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.

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Media Miss Islamists at the National Prayer Breakfast

Sayyid Syeed

Sayyid Syeed

By :

Dr. Benjamin Carson captivated the media’s attention with his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, but another attendee deserved some of the spotlight: Sayyid Syeed, the interfaith liaison for the Islamic Society of North America, who was recorded in 2006 saying, “[O]ur job is to change the constitution of America.”

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) originates in the Muslim Brotherhood, but has been embraced on a bi-partisan basis. FBI sources reporting back to the mid-1980s identified it as a Brotherhood front. In 2007, the U.S. government designated ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, listing it as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

1991 Brotherhood memo, which describes its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” likewise mentions ISNA and several of its components as its fronts. In 2009, a federal judge upheld ISNA’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator because of “ample” evidence linking it to Hamas.

The same 1991 memo lays out how the Brotherhood network must “posses a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption,’  and the principles of ‘cooperation.’” It explicitly talks about using the “hands” of the “nonbelievers” to advance its agenda.

The work of ISNA and its allies in forging interfaith partnerships is undoubtedly a fulfillment of this directive. ISNA has used these interfaith relationships to slam its critics as “Islamophobes,” as it did at an event on January 15 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

Sayyid Syeed, ISNA’s Secretary-General from 1994 to 2006, is now the Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances. New footage has been released of him stating in 2006, “[O]ur job is to the change the constitution of America,” as seen in the film, The Grand Deception.

Syeed and ISNA were invited to the National Prayer Breakfast at which President Obama spoke. Syeed also addressed about 100 evangelical leaders during the Middle East/North Africa Prayer Breakfast. Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, ISNA’s Director of Community Outreach, also spoke.

Read more at Front Page

Muslim Inauguration Promo: Minaret Over White House

550x237x8NWPdxsQIzTh_png_pagespeed_ic_sVt0CMrSueRadical Islam:

Advertisements for a Muslim event celebrating U.S. President Barak Obama’s Inauguration show a minaret superimposed over the White House. A Facebook flier for the event features the same minaret over the American flag.

220x329x90xxxcKpR167_png_pagespeed_ic_tZyERFT_oKThe Muslim American Inaugural Benefit Gala is sponsored, among others, by CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America).  CAIR and ISNA were both unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terror-funding trial in America.

The promotional material gala says the following about the purpose of the event: “The Muslim American community has been consistently increasing its civic participation in recent years as demonstrated by increased voter turnout and the election of numerous Muslim federal, state and local office holders.”

Considering that a number of the event’s sponsors are Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups, the purpose fits with the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated strategy of working to gradually transform Western democracies to conform with  sharia (Islamic law).

See’s related article Gradualism: The Islamist Strategy for Victory

Honorary chairs of the event are Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

The Madness of Qutb’s ‘Milestones’

Sayyid Qutb was a selfless, sexless, empty little man, a mad and maddened  creature who annihilated himself and advocated the annihilation of anyone or  anything that had an identity. A desolate world of ruins and corpses and bowing  figures is the only world such a creature could feel comfortable in.


Reading Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones to pen a serious, informative, and  critical review was an intellectual and literary chore I expected to be a cinch.  Having finished reading this short, 160-page encomium for Islam, it is not so  much a cinch as an exercise in nausea. Imagine assigning oneself the task of  comparing a set of amusement park horror houses and awarding them points on how  realistic their artificial ogres, witches, and ghouls were and how successfully  they caused people to scream, cringe, or have strokes.

That is, how does one go about discussing with a straight face the  pathological meanderings of a very disturbed and malevolent man, knowing that  his meanderings have served as an intellectual sanction for terrorism, death,  destruction, and the ongoing Islamic jihad against the West? What makes it so nauseous a chore is not the English translation of Qutb’s screed. I do not  think the quality of the translation matters, because there is no way any  translator could do the work justice other than just translating it straight  from the Arabic. There are no elusive nuances to catch and objectify, there is  no “poetry” or literary value to be found and captured in the work. It is the  subject matter itself that is nauseous. Milestones is the Islamic  equivalent of the mental ravings of psychotic murderers such as Richard Speck,  Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ted Kaczynski.

Milestones, published in 1964* (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq),  purports to adhere to and advance the cause and spread of a moral code that will  “save” mankind. The book is actually a manifesto for nihilism that guarantees  man’s enslavement and the eradication of any and all who refuse to submit to  Islam.

I have been writing for years saying that Islam is fundamentally a nihilist  ideology (and that President Barack Obama is a practicing nihilist, as well,  thus his symbiosis with Islam). Nihilism is an ideology that recognizes the good  and acts to destroy the good, because it is the good. Qua nihilism, the  destruction of the good is not haphazard or accidental. It is conscious and  deliberate. Instances of Islam’s core nihilism are legion. At the moment, I can  think of no better example of it than Lara  Logan’s description of her ordeal in Tahir   Square, Cairo, on  February 11, 2011. As she describes it, her attackers, all Muslims (whether they  were government goons or anti-Mubarak celebrants, is irrelevant), sought to  literally pull her to pieces and to make it as painful as possible, and in the  end destroy her. Nihilism is a system of negation; her attackers wished to  extinguish her existence.

Sayyid Qutb would have approved. To learn why, read these two accounts of his  experiences in the United States here  and here.

Who was Sayyid Qutb?

