Posts Tagged ‘The Good of the Order | Tags: Barack Obama’
Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi
- The Muslim Brotherhood is increasingly at the center of a heated political controversy in the U.S. and among its Western allies. Foreign Affairs, an important weathervane of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, featured in its March-April issue an article by Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood had become a moderate organization.
- The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the British House of Commons issued a report in the summer of 2007 concluding: “As long as the Muslim Brotherhood expresses a commitment to the democratic process and non-violence, we recommend that the British Government should engage with it and seek to influence its members.” Ironically, while prominent voices in the West are calling for a new political dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Arab world many serious analysts warn about its continuing violent nature and global ambitions.
- At a meeting of the National Defense and Security Committee of the Egyptian Parliament held in January 2007, Muslim Brotherhood parliament member Mohammed Shaker Sanar openly admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood was not committed to Western democratic values. He said that nothing about the organization had changed. “The organization was founded in 1928 to reestablish the Caliphate destroyed by Ataturk….With Allah’s help [the Muslim Brotherhood] will institute the law of Allah.”
- This year, newly revealed federal court documents that were accepted into evidence during the trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation revealed further the inner thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood about its global mission. A sixteen-page Arabic document discloses: “The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.”
- The Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda differ regarding tactics but share a common strategy. Al-Qaeda favors an implacable jihad to destroy the economies of the Western countries. The Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism and jihad against foreign presence in the Islamic world, but its top priority is constructing a Muslim infrastructure in the West which will slowly but surely enable it to rule during the 21st century. As far as the final goal is concerned, there are no policy differences between al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The two organizations have the same objective: to place the entire world under an Islamic caliphate.
The Muslim Brotherhood is increasingly at the center of a heated political controversy in the U.S. and among its Western allies. On April 23, Newsweek speculated about whether the attendance of a Muslim Brotherhood leader at a diplomatic party held by the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Francis Ricciardone, might signal a shift in the Bush administration’s policy toward the worldwide radical Islamic movement. Indeed, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also had a brief exchange with the Muslim Brotherhood member at the event, where he heard a brief rationalization of the policies of Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch that has engaged in suicide bombing attacks and is recognized as an international terrorist organization.
Finally, Foreign Affairs, an important weathervane of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, featured in its March-April issue an article by Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood had become a moderate organization.1 The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which seeks to reach out and influence the American political system posted on its website the Foreign Affairs piece on the Muslim Brotherhood. And James Traub echoed many of their arguments in the New York Times Magazine on April 29, 2007, in which he claimed that “the Muslim Brotherhood, for all its rhetorical support of Hamas, could well be precisely the kind of moderate Islamic body that the administration says it seeks.”
The opening of a relationship between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood would represent a major reversal in U.S. policy in the war on terrorism. After all, the Muslim Brotherhood has been widely regarded in the Arab world as the incubator of the jihadist ideology that led to the rise of radical Islamic militant organizations. A former Kuwaiti Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmad Al-Rab’i, argued in Al-Sharq al-Awsat on July 25, 2005, that the founders of most modern terrorist groups in the Middle East emerged from “the mantle” of the Muslim Brotherhood.2 A recently disclosed British Foreign Office memo from January 17, 2006, which was leaked to The New Statesman, indeed admitted, “The Egyptian Government perceives the Muslim Brotherhood to be the political face of a terrorist organization.”
Ironically, while prominent voices in the West are considering opening a political dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Middle East many columnists are still warning about its hostile intentions. Thus, Tariq Hasan, a columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, alerted his readers on June 23, 2007, that the Muslim Brotherhood was preparing a violent takeover in Egypt, using its “masked militias” in order to replicate the Hamas seizure of power in the Gaza Strip.3 And writing on October 23, 2007, in the Saudi-owned Al-Sharq al-Awsat, columnist Hussein Shobokshi wrote that “to this day” the Muslim Brotherhood “has brought nothing but fanaticism, divisions, and extremism, and in some cases bloodshed and killings.” Thus, both Arab regimes and leading opinion-makers in Arab states still have serious reservations about the claim of a new moderation in the Muslim Brotherhood.
There are understandable reasons why Arab regimes reach such conclusions; Abdullah Azzam, the teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden, was a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. Bin Laden’s current deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was heavily influenced by the ideology of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.4 And Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, joined the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait in his youth.5 Even in recent years the Muslim Brotherhood’s publication in London, Risalat al-Ikhwan, maintained its jihadist orientation; it featured at the top of its cover page in 2001 the slogan, “Our mission: world domination” (siyadat al-dunya). This header was changed after 9/11, but the publication still carried the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto which includes: “jihad is our path; martyrdom is our aspiration.”
Despite this unambiguous historical record, parts of the U.S. intelligence establishment have in the past entertained working with the Muslim Brotherhood. Robert Baer, who was a CIA case officer in the Middle East for its Directorate of Operations, describes how the CIA’s station chief in Khartoum, Milton Beardon, did not reject the idea of working with members of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood in order to topple the Libyan leader, Mu’ammar Qaddafi.6 In 1986, Bearden would go on to become the CIA station chief in Islamabad, where he became instrumental in working with the most militant Afghan mujahideen, many of whom were allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadi groups, in their war against the Soviet Union.7
In 2005, after his retirement, Bearden would join other ex-intelligence officials, like Alastair Crooke, from Britain’s MI-6, in seeking to launch a dialogue in Beirut with radical fundamentalist groups, including the Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, and Hamas.8 Thus even though the work of Western intelligence agencies in the 1980s produced the “blowback” that was witnessed with the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s, there has been a constant school of thought in the West believing in the advisability of working with the representatives of radical Islam, in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular.
Indeed this school of thought has been making important inroads; the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the British House of Commons issued a report in the summer of 2007 concluding: “As long as the Muslim Brotherhood expresses a commitment to the democratic process and non-violence, we recommend that the British Government should engage with it and seek to influence its members.”9 The underlying assumption of this recommendation is that the Muslim Brotherhood has indeed become a more moderate organization, just as Leiken and Brooke argue in their Foreign Affairs article. For that reason, it is important to carefully analyze their arguments in order to ascertain whether they have any basis
U.S. Policy Toward Radical Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood Debate
The September 11 attack prompted the American administration to change both its domestic and foreign policies and to initiate a comprehensive campaign against radical Islam, which preaches global jihad, and the countries developing weapons of mass destruction that threaten the United States. Promoting the idea of democracy is at the core of President Bush’s foreign policy, which seeks to support democratic governments or those aspiring to democracy and to exert pressure on the Arab regimes to adopt the principles of democracy and human rights as a way of battling religious fundamentalism. The president’s initiative kindled an argument between those who regard it as an effective way of creating an alternative to the Al-Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood school of radical Islam and those who feel that conditions in the Middle East are not yet ripe and that such an initiative is liable to achieve the opposite result and pave the way for a radical Islamic takeover of the current regimes.
