Who Is The Muslim Brotherhood?

Egypt is under siege:  There has now been a week of unrelenting demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave after nearly 30 years in power.  The repercussions were being felt around the Mideast, as other authoritarian governments fearing popular discontent pre-emptively tried to burnish their democratic image.  Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday in the face of smaller street protests, named an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet and ordered him to launch political reforms. The Palestinian Cabinet in the West Bank said it would hold long-promised municipal elections “as soon as possible.”

With Mubarak’s hold on power in Egypt weakening, the world was forced to plan for the end of a regime that has maintained three decades of peace with Israel and a bulwark against Islamic militants. But under the stability was a barely hidden crumbling of society, mounting criticism of the regime’s human rights record and a widening gap between rich and poor, with 40 percent of the population living under or just above the poverty line set by the World Bank at $2 a day.

So who is this group of people that according to all the news media is attempting to take control of the nation of Egypt?  It is granted that the majority of citizens in America really have no clear idea as to this group or why they even exist.  In America, the home of every single stereotype ever invented, the mere mention of the word Muslim brings to mind the World Trade Center bombings and a plethora of past atrocities that have killed thousands of our citizens at home and abroad.  Our way of life has changed in the United States due to Islamic extremism and/or terrorist acts conducted in the name of Allah.  The extremely sensitive, politically correct in our society will cringe at the last sentence and turn it around on anyone that thinks such a thing.  If such a thought ever entered your mind, these people will become extremely libelous and slanderous of you, your mother/father, level of education and political affiliation. The reasoning behind the extremist actions will then rain down upon you until you agree that Americans had it coming and then some. (the “chickens came home to roost” story)

In an attempt to enlighten myself on who the Muslim Brotherhood is, I typed in their name at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_brotherhood  The information I read was sort of what I expected but a lot of what I didn’t expect as well.  I just decided to introduce parts of a rather long description of this organization.  Feel free to read the complete rendering at your leisure:  The following is what I found interesting.

Muslim Brotherhood Beliefs

In the group’s belief, the Quran and Sunnah constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal, as stated by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna was to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia.[18] It preaches that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedom to the extent allowed by the laws of Islam. The Brotherhood strongly opposes Western colonialism, and helped overthrow the pro-western monarchies in Egypt and other Muslim nations during the early 20th century.

An important belief on the part of intellectuals who have assisted the organization is the reemergence of Islamic Civilization because Western Civilization is perceived to be in decline; in the words of an 2007 essay, “More than forty years ago the premise was made clear: The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind.” As Sayyid Qutb, an Islamic intellectual and supporter of the Brotherhood wrote in his 1963 book, Milestones, (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq), “The leadership of mankind by Western man is now on the decline, not because Western culture has become poor materially or because its economic and military power has become weak. The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind. It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which is positive and constructive, and which is practicable. Islam is the only System which possesses these values and this way of life. [19

The Muslim Brotherhood in The United States

The Muslim Brotherhood has been active in the US since the 1960s. Its stated goals have included propagating Islam and creating havens for Muslims in the US, and integrating Muslims. A main strategy has been dawahor Islamic renewal and outreach. In the 1960s, groups such as U.S. military personnel, prison inmates and African-Americans were specifically targeted for dawah. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA is, the process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who choose to slack.[72]

Organizations in the US started by activists involved with the Muslim Brotherhood include the Muslim Students Association in 1963,[17] North American Islamic Trust in 1971, the Islamic Society of North America in 1981, the American Muslim Council in 1990, the Muslim American Society in 1992, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought in the 1980s.[17] According to the Washington Post, Muslim activists say MSA’s members represent “all schools of Islam and political leanings – many are moderates, while others express anti-U.S. views or support resistance against Israelis.”[17]

The Holy Land Foundation trial has led to the release as evidence of [73] several documents on the Muslim Brotherhood. One of these documents, dated in 1991, explains that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is “settlement”, defined by the author as a form of jihad aimed at destroying Western civilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions.[74] In another one of these documents, “Ikhwan in America”, the author alleges that the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US include going to camps to do weapons training (referred to as Special work by the Muslim Brotherhood),[75] as well as engaging incounter-espionage against US government agencies such as the FBI and CIA (referred to as Securing the Group).[76] In November 2008 the Holy Land Foundation was found guilty of illegally funding Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is designated by the United States as a terrorist group.[77]

The general goals and strategic plans of the Muslim Brotherhood are only found in Arabic documents. One for Europe called “The Project” was found in 2001 in Switzerland, another for North America was found in 2005 called the “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”[24] An evaluation of this Memorandum was made for the US-Congress and for the Pentagon.[25] Their influence is fast growing, especially in Europe, but not easy to trace while the active members have to keep their membership secret.

One citation from the document “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America”[26] makes the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood clear: “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

In the United States, a lot of debating is taking place as to whether our military should intercede and help the Mubarak regime hold power or sit back and watch what happens.  Should we help Mubarak remain in control, we once again incite the Muslim extremist.  If we don’t help the Mubarak government and they are overthrown or take off into excile, the world could easily find themselves neighboring with another nation of Jihadist.  After all, we did go into Iraq to quell such a thing from happening.

The real question is:  If America had its own oil supplies – would we even care?  Everyone in the United States knows that our nation can produce the oil and energy we need at home if we only would. It can be argued that we should be there for the sake of Israel.  Having the enemies of the nation of Israel gain another vantage point is not something that should happen.  Therefore, we have to ask ourselves:  At what point do we put our foot down hard and break out the big weapons to show how sincere we are?  Are we going to hold our finger in the dam forever?  Is this situation worth having another World War?  If we give in again or at this point, how long before these people and jihadist are knocking on our nations door again?  At this time in history, the idea that one nation or even the United Nations can prevent human rights violations across the globe is preposterous.  There will always be someone willing to tell someone else how to live.  The most amazing part is that people who can’t control themselves even try to control someone else.

Brian Gray

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