Muslim Brotherhood

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Hitler financed the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1930’s and  the Nazis and the Arabs conspired together to murder Jews.

Barry Rubin on the Muslim Brotherhood


An extraordinary pdf file authored by the Rand Coorperation and requested by the
Obama aministration. 
It’s purpose is to re-define the 
 Muslim Brotherhood as a
non violent Islamic organization and role model. It was designed to
engage the American people into supporting this thesis.



The Muslim Brotherhood: Origins, Efficacy, and Reach
by Raymond Ibrahim
World Watch Monitor
July 4, 2013

Note: The following essay, commissioned and written nearly a year ago but only recently published, has, in light of the June 30 Revolution and ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, been slightly updated with additional bracketed text.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the most important Islamic organization in the world, with tentacles of influence everywhere, both in the Islamic world but also in the West, wherever its purpose—the establishment of a Sharia-enforcing caliphate—can be achieved. The efficacy of this group can be seen in the fact that, less than a century ago, when it was founded, it consisted of very few members; it was violent and eventually crushed and outlawed; today in Egypt, a MB leader, Muhammad Morsi, sits on the throne of the Middle East’s most strategic nation, ironically in the name of democracy, where he is trying to enable the totality of Sharia law in Egypt, even as
many resist.

History and Approach

The story of the Muslim Brotherhood, as with many other stories dealing with Islamic importance, begins in Egypt—which still serves as something of a paradigm of the group’s strategies and approach in general. Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949), the son of a mosque imam
and Sheikh of the Hanbali school of law, founded the Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan incorporated Sufi views, which tend to be more moderate and which teach, among other things, pragmatism and patience. Of course, in an Islamic context pragmatism and patience can easily take on the form of taqiyya and tawriya—Islamic doctrines that instruct Muslims to deceive when it is perceived to be in Islam’s interest—and may well explain how Banna came to develop the Muslim Brotherhood’s way of operating, to be discussed further below.

A school teacher and imam, Banna was reportedly very charismatic and pivotal to the subsequent growth of the movement, which, when he started it in 1922, consisted of only a handful of members but had burgeoned to half a million in as little as little as ten years. Banna did one thing that not only gave rise and prominence to the Muslim Brotherhood, but all Islamist organizations as well—including al-Qaeda, which is currently headed by Ayman Zawahiri, a onetime Muslim Brotherhood member: he helped politicize Islam at a time when it was seen at best as a personal matter, in much the same way modern-day Westerners view religion.

To understand this, one must understand the history of the Middle East. A few centuries after the chaotic times of the Islamic conquests, Islamic law, or Sharia (etymologically related to the words meaning “way” and “road”) was developed and held sway over Islamic lands, in this case Egypt for centuries. Thus, in this sense, Islam, from a historical point of view, has in fact wholly permeated the politics of Islamic law. For example, courts were all ruled according to Sharia dictates; the caliph, again, according to Sharia, was obligated to wage war, or jihad, on his non-Muslim neighbors; and so forth.

However, a new thing happened in 1798: a Frenchman—an infidel, Napoleon—invaded and conquered Egypt. This heralded a new paradigm—that the infidel West (then and often now seen as Christendom) was stronger, and thus better, than the Islamic world. To appreciate this idea fully, one must first understand that, since the time of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, the veracity of Islam and its Sharia have been tied to its temporal success, its ability to aggrandize and enrich its followers with land and warbooty, including slaves.

When Muhammad was just a “prophet” preaching to the Arabs, he spent a decade with nothing but a handful of followers. But when he styled himself as a warlord, attacking and plundering those who did not accept him as prophet, and thereby acquiring many victories and even more war booty for his growing number of followers, Arabians acquiesced to him and his message. Thus, from the start, the veracity of the prophet was tied to his military and temporal successes. The Islamic conquests, whereby Islam’s invading armies conquered much of the Old World—from India in the east to Spain in the west—were especial proof that the Islamic way, the Sharia,
was the right way. The West’s conquest and subsequent colonization shook this paradigm to its core, causing the majority of nominal Muslims to turn to the West and essentially westernize.

Accordingly, in the colonial era, and even when Muslims ruled Egypt, lots of reforms were made, the jizya was abolished, and political Islam lost its influence. Even if Islam was given formal respect, no self-respecting Egyptian would invoke the Sharia as a way to govern people; they adopted and promoted Western forms—in governance, politics, and even dress and culture. In early 20th century Egypt, especially in the cities, the hijab, or female veil, was a rare oddity. Today it is ubiquitous.

To appreciate this great change, consider the following anecdote. A rare video shows President Gamel Abdel Nasser speaking before a large assembly, and explaining to them how back in 1953 he wanted to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood, and met with its leader. According to Nasser, the very first demand of the Brotherhood leader was for the hijab to return to Egypt, “for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf.” The audience erupted in laughter at this, then, ludicrous demand; one person hollered “Let him wear it!” eliciting more laughter and applause. Nasser continued by saying he told the Brotherhood leader that if they enforced the
hijab, people would say Egypt had returned to the dark ages (to more laughter), adding that Egyptians should uphold such matters in the privacy of their own homes.

Such was the Egypt that Banna and others inherited. To overcome nearly two centuries of westernization, whereby most Egyptians knew little more about Islam than the five pillars, if that, Banna politicized Islam, making it as it once was. However, he and his followers eventually realized that their message would only resonate if: 1) they took a grass-roots approach to mobilizing Muslims—an approach which inevitably took longer, in this case decades, almost a century, but which as we are seeing has yielded great fruit, and 2) they instituted activism and propaganda, which eventually led to a complex, multi-layered organization, with members from
all walks of life, from peasants to professionals . The Muslim Brotherhood took advantage of pre-existing Islamic organizations—politicizing them, Islamizing them, and mobilizing them. Accordingly, many businesses, schools, and other organizations became attached to the Brotherhood, either formally or informally, as they continue to do to this day. Decades of this further fueled by the group’s humanitarian work with laypeople, led to an immense sense of loyalty to the group and always attracted new recruits.

No matter how humanitarian or social, Banna’s message, and the Brotherhood’s, was/is always couched in Islamic terms. Whether talking about colonialism, health-related issues, education, or nationalism, everything was articulated through an Islamic framework, subtly re-Islamizing the average Egyptian’s worldview. Major themes always hammered out included the loss of the caliphate, the weakness of the fragmented Islamic world, and the need to revive the caliphate and enforce Sharia law—the Islamic “way,” which was and is always portrayed as the supreme guide to justice and fair dealing.

It is significant to note that, though several General Guides of the Muslim Brotherhood have come and gone since Banna, the latter’s overall strategy and tactics have generally remained fixed, depending on the vicissitudes of the times, and the MB’s capacities and position vis-à-vis its opponents. To be sure, and perhaps inevitably, the MB, once it became relatively powerful, did engage in terror attacks, especially against the Nasser government, and ended up being outlawed. Banna himself was killed by government forces in 1949.

Due to its popularity, the MB was briefly legalized again, but only as a religious organization, and then banned again in 1954 due to its non-stop insistence that Egypt be governed under Sharia. Egyptian officials were assassinated, with attempts on Nasser’s life as well. The government retaliated swiftly, outlawing the group, imprisoning and torturing thousands of members, while others fled to sympathetic nations, especially Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

A few of the greatest MB leaders and agitators were also executed at this time. One member who was executed under Gamal in 1966 is of special note: Sayyid Qutb—today known as the “godfather” of modern Islamism. Perhaps no figure has impacted the modern Islamist movement as this man, who wrote prolifically and voluminously especially during his incarceration, producing two “classics” that are today still staples of any serious Islamist or jihadi: (in translation) In the Shade of the Quran (a multi-volume exegesis) and Sign Posts, a short primer that very well captures the phase-by-phase approach of the Muslim Brotherhood, the need to use both prudence and act only according to the reality on the ground, the chances of success. While Qutb stressed the need for stages, he also popularized the jihadi movement by arguing that the Islamic world was not sufficiently Islamic and thus needed a jihadi vanguard to overthrow jahiliyya, or the pre-Islamic state of ignorance the Muslim world was currently in.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “Three basic themes emerge from Qutb’s writings. First, he claimed that the world was beset with barbarism, licentiousness, and unbelief (a condition he called jahiliyya, the religious term for the period of ignorance prior to the revelations given to the prophet Mohammed). Qutb argued that humans can choose only between Islam and jahiliyya. Second, he warned that more people, including Muslims, were attracted to jahiliyya and its material comforts than to his view of Islam; jahiliyya could therefore triumph over Islam. Third, no middle ground exists in what Qutb conceived as a struggle between God and Satan. All Muslims—as he defined them—therefore must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.”

The influence of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Qutb’s writings cannot be underestimated, as they are quoted regularly by modern-day Islamists. Even al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri regularly quotes Qutb in his writings. Due to Qutb’s popularity with terrorists, the Brotherhood’s leadership eventually distanced itself from him, openly advocating instead a nonviolent “reformist” strategy from within, which it has followed ever since. [Until the popular June 30, 2013 revolution that overthrew President Morsi, which prompted the Brotherhood to openly engage in violence and terror, seeing they had been exposed and have nothing to lose.]

Due to the popularity of the MB—those many decades of cultivating Egyptian society were not for nothing—Nasser’s successor, Anwar al-Sadat, released a great many of their number from the prisons and promised to institute Sharia in Egypt, leading to the introduction of the Second Article of the Egyptian Constitution, which made Islamic law (Sharia) the principal source of jurisprudence. (Ironically it is this matter concerning the Constitution and how Islamic it will be that has created a major rift in Egyptian society today, with Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi—and all Islamist factions—pushing for an even greater role for Islam, and portraying as “infidels” and “apostates” all who would resist.)

Even so, Sadat’s gesture to Sharia was not enough: after he signed a peace treaty with Israel, the Brotherhood and other Islamic groups constantly agitated against him and he was shortly thereafter assassinated in 1981. In the Mubarak era the group was once again formally outlawed even as independent members were allowed in parliament. But both containment and appeasement were too late: the revivalist spirit of Islam was in the air; banning or arresting individuals was not enough.

Accordingly, after nearly a century of Islamic activism and propaganda by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian worldview that for some generations had been emulating the West as the path to success has diminished by degrees, decade after decade, slowly becoming more Islamic in orientation. With the 2011 revolt in Egypt, which started with moderates and secularists seeking true democracy, all Islamists were released from the prisons—including Egypt’s current [now deposed] president—and they now dominate the life of the nation. For the first time, then, not only is the Brotherhood fueling society from a grass-roots level, but from a top-down approach.

Goals, Objectives, and Other Islamists

What is the ultimate goal of the Muslim Brotherhood? Although many Islamic groups have developed since the inception of the MB, many of them born of it. Equally significant, by and large, all Sunni Islamic organizations—including al-Qaeda and the Taliban—want the same thing the Brotherhood does: a Sharia-enforcing caliphate. They differ primarily on how this goal is to be achieved.

Consider the MB’s slogan: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

This credo represents a statement that even the most radical, jihadi Muslim would embrace, for it captures all the essentials of radical and jihadi Islam, the sort of Islam practiced by terrorist organizations. Similarly, the Brotherhood’s English language website describes the “principles of the Muslim Brotherhood” as including firstly the introduction of the Islamic Sharia as “the basis for controlling the affairs of state and society”; and secondly working to unify “Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, and liberating them from foreign imperialism.” In other words, working to unite the Muslim world under a caliphate which it still openly insists is its
ultimate goal. Indeed, not too long ago, Muhammad Badie, the current General Guide of the Brotherhood [arrested August 19, 2013], openly declared that “The Imam [Bana] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world.”

This idea of “transitional goals” and objectives for every stage is captured very well by the Brotherhood’s vision and is very easily captured by the one word that appears under the Muslim Brotherhood banner of two swords crossed over the Koran, “prepare”—a word taken from Koran 8:60: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrorize the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

In short, the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to preparing the way for the coming of the caliphate—which, if history is any indicator, is much more problematic than any one, single Islamic state or terrorist organization: all Islamic conquests of non-Muslim, mostly Christian lands occurred under caliphates, including the Umayyad, Abbasid, and of course, the Turkish
Ottoman State.

