Ellen Hunt Phd responds:
8/21/2013 11:03 AM EDT
The Muslim Brotherhood was started by Al Banna, who wrote many admiring letters to Adolf Hitler including his hatred of the Jews. This led to Nazi support of Al Banna, which allowed him to grow his organization as Hitler’s ally in the Middle East. By 1938 the Muslim Brotherhood’s membership numbered 200,000. Two Waffen-SS Handschar Divisions composed of Muslim Brotherhood members fought for the Nazis. These two divisions were the largest Waffen-SS divisions the Nazi’s had. Muslim Brotherhood kept an envoy in Berlin, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, in Berlin, where he lived as Hitler’s VIP guest from 1941 to 1945, before joining al-Banna in Egypt in 1946. After the war, Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi and participated in the invasion of the newly re-created nation of Israel. After which Al Banna was assassinated.
Muslim Brotherhood then attempted to assassinate President Nasser, who imprisoned the leadership. Nasser then pardoned them all after which they tried again to assassinate him. Nasser imprisoned them again, and many fled. (A great many fled to the USA and set up shop here, recruiting and enforcing their brand of Islam.)
The Muslim Brotherhood formally renounced violence in 1972, then assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981 because he made peace with Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood publishes Mein Kampf in Arabic, as ‘My Jihad’ making it the #6 selling book in the Muslim world. It is sold in mosques throughout the USA.
In 1982, the Muslim Brotherhood initiated “The Project”. The document was found by Swiss Police in 1981 in the home of a wealthy Muslim Brotherhood financier. This document details how the Muslim Brotherhood should operate to create 5th columns, spread into and take over by stealth in a 20 point program. For 19 years they kept it secret.
The following are/were Muslim Brothers: Abdullah Azzam, bin-Laden’s mentor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
…Meanwhile, the movement is battling a level of popular hostility perhaps unprecedented in its history. The Brotherhood’s strategy of confronting the government with sit-ins and marches in recent weeks seems only to have inflamed public opinion.
An organization that just two months ago was governing the Arab world’s most populous nation is at risk of falling apart, said Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamist movements at Cairo’s al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
“They are facing a really critical moment. They could disappear. And alternatives already exist,” Rashwan said.
Throughout its history, the Brotherhood has repeatedly clashed with Egypt’s authoritarian governments, enduring arrests, torture and imprisonment. But what’s different now, analysts say, is that it’s battling not only a military-backed government but also the disdain of a broad swath of society. Many Egyptians are irate at Morsi for the country’s economic slide and the rise in crime during his one-year rule. Others complain that the Brotherhood tried to grab power by excluding minority political groups and trying to insulate its decisions from judicial review.
“It’s the first time to see the Muslim Brotherhood in conflict not only with the state — but with the whole of the state, [including] the bureaucracy, and the political elite, and an important part of society. It’s not a limited confrontation,” Rashwan said.
Egypt teen’s grisly death in Alexandria stirs outcry
In the political unrest after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood supporters throw three teenage boys off a roof, killing one.
Images from a video uploaded to YouTube on Friday purport to show a group of teenage boys atop a building in Alexandria, Egypt, being surrounded by a group of men and then hurled off the roof. (YouTube / July 5, 2013)
Where Does the Muslim Brotherhood Go From Here?
Reckoning with Morsi’s failure
BY NATHAN BROWN
The final, desperate hours of Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president ousted by the military on Wednesday, were in one sense merciful, but also pathetic. After a brief feint that called to mind the image of Salvadore Allende picking up a gun to defend his presidency, Morsi resorted instead to a series of increasingly desperate verbal signals, including ineffectual crises about his own legitimacy and attempts to grasp expired offers of compromise. The result made him seem less like a martyr than a property owner waving his deed at a wrecking-ball operator who has already destroyed his home.
Waving that deed—or, less metaphorically, attempting to fall back on constitutional text and electoral legitimacy—would have much to persuade a neutral observer if any such creature still exists. Yes, it is true that the Brotherhood did well in elections; that it was not able to govern fully but still saddled with responsibility for Egypt’s insurmountable problems; that important state actors never accepted its authority; that its opposition was unified only by a desire to make the Brotherhood fail; and that Egypt’s rumor mill transformed preposterous rumor into established fact with breathtaking speed.
But it is also undeniable that Morsi and the Brotherhood made almost every conceivable mistake—including some (such as reaching too quickly for political power or failing to build coalitions with others) that they had vowed they knew enough to avoid. They alienated potential allies, ignored rising discontent, focused more on consolidating their rule than on using what tools they did have, used rhetoric that was tone deaf at best and threatening at worst. Had they hired a consultant from the Nixon White House, they would have done a more credible job, at least by being efficient.
The Morsi presidency is without a doubt one of the most colossal failures in the Brotherhood’s history. What lesson will the movement learn from it, if any?
In studying Islamist movements over the last decade, I generally found that the most rewarding time to speak to leaders was about a year or so after an election. During the heat of the political battle, they made decisions like most politicians do (on the fly, often overreacting to yesterday’s headlines) and spoke like most politicians do (providing glib spin than reflective analysis). But at calmer moments, they spoke less like politicians and more openly. And there was a reason why: The movements prided themselves (justifiably) on an ability to learn.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and its sister organizations represent the most successful non-governmental organizations in Arab history. No other movements have been able to sustain, reinvent, and replicate themselves over so much time and space. And there are two secrets to that success: a tight-knit organizational structure that rewards loyalty and the ability to adjust and adapt.
And those two features led to the experiment with political Islam that is now in such grave crisis. The organizational tightness of the Brotherhood made it more able than any other potential opposition force to organize for campaigns: In many countries, they were the only political party worthy of the name (even in places where they were banned from calling themselves a party). And their adaptability allowed them to take advantages of the cracks and openings that appeared in Arab authoritarian orders over the past few decades.
When the uprisings of 2011 occurred, the Egyptian Brotherhood had become sufficiently adept at the political game that it hit the ground running far faster than any possible competitor. And the organization had also evolved over the past couple decades to place politics at the center of its agenda. Founded as a general reform movement that carried out charity, self-improvement, education, mutual assistance, preaching, and politics, the Brotherhood had become a primarily political creature.
But just as its political project seemed poised to realize full success, it suddenly and ignominiously collapsed. The immediate reaction among its members will be to complain that the Brotherhood was cheated. And in a sense it was, but complaint will not substitute for reflection forever. What will be the movement’s more studied reaction? In a conversation two months ago with a Brotherhood leader Amr Darrag, I made a bold prediction that in ten years, the organization will regret having sought the Egyptian presidency in 2012. He politely disagreed. In retrospect we were both wrong: The regret will likely set in over the next several months.
And what will this reflective organization regret?
From the vantage point of this week’s events, I see three answers.
