw the MB as a counterweight to Arab secular nationalists.2 The organisation gained in popularity by the day: indeed, from just six members at the start, the MB grew to 1,000 members in 1933, then 20,000 in 1937, 200,000 in 1943, 500,000 in 1945 and close to 2 million in 1951.
The MB is strongly hierarchical in structure, with numerous elaborate layers. At the top of the organisation sits the General Guide. The Arabic term, al-Murshid al-Aamm, indeed means ‘General Guide’, which differs considerably from ‘chairman’, the much more Western and neutral English translation used by the MB. This difference is itself sufficient to provide food for thought.
Amad Abdu Chaboune, the first Egyptian imam to be elected as a MB Member of Parliament, explained that if the government were to dismantle the first level of the organisation—that is, the level made up of leaders well known to the public—there would always be the second, third, fourth layers and so on, down to the last member of the Brotherhood. Indeed, from the beginning, the MB created numerous tiny cells— with no more than five members—and this made it almost impossible to dismantle.
The MB also had its own army and was the only effective resistance force against the British occupation of Egypt. Political violence started to increase in the late 1940s, and the MB paramilitary branch took part in it by perpetrating terrorist acts. In fact, this secret apparatus, which was approved by al-Banna, was behind the bombings of two Cairo movie theatres and the assassination of members of government, among other events. In 1949 al-Banna was murdered. Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in a coup in 1952. Allies at first, Nasser and the MB later became competitors. Then, after an assassination attempt on Nasser in 1954, allegedly by a member of the MB, the regime first dissolved the MB and then imprisoned many of its leaders. Most of them were executed, including, in 1966, its most influential thinker, Saïd Qutb. Other MB leaders were able to flee. Most ended up in Saudi Arabia, but others found their way to Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Maghreb and Europe.
December 13, 2010
The Muslim Brotherhood on the March »
It took the opposition in Tunisia only a month to get rid of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled the country two weeks ago after twenty-three years of control. Inspired and emboldened by that success, Egyptian opposition forces have amassed a fierce popular uprising against their own strongman, Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled since 1981. The fires of discontent in the region continue to grow: today is expected to be the worst day of Egyptian protests since they began and now, Yemen has succumbed to the wave of unrest that is slowly sweeping through North Africa and the Middle East.
We thus appear to be entering a very disconcerting phase in the development of the Muslim world. If dissidents are successful in effecting regime change in key nations, the West should be very concerned about whoever fills the vacuums of power thus created. Indeed, it could be Iran 1979 all over again — and the Muslim Brotherhood is on the march. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ali Abdallah Salih in Yemen are hardly ideal American friends, but they have at least done their part to keep their countries’ aggressive Islamist factions at bay in an area where options are very much limited in this regard.
Islamist forces in Yemen and Egypt are waiting in the wings as we speak, eager to capitalize on escalating protests which have so far not been principally motivated by Islamic radicalism. A coalition of left-leaning organizations and youth groups, long-opposed to the Mubarak regime, joined together to orchestrate protests in Egypt. These included Kifaya (Enough), the youth-based 6th of April Movement, Karama, The Popular Democratic Movement for Change (HASHD), the National Association for Change, the Justice and Freedom Youth movement, and the Revolutionary Socialists. Free lance journalist Yasmine El Rashidi was in Cairo for the protests and blogged extensively on events for the New York Review of Books. She reports that the movement is largely youth-based and non-sectarian:
To lobby support, the activists used Twitter and Facebook, targeting above all the 60 percent of Egypt’s 80 million people who are under the age of 25. …In Shubra, we joined a marching procession of about one hundred people, mainly Muslims, who were moving slowly through narrow, muddy streets, led by activists chanting into a speaker: “Christian or Muslim it’s not important, similar poverty similar concerns! Hosni Mubarak, Hosni Mubarak, the plane is waiting, the plane is waiting. Saudi Arabia is not far!Protests in Yemen seem to have been well-organized as well. The “Joint Meeting Parties” is an umbrella group representing a number of groups who oppose Salih’s rule. As the situation in Tunisia was heating up, the Joint Meeting Parties decided that their time had come. Thus far the protests, by all reports, have been peaceful and the response of the government restrained. Yet, the Joint Meeting Parties say that they will continue to ramp up the pressure on Salih’s regime, although the organization promises to utilize only non-violent means of protest.
What is interesting, and frightening, about the situations in Egypt and Yemen is how different those nations are economically. Egypt, like Tunisia, is relatively prosperous in North African/Middle Eastern terms. The unemployment rate in Egypt is less than ten per cent and “only” about twenty per cent of the populace lives below the poverty line. On the other hand, the unemployment rate in Yemen is over thirty five per cent and almost half of the nation lives in conditions of poverty. Thus, if we are looking for a common thread connecting discontent in these nations, we can’t rely on economic conditions. There has to be something else. Among the ideas that undoubtedly contribute to all the protests are these: the universal desire for self-determination, the freedom to exchange information and ideas in the modern world, and the belief that no one is entitled to virtual hereditary rule, measured in decades, in the modern world. And so we find ourselves faced with nascent revolutions in two very different countries, both of which may represent very different, but very real, threats to American and our allies if those revolutions are successful.
Up until now, the Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak’s most powerful opponent in Egypt, has stayed out of recent protests. But as of today, the radical Islamic supremacist group is joining in the fray. This is very bad news for a number of reasons. Young, idealistic revolutionaries are about the worst sort of people to run the machinery of government that one can imagine. Egypt’s protests, if Rashidi is correct, represent a youth movement. If they’re successful, the “under 25” crowd won’t want to be bothered with the tedium of governing, but will rather hope that some more mature folks who say all the right things will assume that particular responsibility. The Muslim Brotherhood, which doesn’t have any qualms about completely misrepresenting itself and its aims in order to achieve its goals, is thus ideally positioned to take advantage of the chaos that would follow Mubarak’s ouster. And, because Egypt is a much more powerful nation than most Middle Eastern states thanks to years of American aid and support, if the Muslim Brotherhood grabbed control in Egypt it would be a disaster along the lines of Khomeini taking over in Iran.
On the other hand, Yemen remains a weak, impoverished nation. Yemen’s chief sources of revenue, its oil reserves, are rapidly drying up. Yet, it’s the poverty and hopelessness of Yemen that makes it especially attractive to Al Qaeda, the country that bin Laden’s terrorists use as their base of operations on the Arabian peninsula. It is thus important to western interests to keep Yemen within our sphere of influence, so that Al Qaeda can be contained and – hopefully – neutralized within its borders. Though Salih has been an uncertain ally, he has been an ally. Should the Yemeni opposition succeed in removing him from power, the same question that confronts us in Egypt remains: will the next regime remain at least outwardly friendly to western interests and values, or will the next regime be infinitely more dangerous than the one we know today?
Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Organizes More Anti-Government Protests
Global media is reporting that the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has organized further antigovernment protests in Jordan. According to a Reuters report:
AMMAN | Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:03am ESTAn earlier post reported on protests organized by the Jordanian Brotherhood last Friday.
The IAF is generally considered to be the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. The current leader of the IAF is Secretary-General Ishaq Farhan a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, one of the three founders of the IAF, and a former education minister and senator. Mr. Farhan is also listed as a director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism. In 2000, Mr. Farhan was denied entry to the U.S. after having had his visa revoked in the prior year without informing him. The New York Times reported at that time that unidentified American diplomats called Mr. Farhan a “moderating force” and that he “as kept a distance from the vociferous opposition to peaceful relations with Israel.” However, in 2003 a media report said that the IAF had “declared a jihad in favor of Iraq and Palestine if the US attacks Iraq.”
Previous posts have discussed the support for Hamas provided by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood.
GlobalMB @ January 28, 2011
RECOMMENDED READING: “Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Joins In Support for Anti-Regime Demonstrations in Arab Countries”
MEMRI has published a report on the reactions of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to developments in Egypt and other Arab countries. According to the MEMRI report:
In response to the wave of mass anti-regime demonstrations currently taking place in several Arab countries, prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, joined in support for the protestors. On January 20, 2011, he told Al-Jazeera TV in an interview that Allah does not remove tyrannical rulers, because it is the duty of the peoples to fight them, and that the security personnel who serve such rulers surely know that it is a grievous sin to protect them and to kill innocent Muslims in their names. He called on the Tunisians to continue their struggle until all members of deposed Tunisian president Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali’s party were removed from power – except for Interim President Mebazaa, who he said should remain so that there would be no constitutional vacuum. He concluded by urging the Tunisians to free all political prisoners and bring back political exiles, and to reinstate Islamic customs banned by Ben Ali’s secular regime, such as the wearing of the hijab on university campuses (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2774.htm). Al-Qaradhawi made similar statements to the Egyptian daily Al-Shurouq, referring specifically to the demonstrations in Egypt; he also decreed that it is forbidden for security forces to fire on demonstrators. The website Onislam.net, which is close to Al-Qaradhawi, posted a chapter from his 2009 book “Laws of Jihad,” stating that jihad against corruption and tyranny in Muslim lands is the highest form of jihad – even more important than jihad against external enemies. In the chapter, Al-Qaradhawi wrote: “The laws of Islam instruct us to… oppose the tyrant… All types of oppression [including] of subjects and peoples by their rulers – are reprehensible and forbidden, and jihad must be waged against them.”Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.
Qaradawi recently reiterated his support for suicide bombing in Israel and expressed his desire to die as a martyr “at the hands of a non-Muslim.”
Grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder whitewashes Muslim Brotherhood
Grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder whitewashes Muslim Brotherhood in New York Times
The French journalist Caroline Fourest has published a book-length study of Tariq Ramadan's sly duplicity, Brother Tariq. Fourest concludes that this much-lionized putative Muslim Martin Luther is actually anything but a reformer: in reality, Ramadan is "remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage" toward the imposition of Islamic law in the West.
Ramadan, she explains, in his public lectures and writings invests words like "law" and "democracy" with subtle and carefully crafted new definitions, permitting him to engage in "an apparently inoffensive discourse while remaining faithful to an eminently Islamist message and without having to lie overtly -- at least not in his eyes." Ramadan, she said, "may have an influence on young Islamists and constitute a factor of incitement that could lead them to join the partisans of violence."
And in this case, remember Muhammad's old adage: "war is deceit."
"Whither the Muslim Brotherhood?," by Tariq Ramadan in the New York Times, February 8:
[...] The Muslim Brothers began in the 1930s as a legalist, anti-colonialist and nonviolent movement that claimed legitimacy for armed resistance in Palestine against Zionist expansionism during the period before World War II. The writings from between 1930 and 1945 of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Brotherhood, show that he opposed colonialism and strongly criticized the fascist governments in Germany and Italy. He rejected use of violence in Egypt, even though he considered it legitimate in Palestine, in resistance to the Zionist Stern and Irgun terror gangs. He believed that the British parliamentary model represented the kind closest to Islamic principles.Notice how Ramadan calls Stern and Irgun "terror gangs," but never uses such language of the Brotherhood, despite the fact -- also unmentioned by Ramadan -- that it not only "claimed legitimacy for armed resistance in Palestine," but that Hamas styles itself as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. And Hamas is undeniably a terror group that has included its murders of civilians in restaurants and pizza parlors in what it calls its "glory record."
And as for the Brotherhood's supposed nonviolence in Egypt, scholar Martin Kramer notes that the Brotherhood had "a double identity. On one level, they operated openly, as a membership organization of social and political awakening. Banna preached moral revival, and the Muslim Brethren engaged in good works. On another level, however, the Muslim Brethren created a 'secret apparatus' that acquired weapons and trained adepts in their use. Some of its guns were deployed against the Zionists in Palestine in 1948, but the Muslim Brethren also resorted to violence in Egypt. They began to enforce their own moral teachings by intimidation, and they initiated attacks against Egypt's Jews. They assassinated judges and struck down a prime minister in 1949. Banna himself was assassinated two months later, probably in revenge."
Al-Banna's objective was to found an "Islamic state" based on gradual reform, beginning with popular education and broad-based social programs. He was assassinated in 1949 by the Egyptian government on the orders of the British occupiers. Following Gamal Abdel Nasser's revolution in 1952, the movement was subjected to violent repression."Fascinated by the Turkish example"? Is Ramadan actually saying that some in the Brotherhood do not want an Islamic state, but want a secular state on the model of Turkey? This is a wild claim, akin to saying that the movement, or part of it, has entirely discarded its initial goal and is working against it. It is unbelievable on its face.
[...] The West continues to use "the Islamist threat" to justify its passivity and outright support for dictatorships. As resistance to Mubarak mounted, the Israeli government repeatedly called on Washington to back the Egyptian junta against the popular will. Europe adopted a wait-and-see stance.Ramadan is suggesting that the "Islamist threat" is a bogeyman created or exaggerated by the U.S. and Israel to justify their support for dictatorships in the Islamic world. Let's consider that in light of the words of Mustafa Mashhur, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002, which you can find here.
- "It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah's enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world..."