Having explored some of the history and doctrines of the Muslim Brotherhood, some relevant questions are in order. First, comprehending the motives of the Muslim Brotherhood continues to be difficult for people in the West, whose epistemology for centuries has always separated the realm of religion from the realm of politics. Is the Muslim Brotherhood a political group, or is it a religious group? Such questions plague the West. The fact is, it is both—for in Islam, historically and doctrinally, Islam is politics. The word “sharia” simply means “way”, that is, the Islamic way of conducting affairs. It governs every aspect of the believer’s life (in Islam, all possible acts are classified according to five categories: obligatory, recommended, permissible, not recommended, and forbidden). Muslim authorities are deemed legitimate or illegitimate based primarily on whether they enforce Sharia on society or not. In fact, this has historically been the grievance that the various Islamist and jihadi groups—beginning with the Brotherhood—have had against the ruling governments and regimes of their respective nations—that they have not been enforcing Sharia law in society.

It bears repeating: the overarching goal of all Islamist and jihadi groups the world over is the establishment of “Allah’s rule” on earth. From its inception, this has also been the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal—hence the reason it is heavily involved in politics. The primary disagreement more violent Islamists and jihadis have with the Brotherhood has to do with tactics—not the overall vision which they all share: establishment, enforcement, and then spread of Sharia law. Jihadis have long argued that, by (at least formally) disavowing violence—that is, jihad—and instead participating in politics in order to achieve power and implement Sharia, the Muslim Brotherhood has betrayed the call to jihad. For instance, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda, was also a former Muslim Brotherhood member when he was fifteenyears old. However, he was soon lured by the call to jihad, abandoned the group, and joined more radical groups in Egypt, including Al-Gam’a Al-Islamiyya (the “Islamic Group”) and Islamic Jihad.

Ayman al-Zawahiri is an interesting case in point concerning the tactics of the Brotherhood and its detractors. Many years after he quit the Brotherhood in the late 1960s when he was a teenager, Zawahiri wrote an entire book criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood. Titled Al Hissad Al Murr, or “The Bitter Harvest”, Zawahiri argued that the Brotherhood “takes advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by bringing them into the fold only to store them in a refrigerator. Then, they steer their one-time passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections…. And not only have the Brothers been idle from fulfilling their duty of fighting to the death, but they have gone as far as to describe the infidel governments as legitimate, and have joined ranks with them in the ignorant style of governing, that is, democracies, elections, and parliaments.”

Ironically, however, for all his scathing remarks against them, time has revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy of slowly infiltrating society by a grass-roots approach has been much more effective than Zawahiri’s and al-Qaeda’s jihadi terror [until, that is, fellow Egyptians and Muslims saw them for what they were and overthrew them; in the West, however, subtle infiltration still works better than terrorism and is still the preferred strategy]. The Brotherhood’s patience and perseverance, by playing the political game, co-opting Western language and paradigms, formally disavowing violence and jihad, have turned it into a legitimate player in the eyes of many, to the point that the U.S. government has become supportive of it, even though it was once banned. Yet this does not make the Brotherhood’s goals any less troubling. For instance, in July 2012, Safwat Hegazy, a popular preacher and Brotherhood member [since arrested for incitement to terrorism], boasted that the Brotherhood will be “masters of the world, one of these days.” Likewise, according to Kamil al-Najjar, who left the Muslim Brotherhood and is currently living under threat of death, “They are trying to deceive the people and they have managed to deceive a lot of Western politicians into believing in them. Their only aim is to control the world with Islam. They know they cannot use force to convert the West, so they use deceit.” Even Gamal al-Banna, the brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, had harsh words for the movement his brother founded, saying it totally rejects freedom.

Egypt’s Salafis—who are identical to al-Qaeda and other radical Muslims in that they seek literally to emulate the 7th century Muslim prophet Muhammed and the earliest Muslims, who were quite violent and intolerant—are another case in point. Released from the jails and now in parliaments around the Arab world, following the “Arab Spring”, Salafis represent the al-Qaeda-type Muslims who, while initially contemptuous of the Brotherhood’s political game of patience, have seen the rewards the Brotherhood has nonetheless earned, and thus are also trying to “moderate” their approach, leading to some incongruous moments. Thus, while the Salafi Nour (“Light”) Party ran in Egypt’s elections, engaged in democracy, and otherwise played the political game, they rarely hid the fact that they saw democracy and elections as a contemptible means to one end—Sharia law. Thus, one Salafi cleric appears on video telling Muslims to commit voter fraud if they can to see that an Islamist candidate wins; another portrayed elections as a jihad, saying that whoever dies during voting becomes a martyr. Unlike the Brotherhood, whose members have learned to master the art of taqiyya over the course of decades(dissembling has become almost second nature to them), the Salafis—who share the same ideology as al-Qaeda (that is, that open Islam must be practiced now, with force if necessary) have still not fully learned to play the game, and are simply too honest concerning their designs.

It is perhaps ironic that the Brotherhood’s greatest opponents at the current time are not Western governments or human rights groups but Egyptians themselves, including a great many Muslims. Western analysts—here I speak of those who understand the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood—sometimes forget that, whatever the Brotherhood’s goals are, to a great many of those Egyptians supportive of the group, they see something entirely different. To them, Islam is goodness, and Sharia is justice—so what is so bad about wanting to implement Sharia, as the Brotherhood has long maintained? This is why Muhammad Morsi received slightly more than 50% of Egypt’s vote (and that is with widespread allegations of voter fraud). Many Egyptians, used to the humanitarian side of the Brotherhood—as mentioned, like its Hamas offshoot, the Brotherhood won many people over by its social programs—did not think of an overtly Islamist agenda; or, if they did, to their minds an Islamist agenda meant goodness and justice not wholly unlike in the Western sense (which of course many Muslims are still influenced by).

However, mere months after Morsi became president, he began replacing many key governmental and media positions with Brotherhood members. Worse, he introduced a new Constitution that had a strong Islamist element. Many critics pointed out that the wording was always ambiguous, but in all cases, Sharia was portrayed as the ultimate arbitrator in several aspects. Accordingly, Egyptians rose up against Morsi, in protest after protest—arguing that Egypt is not a “Brotherhood organization” to be run like one. At one point, the forcefulness of the attacks drove him from the presidential palace under the cover of dark. Watching some of
the videos of average people in the streets is eye-opening. Many of them say things like “May I have died when I voted for you Morsi!” and much more derogatory statements not fit to publish. The main reason such Egyptians are disgusted with Morsi has less to do with Islamism and more to do with the fact that Egyptians are still suffering economically and socially, in fact even worse than under Mubarak. Accordingly, Morsi is increasingly seen as more interested in empowering his group and the Islamist agenda than he is in the betterment of Egypt—as well captured by the previous Brotherhood’s General Guide who once declared “the hell with Egypt”, indicating that the interests of Egypt are second to the interests of Islam. [The last two paragraphs, written several months ago, have culminated in the June 30 Revolution and ousting of the Brotherhood.]

The Arab Spring

This leads to the questions of the Arab Spring—which was pivotally important for the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood: What was it? Who was behind it? How and why did the Muslim Brotherhood most benefit from it? All evidence indicates that the Muslim
Brotherhood had very little to do with the beginnings of the January 25 2011 revolution of Egypt, which saw the ousting of 30-years-long ruler Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, in the early stages, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership forbade young members from participating in the revolt—although many did so anyway. There is even a video of President Muhammad Morsi, in the early stages of the revolution, mocking it, saying “What do you think you’ll achieve?”

The reason for this reticence was, of course, not because of any great love for Mubarak, but rather because the Brotherhood likely thought that Mubarak would ultimately prevail, quash the revolution, and then quietly target all those leaders who participated. The Obama administration seems also to have shared this view, for it originally expressed support for Mubarak during the early days of the protest, though it later abandoned him.

The Egyptian Revolution, which followed the Tunisian revolution, was fundamentally a product of the huge frustration of the average Egyptian, especially regarding the immensely poor economic conditions, where many college graduates could not and cannot get a simple job—certainly not one to enable settling down and starting a family, which, in Egyptian society, is the norm. However, the only group outside the government that was so well organized and prepared to exploit the situation was the Muslim Brotherhood—the primary oppositional group to the government for decades. Many relatively new Egyptian secular parties, for example, complained
that presidential and parliamentary elections were conducted too soon after the fall of Mubarak for them to properly mobilize and campaign. But the Brotherhood was ready. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the idea of Islam as the immediate solution for all of Egypt’s woes had become very popular among especially the less educated Egyptians—who make up the majority of the nation. Nor did the U.S. State Department’s meddling help. As Andrew McCarthy put it, Hillary Clinton did “her part to help the Muslim Brotherhood,” by pressuring the military to surrender power and portraying its delay to proclaim a winner as “clearly troubling”— words better reserved for the Muslim Brotherhood’s anti-democratic tactics.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Reach and Presence

Both formally but especially informally, the Brotherhood’s reach is immense. Two reasons account for this: 1) as the oldest and best organized Muslim organization, it has had ample time and experience to expand, network, and propagate its message around the world and 2) the message it is propagating is usually not seen by Muslims as a “Brotherhood” message but rather an Islamic message, hence its popularity and appeal.

This is an important point that needs to be kept in mind as we explore some of the regions where the Brotherhood is present and influencing society. Because its goals are one and the same with all other Islamists—resurrection of a caliphate and enforcement of Islamic law—it often works in unison with other Islamic organizations, making it especially difficult to determine when an organization is a Brotherhood outfit and when it is simply a likeminded ally. This phenomenon occurs also with jihadi organizations: all too often individual jihadis are in the West conflated with al-Qaeda, under the assumption that all who engage in jihadi activities are al-Qaeda members. Yet often the reality is that there is no affiliation—except, of course, in ideology and tactics. Likewise, although many Islamic organizations maintain close symbolic and ideological ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, they remain largely autonomous.

The heart of the Muslim Brotherhood is also the region it was born: Egypt, which represents the core of the movement. The second layer of presence and influence is the region nearest to Egypt, the Middle East, especially Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, the PA territories, and even throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The third and most recent—and perhaps the most important—region is the West, Europe and North America. Altogether, it is believed that the Brotherhood is present in some 70 countries around the world.

We have already examined the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. As for its next layer of presence and influence, the Middle East, especially those countries closest to Egypt, the following are some of the more important areas where the Brotherhood is known to exist and operate. It is important to note that, as in Egypt, many of these Brotherhood affiliates were founded in direct opposition to the ruling regimes of their respective countries, portrayed as the “moral”, “Islamic” substitute for the “secular”, “westernized”, and, in short, corrupt ruling regimes:

Arabian Peninsula: many Brotherhood members, after being driven out of Egypt in the 1950s and afterwards, found sympathizers and asylum in the Gulf nations. Many of them settled there, influencing those societies, especially by agitating against the authorities. For example, in Saudi Arabia, Brotherhood members formed the Awakening (Sahwa) group, which challenged the legitimacy of the Saudi crown. In nations such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, Brotherhood members exploited the media presence there, most notably Al Jazeera, to influence Muslims both in and beyond the region with the Brotherhood narrative and propaganda. [This has proven especially true after the June 30, 2013 revolution, as Al Jazeera has unabashedly proven that it is the Brotherhood’s mouthpiece, distorting and manipulating news for the group’s benefit.] Brotherhood members have also, as in Egypt, gained many seats in parliaments throughout the Gulf. For example, in Kuwait, through the Hadas movement; in Yemen through the Islah movement; and in Bahrain through the Minbar party, which, since 2002, has been the largest elected party. Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef denounced the Brotherhood, saying it was guilty of “betrayal of pledges and ingratitude” and was “the source of all problems in the Islamic world”. On the other hand, many Brotherhood members and their descendants who settled in the Peninsula were themselves further radicalized by Saudi Arabia’s ultra-Islamic, Wahhabi worldview, bringing it back with them to Egypt and their other countries of origin. The Salafis seem to be the hybrid result of Egyptian Brotherhood mentality mixed with Saudi Wahhabism. Again, this points to the symbiotic relationship that exists between all Islamic groups, for they are all ultimately rooted in the same immutable sources: the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad, as captured in the Hadith, and relayed in the Sunna.

Iraq: under Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Islamic Party—the largest Sunni Islamic political party and a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—was banned in the 1960s and forced underground for its religious agitations. It reemerged soon after the U.S. toppled Hussein, and has since been a harsh critic of the U.S. while simultaneously taking part in government and in the transitional process.