Dr. Robert S. Leiken, director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center in Washington, and Steven Brooke, a researcher at the Center, have called upon the American administration to institute a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood to promote democratization in the Islamic world. They published an article in the March-April 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs called “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood” in which they advise the American administration to enter into a strategic alliance with the organization, which they refer to as “moderate,” calling it a “notable opportunity” to use the Brotherhood to promote American interests.
They have also written that “When it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood, the beginning of wisdom lies in differentiating it from radical Islam and recognizing the signiﬁcant differences between [the] national Brotherhood organizations [operating in various parts of the world]. That diversity suggests Washington should adopt a case-by-case approach, letting the situation in each individual country determine when talking with – or even working with – [the branches of] the Brotherhood is feasible and appropriate….Washington should be taking stock of its interests and capabilities in the Muslim world – a conversation with the Muslim Brotherhood makes strong strategic sense.”
Leiken and Brooke based their recommendation on the assumptions that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate, has a constructive approach to democracy, and is a potential partner for America and the West. This article will contrast Leiken and Brooke’s main arguments with facts taken from official, public Muslim Brotherhood sources.
Leiken and Brooke: The Muslim Brotherhood has Embraced Democratic Western Values
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna as an organization seeking to combat the secularization of the emerging Egyptian state. But it evolved into an organization that saw itself struggling against Western civilization, as a whole, in order to advance what it defined as Muslim civilization.10 It quickly spread and established branches in dozens of countries within the Middle East and even beyond.
According to Leiken and Brooke,
The Muslim Brotherhood is a collection of national groups with differing outlooks, and the various factions disagree about how best to advance its mission. But all reject global jihad while embracing elections and other features of democracy….The [Muslim Brotherhood] followed the path of toleration and eventually came to find democracy compatible with its notion of slow Islamization.
A distinction should be made between how the Muslim Brotherhood regards democracy [as positive] and how Al-Qaeda regards it [as infidel]….Many analysts, meanwhile, sensibly question whether the Brotherhood’s adherence to democracy is merely tactical and transitory….There is slim evidence that the Brotherhood has pondered what it would do with power. Although it has been prodded by the electoral process to deﬁne as its slogan “Islam Is the Solution”….And in extensive conversations with the Muslim Brotherhood’s disparate allies throughout the Middle East, we heard many expressions of conﬁdence that it would honor democratic processes.
The Muslim Brotherhood does indeed participate in political activity and defend the democratic process. That is not, however, because it has accepted the principles of Western democracy as Leiken and Brooke have claimed, but rather because the democratic process can be exploited to establish an Islamic regime which will then obviate democracy, as was made evident by its platform in the 2007 Egyptian parliamentary elections.11 The organization claimed to be participating in the elections because “the Muslim Brotherhood preaches the path of Allah…[and therefore it is participating] to fulfill Allah’s commands in peaceful ways, using existing constitutional institutions and a decision determined by the ballot box.” That is, democracy is Islam’s ingress to power. The Muslim Brotherhood platform also noted that “the rule in [Egypt] must be republican, parliamentary, constitutional and democratic in accordance with the Islamic Sharia,” and that “the Sharia ensures liberty for all.” The organization does not accept the principle of the separation of church and state, and the Islamic rule they aspire to is, for them, a realization of democracy.
Leiken, Brooke and the Muslim Brotherhood all use the same word, democracy, but their definitions and interpretations are worlds apart. Interviewed on September 17, 2007, by the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Karama,12 Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef said that the organization’s campaign slogan would be “The Sharia is the Solution” and that human rights and democracy would be included under Sharia rule. He devoted his May 12, 2007, weekly missive to an exposition of democracy as seen through Muslim Brotherhood eyes. He said that only Islam, which was given to men by Allah, was the expression of true democracy. He wrote that “Islam preceded…doctrines and ideologies devised by men. The final, absolute message from heaven contains all the values which the secular world claims to have invented….Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true democracy, exemplified by the Shura [the advisory council under the Caliphs] and Islam’s respect for the equality of other religions….With regard to liberty, Islam reached a goal which secular preachers have not, for the liberty promised by Islam is genuine in every way, even in faith and religion….As to the claim that Islam does not recognize civil authority, the authority of Islam is democratic…it is genuine liberty, it provides equality in practice and is transparent, it neither oppresses nor robs any man of his rights….It is on that foundation and with those values that the Muslim Brotherhood calls for justice, equality, and liberty.”13
‘Akef has never equivocated regarding his views on Western democracy. On April 30, 2005, he told the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram that the Muslim Brotherhood opposed American democracy because it was “corrupt and serves the American agenda….The Muslim Brotherhood has held demonstrations against foreign intervention and against any democracy that serves the Americans….[American] democracy is corrupt because it wants to destroy the [Islamic] nation, its faith and tradition.”14 He told the BBC that Western democracy was “unrealistic” and “false.”15
One of ‘Akef’s examples of America’s “corrupt values” is the attempt to stop female circumcision in Africa. On July 12, 2007, he wrote that “[the Americans] spend billions of dollars and endlessly plot to change the Muslim way of life, they wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the Pharaohs.”16
Leiken and Brooke: The Muslim Brotherhood Opposes Jihad against the West and Does Not Incite Muslims to Wage Jihad
According to Leiken and Brooke, the Muslim Brotherhood deters Muslims from violence and channels them into politics and charity work. They based that claim on having been told the following:
- A senior member of the Egyptian Brotherhood’s Guidance Council in Cairo said, “If it weren’t for the Brotherhood, most of the youths of this era would have chosen the path of violence.”
- The leader of the Jordanian Islamic Action Front, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in Jordan, said that his group outdoes the government in discouraging jihad: “We’re better able to conduct an intellectual confrontation…[than] a security confrontation with the forces of extremism and fanaticism.”
- The Brotherhood claims success at sifting radicalism out of its ranks through organizational discipline and a painstaking educational program….If a Muslim Brother wishes to commit violence, he generally leaves the organization to do so…[and is] more likely to join the moderate center rather than to take up jihad.
