The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, March 15, 2017:

  • What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.
  • Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.
  • Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

What does Hamas mean when it says that it “accepts” an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem without recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Is this a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the extremist Islamic terror movement? Or is it just another ploy intended to deceive everyone, especially gullible Westerners, into believing that Hamas has abandoned its strategy of destroying Israel in favor of a two-state solution?

Recent reports have suggested that Hamas is moving towards “declaring a Palestinian state over the 1967 borders.”

According to the reports, Hamas is also contemplating changing its charter so that it would no longer include anti-Semitic references. The charter, which was drafted in August 1988, contains anti-Semitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty. The same reports also claimed that Hamas’s revised charter will also state that the terror movement is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some analysts in Israel and the West have interpreted these reports as a sign that Hamas is finally endorsing a policy of pragmatism toward Israel and Jews. They are particularly excited about Hamas’s purported intention to declare (in its revised charter) that its conflict is “only with Zionism and the occupation, and not with Jews around the world.”

Judging from the analyses published by some commentators and Palestinian affairs “experts” in the past few days, one might conclude that Hamas is on its way to making a dramatic change in its vicious ideology. Unfortunately, however, the facts suggest otherwise.

Changes or no changes, the movement has no intention whatsoever of abandoning its jihad to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

The purported shift in Hamas’s policy is illusory. What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.

When Hamas talks about “accepting” a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines without recognizing Israel’s right to exist, it is actually saying, “Give us a state so that we can use it as a launching pad to destroy Israel.”

Indeed, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan leaves no room for ambiguity when he explains this point. Hamas, he says, does not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 “borders,” but this does not mean that “we will recognize the Zionist occupation and that the entire Palestinian land belongs to Palestinian and Islamic generations.” He also repeated Hamas’s opposition to any form of negotiations with Israel.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was also quick to refute claims that his movement was headed toward accepting the two-state solution. Calling for stepping up the “intifada” against Israel, Zahar said that Hamas’s goal was to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.

Hamas’s recent internal and secret election saw the rise of Yahya Sinwar as the top leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip. His election is seen as an indication of the growing influence of Hamas’s military wing. Sinwar, a convicted murderer, was released from Israeli prison a few years ago. The rise of Sinwar to power is also a sign that Hamas is headed toward more extremism and terrorism and preparing for the next war with Israel.

The Hamas military wing has a rather spotty history of following the directives of the movement’s political leaders. For example, recurring attempts by Mashaal and Haniyeh to end the dispute with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) have been repeatedly thwarted by the Hamas military wing and other leaders of the movement, first and foremost Zahar.

Let’s remember, for a moment, the annual rallies held by Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip. At these rallies, masked Hamas terrorists remind the world that their true goal is to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Armed Hamas militiamen on parade with a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher in Gaza, in August 2016. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

At one such rally, Zahar announced that Hamas already has an army whose mission is to “liberate all of Palestine.” He continued: “By God’s will, this army will reach Jerusalem.”

Hamas continues to remain committed to all forms of terrorism against Israelis. There are no signs whatsoever that the movement is on its way to endorsing a peaceful and popular resistance against Israel. Quite the opposite is true: Hamas never misses an opportunity to clarify that it continues to encourage terrorism against Israel. The latest assertion from Hamas came this week when one of its spokesmen, Abdel Latif Al-Kanou, issued a statement praising a stabbing attack against two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem. Hailing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the spokesman stressed that the “intifada” against Israel would continue.

This is not the first time that Hamas has talked about “accepting” a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

In the past, some Hamas officials were quoted as saying that they do not rule out the possibility that their movement would one day accept such an idea. But these statements always came in the context of Hamas’s effort to rid itself of its growing isolation in the Gaza Strip.

The latest reports concerning floated changes in Hamas’s charter, too, ought to be seen in the context of the movement’s ongoing effort to end its isolation. But it is nothing but a smokescreen to mislead the international community into believing that it is on its way to toning down its murderous intentions.

So, what is prompting this disingenuous “change of heart”?

Reports that the Trump Administration is considering the possibility of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. In all likelihood, Hamas is simply seeking to appear as if it is moving toward moderation. In other words, Hamas is prepared to lie — at least in English — about its independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Disturbingly, some Westerners are already marketing Hamas’s deception tactics as a “major shift” in the movement’s ideology and plans. Facts, however, are that Hamas remains a terrorist organization that has not and will not abandon its plans to eliminate Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Here is a dose of deadly reality: Hamas seeks to extend its control to the West Bank as part of its plan to destroy Israel. It wants Israel to give the Palestinians more land so that it would be used as a launching pad to drive the Jews into the sea. This is Hamas, like it or not.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

How Hamas is winning hearts and minds in Europe

Via conferences and through hierarchies linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaza-based terror group is building global infrastructure to challenge PLO’s standing as Palestinians’ sole legitimate representative

The Times of Israel, by March 14, 2017:

At the end of February, in Istanbul, the Palestinians Abroad Conference convened with the purported goal of promoting global support for the Palestinians. Its actual purpose was to bolster the status of Hamas in the international arena.

Many of the organizers of the conference, which was attended by thousands of Arabs and Palestinians from all over the world, are of Palestinian origin. But to those who closely followed what happened in Istanbul, it became clear that many of the organizers and attendees had something else in common: they are known to have been members — for decades — of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated networks all over Europe.

This was not the first conference of its kind. Many like it have taken place in recent years. Many of the same faces are present — including current and past members of the Muslim Brotherhood, at a more or less official level, and current and past members of Hamas.

Their shared goal is to promote international legitimacy for Hamas — in Europe, Africa, the Middle East (of course) and even in Latin America — in a bid to challenge the PLO’s international standing as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Hamas, in this way, is slowly but surely establishing a global infrastructure of supporters who are providing not only encouragement and legitimacy, but also quite a bit of financial assistance.

Tracing the outlines of this infrastructure lends some surprising insights. For example, Britain turns out to be hosting more of this semi-official activity by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood than any other country in Europe.

Then-Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and freed Palestinian prisoner Yahya Sinwar, a founder of the terror group’s military wing, wave as supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of inmates in a swap for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza on October 21, 2011. (AFP/Said Khatib)

One almost quintessential example of such activity under innocent-seeming cover is the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign.

“This group was established in 2003 in Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Ehud Rosen, an expert on political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood who assisted Steven Merley, another expert, in writing a comprehensive study on the topic. Merley started a website, Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which reports on Muslim Brotherhood activity all over the world.

“It was initiated by two former members of al-Qaeda, both from Saudi Arabia, who tried to brand the new organization as ‘non-violent,’” Rosen said. “The organization was rebooted in Qatar in 2005 [following the Saudi government’s objections to hosting it on Saudi soil]. Its founding group from 2005 includes high-ranking Hamas officials, including political leader Khaled Mashaal, alongside representatives of other groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s global organization, Salafists and Salafi jihadists.

“The group has held many conferences and issued fatwas against the West, such as against France after it began military action in Mali.”

The Campaign began focusing on Gaza in 2009, during and after Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli military campaign aimed at stopping rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. At a conference held in February 2009, the group decided to turn Gaza into a new front for jihad under the auspices of the “Istanbul Declaration.” The declaration, signed by 90 Muslim clerics from all over the world, including members of Hamas, stated that the Palestinian Authority was not the representative of the Palestinian people, while the “elected government of Hamas,” was in fact the legitimate representative.

The statement attacked the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative — a proposal that offers normalization of ties between Arab countries and Israel in exchange for Israel pulling out of territories claimed by Palestinians — calling it nothing less than “a proven betrayal of the Islamic Nation and the Palestinian cause, and a blatant betrayal of the Palestinian people.”

“This [Global Anti-Aggression Campaign] group, like some other Muslim groups throughout Europe, does not call itself the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ or a supporter of Hamas. These are networks of groups scattered over nearly the entire world. For their part, Muslim Brotherhood leaders claim their movement is active in 80 countries, but since September 11, 2001, and even before, the groups that are identified with [the Brotherhood] have denied any connection,” Rosen said.

“Take another example: FIOE, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe,” he said. “Thirty-seven different groups in different countries on the continent operate under that organization, and over the years have created an image for themselves as ‘the legitimate representatives’ — the Islamic mainstream. The group is known as IGD in Germany and UOIF in France. The same thing is going on in Scandinavia and almost everywhere.”

These networks operate according to the long-established model of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In each country there is a network of civil society organizations — in other words, dawa, a word in Arabic meaning proselytizing or preaching of Islam. These organizations are run by well-known figures who head madrasas, or Muslim schools; mosques; charitable organizations that raise money not only for Muslims in Europe but also for Hamas; and even student associations in every well-known university in Europe. Recently, Muslim “human rights” groups have been established that work to strengthen support for the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Essam Mustafa (Youtube screenshot)

Many prominent figures in these groups, again, operate on British soil. Here are some examples.

Anas Altikriti, a native of Iraq, is the son of a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood official. His father fled Saddam Hussein’s regime to Britain. He himself was born in Iraq, but has lived in London since he was two years old. He visited the White House two years ago and met with president Barack Obama. Though he supports its policies, he says he is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muhammad Sawalha, of Palestinian origin, is very well known to the Israeli security establishment as one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing in the West Bank. He also lives in London.

Zaher Birawi, a former Hamas operative in the Gaza Strip, was one of the spokesmen of the Mavi Marmara flotilla and has been involved in other flotillas.

