Why the Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas

An Islamic State fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS)

An Islamic State fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014. (photo by REUTERS)

By Ali Mamouri:

Most of today’s Salafist jihadist movements have no interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the time being regarding it as irrelevant. Instead, their call is to engage in intense, bloody confrontations involving bombings, executions, and suicide attacks against governments headed by Muslims and against Muslim civilians.

Al-Qaeda has followed this course for decades, and now the Islamic State (IS) is following in al-Qaeda’s footsteps, fighting a brutal war across swathes of Iraq and Syria and in an effort to “purify” these areas through killings and population displacement. Once taking territory, it is not mobilizing the populations under its control in opposition to the Israeli military operations in Gaza. Why is this?

Some jihadists or pro-jihadist Salafists have issued video clips and tweets explaining their lack of assistance to the Palestinians. One tweet stated, “The Hamas government is apostate, and what it is doing does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy [which Salafists oppose].” Another tweet said, “Khaled Meshaal: Hamas fights for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights so that all religion can be for God.” Meshaal is head of Hamas’ political bureau.

On July 22, the Egyptian Salafist sheikh Talaat Zahran declared that it is inappropriate to aid the people of Gaza because they do not follow a legitimate leadership, and because they are equivalent to Shiites since they follow them, referring to Hezbollah and Iran, with which the Sunni Hamas movement has been allied. Thus the jihadists’ position is not simply a political stance, but stems from Salafist theological principles.

Salafists believe that jihad must be performed under legitimate leadership. This argument is advanced through the “banner and commander” concept, which holds that whoever undertakes jihad must follow a commander who fulfills the criteria of religious and political leadership and has raised the banner of jihad. Given that there is neither a legitimate leader nor a Salafist-approved declaration of jihad in Palestine, fighting there is forbidden.

In addition, for Salafists, if non-Muslims control Islamic countries and apostates exist in the Islamic world, the Islamic world must be cleansed of them before all else. In short, the purification of Islamic society takes priority over combat against non-Islamic societies. On this basis, Salafists see conflict with an allegedly illegitimate Hamas government as a first step toward confrontation with Israel. Should the opportunity for military action present itself in the Palestinian territories, Salafists would fight Hamas and other factions deemed in need of “cleansing” from the land and engage Israel afterward.

Read more at Al-Monitor

 

 

Salafi-Jihadists: “A Persistent Threat” to Europe and America

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz (center) poses with fellow jihadists in Syria.

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz (center) poses with fellow jihadists in Syria.

by Soeren Kern:

The other key reason for the growing threat, the report says, is due to American disengagement and a significant scaling back of counterterrorism efforts.

“A complete withdrawal of U.S forces from Afghanistan by 2016 could seriously jeopardize U.S. security interests…. The United States should also consider a more aggressive strategy…. The failure to weaken… jihadist groups will likely have serious repercussions for the United States.” — RAND report.

The European report also calls attention to the misuse of charities and other non-profit organizations to collect funds for terrorist entities.

In keeping with strict conformity to European multiculturalism and moral relativism, the European Union refused to classify two of the most high-profile terrorist attacks in 2013 as “religiously inspired terrorism.”

The threat to Europe and the United States from Islamic terrorism is serious and growing, and new attacks with unexpected targets and timings are increasingly likely, according to two new reports that provide insights and predictions about the threats posed by al-Qaeda and other Salafi-jihadist groups.

The reports — one by the US-based RAND Corporation and another by the EU-based Europol — show that al-Qaeda and related jihadist groups are evolving, splintering and morphing, and that the number of Islamic militants, especially from Western countries, is growing apace.

Taken together, the two reports thoroughly dispute claims by members of the Obama Administration and other policymakers that al-Qaeda has been severely weakened and no longer poses a major threat to the West.

The first report, entitled, “A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of al-Qaeda and Other Salafi Jihadists,” was prepared for the U.S. Defense Department and published on June 4 by the RAND Corporation, a public policy think tank based in California.

As the title implies, the report focuses on the Salafi-jihadist movement, a particular strand of militant Sunni Islamism which emphasizes the importance of returning to a “pure” Islam: that of the Salaf (an Arabic term which means “ancestors” or “predecessors” and refers to the first three generations of Muslims, including Mohammed and his companions and followers).

Salafi-jihadist groups are actively seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate — a theocratic Muslim empire governed by Islamic sharia law — to bring about the unification of the entire Muslim world, and, according to their writings, ultimately the subjugation of the entire globe. These groups believe that violent jihad to achieve this objective is a personal religious duty for every Muslim.

The report documents how the broader Salafi-jihadist movement has become more decentralized among four tiers: 1) core al-Qaeda in Pakistan; 2) formal affiliates that have sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda; 3) Salafi-jihadist groups that have not sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, but are committed to establishing an extremist Islamic emirate; and 4) inspired individuals and networks.

Between 2010 and 2013, the report says, the number of al-Qaeda-sympathizing Salafi-jihadist groups has increased to 49 from 31; the number of jihadist fighters has doubled to 100,000; and the number of attacks by al-Qaeda affiliates has tripled to roughly 1,000 from 392.

The most significant threat to the United States, the report warns, comes from terrorist groups operating in North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, the location that has seen the greatest growth in the numbers of jihadist groups and militants.

Libya represents the most active sanctuary for Salafi-jihadist groups in North Africa, and Syria the most significant safe haven for groups in the Levant. Egypt is the one country where Salafi-jihadist groups have lost ground, the report says, due to a concerted effort by Egyptian military leaders to target these groups in the mainland and on the Sinai Peninsula. [Claims by Egyptian military officials that the Sinai Peninsula is under their complete control are being disputed by recent media reports suggesting that jihadists still hold considerable sway there.]

One reason for the increase in Salafi-jihadist groups, fighters and attacks, the report says, is the weakness of governments across North Africa and the Middle East. Weak governments have difficulty establishing law and order, which allows militant groups and other sub-state actors to fill the vacuum.