Iran: although a predominately Shia Muslim country, and the Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni in doctrine, it is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood, the modern-day pioneers of political Islam, have influenced the Shia of Iran. For example, Nava Safari, who founded Fada’iyan-e Islam, an Iranian Islamic organization active in Iran in the 1940s and 50s, 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, including anti-clerical writer Ahmad Kasravi, Premier Haj Ali Razmara, former Premier Abdolhossein Hazhir and Education and Culture Minister Ahmad Zangeneh. Again, it must be stressed that, even within the Sunni-Shia divide, which is very real, much cooperation exists, specifically in the context of resurrecting a caliphate and enforcing Sharia. The prevailing logic is that the greater enemy is the infidel (U.S., Israel, etc.), and that it is beneficial for all Muslims to work together for their subjugation. Then they may resume their internal struggle for overall mastery.

Jordan: the Brotherhood is represented by the Islamic Action Front, which was founded in the 1940s and has deeply influenced segments of society through charity, propaganda, and indoctrination. At various times, and under various leaders, it has vacillated between militancy—often influenced by Palestinian elements—and the Brotherhood’s hallmark approach of patience and perseverance, working with the Hashemite rulers. To be sure, during the 2011 uprisings, the group became much more assertive. Having failed, it has now slipped back into the diplomatic course, calling for internal, peaceful reforms.

In North Africa, west of Egypt, the Brotherhood’s existence has again been positioned in the context of resisting secular/corrupt rulers, this time, the colonial powers themselves. For example, in Algeria, Brotherhood members took part in the nation’s war of independence from France. Due to their calls for Sharia, they were eventually marginalized by the secular FLN
party. In Tunisia, the Brotherhood has had a strong impact on that nation’s Islamists, particularly al-Nahda, which was formed in 1989 and was largely inspired by the Brotherhood. Since the Tunisian revolution, al-Nahda has received widespread support, and is the new government’s most influential voice. In Libya, Brotherhood members have been present since at least the 1940s, when King Idris offered them refuge from Egypt. After Colonel Gaddafi seized power, he, like all other Arab leaders, seeing the threat of the Brotherhood, worked hard to eliminate them. However, they maintained a presence there, and most notably were involved in the
opposition that overthrew Gaddafi.

PA Territories: Hamas, which maintains a militant, jihadi wing, is a Brotherhood offshoot, founded during the First Intifada in 1987. Like its parent organization, it quickly became popular with the Palestinian people in large part because of its charitable services. And like its parent organization, over the years it has managed to indoctrinate the average Palestinian Muslim through its propaganda. While Hamas is dedicated to the elimination of the state of Israel, in fact this objective ties in very well with the overall objective of the Muslim Brotherhood: the global resurrection of a caliphate. After all, any number of Muslims—including many influential Egyptian Brotherhood members—maintain that the seat of the caliphate must be Jerusalem. Thus, even though an organization like Hamas seems to be engaged in a “different” endeavor—the elimination of Israel—in fact, this objective corresponds very well to Brotherhood objectives, and is seen as just one more necessary phase.

Syria: the Brotherhood has been present there for decades and, after the Ba’th party took over in 1963, it became the main Sunni opposition force against the Alawite Assad clan. Resonating with the Sunni majority of Syria, the Brotherhood in many ways spearheaded a violent revolt against the then President Hafiz Assad. However, it was crushed in the 1982 Hama uprising. Afterwards, the group was largely politically inactive in the country, although it maintained a strong support network there—a perfect example of the difficulties involved in determining who a formal Brotherhood affiliate is, and who simply shares their exact worldview, and thus is a natural ally and affiliate. The ongoing uprisings against Assad have a strong Brotherhood element, especially among the Islamist/Salafi factions. A recent Washington Post article describes the Brotherhood as playing a “dominant” role.

Sudan: the Brotherhood maintains a significant, though informal, presence, and has played an important role in the mass Islamization campaigns the Khartoum regime has carried out, often in the context of genocide. Brotherhood members make up a large part of the current Khartoum regime, following the 1989 coup d’état by General Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The National Islamic Front (originally the Islamic Chart Front) which grew during the 1960s, with Islamic scholar Hasan al-Turabi becoming its Secretary General in 1964, is a Brotherhood offshoot.

As for the third layer of the Muslim Brotherhood—its newest and perhaps most important layer of presence—the West, in Europe, formerly Christendom, and home of the original infidel par excellence, the Brotherhood has made great strides in recent years, growing as it has with the large influx of Muslim immigrants and their offspring in Europe. It operates often under the umbrella of other Muslim organizations, which appear innocuous, such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The group is also involved in setting up a vast and sophisticated network of mosques, schools, and Islamic charities.

Russia: the Muslim Brotherhood is banned there.

United States: the Brotherhood is also in America, where, according to one captured document, the Brotherhood “understand their work in America is a grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands so that Allah’s religion [Islam] is victorious over all religions.” Accordingly, the Brotherhood has founded and/or works under the cover of several prominent Muslim organizations in America, including the Council on American-Islam Relations (“CAIR”), the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and the Muslim American Society (MAS).

With lots of funding and organization, and a Western willingness to dialogue with Muslims, the Brotherhood has naturally taken over, and received much legitimacy from European governments, convinced as they are that, by giving the most prominent Muslim organizations much representation, Westerners are demonstrating their “tolerance”.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the most organized of Muslim organizations; its ultimate goals—establishment of caliphate and enforcement of Sharia—are shared with all Islamists; its tactics of patience and perseverance—and of course dissembling—have proven themselves more effective than violent jihadi tactics; and it is now widely described as a “moderate” organization (indeed, one U.S. official absurdly referred to it as a “largely secular” organization) and it is thus seen as a legitimate player by many Western governments. There is no doubt that the Brotherhood will continue spearheading the Islamist movement around the world, gaining more and more recruits, both formal and informal, as it edges closer to realizing its ultimate goals.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.


Center of Security Policy
Washington, D.C.:

With the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote tomorrow on John Brennan’s nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has become clear that Senators simply do not have all the information necessary for an informed decision on so sensitive an appointment. In an effort to illuminate the nominee’s shortcomings that demand – but have yet to receive – close scrutiny, the Center for Security Policy convened a virtual press conference featuring video-taped comments by six of the country’s preeminent experts on, among other things, the threat of Islamism and Brennan’s blindness to it.

The video includes powerful statements by Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Chris Farrell, Vice President for Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, USA Ret., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and author of The Grand Jihad and Spring Fever; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.

The video, National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan, compliments the Center’s other efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers about the dangers of a possible Brennan tenure at the CIA, including a collection of Brennan-related resources and several investigative pieces.

Andrew McCarthy–who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh who, twenty years ago yesterday, conspired to blow up the World Trade Center–said:

Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us.

Steve Emerson, one of the country’s preeminent counter-terrorism experts added:

John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States.

Zuhdi Jasser, a leader of anti-Islamist Muslims in America, warned that:

…The reports put out from [John Brennan’s] counter-terrorism office at the White House…did not recognize the [Islamist] ideology. They noted a “radical ideology,” but didn’t name what it was — even though the word ‘ideology’ was mentioned twenty times. Our American-Islamic Leadership Coalition, that includes over 20 different reform-based organizations that are anti-Islamist, were not consulted. And, you can see from the report, that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. Unfortunately, John Brennan has had a very cozy relationship to these groups and has often used their talking points when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad, and the threat…. In every position Brennan has been it, he has been more a facilitator of Islamist groups rather than a counterweight to them, in order to oppose them and confront them.

The Center today also released a letter signed by fifteen conservative leaders – many of whom have extensive experience with national security policymaking and practice – calling on congressional leaders to launch a bicameral select committee to investigate the Benghazigate scandal. John Brennan’s involvement in the run-up to the murderous attack on September 11, 2012, his conduct during that seven-hour engagement and his role in the subsequent cover-up must be addressed before he is allowed, as Rep. Trent Franks recently put it “anywhere near the CIA, let alone running it.”

Transcript: National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan

Frank Gaffney
Center for Security Policy

I’m Frank Gaffney with the Center for Security Policy. We’ve brought together several of the country’s leading experts on national security, intelligence, and related matters to discuss in a kind of virtual press conference what is at stake in the nomination of John Brennan to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. And what, if anything, are the implications of the Benghazi-gate scandal for the Brennan nomination on the one hand and the national security, more generally. I hope you’ll enjoy the comments of our colleagues and the thought-provoking recommendations they’re making.

Steven Emerson
Investigative Project on Terrorism

John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States. Urging its adherents not to talk to the FBI, claiming the FBI invented and fabricated charges of terrorism against terrorism suspects, of course Muslim. And John Brennan was the man who oversaw the invitation to all of these groups by these lieutenants.

Number two, Mr. Brennan was the man who opened the dialogue with radical Islamic groups as evidenced by his speeches to groups at NYU, including the Muslim Students Association, the NYU Muslim Student, law student group. And answering questions in which he responded to, by saying there was no such thing as holy war in Islam.  That jihad meant peace and love. And that there was no such thing as a jihadi. He absolutely went beyond that when he praised groups like Islamic Relief which has demonstrable ties to terrorism and is under investigation by the Treasury for years for its ties to actual Hamas terrorism. He was the architect also of the purge policy at the FBI under FBI director Mueller, embarked on a campaign to purge the FBI and all of its bureaus around the country as well as its Quantico library, any book, pamphlet, paper, power point, picture, of anything that was considered to be, quote, anti-Islam. And who made the criteria? Radical Islamic groups. That was an order handed down initially from Brennan to Holder to Mueller in this. In pursuit of that order, there was literally a literal book burning, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since 1933. In addition to which, Mr. Brennan openly agreed with Muslim Advocates, a radical Islamist front group that believes that the United States has no right to prosecute Islamic terrorists because they’re all innocent.

He wrote a letter back to a leader of that group, Farhana Khera, claiming that she was right in her critique of US counter-terrorism policy, that the Patriot Act was in violation of civil rights. That there was abuse of – by the FBI agents of the rights of Muslims when there wasn’t any. That there was excessive surveillance and that in fact Islamic terrorist charities should not have been shut down. This was a disgrace. The letter was released by us to Breitbart News which they published. It was never meant for public consumption. And that was the beginning of the purge policy.

In addition to which [Brennan] has overseen the policies of outreach and embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Mr. Morsi, who is nothing but a terrorist thug, has been the darling of Mr. Brennan’s policy. Mr. Brennan openly advocated that in the White House the sale of the F-16s and the two hundred tanks to a regime that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

So all together, considering his open embrace of radical Islam, his embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, his policy of appeasing these groups by eviscerating the national security of the United States, not only makes him disqualified to be the CIA director, it disqualifies him from the position he currently occupies on the National Security Council as counter-terrorism director. I think his nomination and any subsequent approval by the Senate would put our national security in shambles and make us a disgrace in the world, at least in the eyes of moderate Muslims who depend upon the United States for their support. Unfortunately, who have not gotten it, as evidenced by the absence of support to the Green Revolution in the first two years of the Iranian underground revolution during Obama’s term. And now we see the absence of support to the democratic liberal oppositions in Morsi. A policy again designed by Brennan.

So when we look at his policies about the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist groups in the United States, that are against the US, that deny US interests, that promote terrorism, and how he’s embraced them and how he’s embraced the larger Muslim Brotherhood groups in the Middle East, I can only tell you as someone who is not partisan, someone who would be willing to criticize any party for putting up such a nominee, this appointment should be adamantly and unanimously opposed first by the Senate intelligence committee and by the Senate itself. Thank you. I’m Steve Emerson from the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Zuhdi Jasser
American-Islamic Forum for Democracy

My name is Zuhdi Jasser. I’m the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. And I’m joining my colleagues in speaking out against the nomination of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

I’ll tell you, as somebody who’s dedicated my life to countering political Islam and exposing the link between Islamism or political Islam and the threat, the security threat globally, I can’t think of a more important position in countering that threat than the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.  And in fact, that CIA has had a center for the strategic analysis of political Islam and has really, with that center been one of the only government agencies in the United States that has recognized the importance of political Islam or Islamism in driving the radicalization of Muslims around the world. And the supremacism of the concept of the Islamic state and the ascendancy of Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and their ability to feed into groups all over the world and create al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Jamaat al-Islamiyya and all the other hundreds of permutations of radicalism.