Essam Yusuf Mustafa is a former member of Hamas’s political wing, at least according to the US Treasury Department. Mustafa, one of the organizers of the latest conference in Istanbul, is on the board of trustees of another organization, Interpal, which was declared a terrorism-supporting organization by the United States as far back as 2003. Both Birawi and Mustafa live in Britain.

Members of the Palestinian Hamas security forces stage mock raid on IDF post during a graduation ceremony in Gaza City on January 22, 2017. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Mustafa was a leader of a group called the Charity Coalition (also known as the Union of Good), which raised money for Hamas in the early 2000s and gained the spiritual support of Yusuf al-Qardawi, the leading Sunni cleric and Muslim Brotherhood member. The Turkish IHH group, which was one of the organizers of the Marmara flotilla, was also part of the Charity Coalition.

There are others, in and out of Britain: Ismail Patel, head of the Friends of Al-Aqsa group; Daud Abdullah, originally from Grenada, a former member of the Muslim Council of Britain, who helps operate a news site which takes a pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance; Azzam Tamimi, a Palestinian who is the CEO of the Alhiwar television station, which operates from London and is considered explicitly pro-Hamas (Zaher Birawi hosts a show on the station); Egyptian-born Ibrahim el-Zayat, currently living in Germany, who is considered a key figure in the financial dealings of these networks; and Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, also Egyptian by birth, who chairs the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and lives in London.

Rosen, who has been tracking these names for quite some time, said there is a distinction between members of the official Muslim Brotherhood, such as those who operate in Egypt, and the networks that are thought to be identified with them.

“These are in effect groups that sprang up from former members of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled Egypt in the 1960s and settled in Europe. These groups were founded without any direct orders [from the Brotherhood], without a centralized command structure or a prominent commander,” he explained.

“But there are definite networks here, with major nexuses, such as London or Germany. They cooperate with the official Muslim Brotherhood and with Hamas.

“Hamas’s place in the enormous organization known as the global Muslim Brotherhood is growing right now,” he said. “Hamas is the movement’s own flesh and blood, and it wants to take control of the PLO. This is why its global activity has taken on a new importance. The Palestinian organization is trying to re-invent itself, with a new platform and a supposedly more moderate direction, but they are still the same organization.

“The whole BDS issue benefits from this Islamist infrastructure and receives assistance from organizations that are identified with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Rosen. “And there is persistent talk of Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas’s political wing, replacing Ibrahim Munir as the chair of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.”

***

UTT Throwback Thursday: Mainstream Media’s Support for Terrorists

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 16, 2017:

Following Monday’s UTT article “Is CNN Guilty of Material Support of Terrorism?” there was an overwhelming positive response from UTT followers who noted the many other incidents of mainstream media defending terrorists, specifically Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

So, for today’s UTT Throwback Thursday we will look at Hamas’ primary U.S. front organization – CAIR – and how the U.S. media continues to defend them despite the undeniable evidence they are a terrorist organization, and how the media lifts up other Muslim leaders who turn out to be terrorists.

In the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development – HLF – Dallas, 2008) the U.S. Department of Justice identified the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Founder/Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad as being a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas.

The other two founders are Rafeeq Jaber and Nihad Awad.  Awad is the current leader of CAIR and, in the professional opinion of UTT, the General Masul (leader) of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United States.  Please review UTT’s CAIR is Hamas document detailing a portion of the evidence demonstrating CAIR is a terrorist organization (Hamas).

So how does the media describe CAIR?

NBC and CBS call CAIR an “advocacy group.”  ABC News calls CAIR an “Islamic civil rights group.”  CNN calls them a “Muslim advocacy group.”

ABC actually dropped a new show, “Alice in Arabia” before they ever began shooting because Hamas (dba CAIR) complained.

In an article on February 14, 2017, PR Newswire describes CAIR as “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization” and notes the news was provided by CAIR.

On a regular basis NPR identifies CAIR as “a leading Muslim civil rights organization.”

Local media across the nation identifies CAIR as “a Muslim advocacy group,” “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization” or something similar here, here, here, here and here.

Remember that media outlets like the Washington Post, NPR, and others called Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi the “pillar of the Muslim community” in Washington, D.C. and Al Qaeda leader Anwar Awlaki the “new face” of moderate Islam before the United States killed him in a drone strike.

The media is batting 0/1000 when it comes to identifying friendly Muslim leaders and groups.

The facts are already in evidence detailing the ties to the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas to groups like CAIR, ISNA, MAS, MSA, IIIT, ICNA, MPAC, MLFA, Muslim Advocates, and all the others yet the mainstream media never asks the tough questions or does their homework on these issues.

Apparently “investigative journalism” is a forgotten trade and truth, facts and evidence are no longer sought after by today’s “journalists.”

Reports On Creation Of Muslim Brotherhood Lobby In U.S. To Prevent Trump Administration From Designating The Movement A Terrorist Organization

MEMRI, by  C. Meital and H. Varulkar, March 16, 2017:

Introduction

Following Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency, the issue of designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization resurfaced. During and after his presidential campaign, Trump’s Middle East advisor Walid Phares repeatedly stated that the new president would act for the passage of a bill doing so. For example, following Trump’s September 2016 meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Phares told the Egyptian daily Al-Watan that Trump had promised Al-Sisi that he would promote a bill that is already before Congress that designates the MB a terrorist organization.[1] After the election, Phares reiterated these remarks to the press.[2]

Ted Cruz’s tweet

It should be mentioned that in November 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced that they had introduced a bill designating the MB a terrorist organization.[3] In January 2017, Cruz tweeted that he and Diaz-Balart had reintroduced the bill on this matter: “Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB [Mario Diaz-Balart]. It’s time to call the enemy by its name.”[4]

In light of this bill, and in light of statements by Trump administration officials about its intent to promote it, the MB began preparations to confront the bill and prevent its passage. Launching a widespread informational media campaign, including the hiring of U.S. lobbying and legal firms, outreach to the press in the U.S., and dissemination of informational content aimed at improving its image in the West, particularly in the U.S., the MB attempted to convey that it is not a terrorist organization, but rather an ideological movement whose methods of operation are peaceful.

On the other hand, the Egyptian regime has been working to persuade the new U.S. administration that the MB is indeed a terrorist organization, as well as an umbrella organization for other terrorist outfits. In addition it was reported that Egyptian intelligence too had hired an American lobbying firm to improve the image of the Egyptian regime in the U.S.[5]Egyptian parliamentary representatives met in January 2017 with U.S. members of Congress to impress upon them the necessity of designating the MB as terrorist. Another visit by an Egyptian parliamentary delegation was scheduled for January but has apparently been postponed to April. Additionally, the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to the regime, has in recent weeks been criticizing Western media, particularly The New York Times, for providing a platform for the promotion of MB ideas. The Egyptian press in general expressed criticism of the regime for failing to sufficiently counter the MB’s media campaign.

This report will review MB media efforts to counter U.S. legislative and legal moves to designate it a terrorist organization, efforts by the Egyptian regime and official media to prove that it does indeed engage in terrorism, and claims by Egyptian writers that the regime is not doing enough to combat the MB’s campaign in the West.

MB Works To Create U.S. Lobby

In fact, already in November 2016, immediately after Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, the movement began preparing to counter U.S. moves to designate it terrorist. The Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, which belongs to the MB and operates from Turkey under the directorship of Amr Darrag, who served as minister of planning and international cooperation in the administration of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, published a document by Dr. Badr Shafi’i on November 26 with recommendations for the movement on how to deal with America’s intent to promote a terrorist designation of the MB. The recommendations include: Appointing elements within the movement to supervise these steps and make contact with experts on international relations; contacting politicians, clerics, and countries that could sympathize with the MB in order to improve its image in Congress; establishing a legal-media team and hold ties with members of Congress; hiring a U.S. law firm and public relations teams; and establishing a substantial Islamic lobby in the U.S., while strengthening ties with movements opposing Trump’s policy.[6]

Recommendations published by the Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (Eipss-eg.org, November 2016)

In January and March 2017, the institute published two more documents by Shafi’i that also dealt with this issue, in which he reiterated his recommendations.[7]

In addition, in recent months, the Arab press in general, and the Egyptian press in particular, reported on MB efforts to prevent the Trump administration from listing it as a terrorist organization. Thus, for example, MB sources outside of Egypt told the daily Al-Shurouq that the global MB organization was conducting widespread activity to this end. According to these sources, the movement was being assisted by the governments of Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco, and by the governments of countries where the MB has substantial parliamentary blocs such as Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria. The sources also disclosed that the movement’s steps, not only in Egypt but in 82 countries around the world, as well as its contacts with members of Congress and senior U.S. writers and civil society organizations, are meant to prevent the decision.[8]

Evidence of these moves could be seen in comments by London-based MB official Mohamed Soudan, who said in late January that MB elements were speaking to American politicians, State Department officials, members of Congress, and academics, in order to explain the nonviolent history of the movement since its establishment in 1928.[9]

In other statements to the media, Soudan said that most of the MB’s contacts in the U.S. were done via a public relations firm, and added: “We will defend our history and the movement’s future with all possible legitimate and legal means.” According to him, the MB will not sit idly by but rather operate on all fronts and conduct meetings with all American parties in order to prevent a U.S. decision designating it a terrorist organization.[10]

On February 5, the Saudi website Elaph reported that the MB had signed a contract with an American lobbying firm, paying it $4.8 million to help it establish ties with Trump administration officials in order to improve its image in U.S. media. According to the report, the contract included organizing meetings with Trump administration officials, submitting documents on Egyptian government mistreatment of the movement and its members, publishing articles in American media, and providing platforms for movement officials in American print and TV media. Elaph added that elements close to the Obama administration had helped the movement sign the contract with this firm, whose officials include figures close to Obama’s election campaign  and to Hillary Clinton. According to Elaph, the firm employs dozens of former White House and State Department staffers who have extensive ties to members of Congress and political and strategic research centers in the U.S.[11]