Leftist Dupes: From the Communist Brotherhood to the Muslim Brotherhood
Leftist Dupes: From the Communist Brotherhood to the Muslim Brotherhood
Recalling the Left’s support for the most vicious revolutionary monsters of the past 100 years.
by Paul Kengor
As President Obama encourages an immediate “transition” from Hosni Mubarak to whatever might replace him in Egypt, hope again springs eternal among the American Left. The president has made clear that he supports the presence of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood in the new government, and it appears that no one in the halls of power has sense to persuade him otherwise. Even his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, “clarified” for the Congress on Thursday that the ultra-Islamic Brotherhood is “largely secular” with no “overarching agenda.” The progressive dream, clearly, is that the Muslim Brotherhood will take power and build yet another revolutionary anti-American utopia — which will ideally follow in the footsteps of other recent great Muslim Sharia paradises, from Hamas to the Ayatollah. Forgive me for not sharing in the optimism.
Instead, I thought I’d offer a walk down memory lane, recalling the Left’s pattern of judgment regarding other leading “revolutionaries” of the past 100 years. Who are some of these dictators, these monsters? Join me, if you will.
A fitting to place to start is Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, first communist dictators of a truly Evil Empire. From the outset, numerous American “progressives” were enchanted with the “Great Experiment” in the Soviet Motherland. I could fill a book with examples. (In fact, I have.) Here, I’ll offer just a few.
Corliss Lamont, ACLU member, Columbia University professor, leading atheist/”humanist,” who embraced every leftist cause under the sun from the 1920s to the 1990s, made an early pilgrimage to Moscow. He loved what he saw, recording his observations in a book he co-authored with his wife. Probably nothing moved the Lamonts quite as much as their moment near the rotting breast of Lenin, who, by the time the Lamonts arrived in Moscow, had been dead and encased in a glass-covered box for eight years. They recorded:
Lenin’s face is strong, calm, and refined in the fundamental sense. His hand rests on a red pillow and his hands, clasped on his chest in a tranquil way, appear delicate and intellectual. The short yet forceful beard is reddish. We have to keep moving, though we want to stop and look longer and more carefully…. t is not enough.
No, it was not enough; the Lamonts ached for more, and so they got in line again to revisit Lenin. They paid “homage,” “taking strength from [Lenin’s] impersonally beautiful and resolute face,” which was “perfectly natural and wholly desirable.”
In general, the Lamonts returned home to America to report the “great deal of happiness,” the “new human nature” they had discovered in communist Russia. “[T]he new world of the twentieth century is the Soviet Union,” they glowed to their progressive comrades. “And no one who is seriously interested in the progress of the human spirit can afford to miss it.”
Some “progress.” As the Lamonts wrote those words, Stalin was ramping up his forced famine, his Great Purge, and launching his annihilation of tens of millions of human spirits. Few in the USSR would miss it—the mass murder and criminality, that is.
But that wasn’t the feeling among the American Left. Among them was Corliss Lamont’s colleague, Dr. John Dewey, pillar of Columbia Teachers College, and founding father of American public education. The Bolsheviks adored Dewey, immediately translating into Russian several of Dewey’s major works before the Russian Civil War had even ended. The respect was mutual, and John Dewey couldn’t wait to make his own pilgrimage to the USSR, which he did in the summer of 1928, preceding the Lamonts’ visit. When Dewey returned, he filed a six-part series in The New Republic.
Dewey’s TNR dispatches on Russia were almost lyrical, as he waxed poetic about what he had experienced. Dewey discovered a “kind of completed transmigration of souls,” an “impression of movement, vitality, energy. The people go about as if some mighty and oppressive load had been removed, as if they were newly awakened to the consciousness of released energies.”
In Dewey’s mind, the Bolsheviks had thoroughly liberated the Russian people. “[T]the essence of the Revolution,” reported the Columbia professor, was “in its release of courage, energy and confidence in life.”
So taken was Dewey that he almost swooned: “My mind was in a whirl of new impressions in those early days in Leningrad. Readjustment was difficult, and I lived somewhat dazed.”
Dewey had been frustrated by having “heard altogether too much about Communism, about the Third International [the Comintern], too much about the Bolsheviki.” No, averred Dewey, what needed to be understood was that the Bolsheviks had ushered in not any sort of dangerous dictatorship, but, rather, a “revolution of heart and mind” and a “liberation of a people to consciousness of themselves as a determining power in the shaping of their ultimate fate.”
Dr. Dewey also praised “the orderly and safe character of life in Russia” under Stalin. Indeed, said the unflinching professor, there was no country in all of Europe in which “the external routine of life is more settled and secure.”
The faculty at Columbia was hardly the only place enchanted by Lenin and Stalin. Some of the finest minds from Britain’s literati were likewise impressed.
“I’ve never met a man more candid, fair, and honest,” marveled author H. G. Wells upon his return from a meeting with Joe Stalin in 1934, at the start of the Great Purge. “Everyone trusts him.” Wells had likewise been impressed by Vladimir Lenin, whom he called a “frank,” “refreshing,” and “amazing little man,” who had “almost persuaded me to share his vision.”
Fully persuaded was Wells’ fellow socialist, George Bernard Shaw, who piped up with an even more outrageous assessment after meeting with Stalin: “[W]e cannot afford to give ourselves moral airs when our most enterprising neighbor [the Soviet Union] … humanely and judiciously liquidates a handful of exploiters and speculators to make the world safe for honest men.”
Shaw was deadly serious; this was not sarcasm scribbled for some tasteless stage comedy.
But it wasn’t merely the intellectuals. America’s iconic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was impressed by “Uncle Joe.” Amazingly, Stalin so hoodwinked President Roosevelt, that FDR openly mused that Stalin had even taught FDR, Churchill, and all the rest of them something about the “way in which a Christian gentleman should behave.” Where might Stalin have gained this alleged virtue? FDR, the Episcopalian elder from Hyde Park, looked upward for an answer: Perhaps it had been the dictator’s youthful training for the “priesthood.”
Of course, it wasn’t merely old men in the Kremlin that impressed the American Left. Our intellectuals, from writers to hippies, were ga-ga like giddy schoolgirls over certain Latin American communists.
For some of these men, the attraction to these caudillos seemed to border on the sexual. After meeting Che Guevara, I. F. Stone, who founded the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee with Corliss Lamont, recorded: “He was the first man I had ever met whom I thought not just handsome but beautiful. With his curly, reddish beard, he looked like a cross between a faun and a Sunday school print of Jesus.” Stone carried on, speaking of Che as “like some early saint, taking refuge in the desert.”