Unfortunately, the choice of John Brennan is clearly inappropriate. He has, in his position at the White House, has demonstrated the inability to make that decision, and I’ve been actually disappointed that he’s not been confronted on his position on that. And he’s demonstrated an inability to make that connection with a number of aspects. Number one, he – in the reports put out from the counter-terrorism office at the White House, for example, last summer they put out a report on their strategy and they did not even recognize what the ideology is. They noted a radical ideology, but they didn’t name what it was, even though the word ideology was mentioned twenty times. Our American Islamic leadership coalition that includes over twenty different reform based organizations that are anti-Islamist were not consulted and in fact you can see from the report that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. And unfortunately, John Brennan seems to have a very cozy relationship with these groups. And has often used their talking points about, when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad and the threat, and he’s made comments about jihad that I would find very concerning, in many ways apologizing for it and not confronting the ideology that we’re faced with domestically and globally.

Secondly, the facilitation of these organizations by his position at the White House has demonstrated that he not only doesn’t get the ideology, but works with the wrong groups. And if the future head of the CIA is unable to pick which groups to work with, and without – I am very concerned that we will thus be facilitating the growth further of groups that are very anti-American, antisemitic, and look to progress ideas such as the ascension of the Islamic state in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood or in Saudi Arabic with Wahaabis and others. And in every position John Brennan has been in, it has almost been as if he has been more of a facilitator of Islamist movements rather than a counterweight to them in order to oppose then and confront them. And if there is anyone I think that will be ill suited and has demonstrated an inability to confront the ideology and the threat before us, it’s John Brennan. So I’d ask those who are looking to vote for or against him, to vote against this nomination and find an appropriate head that would keep our country safe abroad against the real threat of Islamism and all of its permutations around the world.

Chris Farrell
Judicial Watch

My name is Chris Farrell. I’m the director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch.

When it comes to the appointment of Mr. Brennan as CIA director, Judicial Watch has several concerns. Many of them focused around the Benghazi attack of September 11th, 2012. In that regard, we’ve focused very carefully, very heavily, on Benghazi, on the attack. On the State Department and the national security apparatus and what they were doing or not doing concerning the safety and security of the special mission consulate at Benghazi and the safety, of course, of Ambassador Stevens and his crew, the three other folks who died with him at the embassy. Or at the consulate.

In that regard, we have reason to believe that Mr. Brennan not only had active participation and knowledge of what was going on as Benghazi began to unfold, but perhaps was even instrumental in the administration’s initial cover story. That somehow the attack was related to this fictitious, now proven to be ridiculous story that there was an internet video that somehow went viral and inflamed the populace in Benghazi. Something the administration repeated endlessly. And so there’s substantial reason to believe Mr. Brennan not only had knowledge of that, but perhaps participated in crafting that phony cover story. In pursuing that and not just the cover story and Ambassador Rice’s appearances on five different shows to repeat that lie over and over again, to include the president repeating that lie at the United Nations, we have sued the office of the director of national intelligence to obtain the original talking points that Ambassador Rice supposedly relied upon. And again, the reason we mention this is because it’s our belief that Brennan either had knowledge of or participation in that story. It would be hard to explain how he wouldn’t know about it. So exactly what his role is, what he did or didn’t know, how that policy or how that story came to be crafted, we think it’s very important to get his understanding, his knowledge, his role in exactly what was going on in Benghazi – the ground truth of what was occurring on the ground at Benghazi as well as whatever stories were crafted by the administration to get around that to try to cover that or explain it away, a lie that they were clearly caught in.

So we’ve engaged in Freedom of Information Act requests, FOIA requests. We have a number of them pending with the State Department. I just told you we have sued the director of national intelligence to get the talking points. We’ve also asked for both still and video recordings of what was going on in Benghazi during the attack. We have asked for the security assessments of the compound there. Again, these are all things that would have come under Mr. Brennan’s review, either at the time of the attack or shortly thereafter. And it all plays into his knowledge, his participation, and being honest and forthcoming, not just with other government officials, but of course to the American public who he would be accountable to ultimately.

Along those lines, also, we have created a special report. It’s called The Benghazi Attack of September 11th, 2012. This special report that we’ve produced isn’t just some academic articulation of unknown points or questionable policies by these virtues. It’s not a product of the faculty lounge. It’s a report that is authored by a defense – excuse me, a diplomatic security service special agent and RSO, a regional security officer, someone who served in embassies as the chief security officer in places like Afghanistan and Israel among others. And a very experienced, very seasoned state security service specialist with thirty-plus years of service. So our expert, our analyst, produced this report, came to us and gave us his analysis based on thirty years of experience on the ground and asked some very important, very penetrating questions, many of which, frankly, should be asked of Mr. Brennan because there’s no way to reasonably assume he wouldn’t know the issues and the topics discussed in our special report.

So Mr. Brennan has a – to call it, to be generous, a somewhat checkered professional lead up to the point where he is now being recommended as the CIA director. There are more unanswered questions than there are answered questions. And unlike Hillary Clinton, who blustered at the senators and said, what difference does it make, why does it matter, which frankly shocked me because the senators were cowed by her outburst of temper. Someone should have spun it around and said, well, exactly. It does make quite a big difference. Answer the question. But in this case, Mr. Brennan really is subject to the same line of questioning. And hopefully, he will not bluster and cow the senators into submission by losing his temper.

There are legitimate questions and they need to be answered. We’ve spent an awful long time looking at Benghazi and trying to unravel that. And he certainly should have knowledge of it and be able to explain not just his role and his position in it and his knowledgeability, but also the broader question of what was going on in the administration as this unfolded. And it is directly on point, it is directly – it goes directly to his position that he’s vying for, to be CIA director. Because of course there is a large operational base co-located with the consulate in Benghazi. So it’s relevant, it’s timely, it is literally a matter of life and death and it touches on a subject that Mr. Brennan owes the American public an answer on.

Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, US Army (Ret.)
Family Research Council, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

My name is Jerry Boykin. I spent thirty-six years in the US Army and I want to say that I’m very concerned about the nomination of John Brennan as the next CIA director.

This post at CIA is so critical to the security of our nation. The CIA director has to be an individual that is not only experienced in intelligence, but clearly understands the threats against America. My concern is that John Brennan is not a man who has demonstrated that he truly understands the full magnitude of the threats against this nation today. His unwillingness to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood is operating in America and poses an existential threat to our Constitution and consequently to our freedoms and liberty I think disqualifies him.

It was John Brennan who forced the purging of some very accurate information in the FBI’s curriculum that talked about what the Koran and the hadiths say about the basic tenets of the Islamic religion, but more importantly the aspects of Islam that deal with their geopolitical system, their determination to perform jihad, their financial system, their legal system called shariah. John Brennan is one who has not publicly recognized that that’s a problem for Americans, for our Constitution. I’m also very concerned about the fact that John Brennan has yet to recognize that Israel is one of our very strong and closest allies. Brennan still calls Jerusalem al Quds, which is the terminology of the jihadists, the people who want to destroy Israel. He has also called Israel Palestine. That further reflects his sentiments towards the nation of Israel and I believe the Jewish people as well.

This nomination I think portends a weakness in American intelligence if he is confirmed. The fact that we would have a man who does not recognize the enemies of America, a man who has been very active in trying to downplay the role of the authoritarian Islamic theology with regards to what’s happening in our nation, and the successes that the Muslim Brotherhood is having in our nation I think is really a bad thing and something that Americans need to pay attention to.

This man is not the right man to be the CIA director. And I hope that Republicans and Democrats will recognize that this is not good for America. In fact, it will increase the threats to America if John Brennan is in fact confirmed.

Andrew McCarthy
Former federal prosecutor, author of Willful Blindness, the Grand Jihad and Spring Fever

Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States.

Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us. I think the most important of the missteps that he has made in his tenure is to participate in what I call the purge of intelligence materials that are used to give instruction to our agents, whether they’re law enforcement, military, or intelligence agents–the components of government that we rely on to protect the national security of the United States.

There has been an extraction from those teaching materials of information about Islamist ideology on the grounds that it is unflattering to Muslims in the view of leaders of Islamic organizations, some of which were shown in a Justice Department prosecution just a few years ago, the Holy Land Foundation, some of those organizations found to be very hostile to the United States, part of a Muslim Brotherhood movement that, by its own terms, aims to eliminate and destroy Western Civilization from within by sabotage. Mr. Brennan’s participation in this effort has not only been to – as I understand it – order the extraction of materials, but that extraction was done in consultation with leaders of Islamist organizations. Some of which may have Muslim Brotherhood ties. I have to qualify that by saying may have because unbelievably we haven’t been able to find out exactly who it is that the administration has been consulting with in arriving at what should be in the training packages that are given to our agents. They’ve refused to give that information, Brennan has refused to give that information, and unfortunately, Congress has not effectively pressed for that information.

So we not only have a situation where our intelligence agencies and our intelligence agent trainees are being blinded in terms of their understanding of Islamist ideology, which is something it’s vital for them to know if we’re going to go and continue to protect the country, but we also don’t get a read on exactly who it is that has been invited into the councils of government to make the determination about what the agent we rely on to protect us should know about the threat and the many threats that are arrayed against the United States.

Brennan has been involved in this purge effort. He has been very explicit in – in an interpretation of Islamist ideology that is designed to make our enemies appear to be harmless to us. So, for example, he has claimed publicly that jihad – which is a challenge that the United States has been dealing with on our homeland, now, for twenty years – is not actually a military threat against the United States, but is instead an internal struggle among Muslims, the Muslim person or the Muslim community, to become a better person. To purify oneself or to purify one’s community. Authoritative Muslim teaching, including a manual of shariah law called Reliance of the Traveler, completely and directly refutes Brennan’s interpretation of jihad. It says explicitly that jihad is a holy war against non-believers in Islam. But even on its own – face of Brennan’s interpretation, he’s wrong. Because there is no consensus about what the good is between Western Civilization and Islamic civilization. So when Muslim theorists talk about purifying oneself or purifying one’s community, they’re not talking about making it better in the sense that we would all understand better means. To become a more purified individual Muslim means to become a better, more shariah compliant Muslim. To purify one’s community doesn’t mean to, you know, drive out the drug dealers and the criminal elements. What it actually means is to drive out non-Islamic influences from one’s community. It’s a very, very different idea than the one that Brennan has suggested. And it may be perfectly fine for – in some component of government to have someone who is something of a cheerleader for elements that are hostile to the United States. But the one place we can’t afford to have that is at the top level of our premier intelligence service.

The intelligence community is what we rely on to protect the United States. And in order to fulfill its mission, the intelligence community has to be completely removed from political correctness, has to be removed from ideology, and has to be able to scrutinize both sides or multiple sides of any questions in order to know precisely what the threats against the United States are. To have Mr. Brennan, who refused to acknowledge a jihadist threat that even Secretary Clinton in one of her last appearances before Congress acknowledged was one of the most profound challenges against the United States, would just be very, very counter-productive for our national security.

Stephen Coughlin
Center for Security Policy, former DOD counterterror analyst and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure

Hello, my name is Stephen Coughlin. I’m here to discuss my concerns about the approval of Mr. John Brennan for the director of central intelligence.

My concern stems from the fact that it seems that with his tenure, the intelligence collection effort, collection of facts that could paint a better and more valid picture of the nature of the threat in the war on terror have been subordinated to a politically correct policy and has had the net effect of leaving us unaware at a time where I think we face great peril from enemies and threats that we confront in the world. Among those – among the activities that I find has been greatly concerning is back in October 19th, 2011, a series of members from the Muslim – from Muslim Brotherhood front groups wrote a letter to Mr. Brennan at the White House and they made certain demands. Now these are groups like MPAC, Muslim Public Affairs Council,  CAIR, Council on American/Islamic Relations, ISNA, Islamic Society of North America, ICNA, Islamic Circle of North America, and AMANA. Well, these groups are – many of these groups were identified in a 1991 document called the explanatory memorandum as Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Now this explanatory memorandum was admitted into evidence in a court of law to state that it reflected the strategy of these groups and was used to convict those parties. And this explanatory memorandum flat out said that their goal in America is a grand jihad to eliminate America through a subversion process that required them to get our senior leaders to subvert our way of life for them.

Now, I was one of the people named in this document. Some statements were made or purported to be said about what I said at some briefings that are just simply not true. And I was never given a chance, no due process to affirm what I said. What is very concerning about that memo that was sent to Mr. Brennan back in October, 2011, is that it called for a purge of all government training material and basically individuals, the implementation of retraining, reviews, personal reviews to be conducted against people, quality control measures that ended up being measures that were basically under the direction of these same Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Directly or indirectly.