The Brotherhood made bad decisions. Those arguing for such a path will have quite a smorgasbord at their disposal. But what they will likely focus on was the process in 2011 and 2012 in which the organization went from wishing to be a leading political actor to being the dominant party. They did so, I am convinced, not as part of a well thought-out strategy but because they reacted to various events—perceived slights, unexpected opportunities, and confusing signals. I saw the evolution of the Brotherhood’s thinking in a series of meetings with Brotherhood leader (and reputed chief strategist) Khairat al-Shatir in the year after the uprising. In March 2011, he spoke of governing as something that might be in the Brotherhood’s future after he had retired; by the following January he was beginning to edge toward his own presidential bid (one that he was forced to cede to his colleague Mohamed Morsi when al-Shatir’s conviction under the old regime led to his disqualification).
Those who favor this answer might wish to return to the political game but play it a bit more cautiously and judiciously. It will be a long road back, however, since the Morsi presidency will leave a residue of profound distrust and even hatred toward the organization in large parts of the society that had merely been skeptical before.
As some within the Brotherhood have nervously felt, the organization did not make these mistakes by accident. The tight-knit organization built for resilience under authoritarianism made for an inward-looking, even paranoid movement when it tried to refashion itself as a governing party. In fact, the organization was led by figures (Morsi himself, al-Shatir, and Brotherhood General Guide Muhammad Badi‘) who were themselves pure creatures of the organization, but the best of them tended to be fairly inexperienced at dealing with the world outside of it.
This diagnosis might lead to the Brotherhood leaving the political game to the political party it spawned, the Freedom and Justice Party. It might even lead the movement to decide to free its members to join any party they like, a position favored by a small number of young activists back in 2011. Either path would be extremely difficult for the current leadership—raised on hierarchy, coordination, and discipline—to follow.
The problem lay in the choice of a political strategy. The Brotherhood’s mistake in such a view would be that it thought it could win and govern. But the experience of the Islamist FIS in Algeria in the early 1990s (where the military intervened to prevent an Islamist victory), Hamas in Palestine in 2006 (where a coalition of international and domestic actors sabotaged the Islamists’ ability to rule) has now been joined by that of Egypt’s Brotherhood.
This diagnosis may be seem very persuasive in the long term, but it could lead in very diverse directions—to the movement abandoning political work; to individuals abandoning the Brotherhood; or to the Brotherhood determining that it will play politics but no longer by peaceful rules.
Which lesson will the Brotherhood learn, and how will it apply them? The organization first needs some time to think, and it is not yet clear how the disparate coalition that has destroyed the Morsi presidency will react to the Brotherhood’s continued role. In this respect, it would be wise for those who are now victorious in Egypt to remember that the issue is not only what the Brotherhood learns; the issue is also what Islamists are taught.
Nathan J. Brown is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for international Peace. He is author of When Victory Is Not An Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics, Cornell University Press, 2012.
“To give your vote for Islamists is a religious issue,” an Islamic scholar, Sayed Abdel Karim, declared at a campaign rally in Giza, across the Nile from Cairo, calling for “the rule of God, not the rule of the people.”
“The revival of Islamic spirit in the region is a direct threat to Israel and the future of the Western civilization, Europe and the U.S.,” he said, asserting that “the enemy media” were already saying that “those who love Jews, the United States and Europe should make every effort to keep the Islamic spirit dormant. Look at the conspiracy!”
Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent in Egypt has profound implications for region
“This is a watershed, not only in Egyptian politics but for the politics of the entire region,” said Hilal Khashan, professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. “Egypt is the trendsetter, the base of the Arab world, and developments in Egypt are likely to affect the whole Arab world.”
To the Editor:
Nicholas D. Kristof may have been impressed by the apparent moderation of a young Muslim Brotherhood activist in Egypt (“Joining a Dinner in a Muslim Brotherhood Home,” column, Dec. 8), but an examination of remarks by Brotherhood leaders at political rallies and in their newspapers and magazines points to an alarming escalation of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.
The Brotherhood’s leadership has taken advantage of Egypt’s newfound political, civic and media freedoms to publicly promote conspiratorial claims against Israel and Jews, and to express support for terrorist groups committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.
Essam El Erian, deputy president of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, has unabashedly stated, “Israel cannot tolerate peace … because they want to live in war. It is the history of Jewish people.” And the Brotherhood’s leader, Mohammad Badie, wrote recently: “Our primary enemy is the Zio-American project, which seeks to control the whole region in order to establish ‘Greater Israel’ and the new Middle East.”
America should encourage the development of democratic societies in one of the world’s most troubled regions; however, it is important to keep our eyes open to the extreme messages the Muslim Brotherhood — the most organized political force in Egypt today — is sending its supporters, and how that will affect peace and stability in the region.
ABRAHAM H. FOXMAN
New York, Dec. 8, 2011
Facts are stubborn things. The Main Stream Media refuses to acknowledge the truth about Islam and in particular, the Muslim Brotherhood. What their spokesmen say in English is different from what they tell Muslims in Arabic.
PMW translation of
“Jihad is the way” by Mustafa Mashhur
Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1996-2002
One of the results of the turmoil in Egypt is the rise in influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to understand the implications, Palestinian Media Watch has translated the book Jihad is the way by Mustafa Mashhur, who was the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 1996-2002. The book is the fifth volume of his full work called The Laws of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity).
In his book, Jihad is the way, Mashhur explains the fundamental concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology. Mashhur’s teachings encompass subjects such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal of establishing an Islamic state, world domination under Islam, the public and personal religious duty of military Jihad, and the warning not to rush to Jihad until it is prepared and timed for maximum benefit.
Copy and paste to view full translation in PDF
PMW has selected the following quotes from Jihad is the way to illustrate central ideas of Muslim Brotherhood ideology. PMW’s translation of the book follows below.
National goal: Islamic world domination
“…the Islamic Ummah [nation]… can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity…”
- “…know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation…”
- “It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world…”
- “…Jihad for Allah 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,…”
Means: Jihad – a mandatory religious duty
-”Then comes the power of arms and weapons,… and this is the role of Jihad.”
- “Jihad is a religious public duty… incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels’ attack on the nation…”
- “And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way.”
- “The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah’s book.”
- “…that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions…”
Timing: Don’t rush, prepare carefully for Jihad
“… despite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth’s enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood…”
- “… one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.”
- “Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah.”
- “… there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad …”
Personal goal: Aspire to Shahada – Death for Allah
- “Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, theJihad is our way, and the Death for Allah is our most exalted wish.”
- “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, …”
Jihad against Israel:
- “Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47′ and 48′, [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid (Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil.”
The Laws of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) (Part 5)
[*Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide, the official leader,
of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 until his death in 2002.]
Publishing House: “Dar al-Tawziah wal-Nashr al-Islamia”
[Islamic Publishing and Distribution House], 1995
Publishing House’s Address: Al Sayeda Zainab Square 8 [Cairo, Egypt]
Translated by Palestinian Media Watch
PMW translation policy:
PMW has included all the main texts, ideologies, policies, views, and explanations expressed in this book, while leaving out numerous repetitions as well as some of the many Quran sources cited to support the ideology. Passages left out are indicated by three dots.