Similar urges were expressed of Che’s partner in crime, Fidel Castro, whose presence transformed ‘60s “yippie” Abbie Hoffman. “Fidel lets the gun drop to the ground, slaps his thigh and stands erect,” marveled Hoffman at the sight of Castro. “He is like a mighty penis coming to life, and when he is tall and straight, the crowd immediately is transformed.”
When the image of a giant penis was not satisfying enough to the Left’s exalted imagery of Fidel, the likes of Norman Mailer invoked the specter of “the ghost of Cortez … riding Zapata’s white horse.”
As usual, outdoing all others in its undo praise of Castro was the Bible of the American Left: the New York Times. Most egregious was a remarkably influential page-one article in the Sunday, February 24, 1957 issue, where reporter Herb Matthews assured Americans that Castro’s “program” “amounts to a new deal for Cuba, radical, democratic and therefore anti-communist.” Matthews was confident that Castro would bring “social justice” to Cuba. Granted an exclusive interview with a Castro hiding in the Sierra Maestra mountains, Matthews excitedly reported that Castro spoke with “extraordinary eloquence.” “His is a political mind rather than a military one,” reported the Times’ journalist. “He has strong ideas of liberty, democracy, social justice, the need to restore the Constitution, to hold elections. He has strong ideas on economy, too.”
What unbiased source did Matthews cite for these remarkable claims? Fidel Castro, of course. “Above all,” Castro promised the New York Times, “we are fighting for a democratic Cuba and an end to dictatorship.” Castro assured that he desired a “free, democratic Cuba.”
Yes, yes, but that’s old Cold War stuff—or mostly, at least. These guys are all long gone now, Mailer, Hoffman, Matthews.
Well, how about this post-Cold War assessment of the last remaining true bastion of Stalinism; that is, North Korea and its dictator, Kim Il-Sung, offered by an elected American president, Jimmy Carter?
Carter made a June 1994 trip to this prison state. Carter was totally hoodwinked, filing this incredible account of life in North Korea:
People are busy. They work 48 hours a week…. We found Pyongyang to be a bustling city. The only difference is that during working hours there are very few people on the street. They all have jobs or go to school. And after working hours, they pack the department stores, which Rosalynn visited. I went in one of them. It’s like Wal-Mart in American stores on a Saturday afternoon. They all walk around in there, and they seem in fairly good spirits. Pyongyang at night looks like Times Square. They are really heavily into bright neon lights and pictures and things like that.
In truth, North Korea is a sea of darkness. As a well-known satellite photo attests (click here), the country at night is draped in black, in empty contrast to South Korea. Within one year of Carter’s gushing appraisal, two to three million North Koreans (out of a population of 20 million) starved to death. They weren’t packing Wal-Mart; they were eating grass, bark from trees, and, in some cases, human corpses.
Should I go on? The tragedy of the Left is its consistent gullibility as it moves from one international totalitarian threat to another, from the Cold to the War on Terror—as has been ably demonstrated in these pages by the likes of Jamie Glazov, David Horowitz, and others, whether documenting Jimmy Carter’s statements about Hamas or various other liberals’ encomiums about Middle East Islamists.
And when they’re not praising our enemies, liberals are blasting American leaders who try to confront those enemies.
Who could forget when, on May 10, 2004, Ted Kennedy went to the Senate floor and declared: “President Bush asked: ‘Who would prefer that Saddam’s torture chambers still be open?’ Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam’s torture chambers reopened under new management—U.S. management.”
Or, recall the unforgettable words of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who compared the thankless work of U.S. military interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay facility to the work of “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings.” This was not a flip comment by a Durbin caught on tape outside a nightclub after a few drinks. Durbin said this on the floor of the U.S. Senate, reading from a text, on June 14, 2005, amid the single worst stretch of killings of American soldiers by terrorists inside Iraq. The terrorists’ goal was to subvert support for America’s mission in Iraq and the War on Terror. Durbin had helped the cause.
Believe me when I say that this is merely a sample of what could be a multi-volume set chronicling the Left’s fatal misjudgment of a long line of dictators and brutal regimes, where jaw-dropping naïveté has led to the replacement of moderately repressive regimes with something far worse, from Nicaragua to Iran.
Could Egypt be next? Could Mubarak give way to the Muslim Brotherhood? I have many thoughts on that complex situation. But I know one thing for certain: Based on a long, long line of fatal deceit, I don’t trust the American Left to get it right.
[i]Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His latest book is Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
CAIRing for the Muslim Brotherhood »
CAIRing for the Muslim Brotherhood
Ahmed Rehab and his Islamist group attempt to fool everyone about their designs for Egypt
by Joe Kaufman
The Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak is about to fall, and the leaders of the nation’s most vocal Islamist group, CAIR, couldn’t be happier. Is this sudden euphoria all about the bringing of “freedom” and “democracy” to the region, as they say it is, or is their happiness built out of something sinister? Given the radical background of these individuals, and given the background of the group itself, it is this author’s opinion that the reason is the latter.
On top of the homepage of the national website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the following headline is read: “CAIR Asks Americans to Support Freedom in Egypt, Muslim World.” The statement is an entirely innocuous one. However, it comes from a group that has known ties to terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which stands to gain substantially from the unrest in Egypt.
CAIR was founded in June 1994 by three leaders from the then-American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). Upon CAIR’s establishment, the group immediately fell under the umbrella of Mousa Abu Marzook’s American Palestine Committee, of which the IAP was already a member. Marzook, at the time, was based in the United States as the global head of Hamas and a main cog of the Palestinian faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Hamas sprang in 1987.
The hierarchy of CAIR has changed little from its IAP days. The original Executive Director, Nihad Awad, is still the Executive Director, and the original Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, is still the Communications Director. Considering this, one can surmise that the Islamist ideology of the group has remained intact as well, and no evidence has been provided to show that this is not the case.
This ideology is contained not only in the national organization, but also in its local chapters, where an innumerable amount of extremist statements and terror-related associations have been made and have been cultivated. So when leaders of these chapters discuss the riots in Egypt, as CAIR National has, in terms of “freedom” and “democracy,” we would be negligent if we did not question the sincerity of the statements and their true motives.
Ahmed Rehab is the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, one of CAIR’s main local offices. According to him, for the next month he will be residing in the city which houses the global headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) – the place where CAIR gets its name from – Cairo.
While in Cairo, Rehab, who is originally from Egypt, has taken part in a number of demonstrations against the Mubarak government and has been blogging about his pseudo-peaceful experiences.