- The Muslim Brothers are intent on achieving national [not global] goals, as opposed to the jihadists who want international murder….The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt pursues internal issues, not jihad.
However, according to the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad, that is, holy war against the infidels, is one of the fundamental elements spread by the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization’s ideology, as it appears on its official website, regards “the prophet Muhammad as its leader and ruler, and jihad as its path.”17 Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense, it is the unceasing attack on every infidel rule, intended to widen the borders of the Islamic state until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.
Clicking the links “The Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “Muslim Brotherhood Measures” leads to explanations of jihad based on the writings of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Jihad, it is noted, is Islam’s most important tool in effecting a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim countries, moving on to reestablishing the Caliphate over three continents in preparation for a conquest of the West, and finally instituting a global Islamic state. The following are quotations from the organization’s website:
We want a Muslim individual, a Muslim home, a Muslim people, a Muslim government and state that will lead the Islamic countries and bring into the fold the Muslim Diaspora and the lands robbed from Islam and will then bear the standard of jihad and the call [da'wah] to Allah. [Then the] world will happily accept the precepts of Islam….The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed.18
The goal is to establish one Islamic state of united Islamic countries, one nation under one leadership whose mission will be to reinforce adherence to the law of Allah…and the strengthening of the Islamic presence in the world arena….The goal…is the establishment of a world Islamic state.19
And if prayer is a pillar of the faith, then jihad is its summit…and death in the path of Allah is the summit of aspiration.20
It is evident that the Muslim Brotherhood does not hide its global aspirations and the violent path it intends to follow to achieve them. The Muslim Brothers are meticulous in their step-by-step plan first to take over the soul of the individual and then the family, people, nation and union of Islamic nations, until the global Islamic state has been realized. The principle of stages dictates the Muslim Brotherhood’s supposed “moderation,” which impressed Leiken and Brooke so deeply. However, that “moderation” will gradually vanish as Muslim Brotherhood achievements increase and acceptance of the existing situation is replaced by a strict, orthodox Muslim rule whose foreign policy is based on jihad.
Unlike Leiken and Brooke, who minimize the importance of jihad in the Muslim Brotherhood’s world concept, for ‘Akef it is at the center of the struggle against the United States, the West, Israel, and other infidel regimes. He regards Islam as waging “a battle of values and identity” against the forces of “imperialism” and the “Anglo-Saxons” attacking the Arab-Muslim world “on the pretext of spreading democracy, defending minority rights, and opposing what they call terrorism.” He advises Muslims to adopt “the culture of resistance against the invasion,” explaining that Allah gave “the occupied, oppressed nations jihad and resistance as a means of achieving freedom.” He added that “the culture of resistance to invasion and occupation have intellectual, military, and economic aspects. Experience in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan have proved that resistance is not imaginary or fictitious or impossible, but rather it is possible when the [Islamic] nation presents a united front and uses its weapons and faith to face an imperialist, whether he comes with arms or inundates us with his ideas, values, or obsolete morality.”21
In a recent weekly missive, ‘Akef declared a new strategy adopted by the Brotherhood to confront Western imperialism and the satanic alliance between the U.S. and Israel based on supporting the “resistance” in any Muslim country under foreign occupation, including Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. For the first time, ‘Akef called upon the Brotherhood to grant not only financial and material support but to join the resistance to achieve freedom for the Muslim nation.22
One of the planks of the Muslim Brotherhood platform in the Egyptian Parliamentary elections in 2005 dealt expressly with that aspect, stating that “it is important to support national resistance movements in all the occupied Arab lands in every way possible.”23 During the war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah during the summer of 2006, ‘Akef called upon Egyptian President Mubarak and the other Arab leaders to support “the Lebanese resistance,” and it was implied that the Muslim Brotherhood had a broad military infrastructure in place. ‘Akef said that he was “prepared to send 10,000 jihad fighters immediately to fight at the side of Hezbollah” if the Egyptian government would permit it.24
The links between the Muslim Brotherhood and global terrorism were also made evident by the reception Hassan al-Turabi, a high-ranking Muslim Brother and at that time one of the heads of Sudan, provided for Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s. In 1991, accepting al-Turabi’s personal invitation, Osama bin Laden moved from Saudi Arabia to Sudan and established a terrorist network there. In addition, al-Turabi founded the Popular Arab and Islamic Conference, some of whose members were the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and the Egyptian Jihad. The Conference met in April 1991, December 1993, and March 1995.25 In August 1993, in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center, the United States included Sudan in its designated list of terrorism sponsoring states.26 Prior to the U.S. led attack on the Taliban regime, the Muslim Brotherhood actually had training camps in Afghanistan, where it worked with Kashmiri militants and sought to expand its influence in Central Asian states, especially Tajikistan.27
Similarly, in the Gaza Strip, Hamas (the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) enables the various Islamic terrorist organizations – including Al-Qaeda branches – to operate unhampered. One of the factions, the Army of the Nation (more commonly known as the Army of Islam and openly boasts of direct connections with Al-Qaeda), participated in joint terrorist attacks with Hamas and was responsible for the abduction of BBC journalist Alan Johnston in March 2007. Sources in the Gaza Strip said that to secure Johnston’s release, Hamas gave it $5 million and more than a million rounds of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles and promised not to harm its operatives.28 Interviewed for the Ilaf Website on July 17, 2007, Abu Ashur, right-hand man of Army of Islam chief Mumtaz Durmush, admitted that the Army of Islam had “adopted Al-Qaeda’s principles” and was working toward the establishment of an Islamic state in the Gaza Strip and the liberation of Palestine. He said that Al-Qaeda both sent money to finance the Army of Islam and gave it instructions.29
Leiken and Brooke: The Muslim Brotherhood Does Not Reject the Possibility of Recognizing the State of Israel
Even on the central issue of Israel, each national organization calls its own tune. Every Muslim Brotherhood leader with whom [Leiken and Brooke] spoke claimed a willingness to follow suit should Hamas recognize the Jewish state….Zawahiri expressed the jihadist view saying, “No one has the right, whether Palestinian or not, to abandon a grain of soil from Palestine, which was a Muslim land and which was occupied by inﬁdels.” The Muslim Brotherhood does not stress the religious aspect, and that enrages the jihadists. Compare the statement from the Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who argues that “the enmity between us and the Jews is for the sake of land only,” with this one from Zawahiri: “[Allah], glory to Him, made religion the cause of enmity and the cause of our ﬁght.”