Islamic terms referring to seeking and obtaining Martyrdom death are translated as follows:
Shahada = “Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Shahada (Martyrdom)
Shahid = “Martyr for Allah”, appears as: Shahid (Martyr)
Istish’had = “Seeking Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Istish’had (Martyrdom-Seeker)
Istish’had = “Achieved Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Istish’had (achieved Martyrdom)
Quran translations are based on USC-MSA-Compendium of Muslim Texts
The Laws of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) (Part) 5
Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah’s enemies over the Muslim’s resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the leaders of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.
Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace…
Many questions arise regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance as to Jihad… There is one who asks: Is the meaning of Jihad to force non-Muslims to become Muslim under threat of violence? While another says: Do you want to fight Allah’s enemies in the East and West while they are immensely powerful and you are weak…? … And some say do you want, through the Jihad, to send Muslim youth to their death and to hand them over as easy prey to the enemies of Islam? At the same time we hear those among the enthusiastic youth who say: Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary after the challenges, thrown down its weapons and abandoned Jihad? Yet another says: Do you wish, with this passivity, to weaken the youth’s vigor and kill the spirit of Jihad in them?
Another asks: How long will you content yourselves with Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) and education without Jihad, while the enemies of Allah lie in wait and attack you from time to time, and you confront their attacks with submissiveness and without resistance?
These are all questions which are brought up regarding the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their position on Jihad… We feel it necessary to make these matters clear to all of us so that there will be a unified understanding and the efforts shall be unified with Allah’s help.
…Our Islamic religion is not a religion of priests and monks, who worship their Lord individually without taking interest in others…but rather it is a complete religion which organizes peoples’ lives in this world as well as in the next life: It organizes the economic, social and political matters of Muslims and still – [is] a religion of faith, law and ritual, which addresses every minor and major issue related to man…
It is, additionally, a religion of one nation, one society, one Qibla (prayer direction, i.e., Mecca) and one book. It transforms the Muslims into one body in their mutual relations, if one of its limbs suffers; the whole body comes to its protection…
The religion [of Islam] requires its believers to perform its laws and the rules of the Quran and the prophetic traditions, and to deliver this religion of truth to all of humanity…
Is it possible for such a religion to exist and for its believers to fulfill all of its requirements without the adherents of other beliefs persecuting it with attacks on the religion and its followers, and without their attempting to prevent the believers from performing this religion and establishing it? Should the believers of this religion cease to perform it… simply because the enemies of Allah attack them? And if they [Muslims] endure patiently, does this mean that this patience has no end? Do they not have a right to repel the aggression and to remove the hurdles from their path?
From this it is evident that Jihad is an inevitable necessity, and that’s why it was made a religious duty in Islam, [a duty] which exists till the day of Resurrection. It is also the reason why [Islam] has excited the interest in [Jihad] and hastened towards it, and made it the highest pinnacle of Islam; Without it, the religion has no revival and the people of falsehood take over, and the religion of Allah becomes invalid and life is corrupted and goes astray from the path that Allah wanted. Is this appropriate for the religion of Allah, Exalted and Almighty?
In this book, we will clarify several issues pertaining to [the place of] Jihadin Islam…
Islam has dedicated much attention to the issue of Jihadand militancy and recruiting the nation and gathering it all in one line in order to defend the truth with all its might; it [Islam] has rendered Jihada religious duty for every Muslim, which no [Muslim] can escape, and has aroused the will towards [performing] Jihadto the greatest degree; It has greatly increased the rewards for the Mujahidun (Jihad warriors) and the Shahids (Martyrs), and has threatened the procrastinators and those who avoid Jihad with the most terrible punishments…
[Translator's note: What follows are quotes from Hassan al-Banna on Jihad, fighting and Istish'had [Martyrdom-Seeker or achieved Martyrdom]
… The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) [Hassan al-Banna] writes in his Treatise on Jihad: “All of the sages, the earlier and the later ones… agree that Jihad is a religious public duty to spread Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels’ attack on the nation… The Muslims today, as you know, are humiliated by others, dominated by infidels, their land is overrun and their holy places are desecrated… Therefore there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad until the opportunity arises and Allah will determine His word.”
The Shahid(Martyr) Imam (Hassan al-Banna) said in another place of his JihadTreatise about the tradition [attributed to Muhammad]: “We have returned from the smaller Jihad to the greater Jihad. They said: “And what is the greater Jihad? He said: the Jihad of the heart or the Jihad of the soul.” He said: “This tradition is not authentic Hadith (tradition) and some say that it was said by Ibrahim b. ‘Abla…
Allah has imposed the duty of Jihad on the Muslims, not as a tool for aggression or for achieving personal aspirations, but in order to defend the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), and to ensure the peace and as fulfillment of the Muslims’ greatest mission, to guide people to truth and justice…
On mercifulness during Jihad, according to Hassan al-Banna: Allah has instructed the Muslims to be utmost merciful, when they fight they do not attack, and do not blow up (anything), and do not mutilate (dead) bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate (sanctity), and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers. In addition to this it is forbidden to kill women, children and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people and peaceful non-combatants.
Where is that compassion in the suffocating attacks of the civilized and the horrible atrocities and where does their International law stand in relation to this all-encompassing divine justice? Then he [Hassan al-Banna] turns to Allah and says: Allah, instruct Muslims in their religion, and save this world from this darkness through the lights of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s stance regarding Jihad
Jihad for Allah’s sake has been forcing itself upon the Islamic region in recent years, and has become tangibly noticeable in parts of the Islamic world. In other parts of the Islamic world, there is a tide of preparation for Jihad and a sense that it is unavoidable, and is the only way to retaliate against the aggressiveness of Allah’s enemies, and to liberate Islamic land from its occupiers and invaders. It has become a widespread and convincing opinion, that the way of negotiation and peace-treaties with Allah’s enemies instead of Jihad is surrender in the name of peace.
Additionally, without Jihad and the preparation towards it, the obligation cast upon every Muslim to establish an Islamic state and the Islamic Caliphate and to consolidate this religion, will not be realized…
He [Hassan al-Banna] felt the grave danger overshadowing the Muslims and the urgent need and obligation which Islam places on every Muslim, man and woman, to act in order to restore the Islamic Caliphate and to reestablish the Islamic State on strong foundations…and to liberate the Muslims and defend them from any attack, and to spread the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) of Islam in the world and to establish this great religion, which Allah wanted for his servants.