Furthermore, former MB official Tareq Abu Al-Sa’ad claimed that as part of its efforts to improve its image in the U.S., the movement relies on specific American families who are members of the MB and have close ties to the U.S. administration. He mentioned a family which he said has ties to American officials and research institutes, as well as other MB officials that are expected to contact human rights organizations to help improve its image in Washington.[12]

One example of the MB’s efforts on this front is a New York Times article by Gehad Al-Haddad, a former Egyptian MB spokesman who was arrested in 2013 and is currently incarcerated in Tora Prison in Egypt. Gehad is the son of Essam Al-Haddad, an aide to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.[13] In the February 22 article, titled “I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist,” Al-Haddad rejected claims that the MB was a terrorist organization, stating that its ideology stems from the Islamic interpretation based on social justice, equality, and rule of law. He stressed that despite the Egyptian regime’s hostility, the movement always fought for the weak in society and that it believes in democracy and pluralism, adding that during the Mubarak era, it even worked together with democratic movements to prevent him from bequeathing the presidency to his son Gamal. He added that the MB opposes violence and has always operated peacefully, and that violent movements that are said to have grown out of the MB actually left the movement because it could not accept their violent methods.[14] Elements close to the movement said it had chosen Gehad Al-Haddad to pen the article because he had held close ties with U.S. officials during Morsi’s presidency.[15]

Al-Haddad’s New York Times article (New York Times, February 22, 2017)

Another New York Times article on February 20, by Declan Walsh, argued that a terror listing for the MB, which has millions of followers, could have negative consequences, especially for countries where MB-linked parties are in power or are prominent in Parliament, with serious implications for domestic politics, American diplomacy and the broader fight against Islamist extremism.  It stated further that marginalizing this movement could mean discouraging some of its moderate branches that have won wide praise for their democratic engagement, while empowering jihadist groups. Moreover, the proposed designation would reaffirm Trump’s embrace of Egyptian President Al-Sisi, who has faced severe international criticism for Egypt’s dismal human rights record in recent years and its ruthless persecution of the MB.

It should be mentioned that on February 23, Al-Masri Al-Yawm quoted Mohamed Soudan as saying that the MB had managed to convince Congress to not designate it a terrorist organization. The report quoted Soudan as saying that the global MB organization had managed to hold contacts with administration and Congress officials and had used documents to convince them that the MB was not and would never be involved in terrorist attacks, and that it routinely issues condemnations for attacks that take place in most countries of the world.”[16] However, the following day Soudan denied the statements attributed to him by Al-Masri Al-Yawm, and posted an article from the Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun on his Facebook page with the comment: “I know nothing of this statement and these comments, and I don’t know where they (Al-Masri Al-Yawm) got this fiction.”[17]

Al-Sisi Regime Responds To MB Media Campaign

The Egyptian regime does not seem to working as intensively to promote the U.S. Congressional bill to designate the MB terrorist as the MB is to prevent such a designation. In January 2017, Mohamed Al-‘Orabi, former Egyptian foreign minister and current member of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign relations committee, and Ahmed Al-Fadaly, head of the Independent Party Current, attended President Trump’s inauguration, and also met with members of Congress and administration officials. They presented President Trump with a memo demanding quick action to designate the MB as terrorist. Al-‘Orabi said during the visit that the Egyptian parliament would soon launch a widespread campaign to advance this issue.[18]

However, besides this visit, and MP statements about their intentions to act on the matter, no actual measures are reported to have been taken to promote the U.S. Congress’s anti-MB bill.

In mid-January 2017, it was reported that a delegation on behalf of the Egyptian parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee would travel to the U.S. later that month to meet with members of Congress and deliver a report on “the MB’s violent and terrorist acts.” Tarek Radwan, a representative of the committee, said that attempts were being made to arrange a meeting between the delegation and Sen. Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.[19] The visit, however, apparently never took place. On March 6, it was reported that delegation would visit the U.S. in April.[20]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, asked by the daily Al-Watan whether he had discussed the designation of the MB as terrorist during his late February 2017 visit to the U.S., responded: “I did not address this matter, but I told [U.S. officials] that it was important to note that the MB provides the philosophical and religious basis for radical ideology, and that we cannot combat terrorism [solely] by designating [organizations] in different ways, since all terrorist organizations are interconnected. Thus, [for example] even if ISIS is eliminated, new groups will continue to spring up as long as the source of radical ideology exists.” Shoukry added that the U.S. officials had grasped his point, that he was following the efforts of several members of Congress on the issue, and that the issue remains controversial.[21]

Egyptian Daily: New York Times Supports Terrorism, Slandered Egypt

In contrast to Egyptian officials, the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to Egyptian authorities and intelligence apparatuses, dealt extensively with the issue of designating the MB as terrorist, publishing a number of articles attacking the organization. It also criticized the U.S. media, particularly The New York Times, stating that it was enabling MB terrorism. On February 23, the day after The Times published Gehad Al-Haddad’s op-ed, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article titled “New York Times Supports MB Terrorism, Publishes Article by Gehad Al-Haddad…”[22] On February 24, it published an article titled “Questionable MB Plot to Slander Egypt in Western Media… Islamist [elements]: Organization Spending Millions of Dollars to Spread Its Poison.”[23]

On March 2, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article headlined “New Disgrace for New York Times: Paper Refuses to Publish Article Proving MB Terrorism; [Egyptian-American journalist and researcher] Michael Morgan after His Article Was Rejected for Publication…: ‘The Paper Has Become an [MB] Movement Platform and the U.S. Will Pay the Price.”[24]

Another Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’  article, published March 12, stated: “Since the onset of the June 30 [2013] revolution that ousted the MB regime, The New York Times has specialized in improving the MB’s image and slandering Egypt.” It quoted Islamic affairs expert Ahmed ‘Atta as saying that the MB International Organization secretary-general Ibrahim Munir Mustafa had paid global media outlets, chiefly the Times, $50 million to continue its attacks on Donald Trump because of Trump’s anti-MB stance.[25]

Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ February 24 article attacking the New York Times

Egyptian Journalists To Al-Sisi Regime: Be More Decisive In Countering MB Media Campaign

Several Egyptian writers criticized the regime’s inertia in the face of the MB’s media campaign. On February 22, Al-Ahram columnist Ahmed ‘Abd Al-Tawab wrote that the MB’s media campaign shows that the movement fears being designated a terrorist organization. He wrote that it is “Egypt’s responsibility” in this matter, “due to its decades-long experience with MB crimes, to provide the Trump administration with information and historical and current evidence that will help it combat the movement on the legal, political, and cultural levels, in accordance with the human rights [principles] that the MB endangers…”[26]

Al-Ahram writer Muhammad Salmawi also wrote of the need for Egypt to step up its activity vis-à-vis the U.S. on the MB issue. In an article titled “The Voice of the MB – and Our Silence,” Salmawi wrote of his surprise  at Egypt’s feeble reaction to Gehad Al-Haddad’s New York Times article. The MB, he said, realizes that the way to influence American society is through public relations and lobbying firms, and the Egyptian regime needs to do likewise: “Those who follow the American press at this time cannot help but notice the intense campaign to improve the MB’s image and cleanse them of any blood spilled now or in the past in the name of Islam. This campaign has a specific goal – to stop the Trump administration from designating the movement a terrorist organization, thus fulfilling one of [Trump’s] campaign promises. To this end, the campaign twists facts with reckless abandon, made possible by the absence of an opposing viewpoint that could have corrected the erroneous information and responded to [the MB’s] notorious lies. How much longer will we remain silent in light of a campaign that has raised its voice and spread throughout the American media since the onset of the June 30, 2013 revolution?

“Last week I read the article by the former official MB spokesman [Gehad Al-Haddad], penned from his Egyptian prison cell and published by The New York Times. I was surprised that some of the few [Egyptian writers] who addressed this matter settled for pondering how such a message was smuggled out of prison in Egypt… The problem is not how it was leaked, but how we could not deliver a similar message [in Western media]…

“How easy it is to criticize security measures that allow messages to be smuggled out of Egyptian prisons and given to newspaper offices… in New York. How easy it is to step up measures against all the prisoners [as a result]. But the MB continues to be heard in the American press – while our position cannot be found in the international arena…

“First, we must examine how the other side managed to gain such a noticeable presence in Western media – and such an examination is not difficult. The ongoing publication of pro-MB positions in Western media, and [this media’s]  disregard for the Egyptian popular will, stems not from some global plot against us or global sympathy with the mother movement that birthed all the groups that accuse others of heresy – but mostly from [the MB’s] accurate grasp of how to operate vis-à-vis American social institutions, and of the active role played by large PR firms in society – whether in the press, the media, in Congress, or elsewhere…

“The way to actively operate in the U.S. is by arriving at an understanding with these large institutions – whether during a presidential or congressional campaign, or in the fight to influence decision-making circles by means of the press and media, or by means of members of Congress. Such a campaign is undoubtedly costly, but losing is costlier still…”

Salmawi, who is known for his antisemitic views,[27] added: “The Jewish lobby in the U.S. has already understood the power of the PR institutions and the influence they wield over American society on all levels. Using this and other methods, they control the political decision[-makers] in the U.S. The MB and the other international elements that fund them have [also] understood this. Is it not time for us to understand what our enemies already have?!”[28]

* C. Meital is a research fellow at MEMRI; H. Varulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI.