Another key reason for the growing threat, the report says, is due to American disengagement from key parts of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, and a significant scaling back on counter-terrorism efforts.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

Experts Warn More European Muslim Youth Are Radicalizing

The al Qaeda threat in Turkey

download (54)By KAREN HODGSON, July 8, 2013

1. INTRODUCTION

The threat of al Qaeda in Turkey is significantly understudied, considering the nature and number of targets against which the terror group has plotted attacks, including many targets affiliated with the United States. Perhaps this is because the Turkish police are successful in thwarting such attacks; foiled plots are not as sensational as those that are carried out and cause tragedy. Or it could be because terror in Turkey has historically been synonymous with the terrorism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which distracts from the al Qaeda threat. It is also easy to dismiss Turkey as an unlikely target for al Qaeda, given its 99 percent Muslim population and currently Islamic-rooted government.

A look at al Qaeda’s targets, which appear to be concentrated on US, Turkish, British, Jewish, and Christian facilities, demonstrates the point. Plots involving American targets include a plan to attack the İncirlik Base in Adana in 2003; a foiled attack on the NATO summit in Istanbul in May 2004 that was to be attended by then-President George W. Bush; and an attack on the US Consulate in Istanbul in July 2008, which killed three policemen. In July 2011, an attack on the US Embassy in Ankara was thwarted just before Secretary of State Clinton’s visit. In April 2013, Turkish police found evidence of a new plot linked to al Qaeda to bomb the US Embassy in Ankara. As recently as May 2013, Turkish police uncovered a plot by the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front to conduct sarin gas attacks against Turkish and American targets, a relatively new phenomenon which appears to be a result of the spillover effects of the Syrian war into Turkey.

Other targets include suicide attacks on the British Consulate, the headquarters of British HSBC international bank, and two big synagogues in Istanbul in November 2003, which killed some 60 people and injured at least 700; a possible attack on the Pope during his visit to Turkey in November 2006; and a plot to attack the Bilderberg Summit in Istanbul in June 2007. Turkish authorities have also intercepted al Qaeda plans to conduct attacks on churches and clergy in Ankara, Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan after their takeover of the Kabul Regional Command in November 2009, the Turkish parliament building, and an Israeli cruise ship to Turkey.

These incidents suggest that the al Qaeda threat in Turkey persists. In fact, an al Qaeda-linked document found during a recent raid in Turkey said that it was more beneficial for the group to target Turkey than the West. Routine operations and mass arrests of suspected al Qaeda members and sympathizers indicate the presence of a support network for its cause within Turkey. These indications, combined with the recent emergence of jihadists in Syria, and the presence of Al Nusra Front elements along certain parts of Turkey’s 570-mile border with Syria, make this a threat worth examining.

There are challenges in trying to decipher the al Qaeda threat in Turkey, however. Reports based on open sources such as this one have to make analyses based only on the information that is available. The media does not give much attention to thwarted attacks. And the Turkish press does not publish names of people arrested, to protect the privacy of the individuals and investigations; instead, only the suspects’ initials are published. Moreover, many al Qaeda operatives have one or more code names. In addition, many of the details of operations or what they reveal is not reported. Nevertheless, some conclusions can still be made about the characteristics of al Qaeda in Turkey today.
2. WHY IS TURKEY A TARGET? HOW DOES AL QAEDA VIEW TURKEY?

Al Qaeda’s narrative on Turkey suggests that it views Turkey as a Muslim traitor that abolished the Caliphate at the end of the Ottoman Empire, which for al Qaeda marks the start of the “Muslim world’s humiliation and contempt over the last 80 years.” Al Qaeda views Turkey — a country with free elections and a liberal economy, a member of NATO, and a strategic ally of the United States — as a US or Western puppet. Turkey was also one of the first countries to recognize Israel, and takes part in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which leads al Qaeda to accuse Turkey of “cooperating with Israel” and “killing Muslims in Afghanistan.”

Read more at Long War Journal

Israeli Security Sees Rising West Bank Salafi-Jihadi Threat

Study Shows Radical Islamist Dominance in Terror Plots

images (99)by IPT News:

With the guilty verdicts rendered today in the case of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, we are reminded of the threat radical Islamic terrorism poses to the American homeland. A report filed by the Washington Free Beacon on Aug. 16 focused on the threat of domestic terrorism. That report cited research conducted by the CI Centre, a Washington, D.C.-area national security think-tank founded by retired FBI official David G. Major.

The CI Centre identified 148 domestic terror plots since 2001. Of those, 114 were motivated by the radical Islamist “Salafist doctrine.” That’s the CI Centre’s terminology for those “motivated by Caliphate doctrine.” So among the nearly 150 domestic terrorist plots, 77 percent were motivated by radical Islam.

The CI Centre research identified 398 suspects involved in those 148 plots. Among them, the CI Centre culled out four that arguably could have been included in the “Salafist” group but they chose to consider separately. Those were the DC snipers, the Liberty City Seven (Miami), a “state sponsor” case (the suspect was Manssor Arbabsiar) and the LAX El-AL shooting. Including those four additional plots increases the 77 percent to nearly 80 percent of the domestic based terror plots involving some variant of radical Islam.

The CI Centre research essentially parallels the research conducted by IPT more than two years ago from available Department of Justice (DOJ) records concerning terrorism related prosecution cases. At the time, we found more than 80 percent of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11 involved defendants driven by a radical Islamist agenda.

These studies clearly show that, while not all terror plots against the U.S. and terrorists and their supporters arrested within the U.S. involve radical Islamists, the significant majority do. To ignore factual reality is foolhardy and risky.

Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood: what is the difference?

08-02-12_h-1By Mark Durie:

For western lay people, it can be hard to distinguish one radical Muslim from another.  What is the difference between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood?  Are they really all that different?  And why do Western governments seem to favour and even partner with Brotherhood-backed groups, but denigrate Salafis?


The 2011 People’s Assembly elections in Egypt focused the world’s attention on the Salafis when they proved to be the ‘dark horse’ of that poll, winning 25% of the seats.  This, together with the Muslim Brotherhood’s 47%, gave Islamists  almost three quarters of the seats in the Assembly. How do these two powerful Islamic groups compare?

Today the Brotherhood and Salafis also figure prominently in reports from Syria.  Both brands of Islamists field rebel forces in Syria, and Brotherhood leaders dominate the Syrian National Council, which has been recognized by the Arab League and some UN states as the legitimate representative of Syria.