This is how the Prophet educated the Muslims through the Quran…and united them like brothers and arranged them and rushed them towards Jihad and [self-] sacrifice, until they were worthy of Allah’s victory and support, and this is how the Arabian Peninsula was cleansed of idolatry and idols, and the Persian lands were conquered, and the Greeks [the Byzantines] subdued and the Jews [were] expelled and the shadows were dispersed and the light was spread…
He (Hassan al-Banna) knew the role of Jihad in leading the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) and the importance of preparing for it, because the truth needs a force to protect it. He noticed that the spirit of Jihad was almost absent from the Muslims of that time and the spirit of surrender prevailed.
The Jihadis Our Way – The Motto of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity)
… “Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the Death for Allah is our most exalted wish.”
The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah’s book…
[I]n all his (Hassan al-Banna’s) writings and conversations, he always urged towards Jihad and aroused the desire for seeking Shahada (Martyrdom)… he did not content himself only with speech and writing, and when the opportunity arrived for Jihad in Palestine he hurried and seized it. The [Muslim] Brotherhood provided the most magnificent models [for Jihadand courage] and were it not for the [evil] scheming and the treachery on the part of the leaders of the Muslim countries of the time, the situation would have been different.
After Allah honored him with Shahada (Martyrdom) -and his murder was part of this scheme [of the Muslim leaders] – the [Muslim] Brotherhood continued on the path of Jihad against the British on the banks of the Suez canal in the early 1950′s, and also continued their Jihad against the Jews in other Islamic regions outside of Egypt, as Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) was made to disappear in the prisons during [President] Abdul Nasser’s rule. Today we witness the [Muslim] Brotherhood joining their brothers, the Mujahideen (Jihad warriors) in Afghanistan, and fighting against the infidel and repressive regime in Syria.
Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No! …
[D]espite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth’s enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood…
The [Muslim] Brotherhood knows that hastiness without proper preparedness may be like an aborted [action]. Likewise, they know that the negligence and hesitation after the right time [for Jihad] has come… might be a spiritual death…
When the [Muslim] Brotherhood sends their youth to Jihad in the appropriate time they do not thrust them towards destruction, rather the abstention of Jihad in its appropriate time is destruction. As well, one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.
In the early days of Islamic Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), when the Muslims were a persecuted minority, the Prophet Muhammad did not instruct the Muslims to retaliate but rather instructed them of ‘Sabr’, patience and steadfastness…and when the conditions were right, permission to fight was given in the words of Allah: [Quran, sura 22, 39]:
“Permission [to fight] is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them.”
Jihad is not only for Repelling an Assault but also for the Purpose of Establishing an Islamic State
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…
As for the incorrect saying that the aim of Jihad in Islam is to coerce the people into the religion under threat of the sword, we do not need to work hard to disprove it. Many have already written on the subject, and it should suffice that it contradicts Allah’s saying, Exalted is He: “There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error.” [Sura 2, 256] Reality and history negate this false claim.
Following this clarification and answer for the ponderings regarding Jihad in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, it is only left for us to address our Muslim youth with several basic terms which need to accompany Jihad and the preparation for Jihad so that they will be worthy of this immense honor.
To the Muslim youth in the way of Jihad
Previously we clarified the nature of our Muslim religion, the status of Jihad and its position in Islam… It may be useful, when we turn to the Muslim youth, that we first introduce a few quotes from the Imam andShahid (Martyr), Hassan Al-Banna, in his treatise to the youth…
He says: “First, we call upon you to believe in yourselves, so you will know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation …”
After this preface, we turn to the Muslim youth around the world, with advice and focus on the path of Jihad. We say to the youth: Know that Jihad in the way of Allah will be – Allah knows – the most prominent characteristic of Islamic action, during the next phase of the Islamic Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity). …
The Muslim youth on the path of Jihad should know that the sphere of their 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, and Allah’s Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) will reach all mankind.
And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution can not be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihadis the way…
Know that the sphere of Jihad is now far-reaching, and that the enemies of Allah are numerous, and that war has many faces [lit. colors]. Therefore the struggle between the truth and the falsehood requires effort and time. So prepare yourself for this, and be of those who are patient…
And fully trust your religion – It is the true religion accepted by Allah. Have trust in your way and in your Society (the Muslim Brotherhood), being on the path of truth. Trust yourself and your brothers, that you can – with Allah’s help – confirm the truth and abolish the falsehood even if take time.
Oh the Muslim Youth,
Feel your responsibility for each Muslim on the face of Allah’s earth…who is subject to oppression or control by Allah’s enemies. Feel their pain, and may this pain motivate you to action and to Jihadin order to save all of them. Feel also your responsibility to guide Mankind and take it out of the darkness of heresy and error, into the light of Islam. Feel all of this tremendous responsibility, and gather with your brothers under the flag of the serious Islamic activity. And go in the true path of Jihad, in order to support Allah’s religion and to strengthen the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that mankind will return to what is good for them.
My young Muslim Brother,
Hurry into the goodness and make the profitable bargain, so that you gain this commerce with Allah the great achievement, and the clear triumph, and gain the enduring blessing and [you] shall be saved from the grievous punishment, according to Allah’s words: “O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons that will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement.” [Sura 61, 10-13]
[Translator's note: Quran verses about the reward for the Muslims in the Afterlife, in order to encourage them to sacrifice their souls for the sake of Allah.]
My young Muslim Brother,
Prepare yourself and your household members to obtain the honor of Jihadfor Allah, and equip your soul with everything that shall help it in that path, in order to continue the process until victory or the Shahada(Martyrdom)…
My young Islamic Brother, on the path of the Jihad,
Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah…
Oh Muslim Youth on the Path of Jihad,
The first, most important and most powerful weapon you must acquire for the Jihadagainst Allah’s enemies, is the weapon of faith. It is the provision that renews itself…and pushes its owner to turn to death without fear… The young Jihad believer scares Allah’s enemies more than a nuclear reactor, and in the balance of power is also heavier and stronger than a nuclear reactor. …
[Translator's note: Quran verses promising the final triumph of the Muslims and threatening of whoever does not participate in Jihadthat he will end in Hell.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad[warrior] brother, Allah does not need us or our Jihad. It is we who need his reward and grace and to achieve this honor.
“And whoever strives hard, he strives only for his own soul; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (needs of) the worlds.” [Sura 29, 6]
My young brother in the path ofJihad,
Do not fear the strength of Allah’s enemies, even if their numbers and equipment out-number yours. Since Allah is the patron of the believers, and strengthens and supports them with his forces: “…for to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth ” [Sura 48, 4]
[Translators' note: Quran verses explaining that the triumph comes only from Allah.]
Put your hand in the hands of your brothers in the lines of the Jihad, and embrace them strongly in the tie of brotherhood for Allah, and you’ll be like a solid cemented structure, as in the words of Allah:…
[Translators' note: text continues with examples from the Quran and allegories of comradeship and brotherhood between Muslims andJihad warriors].
[Translators' note: Quran verses describing the virtues of the good Muslim.]
