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The Last Cab Ride

The Last Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the
Door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a
Frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
Being dragged across the floor.

After
A long pause, the door opened. A small woman in
Her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a
Print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
On it, like somebody out of a 1940’s Movie.

By her side was a small nylon
Suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had
Lived in it for years. All the furniture was
Covered with sheets.

There were no
Clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
On the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
Box filled with photos and
Glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag
Out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase
To the cab, then returned to assist the
Woman.

She took my arm and we walked
Slowly toward the curb.

She kept
Thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I
Told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers
The way I would want my mother
Treated.

‘Oh, you’re such a good
Boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
Me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
Through downtown?’

‘It’s not the
Shortest way,’ I answered
Quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she
Said . ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a
Hospice…

I looked in the rear-view
Mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have
Any family left,’ she continued in a soft
Voice.. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very
Long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the
Meter.

‘What route would you like me
To take?’ I asked.

For the next two
Hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
The building where she had once worked as an
Elevator
Operator.

We drove through the
Neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
When they were newlyweds She had me pull up in
Front of a furniture warehouse that had once
Been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a
Girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow
In front of a particular building or corner and
Would sit staring into the darkness, saying
Nothing..

As the first hint of sun was
Creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m
Tired.. Let’s go now’.

We drove in
Silence to the address she had given me. It was
A low building, like a small convalescent home,
With a driveway that passed under a
Portico.

Two orderlies came out to
The cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
Solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I
Opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
The door. The woman was already seated in a
Wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’
She asked, reaching into her
Purse.

‘Nothing,’ I Said

‘You have to make a living,’ she Answered.

‘There are other Passengers,’ I responded.

Almost
Without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She
Held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an
Old woman a little moment of joy,’ she
Said .
‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her
Hand, and then walked into the dim morning
Light.. Behind me, a door shut.. It was the sound
Of the closing of a life..

I didn’t
Pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove
Aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that
Day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had
Gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient
To end his shift?
What
If I had refused to take the run, or had honked
Once, then driven away?

On a quick
Review, I don’t think that I have done anything
More important in my life.

We’re
Conditioned to think that our lives revolve
Around great moments.

But great
Moments often catch us unaware-beautifully
Wrapped in what others may consider a small
One.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY
WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL
ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
FEEL.

Life
may not be the party we hoped for, but while we
are here we might as well dance

Your Declaration of Independence from Obama and Pelosi

Do you remember the Contract with America? Millions of Americans came together to demand action from Washington on issues ranging from abortion and gun rights to out of control spending and regulation. And we won. Conservative candidates swept the polls and held back Washington’s power grabs, waste and self-indulgence for almost a decade. That was 16 years ago. Since then, politicians have abandoned America. Election after election, we see the same results. Incumbents get comfortable, outsiders become insiders, and before we know it… everything we worked for vanishes in the haze of bloated budgets, waves of illegal immigration, and outbursts of federal power. It’s time for a new Contract. We have gathered the 10 most important conservative issues into a list that we demand action and adherence to

Declaration of Independence
We, the undersigned American voters, are disgusted with the antagonism of many of our elected and appointed government officials toward American values, their violations of their oaths to uphold our Constitution, and their manifest disdain for our God-given, constitutional rights and liberty. The words and deeds which have come from such an attitude have made our federal government the most serious threat to the safety and freedom of Americans in our time.
You, our elected and/or appointed officials, are our representatives. Your authority over us is not unlimited: it is limited by our fundamental law, our Constitution. We expect you to uphold, not subvert, our fundamental values. We expect you to abide by your oath to support our Constitution. If you represent us, you should publicly support—in action as well as in speech—at least the following American principles:

Article I: Limited Government
The federal government has been given clearly limited and defined powers in the Constitution in order to preserve our freedom. The idea of Big Government running every aspect of our lives—from healthcare to the cars we drive—is revolting and unconstitutional. The founding fathers designed separation of powers with checks and balances into the Constitution to decentralize power and preserve our liberty. A constitutional amendment requiring term limits for all publically elected officials is necessary. Presidents, congressmen, senators, and judges who violate the Constitution’s limit on the powers of their offices—and do not work to prevent other officials’ transgressions of those limits—must be removed from office.

Article II: Gun Rights
The Second Amendment guarantees private citizens the right to keep and bear arms. The federal government has no authority to restrict this right in any way, shape, or form. Federal officials who do so must be removed from office.

Article III: Courts
Judges should interpret the law by studying the intentions of the framers of the Constitution and its amendments, and by adhering to legal precedents which are based squarely on those intentions. Judges who legislate—or amend our Constitution—from the bench must be removed from the bench.

Article IV: Federal Spending
Unconstitutional legislation and fiscal irresponsibility have produced out-of-control deficit spending that is crippling our future—and our children’s and grandchildren’s. The only way to bring Congress under control is to restrict how much they can tax and spend and one way to accomplish this is through a balanced budget amendment. Legislators and presidents who engage in uncontrolled spending must be removed from office.

Article V: Energy
Americans should be free to pursue energy options which use our own resources, don’t tax us to subsidize politically-favored groups, and don’t enslave us to foreign countries. We need sensible, constitutional environmental rules—not environmentalist extremism—the removal of impediments to the development of nuclear and other forms of energy, and freedom to drill in Anwar and elsewhere. Politicians who stand in the way of energy independence must be removed from office.

Article VI: Personal Responsibility
Government handouts in any form take from some to give to others and create dependence. Government does not exist to provide for its citizens and our Constitution does not authorize such legalized theft. Current federal compensation programs, including “corporate welfare”, should be phased out—and politicians who advocate such things should be removed from office.

Article VII: National Defense

A strong national defense is a constitutional as well as a practical necessity in this hostile world. Our citizens and our national interests must be protected. Terrorists should be tried in military tribunals and not given the rights of American citizens that so many of our troops have died to defend. Our military forces must be kept second-to-none: by a large margin. Politicians and officials who weaken our national defenses must be removed from office.

Article VIII: Borders
Secure borders are essential to the defense of our lives, liberty, and property. There is a legal way to come to this country and we welcome those who do so. Those who do not are breaking the law and should be treated as criminals. Amnesty is not an option for those who came here illegally. Politicians who advocate anything less must be removed from office.

Article IX: Right to Life
Human life unquestionably begins at conception. Ending the life of an unborn child via abortion is murder, is truly unconstitutional, and must be outlawed. Politicians whose character does not agree with this must be removed from office.

Article X: States Rights
The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The federal government has usurped many powers from the state governments. These powers must be returned to the respective states—for the sake of constitutionality and of our freedom. Politicians who oppose states’ rights must be removed from office.

CONCLUSION:
We the people of these United States declare that we will support candidates who support these principles and work against those who violate them.