Often the past Western politicians have made the mistake of dismissing the Salafis as marginal extremists, while being all too willing to lap up the Brotherhood’s propaganda about their democratic credentials.  A good example was David Cameron’s statement in Parliament this past weekconcerning the Syrian National Council, as he sought to downplay any suggestion  that the conflict in Syria had a religious basis:

“When I see the official Syrian opposition I do not see purely a religious grouping; I see a group of people who have declared that they are in favour of democracy, human rights and a future for minorities, including Christians, in Syria. That is the fact of the matter.”

As troubling as Cameron’s ignorance about Brotherhood ideology appears to be, even more disturbing is his intent to forward military support to rebel groups, at the very time that a report has come from Syrian refugees of genocidal measures being enacted by Islamist rebels against the Syrian Christian minority.

This past week evidence has also emerged that among the insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Benghazi in September 2012 were Egyptians, captured on video saying that ‘Dr Morsi sent us’.  Yet Dr Morsi, the Brotherhood President of Egypt, is claimed by the US as an ally, and Brotherhood operatives have had long-standing high-level access to and support from the US Government.

Read more

 

Radical Cleric Swears to ‘Pop America’s Eye’ if Moderate Morsi Threatened

 

 

PRICE: U.S. terrorist threat growing with new breed of jihadists

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (left) and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (left) and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

By John Price:

The influence of radical Islam is on the rise around the world — and in the United States.

Mosques and Islamic schools called madrassas increasingly are teaching extreme, fundamentalist interpretations of the religion that presumably inspired the Chechen-born suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

“The way to gain influence among the Muslim community is to control the mosques — to control what people think — to have the right imam preach the right message,” says Steven Emerson, an award-winning journalist and author.

Mr. Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, shared with me shocking insights about the growth of radical Islam in the United States, noting that terrorist network cells have grown rapidly since 1991.

A map painstakingly produced by his nonprofit organization identifies 127 terrorist training and teaching centers in more than 36 states.

It also shows an al Qaeda presence in Ashland and Quincy, Mass., even though bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly has told authorities that he and his older brother Tamerlan acted alone in the Boston Marathon attack, which killed three and injured more than 180 on April 15.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly posted videos of radical Islamic preachers on his YouTube page.

Mary Habeck, a researcher in radical Islam at Johns Hopkins University, said that Russian sheik Abdelal-Hamid al-Juhani is an “important ideologue for al Qaeda in Chechnya and the Caucasus … [and] preaches the form of Salafism that Tsarnaev was [allegedly] interested in — one that is usually associated with al Qaeda,” according to a recent report by The Daily Beast.

Salafism and Wahhabism are extreme, fundamentalist interpretations of Islam whose teachings have been gaining adherents around the world. They call for strict enforcement of Islamic or Shariah law under a global theocracy. The strictest adherents advocate the killing of unbelievers, or infidels.

One impetus behind the increase in these radical Islamic teachings is the work of a key U.S. ally in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has sponsored several charities that have been spreading the Salafist and Wahhabist message, such as the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and the International Islamic Relief Organization. Both charities have built numerous mosques and madrassas around the world.

In 2004, the Treasury Department accused the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation of having direct ties to Osama bin Laden, and the U.N. 1267 Sanctions Committee has issued a worldwide ban against the charity.

In a 2003 public hearing on terrorism, Mr. Emerson noted that bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, was the leader of the International Islamic Relief Organization. The U.N. has since listed the charity’s offices in the Philippines and Indonesia as being linked to al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has financed more than 4,000 mosques and madrassas around the world, with more than 2,000 being built in the U.S. — a 50 percent increase since 2000 and a 100 percent increase since 1990 — mostly led by Wahhabi-trained imams.
Read more at The Washington Times

• John Price is a former U.S. ambassador to Comoros, Mauritius and the Seychelles islands. He currently serves as a resident scholar at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. He is the author of “When the White House Calls,” and regularly writes commentaries on Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The Salafi Crusades

greenfield121012By Daniel Greenfield

Empires leave behind a mess when they leave. And that mess acts as the building blocks of a new empire. One empire falls and another rises in its place. It’s an old story and it is what we are seeing in the Middle East.

The Islamist resurgence was fed by the collapse of two world powers, the USSR and the US. The fall of the Soviet Union robbed the Arab Socialist dictatorships of their support. The last of these, Syria, is now under siege, by Sunni Islamist militias after becoming an Iranian Shiite puppet.

Egypt’s Sadat had made the move to the American camp early enough to avoid the fate of Syria or Iraq, but instead his successor, Mubarak, encountered the fate of the Shah of Iran. With the fall of Egypt, Syria is the last major Arab Socialist holdout, and if it falls, then the Middle East will have shifted decisively into the Salafi column.

Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States has not actually collapsed, but its international influence is completely gone. Bush was accused of many things, but impotence wasn’t one of them. Obama however gave the Taliban a premature victory with a pullout deadline, ineptly waffled over the Iranian and Arab protests, before eventually getting on board with the latter, and allowed the UK and French governments to drag him into a poorly conceived regime change operation in Libya.

The Palestine UN vote, China’s South China Sea aggression and Karzai’s growing belligerence were just more reminders that no one really cared what the United States thought anymore. America had ceased to matter internationally as a great power. It still dispensed money, but its government had become an inept tail being wagged by Europe and the United Nations.

The loss of American influence was felt most notably in the Middle East, where its former oil patrons took the opportunity to back a series of Salafi crusades, the political Islamist version of which was known as the Arab Spring. The rise of political Islamists in democratic elections was however only one component of a regional strategy that depended as much on armed militias as on the ballot box.

In Egypt, protests followed by elections were enough to allow the Salafis, a category that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, to take over. That was also true in Tunisia. In Libya, a new American client, the government put up a fight, little realizing that Obama wasn’t Putin, but a horrible mashup of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Henry Wallace. Instead of getting American backing, Gaddafi got American bombs, and the Islamist militias, armed and funded by Qatar with Obama’s blessing, got Libya. In Benghazi they repaid the help they received from Obama and Stevens by humiliating the former and murdering the latter.

In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias are racing the Al-Qaeda linked militias to the finish line in Damascus

In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias are racing the Al-Qaeda linked militias to the finish line in Damascus, while Western pundits prattle reassuringly about a moderate and secular Syrian opposition, which is as moderate and secular as Egypt’s Morsi.