 

[1] Al-Watan (Egypt), September 20, 2016.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 11, 2016.

[3] Cruz.senate.gov, November 4, 2015.

[4] Twitter.com/SenTedCruz, January 10, 2017.

[5] Rassd.com, March 5, 2017.

[6] Eipss-eg.org, November 26, 2016.

[7] Eipss-eg.org, January 28, March 3, 2017.

[8] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), February 8, 2017.

[9] Aa.com.tr, January 31, 2017.

[10] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017; Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[11] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017. Elements in Egypt affirmed the reports about the MB’s efforts to form a lobby. Gamal Al-Minshawi, an Islamic affairs researcher and former official in Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, told the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ that the MB pays millions of dollars to foreign newspapers and news sites for positive coverage. Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[12] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 17, 2017.

[13] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that in 2007-2012 Al-Haddad was director of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative in Egypt. Washingtontimes.com , September 18, 2013.

[14] New York Times (U.S.), February 22, 2017.

[15] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that after Al-Haddad’s article was published, a website close to the MB reported that Egyptian prison authorities had penalized him by placing him in solitary confinement. Rassd.com, February 27, 2017. MB associates also said that Al-Haddad and other MB prisoners manage to smuggle writings out of prison with the help of their lawyers, but an Egyptian security source said that Al-Haddad did not pen the article himself, and that smuggling such writings out of prison was impossible. Al-Watan (Egypt), February 23, 2017; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[16] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[17] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), February 24, 2017; Facebook.com/FreedomJusticeFrMohamedSoudan, February 25, 2017.

[18] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 20, 2017; Al-Watan (Egypt), January 22, 2017.

[19] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 12, 2017.

[20] Motamemservice.com, March 6, 2017.

[21] Al-Watan (Egypt), March 10, 2017.            `

[22] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[23] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[24] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 2, 2017. Michael Morgan is an Egyptian-American researcher at the London Center for Policy Research, who promotes the designation of the MB as a terrorist organization.

[25] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 12, 2017.

[26] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 22, 2017.

[27] In an article he published in the French-language Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Hebdo, titled “Look for the Jews,” Salmawi criticized  the French law criminalizing antisemitism and Holocaust denial, stating that it does not forbid denying crimes against humanity but only crimes against six million Jews who “allegedly” suffered a holocaust during World War II. He also wrote that whoever wants to understand the connection between the Monica Lewinsky affair in the U.S., the trial against “French thinker” Roger Garaudy (who was convicted in 1998 of Holocaust denial) and the barring of Holocaust denier David Irving from several countries needs to “look for the Jews.” Al-Ahram Hebdo, Egypt, February 4-10, 1998.

[28] Al-Ahram (Egypt), March 5, 2017.

Plaintiff behind Trump travel ban runs Muslim Brotherhood mosque

Imam Ismail Elshikh, a native of Egypt, leads a Muslim Brotherhood-tied mosque in Honolulu, Hawaii, and claims he is suffering ‘irreparable harm’ by President Trump’s temporary travel ban.

Imam born and raised in Egypt, migrated to U.S.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, March 16, 2017:

The main plaintiff in the Hawaii case blocking President Trump’s revised temporary travel ban is an imam with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The irony is hard to miss: Trump has talked about declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and now it is a Brotherhood-backed imam who is playing a key role in blocking his executive order on immigration.

Imam Ismail Elshikh, 39, leads the largest mosque in Hawaii and claims he is suffering “irreparable harm” from the president’s executive order, which places a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from six countries.

One of those six countries is Syria. Elshikh’s mother in law is Syrian and would not be able to visit her family in Hawaii for 90 days if Trump’s ban were allowed to go into effect.

Hawaii’s Obama-appointed federal judge, Derrick Watson, made sure the ban did not go into effect, striking it down Wednesday while buying Hawaii’s claim that it amounts to a “Muslim ban.” The state’s attorney general, along with co-plaintiff Elshikh, claims the ban would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.

According to the lawsuit:

“Plaintiffs allege that the Executive Order subjects portions of the State’s population, including Dr. Elshikh and his family, to discrimination in violation of both the Constitution and the INA, denying them their right, among other things, to associate with family members overseas on the basis of their religion and national origin. The State purports that the Executive Order has injured its institutions, economy, and sovereign interest in maintaining the separation between church and state.”

Muslim Association of Hawaii mosque in Honolulu

The vast majority of Hawaii’s roughly 5,000 Muslims attend Elshikh’s mosque, the Muslim Association of Hawaii, which is located in a residential area of Manoa, Honolulu. The mosque, despite its ties to what many believe is an extremist and subversive organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, may now hold the key to whether the Trump travel ban passes muster in the federal court system.

Elshikh was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, the home base of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to spread Shariah law throughout the world.

The proof that his mosque is affiliated with the Brotherhood is found in the court records for Honolulu County, which lists the deed holder as the North American Islamic Trust.

John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist and now private consultant to law enforcement at Understanding the Threat, said all mosques under the “Muslim Association of” moniker are typically affiliated with the Brotherhood.

But the clincher in this case is that the mosque property is traced to NAIT, “confirming it is a Muslim Brotherhood organization,” Guandolo told WND in an email.

Screenshot of the parcel ownership recorded at Honolulu County Courthouse

The Trump administration has said it is considering banning the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. by including it on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

NAIT is one of more than 200 unindicted co-conspirators named in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial of 2007-08 in Dallas, Texas. The organization has direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, as documented by the FBI in evidence presented at the trial. (See Sec. VII, Page 8 of court document.)

NAIT is a financial subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America and holds the deed to more than 325 mosques in 42 U.S. states that are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Discover the Networks.

“Because NAIT controls the purse strings of these many properties, it can exercise ultimate authority over what they teach and what activities they conduct. Specifically, the Trust seeks to ensure that the institutions under its financial influence promote the principles of Sharia law and Wahhabism,” according to Discover the Networks.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Cairo, Egypt, by Hassan al-Banna. It has been banned by Egypt’s current regime, as well as in Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

A bill in Congress, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015-16, has been languishing in committee since November 2015. House Speaker Paul Ryan has not advanced the bill or done anything to promote it.

Several members of the Trump administration have said they favor declaring the Brotherhood a terrorism organization, but so far that has not happened. One high-level Trump adviser, Mike Flynn, said he was in favor of banning the Brotherhood before he was forced to resign for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, described the Brotherhood as “an agent of radical Islam” during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told Breitbart News last month that the U.S. should declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

“The fact is, the Brotherhood is a front for terrorism,” he said. “A number of Arab majority-Muslim countries, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have already designated it as a terrorist organization. I’ve had Muslim leaders from the Middle East say to me, ‘Are you people blind to what’s going on right in front of you and the role that the Brotherhood performs, really on an international basis?’”

But instead of banning the Brotherhood, the U.S. is letting a Brotherhood-backed imam dictate U.S. refugee and visa policy, Guandolo said.

Judge Watson, who was a Harvard law classmate of Barack Obama’s, issued an injunction halting Trump’s executive order from going into effect, agreeing with Hawaii’s claim that the temporary ban, 90 days on visa travelers and 120 days for refugees, would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.

As for refugees, Hawaii takes very few. Of the 49 states participating in the federal refugee resettlement program, only Mississippi has taken in fewer refugees than Hawaii since 2002. Only 127 refugees have been sent to Hawaii since 2002, and nearly zero have been Muslims from the six nations on Trump’s list. The vast majority sent to Hawaii have been from Burma and Vietnam.

The six nations on Trump’s list for a 90-day moratorium on visas and a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

Of the 127 refugees Hawaii has taken since the State Department started keeping online records in 2002, only one refugee has been from a country on Trump’s list, Iran, according to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center database.

“There was one refugee from Iran who went to Hawaii and that probably was a Christian. That is the majority of what we are taking from Iran are Christians,” said Ann Corcoran, editor of Refugee Resettlement Watch, which has been tracking resettlements in the U.S. for the past 10 years. “The biggest group were from Burma and Vietnam, and there were none from Africa, so what we have in Hawaii are a bunch of hypocrites whining about ‘irreparable harm’ from pausing refugee resettlement when, in fact, they take hardly any refugees and almost no Muslim refugees.”

***

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Refuting the claim that the Explanatory Memorandum has been ‘debunked’

March 15, 2017 Secure Freedom Radio interview with STEPHEN COUGHLIN, Served in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate, Author of Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad: Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Also see:

Mattis withdraws Pentagon pick seen as Muslim Brotherhood supporter

A defaced picture of ex-U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson is seen in this poster held by a supporter of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak in 2013. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Fox News, by Samuel Chamberlain,  March 14, 2017:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn his nominee for the Pentagon’s top civilian job after opposition from lawmakers concerned about her close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

A senior official confirmed to Fox News that Mattis pulled the nomination of former Ambassador Anne Patterson to be undersecretary of defense for policy. The move was first reported by the Washington Post.

Patterson was U.S. ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, when that country’s president, Mohamed Morsi, was overthrown by the military. Critics opposed her selection by Mattis on the grounds that she was too accommodating to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood during her tenure in Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in the 1920s with the stated goal of establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate, or empire, ruled under Sharia law. Egypt declared it a terror group in 2013 after the government blamed it for a bombing of a police headquarters that killed 16, even though the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood denied involvement and condemned the attack.

The Post reported that Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were particularly opposed to Patterson’s nomination. Both men serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Cruz has recently reintroduced legislation calling on the State Department to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

A congressional source told Fox News that Cotton’s opposition was largely due to Patterson’s lack of experience at the Defense Department. The source said Cotton was given no assurance that Patterson knew how to strategic defense plans that commanders would have to implement.