He wrote that he had joined the front lines of the protestors, during “Rage Friday,” and in at least one instance had, along with others, “broken through the police security line” and “pushed into the main square.” In another instance, he said that he and his friends “had to shake down a large iron fence to allow people to run for cover.” He saw armored vehicles that had been “torched,” and within one protest day which lasted eight hours, he “suffered two dozen tear gas fits.”
He said that his and others’ actions are “about reforming Egypt’s system of government.” He continued, “This is about the separation and independence of parliament and the judiciary from the executive branch and each other. This is about making the law supreme above and beyond whoever happens to command special powers or special interests.
“This is about ending corruption, incompetence, apathy, political monopoly and suppression of freedoms. This is about reclaiming the dignity of the Egyptian citizens. This is about transforming Egypt into a society that embraces political transparency and accountability, fair competition, merit, and opportunity.”
Rehab’s flowery language rings with the best of intentions. After reading his words, one could be left thinking that this individual dreams of an American-style liberty reaching Egypt’s shores. That is, unless he/she is aware of Rehab’s Islamist background, well past his association with the Hamas-related CAIR.]]
Up until February 2006, on his personal website, Rehab referred to the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, as a “Contemporary Muslim Intellectual who influenced me” and described MB icon Sayyid Qutb, who is considered by many to be the father of the modern Islamic extremist movement, as his “Favorite Modern Personality.”
In keeping in line with the vitriol MB has for the nation of Israel, Rehab has openly attacked the Jewish state. On his site, he wrote, “I hate Zionism,” and about former President Harry S. Truman, whom he derogatorily refers to as “Harry S. Falseman,” he stated that he was one of the “worst Presidents,” because he was the “first to recognize Israel unjustly and unjustifiably.”
Given all of this, one can surmise that Ahmed Rehab’s reasoning in flinging himself head-first into these protests, in a country half-way around the globe – albeit the country he was born in – has absolutely nothing to do with freedom and democracy for the people of Egypt. To the contrary, it has to do with getting the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose members are routinely tortured, imprisoned and ostracized by the Mubarak government, into power.
It has to do with throwing Hosni Mubarak, who is seen in the region as a key ally of Israel, out of power. It has to do with tearing down the fence that separates Egypt from Hamas in Gaza and tearing up any peace agreements that Egypt has with Israel. It has to do with bringing back the Islamic Kingdom or Caliphate that the Ikhwan (Brotherhood) believes was stolen from the Middle East by the West in the 1920s, which led to the creation of the Brotherhood.
For at least some of the people of Egypt, no doubt, they are longing for the freedom and democracy CAIR and Rehab speak of. But for CAIR and Rehab, themselves, it is nothing of the sort, and they are cynically exploiting the situation in Egypt to further their Islamist agenda.
For them, freedom and democracy are only words – merely a vehicle – leading towards the destruction of the West, as well as all her liberties, and the recreation of the Islamic Kingdom, throughout Egypt and beyond, which is why CAIR is asking Americans to support freedom in Egypt and the “Muslim World.”
As Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan once ominously stated, when comparing democracy to a street car, “You ride it until you arrive at your destination. Then you step off.”
The CAIR Car is just getting ready to be boarded.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. He has been responsible for the closure of at least one terror-related charity and has convinced a number of government officials to shun the Hamas front group, CAIR. In June 2009, he won a lawsuit brought against him by seven Dallas-area radical Muslim organizations.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Useful Jihadiots »
The Muslim Brotherhood's apologists in the West rise to the occasion
by David Solway
The turmoil we see on our screens daily enacted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square has its ideological counterpart in the skirmish of opinions among Western observers concerning its political significance for the future. Some commentators are apprehensive that the ultimate result of the popular uprising will be the gradual usurpation of power by the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist organization that has assassinated two Egyptian presidents, spawned terrorist movements such as Hamas and al-Qaeda, and, according to its 1991 Memorandum, harbors the intent of “destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” As Jamie Glazov reminds us, the Brotherhood “is, after all, an influential Islamist organization [whose] top objectives are to implement Sharia law and to annihilate Israel.”
Others respond to the thrill of revolutionary upheavals in the name of democracy, as does the Daily Beast’s Bruce Riedel who instructs us not to “fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” and comforts us that there is no danger of a fundamentalist takeover similar to what occurred in Iran in 1979. For such illusionists, whose numbers continue to grow, the Brotherhood is regarded as a largely benign institution which has shed its violent past and wishes only to share power in coalition governments. A recent column by Doug Saunders in the Toronto Globe and Mail perfectly encapsulates this pleasant, soft-minded, complacent and entirely supercilious attitude toward Islamic fundamentalism as embodied in the Brotherhood. According to this expert, the Brotherhood is “sluggish and inarticulate” and “not exactly a formidable bunch.” What’s more, “there is zero chance of Egypt’s turning into the 1979 Iranian revolution or the terrorist violence of Hamas.” Where Saunders derives the evidence for his conclusions remains an impenetrable mystery. We are, presumably, to trust his prophetic afflatus. To be fair, Saunders does render brief homage to George Washington University political scientist, Nathan Brown, who affirms with counterfactual didacticism that the Brotherhood “is against a theocratic state.” Saunders does not mention that Brown is known for defending Palestinian textbooks demonizing Jews and Israel. Or perhaps he skimped on his research.
Saunders then proceeds to assure his readers that the Muslim Brotherhood would “participate in a government that recognizes Israel,” although spokesmen for the group have made it amply clear that the direct opposite would be the case. Brotherhood officials such as Mohammed Morsy, Kamel Helbawi and Rashad al-Bayoumi have indicated that the peace treaty with Israel would likely be “reviewed” or, in plain language, “abolished.”
Next, Saunders goes on to compare an Islamist Egypt to modern Turkey whose ruling party under Recep Tayyip Erdogan achieved electoral credibility by purging its Sharia faction, becoming “aggressively pro-European,” and cooperating with Israel. One may be forgiven for wondering under what conditions of sensory deprivation the poor man has been living, as Turkey turns its back on its Western allies, drifts into the Iranian/Syrian orbit, publicly humiliates Israel’s president, and sends a flotilla comprising a band of Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) thugs to break the Israeli blockade of the Hamas terrorist regime. Saunders also believes that outlawing the Brotherhood in the past led directly to “the attacks of 9/11,” revealing himself as no less insani than the Turkish incendiaries.
It is only in virtue of such twisted logic, blindness to the facts on the ground and a state of mental vacuity that such absurdities can be entertained. What we can also detect operating beneath these aerial conjectures is a kind of culturally inflected exhaustion, a desire to surrender to the forces of unreason rather than to engage in the continuous struggle to defend the traditions, usages and principles that guarantee our liberty. Thus we race to take onboard the velleities and misunderstandings that absolve us of having to think and to act.