The regional snapshot of the Arab Spring isn’t reform, but a land rush as secular governments affiliated with Russia and the United States fall, to be replaced by believers in an emerging Islamist Caliphate. The Arab Spring isn’t 1848; it’s 638, the Mohamedan expansion at the expense of the ailing Byzantine Empire, a rampage that eventually ended in the Islamization of the Middle East. For Salafis, this is their opportunity to Re-Islamize the Middle East under the full force of Islamic law.

The Muslim world does not keep time by European progressive calendars. It isn’t out to recreate the republican revolutions that secularized and nationalized Europe; rather it is trying to undo the secondhand European effects of those revolutions on the Middle East. The left is celebrating this as a triumph for anti-imperialism, but it’s just a matter of replacing one empire with another.

Muslim imperialism and colonialism were far more brutal and ruthless

Muslim imperialism and colonialism were far more brutal and ruthless, as the Indians could tell you, and if the Salafis have their way, and they are having their way for the moment, it will be the beginning of a new wave of global conquests, with old sheiks using oil money from the decadent West to outfit militias of young men with top quality American and Russian weapons before sending them off to die, while they wait for news of the new caliphate and bed down with their eight wife.

This isn’t an entirely new game. Bin Laden was playing it for decades and Salafi crusaders have been fighting the Ottoman Empire and massacring Shiites for centuries. The notion of them extending their power into Cairo would have been absurd, but for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the backlash from the efforts to modernize its former major cities which created a modernized Islamist movement inspired by Nazi politics and funded by Nazi money. A movement that we know as the Muslim Brotherhood. It took the Brotherhood a good 80 years, but they finally took Cairo.

The notion of the Salafis threatening the Middle East and the whole world would have been even more absurd if American oil companies hadn’t rewarded their tribal allies with inconceivable wealth while turning a blind eye to their ambitions. And the notion that the Salafi crusade would ever extend to Europe would have been even more absurd, if not for the jet plane and the liberal immigration policies of Socialist governments with aging populations looking for a tax base and a voting base.

The Salafis, despite their feigned obsession with the purity of the desert, have piggybacked their conquests entirely on Western technologies and policies, from the wire transfer to the jet plane to the cell phone to liberal political correctness and Third Worldism. The Salafi crusades were never any match for 19th Century policies and weapons, except in the occasional brief conflict. But they are a match for 21st Century policies and the accompanying unwillingness to use the full force of modern weaponry on people that a century ago would have been considered bloody savages, but today are considered potential peace partners.

Read more at Canada Free Press

Daniel Greenfield is a New York City writer and columnist. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and his articles appears at its Front Page Magazine site.

Daniel can be reached at: sultanknish@yahoo.com

Who’s Who in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

egyptMuslimBrotherhoodMontage-198x133

By Eric Trager, Katie Kiraly, Cooper Klose, and Eliot Calhoun

Given its growing control over key government institutions and its unmatched mobilizing capabilities, the Muslim Brotherhood will likely remain Egypt’s most consequential political actor for many years to come. But who are the men who make up this uniquely cohesive and secretive “society,” and what impact will they have on the country’s domestic and foreign policy?

 

Introduction

Since Hosni Mubarak’s February 2011 ouster, the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as Egypt’s most potent political force. It won a decisive plurality in the winter 2011–2012 People’s Assembly elections and a majority in the January 2012 Shura Council elections, thus gaining control over both houses of parliament and the committee that is writing the next constitution. And in June, the group successfully campaigned to elect Brotherhood leader Muhammad Morsi as Egypt’s first civilian president.

Since taking office, Morsi has moved quickly to consolidate the organization’s power, appointing fellow Muslim Brothers to head key ministries and cracking down on media criticism of the group. His boldest moves came on August 12, when he sacked the generals who posed the greatest threat to his authority, promoted new generals who now answer to him, and issued a constitutional declaration that gave him full executive, legislative, and constitution-writing powers. Although Morsi and the Brotherhood may yet face challenges from non-Islamists, Salafists, former regime elements, and, perhaps, the judiciary, the group’s unmatched mobilizing capabilities and control over key government institutions will likely make it Egypt’s most consequential political actor for many years to come.

For this reason, it is worth taking a closer look at the individuals who make up the Brotherhood’s organizational and political leadership. After all, the group views itself not as a political party directed by a single chairman, but as a cohesive “society” that operates on the basis of internal consultation, or shura. Accordingly, its strategic and policy decisions will be guided not only by Morsi and Supreme Guide Muhammad Badie, but also by a team of longtime Brotherhood officials who will coordinate efforts across the various political bodies the group now dominates.
Who are these individuals? While the profiles in this compendium demonstrate that Brotherhood leaders come from many different educational and professional backgrounds, their stories illustrate three important points about the organization.

First, the Brotherhood’s leadership is composed almost exclusively of longtime members. Most were recruited during high school or college and, in many cases, served in top administrative positions within the Brotherhood’s nationwide structure before being promoted to the Guidance Office (the organization’s top executive authority) or nominated for political office. To some extent, this is typical of any political organization: veteran members tend to lead. But for the Brotherhood, having longtime members in top posts ensures that its leaders have all been vetted over the course of decades for their willingness to comply with the internal shura committee’s decisions. This does not mean that internal divisions are impossible, but the tight, time-tested circle in which decisions are made makes this highly unlikely. As a result, the Brotherhood maintains a unity of purpose that other Egyptian political groups have yet to achieve.

Second, in addition to their positions within the group, most Brotherhood leaders were active in important societal organizations under the Mubarak regime, serving on the boards of professional syndicates, heading labor unions, running religious charities, and/or participating in key social clubs. These positions enabled them to build their stature at a time when avenues for more direct political participation were often blocked. Such activity also helped the group expand its outreach networks, through which it gained popular support by providing social services and increasing its recruitment efforts.

Third, almost all of the Brotherhood’s top leaders were directly persecuted under the Mubarak regime, and many served time as political prisoners. To some extent, this enhances their unity, particularly among those who were imprisoned together. More important, it makes them unlikely to tolerate competing centers of power, since the Brotherhood’s ouster could invite a new era of repression against the organization.