My young Islamic Jihad brother,
Beware of the words and positions of the hypocrites in regard of the Jihad, and beware of the ones who refrain and procrastinate [from departing on the Jihad] …
Oh the young Jihadwarrior
… We do not attack and do not wish to encounter the enemy but we will repel the aggression, asking the help of Allah…
[Translator's note: The text continues with Quran verses exemplifying the above.]
Oh, the young Islamic Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], go forward in the lines of the fighters for Allah, filled with trust that you are about to meet one of the two great destinies: Victory or Shahada [Martyrdom]; Victory that believers around the world will rejoice in, or Shahada [Martyrdom] that will grant you the status of the Shuhada [Martyrs in Islam] and their rewards.
“…and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.” [Sura 4, 74]
Keep aware of the grave consequences for the Muslim and the grave threat of Allah to whoever turns away from the [Muslim's] attack…
[Translator's note: Proof text from Quran]
Beware of weakness or acceptance that the believers will be defeated in battle. Know that the defeat is in the heart and not the battlefield. …
Therefore we must continue the Jihadwithout weakness…
[Translator's note: More proof texts from Quran]
[Translator's note: More proof texts from Quran and repeated Jihad promotion and warning not to sin.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior], that we are called to action, but we are not responsible for the results. Allah commanded us to fight Allah’s enemies and repel their hostility, and did not require us to achieve victory, since victory is from Him. Therefore Allah will not prevent us from the award of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], even when the outcome is not in favor of the believers.
Know, my Islamic brother on the ranks of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], that you are an important target and valuable prey for Allah’s enemies…
[Translator's note: Instructions to be disciplined and precise, study the Quran and the sections regarding Jihad and even learn them by heart.]
My Islamic sister,
And you, the Islamic sister on the path of the Jihad, you have an important role in Jihad, which starts at home educating the [young] generations, and preparing them for the Jihad. The woman is the producer of the men, and Muslim women used to teach their sons by heart the stories of the military expeditions, as they would teach them the Quran… In addition, the Islamic sister who lives by the spirit of the Jihad, is a help to her husband and encourages him in the path of the Jihad, and she doesn’t turn him away or weaken him… Likewise, she properly manages his possessions and children, and takes care of them while he is away on the Jihad.
In the past the Muslim women had a role in battle: she would give water to the soldiers and bandage the wounded, and sometimes she would even participate with weapons, like Nasiba the daughter of Ka’ab, protecting Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] in the battle of Uhud.
The Istish’had(seeking or achieving Shahada (Martyrdom) in the way of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity)
“The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish”, this is the call which we have always called, and our people have called it by the way of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), people of the Da’wa… Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish, and among them the founder of the Society [of Muslim Brotherhood], the Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna. We ask Allah to accept all of them, and that He may widen His gardens [of Eden] for them, and may He join us with them, and that we won’t change [our determination] and won’t fall into trial, and may He provide us with the Shahada (Martyrdom) like them, Amen.
The procession of Shahids (Martyrs) in the way of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) has been continuing for a long time. Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47′ and 48′, [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. They [these Martyrs] the men of Da’wa gave outstanding examples of Jihad and Istish’had (Martyrdom-seeking) in the way of Allah. Still today memory of them horrifies the Jews and the name of the Muslim Brotherhood terrifies them…
Later was the plot which was planned by the enemies of Allah and carried out by their agents among the Arab leaders of that time, and in December 1948 the decision was announced in Egypt to dismantle the [Muslim] Brotherhood, and to arrest them [members], except the Imam [Hassan] Al-Banna, whose murder was planned… They sent Arab armies or their symbols into Palestine, in the name of saving it from the Jews, but actually [the goal was] to hand it over to the Jews…
The Imam and Shahid(Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid(Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil. …
Later the enemies of Allah [among the Arabs] forced on us another front of Shahada (Martyrdom), the one of tyranny…In the prisons of [Egyptian President] Abd al-Nasser and in the gallows. They [Muslim Brotherhood members] calmly accepted theShahada, among them…Khaled Islambouli [assassinated the Egyptian president, Anwar al-Sadat, in Oct. 6, 1981] and his brothers. Allah’s mercy upon them all.
…Many of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) men in occupied Palestine and in Lebanon also achievedShahada, and they are facing it, in theirJihad against the Jews…
Some think thatShahada(Martyrdom) causes loss and damages the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society, since it has lost influential people in action and Jihad. This is wrong, since the fall of the Shahid (Martyr) for the sake of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) is [seen as] provisions and fuel for the [next] generations, and as a symbol of self sacrifice in the way of the Da’wa…
…until realization of the goals which the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society was established for, that is, establishing the State of Islam, headed by the Islamic Caliphate, in order to establish Allah religion on Allah’s land…
Muslim youth should know that the battle between truth and falsehood is hard, long, and broad, and it reaches the entire Islamic Sphere. [They must] know thatJihad is the way, and sacrifice of lives and property is inevitable, the opportunity to achieve Jihad and Istish’ had [achieved Martyrdom] – will grow during the coming decades…
Our youth should not give up hope of our [eventual] victory and establishing [Islam], due to the large number of enemies and the small number of believers. In the past, the believers with the Messenger of Allah were a minority… But Allah supported his Prophet and the believers, with His battalions…
[Translators' note: the book now quotes two Quranic verses concerning the "Battalions of Allah"]
Indeed, oh youth, Death for Allah is our loftiest wish. And how not, here are the verses of the precious Quran, and the sayings of the honorable Messenger they make us love and encourage us towards Istish’had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) the way of Allah, by what they mention regarding the status of the Martyrs, and the honor that Allah grants them.
The foremost among the status of the Shuhada’ [Martyrs] is that they become alive with their Lord, they are provided sustenance from their Lord, and they rejoice the kindness which Allah gives them.
Allah says [In the Quran] …
“Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” [Sura 3, 169]
[Translator's note: Additional Quran verses are quoted.]
[Translator's note: Hadiths (traditions) are quoted in regard to Jihad and Martyrdom]
We shall move to [discuss] some of the sayings of Allah’s Prophet, may Allah’s blessing be upon him, regarding Jihad and Istish’had [Seeking Martyrdom for Allah]:
[Translator's note: Some of the Prophet's sayings regarding the issue are quoted, for example:]
“Abu Hurayra said: …the Messenger of Allah was asked: What is the value of Jihad for Allah? He said: You can not imagine it. He was asked again and again…then he said: the Jihad Fighter in the way of Allah is like one who’s fasting and standing up to pray at night] …”
[Also] It was told that the Prophet said: “Not one of those who enter paradise want to return to this world… but the Shahid(Martyr), who wishes to return to this world and be killed ten times, due to the honor which he sees”…
Oh my Brother to the path of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), oh you who chose the path of the honest believers who committed before Allah service and Jihad…and you called from the depths of your heart: [bold in original] “The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish”. Oh Brother, this is indeed a lofty wish…
There are matters which need to be taken into account, and to adhere to, among them:
First of all: That you make a profitable deal with Allah: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah [Bible] and the Injeel [Gospels] and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.” [Sura 9, 111] …
Second: In order for the deal to be carried out and for the sale to be accepted, you must impose on yourself the attributes of the believers…
Third:Your intention in Jihad and in seeking Istish’had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) Your intention shall be raising the word of Allah on Allah’s land…
Fourth: You will ask Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah truthfully, not only in talk but also in your heart, and with honest decisiveness, and by waiting for opportunities. This way you will reach the status of Shahids (Martyrs) and their reward, with Allah’s will, even if you die in your bed, as said in the Hadith of the Prophet …” He who sincerely asks for the Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah, Allah brings him to the status of the Shahids (Martyrs), even if he died in his bed”…
At the same time, there is a warning to those who do not go on a raid or do not hope for it… The Messenger of Allah said: “He who died without leaving on a raid, and without making up his mind to leave on a raid, died as a hypocrite.”