We have an affirmative duty to take in the facts. And those facts have to take us where they go. If we were going after the Ku Klux Klan and they hid behind a religious facade, we would get past that religious facade. In fact, we have done that many times. But the fact of the matter is, is the people we’re confronting in this war say they fight jihad according to Islamic law. And even if it is true that they are incorrect about their understanding of Islam, it is still true that is why they fight. And we need to get a factual, professional handle on that. This is something that we’re not able to do right now. Because since that letter was written a purge has been implemented where the FBI, DHS, the Department of Defense have gone after people.

In fact, we can take a look at a June 20th, 2012 Reuters article where they talked – titled, Military Instructor Suspended Over Islam Course. Where a military instructor at the joint forces staff college was removed, relieved of his duties, on the allegation that he was briefings things that actually was not true. And in fact we know that that was not true. It called – the article made it clear that they were looking for disciplinary action, retraining, and counseling. So what we’re looking at right now, we’re looking at it in bold, bold form, is the fact that there’s a witch hunt going on. Where there’s no due process. People are not being asked, given the chance to defend their work product. They’re not being able to – they’re not even being told who these people are who are getting word of their – or purging their documents and making judgments. Where is the due process? Mr. Brennan, this is not the Soviet Union. This is the United States.

And I must say if you’re banning materials or you’re overseeing the banning of materials that could show a factual nexus to be made, this causes a grave compromise of our national security. And it doesn’t matter whose religious views that might – that might make uncomfortable.

Our job is the defense of the Constitution and against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And we follow the evidence where it goes. So my objection against the approval of Mr. Brennan is it seems that he is willing to compromise the collection efforts of our intelligence systems for non-professional reasons. And thereby hurt our understanding of the nature of the threat in the war on terror.

Frank Gaffney
Center for Security Policy

Clearly, there is considerable information that has yet to come to light in the course of these Senate deliberations about John Brennan’s confirmation to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. We believe those questions are of sufficient magnitude, especially as they relate to Islamism and the Benghazi-gate scandal to justify a much more serious drill-down by the Senate committees. Specifically the Senate select committee on intelligence needs to have outside witnesses like those you’ve just heard to illuminate the problems with this nomination and the necessity for a course correction. Not the confirmation of John Brennan. And in addition, a number of prominent conservative leaders have come together to call on the Congress on a bicameral basis to convene a select committee with full subpoena and deposition powers to explore what really went on in the run up to, during, and after the attack on our facilities in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012. Congress needs to get to the bottom of this. And so do we.


The Muslim Brotherhood: Understanding its Roots and Impact
Thomas Joscelyn,Senior Fellow, FDD (Foundation for the Defense of Democracy)

Critical issues: Background and Analysis

I. Overview

With the popular uprising in Egypt, much public attention has been given to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Egypt‟s oldest and best organized opposition party. Founded in 1928 by a schoolteacher named Hassan al Banna, the MB is dedicated to imposing Sharia law and reestablishing an Islamic caliphate throughout the Muslim world. Since its inception nearly a century ago, the MB‟s creed has been encapsulated in six succinct phrases:
o Allah is our goal. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. Death in the service of Allah is the loftiest of our wishes. Allah is great, Allah is great. 1
This remains the MB‟s creed to this day. Despite the organization‟s overt Islamist beliefs and endorsement of violence (jihad), however, some misconceptions about the MB have grown in the West. Namely, some believe that the MB (1) has renounced violence, (2) is opposed to al Qaeda, and (3) is pro-democracy.2 All three propositions are demonstrably false.
The purpose of this memo is to summarize just some of the evidence that demonstrates the fallacy of these three arguments.
Like most human endeavors, the MB is not a monolith. There is dissent and disagreement within the organization.3 Still, the overarching direction of the MB is clear. The evidence cited in this memo draws largely from the words of the Egyptian MB‟s leadership, beginning with al Banna and continuing with the group‟s current leaders. In particular, this memo cites the opinions of three of the MB‟s recent supreme guides (the group‟s top leadership position): Mustafa Mashhur (1996 – 2002), Muhammad Mahdi „Akef (2004 – 2010), and Muhammad Badi’ (2010 – present). This analysis also draws from a wealth of other evidence, including the words of renowned MB cleric Sheikh Yousef al Qaradawi, who has an international following and is one of the most influential Muslim clerics in the world.
1 Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers, (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 193-194.
2 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also recently said during congressional testimony that the MB is “largely secular.” This belief is not widely held, however, and the DNI‟s office quickly issued a statement walking back from the DNI‟s incorrect assessment. In any event, the evidence cited in this memo makes it abundantly clear that the MB is not secular.
3 For a discussion of the different camps within the MB, see: Israel Elad Altman, “Current Trends in the Ideology of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Hudson Institute, December 28, 2005;

The conclusions reached in this memo are as follows:

The MB has not renounced violence. Hassan al Banna made violent jihad a cornerstone of his Brotherhood, embracing what he called “the art of death.” In Section II below, we will briefly review al Banna‟s jihadist philosophy, which helped spawn the martyrdom cult that engulfed the world in violence beginning in the latter half of the 20th century. The MB‟s most recent leaders have all openly embraced al Banna‟s violent vision. Given the enduring relevance of al Banna‟s works, it is not surprising to find that the MB endorses violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories and in Israel, as well as against American-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hamas, a self-described branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is one of the premier terrorist organizations on the planet and an innovator in the use of suicide bombings. Egyptian MB leaders routinely praise Hamas and lend the group, at a minimum, rhetorical support during times of crisis. The MB uses non-violent means inside Egypt only because decades of suppression have necessitated it and not because the group believes violence is objectionable.
The MB is not al Qaeda‟s enemy. At most, the MB and al Qaeda are rivals vying for control of an imagined future dominated by the same core ideology. The MB and al Qaeda have much in common, including their approval of “martyrdom” (suicide) operations. Both organizations believe in al Banna‟s “art of death” – that Muslims should love death more than life.
As discussed in Section III, MB leaders have, on occasion, publicly disapproved of al Qaeda‟s tactics, including the killing of civilians. But MB leaders have also stressed that only some of al Qaeda‟s tactics are objectionable – not the terrorist group or its goals as a whole. In 2008, for example, Muhammad Mahdi „Akef rejected the notion that Osama bin Laden is a “terrorist,” preferring to call him a “jihad fighter.” „Akef even admitted that he supported al Qaeda‟s activities as long as they were focused on resisting “occupation,” that is, American-led forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Moreover, the MB has acted as a gateway organization for al Qaeda and like-minded organizations. Numerous al Qaeda terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, were influenced by the MB early in their terrorist careers. Other senior members of the global MB have continued to assist al Qaeda.
The MB is not a truly democratic organization. Although MB leaders have expressed their desire to compete in Egyptian elections, their words should not be construed as a true endorsement of democracy. The MB is a vehemently anti-American, anti-Western organization. Combining the MB‟s deeply rooted Anti-Semitism with its animosity for the West, „Akef even argued that “Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned.”
As discussed in Section IV, the MB‟s stated goal of implementing Sharia law inside Egypt and throughout the Muslim world is also wholly inconsistent with democratic aspirations. In reality, the MB sees elections as a potential stepping stone to absolute power. Once in power, the MB would likely shed any pretense of seeking democracy. This is not to suggest that the MB would necessarily succeed in using open elections to undermine true democracy in Egypt. It may very well be the case that democratic elections would be the death knell for the MB‟s designs, as the Egyptian people could choose a very different path.
II. “The Art of Death”

Jihadist Philosophy

Since its inception in 1928, the MB has openly advocated jihad. By jihad, the MB does not mean a spiritual quest to better oneself. Instead, for the founder of the MB, Hassan al Banna, jihad meant a struggle (often armed) to resist and conquer Islam‟s perceived enemies.
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In his seminal study of the MB, The Society of the Muslim Brothers, Richard P. Mitchell concluded that the “most specific illustration of the militant quality of the [MB] movement is be found in the use of the concept of jihad.” 4 Mitchell explained Hassan al Banna‟s philosophy thusly (footnotes omitted, emphasis in original):
o The certainty that jihad had this physical connotation is evidenced by the relationship always implied between it and the possibility, even the necessity, of death and martyrdom. Death, as an important end of jihad, was extolled by Banna in a phrase which came to be a famous part of his legacy: „the art of death‟ (fann al-mawt). „Death is art‟ (al-mawt fann). The Qu‟ran has commanded people to love death more than life. Unless „the philosophy of the Qu‟ran on death‟ replaces „the love of life‟ which has consumed Muslims, then they will reach naught. Victory can only come with the mastery of the „art of death‟. In another place, Banna reminds his followers of a Prophetic observation: „He who dies and has not fought [ghaza; literally: raided] and was not resolved to fight, has died a jahiliyya [ed. note: pagan, or non-Muslim] death.‟ The movement cannot succeed, Banna insists, without this dedicated and unqualified kind of jihad.5
For Mitchell it was “an understatement to note that such themes [ed. note: jihad, martyrdom, the „art of death‟] were an important aspect of the formal as well as informal training of the members.”6 In fact, al Banna openly advocated the “strengthening of the army and the kindling of its zeal on the foundation of Islamic jihad” in order to fight Islam‟s enemies. 7
After World War II, during which al Banna‟s Brotherhood openly rooted for a Nazi victory, the MB used terrorism in its attempt to reshape Egypt. Al Banna “unleashed a campaign of terror that soon became a model for other militant fundamentalist movements that were rapidly developing in the Muslim world,” Fereydoun Hoveyda writes in his book, The Broken Crescent: The “Threat” of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism.8 Virtually no target was considered off-limits. “Cinemas were bombed, hotels set on fire, unveiled women attacked, and homes raided. Prime ministers and other pro-Western high-ranking officials were assassinated,” Hoveyda explains. 9
The MB became the fount of modern terror. Hoveyda writes:
o Young aspiring terrorists from all over the world poured into Egypt in order to learn from al-Banna‟s men the art of eliminating the enemies of Islam. While training terrorists and directing murders, Sheikh Hassan denied involvement in the assassinations and attacks, using what Shiite clerics called ketman (holy dissimulation). Indeed, deceiving infidels was admitted by all Muslims, and Shiites even extended the dissimulation to other Muslims when the security of their „cause‟ was at stake. 10
Hoveyda‟s point about “holy dissimulation” is an important one. MB members were taught to use doublespeak when discussing their nefarious activities. It is a practice that the MB continues to this day, as can be seen in the MB‟s various musings on violence, including when it is and is not justified.
However, the MB has never truly disavowed al Banna‟s writings, or his emphasis on jihad. The MB‟s Arabic web site still contains abundant references to al Banna‟s works. Writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public
4 Mitchell, p. 207.
5 Mitchell, p. 207.
6 Mitchell, p. 208.
7 Mitchell, p. 263.
8 Hoveyda, Fereydoun, The Broken Crescent: The “Threat” of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism, (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2002), Amazon Kindle edition.
9 Fereydoun, Amazon Kindle edition.
10 Fereydoun, Amazon Kindle edition.
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Affairs, Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi quotes from the MB‟s web site extensively in his piece, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: In Their Own Words. 11,12
“The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed,” a cached page from the MB‟s site reads. “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.”
Mustafa Mashhur, the supreme guide of the MB from 1996 until 2002, emphasized the necessity of violent jihad in his book, Jihad is the way. A copy of the book has been translated by Palestinian Media Watch and can be found online.13
“It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world,” Mashhur wrote.
Mashhur‟s words illuminate a key aspect of the MB‟s ideology. Jihad is not just a defensive endeavor (that is, for defending Muslim lands), but is also necessary for “strengthening” Islam and “spreading it around the world.” This gives jihad a clear offensive purpose as well. This is an important point to recognize as apologists for the MB and like-minded organizations pretend that the MB justifies jihad only in response to Western aggression.
Moreover, according to Mashhur: “Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established.”
Jihad is obligatory for all Muslims, Mashhur argues. Echoing the MB‟s original motto, Mashhur writes:
o „The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish‟, this is the call which we have always called,… Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish,… We ask Allah to accept all of them,… and may He join us with them, …
Similarly, in a September 2010 sermon, Muhammad Badi’ (the current supreme guide of the MB) said the following (emphasis added):
o “Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks
11 Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, “Egypt‟s Muslim Brotherhood: In Their Own Words,” Jerusalem Issue Briefs, Vol, 10, No. 27, February 6, 2011;
12 The citations Halevi provides are translations of passages that can be found on the following web pages in Arabic:,,
13 Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “The Muslim Brotherhood – in its own words: PMW translation of „Jihad is the way‟ by Mustafa Mashhur, Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1996-2002,” Palestinian Media Watch, February 9, 2011;
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can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”14
That is, al Banna‟s “art of death” continues to define the MB‟s vision of the world. Al Banna‟s intellectual heirs have also argued, just as al Banna believed, that the movement cannot succeed unless the Brothers pursued jihad. Here is Badi‟ in an April 2010 sermon (emphasis added):
o “Muslim leaders, Islam, to which you belong, advocates jihad as the only means for setting the Ummah’s situation aright, as Allah says: ‘O you believers! When you are told to go forth in Allah’s way, why should you incline heavily to earth? Are you contented with this world’s life instead of the hereafter?’ [Koran 9:38] Our revival, majesty, and glory depend on the return to righteousness, which will only be achieved through resistance and the support of [resistance] in every way – with money, arms, information, and self[-sacrifice]…” 15
Therefore, the men who have held the MB‟s most senior leadership position, which is also the nominal head of the MB movement globally, have not “renounced violence” as has been commonly argued.