America Was Built By Rugged Individualists Who’d Reject Obama

By Sam Samford

America Was Built By Rugged Individualists Who’d Reject Obama
America was built by people who fended for themselves, who expected nothing from the government except protection. They expected nothing from the government except protection from foreign enemies and a just rule of law. Other than that, stay the hell out of our lives. That’s who built America. The very people who founded this country constructed that kind of a government. The people who built this country revolted against high taxes, a tea tax specifically. America was built by people who believed in individuality, rugged individualism. I love saying that because it so ticks off the left, rugged individualism, hard work, minimal government, freedom and liberty.”
Sam Samford

Stop Big Labor

Dear Fellow Conservative,

I just got off the phone with my campaign manager, Marty Wilson, who informed me that The Wall Street Journal has reported Big Labor has pledged to spend $88 million in the next ten weeks on behalf of Barbara Boxer and other liberals around the country who are the exclusive beneficiaries of these special interest union dollars.

I’ve included the photo that accompanied the story. There she is — Barbara Boxer looking like the cat who ate the canary. Looks like she knows she’ll be cashing in on years of supporting unions at the expense of the taxpayers she was elected to serve.

Friend, I’m under constant attack from Barbara Boxer and her liberal friends. These attacks will only be more frequent and better funded between now and Election Day. We are in a dead heat with her in the polls and the momentum is heading our way, but we need your help to keep it up. Election experts predict the polls will remain tight all the way through Election Day.

This will be one of the most watched campaigns in the country, so we must be financially prepared to show just how angry we are with failed career politicians in Washington. Boxer has championed failed policies that have led California and the nation down a destructive path of increased government control, tax hikes and job loss. We can’t afford to sit back and allow her to coast to re-election again. So I’m turning to you for help.

Communicating with voters in a state as big as California is expensive. Barbara Boxer is able to dip in to her $11.3 million war chest and count on Big Labor and their $88 million. I’m counting on your support to fight back and move the polls in our favor.

There is tremendous excitement building in this campaign, and I have you to thank for this. But we don’t want to lose the excitement to negative attacks from Barbara Boxer. The reality is that we have the best chance in a generation to fire Barbara Boxer and replace her with a fiscal conservative who will stand up and fight back against the big-government agenda of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

I am truly thankful for your generous support, and I look forward to building more momentum to finally retire Barbara Boxer and bring new representation to Washington!

Sincerely,

Carly Florina

A Letter from a War Hero and From All Of Us

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year.  People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Boson Mate.  Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country. One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man. So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.
I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.

You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

”We’re no longer a Christian nation”
”America is arrogant” – (Your wife even announced to the world,” America is mean- spirited. “Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe that died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.
I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the
obvious gifts this country has given you.  To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.
After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.” Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British?  Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, those 500,000 men died for in the Civil War?

I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of
fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination.  You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man. Shape up and start acting like an American.  If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue.  You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat
their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts, who was putting up a fight?  You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.
One more thing.  I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son.  Do your job.  When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him.  But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out.  The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.
You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy.  That’s not our greatest threat.  Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle…

Sincerely,
Harold B. Estes

Divine Providence

This is what Glenn Beck and all of us Christians believe in.

Divine providence is the means by and through which God governs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. This includes the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human birth and destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8). This doctrine stands in direct opposition to the idea that the universe is governed by chance or fate.

The purpose, or goal, of divine providence is to accomplish the will of God. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than a depiction of God at work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power, nor do they work independently. The laws of nature are the rules and principles that God set in place to govern how things work.

The same goes for human choice. In a very real sense we are not free to choose or act apart from God’s will. Everything we do and everything we choose is in full accordance to God’s will—even our sinful choices (Genesis 50:20). The bottom line is that God controls our choices and actions (Genesis 45:5; Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 21:1), yet He does so in such a way that does not violate our responsibility as free moral agents, nor does it negate the reality of our choice.

The doctrine of divine providence can be succinctly summarized this way: “God in eternity past, in the counsel of His own will, ordained everything that will happen; yet in no sense is God the author of sin; nor is human responsibility removed.” The primary means by which God accomplishes His will is through secondary causes (e.g., laws of nature, human choice). In other words, God works indirectly through these secondary causes to accomplish His will.

God also sometimes works directly to accomplish His will. These works are what we would call miracles (i.e., supernatural events as opposed to natural). A miracle is God’s circumventing, for a short period of time, the natural order of things to accomplish His will and purpose. Two examples from the book of Acts should serve to highlight God directly and indirectly working to accomplish His will. In Acts 9 we see the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. In a blinding flash of light and in a voice that only Saul/Paul heard, God changed his life forever. It was God’s will to use Paul to further accomplish His will, and God used direct means to convert Paul. Talk to anyone who converted to Christianity, and you will more than likely never hear a story quite like this. Most of us come to Christ through hearing a sermon preached or reading a book or the persistent witness of a friend or family member. In addition to that, there are usually life circumstances that prepare the way—loss of a job, loss of a family member, failed marriage, chemical addiction. Paul’s conversion was direct and supernatural.

In Acts 16:6-10, we see God accomplishing His will indirectly. This takes place during Paul’s second missionary journey. God wanted Paul and his company to go to Troas, but when Paul left Antioch of Pisidia, he wanted to go east into Asia. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit forbade them to speak the word in Asia. Then they wanted to go west into Bythinia, but the Spirit of Christ prevented them, so they ended up going to Troas. This was written in retrospect, but at the time there were probably some logical explanations as to why they could not go into those two regions. However, after the fact, they realized that it was God directing them where He wanted them to go—that is providence. Proverbs 16:9 speaks to this: “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

On the other hand, there are those who will say that the concept of God directly or indirectly orchestrating all things destroys any possibility of free will. If God is in complete control, how can we be truly free in the decisions we make? In other words, for free will to be meaningful, there must be some things which are outside of God’s sovereign control—e.g., the contingency of human choice. Let us assume for the sake of argument that this is true. What then? If God is not in complete control of all contingencies, then how could He guarantee our salvation? Paul says in Philippians 1:6 that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” If God is not in control of all things, then this promise, and all other biblical promises, are invalid. We could not have complete security that the good work of salvation that was begun in us will be brought to completion.

Furthermore, if God is not in control of all things, then He is not sovereign, and if He is not sovereign, then He is not God. So, the price of maintaining contingencies outside of God’s control results in a God who is no God at all. And if our “free” will can supersede divine providence, then who ultimately is God? We are. That is, obviously, unacceptable to anyone with a Christian and biblical worldview. Divine providence does not destroy our freedom. Rather, divine providence is what enables us to properly use that freedom.