Sixth: You should be prepared to answer the call ofJihadwhenever you are called, in any region of the Islamic world. Our Islam is universal not regional, and all Islamic countries are one homeland. You must overcome the earth’s attractions…which makes man vulnerable to the danger of Allah’s punishment, as in the verse:
“O you who believe! What (excuse) have you that when it is said to you: Go forth in Allah’s way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this world’s life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world’s life compared with the hereafter is but little. If you don’t go [out to war], he will punish you ruthlessly, and will switch you with other people…” [Sura 9, 38]
…that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions…
Seventh: As long as you are a soldier in the ranks [of the warriors], you must respect every request regarding the Jihad, and what was determined for you, both in time and place. Do not carry out personal actions…since there are negative consequences to personal disobedient actions. Many times, the enthusiasm pushes some of the young [soldiers] to personal hasty actions, which harm the overall [Jihad] process…
The reason for this narrow and limited perspective is that some of the young [fighters] think that this bitter struggle between truth and falsehood, can come to an end by killing a couple of people and blowing up bombs and actions of that sort, without grasping the [long term] results…
It was not hard for one of the Muslims, during the period of Mecca, to kill Abu Jahal or Abu Lahab [Muhammad's enemies], or to shatter the idols around the Ka’ba, when they were being worshiped instead of Allah, in order to remove the evil. None of Muslims actually did any of this, due to the great harm that would befall the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), and would expose it to the danger of destruction, while it was still like a young plant…
Eighth: My Brother, study Islam’s laws of combat so that you will become bound by them, so that your Jihad will be sound, healthy, and flawless, because when the Muslims fight they do not attack, and do not blow up [anything], and do not mutilate [dead] bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate [sanctity], and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers.
By Barida, may God be pleased with him: “Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him salvation, who used to say when he was commanding an army commander … ‘Raid but don’t exaggerate and do not act with treacherousness, and do not molest (dead) bodies, and do not kill newborns.’ reported Muslim [Hadith]…
Therefore, it is forbidden to kill women and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people, and peaceful non-combatants… From the Jihad Treatise by the Imam al-Banna.
Ninth: [One must learn and perfect the skills of fighting...] However, achieving victory should not be attributed to preparation and skills but to the help of Allah and to the support he gives to his servants, the believers.
Tenth: My Brother, nurture your home and your family with an Islamic consciousness, and prepare them for the atmosphere of Jihad and Shahada (Martyrdom) – Seeking, then they will not weaken you, but will support and encourage [you] to Jihad, and they will receive the news that you have fallen as a Shahid (Martyr) – Allah willing – with joy…
Eleventh: The Imam the Shahid (Martyr), [Hassan al-Banna] … said:
“Oh [Muslim] brothers, the nation that excels in the death industry, and knows how to die a noble [death], Allah grants it a precious life in this world and eternal bliss in the Afterlife. The only weakness that shall humiliate us is the love of this world and hating death. Therefore we have prepared your souls for great action, strive for death – and life will be given to you. Know that there is no escaping death, and it will happen only once, and if you carry it out (death) for the sake of Allah, there will be profit in this world and reward in the Afterlife, and nothing will harm you except what Allah has decreed [for] you… Work for an honorable death, you will be thus granted full happiness. May Allah provide us and you, the honor of achieving the Shahada (Martyrdom) for Him.”
Indeed, Allah has already answered his [Hassan al-Banna's] prayer and provided him with the Shahada (Martyrdom). We ask Allah to also provide us with it, for He is near and answers [prayers].
Democracy supporters should not fear the Muslim Brotherhood
By Abdel Moneim Abou el-Fotouh
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Like Egyptians from all walks of life, we in the Muslim Brotherhood are taking part in the popular uprising to depose a repressive dictator. The overwhelming majority of Egyptians demand the immediate ouster of Hosni Mubarak and his regime.
Once this basic demand is met, we seek to share in the debate sweeping the country and to be part of the resolution, which we hope will culminate in a democratic form of government. Egyptians want freedom from tyranny, a democratic process and an all-inclusive dialogue to determine our national goals and our future, free of foreign intervention.
We are mindful, however, as a nonviolent Islamic movement subjected to six decades of repression, that patent falsehoods, fear mongering and propaganda have been concocted against us in Mubarak’s palaces the past 30 years and by some of his patrons in Washington. Lest partisan interests in the United States succeed in aborting Egypt’s popular revolution, we are compelled to unequivocally deny any attempt to usurp the will of the people. Nor do we plan to surreptitiously dominate a post-Mubarak government. The Brotherhood has already decided not to field a candidate for president in any forthcoming elections. We want to set the record straight so that any Middle East policy decisions made in Washington are based on facts and not the shameful – and racist – agendas of Islamophobes.
Contrary to fear-mongering reports, the West and the Muslim Brotherhood are not enemies. It is a false dichotomy to posit, as some alarmists are suggesting, that Egypt’s choices are either the status quo of the Mubarak regime or a takeover by “Islamic extremists.” First, one must make a distinction between the ideological and political differences that the Brotherhood may have with the United States. For Muslims, ideological differences with others are taught not to be the root cause of violence and bloodshed because a human being’s freedom to decide how to lead his or her personal life is an inviolable right found in basic Islamic tenets, as well as Western tradition. Political differences, however, can be a matter of existential threats and interests, and we have seen this play out, for example, in the way the Mubarak regime has violently responded to peaceful demonstrators.
