Al Azhar and ISIS: Cause and Effect

al-azharBy Raymond Ibrahim, Nov. 18, 2015:

After being asked why Al Azhar, which is in the habit of denouncing secular thinkers as un-Islamic, refuses to denounce the Islamic State as un-Islamic, Sheikh Nasr said:

It can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic].  The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?  Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it].  Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate.  Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc.  Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities].  Al Azhar teaches stoning people.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?

Nasr joins a growing chorus of critics of Al Azhar.  Last September, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches… and the simplest example is Ibn Kathir’s Beginning and End.”

Ibn Kathir is one of Sunni Islam’s most renowned scholars; his Beginning and End is a magisterial history of Islam and a staple at Al Azhar.  It is also full of Muslims, beginning with Muhammad, committing the sorts of atrocities that the Islamic State and other Islamic organizations and persons commit.

In February, Egyptian political writer Dr. Khalid al-Montaser revealed that Al Azhar wasencouraging enmity for non-Muslims, specifically Coptic Christians, and even inciting for their murder.  Marveled Montaser:

Is it possible at this sensitive time — when murderous terrorists rest on texts and understandings of takfir [accusing Muslims of apostasy], murder, slaughter, and beheading — that Al Azhar magazine is offering free of charge a book whose latter half and every page — indeed every few lines — ends with “whoever disbelieves [non-Muslims] strike off his head”?

The prestigious Islamic university—which co-hosted U.S. President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech—has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion.”

In short, the phenomenon known as “ISIS” is not a temporal aberration within Islam but rather a byproduct of what is considered normative thinking for Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s most authoritative university.

Also see:

Amplifying Details on the Sinai Plane Bombing and the Egypt-Libya Nexus

Source: Associated Free Press/Getty Images (Maxim Grigoryev)

Source: Associated Free Press/Getty Images (Maxim Grigoryev)

The ISIS Study Group, Nov. 7, 2015:

The last few days have been filled with a flurry of information regarding the downing of Flight 7K9268. Within the last 18 hrs we’ve received amplifying information from our sources in the country. Our sources within the Egyptian Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) confirmed that Russian investigators found the remnants of the explosive device we were talking about in our 03 NOV “Sinai Plane Crash Update.” Furthermore, the running theory of those investigators is that depressurization caused by an internal explosion tore off the tail section, causing the plane to flip over and send it to the ground. When we asked one of our sources if 500 grams of C4 could cause that, he answered back that it wouldn’t take much to bring a plane down, especially if the device was placed near the fuel line – which is what DMI assesses to be the case. Another source working with Russia’s Health Ministry Center for Forensic Medical Expertise confirmed that parts of an explosive device was uncovered.

As for the operative who emplaced the device on the plane, we’ve confirmed that the individual did not receive any assistance from a member of the security forces – because he’s a member of the security forces himself. The individual in question used his position to circumvent the 8 explosive detection systems and security checkpoints located at the airport in order to get to his target. DMI knew how this went down fairly quickly, although our sources couldn’t answer how this fell through the cracks, although they did imply that the security forces are plagued with serious internal issues due to the rising insider threat. However, Sharm al-Sheik Airport Chief Abdel-Wahab Ali was removed from his position due to these major security lapses. The fact that the British government aired these very same concerns LAST YEAR made the decision to remove him much easier.

The Latest: Sharm El-Sheikh Airport Chief Has Been Replaced

UK had concerns about Sharm el-Sheikh airport security almost a year ago

Sinai Plane Crash Update

Islamic State-Sinai (IS-Sinai) aka “Wilayat Sinai (WS)”: Just entered the next stage of Operations Source: The ISIS Study Group

Islamic State-Sinai (IS-Sinai) aka “Wilayat Sinai (WS)”: Just entered the next stage of Operations
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Adding further weight to what we’ve been saying is that the Black Box reveals that the crash was not an accident. More importantly, the media (and some Western governments) are saying what we first mentioned in our “Sinai Plane Crash Update.” Excerpt:

European investigators who analyzed the two flight recorders from the Metrojet plane that went down last weekend in Egypt are categorically saying the crash is not an accident, CNN affiliate France 2 reported Friday.

The investigators said the cockpit voice recorder of Metrojet Flight 9268 shows an explosion and the flight data recorder confirms the explosion is not accidental — there is no sign of mechanical malfunction during the initial part of the flight, France 2 reported.

Everything is fine during the first 24 minutes, then in a fraction of a second there is a blackout and no more cockpit conversation, convincing investigators there was a bomb on board, according to France 2.

CNN Aviation Analyst Richard Quest said there would have been different data on the black boxes if there was a catastrophic failure than if there was an explosion. The key is what happened just before the data suddenly stops, he said.

“It’s this split second, and it’s a millisecond, where you hear an explosion of some description,” he said. “And you see all the parameters (on the recorders) go haywire before the power is completely lost. If this report is accurate, (investigators) have now analyzed that … heard it and they can identify it.”

If the plane had broken apart due to structural failure, there would have been more noise — and for a longer time, he said.

France’s air accident investigation agency, the BEA, told CNN that Egyptian officials will make an announcement about the crash investigation within the next 24 hours.

Report: Black boxes show bomb brought down Russian jet

Media now talking about the bomb being placed in the cargo hold among the luggage near the fuel line Source: CNN

Media now talking about the bomb being placed in the cargo hold among the luggage near the fuel line
Source: CNN

This wasn’t the first time WS gained access to an Egyptian airport either. Last year they recruited an employee at Cairo International Airport who provided Team Baghdadi with schematics of the facility, locations of guard postings and security procedures. Fortunately, DMI found out and arrested him before the attack plan was set into motion – which was the same plan carried out in Sharm al-Sheik. This was one of a long list of incidents – many of which were never reported by the country’s media outlets – that led to GEN Sisi authorizing the DMI to lead the crackdown on the insider threat within the security forces. From MAY 15 – JUL 15 several junior and mid-level officers within the Army were detained for either being sympathizers or full-fledged members of WS. There’s also been an increase in military personnel refusing to carry out missions against WS – not because they’re “scared” – because they “didn’t want to kill their Muslim Brothers” (which is a red flag since most Muslims would never consider IS as their “Muslim Brothers”). For the most part the military has been the main advocate for moderate Islam and secularism. Unfortunately, that all changed when the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi rose to power, where he quickly began to sack “problematic” (read-those of moderate Islam or secular leanings) officers. Then he began to fill the ranks with those he reflected his values – in other words, guys with extremist views. The result was a new breed of officers in the junior and mid-level ranks who were very sympathetic to the ideologies of al-Qaida (of which the MB is closely-aligned) and IS. WS’ increase in capability is a good indicator of the success they’ve had in recruiting personnel with formal military experience (Check out “ISIS-Sinai Beheads Croatian Hostage – Just the Beginning” for additional info).

ISIS-Sinai Beheads Croatian Hostage – Just the Beginning

Egypt’s insider threat: Morsi’s legacy Source: Sharif Abdel Minoem (Associated Press)

Egypt’s insider threat: Morsi’s legacy
Source: Sharif Abdel Minoem (Associated Press)

The bombing of that Russian airliner is the beginning of WS and IS’ Libya affiliate entering into a new phase of Team Baghdadi’s overall global campaign of conducting high-profile attacks outside of Syria and Iraq. WS followed up the plane bombing with another attack targeting an officer’s club that killed three policemen. But that’s just the start – WS fully intends to expand their operations to targeting Russians and Western tourists to both cripple Egypt’s tourism industry (which would result in significant economic damage) and retaliating for Russia’s Syria intervention. The indicators were all there with the sharp increase in the frequency and scale of attacks carried out by WS in Sinai throughout the year and this past summer in particular (Reference – “Sinai Under Siege Rising capabilities of Wilayat Sinai”). That said, the first real indicators of WS’ increased capabilities was seen as early as JAN 14 when they shot down an Egyptian military helicopter in the Sinai with a MANPAD that was traced back to one of the Qaddafi regime weapons depots that was raided by so-called “moderates” during the early days of the “Arab Spring.” In AUG 15 another attempt was made by WS to bring down an aircraft – this time a Thomson Airways airliner – as it was heading to Sharm al-Sheik Airport. Fortunately the pilot was able to perform evasive maneuvers and avoid being brought down (See the Guardian’s article titled, “Sharm el-Sheikh flight from Stansted dodged missile in August” and our initial piece on the Sinai crash, “Islamic State Claims to Have Shot-Down Russian Plane in Sinai – But Did They?”).