Yet in reality, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership has repeatedly proclaimed that the movement will never recognize the State of Israel or its right to exist.30 ‘Akef, interviewed by the daily Filisteen al-Muslima in 2005, glorified in the increase in the number of Palestinian “resistance organizations” [i.e., terrorist organizations], calling them “a great blessing,” if only they would all unite to work for “the genuine goal, the expulsion of the Zionists from the land of Palestine.” He called the State of Israel “a foreign body which by virtue of its nature cannot remain where it is.”31 In October 2007, he again stated that the Muslim Brotherhood vigorously opposed the idea of recognizing Israel and that this position was “one of the movement’s basic principles and will not be negotiated.” He said that “as far as the movement is concerned, Israel is a Zionist entity occupying holy Arab and Islamic lands…and we will get rid of it no matter how long it takes.”32
Completely contradicting Leiken and Brooke’s claims, the Muslim Brotherhood justifies its position toward Israel with religious arguments similar to those of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s second in command. ‘Akef, like Zawahiri, has said that “no one has the right to give up one inch of Palestinian soil, for the land of Palestine is the natural right of its [Arab] inhabitants and of all Arabs and Muslims.” He has also said that “those rights [of Muslims to Palestine] cannot be negotiated, and no one can waive them, nor does posterity have the right to waive them under any pretext….Our religion does not permit acceptance of the loss of the land and the contamination of the holy places.”33
Therefore, the Muslim Brotherhood fully agrees with Al-Qaeda regarding Palestine, basing its position on the Islamic faith and on jihad as the way of achieving the final goal. That goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of a state ruled by Islamic law on its ruins. Leiken and Brooke’s claim that Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has moderate views regarding Israel is extremely strange, to say the least. Qaradawi is known for his radical fatwas, for providing religious Islamic justification for carrying out suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians, for a fatwa permitting Palestinian women to carry out such attacks,34 for brainwashing Palestinian youth into joining the jihad, and for raising funds for charitable societies in the Palestinian Authority affiliated with Hamas.35 Sheikh Qaradawi, considered Hamas’ spiritual mentor, is well known in the Muslim world, is often interviewed, and often expresses his opinions publicly. Thus it is particularly strange that his views were not known to Leiken and Brooke.
Like Zawahiri, Qaradawi’s view of the Jews is filtered through religious hatred. He has written that “today the Jews are not the Israelites praised by Allah, but the descendants of the Israelites who defied His word. Allah was angry with them and turned them into monkeys and pigs, and that is why they are called a stiff-necked race. Allah pledged they would suffer until they gave up their tyranny, corruption, and crime, which is what they have employed in Palestine. Among the slaves of Allah, the faithful will be those who carry out Allah’s pledge regarding the Jews.” He also said that today the Jews have the same character faults as the Jews in the Qur’an, “they are evil, deceitful, and violate agreements.”36 The future will lead to a total victory of Muslims over Jews: “There is no doubt,” he said, “that the battle in which the Muslims overcome the Jews [will come]…. In that battle the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them.”37
Leiken and Brooke: The Muslim Brotherhood is Not an International Organization with a Single Agenda
According to Leiken and Brooke, there is no Islamist Comintern. The Brotherhood’s dreaded International Organization is in fact a loose and feeble coalition scarcely able to convene its own members….The ideological affiliations that link Brotherhood organizations internationally are subject to the national priorities that shape each individually.
In a December 2005 interview with the London-based daily newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, ‘Akef boasted that the movement was “the largest organization in the world,” and said that “a [Muslim] person who is in the global arena and believes in the Muslim Brotherhood’s path is considered part of us and we are part of him.”38 In a different interview he revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood operated in more than 70 countries. When asked if the Muslim Brotherhood leader served all the movement’s branches, he answered that it did, saying “the Muslim Brothers have the same guide [leader] all over the world. And [the heads of the movement's branches] outside Egypt have the title of Inspector General. Every region is free to make its own decisions and determine its own policy, but there are certain general issues on which we take a stand.”39
In an in-depth interview with Al-Jazeera, Yusuf Nada, the Muslim Brotherhood’s “foreign minister,” explained the relations between the world leadership in Egypt and the various branches around the world. He said that the movement had one guide [i.e., Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef] and no other. There were, he said, representatives who met for specific purposes. When asked if the Shura council operated the various branches, Nada answered in the affirmative.40
In an interview with Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Sheikh Kamal Helbawy, the founder of the Muslim Association of Britain and one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, revealed how the Muslim Brotherhood operated globally. He said there was “coordination at the global level… similar to federal [coordination]. Meetings and consultations are held [regularly]….Every aspect is the subject of consultations….The Muslim Brotherhood’s main headquarters are in Egypt, and the Supreme Guide is Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef. There are independent organizations [i.e., within the federal structure] outside Egypt….International coordination has not ceased and will never cease, unless there are the means [for collaboration], which will hopefully bring about…the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate following the path of the prophet [Muhammad]….Coordination is continuous in the Islamic movement [the Muslim Brotherhood] between regions, not individuals. The regions choose whoever is capable of participating in international coordination [that is, in the Shura council]….In regions where Islamic movement activity is just beginning, the focus is usually on construction, education, and studies, guided by activists preparing for the future.”41
Therefore, it can be seen that Muslim Brotherhood authority rests with the Supreme Guide, Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef, but the branches in the various host countries are able to act independently as necessary. The situation of Muslim Brotherhood activists in Syria, where the organization’s activities are banned by law, is different from that in Jordan, where they can operate freely. Every branch throughout the world is committed to the movement’s ideology as set down by Hassan al-Banna and to the decisions made by the world leadership. Thus the policies expressed by ‘Akef are binding and are the true voice of the movement.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Goals
Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, a staunch Islamist, who in the past was a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, issued a fatwa in April 2003, describing how Islam would conquer Europe and defeat Christianity by exploiting Western liberalism and democracy. It would be made possible, he promised, by spreading Islam until it was strong enough to take over the entire continent. He wrote that “it is eminently clear that the future belongs to Islam, and that the religion of Allah will be victorious and will, by the grace of Allah, conquer all other religions.” His prediction was based on an Islamic tradition according to which the prophet Muhammad said that one of the signs of redemption in Islam would be the initial conquest of Constantinople and then the conquest of Rome.