DE BORCHGRAVE: Extremist amnesia
Clueless Westerners are the Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest asset
By Arnaud de Borchgrave The Washington Times 6:23 p.m., Tuesday, February 22, 2010
Conveniently overlooked in what was described as the Brotherhood’s Western-style demand for freedom are these inconvenient facts:
c Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 84, the Brotherhood’s chief theoretician, banned in the United States and Britain, advocate of violence against Israel as well as U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned to Egypt after a 50-year absence to address a million-plus crowd in Cairo’s Liberation Square. State TV said it was 2 million. He also reaches tens of millions worldwide on Al Jazeera, the Doha, Qatar-based Arab network.
c The Brotherhood’s motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
c Muhammad Badie, the Brotherhood’ s supreme guide, said upon his elevation in September that the Brotherhood’s objectives could only be attained “by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”
U.S. must take sides to keep the Arab Spring from Islamist takeover
By Ray Takeyh, Wednesday, March 23, 7:28 PM
Islamism is very much a relic of the 20th century, a discredited orthodoxy of limited appeal to the Arab masses. History has shown, however, that well-organized parties of circumscribed appeal can nevertheless assume greater influence by exploiting the disarray of transition periods and divisions within democratic camps. The problem is compounded by the temptation among many in the West to appeal to the “political” wing of militant organizations such as Hezbollah or to reach out to “moderate” elements of Islamist parties. The challenge for Washington today is not to cling to some kind of ecumenical spirit but to actively choose sides and fortify the political center against forces of intolerance.
Many in the West presume that once Islamist parties are integrated into the political order, the burdens of governance — compromise, coalition-building and constituency maintenance — will inevitably lead them to dispense with their ideological past. Such liberal conceits do a disservice to the Muslim Brotherhood and its many offspring, denigrating their commitment to their dogma.
he ideology of Islamists is predicated on the notion that religion is a comprehensive belief system that is both eternal and transnational. The moderation that these groups have exhibited in the past few decades in places such as Egypt was pragmatism born out of compulsion, not some kind of intellectual evolution. Relieved of the constraints of Arab police states, they are free to advance their illiberal, anti-Western agendas.
The plight of Islamist associations resembles the communist parties that did so much to derail Europe’s liberal age in the 1920s. Like the Islamists, the communists never commanded much popular support, but they used their parliamentary and paramilitary presence to undermine the prospects of fledgling democracies; Germany and Italy are two examples. In due course, their devotion to the Soviet Union and their subordination of national interest to the cause of the global proletariat did much to facilitate the rise of fascism.
Islamist parties can be counted on to similarly menace an inexperienced democratic order. Their deputies are extremely likely to press discriminatory legislation; their religious leaders will stimulate passions against women’s rights groups and nongovernmental organizations; and their militias will threaten secular politicians and civil society leaders who do not conform to their template. Such agitations may not garner absolute power but could still provide an opportunity for national militaries to end the region’s democratic interlude in the name of stability and order.
The answer, then, is not to exclude Islamist parties from political participation. A genuine democratic system will have to include all contending voices, however ill-intentioned and radical they may be. Washington’s challenge is to make certain that the region’s political transition does not culminate in the assumption of power by another military clique. So the United States and its allies must strengthen the political center and the democratic regimes that are coming to power in the midst of economic crisis and without the benefits of mature institutions.
A massive package of economic assistance to countries such as Egypt and Tunisia would tether these nations to the United States and would allow Washington to be clear that extremism in any guise will cause cessation of support. Even in an age of budgetary constraints, Washington may be able to generate substantial sums by channeling military aid to civilian pursuits and by collaborating with the European Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The United States may not be able to determine the outcome of the Mideast uprisings, but it can still impose conditions and offer incentives that diminish the appeal and potency of militant actors.
Beyond such measures, Washington has the moral obligation of political partiality. During the Cold War, it did not remain passive as the forces of democracy battled the communist parties that sought to exploit post-World War II dislocation to advance sinister designs. The United States actively and at times covertly aided noncommunist forces throughout Europe, ensuring the defeat of powerful communist parties in France and Italy. In the context of the Middle East today, this means standing with emerging secular parties and youth activists as they seek to reinvent the region’s politics and finally push the Middle East into the 21st century.
The notion that America’s interventions in the Arab world have made it a toxic agent that should stand aside is a presumption of the Western intelligentsia — and one rejected by Arab protesters, the majority of whom have not uttered anti-American slogans. The springtime of the Arab world offers the United States an opportunity to reclaim its values and redeem its interests. America has a stake in the future of the Middle East and should not shy away from cultivating the nascent democratic movements sweeping the region.
Lebanese Liberal: Hatred Of Jews A Basic Principle In Muslim Brotherhood Philosophy
In an article posted January 9, 2013 on Elaph.com, Lebanese liberal Joseph Bishara wrote that hatred of Jews is a basic principle in the philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The article came in response to statements by Egyptian senior MB official ‘Issam Al-’Aryan, who, on December 27, 2012, urged Jews who had been driven out of Egypt during the rule of Egyptian president Gamal ‘Abd Al-Nasser to return to the country in order to make room for the Palestinians. Bishara claimed that this statement, seemingly welcoming the return of Jews to Egypt, was no more than a public relations gimmick.
Following are excerpts from his article:
The MB Is Racist And Antisemitic
“The statements by [Egyptian] MB official ‘Issam Al-’Aryan regarding the Jews’ return to Egypt must be treated as nothing more than an impulsive remark. Five reasons lead me to claim that his statements were empty words and merely a television spectacle meant to serve [the MB's interests], and do not reflect a change in the MB’s hostile position towards the Jews.
“First, the MB’s hatred for the Jews is a matter of religious principle, which lies at the heart of its creed and cannot be changed, revoked, or disregarded. Second, the MB, which rose to power under obscure circumstances, is attempting to hide its angry, cold, and extremist face behind a smiling, friendly, and tolerant [mask]. Third, the statements were meant to ease the international pressure on the MB… because of the one-sided and immoral positions it had taken in the drafting and ratification of the constitution, and because of its regrettable positions regarding the justice system. Fourth, [the MB wants] revenge on the Nasserist stream, the philosophical mainstay of the opposition, and wants to shift the legal and moral responsibility for the expulsion of the Jews from Egypt to the driving force behind this stream – the late president Gamal ‘Abd Al-Nasser. Fifth, [it wants to] distract public opinion with a secondary issue.
“Needless to say, tolerance toward the other has no place in the MB’s agenda. Therefore, how can certain people assume that the MB is tolerant of Jews? The MB is racist and hates the Jews and anyone who believes in Judaism. This is an uncontestable part of its creed and is reflected in extremist directives that appear in the writings of its greatest thinkers.
“This hatred did not emerge in the 20th century or [after] Israel’s establishment or the occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands by Israel. This hatred is historic, with roots going back to the inception of Islam. The MB bases its hatred of Jews on the Koranic verse: ‘You will surely find that the most intense of people in animosity towards the believers are the Jews and the polytheists… ‘ [Koran 5:82].
“The MB’s position on the Jews is evident in the interpretation of this verse by Sayyid Qutb, who said that the Koran placed the Jews before the polytheists because they had been more hostile to the Muslims throughout history. Qutb also stated that contrary to what moderate Muslims claim, the Koranic description of the Jews is unchangeable and is not dependent upon [circumstances] of time and place.