Individual profiles suggest other important points about the Brotherhood as well. In particular, the group’s recruitment networks clearly have international reach, since three of its top leaders (including Morsi) came aboard while living in the United States. The Brotherhood’s internal promotion structure is also somewhat nepotistic, given that its top leaders frequently are related to each other through marriage or are professional colleagues. Finally, despite the fact that Brotherhood officials have never run a government ministry or wielded meaningful political power until recently, the group is confident that it has the expertise to lead Egypt because its members come from many different professional backgrounds.

This first installment of Brotherhood profiles examines top figures from the Guidance Office, the Freedom and Justice Party (the group’s political arm), the parliamentary leadership, and members of Morsi’s presidential office. These profiles will be updated as new information surfaces, and new ones will be added over time.

(Note: To see quotation sources and photographs for each individual profiled, download the PDF version of the compendium.)

Index:

  • Saber Abouel Fotouh
  • Salah Abdel Maqsoud
  • Saber Abdul Sadeq
  • Sabri Amer
  • Sheikh Sayyed Askar
  • Khaled al-Azhari
  • Muhammad Badie
  • Muhammad al-Beltagy
  • Amr Darrag
  • Essam al-Erian
  • Mahmoud Ezzat
  • Ahmed Fahmi
  • Ali Fath al-Bab
  • Mahmoud Ghozlan
  • Essam al-Haddad
  • Mahmoud Hussein
  • Saad al-Husseini
  • Hussein Ibrahim
  • Farid Ismail
  • Saad al-Katatni
  • Mahmoud el-Khodary
  • Hassan Malek
  • Muhammad Morsi
  • Mustafa Mosaad
  • Gen. Abbas Mukhaymer
  • Al-Sayyed Negidah
  • Subhi Saleh
  • Akram al-Shaer
  • Khairat al-Shater
  • Ahmed Suleiman
  • Muhammad Tousoun
  • Tareq Wafiq
  • Osama Yassin

Top Leaders

Muhammad Morsi

محمد مرسي

  • Born: August 1951
  • Position: President of Egypt; formerly member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Office, parliamentarian (2000–2005), and chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party
  • Education: Doctorate in engineering from University of Southern California (1982), master’s degree in engineering from Cairo University (1978), bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cairo University (1975)
  • Occupation: Engineer

Morsi was first recruited to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States while studying for his PhD in engineering at the University of Southern California. His children were born in California and are U.S. citizens. After receiving his doctorate in 1982, he taught as an assistant professor at California State University–Northridge until 1985.

He then returned to Egypt to teach at Zagazig University, where his colleagues included current Brotherhood deputy supreme guides Mahmoud Ezzat and Mahmoud Ghozlan. Some sources report that Morsi’s rise in the MB began in 2000, when he was elected as a member of the People’s Assembly and served as the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc leader from 2000 to 2005. After losing his parliamentary race in 2005 due to Mubarak regime forgery, he became leader of the Brotherhood’s political division. From 2007 onward, he was also the key point of contact between the MB and the regime’s repressive State Security apparatus (and, according to MB political leader Saad al-Husseini, between the Brotherhood and Hamas).

Morsi has been arrested at least twice: he was detained for seven months in 2006 after protesting alongside several judges who had been targeted by the regime, and again during the January 2011 uprising, along with several other Brotherhood leaders. Following the uprising, the MB leadership appointed him chairman of the newly formed Freedom and Justice Party. In April 2012, he was chosen as the group’s backup presidential candidate in the event that its initial candidate, Khairat al-Shater, was barred from running. When Shater was indeed excluded due to a previous conviction, Morsi became the MB’s presidential nominee. In the first round of Egypt’s presidential election, Morsi won 24.78 percent of the vote, securing his position in a runoff against Ahmed Shafiq in mid-June. On June 24, Morsi was declared president, having won 51.73 percent of the vote.

Read the rest at The Washington Institute

Jennifer Hanon interviews Walid Phares on Egypt’s role in the “Arab Spring”

egypt_army_protesters_apHow Does Egypt Regain Its Once-Coveted Status? An Interview with Walid Phares – Part I

by Jennifer Hanin

It’s become clear there is confusion among Americans of what Egyptians really want. Many believe their cries for democracy were simply a mustache for their hatred of Israel and their love for Islamists and Sharia law. So to answer this dichotomy of perspectives succinctly I turned to my new DC-based Facebook friend and counter-terrorism expert/author, Walid Phares, to get his take on what Egyptians really want and most importantly, how they can best achieve their end-game:

Q: Egyptians must feel duped by swapping a secular leader for a religious despot in reformer’s clothes? What is your take on the distrust and frustration on the ground among Egyptians right now?

Phares: For decades, there was always a smaller core of Egyptians who knew all about the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafi allies. This core includes liberals, feminist movements, intellectuals and students activists on the one hand, and Christian Copts on the other. These civil society forces have experienced the tactics of the Brotherhood for years, particularly attacks by Islamists against Egyptian secular reformers and Coptic Churches and citizens.

The Brotherhood has longstanding experience in playing political double games since their inception in the 1920s. They had simultaneously approached the rulers of Egypt for cooperation while working against the state on the ground. They were suppressed by several Egyptian Governments for their role in coup d’état attempts, yet they found a way to survive through jihadi tactics of Taqiyya. This doctrine of deception at first glance allowed the Brotherhood to adopt only one part of their real long term agenda, in public, just enough to deceive their partners or foes.

When the Tahrir demonstrations began in January 2011, the Brotherhood waited to see if the youth could break through the regime suppression before they joined with full force. Then the Islamists worked with the Army to sideline youth, then with youth to outmaneuver the army, until they secured a majority in Parliament. Mohammed Morsi ran for president claiming he is confronting the candidate of former Mubarak supporters. He claimed a democratic agenda in order to sway a majority of voters who felt the Brotherhood had changed.

But since he was elected, the mask fell and a rapid Islamist agenda was imposed. It was only then that a much larger segment of Egyptians realized Morsi had fooled them. He promised a democratic state, but delivered an oppressive Islamist regime. The realization by most Egyptians that they were duped is a little delayed only because of the amount of power Morsi obtained in addition to the support he obtained from the Obama administration. The only other unexpected development would entail the rise of an exceptionally determined opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Q: Facebook and Twitter were instrumental in the onset and duration of the Arab Spring-turned-Islamic Winter in showing young Arab men and women how well many people around the world live. Eyes were wide open to opportunities readily available in the West. Will Arab nations choose to live in the past or the future? What is Egypt’s role in this?