According to Qaradawi, “Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by a 23-year old Ottoman named Muhammad ibn Murad, whom we call Muhammad the Conqueror. Now what remains is to conquer Rome. That is what we wish for, and that is what we believe in. After having been expelled twice, Islam will be victorious and reconquer Europe….I am certain that this time, victory will be won not by the sword but by preaching and [Islamic] ideology….The conquest of Rome and the spread of Islam East and West will be the fruit of the seed we plant and entail the return of the Caliphate, which treads the straight path [of Islam] and is based on the path of the prophets….[The Caliphate] is worthy of leading the nation to victory.”42
Like Qaradawi, ‘Akef does not hide the Muslim Brotherhood’s aspirations to lead a world Islamic revolution. He has stated that “the path of the Muslims is global,” and Islam is the “religion of humanity.” The Caliphate, he explained, is “the home of the entire [Islamic] nation, not only of the Muslim Brotherhood….We want…the Arab-Muslim world to be one nation, relying on the words of Allah: ‘This is your nation, one nation.’”43
At a meeting of the National Defense and Security Committee of the Egyptian Parliament, held in January 2007, Muslim Brotherhood parliament member Mohammed Shaker Sanar openly admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood was not committed to Western democratic values. He said that nothing about the organization had changed. “The organization was founded in 1928 to reestablish the Caliphate destroyed by Ataturk….With Allah’s help [the Muslim Brotherhood] will institute the law of Allah.”44
This year newly revealed federal court documents, accepted into evidence during the trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, revealed further the inner thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood about its global mission. A sixteen-page Arabic document, entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group,” established that it sought to create “a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood.” In explaining the “role” of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, the memorandum discloses: “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 [i.e. Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”45
Conclusion and Evaluation
The thesis presented by Leiken and Brooke was inspired by impressions received during conversations with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose names are not mentioned and who are quoted neither fully nor accurately. It is clear that both Leiken and Brooke were duped by the ambiguity of their interlocutors’ rhetoric, which was tailored for Western ears and meant to lull suspicions and hide genuine intentions. Leiken and Brooke were deeply impressed by the support given by the Muslim Brotherhood for “democracy,” but they failed to understand that for the Muslim Brotherhood and the West, the word has two completely different meanings. As far as the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, Islamic rule expresses “true democracy,” and that is the only kind to which they are committed.
The Muslim Brotherhood poses a serious threat to the West. It hides behind ambiguous terminology, which makes the organization appear moderate and enables it to operate freely in its host countries, thereby establishing a convenient base from which to disseminate radical Islamic ideology among the growing Muslim communities. Once that has been achieved, demography and radically-minded public opinion will enable the Muslim Brotherhood to take over a government by “democratic” means. That will signal the last day of Western democracy in that country and the installation of an Islamic government, whose objective will be to export radical Islamic rule to other countries, the next step in realizing the vision of a world Caliphate. In Europe the sand is running out, and a showdown with the Muslim Brotherhood is closer than anyone suspects. However, to a certain extent, the focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict delays the realization of Islamic aspirations in Western Europe.
As far as the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, Spain is an occupied country, as are other regions in Europe that were once under Islamic control. The organization’s “pragmatism” is manifested by its willingness to postpone a confrontation until it has garnered sufficient political (or military) power to shake the ruling governments to their foundations and effect a complete reversal. The collapse of the moderate Arab regimes into radical Islamic hands is likely to accelerate the empowering of an Islamic state that regards the West and its culture as the chief enemy.
The Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda differ regarding tactics but share a common strategy. Al-Qaeda favors world Islamic recruitment for a revolution made possible by terrorist attacks and an implacable jihad to destroy the economies of the Western countries and expel Western presence from Muslim regions. The Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism and jihad against foreign presence in the Islamic world, but its top priority is constructing a Muslim infrastructure in the West that will slowly but surely enable it to rule during the 21st century. The organization’s stance is that an Al-Qaeda attack against the West at this time might hamper the Islamic movement’s buildup and focus the West on the threat implicit in Muslim communities. However, as far as the final goal is concerned, there are no policy differences between Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The two organizations have the same objective: to place the entire world under an Islamic caliphate.
The Muslim Brotherhood is involved in terrorism and provides religious Islamic justification for suicide bombing, terrorism, and terrorist attacks against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jihad in all its aspects, including military, is perceived as the prime tool in the battle against the West. It is difficult to find a common set of interests for the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood, as do Leiken and Brooke. Collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood, while turning a blind eye to their intentions, both overt and hidden, is tantamount to paving the way for their “democratic” takeover of the moderate Arab regimes (similar to the bitter experience of the Legislative Council elections in the Palestinian Authority in January 2006) and for harming the United States’ most vital interests in the Middle East. It is not easy to understand why Leiken and Brooke have recommended that the American administration consider the Muslim Brotherhood a potential partner, given that the United States is its principal enemy. The organization actively seeks to destroy America’s status as a world power and to replace it with an Islamic power whose foreign policy will be based on jihad and the spread of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood, today widely regarded as the largest Islamic movement in the world, was founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. Its member groups are dedicated to the motto: “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.”
Research analyst Lorenzo Vidino writes about The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe: “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.” Their 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. 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.”
Moreover, “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.”
The irony, according to Vidino, is that “Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna dreamed of spreading Islamism throughout Egypt and the Muslim world. He would never have dreamed that his vision might also become a reality in Europe.”
Al-Banna may not have believed that to be possible in the short run, but he did dream of conquering areas formerly under Islamic rule. German historian Egon Flaig quotes Banna as saying: “We want the flag of Islam to fly over those lands again who were lucky enough to be ruled by Islam for a time, and hear the call of the muezzin praise God. Then the light of Islam died out and they returned to disbelief. Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, Southern Italy and the Greek islands are all Islamic colonies which have to return to Islam’s embrace. The Mediterranean and the Red Sea have to become internal seas of Islam, as they used to be.”
One of the Brotherhood’s first pioneers in Europe was Sa’id Ramadan. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Sa’id Ramadan, who was al-Banna’s son-in-law, joined the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth. At the age of 20, Hassan al-Banna chose Sa’id to be his personal secretary and sent him to Palestine to establish a branch of the movement there. After World War II, when Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini returned to Palestine, Sa’id Ramadan helped him to form military groups for the struggle against the Jews. Al-Husseini was an active accomplice in the Holocaust and visited leading Nazis repeatedly. Terrorist organization Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the MB today.