Restoring Honor 8-28-10

To say that climbing on a bus with fifty strangers to join a caravan of hundreds of other buses jostling our way up the yellow-brick road to Oz put this Historian out of his comfort zone would not be an understatement; it would be a gross understatement.

However, having fallen through the rabbit hole in the fifties and taken the red pill in the sixties, the slow motion train wreck that is the Progressive’s deconstruction of traditional America combined with the light speed transformation of our beloved Republic as a European-style nanny-state since the November Revolution of 08 compelled me to go. Stoked by daily doses of Radio-free Glenn and incited by the daily drip-drip-drip of the government take-overs and serial bail-outs the anticipation has built for months.

Now that the GREAT EVENT is over we have to ask ourselves, “What did we go to Washington to see?”

Did we go to see a politician? No! Politicians are people dressed in fancy clothes or people giving eloquent speeches? We can see those twenty-four hours a day on C-Span. The Best Congress Money Can Buy has this down to a science. They know how to look and sound important. They even know how to look and sound relevant, caring, concerned, and informed. The only problem is that time and time again we elect people to change the anti-liberty anti-individual freedom agenda rotting the core of the American Experiment, and time after time we find out that instead of sending in the cavalry we have sent in the clowns and the beat-down goes on.

We did not see a politician at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?

Did we go to see a religious leader? Having been one myself I speak with a certain familiarity if not authority. No! Religious leaders, though they may selflessly and honestly present the message of their particular religion, are members of organizations, and they seek the advancement of those organizations: that is their job. We did not see a religious leader at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?
Did we go to see a promoter of hate? No! Promoters of hate sent out invitations to their event based on race, saying every one of certain races should come. The people of hate displayed a huge banner with a picture of Dr, Martin Luther King labeled “The Dream” above a huge picture of Glenn Beck labeled “The Nightmare.” The people of hate wandered through the largest crowd I have ever seen holding up signs calling the Americans of ever race and nationality who attended the Restoring Honor Rally the “KKK” and other provocative slogans. We did not see a promoter of hate at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?

Did we go to see a self-promoter? No! Self-promoters seek to make money and/or build their own kingdom. Self-promoters constantly point to themselves as the answer to the questions they ask, and the solution to the problems they pose. Self-promoters use others as props and always shine the light on themselves. Self-promoters make it big then live large leaving others to calculate how much those serial-vacations cost as they send us the bill for one more glittering gala in the midst of a crisis too good to waste. Self-promoters wag their finger in our face saying we should realize we can no longer lead the world as they cozy up to our enemies, insult our friends, and walk all over our Constitution. We did not see a self-promoter at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?

Did we go up to see a prophet? Yes! We went to the Restoring Honor Rally to see a prophet and more than a prophet. A Prophet is never a person who declares themselves to be one, but instead is a person others recognize as one. I am calling Glenn Beck a prophet. He is seeing beyond the present and pointing to a horizon others cannot see. He is drawing together people of all faiths, races, and nationality and is pointing the way out of a wilderness of our own creation, through the sea of bureaucratic newspeak, to the promised land of limited government.

Some may ask, “Who is Dr. Owens to proclaim Glenn Beck a prophet?” I am but the chronicler of the History of the Future and my discernment that Glenn Beck is a prophet will mean little beyond the narrow pale of my columns and websites, but many hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans echoed this discernment by traveling from all over this country to see Mr. Beck and hear what he had to say.

And what he had to say was a reminder that long ago God told His people if they ever strayed from His path the way back was found in the wisdom of His word, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

GIVE ME YOUR TIRED

By Robert A. Hall
I’m 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I’m tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela.

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U. S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?

I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

‘m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics.

Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need.

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves.

Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet.

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor, speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate and is a member of the Tea Party.

Muslim Brotherhood – Sunni Movement

The Society of the Muslim Brothers, often simply, The Brotherhood or MB) is a Sunni transnational movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states.[1] The world’s oldest and largest Islamic political group, it was founded in 1928, in Egypt by the schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna.

The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for … ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state”. Since its inception in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals, with some exceptions such as in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or to overthrow secular Ba’athist rule in Syria (see Hama massacre). This position has been questioned, particularly by the Egyptian government, which accused the group of a campaign of killings in Egypt after World War II.

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, and members have been arrested for their participation in it. As a means of circumventing the ban, supporters run for office as independents. The Egyptian government in one case responded by obstructing voters, despite Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak‘s promise to have a “free and fair election.”

Outside of Egypt, the group’s political activity has been described as evolving away from modernism and reformism towards a more traditional, “rightist conservative” stance.  For example, the Muslim Brotherhood party in Kuwait opposes suffrage for women. The Brotherhood condemned terrorism and the 9/11 attacks, but whether or not it has ties to terrorism is a matter of dispute. Its position on violence has also caused disputes within the movement, with advocates of violence at times breaking away to form groups such as the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) and Al Takfir Wal Hijra (Excommunication and Migration).

Among the Brotherhood’s more influential members was Sayyid Qutb. Qutb was the author of one of Islamism‘s most important books, Milestones, which called for the restoration of Islam by re-establishing the Sharia and by using “physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system,” which he believed to include the entire Muslim world. While studying at university, Osama bin Laden claimed to have been influenced by the religious and political ideas of several professors with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood including both Sayyid Qutb and his brother Muhammad Qutb. However, once Al Qaeda was fully organized, they denounced the Muslim Brotherhood’s reform through nonviolence and accused them of “betraying the cause of Islam and abandoning their ‘jihad’ in favour of forming political parties and supporting modern state institutions”.

The Brotherhood is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who live in oil-rich countries

In the group’s belief, the Quran and Sunna constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate. The MB goal, as stated by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna was to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia. It preaches that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedom to the extent allowed by the laws of Islam. The Brotherhood strongly opposes Western colonialism, and helped overthrow the pro-western monarchies in Egypt and other Muslim nations during the early 20th century.

On the issue of women and gender the Muslim Brotherhood interprets Islam very traditionally. Its founder called for “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior,” “segregation of male and female students,” a separate curriculum for girls, and “the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes…” The MB is a movement, not a political party, but members have created political parties in several countries, such as the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank. These parties are staffed by Brotherhood members but kept independent from the MB to some degree.

Organization

From transcripts the following hierarchical Organisation structure can be derived:

  • The General Organisational Conference is the highest body of the Ikhwans stemming from the Ikhwans bases, every Usra elects one or two deputies according to its number.
  • The Shura Council has the duties of planning, charting general policies and programs that achieve the goal of the Group. Its resolutions are binding to the Group and only the General Organisational Conference can modify or annul them and the Shura Office has also the right to modify or annul resolutions of the Executive Office. It follows the implementation of the Group policies and programs. It directs the Executive Office and it forms dedicated branch committees to assist in that.[24]
  • Executive Office (Guidance Office) with its leader the General Masul (General Guide) and its members, both appointed by the Shura Office, has to follow up and guide the activities of the General Organisation. It submits a periodical report to the Shura Council about its work and of the activity of the domestic bodies and the general organisations. It distributes its duties to its members according to the internal bylaws.