An Al-Jazeera interview with media glitterati Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Zizek on the prospects for the Egyptian revolution shows how cleverly such misunderstandings can be sown and nurtured. Zizek, of course, is a flaming lunatic, a howling partisan of revolutionary violence who, as he wrote in Robespierre: entre vertu et terreur, believes that “notre tâche aujourd’hui est de réinventer une terreur émancipatrice” (“our task today is to reinvent a liberating terror”). As the interview demonstrates, Zizek has no understanding of the Palestinian situation, is ignorant of international law, draws a contrast between contemporary Egypt and 1979 Iran when the similarities are ominous, and, like Saunders, glides serenely over the truth about Turkey’s Islamic turn.
Ramadan is, as usual, suavely oleaginous and superficially credible, but his real purpose, as his writings, conferences and cassettes make clear, is to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood (founded by his grandfather), downplay the threat of Islamic extremism, and game his audience with subtle disinformation. Ramadan would agree with the Al-Jazeera moderator that the conflict between Western democracy and radical theocratic governments is merely an “age-old stereotype” and that the Brotherhood is not to be feared or suspected.
We need to go elsewhere for informed and perceptive discussion. For example, Charles Krauthammer aptly remarks in The Washington Post that “We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30 percent of the vote. This is reassurance?” In a nation like Egypt, with its weak democratic opposition, “any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.” And as highly respected Jerusalem Post editor, David Horovitz, correctly points out, ‘the Brotherhood is committed to death-cult jihad in the cause of widened Islamist rule,” exercising what we might call historic patience in “building and gaining power and influence over years, over decades.”
It is also worth consulting the erudite scholar of Islam, Andrew Bostom, who expands the context of the debate. “Despite ebullient appraisals of events in Egypt,” he writes, “which optimistic observers insist epitomize American hopes and values at their quintessential best—there is a profound, deeply troubling flaw in such hagiographic analyses which simply ignore the vast gulf between Western and Islamic conceptions of freedom itself. The current polling data indicating that three-fourths of the Egyptian population are still enamored of the totalitarian Sharia confirms that this yawning gap still exists—strikingly so—in our era.”
Touché Riedel, Saunders, Brown, Zizek, Ramadan, and anyone foolish enough to swallow the Ecstasy of revolutionary exaltations. Admittedly, commentators like Ramadan and Zizek know what they are doing. They have an agenda and will labor to advance it by any means at their disposal, whether by the verbal bludgeoning of a Zizek or the velvet sinuosities of a Ramadan. Brown is a typical propitiating academic. Others like Riedel and Saunders are merely hopeless ignoramuses, useful jihadiots (in National Post columnist Barbara Kay’s wonderful coinage), who have neglected to do their homework. Too lazy to read deeply, familiarize themselves with the complex itinerary of their subject and establish a solid and evidentiary historical foundation upon which to base a compelling judgment, they do enormous damage owing to their popular circulation in the media.
The events now unfolding in Egypt are important not only for the Egyptians, obviously, and not only for Western geopolitical calculations, but also for those of us who wish to genuinely understand the nature of the clash between Western democratic principles and radical theocratic structures of governance. This is no “age-old stereotype” but the very heart of the battle for the 21rst century.
1995 Muslim Brotherhood Text Exposes Supremacist Goals
Translated by Palestinian Media Watch, book details group’s goal of global Islamic conquest.
One of the greatest beneficiaries of the unrest in Egypt has been the Muslim Brotherhood.
Banned but tolerated for decades by successive Egyptian regimes, the Islamist movement is now emerging as a central player in the country’s resurgent opposition.
On Tuesday, two Brotherhood representatives participated in an opposition delegation that met with Vice President Omar Suleiman for the first set of talks over implementing political reforms.
Pundits have portrayed the Brotherhood as uncompromising zealots or beneficent providers of social services that long-deprived Egyptians desperately need.
But a translation released Tuesday of a 1995 book by the movement’s fifth official leader sheds light on just how Egypt’s Brotherhood views itself and its mission. Jihad is the Way is the last of a five-volume work, The Laws of Da’wa by Mustafa Mashhur, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002.
The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday saw excerpts of the text, compiled by Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus and analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik.
They detail the Brotherhood’s objectives of advancing the global conquest of Islam and reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate, the public and private duties of jihad and the struggle Muslims must wage against Israel.
The full text, translated by PMW, will be posted Wednesday on the organization’s website, Palwatch.org.
“The Islamic ummah,” it says, referring to the supranational community of Muslims, “can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the leaders of humanity.”
Elsewhere, it exhorts Muslims, “Know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation.”
Marcus spoke to the Post about what he views as the danger of downplaying the Brotherhood’s ideology, or expecting it to moderate its objectives after being allowed into the political process. The movement differs from international terror groups like Al-Qaida, he said, only in tactics, not in its goals.
Marcus cited passages in the text that urge Muslims to wage jihad only when circumstances are ripe.
“The Brotherhood is not rushed by youth’s enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood,” Mashhur wrote.
“One should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.”
Jihad is the Way explicitly endorses the reinstatement of a worldwide Islamic regime.
“It should be known that jihad and preparation towards jihad are not only for the purpose of fending off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world.”
“Jihad for Allah,” Mashhur wrote, “is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, and the State of Islam established.”
Hassan al-Banna, the movement’s founder, “felt the grave danger overshadowing the Muslims and the urgent need and obligation which Islam places on every Muslim, man and woman, to act in order to restore the Islamic Caliphate and to reestablish the Islamic state on strong foundations.”
Despite its universal message, the book attaches particular significance to the Holy Land.
“Honorable brothers have achieved shahada [martyrdom] on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years ’47 and ’48, in their jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion,” it says.
“Still today, memory of them horrifies the Jews and the name of the Muslim Brotherhood terrifies them.”
Elsewhere, Mushhar wrote, “The imam and shahid Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a martyr of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil ... in all his writings and conversations, he always urged towards jihad and aroused the desire for seeking martyrdom ... he did not content himself only with speech and writing, and when the opportunity arrived for jihad in Palestine, he hurried and seized it.”
Wielding a broader brush, Mashhur wrote, “The problems of the Islamic world – such as in Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea or the Philippines – are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion.
They are the problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole, and therefore there is no other option but jihad for Allah, and this is why jihad is the way.”
Dangerously underestimating the Muslim Brotherhood
Dangerously underestimating the Muslim Brotherhood
By DAVID HOROVITZ
Analysis: The Islamists’ tactical absence from the protests has been widely misread as proof of their lack of ambition and marginality.