After Hassan al-Banna’s assassination in 1949, Sa’id Ramadan returned to Egypt and became a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1954 he went to Jerusalem with another leading Brotherhood member, Sayyid Qutb, in order to participate in the World Islamic Conference, and was elected conference secretary-general.
In the late 1950s, Sa’id Ramadan managed to persuade Saudi Prince Faisal to help him establish Islamic centers in Europe’s main capitals. In 1958, he settled in Geneva and there founded the Islamic Center, which became the headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood members expelled from Egypt. In 1964, he opened Islamic centers in London and Munich, and became the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood abroad.
The oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia has for years granted an influx of money to the powerful Islamic Center of Geneva, Switzerland, now run by Sa’id’s son Hani Ramadan. He was made infamous by a 2002 article in the French daily Le Monde defending the stoning of adulterers to death. His brother Tariq Ramadan, a career “moderate Muslim,” later called for a “moratorium” on stoning. In 2008 it was announced that Hani Ramadan would receive SFr255,000, the equivalent of two years’ salary, in damages from the canton of Geneva. He was sacked in 2004 after defending the stoning of persons guilty of adultery. An appeal commission of the education department sided with Ramadan, annulling the termination. The government also agreed to pay Ramadan’s legal fees.
It was the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a follower of Hassan al-Banna in his youth, who directed the prayer at Sa’id Ramadan’s funeral in 1995, as Tariq Ramadan proudly reports. Sa’id Ramadan had close contacts with Brotherhood member Sayyid Qutb, whose writings have inspired countless Jihadists around the world, for instance terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. According to writer Paul Berman, Ramadan “not only knew Qutb; he was, at the crucial moment, Qutb’s most important supporter in the world of the Egyptian intellectuals. Said Ramadan was the editor who got Qutb started on what became his most important work.”
According to Dr. Ahmad Al-Rab’i, former Kuwaiti minister of education, “The beginnings of all of the religious terrorism that we are witnessing today were in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology of takfir [accusing other Muslims of apostasy]. Sayyid Qutb’s book Milestones was the inspiration and the guide for all of the takfir movements that came afterwards. The founders of the violent groups were raised on the Muslim Brotherhood, and those who worked with Bin Laden and Al-Qa’ida went out under the mantle of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, says decadent Europe will give way to an Islamized Europe. In the 21st century, “The West will begin its new decline, and the Arab-Islamic world its renewal” and ascent to seven centuries of world domination after seven centuries of decline. “Only Islam can achieve the synthesis between Christianity and humanism, and fill the spiritual void that afflicts the West.” All good people are implicitly Muslims “because true humanism is founded in Koranic revelations.” In a clash with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch-Somali critic of Islam, Ramadan said it was wrong to say that Europe had a Judeo-Christian past. “Islam is a European religion. The Muslims came here after the first and second world wars to rebuild Europe, not to colonise.”
Danish theologian Kirsten Sarauw writes in her article A Declaration of War Against the People of Europe that in 2007 in Vienna, Austria, a conference was held about so-called Euro-Islam. Prominent Muslim delegates formulated a strategic vision of a Europe dominated by Islam. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia, envisioned an “upcoming Islamic era.” The conference was in agreement about the first and foremost goal, namely the introduction of religious Islamic jurisprudence (sharia) in Europe, “in the beginning at least as a parallel system alongside national laws in European states.” As to the real meaning of sharia, they all agreed to avoid publicity as far as possible. According to Sarauw, Tariq Ramadan proclaimed that the real intentions of this work must be concealed from the general public.
In 2007 it was announced that Tariq Ramadan was to hold the Sultan of Oman chair of Islamology at the University of Leiden. Leiden is the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded in the sixteenth century by Prince William of Orange, the leader of the Dutch struggle for independence. Dutch Education and Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk said that he did not object to Ramadan’s appointment. Meanwhile, the Amsterdam city council, dominated by the Dutch Labour Party which receives many Muslim votes, developed teaching material warning school children against the opinions of Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilders.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research, headed by Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, is working on a Muslim Constitution for Europe that will be above national legislation. According to Tina Magaard from the University of Aarhus, behind these ambitions “lies decades of work.” Islamic groups have for years aimed at establishing their control over the Muslim communities, and in some cases have won official recognition from government bodies. According to Magaard, “The Imams and Islamists consider the cooperation with the state institutions a transfer of power. Now it is they who rule.”
Former Muslim Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, author of the excellent book “Global Jihad – The future in the face of Militant Islam,” warns that the Islamization going on in European cities is not happening by chance. It “is the result of a careful and deliberate strategy by certain Muslim leaders which was planned in 1980 when the Islamic Council of Europe published a book called Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States.” The instructions told Muslims to get together into viable communities, set up mosques, community centres and Islamic schools. To resist assimilation, they must group themselves geographically in areas of high Muslim concentration. According to Sookhdeo, the ultimate goal is Islamic rule in Europe.
Patrick Poole describes how discussion of a document called “The Project” so far has been limited to the top-secret world of Western intelligence communities. Only through the work of an intrepid Swiss journalist, Sylvain Besson, has information regarding The Project finally been made public. It was found in a raid of a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland on November 7, 2001. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years.
Included in the documents seized was a 14-page plan written in Arabic and dated December 1, 1982, which outlined a 12-point strategy to “establish an Islamic government on earth” – identified as The Project. According to testimony given to Swiss authorities by Nada, the unsigned document was prepared by “Islamic researchers.” It represents a flexible, multi-phased, long-term approach to the “cultural invasion” of the West.
Some of its recommendations include:
• Using deception to mask the intended goals of Islamic actions
• Building extensive social networks of schools, hospitals and charitable organizations
• Involving ideologically committed Muslims in institutions on all levels in the West, including government, NGOs, private organizations
• Instrumentally using existing Western institutions until they can be put into service of Islam
• Instituting alliances with Western “progressive” organizations that share similar goals.
As Patrick Poole says, “What is startling is how effectively the Islamist plan for conquest outlined in The Project has been implemented by Muslims in the West for more than two decades.”
Included in this work was the powerful Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Sylvain Besson and Scott Burgess note the striking similarities between Qaradawi’s publication, Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase and The Project. Qaradawi is backed by Saudi money and founded the major English language website IslamOnline, which has several hundred full-time employees and serves as an international outlet for his teachings. He is also leader of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, which spreads its rulings on sharia-related matters to mosques across Europe. He is based in Qatar, home to the influential Arabic satellite TV channel Al Jazeera, where he runs the popular program “Sharia and Life.” The intellectual Dr. Khaled Shawkat warns that Al Jazeera “has been hijacked” by the MB “to the extent that three or four Muslim Brotherhood members sometimes appear on a single news program.”