It has the following divisions : – Executive leadership – Organisational office – Secretariat general – Education office – Political office – Sisters office

In each country there is a Branch committee with a Masul (leader) appointed by the General Executive leadership with essentially the same Branch-divisions as the Executive office has. To the duties of every branch belong fundraising, infiltrating in and overtaking other Muslim organisations for the sake of uniting the Muslims to dedicate them to the general goals of the MB.

The general goals and strategic plans of the MB are only found in Arabic documents. One for Europe called “The Project” was found in 2001 in Switzerland, another for North America was found in 2005 called the “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” An evaluation of this Memorandum was made for the US-Congress and for the Pentagon. Their influence is fast growing, especially in Europe, but not easy to trace while the active members have to keep their membership secret.

One citation from the document “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” makes the objectives of the MB clear: “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Main Activity-plan

The main goals on mid-term as approved by the Executive office and the Shura Council are formulated in a 5-year action plan derived from transcripts:

Primary goals

  • reinstatement of the caliphate and reunite the “dar el Islam“.
  • Strengthening the internal structure
  • Administrative discipline
  • Recruitment and settlement of the Dawa’a
  • Energizing the organisations work
  • Energizing political work fronts (e.g. in civil political organisations)

Secondary goals

  • Finance and Investment
  • Foreign relations
  • Reviving Woman’s activity
  • Political awareness to the members of the Group
  • Securing the group (To find out if they are being monitored, and if, how they can get rid of them)
  • Dawa’ah (the lecture/speech of religion)
  • Media (influencing of and infiltration in the media)
  • Taking advantage of human potentials (e.g. infiltration in education, civil organisations)

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Ismailia in March 1928 along with six workers of the Suez Canal Company. It began as a religious, political, and social movement with the credo, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” Al-Banna called for the return to an original Islam and followed Islamic reformers like Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida. According to him, contemporary Islam had lost its social dominance, because most Muslims had been corrupted by Western influences. Sharia law based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah were seen as laws passed down by Allah that should be applied to all parts of life, including the organization of the government and the handling of everyday problems.

The Brotherhood also saw itself as a political and social movement . Al-Banna strived to be a populist. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed to want to protect the workers against the tyranny of foreign and monopolist companies. It founded social institutions such as hospitals, pharmacies, schools, etc. However, in addition to holding conservative views on issues such as women’s rights, it was from the start extremely hostile to independent working-class and popular organisations such as trade unions.[31] This is disputed however by William Cleveland, who points out that the Muslim Brotherhood became involved with the labour movement early on, and supported efforts to create trades unions and unemployment benefits.

By 1936, it had 800 members, then this number increased greatly to up to 200,000 by 1938. By 1948, the Brotherhood had about half a million members. Robin Hallett says: “By the late 1940s the Brotherhood was reckoned to have as many as 2 million members, while its strong Pan-Islamic ideas had gained its supporters in other Arab lands”. The Muslim Brotherhood also tried to build up something like an Islamist International, thus founding groups in Lebanon (in 1936), Syria (1937), and Transjordan (1946). It also recruited among the foreign students in Cairo. Its headquarters in Cairo became a center and meeting place for representatives from the whole Muslim world.

Underground links to the Nazis began during the 1930s and were close during the Second World War, involving agitation against the British, espionage and sabotage, as well as support for terrorist activities orchestrated by Haj Amin el-Hussaini in British Mandate Palestine, as a wide range of declassified documents from the British, American and Nazi German governmental archives, as well as from personal accounts and memoirs from that period, confirm. Reflecting this connection the Muslim Brotherhood also disseminated Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations, helping to deepen and extend already existing hostile views about Jews and democracy in Western societies generally.

In November 1948 police seized an automobile containing the documents and plans of what was thought to be the Brotherhood’s “secret apparatus” (its military wing) with names of its members. The seizure was preceded by an assortment of bombings and assassination attempts by the apparatus. Subsequently 32 of its leaders were arrested and its offices raided. The next month the Egyptian Prime Minister of Egypt, Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi, ordered the dissolution of the Brotherhood.

In what is thought to be retaliation for these acts, a member of the Brotherhood, veterinary student Abdel Meguid Ahmed Hassan, assassinated the Prime Minister on December 28, 1948. A month and half later Al-Banna himself was killed in Cairo by men believed to be government agents and/or supporters of the murdered premier.

The Brotherhood has been an illegal organization, tolerated to varying degrees, since 1954 when it was convicted of the attempt to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, head of the Egyptian government. The group had denied involvement in the incident and accused the government of staging the incident to use it as a pretext to persecute the group and its members. On this basis from 1954 until Nasser’s death in 1970, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were systemically tortured under Nasser’s secular regime, highlighted in Zainab al Ghazali‘s Return of the Pharaoh. Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat, promised the Brotherhood that shari’a would be implemented as the Egyptian law and released all of the Brotherhood prisoners. However, as a result of Sadat signing the peace agreement with Israel in 1979, an Islamic group other than the Brotherhood assassinated Sadat in September, 1981.

The Brotherhood is still periodically subjected to mass arrests. It remains an extreme opposition group in Egypt, advocating Islamic reform, democratic system and maintaining a vast network of support through Islamic charities working among poor Egyptians. The political direction it has been taking lately has tended towards more moderate Islamism and Islamic Democracy, somewhat more anti-Western than and a degree to right of Turkey‘s ruling Justice and Development Party.

In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood’s candidates, who had to run as independents due to their illegality as a political party, won 88 seats (20% of the total) to form the largest opposition bloc. The electoral process was marred by many irregularities, including the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood members. One observer, Jameel Theyabi, writing in an op-ed for Dar Al-Hayat, noted that a December 2006 Muslim Brotherhood military parade and the “wearing of uniforms, displaying the phrase, ‘We Will be Steadfast’, and the drills involving martial arts, betray the group’s intent to plan for the creation of militia structures, and a return by the group to the era of ‘secret cells’….” .