Egypt: 3 police officers killed in North Sinai bombing

Militants Down Egyptian Helicopter, Killing 5 Soldiers

Sharm el-Sheikh flight from Stansted dodged missile in August

Sinai Under Siege Rising capabilities of Wilayat Sinai (WS)

Islamic State Claims to Have Shot-Down Russian Plane in Sinai – But Did They?

This is just a quick snapshot of attacks that occurred in JUL 15 Source: The ISIS Study Group

This is just a quick snapshot of attacks that occurred in JUL 15
Source: The ISIS Study Group

WS also wanted to show Baghdadi that they’re an effective force capable of achieving the objectives of his external operations campaign, but also to justify that their request for additional funding. This was also a bid for obtaining heavier weaponry from IS’ Libya affiliate, who sends weapons and supplies to Syria – some of which goes through Sinai (Check out “The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS,” “2015: The Year of ISIS Expansion From Gaza to North Africa” and “The ISIS Expansion Into North Africa” for more details). We don’t think Libyan IS Emir Abu Nail will satisfy that request until after he seizes Darnah – which IS was driven out of back in JUN 15. As of this writing, IS-Libya has been busy consolidating its forces in the al-Fatayeh-area located Southeast of the city. That area is the likely staging-area from which the offensive to retake the town will be launched. The Libyan affiliate is facing a tough fight as they’re forced to take on several other opposition groups of varying jihadist flavors as well as the forces of the Egypt-back Libyan GEN Khalifa Haftar.

For the third time, Haftar’s forces fail to control Derna

Isis in Libya: Islamic State driven out of Derna stronghold by al-Qaeda-linked militia

ISIS responsible for most Libya killings: ICC prosecutor

ISIS In Libya? Gadhafi Sirte Residence Searched By Islamic State For Hidden Money: Report

Warplanes bomb Libya’s Sirte, target Islamic State: witness

The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS

2015: The Year of ISIS Expansion From Gaza to North Africa

The ISIS Expansion Into North Africa…

IS’ Libya affiliate is the terror organization’s most-developed branch and has become a critical part of Baghdadi’s vision of being able to project power outside of Syria/Iraq. Its worth noting that the Libya affiliate has been tasked with providing material support to other affiliates in North Africa in addition to WS and the main effort in Syria. WS actually receives a great deal of their financial support from the Libya affiliate. In fact so much influence has been placed on bolstering the Libya affiliate that some foreign fighters have actually been diverted there. Our sources report the presence of fighters from France, Germany, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Canada and one unconfirmed report of Americans serving among the ranks. Recent reporting also suggests that a group of Indonesian jihadists are projected to be entering the country for this same purpose – other sources imply that they may have already arrived. Not only is Libya an alternative for foreign fighters who aspire to wage jihad but can’t make the trip to Syria, its a training ground for select personnel who get sent back to their countries of origin to establish their own attack networks and conduct the cell-based external operations that the IS leadership has been transitioning to over the last few months (For more info on this transition to cell-based external OPs, check out “Neil Prakash and Friends – an Update” and “Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe”). Think of it as IS’ way of “diversifying their terror portfolio” for their goal of launching such attacks in the West.

Neil Prakash and Friends – an Update

The Loss of Key ISIS External OPs Figures and the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion

Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe

With all this happening, what’s next for Vlad? Make no mistake, he’s going to respond – and when he does, people are either going to die or “disappear.” The big mistake the IS mothership in Syria and the Sinai affiliate made is thinking that Vlad is as soft and flaccid as President Obama. They’re going to find out real quick just how big of a mistake they made once he expands his intervention in Syria (although there will be challenges-more on that in another article) followed by enhanced collaboration with the Sisi regime – which has been steadily moving away from America and getting closer to Russia for well over a year (Check out “Egypt Atmospherics” for more details). On the flip side we assess that IS’ Caucasus affiliate (made up mostly of remnants of Imarat Kavkaz or “IK”) are going to become very active in launching attacks inside Russia itself. Although the media seized on the fact that Syria is one of Vlad’s client states, what didn’t get any real coverage are the 2,500-3,000 Russian nationals currently fighting under the IS banner in Syria – many of which are of Chechen/Dagestani/Tajik ethnicity (Reference the following for additional info – “Russia Poised to Increase Military Presence in Middle East in Response to Islamic State’s Strength,” “Islamic State’s Expansion into the Caucasus Region,” “Gulmurod Khalimov Update – His Militant Views May Not Be a Recent Development” and “Introducing Tajik Special Police COL Gulmurod Khalimov: Islamic State Defector”). At some point those foreign fighters are going to return to Mother Russia. A few already have. So if you thought this high-profile attack was an “isolated incident” that only affects Egypt, you thought wrong.

Egypt Atmospherics…

Russia Poised to Increase Military Presence in Middle East in Response to Islamic State’s Strength

Islamic State’s Expansion into the Caucasus Region

Gulmurod Khalimov Update – His Militant Views May Not Be a Recent Development

Introducing Tajik Special Police COL Gulmurod Khalimov: Islamic State Defector

Egyptian locals are increasingly “Pro-Vlad” – but aren’t big fans of President Obama Source: The ISIS Study Group

Egyptian locals are increasingly “Pro-Vlad” – but aren’t big fans of President Obama
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Other Related Articles:

Haftar-Sisi Alliance: The Roadblock to ISIS Bridge Into the Maghreb

Egypt Strikes ISIS Positions in Libya: Moderate Muslims Rise Up Against Terror

Egypt and UAE Launch Airstrikes in Libya – US Kept in the Dark

Is Egypt Planning Military Intervention in Libya?

Jordan Steps Up Airstrikes Against ISIS, Egypt Launches New Sinai Offensive

Egyptian Army and IDF Take On ISIS Supporters in Sinai

Egyptian Army Hits Back At ISIS In Sinai

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” to US, UK and Australia

Shariah Incompatible With the Constitution



by Pete Hoekstra
IPT News
October 6, 2015

Note: Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra is the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Shillman senior fellow. This article originally appeared at Newsmax.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd in a recent exchange with a presidential candidate raised an issue that should be discussed not only by all of the candidates, but debated and analyzed by the American people.

Is Islamic law (Shariah) compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

The question has no simple answer, but we have three recent examples of where regime change forced national leaders to determine Shariah’s role in their governance, all failing to reach a definitive conclusion.

The first two followed interventions by the Obama administration, in one case actively and in the other passively, that facilitated the overthrow of stable authorities.

In Libya, NATO precipitated the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship. In Egypt, the U.S. sent clear and unambiguous indications that replacing President Hosni Mubarak with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood would be acceptable, if not desirable.

In both cases new governments rose to power through American support.

I illustrate how events unfolded following Gaddafi’s deposition in my upcoming book, “Architects of Disaster: the Destruction of Libya.”

The U.S.-backed National Transitional Council – comprised of radical Islamist “moderates” that fought Gadhafi – appointed Sadeq al-Ghariani grand mufti during the civil war, a title that he retained after the shooting subsided.

Al-Ghariani, as grand mufti, the highest ranking official on Islamic law in a Muslim country, declared that Shariah would serve as the primary source of legislation and that any law contradicting it was invalid.

He legitimized polygamy, banned women from marrying foreigners, directed the Ministry of Education to delete passages on democracy and freedom of religion from school textbooks, and praised the militant group Ansar al-Sharia, which the U.S. blames for the Benghazi attacks that resulted in the murder of four Americans.

In addition, British officials accused al-Ghariani of encouraging jihadists with ideological ties to ISIS to overthrow the duly elected parliament.

Libya remains a bitterly divided failed state with one group supporting jurisprudence under the model created by Mohammad and another fighting for more democratic reforms while still pledging allegiance to Islamic law.

In Egypt, the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood focused on consolidating power rather than quickly imposing expanded facets of Shariah. However, the Muslim populace quickly rejected the actions and declarations of leaders dedicated to implementing stricter adherence to the fundamental teachings of the Koran.

Egyptians already dissatisfied with the economic performance under the stewardship of President Mohammed Morsi turned on him before he could impose what many believed was an agenda to introduce it gradually.