Support of violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories

The MB‟s leaders do not just advocate violent jihad in the abstract. Senior MB leaders have repeatedly advocated violence against American-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Israeli forces.
On August 23, 2004, the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi published a call for Muslims to support the insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq. The appeal was signed by the supreme guide of the MB in Egypt at the time, Muhammad Mahdi „Akef. Other prominent MB leaders who signed it included Muhammad Habib („Akef‟s deputy in Egypt), Dr. Hassan Huweidi („Akef‟s deputy in Syria), Isam al-Attar (the former head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood), and Sheikh Yousef al Qaradawi (a top MB cleric living in Qatar).16 Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (both of which were spawned by the MB) leaders signed the call as well.17
The appeal decried what its signatories called America‟s “escalation in the aggression” against the Iraqi people in Najaf. “This was part of the comprehensive barbaric colonialist attack that the USA is conducting against Islam in general and against Iraq in particular,” the signatories stressed. According to MEMRI, the statement read (emphasis added):
o “In light of the barbaric crimes being perpetrated in Iraq and in Palestine by the American-Zionist alliance against the Arabs and the Muslims, and even against all of humanity as [barbaric crimes] are occurring in Darfur in Sudan, the clerics, the leaders of the Islamic movement, the intellectual figures and those who labor to spread the message of Islam who have signed this call … emphasize their complete solidarity with the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples, and with the noble and brave national Islamic resistance, and call on them to join ranks in the struggle against the occupation… [In addition] they call on our people, the Arabs and the Muslims, on all of the religious authorities and the liberation forces everywhere, to oppose the occupation and its barbaric
14 MEMRI, “An Overview of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood‟s Stance on U.S. and Jihad; Translation of Its Draft Political Platform,” Special Dispatch No. 3556, February 3, 2011;
15 MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 3556;
16 MEMRI, “The Muslim Brotherhood Movement in Support of Fighting Americans [sic] Forces in Iraq,” Special Dispatch No. 776;
17 The appeal was also signed by a senior Hezbollah leader. Interestingly, the call was to support the fighting against coalition forces in Najaf, where the insurgents were led by the Mahdi Army, an Iranian-backed, Shiite group. The MB‟s public support for the Shiite insurgents demonstrates, once again, that theological differences between Sunnis and Shiites does not preclude their cooperation against common enemies.
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crimes in Iraq and in Palestine through offering every type of, material, and moral support, to the honorable resistance and its prisoners … and their families.”18
In other statements around this time, senior MB leaders advocated violence against American forces, including civilians. “There is no alternative other than that the [Muslim] peoples continue their political and national support of the resistance, materially and morally, in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” Akef wrote in an open letter on August 17, 2004. 19
Akef continued:
o “Islam considers the resistance to be Jihad for the sake of Allah and this is a commandment, a personal obligation [fardhayn] incumbent on all of the residents of the occupied countries. [This commandment] takes precedence over all other [religious] duties. Even a woman is obligated to go to war, [even] without her husband’s permission, and youth are permitted to go out and fight.” 20
Akef‟s letter was, of course, an unequivocal call for violence. He even implored Muslim women and children to fight.
Similarly, on September 2, 2004, top MB cleric Yousef Qaradawi reportedly issued a fatwa saying Muslims are obligated to fight American forces and civilians in Iraq.21 Qaradawi explained:
o “..all of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation. The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately. The mutilation of corpses [however] is forbidden in Islam.”22
Qaradawi would later deny that he issued such a fatwa. But his denial is a typical example of the Brotherhood‟s doublespeak. In his non-denial, Qaradawi claimed (emphasis added):
o “At the Egyptian Journalists’ Union a few days ago I was asked about the permissibility of fighting against the occupation in Iraq, and I answered that it is permitted. Afterwards I was asked concerning the American civilians in Iraq and I merely responded with the question – are there American civilians in Iraq? It is a matter of common knowledge that in Fatwas such as these I do not use the word „killing‟ but rather I say „struggle,‟ which is a more comprehensive word than the word „killing‟ and whose meaning is not necessarily to kill.”23
In other words, Qaradawi‟s call for a “struggle” against American-led forces was not limited solely to “killing,” but certainly included it. In addition, the head of Qaradawi‟s office confirmed to the press that the sheikh did in fact issue a fatwa saying it is obligatory for Muslims to fight American civilians in Iraq.24
The MB‟s public endorsement of violence in Iraq and elsewhere in 2004 was by no means a new phenomenon. For instance, Sheikh Qaradawi has long justified suicide bombings. “The martyrdom operations carried out by the Palestinian factions to resist the Zionist occupation are not in any way included in the framework of
18 MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 776;
19 Ibid.
20 Ibid.
21 Ibid.
22 MEMRI, “Reactions to Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi‟s Fatwa Calling for the Abduction and Killing of American Civilians in Iraq,” Special Dispatch No. 794, October 6, 2004;
23 Ibid.
24 Ibid.
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prohibited terrorism, even if the victims include some civilians,” Qaradawi said in 2003.25 “Those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake,” Qaradawi added. 26
Qaradawi has been asked to head the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on multiple occasions, but has turned down these offers to continue living in Qatar, where he has prospered. Still, Qaradawi, who hosts a popular television show on Al Jazeera, is a highly influential MB cleric with an audience throughout the Muslim world. It says much that Egyptian MB members consider him their de facto spiritual leader.
The Egyptian MB has continued to endorse violence abroad. In 2008, for example, „Akef told an interviewer that the MB had “dispatched fighters in the past, but the [Egyptian] army and the government fought on our side.”27 „Akef continued: “Now, if we are permitted, we will send fighters to oppose occupation – whether of Iraq or Palestine.” In other words, if the Egyptian government allowed the MB to do so, the MB‟s Supreme Guide was willing to send fighters to fight Americans in Iraq and, separately, Israeli forces.28
The MB’s relationship with Hamas
Perhaps the best example of the MB‟s ongoing support of violence can be found in its relationship with Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist organization is, according to its own charter, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. And unlike other organizations that broke away from the MB to form their own jihadist organizations, Hamas never forswore the MB. As Matthew Levitt writes in his book, Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (emphasis in original):
o …Hamas never fully broke from the Brotherhood. Hamas is not a splinter group; rather, it is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, but with an explicitly violent agenda. When Hamas was established, former Muslim Brotherhood activists were simply redirected from merely promoting Islamic observance to engaging in violent anti-Israel activities. 29
An analysis of the current functional ties between the Egyptian MB leadership and Hamas is beyond the scope of this memo. It is clear that Hamas has some degree of autonomy. However, Hamas and the Egyptian MB continue to work together closely. Levitt writes that Hamas “has always existed as a dependent of the Brotherhood hierarchy.” 30
„Akef, for example, was known to be close to his Hamas comrades during his tenure as supreme guide of the MB from 2004 until 2010.31 And the relationship between the leaders of Hamas and the Egyptian MB predates Hamas‟ founding, beginning in the early 1980s when the Egyptian MB and other international Brotherhood branches provided logistical support to assist their brethren in the Palestinian-controlled territories. 32
The Egyptian MB continues to work closely with Hamas. After Israeli forces moved into Gaza, for instance, Egyptian MB leaders openly declared their involvement with Hamas. According to the MB‟s leadership, this
25 MEMRI, “Al-Qaradhawi Speaks In Favor of Suicide Operations at an Islamic Conference in Sweden,” Special Dispatch No. 542, July 24, 2003;
26 Ibid.
27 MEMRI, “Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide: Bin Laden is a Jihad Fighter,” No. 2001, July 25, 2008;
28 Whether the MB actually had the forces on hand to do so is an open question. But, at a minimum, „Akef‟s pledge of support demonstrates that his organization has not “renounced violence.”
29 Matthew Levitt, Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 30.
30 Ibid.
31 For example, the Economist has repeatedly noted in its coverage of Egypt that „Akef “is close to Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist movement, which is an off-shoot of the Brotherhood.” See: Economist Intelligence Unit, “Egypt: Key figures,” October 3, 2008.
32 Levitt, pp. 30-32.
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prompted the Egyptian government to throw many Brothers in jail. “We have been effectively supporting our Palestinian brothers, especially since the Israeli attacks on Gaza,” „Akef told the press in 2009.33 „Akef continued: “That has angered many powers in and outside Egypt, and since then the government started detaining large numbers of our members and middle management figures. The regime was pressured by many powers in the West to do so.”
The Egyptian MB has also routinely organized mass street protests in support of Hamas. “Our brothers and sons in Gaza are being killed, so imprisoning us is nothing to be compared to what is happening to them,” „Akef said in 2008.34 “It’s our religious duty to support the Palestinians.” In 2006, „Akef even promised to send 10,000 “holy warriors” to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah if the Egyptian government would allow the MB to do so.35
At a minimum, the Egyptian MB‟s enduring support of Hamas demonstrates, yet again, that the organization has not “renounced violence.” Hamas is one of the premier terrorist organizations in existence, having unleashed a suicide bombing campaign in the early 1990s that shocked the world. The MB has never objected to Hamas‟ terrorism. On the contrary, the MB regularly endorses it.

The MB and violence inside Egypt

The MB has eschewed violence inside Egypt itself, but this is not because the group has renounced violent jihad or because it abhors violence in general. As shown above, MB leaders routinely endorse violence elsewhere around the globe. In reality, the MB was forced to give up on violence inside Egypt because it didn‟t work. That is, it was a purely tactical decision. The MB repeatedly failed to overthrow the Egyptian regime, or affect change in a way that benefitted the MB‟s long-term goals.
The MB has been officially outlawed inside Egypt since 1954. During the more than fifty years that followed, the MB has succeeded in immersing itself in Egyptian culture by penetrating unions and building up its membership by recruiting young professionals. This was a survival tactic. And as my colleague at FDD Jonathan Schanzer recently pointed out, the MB has at times allied itself with other powers inside Egypt.36 But in each instance the MB‟s relationships have ended badly. Thousands of Brothers have been routinely imprisoned and others executed.
Given the Egyptian government‟s open hostility to the MB, it is understandable that the group would avoid ineffectual violence to pursue other means of survival. This does not mean the group is non-violent. It just means that the MB, unlike other organizations, is willing to use alternative means to survive and potentially acquire power.
33 Jeffrey Fleishman, “Egypt‟s Brotherhood is knocking; Despite crackdowns, the popular Islamic opposition movement aims to have a say on Mubarak’s succession,” Los Angeles Times, October, 24, 2009.
34 Nadia Abou El-Magd, “Egypt arrests 29 Muslim Brotherhood members, leader calls for protests for Gaza Palestinians,” Associated Press, January 21, 2008.
35 Jill Lawless, “Marchers in Britain, South Africa, Egypt, protest Israeli attacks in Lebanon,” Associated Press, August 6, 2006.
36 Jonathan Schanzer, “Muslim Brotherhood: The Unreliable Ally,” Real Clear World, February 10, 2011;
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III. The MB and al Qaeda
Different tactics, not ideology or goals