The precedents are fresh and obvious. Yet the US government seems intent on ignoring them.
In Iran in 1979, leftist and other secular forces, central to the rising pressure that ousted the Shah, were duped and then outflanked by Islamist supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini, who took power and have cemented it for 32 years since. The Islamists achieved this despite having constituted only the most marginal of forces just a couple of years earlier.
In the Palestinian territories in 2006, the US insisted on pressing ahead with elections that, in part because of Fatah’s corruption and disorganization, saw the underestimated Islamist Hamas terror group gain a parliamentary majority, which it then exploited to violently take over the Gaza Strip a year later.
In Lebanon over the past few weeks, the Iranian-inspired, controlled and financed Hizbullah out-maneuvered the hapless prime minister Sa'ad Hariri, to complete what amounts to a gradual, highly sophisticated takeover of the country.
In Turkey in recent years, confidence that such secular bulwarks as the army and the judiciary would prevent growing Islamic domination of the national agenda has proved increasingly misplaced, again via the subtle and protracted marginalization of these former establishment pillars. Turkey, champion of Hamas, nemesis of Israel, is now drifting inexorably out of the western orbit.
Washington’s apparent disinclination, as it now tries to influence the process of Hosni Mubarak’s replacement, to internalize the dangers highlighted by the Iran, Gaza, Lebanon and Turkey disasters, and thus do everything in its power to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood presiding over a similar process in Egypt, is incomprehensible.
And it could prove immensely threatening for Israel.
For all President Barack Obama’s declared intent to usher in a new partnership between the US and the Muslim world, what he termed “a new beginning” in his 2009 speech in Cairo, his diplomats did not deliver significant diplomatic pressure on Mubarak to reform his regime in the past two years. This was most starkly confirmed by December’s vigorously fraudulent parliamentary elections, which featured mass arrests of opposition supporters and the firm muzzling of critical media, and in which the Muslim Brotherhood’s 88-seat share of the previous 454-member parliament descended to zero because of the regime’s machinations.
Washington evidently failed to foresee that embittered Egyptians might then resort to the massed protests of the past two weeks, and it abandoned Mubarak with alacrity as it scrambled to avoid being caught on the wrong side of a largely spontaneous people’s push for freedom and democracy.
But however one gauges the realpolitik involved in that dramatic recoil from a 30-year ally, the White House’s subsequent reported moves to legitimate Egypt’s Islamists – whose outlook conflicts utterly with the democratic agenda – make no sense, and suggest a frighteningly superficial understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood’s intentions and potential achievements.
Far from learning the lessons of the Islamists’ skilled subversion of other pro-democracy movements, working with potential leaders of an Egyptian transition to minimize the risk of such a process recurring, and making publicly plain that there will be no ongoing American alliance with an Egypt in which an unreformed Islamist movement has even a marginal role in government, the White House seems to be actively encouraging a transitional outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood.
National Security Council official Dan Shapiro told Jewish leaders on a conference call Wednesday that the administration would not deal with the Brotherhood. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had two days earlier urged the inclusion of “important non-secular actors” in a more democratic Egypt – a statement that was widely seen as relating to the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Administration’s proposal for the immediate transfer of power calls for the transitional government to include the Muslim Brotherhood, the New York Times reported Friday.
As things stand, of course, the longer Mubarak hangs on, the greater the instability and the anger, and the more for the Islamists to build upon.
But why would the US assist them? The administration may in part be motivated by the president’s seeming conviction, as David Ignatius wrote in the Washington Post last week, “that change is a matter for Egyptians, not Americans, and that too heavy an American hand would be counterproductive.”
In addition, numerous “experts” in both the US print and electronic media over the past week have been concertedly representing the Muslim Brotherhood as benign, hapless, not particularly popular, or all three of the above.
Far from benign, the Brotherhood is committed to death-cult jihad in the cause of widened Islamist rule, was the progenitor of Hamas and central to Islamist radicalization among the Palestinians. And its popularity was evident in that impressive 2005 parliamentary performance, achieved, it should be stressed, despite the Mubarak-orchestrated unfavorable circumstances.
Yet readers of the New York Times on Thursday, for instance, were treated to a page-leading op-ed article headlined “Egypt’s Bumbling Brotherhood,” which depicted the Islamists as a veritable Keystone Kops rabble of incompetents who have “botched every opportunity” for 83 years to revive Islamic power. Their purported 20-30 percent support, according to author Scott Atran, “is less a matter of true attachment than an accident of circumstances.”
Tony Blair’s warning that the Islamists could take the unfolding Egyptian revolution in the wrong direction was blithely dismissed by the author with the assertion that the Brotherhood’s “failure to support the initial uprising… has made it marginal to the spirit of revolt now spreading through the Arab world.”
On CNN that same day, scholars Michele Dunne and Robert Kagan, while not entirely deriding the notion of Islamist influence, nevertheless scathingly marginalized the threat, with Dunne, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, citing the centrality and dependability of the secular Egyptian military and judiciary as though Turkey’s seismic shift had not been unfolding before our very eyes in recent years.
Some commentators made much of the fact that the Brotherhood kept a low profile early in the uprising, interpreting this as evidence of disorganization and/or a lack of ambition. But the restraints have come off since then: Islamist rhetoric has become more prominent, and Brotherhood spokesmen are now ubiquitous in the media.
Experiences elsewhere have demonstrated the patience that Islamist organizations can exercise, building and gaining power and influence over years, over decades. Yet the absence of the Brotherhood from the protest frontlines for a matter of mere days – an astute tactic to ensure the watching world was not alienated and to maximize domestic support for the uprising – was apparently widely misread as proof of its irrelevance.
A much-cited – though not always accurately – Pew Research Center of Muslim attitudes, published only two months ago, indicates how frighteningly fertile the ground is for the Islamists in Egypt: 82% of Egyptian Muslims favor stoning people who commit adultery; 77% favor whipping/ cutting off of hands for theft and robbery; and 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion, it found. By way of comparison, the comparable percentages in Turkey, even as it submits to growing Islamist influence, were just 16%, 13% and 5% respectively.
The same survey found that among Egyptian Muslims who see a struggle between those who want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists, a striking 59% side with the fundamentalists and only 27% with the modernizers.
Pew also found that 54% of Egyptian Muslims believe suicide bombings can be justified often (8%), sometimes (12%) or rarely (34%), as against 46% who said they could never be justified.