Yusuf al-Qaradawi was an important figure during the Muhammad cartoons riots in 2006 and was indirectly responsible for attacks against the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria. According to Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, “Clearly, the riots in Denmark and throughout the world were not spontaneous, but planned and organized well in advance by Islamist organizations that support the MB, and with funding mostly from Saudi Arabia.” The purpose was to impose sharia-style restrictions on free speech on Western nations.
Ehrenfeld and Lappen state that the Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring organizations employ the Flexibility strategy: “This strategy calls for a minority group of Muslims to use all ‘legal’ means to infiltrate majority-dominated, non-Muslim secular and religious institutions, starting with its universities. As a result, ‘Islamized’ Muslim and non-Muslim university graduates enter the nation’s workforce, including its government and civil service sectors, where they are poised to subvert law enforcement agencies, intelligence communities, military branches, foreign services, and financial institutions.”
Douglas Farah writes about the largely successful efforts by Islamic groups in the West to buy large amounts of real estate. Some groups are signing agreements to guarantee that they will only sell the land to other Muslims. The Brotherhood, particularly, is active in investments in properties and businesses across Europe, laying the groundwork for the future network that will be able to react rapidly and with great flexibility in case of another attempted crackdown on the group’s financial structure. Most of the money comes from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
According to Farah, the governments of Europe and the United States continue to allow these groups to flourish and seek for the “moderate” elements that can be embraced as a counter-balance to the “radical” elements: “We do not have a plan. They do. History shows that those that plan, anticipate and have a coherent strategy usually win. We are not winning.”
According to journalist Helle Merete Brix, Muhammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, aided by Saudi Arabia, gives large amounts of petrodollar to various organizations at the forefront of the Islamization of Europe, such as the European Council for Fatwa and Research headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Qaradawi has publicly boasted that “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror” and that Muslims will conquer Europe and the United States.
Former CIA director R. James Woolsey estimates that the Saudis have spent nearly $90 billion since the mid-1970s to export their ideology into Muslim and non-Muslim countries alike. That may well be a conservative estimate. Since the spike in oil prices following the embargo/financial Jihad in 1973, Arab and Muslim states have received trillions of dollars from the sale of oil and gas, probably the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. A significant portion of this money has been used to buy an army of hirelings and apologists in non-Muslim countries, as well as on financing the global Jihad.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, is an international investor ranked among the ten richest persons in the world. In 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp, the parent of Fox News. In December 2005 he boasted about his ability to change what viewers see. Covering the Jihad riots in France that fall, Fox ran a banner saying: “Muslim riots.” According to Talal, “I picked up the phone and called Murdoch… (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty. Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.”
Harvard University and Georgetown University have received $20 million donations from Prince bin Talal to finance Islamic studies. Martin Kramer, the author of “Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America,” said: “Prince Alwaleed knows that if you want to have an impact, places like Harvard or Georgetown, which is inside the Beltway, will make a difference.”
Georgetown said it would use the gift to expand its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The leaders of the Center, renamed to Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, say it now will be used to put on workshops regarding Islam, addressing U.S. policy towards the Muslim world, addressing Muslim citizenship and civil liberties, and developing exchange programs for students from the Muslim world.
Georgetown professor John Esposito, founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, has, probably more than any other academic, contributed to downplaying the global Jihadist threat. Kramer states that during the 1970s, Esposito had prepared his thesis under his Muslim mentor Ismail R. Faruqi, a Palestinian theorist of the “Islamization of knowledge.” During the first part of his career, Esposito never studied or taught at a major Middle East center. In the 80s, he published a series of favorable books on Islam. In 1993, Esposito arrived at Georgetown, and has later claimed the status of “authority” in the field.
Journalist Stanley Kurtz has demonstrated how the Saudis have managed to infiltrate the US education system and influence what American school children are taught about Islam and the Middle East, not just at the university level but also at lower levels.
Egyptian author Tarek Heggy warns that the Muslim Brotherhood “opposes the notion of a state based on democratic institutions, calling instead for an Islamic government based on the Shura (consultative assembly) system, veneration of the leader and the investiture of a Supreme Guide. In this, they are close to the model established by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran. (…) The Brotherhood calls for a constitutional and legal system based on the principles of Shari’a, including cruel corporal punishments in the penal code (stoning, lashing, cutting off the hands of thieves, etc.).”
Despite this, Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke published an article in Foreign Affairs about the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that the group has “rejected global Jihad” and “embraces democracy.” Several US Democratic members of Congress met with the head of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, despite that fact that the Egyptian MB has spawned several terrorist movements.
In a memo, the US State Department told its embassy in Cairo to launch a dialogue with religious groups because clashes with them would incite more attacks against US interests. They advised Washington to pressure the Egyptian government into allowing the MB to play a larger role in Egypt’s political landscape. There are signs that American authorities are reaching out to the Brotherhood. Steven Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, warns that “A lack of knowledge about the Muslim Brotherhood is evident on the part of U.S. officials who are now cozying up to the organization.”
As Youssef Ibrahim of the New York Sun comments, “For years, the Soviet Union benefited from those Vladimir Lenin is said to have dubbed ‘the useful idiots of the West’ — reporters, scholars, leftists, and assorted romantics who said the Soviet system of totalitarianism was not so bad.” He argues that the Brotherhood is now taking over this role. Ibrahim is tired of the silence from the Muslim majority: “In Islam, ‘silence is a sign of acceptance,’ as the Arabic Koranic saying goes. (…) The question that hangs in the air so spectacularly now — particularly as England has been confronted once again by British Muslims plotting to kill hundreds — is this: What exactly are the Europeans waiting for before they round up all those Muslim warriors and their families and send them back to where they came from?”
The current leader of the MB, Mohammad Mahdi Akef, called on its members to serve its global agenda, declaring “I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America.” On its English website, the Brotherhood professes moderation and praises Multiculturalism as a way to spread Islam. However, on their Arabic website, Akef in February 2007 reassured his followers that “the Jihad will lead to smashing Western civilization and replacing it with Islam which will dominate the world.” In the event that Muslims cannot achieve this goal in the near future, “Muslims are obliged to continue the Jihad that will cause the collapse of Western civilization and the ascendance of the Muslim civilization on its ruins.”
Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 with the vision of restoring the Islamic Caliphate. There are signs that his disciple Yusuf al-Qaradawi hasn’t given up this goal. In an interview with German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Qaradawi said: “Islam is a single nation, there is only one Islamic law and we all pray to a single God. Eventually such a nation will also become political reality. But whether that will be a federation of already existing states, a monarchy or an Islamic republic remains to be seen.” Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi, a Jordanian intellectual, states that: “The Caliphate has remained unchanged from 632 through 2004 – it has kept its primitive, simple tribal form (the elite’s allegiance to the sovereigns) – an un-democratic structure, despotic, and bloody except for a brief period of 12 years during the rule of Abu Baker and Omar Bin Al-Khattab [the first and second Caliphs]. (…) Since the time of [the Umayyad Caliph] Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan through the last Ottoman Sultan, (that is from the year 661 through the year 1924), the Islamic Caliphate was drenched with blood, and ruled by fist and sword – and even today the situation is the same in most of the Arab world.”
Nabulsi quotes al-Qaradawi as saying: “‘There are those who maintain that democracy is the rule of the people, but we want the rule of Allah.’ Such ideas] are a call for the Rule of Allah, discussed by Sayyid Qutb in his book ‘The Milestones.’ [Qutb] borrowed this idea from Pakistani intellectual Abu Al-’Ala Al-Mawdudi, who introduced the theory that authority is Allah’s, not the people’s, and that the sovereign is none other than Allah’s secretary and His representative on earth.”
In one essay, al-Qaradawi writes that: “Secularism may be accepted in a Christian society but it can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society. Christianity is devoid of a shari`ah or a comprehensive system of life to which its adherents should be committed.” However, “as Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (`ibadah) and legislation (Shari`ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari`ah,” and “the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari`ah is downright riddah [apostasy].”
The adoption of secular laws and equality for Muslims and non-Muslims amounts to apostasy. Harsh words from a man who has voiced support for the traditional sharia death penalty for those leaving Islam.
According to the major website Islam Online, which is owned by Yusuf al-Qaradawi and sponsored by rich Arabs, “Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted meaning of the word, confining its scope only to the private life of man. By saying that it is a complete way of life, we mean that it caters for all the fields of human existence. In fact, Islam provides guidance for all walks of life — individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, national and international.”
Famed historian Bernard Lewis in 2007 told The Jerusalem Post that Islam could soon be the dominant force in Europe. He warned that this Islamization could be assisted by “immigration and democracy.” It is a well-established fact that Muslims vote overwhelmingly for left-wing parties all over Europe.
According to journalist Salam Karam, “For the Muslim Brotherhood, Sweden is in many ways an ideal country, [and it] shares the ideals of the Social Democrats in their view of the welfare society. Leading figures in Muslim congregations are also active within the Social Democratic [Party], and have very good relations with Sweden’s Christian Social Democrats – Broderskapsrörelsen. The Social Democrats have, in turn, and perhaps as thanks for the support they receive from the mosque leadership, shown a tendency to shy away from the fact that there is extremism in some of our mosques. This has given the Muslim Brotherhood the freedom to force its ideology upon [the mosque's worshippers].”
Writer Nima Sanandaji states that “The Social Democratic party has started fishing for votes with the help of radical Muslims clergies.” They have been working with the influential Muslim leader Mahmoud Aldebe, president of Sweden’s Muslim Association, which is widely believed to be inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1999 Aldebe proposed that sharia – the Islamic law – be introduced in Sweden. The Social Democrat Ola Johansson has referred to the book Social Justice in Islam by the Jihadist ideologue Sayyid Qutb as proof that the Socialist ideology could find common ground with Islamic ideas. After the elections in 2002, the Muslim Association sent a congratulation letter to the re-elected Social Democratic Prime Minister Göran Persson, hoping that his party would work for implementing some of the sharia demands of the Association in the future. In 2007, the Social Democrats launched a formalized network for cooperation with Muslims, after they lost the elections the year before.
Walid al-Kubaisi, a Norwegian of Iraqi origins and a critic of sharia supporters, believes Yusuf al-Qaradawi is more dangerous than terrorist leader Osama bin Laden: “In Europe, the Muslim Brotherhood discovered a unique opportunity: Democracy. The democratic system leaves room for freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and finances religious communities and religious organizations. This has been utilized by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the Muslim communities, recruit members and build the Islamist networks that have become so visible lately.” Whereas bin Laden uses bombs, al-Qaradawi exploits democracy as a Trojan horse. The Brotherhood gets their activities financed from Germany, Britain etc. They gain recognition and infiltrate the democratic system.
According to Walid al-Kubaisi, the journalist Dr.Osama Fawzi has revealed that many of al-Qaradawi’s trips to Western countries are for the purpose of receiving medical aid and treatment for impotence because he is married to a girl 60 years younger than himself. Kubaisi, who writes Arabic fluently, sent an email to Qaradawi’s website, asking whether it was legal according to Islamic law to marry a nine-year-old girl. He got a “yes” in reply.
Muhammad himself, according to Islamic sources, married his wife Aisha when she was six years old and consummated the marriage when she was eight or nine. Since he is the perfect example to emulate for Muslims for time eternity, this is still legal in Islamic law today: Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
Narrated ‘Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been hailed as a “moderate Muslim” by people such as London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone, who represents the British Labour Party. Many Muslims voted for the Labour Party in previous elections, and London has a large and growing Muslim population. The cleric visited the UK in 2004, where he was welcomed by Livingstone, and chaired the annual meeting of the European Council of Fatwa and Research at London’s City Hall. In January 2008, prominent Muslims pledged to back Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London during the elections in May 2008. A statement praised Livingstone for his support of a Multicultural society and for protecting Muslim communities against Islamophobia, and said that “We pledge to continue our support for the mayor on all levels possible in order to secure his staying in office for a third term.” Among the 63 signatories was Tariq Ramadan.
In February 2008, al-Qaradawi was refused a visa to enter to the UK following pressure from British Conservatives. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that it deplored the decision, while the British Muslim Initiative (BMI) described the decision to bar al-Qaradawi as “an unwarranted insult to British Muslims.” Yusuf al-Qaradawi has called for the death penalty for homosexuality, for the destruction of the state of Israel, has defended suicide attacks and preaches that husbands should beat disobedient wives. He was also indirectly responsible for the torching of the Damascus embassies of NATO member states Denmark and Norway during the Muhammad cartoon riots in 2006.