Patterson previously served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Colombia, El Salvador and the United Nations. She recently retired after serving as the State Department’s assistant secretary for near eastern affairs.

Nearly two months into the Trump administration, Mattis is the only political appointee at the Pentagon. The Post reported that the White House would announce a list of nominees for senior Defense Department positions sometime this week.

More Evidence That McMaster Shares Obama’s Views on Islam and Terror

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, March 14, 2017:

Donald Trump’s new national security advisor, Lt. General H.R. McMaster, has made troubling remarks — such as “the Islamic State is not Islamic” — that one expects from the D.C. establishment. However a hearty endorsement that he gave to a 2010 book points to the totality of McMaster’s views on security issues as being worse than simply his parroting politically correct memes on Islam.

The book in question is Militant Islamist IdeologyUnderstanding the Global Threat. Written by CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, it was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2010. I read and reviewed it back in 2012 and found its claims — many of which the Obama administration followed to disastrous results — to be incorrect and problematic.

For starters, Aboul-Enein asserts that only “militant Islamists” — ISIS types who behead, crucify, massacre, and burn people alive — are the enemy. “Non-militant Islamists,” however, are not:

It is the Militant Islamists who are our adversary. They represent an immediate threat to the national security of the United States. They must not be confused with Islamists.

This theme, which the author expresses in convoluted language — at one point he urges the reader to appreciate the “the divisions between Militant Islamists and between Militant Islamists and Islamists” (p.176) — permeates the book. In reality, all Islamists share the same ultimate goal of global Islamic hegemony. They differ in methodology — but not in their view of us as the enemy to be crushed.

“Non-militant Islamists,” chief among them the Muslim Brotherhood, see incremental infiltration and subtle subversion of infidel Western states as more effective than outright terrorism, as one notorious Brotherhood memo clearly states.[1]

We’ve already seen the outcome of cooperating with “Non-militant Islamists” during the Arab Spring. The Obama administration cast aside decades of U.S. policy and support for secular Arab autocrats and made cozy with the Muslim Brotherhood. What followed is well-known: the Arab Spring quickly turned into the “Islamic Winter.” This culminated with the rise of the Islamic State, in large part due to Obama’s policies, both active (aiding Islamic terrorists by portraying them as “freedom fighters,” in Libya and Syria) and inactive (pulling all U.S. forces out of Iraq despite the warnings, and disposing of a 30-year ally of the U.S., the secularist Mubarak, for the Brotherhood in Egypt).

Aboul-Enein further recommends American forces adopt a Sharia-compliant respect for Islam and Muslims.

For example, he suggests that if an American soldier ever desecrates a Koran, U.S. leadership must not merely relieve him of duty, but offer “unconditional apologies,” and emulate the words of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, which Aboul-Enein quotes as exemplary: “I come before you [Muslims] seeking your forgiveness, in the most humble manner I look in your eyes today, and say please forgive me and my soldiers,” followed by kissing a new Koran and “ceremoniously” presenting it to Muslims.

Not only is such a double-standard un-American — would a serviceman be punished for the “desecration” of any other religious book? — but the very idea that supremacist Muslims can be won over through servile and fawning appeasement is antithetical to reality, if not human nature. Abject behavior breeds contempt and encourages more Muslim aggression and demands.

Here are a few more examples of Aboul-Enein’s false claims, distortions, and general oddities, though one could go on and on:

  • He writes (p.142) that “when Muslims are a persecuted minority Jihad becomes a fard kifaya (an optional obligation), in which the imam authorizes annual expeditions into Dar el Harb (the Abode of War), lands considered not under Muslim dominance.” This is wrong on several levels.
    • fard kifaya is not an “optional obligation” — an oxymoron if ever there was one — but rather a “communal obligation.” Moreover, he is clearly describing Offensive Jihad, which is designed to subjugate non-Muslims and is obligatory to wage whenever Muslims are capable, not “when Muslims are a persecuted minority,” which in Islamic jurisprudence is a Defensive Jihad and fard ‘ain (i.e., individual obligation).
  • He says (p.75) that the Arabic word for “terrorist” (irhabi) is nowhere to be found in the Koran or Hadith. He does not mention that the verb form of that word (tirhibun), “terrorize,” abounds in Islamic scriptures (e.g., Allah himself calls on Muslims to “terrorize”  Islam’s opponents in Koran 8:60).
  • He asserts (p.65) that “militant Islamists dismiss ijmaa [consensus] and qiyas [analogical reasoning].” This is simply false. Groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS regularly invoke ijmaa (for instance, the consensus that jihad becomes a personal duty — fard ‘ain — when infidels invade the Islamic world) and justify suicide attacks precisely through qiyas (see The Al Qaeda Reader, p.138).
  • After rightfully admonishing readers not to rely on skewed or biased accounts of Islam, he repeatedly recommends (e.g., pgs. 20, 213, 216) the writings of Muslim apologist extraordinaire Karen Armstrong, whose whitewashing of all things Islamic is notorious.

Such are the claims, distortions, and recommendations of a book that McMaster wholeheartedly endorsed in 2010 as “excellent” and “deserv[ing] a wide readership,” a book that claims “[t]errorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.” This is yet another tired apologia that has been repeatedly debunked. [2]

Over a year ago I closed an article for Hoover Institution’s Strategika with the following sentence:

Time will tell whether the next [American presidential] administration will remain willfully ignorant of the nature of its jihadi enemy — which is fatal in war according to Sun Tzu’s ancient dictum, ‘know your enemy’ — or whether reality will trump political correctness.

The pun remains truer than ever: If the recommendations of Militant Islamist Ideology reflect McMaster’s views on U.S. security and Islam — especially this notion of cooperating with “Nonmilitant Islamists” — then it seems we are going right back to being “willfully ignorant” of reality.

———————————

[1] Excerpt followsUnderstanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America

“The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan [meaning Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

“Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack.”

[2] Here is McMaster’s entire endorsement, as it appears on the back of the book’s jacket cover:

“Terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause. Understanding terrorist ideology is the first and may also be the most important step in ensuring national and international security against the threat that these organizations pose.

Youssef Aboul-Enein’s book is an excellent starting point in that connection. Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Opposition Builds Against Mattis Pick Who Met With Muslim Brotherhood

Anne Patterson / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, March 13, 2017:

Opposition is mounting on Capitol Hill and in conservative foreign policy circles over Defense Secretary James Mattis’s efforts to hire a former Obama administration official who lobbied in favor of engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood and spearheaded efforts to criticize Israeli counter-terrorism efforts, according to multiple sources close to the Trump administration.

Mattis is lobbying to hire former diplomat Anne Patterson as undersecretary of defense for policy, according to multiple reports, a position that would make her the third most powerful voice at the Defense Department.

Multiple sources on Capitol Hill and those close to the Trump foreign policy teams are voicing concerns about the pick, warning that Patterson would seek to continue some of the former Obama administration’s most controversial foreign policies, such as conducting outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Patterson, who served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power, advocated in favor of negotiating with the terror group. Her efforts drew outrage in the Egyptian reformist community, which still views Patterson as working to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood.

As assistant secretary of state for near east affairs in the Obama administration, Patterson also led efforts to criticize Israeli authorities after they killed a Palestinian-American terrorist who was attempting to stab civilians.

Patterson’s record under the Obama administration has raised concerns on Capitol Hill, where she would require Senate confirmation in order to assume the Defense Department post.

Multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter expressed opposition to the pick and outlined larger concerns about efforts by Mattis to hire former Obama administration officials who conservatives view as responsible for multiple failures in U.S. foreign policy.

These sources also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s failure to remove former Obama officials from the administration, citing the efforts by some to kneecap President Donald Trump’s foreign policy team and preserve Obama-era policies.

“This would be a disastrous choice,” one senior congressional aide tracking the matter told the Free Beacon. “Patterson has a well-documented track record of sticking up for extremist groups at every turn. Her selection would mean elevating someone whose views not only run counter to the president’s, but U.S. national security as well. The administration should seriously reconsider.”

A second senior Republican Senate aide expressed similar concerns. Patterson’s views run counter to the foreign policy outlook expressed by Trump on the campaign trail, the source noted.

There is mounting concern over the promotion of Patterson to such a senior role, according to the source, who said this would “would send the wrong message given her background in Egypt, in particular her sympathies to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Insiders close to Trump’s national security team described mounting concern over Mattis’s efforts to hire Patterson.

“People concerned about the U.S.-Egypt relationship don’t know what to make of Mattis’s support for Anne Patterson,” said one source, who explained that Patterson’s record on Egypt is vastly different that Mattis’ own comments about recalibrating relations with the country.

“Egyptians I have spoken to, both in and outside government, are extremely worried right now,” the source added. “First, they can’t believe they might have to contend with Patterson’s pro-Brotherhood polices; and second, it’s causing them to re-evaluate who they thought Secretary Mattis is.”

As the Trump administration looks to reset years of strained relations with Cairo, the selection of Patterson could draw outrage from secular leaders who are still angered by her engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, sources explained.

One Egyptian opposition leader who spoke to the Free Beacon during the 2013 revolution in Egypt described Patterson as “the first enemy of the revolution,” claiming “she is hated even more than [former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed] Morsi.”

Patterson met in 2012 with Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, who has been extremely critical of the United States.

Patterson still has strained relations with current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Reports in Middle Eastern publications indicated that Patterson pressured al-Sisi to release imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members and later threatened him when he refused to do so.