Qutb was a selfless little man, a “moderate” Muslim, who came out of Egypt to  absorb Western methods of education, and returned to Egypt convinced that the  West needed to be educated about the true nature of Islam, even if that pedagogy  meant killing, maiming, and enslaving non-believers. He developed a special  animus for the United States, for that is where he went to learn about Western  education. Long before any mullah deemed America the “Great Satan,” Qutb’s  observations of the country during his two-year sojourn here (1948-1950) caused  him to mark it for jihad and its cultural and/or violent conversion to  Islam.

That is, he marked it for death. For that is all Islam is – a nihilist state  of existence for Muslim zombies and their looted and subservient  non-believers.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in  England  and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and  suspense  novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all  available on  Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have  appeared in The  Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other  publications.  He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security  Matters,  Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications. 

The Muslim Brotherhood, Part IV – Sayyid Qutb



Part  III – The Muslim Brotherhood – Hitler’s Imam

If one wishes to understand the origins, ideology and goals of the modern-day  Muslim Brotherhood, one must study the life and works of Egyptian theorist and  writer Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966). His writings remain enormously-influential  within the Ikhwan and the Pan-Islamic movement generally, and are also  vitally-important to any informed understanding of such figures as Osama  bin-Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki and groups such as al-Qaeda.  Indeed, Qutb’s name has entered the lexicon of the Muslim world; those who  follow his ideology and teachings are referred to as “Qutbists” or simply Qutbi. Despite his importance to Sunni Islam, Qutb is relatively  unknown in the non-Islamic world.

Qutb was born in 1906 in the rural village of Musha, Egypt. His father was a  well-known political activist and land owner. As a teenager, Sayyid was a quiet  and artistic young man; he displayed few if any outward indications of the  ideologue he was later to become.

After completing studies in Cairo at Dar al-‘Ulum in 1933, he took a post as  a teacher in the Ministry of Public Instruction. During the 1930s, he wrote  extensively, trying his hand as a novelist and literary critic. In 1939, he  accepted a bureaucratic post in the Ministry of Education, while continuing to  write and move within Egyptian artistic and literary circles. In 1948, Qutb  traveled to the United  States intent upon studying educational administration;  during a two-year period abroad, Qutb studied at Woodrow Wilson Teacher’s  College in Washington, D.C., at Stanford University in southern California, and  at Colorado State College of Education in Greeley,  Colorado. He traveled widely  elsewhere in the United States during this period.

Upon his return to Egypt in 1950, Qutb resigned his civil service position,  joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and quickly emerged as one of its senior leaders.  He became the editor-in-chief of the journal of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, and also took an active role in the propaganda  section of the organization. Qutb’s sojourn abroad marked a watershed in his  life; he returned to Egypt a very different man than the one who had left two  years before. He had departed an unassuming and diffident man; he returned a  hardened Islamic ideologue and firebrand.  What had so changed him?

Shortly after his return to Cairo, Qutb wrote an impassioned article entitled  “The America I Have Seen,” which provided an answer. A revealing window into his  perceptions and thoughts upon the U.S. and the modern world generally, this work  revealed the extent of his transformation. Qutb was fiercely critical of what he  viewed as the decadence and moral degradation of Americans. He condemned  everything from the individual freedoms of U.S. citizens to their materialism to  what he believed to be the wanton and highly-sexualized behavior of American  women. He accused his former hosts of having barbaric tastes in music and the  arts, and abhorred the “animalistic mixing” of the sexes in churches and other  public places. He decried the “spiritual degeneracy” of common Americans, and  lamented their enjoyment of “primitive” sports such as boxing and football. His  complaints even extended to the quality of the haircuts he received.

Qutb’s list of grievances did not end there; for the first time, his writings  displayed his sense of racial identity and a growing hostility to American and  European civilization. “The white man in Europe or America is our number-one  enemy,” he wrote, “…the white man crushes us underfoot while we teach our  children about his civilization, his universal principles and noble objectives.”  He recommended, “Let us instead plant the seeds of hatred, disgust and revenge  in the souls of these children; let us teach these children (from the time their  nails are soft)…that the white man is the enemy of humanity and that they  should destroy him at the first opportunity.”1

Qutb was not only critical of the United States and Europe, but modernity  itself and its values – rationalism, secularism, individuality, tolerance,  materialism and sexual egalitarianism. Similarly, he held an equal measure of  outrage and indignation for pro-western modernists and secularists in Egypt and  elsewhere within the Middle East. He reserved special contempt for the  corrupt and decadent princes of Saudi Arabia, whom he viewed as unworthy of the  task of guarding Islam’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Qutb’s emerging  worldview held that modernity and Islam were fundamentally incompatible, and  that Islam must be returned to its unpolluted origins. The world was divided  into two camps – Islam and Jaliyya,hi i.e., the state of  paganism, ignorance and barbarity that existed before the arrival of the Prophet  Mohammed. The entire modern world he labeled as jahiliyya;  those Muslims who supported it were takfiri – apostates and  betrayers of the true faith.2

Like many others in the Muslim Brotherhood, Qutb felt that gradualism had  failed to bring about an Islamic revolution in Egypt, and that more radical and  violent methods would be necessary. However, in 1952, the Egyptian monarchy was  overthrown by a group of nationalists headed by General Gamal Abdel Nasser. The  new president and Qutb had been allies, but when the Brotherhood turned against  Nasser, they became bitter adversaries. In 1954, after a failed assassination  attempt against him, Nasser ordered a crackdown against the Ikhwan and imprisoned many of its high-ranking leaders,  including Sayyid Qutb.

Read more at Family Security Matters