Some commentators argue that the MB is moderate because it is supposedly against al Qaeda. There has been rhetorical tension between the two organizations, but this has been caused by differing tactics, not ideology or long-term goals. One can find instances in which MB leaders publicly disagree or criticize al Qaeda‟s methods. On its English web site,, the MB even has a section entitled, “MB VS. Qaeda,” which includes articles supposedly showing that the two organizations are opposed to one another.37
Al Qaeda‟s leaders, especially Ayman al Zawahiri (who joined the MB at the age of 14 before forming his own group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad), have publicly criticized the MB for taking part in Egypt‟s parliamentary elections and for not waging violent jihad inside Egypt. By the same token, however, Zawahiri continues to revere MB leaders such Hassan al Banna and Sayyid Qutb, an ideologue who had a profound influence on al Qaeda‟s thinking.38
There is little to no daylight between what the MB and al Qaeda want in the long-term: to resurrect an Islamic caliphate ruled by Sharia law. MB leaders have repeatedly stressed that they disagree with how al Qaeda carries out jihad, not with al Qaeda‟s goals. Moreover, MB leaders have also declined to reject al Qaeda outright.
On May 22, 2008, an Arab web site ( published an interview with Muhammad Mahdi „Akef, who was then the supreme guide of the MB. „Akef was asked directly about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. The following transcript is provided by MEMRI:
o Interviewer: “On the subject of resistance and jihad – do you consider Bin Laden to be a terrorist or a jihad fighter?”
‘Akef: “Without a shadow of a doubt – a jihad fighter. I do not doubt the fact that he opposes occupation, nor that he does this in order to get closer to Allah, may He be praised and extolled.”
Interviewer: “Doesn’t what you have just said contradict your portrayal of Al-Qaeda as a product of the U.S.?”
‘Akef: “The [organization’s] name is indeed a product of the U.S., but Al-Qaeda as a concept and as an organization has emerged out of [the need to find a way out of] oppression and corruption.”
Interviewer: “Does this mean that you support Al-Qaeda’s activities, and if so, to what extent?”
‘Akef: “Yes, I support its activities against occupation, but not against civilians.” 39
As can be seen in the transcript of Akef‟s comments, the MB leader considers Osama bin Laden a legitimate “jihad fighter,” not a terrorist. Akef only disagreed with bin Laden‟s targeting of civilians — a point that MB leaders have a nuanced position on, often blurring the lines between civilian and military targets.
For obvious reasons, „Akef‟s comments drew criticism. A few days after „Akef‟s interview was posted online, the MB‟s supreme guide thought it necessary to defend his position. In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, „Akef explained:
o We (the Brotherhood) have nothing to do with Al-Qa’idah or Usamah Bin-Ladin… we are against violence except when fighting the occupier…When he (Bin Ladin) fights the occupier then he is a mujahid, and when he attacks civilians, then this is rejected.40
38 The NEFA Foundation, “Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri: An Elegy to the Martyred Commander Abu al-Layth al-Libi,” February 27, 2008;
39 MEMRI, No. 2001;
40 BBC Monitoring Middle East, “Egyptian Islamist party head rejects violence, says no links with Al-Qa’idah,” May 26, 2008.
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This is hardly a wholesale rejection of al Qaeda. The natural implication of „Akef‟s words is that al Qaeda‟s activities inside Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, are legitimate as long as the group is not attacking civilians. Furthermore, this implies that „Akef supports al Qaeda‟s attacks on Western soldiers and military bases.
„Akef‟s explanation became more convoluted when he went on to argue that “the word Al-Qa’idah (Organization) is an American illusion…Bin Ladin has a thought …his thought is based on violence, and we do not approve of violence under any circumstances except one and that is fighting an occupier.” 41 Again, this means that „Akef saw no problem with al Qaeda‟s operations as long as they are carried out against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. „Akef‟s claim that the word al Qaeda is an “American illusion” is also a strange form of denial that the MB and like-minded organizations practice. It plays off of the widely-held belief in the Muslim world that al Qaeda is an invention of Israel and the U.S. It is also an attempt to blame America for al Qaeda‟s violence. On other occasions, „Akef has denied outright that al Qaeda was responsible for the September 11 attacks.
In 2006, Ragab Hilal Hamida, a member of the MB serving in Egypt‟s parliament made similar comments. Hamida reportedly said:
o From my point of view, bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri and Al-Zarqawi are not terrorists in the sense accepted by some. I support all their activities, since they are a thorn in the side of the Americans and the Zionists… [On the other hand,] he who kills Muslim citizens is neither a jihad fighter nor a terrorist, but a criminal and a murderer. We must call things by their proper names!42
As can be seen in these quotes, the MB distinguishes between what it considers terrorism and legitimate jihad. Here, we should pause to reflect on an important point. Given the international opposition to al Qaeda organized by the U.S. following the September 11 attacks, and the Egyptian government‟s decades-long oppression of the MB, the Brotherhood has every incentive to publicly distance itself from al Qaeda. Openly advocating al Qaeda-style terrorism (which, by the way, isn‟t all that different from Hamas‟ operations) would serve as a strong justification for the Egyptian government to imprison or even execute the MB‟s leaders. Given this intense pressure, then, it is truly remarkable that the MB‟s have not wholly (and consistently) disowned al Qaeda when given the opportunity.
It is in this context that we consider Sheikh Qaradawi‟s condemnation of the September 11 attacks in late 2001.43 It is commonly argued that Qaradawi‟s denunciation of al Qaeda‟s 9/11 operation shows a real point of difference between the MB and al Qaeda. However, Qaradawi‟s statement came just days after 9/11, when international outrage at the events of that day was still fresh. One could argue that it was a wise tactical move for Qaradawi to distance himself from the mass casualty attack since it would have brought him under more intense scrutiny.
Furthermore, Qaradawi has steadily walked back from his opposition to the killing of civilians, which was the basis for his supposed objection to 9/11. As cited above, Qaradawi deliberately blurred the lines between civilians and servicemen in justifying violence in Iraq, saying “there is no difference between [American] civilians and soldiers [in Iraq], and one should fight them.”
Qaradawi has also been one of the most important advocates of suicide bombings in Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories. Qaradawi has explained: “I have been affiliated with a group considered by Zionists as their first enemy; it is the Muslim Brotherhood that has provided and still provides martyrs for the cause of
41 Ibid.
42 MEMRI, “Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood MPs: The Koran Encourages Terrorism; „Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri and Al-Zarqawi are Not Terrorists in the Sense Accepted by Some,” Special Dispatch No. 1110, March 10, 2006;
43 Sheikh Qaradawi‟s statement can be found online here:
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Palestine.”44 In addition, Qaradawi has praised Imad Mugniyah, Hezbollah‟s chief terrorist for decades, as a “martyred hero.”45 Beginning in the early 1980s, Mugniyah carried out many of the same types of attacks that al Qaeda would later emulate. Indeed, when Osama bin Laden wanted to know how to use suicide bombers in his operations against American targets, he turned to Mugniyah for advice.46
At most, then, the point of difference between Qaradawi and al Qaeda concerns when the use of suicide terrorists is appropriate. This is hardly a major schism. Qaradawi holds a variety of other radical beliefs, which are not very different from al Qaeda‟s, as well.47
The Gateway from MB to al Qaeda
Paul Berman has rightly called Sayyid Qutb, a prominent MB ideologue who was executed in 1966, “the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.”48 This is indisputably true, as Qutb‟s writings are still cited by al Qaeda to this day. Two of the groups that became core members of al Qaeda‟s joint venture, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, both have their roots in the MB. Both of these two organizations had a profound impact on the development of Osama bin Laden‟s global terrorist empire.
In fact, it is a short step from the MB to al Qaeda. This can be best illustrated by the following list, which includes al Qaeda members who were formerly members of the MB, as well as Brothers who have directly supported al Qaeda.
Partial List of al Qaeda and MB members
o Osama bin Laden – There is evidence that bin Laden was recruited by the MB while studying as a young man in Saudi Arabia. As early as his high school years Osama may have been recruited by the MB.49 At King Abdel-Aziz University, Osama attended Mohammed Qutb‟s lectures.50 Mohammed taught the same jihadist doctrine as his more infamous brother, Sayyid Qutb, who by that time was a “martyr” for the jihadist cause..
o Ayman al Zawahiri – Zawahiri joined the MB at the age of 14 and quickly became a revered figure among his fellow Brothers despite his young age. Zawahiri founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), an organization that holds many of the same beliefs as the MB but simply refuses to renounce violence inside Egypt. Beginning in the 1980s, Zawahiri and the EIJ worked closely with Osama bin Laden. In the 1990s, the EIJ formally merged with bin Laden‟s organization.
44 Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “Al Qaradawi‟s Statement on Shiites,”, September 25, 2008;
45Douglas Farah, “Qaradawi, Mughniyeh‟s Martyrdom, and Al Qaeda‟s Love of Qutb,”, March 5, 2008;
46 Thomas Joscelyn, “Iran‟s Proxy War Against America,” The Claremont Institute, September 11, 2007;
47 For a collection of Qaradawi‟s radical statements, see the Anti-Defamation League‟s Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Theologian of Terror, available online at:,DB7611A2-02CD-43AF-8147-649E26813571,frameless.htm
48 Paul Berman, “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” The New York Times Magazine, March 23, 2003;
49 Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century, (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008), p. 148. Coll writes: “The Brotherhood‟s Egyptian roots and emphasis on political activity would have an influence on the course of Osama‟s life once he reached adulthood.”
50 Lawrence Wright, Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 ,(New York: Knopf, 2006), p.79
Foundation for Defense of Democracies | P.O. Box 33249, Washington D.C. 20033 | 202-207-0190 |
o Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – KSM is the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. Before becoming one of the most infamous al Qaeda terrorists alive, he was a member of the MB in Kuwait.
o Mohammed Atta – Atta, an Egyptian, was the lead hijacker for the 9/11 operation. Before that, he was a member of the MB.
o 9/11 al Qaeda cells in Hamburg and Spain – The al Qaeda cells in Hamburg and Spain at the time of 9/11 were run by men who were formerly members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB). Mamoun Darkazanli and Mohammed Zammar, who ran the Hamburg cell for 9/11, were both members of the SMB. Imad Yarkas, who led al Qaeda‟s cell in Spain and was bin Laden‟s key point man in Europe, was also a former member of the SMB. Some of Yarkas‟ underlings were once members of the SMB as well.
o Abdullah Azzam – Azzam was a key jihadist thinker, whose teachings helped launch the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Before he was assassinated in 1989, Azzam was a co-founder of both al Qaeda and Hamas. Azzam, who was one of Osama bin Laden‟s spiritual mentors, was a member of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.
o Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman – Rahman, who is known as the “Blind Sheikh,” was the spiritual leader of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. The organization‟s roots are in the MB and, like Zawahiri‟s Egyptian Islamic Jihad, became its own jihadist group after the MB‟s leadership decided to avoid using violence inside Egypt. Rahman‟s group became a core part of the al Qaeda joint venture in the 1990s, and al Qaeda even plotted to spring Rahman from prison after he was convicted of his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a follow-on plot against NYC landmarks.
o Sheikh Abdul Majeed al Zindani – Zindani founded the Yemeni branch of the MB. He has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his decades-long relationship with Osama bin Laden. Treasury found that Zindani served “as one of [bin Laden‟s] spiritual leaders” and recruited terrorists for al Qaeda‟s training camps.
o Hassan al Turabi – Turabi was one of the most prominent MB members throughout the 1990s. He founded the MB‟s chapter in Sudan. From 1992 until 1996, Turabi hosted Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in Sudan. He has been dubbed the “Pope of Terrorism” in the European press because of his many ties to international terrorism.
As can be seen from this partial list, there is a continuum between the MB and al Qaeda – not a sharp break. MB members move seamlessly into al Qaeda and al Qaeda-affiliated organizations. The reasons for this easy transition should be obvious. The MB, like al Qaeda, believes that Muslims should value death more than life (al Banna‟s “art of death”). They both justify suicide bombings. They both hate the U.S. and Israel, depicting the world as enthralled in an imaginary conflict between “Zionist-Crusaders” and Muslims. And they both believe that the Muslim world should be united under a revitalized caliphate governed by Sharia law.
IV. The MB is not truly democratic
Finally, some have suggested that the MB has embraced democracy because the organization is willing to participate in elections inside Egypt and, on occasion, its leaders sound like they‟ve embraced democracy. As with its decision to abstain from violence inside Egypt, however, the MB‟s participation in elections is a tactical decision. The MB‟s senior leadership has repeatedly denounced true democracy. More importantly, the MB‟s leaders have repeatedly said that they wish to implement Sharia law, with Brotherhood clerics deciding what is legal inside Egypt.
Foundation for Defense of Democracies | P.O. Box 33249, Washington D.C. 20033 | 202-207-0190 |
“The Muslim Brotherhood carries Islam to the people,” MB supreme guide „Akef explained in 2006.51 “We teach people that it is an all-encompassing religion which sheds light and facilitates all aspects of life.” According to „Akef, the West has all sorts of freedoms under democracy that Islam prohibits. „Akef explained: “On the other hand, democracy gives people infinite freedom. People in the West have the right to drink alcohol, commit adultery, and more. No, we are not like this.”
The MB‟s leadership believes that the Koran is the sole basis of law, and that all of the rules and regulations necessary for society are contained therein. As the MB‟s general guide, Muhammad Badi‟, explained in 2010:
o “The noble Koran is the constitution that sets out the laws of Islam. It is the fountainhead of all virtue and wisdom in the hearts of the believers, and it is the best [way] for the believers to become closer to Allah… The Holy Koran includes all the tenets of faith, laws of worship, principles of public good [and] legal concepts [pertaining to] this world, including duties and prohibitions, and they are for the benefit of all humanity, without distinctions of religion, [skin] color, gender, [social] status or language…”52
Of course, this means that clerics must interpret for the masses what is and is not permissible under Islamic law, since many of the details of modern life are not spelled out in Islam‟s holiest text. The MB‟s draft political platform explicitly envisions a panel of clerics setting forth the law, after being elected by their fellow clerics, not the Egyptian people. 53 And „Akef has made it clear that such an arrangement, in which a clerical Shura council dictates what is legal, is not the same thing as Western-style democracy:
o “The Shura Council can be the paragon of democracy, but [only] democracy of a right kind, [i.e.,] one that honors shari’a. I distinguish between this kind of democracy and the Western democracy, which allows [a man] to act as he pleases, [even] in contradiction to Allah’s commandments. Our movement leader [i.e., head of the Muslim Brotherhood] does nothing [without consulting] the shura council [of the movement]. The decision is made by the Supreme Guide’s office and not by me.” 54
51 CNN, transcript of Your World Today, April 25, 2006.
52 MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 3556;
53 Ibid.
54 MEMRI, No. 2001;