Sources also raised questions about Patterson’s commitment to Trump’s foreign policy, which seeks to isolate fanatical religious organizations such as the Brotherhood and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

Patterson cast doubt during a 2015 Senate hearing on efforts to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group, efforts that are likely to be revisited by Trump’s team.

One senior Republican foreign policy adviser who has close ties to the White House told the Free Beacon that Patterson would represent a continuation of the Obama administration’s failed engagement in the Middle East.

“Anne Patterson is the embodiment of the Obama administration’s failed approach to the Middle East, which focused on crowding out our traditional Arab allies with radical Islamists from Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood,” said the source, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the administration.

“As the post-Kerry State Department becomes less and less relevant, and the White House and Defense Department take over foreign policy strategy, it’s beyond irresponsible to put her in charge of the Pentagon’s policy apparatus,” the source said.

***

There is a lot of conflicting information floating around that just doesn’t add up. Mattis is not a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood. Listen to his own words:

Report: Iranian sleeper cells operating in U.S.

Hezbollah forces in Lebanon

WND, by Leo Hohmann, March 12, 2017:

American intelligence agencies have growing evidence that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group maintains a network of sleeper cells in the United States, according to a new report.

Though Hezbollah has not conducted a major attack on U.S. soil, the group could decide to strike key American sites should U.S.-Iran relations deteriorate substantially, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

“Preparations to combat Islamist terrorism broadly should strongly consider the nuanced and growing Hezbollah threat to U.S. national security,” the report concludes.

Hezbollah or “the Party of God” is based in southern Lebanon and has long served as Iran’s way of Islamizing a formerly Christian country while also stoking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and periodically launching rockets into northern Israel.

But the organization has other enemies besides Israel and should not be viewed within the narrow scope of the Arab-Israel conflict.

In fact, the Shiite terror group has been building its presence in South America since the late 1980s and was able to make inroads on the North American continent during the Obama years, terror analysts say.

The problem is not new but it is reaching a point where a major terrorist event on U.S. soil is more possible, said John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist who now operates a private consulting business at Understanding the Threat.

He says there is now a sizable Hezbollah presence in the U.S.

Urging Trump to take action

“There is a great deal of testimony – much of it by senior Drug Enforcement Agency officials – over the years revealing how dangerous the situation is,” Guandolo told WND.

“They operate under the direct authority of the leadership of Iran which makes them, legally, an agent of an enemy state operating in the U.S.,” he added. “Our response, in my opinion, should be very strong. For the last eight or nine years we have not taken any strong action, but hopefully that will change.”

About a dozen U.S. mosques in several states are owned or supported by the New York City-based Alavi Foundation, which has ties to the government of Iran. One such mosque is the Islamic Education Center in Potomac, Maryland, Guandolo said.

Alavi’s mosques and all its U.S. assets, including a 36-story glass tower in Manhattan, were seized in 2013-14 for alleged links to Iran’s government in violation of sanctions against that country, but the forfeiture was reversed on appeal in July 2016.

Bush, Obama ignored the threat

Hezbollah is known for having “broader penetration in the Western Hemisphere than any other terrorist organization,” stated the U.S. State Department’s acting coordinator for counter-terrorism, Mark F. Wong, in testimony before the U.S. House International Relations Committee in 2002.

Hezbollah “is a multi-faceted, multinational” organization that “has a presence in virtually every country in North and South America. …” Wong reported to Congress at the time.

Both al-Qaida and Hezbollah have been known to be active along the border region of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

The tri-border area known as the “Muslim triangle”

Hezbollah and Hamas have also been setting up shop in the tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, also known as the “Muslim Triangle.”

Hezbollah has set up legitimate businesses that also deal in counterfeiting U.S. currency, drug smuggling and other illicit trades. This area of South and Central America has been described as a “haven for Islamic extremists” by the former administrator of the DEA, Asa Hutchinson, in testimony before the House International Relations Committee.

Another wave of warnings came in August 2013, again in testimony before Congress. That’s when Cuban-American Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., then-chair of the House Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, warned that Iran was building an “extensive intelligence and terrorist network” in Latin America that the Obama administration was ignoring.

Ros-Lehtinen blasted the Obama administration for putting “politics over national security” in refusing to “get serious” about Iran’s growing infiltration of Latin American nations.

Matthew Levitt’s in-depth essay in Prism magazine last year cited extensive evidence of Iran’s growing influence in Latin America and detailed how Iran works to circumvent economic sanctions through some 36 cultural centers in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Hezbollah is now believed to have penetrated the U.S. during the lax border security that became endemic during the Obama years.

Another wave of warnings came in August 2013, again in testimony before Congress. That’s when Cuban-American Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., then-chair of the House Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, warned that Iran was building an “extensive intelligence and terrorist network” in Latin America that the Obama administration was ignoring.

Ros-Lehtinen blasted the Obama administration for putting “politics over national security” in refusing to “get serious” about Iran’s growing infiltration of Latin American nations.

Matthew Levitt’s in-depth essay in Prism magazine last year cited extensive evidence of Iran’s growing influence in Latin America and detailed how Iran works to circumvent economic sanctions through some 36 cultural centers in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Hezbollah is now believed to have penetrated the U.S. during the lax border security that became endemic during the Obama years.

Philip B. Haney

Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer who developed data templates for radical Islamic sects, said Caracas, Venezuela is home to the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere – the Al Ibrahim mosque, which is Shia and has ties to Iran.

“That would be an obvious transport point for a lot of things going on there,” said Haney, co-author of “See Something Say Nothing.”

He points to the Panama Free Trade Zone as a “wild west” type of region for fraudulent commercial activity, much of it conducted by Lebanese businessmen funneling money to Hezbollah.

“There are a lot of Lebanese immigrants operating there and they’re there for a reason, it’s kind of like the Switzerland of Latin America,” he said. “They deal in the movement of vehicles, cigarettes and infant formula, cigarettes in particular, and they’re run by Lebanese crews here in the U.S.”

There are so many tactical operations going on in the Western Hemisphere – visa fraud, drug trafficking, contraband, car and cigarette fraud – that it’s hard to keep track of them, Haney said.

“You have to remember the Lebanese have been moving money through non-conventional channels for many years and have become very good at it. It’s a form of underground economy generating huge off-market revenue,” Haney said.

“And that’s where the free trade zone comes in because it’s like a wide-open environment, it’s a source of capital for both legitimate and illicit transactions.”

There is a whole network of Lebanese financiers who operate in the zone.

Here’s how some of them work:

  • Passport fraud: These are real passports but they’re issued to people with false names and identities. “It’s a legit passport obtained illegitimately. It’s not fake, it’s real, but it’s issued normally to a person who created a new identity or a false identity,” Haney said.
    “We’ve known about all this stuff for probably a good 10 years.”

CNN reported just last month on a fake passport ring run out of Venezuela that included allegations that passports were given to people with ties to terrorism.

One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela’s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID’s that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah, CNN reports.

One of CNN’s sources for the story was a cop who said he was offered a cut of the profits if he had cooperated with the scheme.

Here’s more from the CNN report:

The accusation that the country was issuing passports to people who are not Venezuelan first surfaced in the early 2000s when Hugo Chavez was the country’s president, interviews and records show.
A Venezuelan passport permits entry into more than 130 countries without a visa, including 26 countries in the European Union, according to a ranking by Henley and Partners. A visa is required to enter the United States.

  • Vehicle shipment fraud: Cars originating in Venezuela often get shipped to the Middle East for resale. They are bought low and sold higher for profit, which is legal. But it’s what’s stashed inside the cars that are illegal contraband.

“It’s very common. They use the cars as cover and they put contraband in them because most of the shipping containers these cars get loaded into are not inspected,” Haney said. “Some are stuffed with millions of dollars in cash. It’s in the seats and in the floor boards.”

“These cars can even turn up in car-bombings in Baghdad and sometimes they were tracked all the way back to the united states,” he added.

  • Illicit cigarette sales: What does cigarette smuggling have to do with terrorism? A lot, say terrorism experts. The market for illicit cigarettes is $3 billion a year and growing, and the Lebanese are a huge player in this market.

The Lebanese buy cigarettes in low-tax states like Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia and then sell them in high-tax states like New York, where they can undercut highly taxed cigarettes and make huge profits.

For example, a pack of cigarettes in New York City can sell for upwards of $14 due to the $4.35 tax. But in Missouri the cigarette tax is only 17 cents, and in Georgia it is 35 cents, so a pack sells at retail for $6. That means a single truckload of black-market cigarettes can be worth up to $2 million to a ringleader.

A recent arrest in the Bronx netted charges against Mohamed Mustafa and Hiyad Chaib for running the illicit cigarette ring, Pix 11 reported.

Two brothers in North Carolina were convicted in 1992 of sending millions to the militant group, Hezbelloh, in Lebanon. The money made on the illicit cigarette sales is often laundered through a legitimate business here in the U.S. but much of the money ends up in the Middle East.

In 2002 Operation Smokescreen was a multi-agency federal counter-terrorism effort focused on black-market cigarette sales in Iredell County, North Carolina, that served as a fundraising effort for Hezbollah.

Detectives made repeated observations of a group of men purchasing large quantities of cigarettes, often with $20,000 – $30,000 in cash. The joint counterterrorism operation ended the fundraising operation, resulting in the arrest, trial, and conviction of the cell members.

In 2013, one of the defendants in another Brooklyn ring had long-time ties to Rashid Baz, the Lebanese cab driver accused of shooting up a van full of Orthodox Jewish students on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, Pix 11 reported.