Of course, the huge gains in the 2005 parliamentary elections allowed the Brotherhood to pose “a democratic political challenge to the regime, not a theological one” . Initially, there has been widespread skepticism regarding the movement’s commitment to use its influence to push Egypt forward towards a democratic state. For instance, briefly after the elections Sameh Fawzy remarked in the Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper, “If the Muslim Brotherhood were in a position to enforce its ideological monopoly, the vast majority of the populace would face severe restrictions on its freedom of opinion and belief, not just on religious matters, but on social, political, economic and cultural affairs as well”  However, considering its actions in the Egyptian parliament since 2005, it appears that those skeptics misjudged the movement’s scope. In an article for the Middle East Report Samer Shehata from Georgetown University and Joshua Stacher from the British University in Egypt claim that, in fact, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that revived a parliament that till then had “a reputation for being a rubber stamp for the regime” . First of all, according to their observations, the movement did not simply “focus on banning books and legislating the length of skirts” . Instead, the movement’s involvement shows attempts to reform the political system. Unlike other MPs, those associated with the Brotherhood took their parliamentary duties very seriously as an “unmatched record of attendance”  already shows. Moreover, they also took their role as members of the opposition to the ruling NDP quite seriously. A significant example is the creation of a considerable opposition to the extension of the emergency law when MPs associated with the Brotherhood “formed a coalition with other opposition legislators and with sympathetic members of the NDP, to protest the extension” . The overall involvement leads Shehata and Stacher to the conclusion that the Brotherhood has convincingly attempted to transform “the Egyptian parliament into a real legislative body, as well as an institution that represents citizens and a mechanism that keeps government accountable”.

Meanwhile, approved opposition parties won only 14 seats. This revived the debate within the Egyptian political elite about whether the Brotherhood should remain banned.

Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East

Bahrain

In Bahrain, the Muslim Brotherhood is represented by the Al Eslah Society and its political wing, the Al-Menbar Islamic Society. Following parliamentary elections in 2002, Al Menbar became the joint largest party with eight seats in the forty seat Chamber of Deputies. Prominent members of Al Menbar include Dr Salah Abdulrahman, Dr Salah Al Jowder, and outspoken MP Mohammed Khalid. The party has generally backed government sponsored legislation on economic issues, but has sought a clamp down on pop concerts, sorcery and soothsayers. It has strongly opposed the government’s accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the grounds that this would give Muslim citizens the right to change religion, when in the party’s view they should be “beheaded”.

Municipal councillor, Dr Salah Al Jowder, has campaigned against people being able to look into other people’s houses, changing the local by-laws in Muharraq to ensure that all new buildings are fitted with one way glass to prevent residents being able to see out. Although a competitor with the salafist Asalah party, it seems likely that Al Menbar will opt for a political alliance in 2006s election to avoid splitting the Sunni Islamist vote.

Syria

Main article: History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria

Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was founded in the 1930s (according to lexicorient.com) or in 1945, a year before independence from France, (according to journalist Robin Wright (author)). In the first decade or so of independence it was part of the legal opposition, and in the 1961 parliamentary elections it won ten seats. But after the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party to power it was banned. It played a major role in the mainly Sunni-based resistance movement that opposed the secularist, pan-Arabist Baath Party, (since 1970, it has been dominated by the Alawite Assad family, adding a religious element to its conflict with the Brotherhood). This conflict developed into an armed struggle that continued until culminating in the Hama uprising of 1982, when the rebellion was bloodily crushed by the military.

Since then, the Brotherhood has ceased to be an active political force inside Syria, but it retains a network of support in the country, of unknown strength, and has external headquarters in London and Cyprus. In recent years it has renounced violence and adopted a reformist platform, calling for the establishment of a pluralistic, democratic political system. The leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, who lives as a political refugee in London.

Membership in the Syrian Brotherhood became a capital offence in Syria in the 1980 (under Emergency Law 49) and remains so, but the headquarters of the MB-linked Palestinian group, Hamas, is located in the Syria’s capital Damascus, where it is given Syrian government support. This is seen by some as an example of the lack of international centralization or even coordination of the MB.]

Palestinian territories

‘Abd al-Rahman al-Banna, brother of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, went to Palestine and established the Muslim Brotherhood there in 1935. A local nationalist, Al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini (see article under Mohammad Amin al-Husayni), eventually appointed by the British as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in hopes of accommodating him, was the leader of the group in Palestine. Another important leader associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine was ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam, an inspiration to Islamists because he had been the first to lead an armed resistance in the name of Palestine against the British in 1935.[47] Under these leaders, many moderate local Arab leaders were assassinated, including King Abdullah I of Jordan, and, from 1921 on, numerous terrorist attacks were perpetrated against Jews, amongst which was the murder of 67 religious Jews, men, women and children, and wounding of many others, in the 1929 Hebron massacre. Al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini led a general uprising against the British from 1936 to 1939; as a Nazi ally he spent the Second World War in Nazi Germany and advocated for and aided their annihilation of the Jews.[48] In 1945, the group established a branch in Jerusalem, and by 1947 twenty-five more branches had sprung up, in towns such as Jaffa, Lod, Haifa, Nablus, and Tulkarm, which total membership between 12,000 to 20,000.

Brotherhood members fought alongside the Arab armies during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and, after Israel’s creation, the ensuing Palestinian refugee crisis encouraged more Palestinian Muslims to join the group. After the war, in the West Bank, the group’s activity was mainly social and religious, not political, so it had relatively good relations with Jordan, which was in control of the West Bank after 1950. In contrast, the group frequently clashed with the Egyptian regime that controlled the Gaza Strip until 1967.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Brotherhood’s goal was “the upbringing of an Islamic generation” through the restructuring of society and religious education, rather than Palestine’s liberation from Israel, and so it lost popularity to national resistance movements. Eventually, however, the Brotherhood was strengthened by several factors:

1. The creation of al-Mujamma’ al-Islami, the Islamic Center in 1973 by Shaykh Ahmad Yasin had a centralizing effect that encapsulated all religious organizations.

2. The Muslim Brotherhood Society in Jordan and Palestine was created from a merger of the branches in the West Bank and Gaza and Jordan.

3. Palestinian disillusion with the liberation front caused them to become more open to alternatives.

4. The Islamic Revolution in Iran offered inspiration to Palestinians. The Brotherhood was able to increase its efforts in Palestine and avoid being dismantled like national resistance groups because it did not focus on the occupation. While national resistance groups were being dismantled, the Brotherhood filled the void.

After the 1967 Six Day War, as Israel’s occupation started, Israel may have looked to cultivate political Islam as a counterweight to Fatah, the main secular Palestinian nationalist political organization.[52][53] Between 1967 and 1987, the year Hamas was founded, the number of mosques in Gaza tripled from 200 to 600, and the Muslim Brotherhood named the period between 1975 and 1987 a phase of ‘social institution building.’ The Brotherhood was able to spread its ideology in six important ways. It established associations, used zakat (alms giving) for aid to poor Palestinians, promoted schools, provided students with loans, used waqf (religious endowments) to lease property and employ people, and established mosques. The establishment of mosques was the most effective, because it built hundreds of mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 1967 and 1987 and could use them for political and recruitment purposes.  Likewise, antagonistic and sometimes violent opposition to Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization and other secular nationalist groups increased dramatically in the streets and on university campuses.