Foundation for Defense of Democracies | P.O. Box 33249, Washington D.C. 20033 | 202-207-0190 |
Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that threaten democracy. With a solid track record of transforming ideas into actions that get results, FDD uniquely combines policy research, counterterrorism and democracy education and training, strategic communications, and investigative journalism.


“Modern Egyptian Jew Hatred: Indigenous Elements and Foreign Influences”,
will stand forever as examples of their uniquely prescient understanding of modern, canonical Islamic Jew-hatred.
Dr. Andrew Bostom |

Introduction: Rapid upload pdf of full 51 pp. text available here: 


October 4, 1944—69 years ago—a then internationally renowned Muslim cleric, addressing imams of the Bosnian SS Division fighting for the Nazis, stated the following to his co-religionists:

Nearly one-third of the Koran concerns the Jews. The Koran calls upon all Muslims to protect themselves against the Jews and to fight them wherever they may meet them. The Jews in Khaybar attempted to poison Muhammad, the messenger of Allah; they also carried out themselves or supported various attacks on the person of the Prophet, all of which failed. Muhammad’s many attempts to bring the Jews to their senses were unsuccessful, with the result that he saw himself as simply forced to dispose of the Jews and to run them out of Arabia.1
This accurate summary of canonical, mainstream Islamic theology regarding Jews,2 was made by Hajj Amin el-Husseini—the preeminent Arab Muslim leader of the World War II era. Concordant with his stature then, in Islamdom, el-Husseini was viewed by Adolph Hitler (and also the Waffen-SS), as a “Muslim pope.” For example, the Nazi regime promoted this former mufti of Jerusalem in an illustrated biographical booklet (printed in Berlin in 1943) which declared him Muhammad’s direct descendant, an Arab national hero, and the “incarnation of all ideals and hopes of the Arab nation.” 3
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine—anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The Congressional record contains a statement of support from New York Rep. Walter Chandler which includes an observation, about “Turkish and Arab agitators . . . preaching a kind of holy war [jihad] against . . . the Jews” of Palestine.4 During this same era within Palestine, a strong Arab Muslim irredentist current—epitomized by Hajj Amin el-Husseini—promulgated the forcible restoration of sharia-mandated dhimm­itude for Jews via jihad. Indeed, two years before he orchestrated the murderous anti-Jewish riots of 1920, that is, in 1918, Hajj Amin el-Husseini stated plainly to a Jewish coworker (at the Jerusalem Governorate), I. A. Abbady, “This was and will remain an Arab land . . . the Zionists will be massacred to the last man. . . . Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country.” 5
Despite his role in fomenting the1920 pogroms against Palestinian Jews, el-Husseini was pardoned and subsequently appointed mufti of Jerusalem by the British high commissioner, in May 1921, a title he retained, following the Ottoman practice, for the remainder of his life. Throughout his public career, the mufti relied upon traditional Koranic anti-Jewish motifs to arouse the Arab street. For example, during the incitement which led to the 1929 Arab revolt in Palestine, he called for combating and slaughtering “the Jews.” not merely Zionists. In fact, most of the Jewish victims of the 1929 Arab revolt were Jews from the centuries-old dhimmi communities (for example, in Hebron), as opposed to recent settlers identified with the Zionist movement. 6
With the ascent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the mufti and his coterie intensified their antisemitic activi­ties to secure support from Hitler’s Germany (and later Bosnian Muslims, as well as the overall global Muslim umma [community]), for a jihad to annihilate the Jews of Palestine. Following his expulsion from Palestine by the British, the mufti fomented a brutal anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad (1941), concurrent with his failed effort to install a pro-Nazi Iraqi government. Escaping to Europe after this unsuccessful coup attempt, the mufti spent the remainder of World War II in Germany and Italy. From this sanctuary, he provided active support for the Germans by recruiting Bosnian Muslims, in addition to Muslim minorities from the Caucasus, for ded­icated Nazi SS units. The Mufti’s objectives for these recruits, and Muslims in general, were made explicit during his multiple wartime radio broadcasts from Berlin, heard throughout the Arab world: an international campaign of genocide against the Jews. For example, during his March 1, 1944, broadcast he stated: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion [i.e., Islam].” 7
Hajj Amin also attempted to contribute to the German war effort in Yugoslavia by recruiting Bosnian Muslims for the so-called Handzar Division. 8 Jan Wanner has observed that,
His [the mufti’s] appeals . . . addressed to the Bosnian Muslims were . . . close in many respects to the argumentation used by contemporary Islamic fundamentalists . . . the Mufti viewed only as a new interpretation of the traditional concept of the Islamic community (umma), sharing with Nazism common enemies. 9
However, the creation of these Muslim units, for which the mufti bears direct responsibility, had only a limited impact on the overall destruction of European Jewry when compared with his nefarious wartime campaign to prevent Jewish emigration from Europe to Palestine. Wanner, in his 1986 analysis of the mufti’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II, concluded,
[T]he darkest aspect of the Mufti’s activities in the final stage of the war was undoubtedly his personal share in the extermination of Europe’s Jewish pop­ulation. On May 17, 1943, he wrote a personal letter to Ribbentrop, asking him to prevent the transfer of 4500 Bulgarian Jews, 4000 of them children, to Palestine. In May and June of the same year, he sent a number of letters to the governments of Bulgaria, Italy, Rumania, and Hungary, with the request not to permit even individual Jewish emigration and to allow the transfer of Jews to Poland where, he claimed they would be “under active supervi­sion.” The trials of Eichmann’s henchmen, including Dieter Wislicency who was executed in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, confirmed that this was not an isolated act by the Mufti. 10
Invoking the personal support of such prominent Nazis as Himmler and Eichmann, the mufti’s relentless hectoring of German, Romanian, and Hungarian government officials caused the cancellation of an estimated 480,000 exit visas which had been granted to Jews (80,000 from Rumania, and 400,000 from Hungary). As a result, these hapless individuals were deported to Polish concentration camps. A United Nations Assembly document presented in 1947 which contained the mufti’s June 28, 1943, letter to the Hungarian foreign minister requesting the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Poland, includes this stark, telling annotation: “As a Sequel to This Request 400,000 Jews Were Subsequently Killed.” 11Moreover, in the mufti’s memoirs (Memoirs of the Grand Mufti, edited by Abd al-Karim al-Umar, Damascus, 1999), he describes what Himmler revealed to him during the summer of 1943 regarding the genocide of the Jews. Following pro forma tirades on “Jewish war guilt,” Himmler told the mufti that “up to now we have liquidated [abadna] around three million of them.”12
According to historian Howard M. Sachar, meetings the mufti held with Hitler in 1941 and 1942 led to an understanding whereby Hitler’s forces would invade Palestine with the goal being “not the occupation of the Arab lands, but solely the destruction of Palestin(ian) Jewry.”13 And in April 2006, the director of the Nazi research center in Ludwigsburg, Klaus-Michael Mallman, and Berlin historian Martin Cueppers, revealed that a murderous Einsatzgruppe Egypt, connected to Rommel’s Africa Korps, was stationed in Athens awaiting British expulsion from the Levant, prior to beginning their planned slaughter of the roughly five hundred thousand Jews in Palestine. This plan was only aborted after Rommel’s defeat by Montgomery at El Alamein, Egypt, in October/November 1942. 14
The mufti remained unrelenting in his espousal of a virulent Jew-hatred as the focal tenet of his ideology in the aftermath of World War II, and the creation of the State of Israel. He was also a committed supporter of global jihad movements, urging a “full struggle” against the Hindus of India (as well as the Jews of Israel) before delegates at the February 1951 World Muslim Congress: “We shall meet next with sword in hand on the soil of either Kashmir or Palestine.” Declassified intelligence documents from 1942, 1947, 1952, and 1954 confirm the mufti’s own Caliphate desires in repeated references from con­texts as diverse as Turkey, Egypt, Jerusalem, and Pakistan, and also include discus­sions of major Islamic conferences dominated by the mufti, which were attended by a broad spectrum of Muslim leaders literally representing the entire Islamic world (including Shia leaders from Iran), that is, in Karachi from February 16–19, 1952, and Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem, December 3–9, 1953. Viewed in their totality these data do not support the current standard assessment of the mufti as merely a “Palestinian Arab nationalist, rife with Jew-hatred.” 15
There is another parallel negationist trend, which is also widely prevalent: the claim that el-Husseini’s canonical Islamic Jew-hatred somehow represented a suis generis “Nazification” of Islam, which has “persisted” into our era. 16 Paul Berman articulated an unabashed formulation of this broadly held thesis, proclaiming, that abetted by the Nazis, el-Husseini “monstrously,” and “infernally,” “blurred Islam and Nazism,” achieving
A victory of Himmler’s Islam…A victory for the Islam of fanaticism and hatred over its arch-rival, the Islam of generosity and civilization.17
During 1938, a booklet Muhammad Sabri edited, Islam, Judentum, Bolschewismus (Islam, Jewry, Bolshevism), was published in Berlin by Junker-Duennhaupt [Dünnhaupt]. 18 Sabri’s booklet included Hajj Amin el-Husseini’s 1937 declaration—also deemed by some as a “fatwa” (an Islamic religious ruling) 19—appealing to the worldwide Muslim umma. El-Husseini’s declaration was extracted and reprinted, separately, by the Nazi regime as Islam und Judentum (Islam and Jewry), and distributed to Muslim SS units in Bosnia, Croatia, and the Soviet Union. 20
As best as I can determine, the first complete, annotated translation of this pamphlet, directly from the German, is provided herein. Although author Jennie Lebel included a somewhat awkward Serbo-Croatian to English translation of the pamphlet in her important biography of el-Husseini, neither she,21 nor any other scholar has ever identified, let alone comprehensively explicated, the antisemitic Islamic motifs which punctuate el-Husseini’s pronouncement, from beginning to end. Accordingly, what follows the translation, is a detailed commentary which addresses this critical—and frankly, self-fulfilling—lacuna in the scholarship on el-Husseini’s Jew-hatred, i.e., identifying and analyzing its traditionalist Islamic origins.


Director of National Intelligience, James Clapper saying Muslim Brotherhood Largely Secular, Has Eschewed Violence


Amb. Bolton on Dir.of National Intellegience James Clapper ‘Muslim Brotherhood’


Anatomy of a Smear: ‘The Third Jihad’ Fights Back


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