Phares: As I projected in my book The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East (Threshold Editions, 2010), before the Arab Spring there was a convergence between many factors which resulted in uprisings. On one hand, a series of massive changes, some provoked from the outside as in Afghanistan and Iraq, other changes came from the inside as in Lebanon and in Iran.

The fall of the Taliban and of Saddam opened the path for elections in previously totalitarian regimes. That sent strong messages to the region’s civil societies. The Cedars Revolution in Lebanon in 2005 and the Green Revolution in Iran sent even stronger messages. The two uprisings showed the Arab world that millions of unarmed civilians on the streets, if well organized, could challenge oppressive regimes and weaken their legitimacy.

On the other hand, these events happened at a time when online communications were outpacing all others globally and becoming popular. In Lebanon, SMS messaging mobilized the masses. In Iran, it was the “Twitter revolution.” In Tunisia and particularly in Egypt, Facebook led the way. In Syria, YouTube played a crucial role in opposing Assad.

In sum, there is a younger generation of bloggers, mobile users, and Facebookers across the Arab world, which is surging from Tehran to Beirut, from Damascus to Cairo. It is growing by the day and will push for a change in the political reality of the region. Westerners were late to understand the youth surge within Arab civil society and Iran and now are expecting miracles to happen.

Many analysts and experts in the West and in the US are too simplistic in their hopes for the Middle East. Either they see an Arab Spring with promising tomorrows, ignoring the Islamist menace, or they see an Arab Winter, ignoring the gradual rise of the secular and liberal youth. In my book, I projected the fall of totalitarian regimes followed by a raging confrontation between the Islamists and the seculars, which indeed has happened and continues to happen in Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Egypt.

So it would be accurate to state that today—two years after the start of the uprisings—there is no such thing as “an Arab world” acting as one bloc, making decisions and implementing them. There are political and ideological forces in the Arab countries pushing in different directions. The Islamists have the upper hand today in North Africa and are thrusting in Syria and Jordan. The secular democrats are resisting Islamists in these countries.

In Syria, it is a three-way struggle. The Baathist dictatorial regime is attempting to crush the opposition in coordination with Iran and Hezbollah. But the Syrian opposition, which has both seculars and Islamists, is pushing hard against Assad while each of its components is preparing for after Assad.

The dynamics of the Arab Springs are complex, and they need to be understood in the West to avoid surprises in the future. We already had a bad surprise in Benghazi where Islamist militias waged terror attacks against the US consulate, after it was believed in Washington that these Salafists were just “rebels against Gaddafi.”

In short, those who in the Arab world are struggling for real secular democracy are opposing those who are erecting the Islamist state. There is no “one Arab world” ruled by one type of elite anymore. The confrontation in Egypt today is at the heart of this struggle for the soul of the region. The secular Egyptians are fighting for freedom as a first line of defense for human rights worldwide.

Q: Clearly, Egypt has always been a pacesetter in the Middle East. It’s 1978 peace treaty with Israel and ongoing security cooperation to curtail border infiltration and arms smuggling is unparalleled, as is its prosperity due to embracing peace. How can Egypt resuscitate its downward economy, its more than six-foot under tourism industry, and become the Mecca of modernism and affluence again?

Again, we look at Egypt as a nation state with one consciousness and we wonder why is Egypt going in one or the polar direction. We need to change the parameters of our understanding in the Middle East. We need to look at the forces at work inside these countries, at their agendas, their strategies and their plans.

Egypt, as the late President Sadat used to say, is almost half of the Arab world. Egyptian politics have enormous influence on the Sunni Arab majority in the region. The Peace process between Israel and the Arab countries, and even with the Palestinians, it wasn’t possible before an Egyptian President would actually break taboo and visit Israel to seek peace. So it took a national leader to stir Egypt in one direction in its foreign policy.

The Islamists opposed and some of their Jihadists assassinated Sadat. This shows that there are trends inside Egypt. The uprising showed that civil society as a whole in Egypt grew intolerant vis-a-vis authoritarian powers, and Mubarak fell. But not all demonstrators had the same views. You had seculars and the Islamists with different views. Now they are fighting for which direction Egypt is going heading. And, as a result of instability, the Egyptian economy goes down. It can’t be resuscitated before a new Government is up and running but a Government that would address social economic crisis and of the market simultaneously.

The Brotherhood’s first priority is not Egypt’s healthy economy, it is Jihad and Sharia. Islamist totalitarians have never produced a successful economy along with freedoms. Look at Iran and Sudan.

As for Saudi Arabia, had it not been for oil and the lack of basic freedoms, their economy couldn’t have been stable. If the Brotherhood takes over Egypt, the country will suffer unprecedented crises in its economy and political stability. Besides, Islamists will eventually crumble the Camp David agreement with Israel, support Hamas and draw the region dangerously closer to a new cycle of confrontations and violence.

Q: President Obama was quick to throw Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak curbside, yet we haven’t heard anything similar in regards to President Mohamed Morsi? You said the other day via a Facebook post that “everyone in Washington knows Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood.” Can you be more specific?

Phares: It is time to understand the policies of the Obama administration, the ones that are public and those that are obvious. If you compare the various Obama administration policies regarding the Middle East uprisings, you’d clearly see that the positioning of Washington regarding these demonstrations and protests is proportional to the outcome of these revolts.

When the rising masses are targeting Islamist regimes, the Obama position abandons the uprising. When the revolt will end up with an Islamist takeover, the US position swiftly sides with the revolt. These are not theories, these are measurable realities. In June 2009, when millions of Iranians, mostly young (and female) were demonstrating against the Ayatollahs, President Obama stated the US “wouldn’t meddle.”

But when the demonstrations in Egypt exploded, the Obama position evolved in two stages. As long as it was the youth and seculars on the streets, Washington stayed in the middle. But when the Muslim Brotherhood entered Tahrir Square en force, President Obama meddled “strongly by asking Mubarak to step down.”