The Brotherhood’s downfall was its failure to fight the Israeli occupation, but the Intifada changed the Brotherhood’s position and Hamas was established. The Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, founded in 1987 in Gaza, is a wing of the Brotherhood, formed out of Brotherhood-affiliated charities and social institutions that had gained a strong foothold among the local population. During the First Intifada (1987–93), Hamas militarized and transformed into one of the most violent Palestinian militant groups.

Israel

Main article: Islamic Movement in Israel

The Muslim Brotherhood in Israel -the Islamic Movement– is divided between the southern and northern branches. The southern branch is represented in the Knesset, Israel‘s parliament while the northern radical branch boycotts Israeli elections.

Jordan

The Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in 1942, and is a strong factor in Jordanian politics. While most political parties and movements were banned for a long time in Jordan such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Brotherhood was exempted and allowed to operate by the Jordanian monarchy. The Jordanian Brotherhood has formed its own political party, the Islamic Action Front, which has the largest number of seats of any party in the Jordanian parliament.

Iran

Although Iran is a predominately Shia country and the Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni in doctrine, Olga Davidson and Mohammad Mahallati claim the Brotherhood has had influence among Shia in Iran. Navab Safavi, who founded Fadaian Islam, (also Fedayeen of Islam, or Fadayan-e Islam), an Iranian Islamic organization active in Iran in the 1940s and 1950s, “was highly impressed by the Muslim Brotherhood.” From 1945 to 1951 the Fadain assassinated several high level Iranian personalities and officials who they believed to be un-Islamic. They including anti-clerical writer Ahmad Kasravi, Premier Haj-Ali Razm-Ara, former Premier Abdul-Hussein Hazhir, and Education and Culture Minister Ahmad Zangeneh

At that time Navab Safavi was an associate and ally of Ayatollah Khomeini who went on to become a figure in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Safavi is thought to have influenced Khomeini with the ideas of the Brotherhood Khomeini and other religious figures in Iran worked to establish Islamic unity and downplay Shia-Sunni differences.

Iraq

The Iraqi Islamic Party was formed in 1960 as the Iraqi branch of the Brotherhood,[ but was banned from 1961 during the nationalist rule of Abd al-Karim Qasim. As government repression hardened under the Baath Party from February 1963, the group was forced to continue underground. After the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, the Islamic Party has reemerged as one of the main advocates of the country’s Sunni community. It has been sharply critical of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, but participates in the political process. Its leader is Tariq Al-Hashimi.

Also, in the north of Iraq there are several Islamic movements inspired by or part of the Muslim Brotherhood network. The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) holds seats in the Kurdish parliament, as is the main political force outside the dominance of the two main secularist parties, the PUK and KDP.

Saudi Arabia

The Muslim Brotherhood’s brand of Islam and Islamic politics differs from the strict Salafi creed, Wahhabiyya, officially held by the state of Saudi Arabia. Despite this, the Brotherhood has been tolerated by the Saudi government, and maintains a presence in the country.[citation needed] Aside from tolerating the Brotherhood organization[citation needed], and according to Washington Post report, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef has denounced the Brotherhood, saying it is guilty of “betrayal of pledges and ingratitude” and is “the source of all problems in the Islamic world.”

Kuwait

The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait is represented in the Kuwaiti parliament by Hadas.

Muslim Brotherhood in Africa

Algeria

The Muslim Brotherhood reached Algeria during the later years of the French colonial presence in the country (1830–1962). Sheikh Ahmad Sahnoun led the organization in Algeria between 1953 and 1954 during the French colonialism. Brotherhood members and sympathizers took part in the uprising against France in 1954–1962, but the movement was marginalized during the largely secular FLN one-party rule which was installed at independence in 1962. It remained unofficially active, sometimes protesting the government and calling for increased Islamization and Arabization of the country’s politics.

When a multi-party system was introduced in Algeria in the early 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood formed the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP, previously known as Hamas), led by Mahfoud Nahnah until his death in 2003 (he was succeeded by present party leader Boudjerra Soltani). The Muslim Brotherhood in Algeria did not join the Front islamique du salut (FIS), which emerged as the leading Islamist group, winning the 1991 elections and which was banned in 1992 following a military coup d’état, although some Brotherhood sympathizers did. The Brotherhood subsequently also refused to join the violent post-coup uprising by FIS sympathizers and the Armed Islamic Groups (GIA) against the Algerian state and military which followed, and urged a peaceful resolution to the conflict and a return to democracy. It has thus remained a legal political organization and enjoyed parliamentary and government representation. In 1995, Sheikh Nahnah ran for President of Algeria finishing second with 25.38% of the popular vote. During the 2000s, the party—led by Nahnah’s successor Boudjerra Soltani – has been a member of a three-party coalition backing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Sudan

Until the election of Hamas in Gaza, Sudan was the one country were the Brotherhood was most successful in gaining power, its members making up a large part of the government officialdom following the 1989 coup d’état by General Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Always close to Egyptian politics, Sudan has had a Muslim Brotherhood presence since 1949. In 1945, a delegation from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt visited Sudan and held various meetings inside the country advocating and explaining their ideology. Sudan has a long and deep history with the Muslim Brotherhood compared to many other countries. By April 1949, the first branch of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood organization emerged. However, simultaneously, many Sudanese students studying in Egypt were introduced to the ideology of the Brotherhood. The Muslim student groups also began organizing in the universities during the 1940s, and the Brotherhood’s main support base has remained to be college educated. In order to unite them, in 1954, a conference was held, attended by various representatives from different groups that appeared to have the same ideology. The conference voted to establish a Unified Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood Organization based on the teachings of Imam Hassan Al-banna.

An offshoot of the Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Charter Front grew during the 1960, with Islamic scholar Hasan al-Turabi becoming its Secretary general in 1964. The Islamic Charter Front (ICM) was renamed several times most recently being called the National Islamic Front (NIF). Turabi has been the prime architect of the NIF as a modern Islamist party. He worked within the Institutions of the government, which led to a prominent position of his organization in the country. NIF supported women’s right to vote and ran women candidates. The Muslim Brotherhood/NIF’s main objective in Sudan was to Islamize the society “from above” and to institutionalize the Islamic law throughout the country where they succeeded.

The Brotherhood penetrated into the ruling political organizations, the state army and security personal, the national and regional assemblies, the youth and women organizations of Sudan. They also launched their own mass organizations among the youth and women such as the shabab al-binna, and raidat al-nahda, and launched educational campaigned to Islamize the communities throughout the country. At the same time, they gained control of several newly founded Islamic missionary and relief organizations to spread their ideology. The Brotherhood members took control of the newly established Islamic Banks as directors, administrators, employees and legal advisors, which became a source of power for the Brotherhood.