The sad irony is that in both Libya and Egypt, the Obama administration — a supposed champion of liberty and human rights — supported groups that wanted to ultimately enforce the code of law championed by Mohammed once they gained power.

Another irony is that while people in both countries are fighting and dying for political freedom and against more radical Shariah interpretations, that debate can’t even take place in the United States. Those who raise the issue are immediately labeled as Islamophobic.

Finally, the third example of Shariah is that inflicted by ISIS which allows for genocide of religious minorities in the so-called caliphate, an area comprised of large swaths of Syria and Iraq. Their practices are so barbaric that it’s difficult to imagine anyone in the U.S. defending them.

Other practices under ISIS’ application of the religious precepts of Islam include beheading and immolating captives, as well as selling “infidel” women as sex slaves. Here again other Muslims are fighting ISIS, for many reasons that include their obedience to Shariah.

The policies and laws executed by the grand mufti in Libya, the long-term agenda in the short-lived Morsi government in Egypt and by ISIS in its ideal Islamist Ummah are incompatible with the Constitution, period.

If such interpretations are unacceptable as many in the region indicate by their physical resistance, it is not difficult to understand why Americans are asking whether it could apply here.

How would Shariah work within the parameters of America’s founding document, and would the American Muslim community broadly embrace it?

Let’s ask all of the presidential candidates of both parties to hear what they have to say and allow a real discussion among American voters to begin.

Pete Hoekstra represented Michigan for 18 years in Congress, including as chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He currently serves as the Shillman senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and is the author of “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.”

VIDEO: Former Al-Qaeda Leader Says Obama-Aligned Muslim Brotherhood ‘Is One of the Most Dangerous Organizations’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, September 8, 2015:

I had the opportunity to escort a U.S. congressional delegation to Egypt last week — we were sponsored by the Cairo-based Center for North Africa and Near East Security Studies.

One of the common themes we heard from senior government officials and experts was the active role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ongoing terror campaign targeting military, police, and government officials, as well as  in the sabotage of infrastructure. I reported here at PJ Media back in June on the Brotherhood’s escalating violence.

There have been a number of signs this past year indicating that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has effectively dropped its non-violent mask, including:

Despite media reports that the group is “divided” over the use of violence, the group has unmistakably made its position clear.

One expert very familiar with the workings and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is the founder and former head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Sheikh Nabil Naeem. He lived with both Osama bin Laden and current al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, and witnessed the formation of al-Qaeda. In Afghanistan, he served as bin Laden’s personal bodyguard, and was Zawahiri’s long-time “right arm.”

On my last trip to Cairo, my colleague Steve Coughlin and I had the opportunity to interview Sheikh Nabil at his office for more than nine hours over two days.

During that interview we discussed a number of topics, including the trajectory of the global jihadist movement, the development of terrorist organizations in the Sinai, and his experience with EIJ and al-Qaeda until his arrest and eventual rejection of jihadist ideology.


But at the end of our interview with Sheikh Nabil, he began explaining how the Muslim Brotherhood is “one of the most dangerous organizations.”

In response to that statement, I requested that we video record Sheikh Nabil’s response to our questions on this issue as well as his previous statements on the group, which we exclusively present in translation here.

Along the way, he explodes commonly held myths among the Washington, D.C., foreign policy community, including the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced violence and that there are no connections between the Brotherhood and terror groups in Sinai.

Q: Why do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most dangerous organizations?

Nabil: First we accuse the Obama administration of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood to rule Egypt and supporting Morsi’s presidential campaign. Senator McCain also admitted his support to the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

Accordingly, it is not expected from the Obama administration to neither acknowledge Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization nor acknowledge their ties to other terrorist organizations. That would mean the Obama admin and the Democrats acknowledge and support a terrorist group.

But we know that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization and all their confessions are available at the prosecution office. And I can tell you how the prosecution process work because I have been through questioning for 35 years.

If any torture takes place it might happen in the police station, but never the prosecution and they are very careful in regards to the legal procedure. That is why any confessions at the prosecution are called the matter of all evidence.

I personally know ABM are improvised, as well as AQ too. What they use is Muslim Brotherhood money and they admitted this repeatedly.

Q: The Muslim Brotherhood present themselves in the United States as moderate Islam and the only alternative to al-Qaeda. Since you have witnessed the formation of al-Qaeda, do you believe this is true?

Nabil: First the Muslim Brotherhood presented themselves to Mubarak as the alternative to all the takfiri/terrorist groups in Egypt, but the truth is Muslim Brotherhood are the main sponsors of them alland that is the Muslim Brotherhood’s way in promoting themselves as the alternative.

Like they did with Luxor massacre, they sponsored and supported terrorist groups to attack tourism in Egypt. Back in the 1990s Abu Walid, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who used to live in Germany, traveled to Afghanistan and met with Refaie Taha and Ayman Al-Zawahiri to arrange with them what was later known as the Luxor massacre.

At the same time the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt condemned the attack to convince the audience of their moderation.

This is a simple tactic: in order for the Muslim Brotherhood to appear as moderate group, they need the terrorists to commit acts of terrorism so the people would see the difference.

However, knowing the Muslim Brotherhood means knowing they are devil’s allies.

Q: Back in the 1970s the Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence, but we still see other groups ideologically bound to them like Hamas still using violence. What do you believe?

Nabil: The Muslim Brotherhood are double-faced liars, they claim they renounced violence but I will cite a conversation between Ghassan bin Jiddo and Abdul Monem Abul Fotouh that will sum them up.

Ghassan said you (the Muslim Brotherhood) claim that you renounced violence and you said that you don’t topple regimes, although you used violence with Abdul Nasser in Egypt and when Hamas and Fatah had a disagreement, Hamas committed the Gabalya massacre and their mufti, Youssef Al-Astal, endorsed killing Fatah members and Hamas killed 700 of them in a single day.

It is their deeds versus their words, which would you believe?

The Muslim Brotherhood are terrorists and they killed too many people, even after June 30 and I myself witnessed the Al-Itehadia massacre when they killed 13 innocent citizens — one of them a child because he was carrying Sisi’s poster. They shot him in the back of his head.

Even Ibn Khaldoun Center that is sponsored by the U.S. released a report about the Rabia sit-in and documented about 44 cases of Muslim Brotherhood torturing innocent citizens, 33 of which died of torture.

Q: We are trying to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. What do you believe the Americans should know?

Nabil: I would advise the Americans to read books written by the Muslim Brotherhood about themselves. Dots on Letters by Ahmed Adel Kamal where he proudly documented the Muslim Brotherhood terror attacks calling them jihad. The other book is by Mahmoud Al-Sabbagh called The Truth About the Secret Organization where he listed all the facts about the Muslim Brotherhood militias and how they were used to attack the opposition.

For the present times, Americans should monitor the Muslim Brotherhood and what they do in Syria, Egypt, Libya and everywhere they are.


I will be reporting more from Egypt later this week.

The Fiction of Political Islam

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, September 2, 2015:

  • To this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of Egypt’s Islamist President Morsi, and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking President el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.
  • Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how this “political movement” is in reality a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
  • Events in Sinai prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs Islamist terrorists to attack civilians and Egyptian government targets.
  • It is hard not to conclude, looking at President Obama’s record (ignoring protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone”; the dictatorial way the Iran deal is bypassing the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.
  • The Europeans are more aware of the situation but woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom throughout the cities of Europe.
  • The world is beginning to understand that the catastrophes of the Middle East have nothing to do with the resolution of the Palestinian issue but are caused by the innate homicidal tendencies of the Arab rulers and the regional Islamist terrorist organizations.

Hamas is in trouble. Its relations with Egypt are going from bad to worse, and the influx of money, primarily from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the mosques in the Western world — where charity (zakat) was collected to finance anti-Israel terrorism — has dwindled to almost nothing. So has the flow of arms and explosives from Iran, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon. The resulted is the weakening of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, making it ever more difficult for Hamas to continue its ongoing subversion of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and its non-stop attempts to overthrow President Mahmoud Abbas to take over the West Bank and establish there the sort of Islamic emirate it established in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’s military buildup was halted when the President Mohamed Morsi’s radical Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was toppled and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President. Morsi, it will be recalled, strangely received support from President Obama until he was ousted. The Obama administration supported him despite Morsi enabling for the flow of money and arms to Hamas in Gaza to continue unhampered through the tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula. The weapons were used not only to attack Israel, but also to sabotage peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and, indirectly, to attack the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist terrorism festivities ended when President el-Sisi clamped down on the Islamists in Egypt, destroyed the tunnels and sealed Egypt’s border with Gaza. Since el-Sisi has been president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood rule has ended and the tunnels have been destroyed. It is hard to fathom why, to this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of the Islamist Morsi administration and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.