Same scenarios occurred in Tunisia and in Libya and seem to be repeating itself in Syria. Observers and commentators in the region, particularly in Egypt, aren’t shy about this description. They clearly state and provide evidence for an alignment of the Obama administration with the Muslim Brotherhood. US lawmakers for the past few years have been warning that the administration is favoring the Brotherhood fronts in Washington and seeking their influence in national security and foreign policy.

Well, since the Arab Spring and particularly this year 2012 in Egypt, this alignment has never been clearer. Ironically, the Obama administration denies siding with the Brotherhood because the American public wouldn’t digest such an un-American positioning. It would be the equivalent of an American partnership in the 1930s with the national socialists or the Italian fascists.

Today, in the Arab media there are hundreds of articles, statements and panels openly exposing and criticizing the Obama administration support to the Islamists in general and the Brotherhood in particular.

Read more at Breitbart

Walid Phares has served as a Terrorism expert at NBC from 2003 to 2006 and is a contributor at Fox News since 2007. Please follow Walid Phares on Twitter.

Jennifer Hanin is an Act For Israel founder, journalist, blogger and author of Becoming Jewish. Follow Jennifer on Twitter.

See also:

What Is the End-Game for Egypt? An Interview with Walid Phares – Part II

 

 

 

Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus

sausi petrodollars

Money Jihad:

Saudi Arabia remains the world’s top financier of terrorism and sponsor of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab Spring.  U.S. media and Treasury officials don’t really like to discuss it in public, but a report earlier this fall from France 24 gives further confirmation, if you needed it, of the fact that Saudi petrodollars are behind the latest Salafist inroads in the Middle East.

Read it all:

How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism

Since the 2011 Arab revolts, a loose network of underground zealots has evolved into a potent and highly vocal force. Behind the remarkable rise of Salafism lies the world’s leading producer of oil – and extremist Islam: Saudi Arabia.

By Marc DAOU

When protesters incensed by an anti-Muslim video scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on September 11, tearing down the Stars and Stripes, a black flag could be seen floating above the battered compound. From Sanaa, in Yemen, to Libya’s Benghazi, the same black banner, emblem of the Salafists, soon became a ubiquitous sight as anti-US protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. The 2011 Arab uprisings have served the Salafists well. With the old dictators gone, a once subterranean network of hardliners has sprung into prominence – funded by a wealthy Gulf patron locked in a post-Arab Spring rivalry with a fellow Gulf monarchy.

The ‘predecessors’

A puritanical branch of Islam, Salafism advocates a strict, literalist interpretation of the Koran and a return to the practices of the “Salaf” (the predecessors), as the Prophet Mohammed and his disciples are known. While Salafist groups can differ widely, from the peaceful, quietist kind to the more violent clusters, it is the latter who have attracted most attention in recent months.

In Libya and Mali, radical Salafists have been busy destroying ancient shrines built by more moderate groups, such as Sufi Muslims. Fellow extremists in Tunisia have tried to silence secular media and destroy “heretical” artwork. And the presence of Salafist fighting units in Syria has been largely documented. Less well known is who is paying for all this – and why.

‘Export-Wahhabism’

For regional experts, diplomats and intelligence services, the answer to the first question lies in the seemingly endless flow of petrodollars coming from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. “There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Saudi money is financing the various Salafist groups,” said Samir Amghar, author of “Le salafisme d’aujourd’hui. Mouvements sectaires en Occident” (Contemporary Salafism: Sectarian movements in the West).

According to Antoine Basbous, who heads the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries, “the Salafism we hear about in Mali and North Africa is in fact the export version of Wahhabism,” a conservative branch of Sunni Islam actively promoted and practised by Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. Since the 1970s oil crises provided the ruling House of Saud with a seemingly endless supply of cash, “the Saudis have been financing [Wahhabism] around the world to the tune of several million euros,” Basbous told FRANCE 24.

Opaque channels

Not all of the cash comes from Saudi state coffers. “Traditionally, the money is handed out by members of the royal family, businessmen or religious leaders, and channelled via Muslim charities and humanitarian organizations,” said Karim Sader, a political analyst who specializes in the Gulf states, in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Until the Arab Spring revolts upended the region’s political landscape, these hidden channels enabled the Salafists’ Saudi patrons to circumvent the authoritarian regimes who were bent on crushing all Islamist groups. These were the same opaque channels that allegedly supplied arms to extremist groups, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Western intelligence officials.

Free education

Other, slightly less shadowy recipients of Saudi petrodollars include the numerous religious institutions built around the Arab world to preach Wahhabi Islam, as well as the growing list of Saudi satellite channels that provide a platform for radical Salafist preachers. A large share of the booty also goes to Arab students attending religious courses at the kingdom’s universities in Medina, Riyadh and the Mecca.

“Most of the students at Medina University are foreigners who benefit from generous scholarships handed out by Saudi patrons, as well as free accommodation and plane tickets,” said Amghar. “Once they have graduated, the brightest are hired by the Saudi monarchy, while the rest return to their respective countries to preach Wahhabi Islam”. According to Amghar, the members of France’s nascent Salafist movement follow a similar path.

Direct funding

Exporting its own brand of Islam is not the only item on Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy agenda. “While they see themselves as the guardians of Islamic doctrine and have always generously financed Muslim missionaries, the Saudis’ priority is not to ‘salafise’ the Muslim world,” explained Amghar. “Their real aim is to consolidate their political and ideological influence by establishing a network of supporters capable of defending the kingdom’s strategic and economic interests.”

Since last year’s Arab revolutions, these supporters have benefited from more direct – and politically motivated – funding. “With the region’s former dictators out of the way, Salafist groups have evolved into well-established parties benefiting from more official Saudi aid,” said Sader, pointing to the spectacular rise of Egypt’s al-Nour party, which picked up a surprising 24% of the vote in January’s parliamentary polls.

“The Saudis were genuinely surprised by the Arab Spring revolts,” said Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, a political analyst who specialises in the Muslim world. “Riyadh’s response was to back certain Salafist groups (…) so that it may gain further clout in their respective countries,” Adraoui told FRANCE 24.

Gulf rivalries

The Saudi strategy is similar to that adopted by its arch Gulf rival Qatar – a smaller but equally oil-rich kingdom – in its dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood, the other great beneficiary of the Arab Spring. “When it comes to financing Islamist parties, there is intense competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said Sader.

read more

See also:

Money Jihad: How Islamists Finance Their Operations

Pat Condell Rips Saudi Arabia again (Video)

The Savage Lands of Islam

Webinar: How America’s Addiction to Saudi Oil is Funding Global Terror

Saudi Arabia – Moderate Voice or Draconian Monarchy?