“Lebanese immigrant gangs are doing these different criminal enterprises in the U.S. You’re talking macro truckloads of cigarettes,” Haney said. “They sell to vendors at about the same price but they didn’t have to pay the tax so they make a profit. So you have the cocaine trade, the cigarette trade here, the shipment of vehicles going to the Middle East, you have the Panama free trade zone being exploited.”

  • Drug trafficking: Hezbollah launders money through the free trade zone in Panama and they work with the Mexicans in the drug cartels, Haney said. “That’s why you started seeing really violent beheadings and stuff like that in the drug trade over the last couple of years,” he said. “Hezbollah is using the drug trade to finance its operations.”

Five types of jihad

So what’s all this have to do with sleeper cells and possible terror on U.S. soil? Not only do the smuggling and fraudster operations finance terrorist organizations, but they plunder the legitimate businesses here in the United States.

“There’s different forms of jihad. Financial jihad is one,” Haney said. “It has to do with the concept of plundering the unbelievers. You don’t have to blow them up, you can just make them go broke.”

He said there are five major types of jihad and warfare conducted with bombs and guns is only one of them.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born imam of Yemeni parents who helped plan terror attacks for al-Qaida, specialized in financial jihad, Haney said.

“It comes from Quran chapter 8 on the spoils of war, plundering the unbelievers,” he said.

So while most intelligence is geared toward stopping the next big terrorist attacks, groups like Hezbollah are busy nibbling away at the edges of Western society. It’s less sensational but just as damaging over the long haul.

“This is more like the death by a thousand cuts kind of thing, not one fatal thrust but a thousand small ones,” Haney said. “If you approach everything from the expectation that there’s going to be one big attack you bias yourself because you’ve misdiagnosed the nature of the threat. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all.”

“There’s a lot more going on over on the Shia side of the fence than most people realize because we mostly focus on the Sunni groups like the Muslim Brotherhood,” Haney added.

In fact, the two sides are increasingly working together.

Notwithstanding the current disagreements over Syria, there is a long history of cooperation between Muslim extremists on both the Sunni and Shia sides, according to the Washington Institute, which published a policy paper on the issue in May 2013. There have been many meetings aimed at global reconciliation between the two, facilitated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Muslim Brotherhood acts as a liaison between the two in terms of how they are addressing their enemies, the U.S. and Israel,” Haney said. “There’s a lot of overlap. And there are a lot of refugees coming out of the Middle East that are not all Sunni, they’re also Shia.”

The radical ties of the Imam behind the Trump immigration lawsuit

Isrmail Elshikh | YouTube

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 10, 2017:

The plaintiff listed in Hawaii’s lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order on immigration is a member of an organization that has several current and former leaders tied to terrorist activity.

Dr. Ismail Elshikh — the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii — is suing Trump in reaction to the second version of his immigration moratorium, which was signed on Monday. The order imposed a 90-day hold on foreign nationals from six terror-tied countries from entering the United States.

According to the Muslim Association of Hawaii website, Imam Elshikh is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), a fringe Islamic organization that has a board and current leadership stacked with radical Islamic connections.

Kyle Shideler, a terrorism expert and director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, tells CR that it’s concerning that Imam Elshikh is a part of NAIF.

“Given NAIF’s history it should come as no surprise that the end goal of this lawsuit is, ultimately, weakening American counter-terrorism or immigration security efforts,” Shideler said.

He added: “That a member of an organization whose leaders have included a convicted war criminal, an individual who defended donating money to a Hamas linked charity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism bombing wants to tell the American people who they can admit for immigration should say a lot about why such an executive order is needed in the first place.”

Steven Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also voiced his concerns about Elshikh’s associations. He tells CR:

“NAIF is an extremely radical Islamist group whose leaders and members have defended some of the most violent terrorist groups in the world. Some members have been found to be actually linked to acts of Islamist terrorism. This is a group, some prosecutors have argued, whose incitement for violence could qualify their categorization as a providing material support for terrorism.”

Current NAIF board members include the former leader of an al-Qaeda-connected mosque and a radical preacher. Former leaders include a man convicted of leading an international death squad, and a prominent Islamist preacher who has praised Osama bin Laden.

Current NAIF leadership

Omar Shahin, a current board member of NAIF, is the former president of the Islamic Center of Tucson, a mosque that was once utilized as the “de-facto al-Qaeda headquarters in the United States,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. As imam of the mosque, Shahin raised funds for the Holy Land Foundation, which was later shut down for funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas. He also held fundraisers for the Global Relief Foundation, which was later deemed by the U.S. Treasury Department to be connected to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

El Shikh received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Foundation Islamic Studies Department, which is headed by Shahin. The program was created in collaboration with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that was started as a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Dr. Waleed Meneese, another NAIF board member, has explicitly called for fellow Muslims to kill Jews. “When the Children of Israel returned to cause corruption in the time of our Prophet Muhammad,” Meneese said in a recent sermon. “And they disbelieved him, God destroyed him at his hand. In any case, God Almighty has promised them destruction whenever they cause corruption,” he said of the Jewish people.

Meneese has also called for the killing of apostates from Islam, and for the treating of non-Muslims as second-class citizens.

Former NAIF leadership

Ashrafuzzaman Khan is the former president of NAIF and a current leader at the Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). In 2013, he was tried in a Bangladesh court as he was accused of drafting a kill list of intellectuals inside the country. He was charged with 11 counts of war crimes as the alleged leader of the Al-Badr death squad. In 2013, he and an accomplice were sentenced in absentia for the abduction and murder of 18 people, including nine university professors, six journalists, and three physicians.

Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim was the chairman of NAIF at the turn of the century. In 2005, he agreed to deportation to Qatar after U.S. authorities were concerned about his potential connections to terrorist organizations. Ghoneim has called Osama bin Laden a “martyred heroic mujahid” and is now closely tied to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He has been banned from entering several countries due to his radicalism.

Another former NAIF board member is Siraj Wahhaj, who was infamously listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Wahhaj testified in defense of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who served a life sentence for being the mastermind behind terrorist plots in the United States.

What else?

The North American Imam Federation is perhaps best known as the group that allegedly planned and staged the “flying imams” incident. After a 2006 NAIF conference, several imams connected to the group were booted from a domestic flight after exhibiting bizarre, threatening behavior, terrifying fellow passengers. NAIF and the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) showcased the incident as a prime example of America’s supposed problem with “Islamophobia.”

President Trump’s immigration moratorium, blocking non-citizens from coming into the U.S. from the six terror havens of Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, will go into effect next week, barring a successful legal challenge by Elshikh and Hawaii or other actors.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel

Also see:

Why Is General Mattis Nominating the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’s Stooge’?

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria. Patterson defended President Barack Obama?s policy to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, MARCH 9, 2017:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ pick for undersecretary of defense for policy, Anne Patterson, is problematic.

Politico briefly explains why:

If nominated and confirmed, Patterson would hold the fourth most powerful position at the Pentagon — and would effectively be the top civilian in the Defense Department, since both Mattis and his deputy, Robert Work, were military officers.

As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it — and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now.

This is putting it mildly. Back during the months leading to the June 30, 2013 revolution, Patterson — the “Brotherhood’s Stooge” as she was called by all, from news analysts to the Egyptian street — was arguably one of the most hated individuals by the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Not only did her face regularly appear next to Obama’s in placards; it sometimes appeared alone, indicating just how closely she was seen as supporting the Brotherhood. It should be noted that these were not isolated sightings, as shown by the number of different placards and signs:

Below are just a few anecdotes that I have translated from Arabic language media before, during, and after the June 30, 2013 revolution that highlight Patterson’s unsavory ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the days leading to the revolution, Patterson called on Egyptians not to protest. She even met with the Coptic pope and asked him specifically to urge the nation’s Christian minority not to oppose the Brotherhood — even though Christians were naturally going to suffer the most under Morsi, especially in the context of accusations of “blasphemy.”

Soon after the revolution, she repeatedly tried to reinstate the Brotherhood to power.

Even Muhammad Heikal — “the Arab world’s most respected political commentator,” and for over 50 years an Egyptian political insider — said during a live interview that Patterson had assured the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hisham Qandil, who under Morsi was Egypt’s prime minister, that “there are many forms of pressure, and America holds the keys to the Gulf.”

Later, Patterson demanded that Egypt’s recently appointed supreme commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, release all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning:

And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war.

Another report said Patterson was “trying to communicate with General Sisi, demanding dialogue with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and concessions to them,” to which Sisi reportedly retorted:

Stop meddling in our affairs … the Egyptian people are capable of looking after their own welfare.

In a live interview on Tahrir TV, political insider and former Egyptian Member of Parliament Mustafa Bakari exposed the relationship between Patterson and Khairat al-Shater, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said she was regularly seen going to and from the Brotherhood leader’s private residence, as opposed to meeting at the party’s headquarters. He said she told al-Shater “we [the U.S.] will stand with you [regarding the June 30 protests],” and that she treated the Brotherhood leader as the “true ruler of the nation.” Bakari concluded by saying:

[I]n fact, in my opinion, she is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi.

Because of all this, several of Egypt’s revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a pivotal role in the June 30 Revolution, staged protests in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo “calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson.”

In connection, Egyptian journalist Abdullah al-Sanawi said this on live TV:

Anne Patterson’s presence in Egypt has become a great burden for America, and Patterson should be admitted into a mental hospital for her deeds are full of bloodshed and the Obama administration is in a very awkward position in front of the whole world, the [U.S.] Congress and the Pentagon.