The Sudanese government has come under considerable criticism for its human rights policies, links to terrorist groups, and war in southern Sudan and Darfur.

See also: Darfur conflict, Second Sudanese Civil War, and Human rights in Sudan

The conservatism of at least some elements of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood was highlighted in an August 3, 2007 Al-Jazeera television interview of Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Sadeq Abdallah bin Al-Majed. As translated by the Israeli-based MEMRI, Bin Al-Majed told his interviewer that “the West, and the Americans in particular … are behind all the tragedies that are taking place in Darfur,”

Main article: Darfur Conflict

as they “realized that it Darfur is full of treasures”; that “Islam does not permit a non-Muslim to rule over Muslims;” and that he had issued a fatwa prohibiting the vaccination of children, on the grounds that the vaccinations were “a conspiracy of the Jews and Freemasons.”

Somalia

Somalia’s wing of the Muslim Brotherhood is known by the name Harakat Al-Islah or “Reform Movement”. Nonetheless, the Brotherhood, as mentioned earlier, has inspired many Islamist organizations in Somalia. Muslim Brotherhood ideology reached Somalia in the 1960s, but Al-Islah movement was formed in 1978 and slowly grew in the 1980s. Al-Islah has been described as “a generally nonviolent and modernizing Islamic movement that emphasizes the reformation and revival of Islam to meet the challenges of the modern world,” whose “goal is the establishment of an Islamic state” and which “operates primarily in Mogadishu.”

The founders of the Islah Movement are: Sh. Mohamed Ahmed Nur, Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed, Dr. Mohamed Yusuf Abdi, Sh. Ahmed Rashid Hanafi, and Sh. Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah. The organization structured itself loosely and was not openly visible on the political scene of Somali society.

They chose to remain a secret movement fearing the repressive regime of Siad Barre. However, they emerged from secrecy when the regime collapsed in 1991 and started working openly thereafter. Most Somalis were surprised to see the new group they had never heard of, which was in the country since 1970s in secrecy.

According to the Islah by-law, every five years the organization has to elect its Consultative (Shura) Council which elects the Chairman and the two Vice-chairman. During the last 30 years, four chairmen were elected. These are Sheikh Mohamed Geryare (1978–1990), Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim (1990–1999), Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed (1999–2008) and Dr. Ali Bashi Omar Roraye (2008–2013).

Dr. Ali bashi is a medical doctor, a former university professor and a member of the transitional parliament (2000–2008). During the 1990s, Al-Islah devoted much effort to humanitarian efforts and providing free basic social services.

The leaders of Al-Islah played a key role in the educational network and establishing Mogadishu University. Through their network, they educate more than 120,000 students in the city of Mogadishu. Many other secondary schools such as the University of East Africa in Bosasso, Puntland, are externally funded and administered through organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic organization Al-Islah. In Somalia, they are known to be a peaceful organization that does not participate in any factional fighting and rejects the use of violence.

Today the group’s membership includes urban professionals and students. According to a Crisis Group Report, Somalia’s Islamists, “Al-Islah organization is dominated by a highly educated urban elite whose professional, middle class status and extensive expatriate experiences are alien to most Somalis.”

Although Al-Islah have been criticized by some hardcore Islamists who considered them to be influenced by imperialist western values, Al-Islah speaks of democratic peaceful Somalia. They promote women’s rights, human rights, and other ideas, which they argue that these concepts originate from Islamic concepts. Al-Islah is gaining momentum in the Somali societies for their humanitarian work and moderate view of Islam.

Tunisia

Like their counterparts elsewhere in the Islamic world in general, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has influenced the Tunisia’s Islamists. One of the notable organization that was influenced and inspired by the Brotherhood is Al-Nahda (The Revival or Renaissance Party), which is Tunisia’s 2nd major Islamist grouping after Hizb ut-Tahrir. An Islamist named Rashid Ghannouchi founded the organization in 1981. While studying in Damascus and Paris, Rashid Ghannouchi embraced the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he disseminated on his return to Tunisia.

Libya

Libya was one of the first countries outside Egypt to have a Brotherhood cell. In the late 1940s when the Egyptian members were being prosecuted, King Idris I of Libya offered the Brotherhood refuge and the freedom to spread their ideology. In 1955, the University of Libya was established in Benghazi, near the Egyptian border, and it drew many Egyptian teachers and lecturers including MB members. The Muslim Brotherhood was able to influence a large number of Libyan students during this period.

Dr. Ezzudine Ibrahim was one of the most influential founders of the Brotherhood in Libya. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Brotherhood was a religious and intellectual tendency in Libya and had many followers amongst the intellectuals and students in the university campuses, and by the mid 1970s it developed a structured Brotherhood organization. The Brotherhood in Libya limited itself to peaceful social, political, economic, and cultural activities.

Soon after coming to power, Muammar al-Gaddafi regarded the Brotherhood a potential source of opposition. He arrested many Egyptian Brothers and expelled them back to Egypt. In 1973, the security services arrested and tortured members of the Libyan Brotherhood banning the organization and forcing it underground. The secrecy phase helped the Brotherhood to become more popular. The Brotherhood operated secretly in groups of interlinked cells, which was spread in the country. The brotherhood remained underground until the end of 1970s. At the beginning of 1980s, the Brotherhood renamed itself the “Libyan Islamic Group” (Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya al-Libyia) and tried to re-introduce themselves into the Libyan society. On March 2, 2006, the Libyan government released 132 members of the Muslim Brotherhood that were held as political prisoners.

Their core ideology, strategy, operations and membership are the same as Brotherhood groups in other countries: it seeks to replace the existing regime with one following Sharia law through what it claims are peaceful means. It has an active charitable and welfare wing and has attracted many members of the middle classes, mainly academics, students, engineers and business people. The group has been strengthened by the large number of Libyan students who became member or supporters of the Brotherhood while studying abroad in the United Kingdom and the United States, and have returned home to spread its ideology.

Muslim Brotherhood in the West

United States

The Muslim Brotherhood has been active in the US since the 1960s. Its stated goals have included propagating Islam and creating havens for Muslims in the US, and integrating Muslims. A main strategy has been dawah or Islamic renewal and outreach. In the 1960s, groups such as U.S. military personnel, prison inmates and African-Americans were specifically targeted for dawah. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA is

The process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who choose to slack.

Organizations in the US started by activists involved with the Muslim Brotherhood include the Muslim Students Association in 1963, North American Islamic Trust in 1971, the Islamic Society of North America in 1981, the American Muslim Council in 1990, the Muslim American Society in 1992, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought in the 1980s. According to the Washington Post, Muslim activists say MSA’s members represent “all schools of Islam and political leanings – many are moderates, while others express anti-U.S. views or support resistance against Israelis.”