“As far as the MB is concerned, the text is absolute and fits any time and place; hence, the animosity between Jews and Muslims is eternal, and will never end, whatever the circumstances.”
MB Founder Hassan Al-Banna Blamed The Jews For The Holocaust
“The MB’s position on the Egyptian Jews is no different than its position on Jews in general; it is the same animosity and hatred. A document titled ‘The MB and the Jews,’ penned by ‘Abdo Mustafa Dsoky for the MB’s Wiki [ikhwanwiki.com], claims that MB founder Hassan Al-Banna gained fame due to his essays on the character and hidden traits of the Jews.
“[Al-Banna] wrote: ‘The Jews of today are the descendants of their warmongering, troublemaking, rabble-rousing, and scheming ancestors. There is no civil war or popular rebellion that does not have the fingerprints of Jews behind it. [The Jews] stoke [wars and rebellions] and work to magnify their effect. It is as though this people wants vengeance upon the entire world for the power it lost due to its stubbornness and the honor it lost due to its materialism. No wrongs have been done them – it is they who do wrong.’
“Al-Banna went so far as to claim that it was [the Jews'] fault that the Nazis burned them in the crematoria during the first half of the 20th century. He said: ‘When we examine modern history, we see that Russia, Poland, Germany, the U.S. and other countries were outraged by the plots of the Jews and their games of deception in the politics of these countries – so much so that the Germans took a bizarre stand vis-à-vis the Jewish race.’
“Continuing his hostility to all Jews, without exception, Hassan Al-Banna said: ‘Evil gradually grew in the Jewish character. [The Jew] does not value virtue. His only concern is to accumulate wealth in any way possible, even at the expense of virtue, honor, and the principles of exalted morality. That is why [the Jews] grew rich, leading others to impoverishment. They accumulate gold, enabling them to realize their goals and cravings, [to play] deceptive games on rulers, and to thwart the efforts of those who wish to amend things.’
“Al-Banna advised the Jews: ‘You wronged the entire world and harmed all peoples. I call upon you to repent so that we do not treat you in ways that run counter to the Torah. Repent before your Maker, kill yourselves, and free the world of the catastrophes that you cause.’”
The Egyptian MB Intimidated the Jews of Egypt
“…It is important to mention here that if there was ever a movement that contributed to terrorizing the Egyptian Jews before they left [the country], it was the MB. The document titled ‘The MB and the Jews,’ posted on the MB’s Wiki, states that the MB newspapers had denounced the actions of the Jews in Egypt, [which included] ‘spreading corrupt values in Egyptian society.’ The document also states that the MB had monitored ‘actions of the Jews in Egypt that indicated their distance from Egyptian society… such as aiding Zionist organizations; selecting the Zionist flag as their symbol; preferring Hebrew over Arabic; wearing hats sporting the Zionist flag instead of wearing the Egyptian turban; publishing foreign-language newspapers that were mouthpieces of Zionism; joining independent clubs with Jewish names, and striking deals with Egyptian newspapers [according to which the Jews would] publish ads [in these papers] in return for [the papers'] stopping their attacks on Zionism.’
“The document further states that the MB believed that any group (even non-Muslim) that failed to fulfill its duty towards the [Palestinian] cause was relinquishing both Islamic and pan-Arab principles. Therefore, the MB believed that the Egyptian Jews had proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were not part of the Egyptian nation, due to their position on the Palestinian issue, which the MB considered one of its most crucial causes.
“This indicates that the MB played a key role in turning Egypt into a nightmare and an unfit environment for its Jewish citizens. [It did this] by indiscriminately leveling accusations [against them], by denying their patriotism, by depicting them as conspirators and traitors, and by demanding an economic boycott against them.
“Given all this, can anyone really imagine that an MB official like ‘Issam Al-’Aryan truly believes in the return of the Jews to Egypt? Can an MB official who speaks of the return of Egyptian Jews be trusted, especially when a recording of Muhammad Mursi… has recently surfaced in which he describes the Jews as descendants of apes and pigs?”
“The MB Position On The Jews Has Not Changed; Hatred Is The Linchpin Of Their Position On The Jews”
“Of course not. Under no circumstances can one believe the MB leadership. ‘Issam Al-’Aryan did not [in fact] express sympathy for the Egyptian Jews, as it appeared at first glance. He spewed words without showing a shred of proof of his sincerity. The MB position on the Jews has not changed. Hatred is the linchpin of their position on the Jews, despite the statements by Al-’Aryan, despite what Mursi wrote to Israeli President [Shimon Peres], and despite claims by the MB regime that the peace agreements with Israel would be upheld.
“There would have been no reason to rebuke the MB if it had declared its objection to Israel’s policies in the occupied territories or its objection to the extremism of several Israeli politicians. After all, everyone objects to occupation and extremism. It should, however, be rebuked for hating the entire Jewish race.
“Here it should be pointed out that the purpose of this article is not to discuss the problem of Egyptian Jews, but rather to expose the shameful position of the MB regarding the Jews in general and the Egyptian Jews in particular, and to expose the true [face] of the MB, which is as racist as other extremist Muslims whose religious lexicon does not contain the word ‘tolerance.’ Tolerance is a [badge of] honor for the civilized world, but tolerance toward the Jews is a [badge of] honor that the MB, unfortunately, does not merit.”
 In an interview with the Egyptian Dream TV channel, Al-’Aryan said: “I wish the Jews would return to Egypt in order to make room for the Palestinians. The Palestinians would return to their country, and the Arab Jews would return to their countries [of origin]… The Jews deported by ‘Abd Al-Nasser should return… Any Egyptian who left his country has the right to return to it.” See MEMRI TV Clip No. 3696, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Official Issam Al-’Aryan Calls upon Egyptian Jews to Return to Egypt “to Make Room for the Palestinians, December 27, 2012. Al-’Aryan’s statement caused a stir in Egypt, and he was accused of serving the interests of the U.S. and Israel. Following these reactions, Al-’Aryan stressed that his call to Jews to return to Egypt was meant to promote the Palestinians’ right of return to their country. In one interview he even said that Israel was doomed to disappear within 10 years. About a week after Al-’Aryan’s controversial statements, Yasser ‘Ali, a spokesman for President Mursi, announced that the president had accepted Al-’Aryan’s resignation. According to some reports, however, Al-’Aryan did not resign, but was fired by Mursi. Alarabiya.net, December 31, 2012; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 1, 2013; Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), January 7-8, 2013; Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), January 8, 2013.
 Elaph.com, January 9, 2013.
 Dosky is an MB activist and writes on the movement’s website. For his article on ikhwanwiki.com, go here. The second part of the article appears here.
 See MEMRI TV Clip No. 3702, Morsi in 2010: No to Negotiations with the Blood-Sucking, Warmongering “Descendants of Apes and Pigs”; Calls to Boycott U.S. Products, March 20 and September 23, 2010.
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