The Pew poll did not ask a follow-up question about precisely when such bombings could be justified, but a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman from Cairo, also interviewed on CNN, offered an insight in this context.
Mohamed Morsy, who in the course of the conversation on Thursday refused to commit his movement to maintenance of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty or to recognition of Israel, and stressed its opposition to Zionism, insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood opposed the use of violence. Without missing a beat, however, he went on to say that what was going on in Palestine was “resistance.” And “resistance,” he said, “is acceptable by all mankind. It is the right of people to resist imperialism.”
In the New York Times “Bumbling Brotherhood” op-ed, another such spokesman, Dr. Essam el-Erian, was quoted as saying, “Israel must know that it is not welcome by the people in this region.” And writer Atran acknowledged that the Brotherhood “wants power,” and allowed that “its positions, notably its stance against Israel, are problematic for American interests.”
The current regional uprising has reemphasized Israel’s unique centrality to America as the region’s only truly dependable ally, because the partnership is not tactical or even strategic, but a function of shared interests and values that genuinely resonate throughout society. Why, then, Israel’s leaders must surely be asking their American counterparts in their current frantic consultations, would the US government help legitimate, on yet another of our newly unstable frontiers, a bleak, benighted movement that can be guaranteed to use any influence it accrues to undermine those shared interests and values?
Last edited by Paparock; 02-11-2011 at 09:41 PM..
Playing chess with the Muslim Brotherhood
Playing chess with the Muslim Brotherhood
By TAWFIK HAMID
02/07/2011 Direct confrontations with the group may be much less effective than well-planned gambits.
The US is facing a dilemma on how to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. On one hand, accepting it means accepting an Islamist system that will certainly have an anti-American and anti-Israeli agenda. On the other hand, rejecting and delegitimizing this group can turn some of its members to the use of violence.
The group has very strong anti-American and anti- Israeli views, and hence defeating it requires wisdom similar to playing chess rather than direct confrontations, especially in the current volatile situation.
This approach is possible because we know that the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, unlike other jihadi groups, can sit at a table and negotiate. In chess, one may win the game by executing a proper gambit, or a well-calculated sacrifice. Direct confrontations with the Muslim Brotherhood may be much less effective than well-planned gambits.
THE CURRENT reality in Egypt is that despite being officially banned, the Muslim Brotherhood very much exists. For nearly 30 years, the Mubarak regime has been unable to suppress the spread of its ideology. For example, the Brotherhood managed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak to increase the Islamic-based hatred of Israel, and both anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism have reached very high levels in the country.
In addition, it managed to Islamize a significant portion of the society. Currently, most Muslim women are wearing the hijab, Islamic jargon is used in mainstream media and the support of Shari’a is prevalent among the population. During the time of Anwar Sadat, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism were declining, and during Gamal Abdel Nasser’s time, signs of Islamization of the society were virtually nonexistent. This indicates that the Muslim Brotherhood thrived during the Mubarak regime.
The reliance of Israel and the US on one person in power in Egypt without pressuring him to change the educational system and the government-controlled media to actively fight anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism was a short-sighted approach that was doomed to fail. It was much better that the US – instead of pressuring Mubarak on democracy – should have used its relation with him to make changes in education and to implement effective strategies to weaken Islamism. This would have guaranteed a much better long-term relationship between Egypt and the US and Israel.
Mubarak’s approach that allowed anti-Semitism to flourish while pretending to be a friend to Israel was schizophrenic and indicates that he was not a true ally. His refusal to visit Israel even once during his 30 years of presidency is another indication of the lack of sincerity in his relationship – despite receiving billions of dollars in aid from the US.
A man who truly believes in peace would not have allowed anti-Semitism to flourish to such pathological levels in his country. For example, Sadat, who believed in peace, took many active steps to change Egyptian society and used religion effectively to fight rather than promote anti-Semitism. Sadat’s approach was to a great extent successful in decreasing anti-Semitism – despite his being assassinated by extremists who deemed him an “apostate.”
WHILE THE Muslim Brotherhood flourished over the last few decades, it lost a significant amount of its popularity in the last few years due to several reasons: • The emergence of open criticism of Islam and the exposure of radical teachings that contradict human conscience. The Internet and modern media allowed a level of debate and discussion that weakened the appeal of political Islam to many people. This was evident by the refusal of the protesters in Egypt to use the flag of the Muslim Brotherhood.
• The failure of Shari’a-inspired Islamic groups in Somalia, Afghanistan (Taliban) and Gaza (Hamas) to provide a better life for their people contradicted the basic slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood that “Islam is the solution.” Furthermore, the failure of the Islamic solution proved to many that the wealth in Saudi Arabia was not necessarily because it implement Shari’a.
• The refusal of the Muslim Brotherhood to join the demonstrations at the beginning (it only joined them when they started to succeed!). This led many to perceive it as a group of political opportunists. The Muslim Brotherhood had no other option but to arrange a few separate insignificant parallel demonstrations. It is important to note that the prayers that were held during the protests represented a common ritual level of Islam rather than an ideological movement belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.
IN THE current volatile and exploding situation dealing with the Brotherhood has become a very sensitive issue. The following are a few – but essential – recommendations on how to handle the current situation with the Muslim Brotherhood in a way to avoid the complete collapse of the country.
• Try to “contain” or “accommodate” the group to some extent as direct confrontations in this situation can turn some of its members to become violent or support other more violent Islamic groups to do terrorist acts. Stability at this stage is vital to defeat this group in the long run.
• Allow some of the members to have limited roles in the next government in areas that do not allow them to control strategic policies, education or the sensitive security and military apparatus. One could assign more technical ministries to them to test their competence – such as the ministries related to environmental affairs, or water and irrigation or housing and utilities. This offer to the Muslim Brotherhood must be conditioned by its approval of the international treaties of Egypt, including the peace with Israel.
• Fight the group ideologically – putting its members in prison without fighting its ideology has been ineffective and failed to stop its proliferation.
• Use religion to fight the Muslim Brotherhood and embarrass it. For example the secular government can declare that it must respect the peace treaty with Israel and ask the group to agree with this. The Koran states clearly: Fulfill [every] promise and treaty, 17:34; O ye who believe! Fulfill [all] obligations. 5:1; Those who fulfill their oath and never break their treaties [the context is praising them], 13:20.
• Provide humanitarian aid from non-Islamic organizations to compete with the Muslim Brotherhood in using this tactic to win the hearts and minds of people.
This gambit of accepting a limited and controllable role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the next stage of Egypt’s political future, while using effective approaches to defeat it at the ideological level, will be vital to avoiding further instability that can breed uncontrollable radicalism.