Since el-Sisi has been in power, money and arms no longer flow through the tunnels into the Gaza Strip; instead they began to flow in the opposite direction, from the Gaza Strip into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Since the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated terrorist organizations, Hamas among them, have not accepted defeat, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks targeting the Egyptian regime both inside the country proper and in the Sinai Peninsula. The terrorist campaign receives ongoing support from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, and the ISIS-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Both continuously attack the Egyptian police and army in the Sinai Peninsula, murder Egyptian officials and target Egyptian institutions.

The endless terrorist campaign in Egypt has proven yet again that the claim of a political Islam, separate from the terrorist organizations, is simply a lie. Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how the “political movement” tries to represent itself as dealing only with the da’wah [proselytizing], while in reality it is a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of el-Sisi’s administration. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

While being hosted by the State Department on a visit to Washington in January 2015, Muslim Brotherhood judge Waleed Sharaby (left) flashed the organization’s four-finger “Rabia” sign. At right, ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood) displays the Rabia sign.

The events in the Sinai Peninsula prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from the mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs a hard core of Islamist terrorists to carry out attacks on civilians and Egyptian administration targets.

In the meantime, the real victims are the Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism has paralyzed Egypt’s tourist industry, as foreigners fear to visit Egypt’s antiquities. And now there are terrorist threats to the New Suez Canal, a project initiated and carried out under the leadership of General Sisi to turn both banks of the two canals into an international logistics, commercial and industrial area.

The Islamists’ plans are clear. First, they want to leverage violence, murder and countless Egyptian army casualties into establishing an autonomous terrorist enclave in the Sinai Peninsula. Then they will try to overthrow the Egyptian government and reinstate an Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime headed by Morsi. That is exactly what their offshoot, Hamas, did in the Gaza Strip when it liquidated Palestinian Authority officials and established an Islamic emirate. The writing on the wall is still illegible as far as the U.S. government is concerned. Or else the Obama administration is still in the thrall of extremist Islam and its Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The two main ones are Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has just called new elections so that he can try again to acquire enough seats in parliament to amend Turkey’s constitution to award himself a one-man Sultanate, an absolute dictatorship-for-life to go along with his new palace. The other is Mohamed Morsi, whom Obama apparently is still backing.

It is hard not to conclude, looking at the U.S. president’s record (ignoring the protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” and the dictatorial way the Iran deal has been short-circuited to bypass the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.

The Europeans are more aware of the situation but unfortunately woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom and gather strength throughout the cities of Europe.

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Inside Jihad


Frontpage, by Danusha V. Goska, August 24, 2015:

Here’s my four-sentence review of Dr. Tawfik Hamid’s new book Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works; Why It Should Terrify Us; How to Defeat It. Buy this book. Read this book. Refer to this book. Share this book.

I’ve read and reviewed counter-jihad classics by bestselling experts including Robert Spencer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bernard Lewis, Andrew Bostom, Wafa Sultan, Brigitte Gabriel, Mosab Hassan Yousef, and Phyllis Chesler. I think highly of each. This is how good Inside Jihad is. If someone said to me, “I want to read just one book about jihad.” I’d give that reader Dr. Hamid’s book.

Inside Jihad is brief. Hamid’s style is direct and fast-paced. He says what he needs to say without sensationalism, emotionality, literary ambition, or apologies. He pulls no punches.

Tawfik Hamid was born and raised in Egypt, the most populous Middle Eastern country. He was raised Muslim. Hamid’s mother was a teacher; his father, a surgeon and a private atheist who taught him to respect Christians and Jews. The family observed the Ramadan fast but had little other religious observance. Arabic is his first language and he has studied the Koran in the original Arabic. From 1979-82, he was a member of Jamaa Islamiya, a terrorist group. He met Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda.

Hamid grew up under Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab socialism. Nasser wanted to modernize Egypt. He suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, executed one of its leaders, Sayyid Qutb, and curtailed travel to and from Saudi Arabia, fearing Wahhabi influence.

The 1973 Oil Embargo sparked a revival of Islam. Muslims concluded that Allah rewarded Saudi Arabia for the Saudis’ strict religious observance. Allah’s reward was the Saudi ability to humble the United States.

Islamization in Egypt “started mildly enough.” Hamid warns the reader to pay careful attention to slow Islamization. He says that the same methods that were used in Egypt are now being used in the West. “The more we surrender” he warns “the more Islamists will demand.”

The camel’s nose under the tent was something few could object to: individual prayer. Previously, if an employee interrupted his workday to perform one of Islam’s mandated five daily prayers, it was perceived as bizarre. Now it was admirable.

Another straw in the wind: the hijab. In school photos taken before the 1970s, many Egyptian girls are without hijab. After America’s humbling in the oil shock, more and more girls began to wear hijab. Men stopped wearing gold wedding bands; gold was deemed “un Islamic” for men. More toxic Islamizations, including Jew-hatred, followed. Imams preached that Jews are monkeys and pigs and that they poisoned Mohammed.

Islamization on campus also began in an innocuous way: Islamists used the moments before class began to talk about Islam. One day, the Christian professor of one class said that it was time for discussion of Islam to stop and the academic hour to begin. The Islamists called the professor an infidel and broke his arm. “The Christian students were terrified,” Hamid reports.

“I remember the first time I looked at a Christian with disdain,” Hamid reminisces. He was reading a required textbook. The book told him that Mohammed said, “I have been instructed by Allah to declare war and fight all mankind until they say ‘No God except Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah.'” Hamid, who had previously had Christian friends, turned to a Christian student and said, “If we applied Islam correctly, we should be doing this to you.”

Jamaa Islamiya actively recruited medical students like Hamid. It took six months for Hamid to become “sufficiently indoctrinated.”

Hamid details several lures that recruiters used to bring young people into their movement:

  • fear of hell,
  • a demonization of critical thinking,
  • a sense of superiority over non-Muslims,
  • suppression of any emotional life outside of Islamism,
  • suppression of sexual expression,
  • a promise of sex for jihadis,
  • and upholding of Mohammed as the perfect example, beyond criticism.

Author Don Richardson estimates that one in eight verses in the Koran mentions Hell. By contrast, the Old Testament mentions Hell once in every 774 verses, and it is never described as graphically as it is described in the Koran. Hamid quotes Islamists using many Koranic passages that vividly describe Hell to terrorize potential members: “garments of fire shall be cut out for them … burning water will be poured over their heads causing all that is within their bodies as well as the skins to melt away … they shall be held by iron grips; and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned and told ‘Taste suffering through fire to the full!'” Infidels in Hell will eat thorns and drink scalding water as if they were “female camels raging with thirst and disease.” Their intestines will be cut to pieces.

Another method used to Islamize recruits was “al-fikr kufr” – “one becomes an infidel by thinking critically.”

Recruiters flattered recruits, telling them that they were superior to non-Muslims. “Take not Jews and Christians for friends,” they quoted from Koran 5:51. Jews are monkeys and pigs: Koran 5:60. Those who worship Jesus are infidels: Koran 5:17. Do not offer the greeting “As-salamu alaykum,” or “peace be with you,” to Christians or Jews; whenever you meet Christians or Jews in a road, force them to its narrowest alley: Sahih Muslim. Muslims who did not carry out jihad were also inferior.

Terror recruits’ emotional outlets were cut off. They were forbidden from creating or consuming music, dance, or visual art. They were discouraged from having sex, but lured with promises of great sex in paradise. The houris – dark-eyed virgins – are graphically described in Muslim literature as very soft, without complaint, and easily satisfied. Houris regain their virginity immediately after sex. Men are promised organs that never go limp. Mohammed, recruits were assured, could have sex with eleven women in an hour.