Ansar al Sharia Egypt founder ‘honored to be an extension of al Qaeda’

Ahmed Ashush, a high-profile jihadist who has longstanding ties to al Qaeda and who has founded Ansar al Sharia Egypt. Image from Al Arabiya News.

Ahmed Ashush, a high-profile jihadist who has longstanding ties to al Qaeda and who has founded Ansar al Sharia Egypt. Image from Al Arabiya News.

By Thomas Joscelyn

In an interview with the Cairo-based publication Al Shuruq al Jadid  in late October, Ahmed Ashush, the founder  of Ansar al Sharia Egypt, praised al Qaeda and defended the terrorist  organization against criticisms. Ashush also named Mohammed al Zawahiri, the  younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, as one of the jihadist  leaders who remained true to his ideology during his time in prison.

The interviewer asked, “Does Egyptian Salafi-jihadism represent an extension  of the al Qaeda organization?”

Ashush first offered to “correct the view of the al Qaeda organization,”  according to a translation obtained by The Long War Journal. Ashush  proceeded to call al Qaeda the “House of Honor,” the “Title of Glory,” and the  “Home of the Nation’s Dignity.”

“We must perpetuate [Osama] bin Laden whether alive or dead,” Ashush  continued. “If the revolutions of the Arab Spring were fair they would have  adopted bin Laden as the symbol of heroism and sacrifice.”

Ashush declared, “We are honored to be an extension of the al Qaeda  organization in its beliefs, principles, and concepts.”

The senior Egyptian jihadist went on to describe al Qaeda itself as an  “extension” of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which has long been headed by  Ayman al Zawahiri and merged with Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group prior to the  Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Ashush named two EIJ leaders, Abu Ubaidah al  Banshiri and Abu Hafs al Masri, as co-founders of al Qaeda. Both served as al  Qaeda military chiefs prior to their demise.

Ashush’s embrace of al Qaeda is consistent with his past rhetoric and  behavior. Since his release from an Egyptian prison, Ashush has repeatedly  praised al Qaeda.

And Ayman al Zawahiri is so fond of Ashush that clips of the Ansar al Sharia  Egypt leader are frequently included in al Qaeda’s videos. A Sept. 10 video  starring Ayman al Zawahiri featured a clip of Ashush praising Osama bin Laden. A  two-part al Qaeda video released on Oct. 24 included nine video clips showing  Ashush and other Egyptian jihadists.

During his interview with Al Shuruq al Jadid, Ashush did not shy  away from al Qaeda’s terrorism.

Al Qaeda is “fighting a criminal enemy,” Ashush claimed, and only the  terrorist group has prevented Muslim countries from being divided “into  mini-States” ruled by “the Jews and the Christians.” The US has authored this  anti-Muslim conspiracy, according to Ashush. “Al Qaeda is the one that stopped  the American scheme aimed at splitting Egypt into four States and dividing all  Islamic countries.”

Ahush’s organization, Ansar al Sharia Egypt, is dedicated to implementing  sharia law and rebuilding the Islamic Caliphate. As he made clear during his  interview, Ashush is also deeply hostile to the West.

“We are at war with the United States and Israel and all the Worldly Rulers  whom they appointed in the countries of the Muslims to carry out their  imperialist blueprint in our countries,” Ashush said.

Ashush has used the name “Salafi Vanguard” to describe his efforts and those  of his compatriots. Ashush described the group as part of the jihadist  “current,” explaining that they chose this name to prevent any jihadist who has  renounced his ideology from speaking for them.

“Those who speak in the name of the current are those who remained firm and  did not change inside prison,” Ashush said. “Sheikh Mohammed al Zawahiri is  among them.”

Read more at the Long War Journal

 

Militant Muslims Cutting Out Tongues

by Raymond Ibrahim

Why so much violence against the tongue? As the Sheikh of Islam himself: Ibn Tamiyyah, once wrote, “Waging war verbally against Islam might be worse than waging war against it physically.”

Dr. Abdullah Badr

A professor of Islamic exegesis at Cairo’s preeminent Islamic university, Al Ahzar, Dr. Abdullah Badr, recently proclaimed on Egyptian television that a new day has arrived: apparently from now on, there will be absolutely no more toleration for anyone who speaks against Islam—including people who speak against the implementation of Sharia law and its seventh century punishments.

Badr is currently on trial for possibly libeling and defaming a female Egyptian artist, Elham Shahin, whom he called, among other disparagements, a “whore.” An unrepentant Badr appeared again on TV, and made the following oath:

I have sworn to Allah, that any dog—for that is how Allah described them, for they are like dogs that are constantly panting—that any dog who mocks the Sharia, or mocks Islam, or blames it, we will cut out his tongue. I say this without hesitation: We will cut out his tongue! That’s it. The time of transgressing against Islam, and speaking insolence, has passed—it is over. Today, the People of Lies

defend their falsehoods with great zeal; so shall we defend Islam with all our might—no matter what it costs, no matter what it costs! Let the whole world burn, but Islam not be mocked.

None of this is figurative. Days after Dr. Badr made these pronouncements, on October 30, a roaming band of Salafis in Suez attacked, severely beat and tried to cut the hand off a young Egyptian grocery store worker because he prevented one of their gang from using the store bathroom without permission. The bearded Salafi had said: “I do not ask for permission.”

The assaulted youth’s brother, angered at what had happened, then “insulted the men.” Accordingly, Suez’s new roaming band of Sharia enforcers, who call themselves the “Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” after Saudi Arabia’s “morality police,” claimed that he had insulted Islam and ordered that the man’s tongue be cut out. This is the same group that earlier stabbed to death a young Egyptian man for walking in public with his fiancée.

The father of the two boys, a longtime local, gave more detail, including how he had never seen the Salafi group, who “spoke in formal/Quranic Arabic;” also, in this video, the father explains how one of the Salafis, “a short man,” kept screaming at the top of his voice that his son “has insulted the religion! His tongue must be severed as soon as possible!”

With help from others, the youth managed to escape Sharia justice.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.