The Holy Land Foundation trial has led to the release as evidence of  several documents on the Muslim Brotherhood. One of these documents, dated in 1991, explains that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is “settlement”, defined by the author as a form of jihad aimed at destroying Western civilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions. In another one of these documents, “Ikhwan in America”, the author alleges that the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US include going to camps to do weapons training (referred to as Special work by the Muslim Brotherhood), as well as engaging in counter-espionage against US government agencies such as the FBI and CIA (referred to as Securing the Group). In November 2008 the Holy Land Foundation was found guilty of illegally funding Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is designated by the United States as a terrorist group.

Criticisms of the Muslim Brotherhood

Motives

Numerous officials and reporters question the sincerity of the MB’s pronouncements. These critics include, but are not limited to:

  • U.S. White House counterterrorism chief Juan Zarate under George W. Bush, who says “The Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians.”
  • Raymond Ibrahim, editor of The Al Qaeda Reader, who notes that Muhammad himself described war as “deceit” and that Muslim Brotherhood disciples, past and present, merely duplicate the “everlasting words of Allah,” as iterated in the Qur’an.
  • Miles Axe Copeland, Jr. -a prominent U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative who was one of the founding members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under William Donovan– divulges the confessions of numerous members of the Muslim brotherhood that resulted from the harsh interrogations done against them by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, for their alleged involvement in the assassination attempt made against Nasser (an assassination attempt that many believe was staged by Nasser himself ), which revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood was merely a “guild” that fulfilled the goals of western interests: “Nor was that all. Sound beatings of the Moslem Brotherhood organizers who had been arrested revealed that the organization had been thoroughly penetrated, at the top, by the British, American, French and Soviet intelligence services, any one of which could either make active use of it or blow it up, whichever best suited its purposes. Important lesson: fanaticism is no insurance against corruption; indeed, the two are highly compatible.” .
  • Douglas Farah, a veteran international reporter who describes current Muslim Brotherhood propaganda as a “charm offensive.”
  • Former U.S. Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross, who told Asharq Alawsat newspaper that the Muslim Brotherhood is a global, not a local organization, governed by a Shura (Consultative) Council, which rejects cessation of violence in Israel, and supports violence to achieve its political objectives elsewhere too.
  • Magdy Khalil, executive editor of Egypt’s Watani International, who reports consistent MB deceit concerning Egypt’s 12.5% Coptic Christian population, so as to oppress and dhimmify them.
  • The Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz has stated that the Muslim Brotherhood organization was the cause of most problems in the Arab world. ‘The Brotherhood has done great damage to Saudi Arabia,’ he said. Prince Naif accused the foremost Islamist group in the Arab world of harming the interests of Muslims. ‘All our problems come from the Muslim Brotherhood. We have given too much support to this group…” “The Muslim Brotherhood has destroyed the Arab world,’ he said. ‘Whenever they got into difficulty or found their freedom restricted in their own countries, Brotherhood activists found refuge in the Kingdom which protected their lives… But they later turned against the Kingdom…’ The Muslim Brotherhood has links to groups across the Arab world, including Jordan’s main parliamentary opposition, the ‘Islamic Action Front,’ and the ‘Palestinian resistance movement, ‘Hamas.” The Interior Minister’s outburst against the Brotherhood came amid mounting criticism in the United States of Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for Islamist groups around the world…”

Links to violence

  • The Brotherhood is widely believed to have had a “secret apparatus” responsible for attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha, the Egyptian Prime Minister in 1948[84] and the president of Egypt in 1981
  • Rachel Aspden‘s article, The Rise of the Brotherhood states that The Muslim Brotherhood currently advocates suicide bombing attacks on civilians to fight Zionism, and its self-admitted Palestinian wing Hamas indiscriminately targets Jews as such, both civilians and the military, in Israel.[86] In its Charter, Hamas cites The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and prophesizes the ultimate complete annihilation of Jewry.
  • Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff reported connections between al-Qaeda and Brotherhood figures Mamoun Darkazanli and Youssef Nada.
  • A similar article in the Financial Times reported financial links between 74-year-old Swiss Muslim convert, and businessman Ahmed Huber, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, notably Youssef Nada, Ali Ghaleb Himmat. According to the U.S. government, Al Taqwa “has long acted as financial advisers to al-Qaeda.” Huber is noted in Europe for his links with alleged neo-Nazi and other far right elements. He is reported to have “confirmed” having “had contact with associates of Osama bin Laden at an Islamic conference in Beirut,” whom he called `very discreet, well-educated, very intelligent people.
  • Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi was an influential lobbyist and founder and head of the Brotherhood-linked American Muslim Council before being convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison for conspiracy to murder Saudi Prince Abdullah at the behest of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Status of non-Muslims

  • In 1997 Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mustafa Mashhur told journalist Khalid Daoud that he thought Egypt’s Coptic Christians should pay the long-abandoned jizya poll tax, levied on non-Muslims in exchange for protection from the state, rationalized by the fact that non-Muslims are exempt from military service while it is compulsory for Muslims. He went on to say, “we do not mind having Christians members in the People’s Assembly…the top officials, especially in the army, should be Muslims since we are a Muslim country…This is necessary because when a Christian country attacks the Muslim country and the army has Christian elements, they can facilitate our defeat by the enemy.”
  • The Muslim Brotherhood has from its beginnings had a very hostile view of Jews, considering them amongst the ultimate enemies of Islam. The influence of Nazi propaganda and literature from the 1930s and 40s has deepened this view.

Response to criticism

The Brotherhood itself denounces the “catchy and effective terms and phrases” like “fundamentalist” and “political Islam” which it claims are used by “Western Media” to pigeonhole the group, and points to its “15 Principles” for an Egyptian National Charter, including “freedom of personal conviction… opinion… forming political parties… public gatherings… free and fair elections…”

Similarly, some analysts maintain that whatever the source of modern Jihadi terrorism and the actions and words of some rogue members, the Brotherhood now has little in common with radical Islamists and modern jihadists who often condemn the Brotherhood as too moderate. They also deny the existence of any centralized and secretive global MB leadership.[96] Some claim that the origins of modern Muslim terrorism are found in Wahhabi ideology.

65 years later

What happened to the radiation that lasts thousands of years?

HIROSHIMA 1945
We all know that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in August 1945 after explosion of atomic bombs.




However, we know little about the progress made by the people of that land during the past 64 years.
HIROSHIMA – 64 YEARS LATER








DETROIT – 65 YEARS AFTER HIROSHIMA








What has caused more long term destruction – the A-bomb, or U. S. Government welfare programs created to buy the votes of those who want someone to take care of them?

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