Finally, the example of Mohammed himself was not to be questioned. Mohammed married a six-year-old. He raped war captives, in one case immediately after decapitating the captive’s brother and father and after she had witnessed her mother being carried off also to be raped. Mohammed approved of the dismemberment of Um Kerfa, a poetess who criticized him. Mohammed is the “perfect example, worthy of emulation.” Muslims today must unquestioningly approve these behaviors.

Hamid’s fellow extremists were aware that Muslim countries were no longer in the cultural forefront. Islam had spread as far as Spain and India in only the first century after Mohammed’s death. Terror recruits believed that early Islam’s success was caused by strict adherence to Islamic doctrine. They believed that their strict observance could bring back Islam’s early dominance.

Some wonder how women could be recruited into a movement that keeps them in an inferior position in relation to men. Hamid clarifies: Muslimahs were told that they would be superior – to infidel women.

Hamid expounds uncompromisingly on the power and importance of hijab. He insists that when prominent Westerners such as Nancy Pelosi and Laura Bush travel to Muslim countries and wear hijab, they are making a grave error. Hijab is not “a neutral, or merely traditional, fashion statement.” Hijab’s purpose “is not modesty or to encourage observers to focus on a Muslim woman’s personality.” Hijab exists to proclaim “deep Islamic doctrinal connections to slavery and discrimination. Western women who cover themselves are unwittingly endorsing an inhumane system.” Hijab’s purpose, Hamid argues persuasively, is to create a society where superior free Muslimahs are visually distinct from inferior infidel slave women.

Islamists “despise women who did not wear hijab. We considered them vain … we believed they would burn in Hell.” Further, “the hijab serves to differentiate between slave girls and women who are considered free … it creates a feeling of superiority among the women who wear it.” The Koran promises that women who wear hijab will not be “molested.” Women without hijab are slaves and can be raped without guilt.

Australia’s foremost Muslim cleric restated this Islamist position in 2006. In Sydney, fourteen Muslim men gang-raped non-Muslim women. Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said that it was the victims’ fault. “If you take out uncovered meat” and cats eat it, the cats are not to blame. Women possess “igraa,” “the weapon of enticement.”

Hamid emphasizes that hijab is both vanguard and emblem of Islamic supremacy. During their 1953 meeting, the first thing Sayyid Qutb asked Nasser to do was to force women to wear hijab. A YouTube video documents this conversation. In the video, Nasser is speaking to a large assembly. When he repeats Qutb’s demand, the crowd laughs. One wag shouts out, “Let him wear it!” Nasser points out that Qutb’s own daughter does not wear hijab. The crowd laughs even more, and bursts into applause. This video is at least fifty years old. It is a reminder that fifty years ago, countries like Egypt and Iran were modernizing. Women, in cities at least, could be seen in public in miniskirts and without hijab.

Hamid reports that the Muslim Brotherhood does not announce its end goal openly. “They pose as peacemakers … The Muslim Brotherhood will accept circumstances that offend their beliefs – temporarily – if doing so will advance their goals.” They will – temporarily – permit western dress for women and alcohol consumption. This is all part of taqiyya. The Muslim Brotherhood has a four stage plan: at first, merely preach. Then, move on to participation in public life. Next, consolidate power “while faking legitimacy.” Finally, enforce sharia.

A few turning points turned Hamid away from Islamism, for example, when a fellow terror recruit described his plot to bury alive an Egyptian police officer.

Hamid had been studying the Bible so that he could better debate Christians. Jesus’ words haunted him. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” He asked himself, what profit to Islam if it subjugated the entire world but lost its soul? “Exposure to the Bible was crucial in helping me question the violent aspects of Salafist teaching.”

His medical studies also gave him pause. “I wondered if the divine DNA molecule was violent. Did it attempt to conquer the rest of the cell? Did it try to force other cellular components to behave like itself? It did not. Rather, it worked harmoniously within an organism to create and sustain life.”

The clincher for Hamid was “the existence of alternative forms of Islamic teaching.” Hamid met Muslims called “Quranics,” who reject the hadiths. The Quranics “stood against killing apostates, against stoning women for adultery, against killing gays. They viewed the Islamic Conquests as immoral and senseless.” The Quranics “allowed me to think critically.” “If this alternative sect had not been available, it would have been much more difficult for me to resist jihadism.”

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Egypt’s Christians in the Shadow of the Muslim Brotherhood

Christian Coptic Priest Father Samuel reacts as he stands  inside the burned and heavily damaged St. Mousa church in Minya, Egypt . Dozens of churches were burned as well as businesses and homes during a surge of violence against Egypt's Christian minority after security forces raided two Islamist protest sit in camps on August 14.(Photo by Heidi Levine/Sipa Press)./LEVINE_1327.21/Credit:LEVINE/SIPA/1308301358

Christian Coptic Priest Father Samuel reacts as he stands inside the burned and heavily damaged St. Mousa church in Minya, Egypt . Dozens of churches were burned as well as businesses and homes during a surge of violence against Egypt’s Christian minority after security forces raided two Islamist protest sit in camps on August 14.(Photo by Heidi Levine/Sipa Press)./LEVINE_1327.21/Credit:LEVINE/SIPA/1308301358

Washington Free Beacon, by Daniel Bassali, Aug. 11, 2015:

In the nearly five years of turmoil that have followed the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, no group in Egypt has suffered more than the 15 million Coptic Christians. Both a religious and ethnic minority, the Copts are descended from the native population of Egypt who lived and ruled there from the time of the pharaohs until the Roman conquest in 31 B.C. They are the largest Christian community in the Middle East today.

Copts have long been the target of discrimination and persecution in the majority-Arab nation. But this ancient people faced a terrifying new prospect in 2012: Muslim Brotherhood rule.

After Mubarak was ousted, the violence began almost immediately. Churches and schools were burned; peaceful protestors were massacred. When parliamentary elections were held nine months later, they were swept by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties. When Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election in May 2012, the party’s victory looked complete. The same year, Morsi gave himself unlimited powers and the party drafted a new constitution inspired by Sharia law.

Morsi benefitted from the organizational advantage of the Muslim Brotherhood. Backed by imams preaching the benefits of religious rule, the previously banned political party was able to defeat the fractured coalitions of the pro-West, liberal, and secular candidates.

“They used thugs to carry out political intimidation against Christians,” a former member of Egyptian Parliament told the Washington Free Beacon. Chants celebrating the Brotherhood victory echoed through the streets of Cairo. “Morsi won! Copts out!”

FILE - In this May 8, 2014 file photo, Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sits in a defendant cage in the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death, Saturday, May 16, 2015,  over  a 2011 mass prison break.. (AP Photo/Tarek el-Gabbas, File)

FILE – In this May 8, 2014 file photo, Egypt’s ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sits in a defendant cage in the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death, Saturday, May 16, 2015, over a 2011 mass prison break.. (AP Photo/Tarek el-Gabbas, File)

During Morsi’s rule, Christians were murdered and tortured by the hundreds. Attacks and abductions of Christian children spiked significantly. “Most Americans do not know how vicious and bloody the Muslim Brotherhood is,” Ahmed, a 24-year old secular Muslim, said. “They really can’t understand.”

Pope Tawadros II, Egypt’s Coptic Christian leader, criticized Morsi for negligence after six Christians were killed when police and armed civilians besieged Egypt’s largest cathedral. “We want actions, not words,” the Pope said.

Public accusations of blasphemy also became ubiquitous. A Facebook post interpreted as undermining Islam could bring a mob of fundamentalists with rocks and Molotov cocktails to the homes of Christians, surrounding them with families trapped inside. Sham trials with no legal representation would follow. Anti-Christian terrorism was not punished, but the wrong words often landed Copts in prison, forcing the church to make public apologies and families to leave their towns and villages.

Lydia, an activist who provides relief supplies to torn Christian communities in Upper Egypt, and who requested that only her first name be used to preserve her safety and that of her colleagues, witnessed the Muslim Brotherhood offer the very poorest Egyptians social services that bought their allegiance. “When you have no food or money, you will listen to anyone who gives you the resources your family desperately needs,” Lydia said. “They brainwash the illiterate with extremism so they hurt Christians.”

Still, Morsi’s authoritarian rule—rewriting the constitution, disbanding the Egyptian parliament, tossing potentially obstructive judges into jail—was not long lived. Barely a year after he assumed office, a reported 35 million citizens took to the streets to protest his rule, leading the Egyptian military, under Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to remove him from power in July 2013.

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi protest at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013 / AP

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi protest at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013 / AP

Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.) told the Free Beacon that had al-Sisi not responded, the promise of Egyptian Democracy would have died. “What it seemed the Egyptian people wanted was more opportunity to be able have some sort of functioning democracy, elections, input into their own government,” Lankford said. “It was the immediate understanding as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood was elected, that was the last election Egypt would have.”

In 2014, al-Sisi was elected Egypt’s new president. He won a solid electoral victory, giving him control of the Egyptian government with the responsibilities of forming a new constitution, a new parliament, and a new judicial system. The Coptic Church fervently supported al-Sisi’s candidacy because the new president promised Copts equality in citizenship, security in their communities, and the ability to build places of worship.

The new Egyptian president challenged the leaders of the Islamic world to push a more moderate message. In December 2014, hundreds of Christian and Muslim theologians gathered at al-Azhar, Egypt’s leading mosque and religious university, participated in a conference to fight “jihad” and promote inclusion. Al-Sisi ambitiously called for a “religious revolution” in January 2015, saying that clerics bear responsibility for the growing extremism in the Middle East.

As president, al-Sisi took many symbolic steps to integrate the Coptic community with the majority Sunni population. In a surprise to most Egyptians, al-Sisi attended a mass at Saint Mark Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo on Christmas Eve, a first for any Egyptian president. Al-Sisi regularly invites Pope Tawadros II to appear beside him when he announces major policy rollouts or requests public dialogue from senior advisers.

Al-Sisi also appointed two Copts as members of his cabinet. Under the constitution, the president of Egypt has the power to select 10 members of parliament. Political observers believe he will select Copts to fill a majority of those appointed seats to offer a more representative parliament.

“Our lives haven’t changed much but one positive result of the revolution is the Egyptian people have politically woken up,” said Hala, a Mubarak-era government official who also wished to be identified by her first name only because she fears political retribution. “We no longer accept what we are told. Egyptians are at least aware of the government’s actions and they are more aware of the troubles Copts face.”

But while al-Sisi’s administration provides a welcome change of tone toward the Coptic community, the day-to-day lives of Copts remain little changed from the Mubarak days.

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Also see:

ISIS’ Sinai Attacks Show Real Threat to Hamas

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, July 3, 2015:

The attacks on Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State (ISIS) this week shows why its new vow to topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip should be taken seriously. Polls show that Palestinians have the highest level of sympathy for ISIS in the Arab world with the possible exception of Syria.

ISIS has killed at least 17 Egyptian security personnel (13 soldiers and 4 police officers) and injured 30 in coordinated attacks that reflect increasing sophistication.  The Egyptian military said 70 Islamist terrorists participated and five checkpoints were assaulted. ISIS claims it struck 15 sites all at once.

The Egyptian government immediately accused the Muslim Brotherhood of involvement as it has in the past. Egypt also claims Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, is secretly supporting ISIS operations in the Sinai Peninsula. It has even threatened to attack Hamas in Gaza in response.

The Egyptian claims are questionable because of the open animosity between the two groups and ISIS’ new video pledging to conquer the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli military confirmed the links after Wednesday’s attacks. It identified two senior Hamas officials who advise ISIS and covertly arrange for hospital visits in Gaza for its injured operatives.

The Brotherhood denies involvement and its website has a statementurging Egyptians to reject violence, but the group’s double-talk is well-documented. It is simply false that the Brotherhood is completely non-violent and Brotherhood media outlets explicitly call for violence like that perpetrated by ISIS this week.

However, there does appear to be a division within the Brotherhood.Youth leaders and elements outside the country are advocating violent jihad, while the older generation repeatedly reaffirms the group’s non-violent stance in Egypt. It’s possible this is all a calculated deception. It’s also possible the rift is real and a faction would be willing to support ISIS against a common enemy.

One Brotherhood official, Mohamed Gaber, said it “seeks to use all expertise inside and outside the Brotherhood to achieve its goals at this stage,” referring to toppling the Egyptian government.

The Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Brotherhood makes it tempting for Hamas to support ISIS operations in the Sinai. Hamas may prefer a situation where its southern border is a battlefield between ISIS and Egyptian forces instead of a base for either. Plus, the Brotherhood uses every death as proof that Egypt’s crackdown is counter-productive and should end.

There are three possibilities: Claims of Hamas/Brotherhood links to ISIS in Sinai are simply wrong; the two groups simultaneously collaborate and fight with each other depending on circumstances; or there are elements within Hamas/Brotherhood that work independently with ISIS against the wishes of the leadership.

Whatever the truth is, the attacks in the Sinai show the threat to Hamas should be taken seriously.

A November 2014 poll found that the Palestinians are the most sympathetic population to ISIS in the Arab world. Only 4% view ISIS positively but if you include those who view it somewhat positively, it grows to nearly one-quarter of the population. However, another poll found that only 3% of Palestinians view ISIS’ gains positively and 88% view it negatively.

ISIS could capitalize on widespread dissatisfaction with Hamas and the situation in Gaza. ISIS’ message that Gaza is in bad shape because Hamas is not sufficiently implementing Sharia could resonate with Islamists who are struggling to understand why Hamas’ rule has not been blessed by Allah. The video also slams Hamas for being too soft on Israel.

A poll released last month shows that 50% of the population in Gaza—and an astounding 80% of the youth—want to leave. About 63% favor continuing rocket attacks on Israel. Another poll found that almost 25% would not vote if elections were held today.

Should a full-blown war between Hamas and ISIS break out that makes Gaza look like Syria, the West mustn’t embrace Hamas as the better alternative. The minute differences between them should not be exaggerated out of a desire for a side to pick. They are the two manifestations of the same enemy.

Also see:

Massive Terror Attack on Military Checkpoints in Egypt’s Sinai Kills Dozens

CI0r3wTWsAAM86yPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 1, 2015:

A coordinated attack by terrorists on multiple Egyptian military checkpoints in north Sinai has left dozens dead with fighting still ongoing in some areas, according to multiple reports.


sinai attack


Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate operating in Sinai and formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) until their merger with ISIS in November 2014, has reportedly already taken credit for the attack:

haaretz tweet

This attack comes just two days after the assassination of Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, whose funeral was yesterday.


The attacks occurred near Sheikh Zuweid not far from the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.



If casualties are in fact 60 dead or more, this would be one of the biggest terror attacks in Egypt’s modern history and definitely would mark an escalation in the conflict between terrorist groups and the Egyptian government in the two years since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.


Egypt is one of the top U.S. allies in the Middle East, though the Obama administration withheld military supplies from Egypt for nearly two years as the insurgency in the Sinai escalated, only relenting recently.


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Also see:

Hillary May Have “Appointed” Morsi President of Egypt


Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, June 29, 2015:

It’s an interesting development and certainly wouldn’t be surprising.

After all the entire aim of the Obama-Clinton policy was to get the Islamists in power across the region. When they couldn’t do so democratically, they went to war under false pretenses as in Libya. Considering the convoluted nature of Egypt’s system of elections, it’s doubtful that they would have had any problems forcing the authorities into giving them what they wanted.

Now, however, the news website Al-Monitor reports that there is evidence that Morsi did not win the 2012 elections after all, but was merely declared the winner by the electoral commission, in order to avert the violence that was sure to follow an announcement to the contrary.

Per Al-Monitor’s translation, the document states that the commission had opted to “take the decision that is correct and most beneficial for the country and its citizens, despite it being in violation of the law, and announce Dr. president of Egypt. This is to spare the country of the bloody conflict that will inevitably occur in the event that Ahmed Shafiq is announced president….”

The letter also, however, spells out another option: namely, and again per the translation of Al-Monitor, “to reject all pressure – whether internal or external – and announce the facts to the Egyptian and global public opinion, and reveal the defects and gross cases of manipulation and forgery that marred the electoral process as a whole. This is in addition to revealing the criminal pressures, practices and threats that the chairman and members of the committee, as well as their families, have faced.”

The allusion to “external” sources of pressure is particularly intriguing. According to Al-Monitor, local Egyptian press has reported that then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contacted Tantawi prior to the announcement of the election results with the aim of “putting pressure on Egyptian authorities to hand power over to Morsi.

Of course that raises basic questions about their own narrative of a coup that overthrow Morsi. In practice Mubarak and Morsi were both removed from power after the military backed popular uprisings. What isn’t discussed much is that the coup against Mubarak was backed by Obama and Hillary.

Among other things, we’re seeing the clearing of the board and the resetting of Egypt back to pre-Arab Spring conditions with Mubarak’s people making a comeback. The other side of the coin means that some resolution will be achieved with the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone expecting Egypt to fundamentally change is likely to be disappointed.

Also see:

‘Al-Ahram’ Editor: ‘Washington Post’ Waging A Vicious Campaign Against Al-Sisi Regime In Service Of Muslim Brotherhood

Muhammad 'Abd Al-Hadi 'Allam (image:

Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Hadi ‘Allam (image:

MEMRI, June 22, 2015:

In an article titled “Political Pamphlets in an American Paper,” the editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Hadi ‘Allam, slammed the U.S.’s Washington Post for its frequent attacks on the Egyptian regime since the ouster of former Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi. According to ‘Allam, the Washington Post is waging a “vicious campaign” and voicing “open incitement” against Egypt in the service of “terror organizations” such as the Muslim Brotherhood. This, while refraining from criticizing human rights violations or the absence of press freedom in countries like Turkey and Qatar.[1]

The following are excerpts from the article:[2]

“No country in the world [other than Egypt] receives so much attention in Washington Post editorials, which are full of a strange and pathetic fury over this country’s domestic affairs – to an extent that indicates the existence of a vast lobby behind these articles, whose number has broken every record in the last few months.

“The press inside and outside Egypt is entitled to write whatever it wants, and we have a right to tell [our] critics that the strength and the reputation of a great country that is undergoing a process of rehabilitation are not a ‘toy’ in the hands of interests groups that hammer the readers over the head every morning with editorials that constitute a vicious campaign. [This campaign] first of all undermines the faith in the changes that are currently happening in Egypt, and in its economic growth on the eve of the opening of the new Suez Canal in less than two months.

“The ongoing and widespread use of terms such as ‘oppressive state’ and ‘tyranny’ in this big American paper’s editorials [about Egypt] constitutes open incitement against the Egyptian state and against its judiciary, which is presented as a [mere] tool in the hands of the regime. [This criticism] is part of an ongoing attempt by some Western media to kill the rule of law [in Egypt] in favor of terrorist organizations that have become masters of deception, cheating and killing in the name of religion [namely the Muslim Brotherhood].

“During this period, we did not find in this widely-distributed American paper even one investigative article about the ideological roots of the culture that [condones] violence and opposes the nation state. [This is the culture of] the groups of political Islam, which have been the eternal allies of the U.S. and Britain since the 1920s. We never saw [in this paper] a single report about the deadly violence against Egypt’s civilians, police officers and military personnel. At the same time, there is plenty of sympathy and compassion for the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders, who have fled to Arab and foreign countries in order to spread their endless poison. These are the same leaders against whom millions of angry [Egyptians] came out in the June 30 revolution.

“The Egyptian people left the handling of this issue to the police and the military, and let them deal with this group that is undermining the abilities of the nation states. [So far], we have not seen or heard that any of the imaginary assessments regarding the imminent collapse of the [Egyptian] state and the shattering of its foundations have come to pass. These papers’ efforts to spread [these assessments] is an open game, which most Egyptians receive with a sarcastic smile and with pity for these foreign reporters and for their Egyptian collaborators who see only what they want to see, while ignoring reality.

“The American paper displays overt hostility towards Egypt in its editorials, but it does not dare direct criticism at countries that never practiced democracy [at all]… [This,] out of concern for American interests and in order to avoid clashing with interest groups inside [the U.S.] that are close to those countries. Had the paper been fair, it would have discussed the issue of human rights and freedom of the press in Turkey, [or] the issue of the foreign laborers in Qatar, just as it addresses the situation in Egypt.

“The Egyptians practical response to this paper’s claims in recent days regarding empty promises [made by President Al-Sisi] will come when we invite papers from around the world to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new Suez Canal and the vast projects associated with it. Then we will see the promises that the president has undertaken [to fulfill] for the sake of his people – while other people justify the crimes of the terrorists between the lines [of their articles] and want the circle of bloodshed to widen and grow. The response of the [Egyptian] state and people in the coming months will expose the campaign of lies and deception that has been waged in Washington by fugitives from Egyptian justice and by agents [of various parties]. [This campaign] is waged on recruited websites and papers and in foreign papers that are more concerned with destroying the abilities of the Egyptian state than in supporting the interests of their countries.

“The ‘political pamphlet’ press will fall, even if it originates in the capitals of the very countries that gave rise to the theory of democracy and turned the Arab East into hell. And in case you have forgotten, let us remind you of the crime of your silence over the Iraq war and of what your people did in Abu Ghraib prison, or the disasters that later befell the Arab world!”


[1] In an article published in Al-Ahram on June 22, columnist Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Tawwab likewise attacked “some large newspapers around the world that lean in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood” and that have lately been harshly criticizing the Al-Sisi regime and calling it a “coup regime.” According to ‘Abd Al-Tawwab, these papers deliberately harm the reputation of the Al-Sisi regime and blame it for things that are not its fault, with the aim of evoking sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood. He added that these papers attack Egypt because certain countries “unfriendly to Egypt” have lately purchased shares in them, and also because they are influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s global lobby. He accused the papers of “committing shameful crimes” and called to hold them accountable. He added that he could understand why Egypt is taking this matter so lightly, and called it to confront the “deliberate attack and the fabrications.”

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), June 18, 2015.

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Egypt’s Grand Mufti Court Upholds Death Sentence of Former President Morsi

morsi sentenceCAIRO, June 16 (UPI) — Egypt’s Grand Mufti court in Cairo on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of former President Mohamed Morsi over a prison break.

Morsi and more than 100 Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death in May for breaking out of the Wadi Natroun prison in 2011. The decision to uphold the death sentence was passed to Egypt’s highest religious authority, the Grand Mufti.

The death sentence can still be appealed.

Morsi was also sentenced to life imprisonment on espionage charges along with 16 other Muslim Brotherhood members, accused of spying for the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas. Three other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to death by hanging.

In Egypt, life imprisonment sentences equate to 25 years in prison.

The judge said the Muslim Brotherhood “collaborated with Palestinian Hamas to infiltrate Egypt’s eastern borders and attack prisons.”

Morsi is already serving 20 years after being convicted of inciting violence and torturing protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012, but was acquitted in their deaths. He has previously said he is innocent of all the charges, claiming he is the victim of a coup led by current President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected president after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, but unrest began less than a year into his term when he declared himself to have far-reaching powers. He was overthrown in 2013.

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If the death penalty is not approved and the civil court ignores the disapproval and goes forward to implement the death penalty, this could mean that the court is secured by the backing and protection of the President in order to serve justice. This in turn reveals that Al-Sisi is truly willing and able to go forward with cleaning corruption and rolling back religious extremism in an effort to reform the country.

Security Guard at U.S. Embassy in Egypt Arrested as a Terrorist

Amr Dalsh/Reuters

Amr Dalsh/Reuters

Daily Beast, by Jamie Detmer, June 11, 2015:
To the shock of U.S. officials, authorities in Egypt have arrested the local employee and charged him as the purported commander of a radical Islamist organization.
Egyptian authorities have arrested an Egyptian security guard at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, claiming he is a senior figure in an Islamist terrorist organization. U.S. officials are scrambling to get information from Egyptian authorities, who did not alert them beforehand.An embassy official confirmed to The Daily Beast that 42-year-old Ahmed Ali, accused by the Egyptians of helping to plan or taking part in more than a dozen attacks on security forces, was an employee in the security service at the mission in downtown Cairo. Egyptian authorities are claiming he is a commander in the militantHelwan Brigades.Both the lack of any forewarning by the Egyptian authorities and the apparent security failure by the U.S. State Department, which failed to unearth Ali’s membership in the brigades, is likely to prompt outrage on Capitol Hill.

Security for all of the U.S. embassies in the Middle East is meant to have been tightened since the 2012 militant assault on the U.S. diplomatic outpost inBenghazi in eastern Libya that led to the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The disclosure of the arrest by Egyptian authorities on Wednesday came just hours before a suicide bomber blew himself up outside Luxor’s ancient Karnak temple in southern Egypt in an attack that left four people, including two police officers, wounded. Police said they also killed two of the bomber’s accomplices.

No group has as yet claimed responsibility for the attack at the spectacular temple, with its dozens of sphinxes and beautiful bas reliefs of ancient gods, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Nile River. But some analysts speculated that the attack may have been organized by the so-called Islamic State, which has been courting local jihadis, seeking to persuade them to affiliate with the terror group based in Syria and Iraq.

Firas Abi Ali and Ludovico Carlino of IHS, a global risk consultancy, argue the bombing is unlikely to be the work of an al Qaeda-affiliated Egyptian group such as Ajnad Misr, or the Soldiers of Egypt, which recently announced it is trying to avoid Muslim casualties. “It is likely to be the work of the Islamic State, which sees Ancient Egyptian temples as idolatrous,” the analysts say. They believe the attack may herald the announcement by ISIS of an affiliate in Egypt.

It is the second time this month that suspected Islamic extremists have attacked a major Egyptian tourist attraction or launched a raid nearby. On June 3, gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire outside the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, killing two policemen.

The Helwan Brigades are not the most dangerous of militant groups organizing attacks in Egypt but members are thought to be behind the killing of a policeman, setting fire to police cars, staging Molotov cocktail attacks and bombing a university in southern Cairo, in the district the group takes its name from, Helwan. Egyptian authorities accuse the group of being affiliated to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. A former member of the Helwan Brigades, 22-year-old Waleed Saad, recently confessed to responsibility for the murder of a policeman and the bombing of the university.

According to Egyptian authorities, Saad told interrogators that two senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood provided the group with weapons that were later used in attacks against security forces, including on a police station in the district of Zilzal. Some analysts are treating his confession with caution, since Egyptian interrogators are known to employ torture.

In August last year the Helwan Brigades posted a video online threatening security forces and “the Interior Ministry in South Cairo” with violence, saying they were “fed up with the Muslim Brotherhood’s peacefulness.” On the video one man insisted they were not members of the Muslim Brotherhood and warned the Egyptian Interior Ministry that it “would be targeted for what you have done to us.”

He added: “You have shown no consideration for the fact that we are your brothers. You have shown no consideration for anything. You have shed blood and stepped on us. You have raped the women. You have impregnated the Muslim women.” More than 200 alleged members of the group were arrested last summer and charged with “plotting against the police and the army, and against official facilities.”

Egyptian State prosecutors have alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood, after an army-led coup backed by large street protests ousted the government of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, assigned members to form militant groups including the Helwan Brigades, the Ultras, and the Anti Coup Alliance.

Muslim Brotherhood officials vehemently deny the allegation.

Rights groups accuse the Egyptian authorities of erroneously painting the Muslim Brotherhood as linked to militant Islamists, jihadis, and terrorists without distinguishing among them. But following the ouster of Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, and the mass arrests of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, younger members have drifted toward more violent action.

In a statement issued to the Egyptian press Wednesday a U.S. embassy spokesman said: “We understand an embassy employee, who is an Egyptian citizen, has been arrested by Egyptian security. We are in touch with Egyptian authorities regarding the charges and the next steps in the legal process.”

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Could Hamas be the Next Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

2009-01-08-hamas-firing-rockets-in-gaza-600CSP, by Rachel Silverman, June 10, 2015:

The United Nations and Egypt have both decided to not label Hamas a terrorist organization. When the U.S. State Department created its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997, Hamas was one of the first names on it. But I guess according to the UN and Egypt, they somehow don’t qualify to be grouped with armies and guerilla groups that kill and maim children in conflicts worldwide.

On Monday morning, the UN decided to leave Hamas off its blacklist of nations and armed organizations that violate children’s rights during conflict. Despite endless documentation of Hamas using hospital patients and children as human shields.

There is evidence that shows Hamas placing weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas during Operation Protective Edge. They also sent men, women, and children to act as human shields for terrorists. Innocent bystanders were killed as a result of Hamas’ abuse of its own civilians. Instead of keeping its citizens out of harm’s way, Hamas encouraged and even forced Gazans to join its violent resistance against Israel.

During Operation Protective Edge Hamas also used hospitals as a command center and to launch attacks against Israel. Unfortunately, using hospitals as part of its human shield is not new for Hamas. A PBS report from 2007 shows how Hamas gunmen intimidated the staff at al-Shifa hospital.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2009, The New York Times reported that:

“Hamas has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps, and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital.”

On Saturday, the Cairo Appeal Court for Urgent Matters canceled a previous verdict labeling Hamas as a terrorist organization. The court said the lower court lacked jurisdiction to issue such a verdict in the first place, according to the report.

On February 28, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters made the ruling after an Egyptian lawyer filed a lawsuit in last November calling for banning Hamas and classifying it as a terror organization.

Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt’s blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group, used illegal underground tunnels connecting Egyptian Rafah to its twin Palestinian town to enter the country and smuggle weapons to attack Egyptian police and army personnel.

Hamas militants have also been accused of carrying out terrorist attacks and killing over 30 people in late October 2014 as well as carrying out an armed jailbreak to free Brotherhood members during Egypt’s popular uprising in 2011.

So tell me why Egypt thought it was a good idea to overturn a verdict that labeled Hamas a terrorist organization?

On January 31, the same court listed al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, as a terrorist organization. The court ruling came days after a series of bloody attacks occurred in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 33 soldiers and policemen. So let me get this straight, Hamas isn’t a terrorist organization, but their military wing is, makes a lot of sense of to me.

The Egyptian government has been at odds with the group repeatedly, with longtime President Hosni Mubarak lashing out at the group and refusing to recognize Hamas’ rule in Gaza. In December 2014 the current Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-SISi, viewed Hamas’ movement as subversive, acting against Egypt’s national security and in line with its mother-movement the Muslim Brotherhood.

For years Egypt has played a major role in peace negotiations between Israel and various Palestinian factions, with Egypt being seen as fairly impartial by both sides. There is no doubt in my mind that this new ruling will affect Egypt’s position as a mediator between the two sides.

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Egypt helping organize anti-Muslim Brotherhood Syrian opposition

640x392_65997_224309-190x150CSP, by Ashley Davies, June 8, 2015:

A two-day conference of Syrian opposition leaders in Cairo is set to wrap up today, June 9th. The conference, a continuation of meetings in January, intended to develop a political solution to Syrian turmoil and form a new coalition called the Syrian National Opposition. In January, over 150 representatives of 40 Syrian political parties and organizations gathered and drafted a 10 point document on the new coalition’s goals. These points included backing a political solution in Syria, rejecting foreign military presence in Syria, releasing all hostages and detainees in Syria, and following the Geneva I communiqué.

The meetings on Monday and Tuesday, organized by Haytham Manna, were also set to elect a political committee and establish a policy charter. The political committee, the Syrian National Opposition, is said to be in favor of separation of state and religion, equality of all Syrian citizens, and seeks to criminalize political sectarianism and terrorism. Manna claimed the conferences have taken place in Cairo because the “Egyptian Foreign Ministry has always maintained good relations with all the currents of the Syrian opposition.”

Amongst those attending the most recent conference included 75 members of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, of whom Manna says approximately 20 of the democratic members are with him.

Attendees included Haytham Manna and Ahmad Jarba. Manna, one of the main organizers of the conferences, is well known for being highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the Syrian opposition. Manna has accused the Brotherhood of being the cause of Syrian turmoil and forcing Syria to embrace “Islamism”. In response, the Muslim Brotherhood have accused Manna of aiding the Assad regime’s interests. Jarba was elected president of the Syrian National Coalition in March 2014, assisting Mustafa al-Sabbagh’s faction, in an attempt to oust the Brotherhood out of the opposition, take over all other positions in the Coalition. The undermining of the Brotherhood’s presence in the Coalition resulted in substantial ill will between many of the Brotherhood’s members towards Jarba.

The presence of these high-ranking Syrian leaders at odds with the Muslim Brotherhood highlights the fact that Egypt’s motives for hosting the conference may extend to a desire to help form Syrian coalition with a strongly anti-Brotherhood stance. Tensions between Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood have been high since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood, was forced out of office in a coup in 2013. Most recently, Egypt has expressed in intense displeasure with the United States meeting with Muslim Brotherhood members. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s  administration playing host the Syrian opposition conferences, we can expect Egypt to attempt to encourage an outcome that best undermines the Brotherhood.