Soon thereafter, Youm 7, a popular newspaper in Egypt (then the sixth-most visited website in the nation according to Alexa.com), conducted a survey asking its readers:

Do you support the call to kick U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson out because she interfered in Egyptian affairs?

A whopping 87.93% said yes, 10.54% said no, and 1.53% were indifferent. Youm 7’s audience is almost exclusively secular-leaning or Christian. It was the non-Islamists of Egypt that disliked the U.S. ambassador — not the Muslim Brotherhood, which benefited from her.

In 2013, even Foreign Policy, a publication notorious for always siding with establishment D.C., noted that Patterson was widely seen among Republicans “as the key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Such is the person that General Mattis wants to place in a top Pentagon position.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Attacks on UTT Intensify, But Have Less Effect

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 9, 2017:

In the summer of 2014, UTT scheduled a one-day training program for law enforcement in the Phoenix, Arizona area hosted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO).  The program was designed to teach police officers and investigators about the Islamic Movement in the United States and Arizona, and provide them with tools to help them identify and investigate the threat.

The attacks against UTT and the MCAO were immediate.

On August 14th the Muslim Advocates along with 75 other organizations sent a letter to President Obama’s Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco which called UTT’s training “bigoted” and asked the administration to re-train all law enforcement officers who have been through such training.

By September 10th, the ACLU and several Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations called for the training to be cancelled, saying the speakers (UTT President John Guandolo, Former CIA Case Officer Clare Lopez, and Former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz) were “known for inaccurate, dangerous statements about the Muslim community.”

The letter, signed by the ACLU’s legal director in Arizona, was also signed by the current and previous leaders of Hamas (dba CAIR) in Arizona (Imraan Siddiqi and Mohamed El-Sharkawy), the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim American Society (AZ), and the leaders of the MB’s Islamic Community Center of Tempe (ICCT) and Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP).  The properties of the ICCT (1131 East 6th Street, Tempe) and ICCP (7516 North Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix) are owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) which is the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.  In the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in U.S. history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas 2008), NAIT was identified by the Department of Justice as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which directly funds Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In fact, the two jihadis who attacked the Draw Mohammad competition in Garland, Texas came from the ICCP.  Fortunately, they were killed before they could harm anyone.

On September 19, 2014, 300 police officers from all over Arizona sat through approximately 8 hours of training from UTT which detailed the jihadi threat with facts and evidence.  At the end of the program, when asked, all of the officers admitted they did not previously know the information presented, and all agreed the information is critical to protecting their community.

A victory for the good guys.

So why did the ACLU, the Arizona media, and religious leaders join with the terrorist group Hamas (doing business as CAIR) to condemn fact/evidence-based training which law enforcement calls “critical” to doing their jobs and has led to investigations into terrorism matters being opened in Arizona?  That is a fair question.

This week, UTT finds itself in Louisiana training over 150 law enforcement officers from all over the state. Six days ago, attacks and threats targeting UTT and the host – the Rapides Parish District Attorney – came from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Hamas (dba CAIR), the Associated Press and local media, and local Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Society of Central Louisiana.

What a shock.

Yet, over 150 law enforcement officers now know, from reviewing facts and evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood has a massive jihadi network here in America.

Police also now know CAIR was created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas in the U.S., and got to hear from UTT’s Vice President Chris Gaubatz as he shared about his experience undercover inside Hamas’ (CAIR) headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Chris shared about retrieving over 12,000 documents from CAIR’s headquarters which revealed CAIR is involve in fraud, sedition, and terrorism.  The police now know CAIR is Hamas.

Chris also shared other experiences he had visiting mosques across America and what is being taught there.

Another victory for the truth and for freedom.

Now these officers will be able to take what they have learned back to the streets to identify real threats so they can use the full force of the law to protect their communities.

What are the common denominators for the successes then and now?

First is the power of UTT’s message, built on facts and evidence – real truth about real threats.

Secondly, the courage and tenacity of leaders like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Rapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell are an important key to these successes.

These warriors are ensuring their citizens are well-served by the men and women in blue.  Citizens of Maricopa County (AZ) and Rapides Parish (LA) should thank and support these men of courage.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Fountain of Islamist Violence

MEF, by Cynthia Farahat
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2017

What to make of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)? During the Obama years, it became commonplace for the U.S. administration and its Western acolytes to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as a moderate option to “more radical” Muslim groups. Thus, for example, U.S. director of National Intelligence James Clapper incredibly described the organization as “largely secular”[1] while John Esposito of Georgetown University claimed that “Muslim Brotherhood affiliated movements and parties have been a force for democratization and stability in the Middle East.”[2]

On the other hand, in 2014, the United Arab Emirates formally designated[3] the Muslim Brotherhood and its local and international affiliates, including the U.S. based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),[4] as inter-national terrorist groups. A British government review commissioned the same year similarly asserted that

parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism.[5]

In the United States, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) have recently introduced a Senate bill to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. In February 2016, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a house bill that calls on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. In July 2016, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) introduced the “Naming the Enemy within Homeland Security Act,” a bill that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from funding or collaborating with organizations or individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.[6]

The question is—which view is correct? Without doubt, the second one is. The Muslim Brotherhood has been a militaristic organization since its inception and has operated as a terrorist entity for almost a century. It influenced the establishment of most modern Sunni terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GI) Hamas, and the Islamic State (ISIS). These organizations have either been founded by current or former Brotherhood members or have been directly inspired, indoctrinated, or recruited by MB members and literature. Contrary to what the MB propagates to Westerners, MB violence is not just in the past but is an ongoing activity.

Historical Background

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna (1906-49), an Egyptian schoolteacher and sometime watch repairer from a small rural town north of Cairo. Reared in a deeply devout household steeped in the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence popular among Wahhabi and Salafi jihadists,[7] Banna engaged in Islamist activities from a young age, joining a local group that intimidated and harassed Christians and non-observing Muslims in his hometown.[8] He was also fascinated by secret societies, cults, and fraternal orders, which flourished in Egypt at the time, and this obsession drove him to form the Brotherhood as a fraternity cult with its own secret militia—al-Tanzim al-Khass (the Special Apparatus, also known as the Secret Apparatus)—charged with strategizing, funding, and executing military training and terror activities.[9]

During the first few decades of its existence, the Special Apparatus carried out numerous acts of political violence in Egypt, notably the 1947 assassination of Judge Ahmed Khazinder Bey and the 1948 assassination of Prime Minister Mahmoud Nuqrashi Pasha, who reportedly considered outlawing the MB.[10] At that time, according to a secret U.S. intelligence memorandum, the Brotherhood’s “commando units” were estimated to possess “secret caches of arms … reported to have 60,000 to 70,000 rifles.”[11] This military buildup was ac-companied by infiltration of the Egyptian army, including the conspiratorial group of Free Officers, who in July 1952 overthrew the monarchy in a bloodless coup.[12]

The Secret Apparatus was not only involved in assassinations but also carried out a large wave of terrorism and bombings.[13] Thus, for example, on Christmas Eve 1945 it bombed the British Club in Egypt, and in December 1946 bombed eight police stations in Cairo. Two years later, the Brotherhood bombed several Jewish homes in Cairo and many Jewish owned businesses and cinemas.[14] The Brotherhood also bombed trains in Sharqia and Ismailia, as well as the King George Hotel in Ismailia. In a 1948 raid on one of the organization’s Cairo offices, the police confiscated 165 bombs.[15]

After Banna’s assassination in 1949, Hassan Hudaybi, who succeeded him as MB general guide (al-Murshid al-Amm), claimed to have dissolved the Secret Apparatus in order to ease the government’s persecution of the movement,[16] only to be arrested in 1965 alongside other MB leaders for forming a new militia that engaged in military training with a view to assassinating President Gamal Abdel Nasser.[17] Hudaybi managed to escape with a three-year prison sentence (the MB’s foremost ideologue Sayyed Qutb was executed in 1966 together with two other leaders); his false denial of the MB’s military wing was to become a standard tactic of the Brotherhood to date.

Laying Infrastructure

This denial notwithstanding, the late 1960s and early 1970s saw the formation of a number of MB terror groups under ostensibly independent banners. The first such group was Gama’at al-Muslimin, commonly known as Takfir wa-l-Hijra (Excommunication and Emigration), formed by two leaders of the Secret Apparatus released from prison: Shukri Mustafa and Sheikh Ali Ismael, brother of MB leader Fattah Ismael who was executed alongside Qutb.[18] Another terrorist group created by the Brotherhood at the time was al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GI, the Islamic group), which was responsible for the October 1981 assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Both groups were founded by active leaders of the Brotherhood, who never claimed to have left the organization or their leadership positions therein. Indeed, in his last speech, one month before his assassination, Sadat equated the GI with the Brotherhood and expressed regret for having released many Brotherhood operatives from prison.[19]

During the 1990s, the Egyptian authorities battled against a sustained wave of Islamist terrorism involving attacks on government officials and the country’s Coptic minority, the murdering of foreign tourists as well as an audacious attempt on the life of President Hosni Mubarak while he was in Ethiopia in June 1995.[20] In the same year, GI’s leader and MB spiritual authority, Omar Abdel Rahman, known as “The Blind Sheikh,” and nine others were convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Abdel Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina, and in Muhammad Morsi’s first speech as Egyptian president in Tahrir Square, he called for Abdel Rahman’s release and acknowledged the sheikh’s family who was present in the audience.[21]

No less important was the formation of the movement’s International Apparatus by Banna’s son-in-law Said Ramadan. Having fled Egypt to Saudi Arabia in 1954, Ramadan moved to Geneva in 1958 where he established the International Apparatus under the guidance of Mustafa Mashour, head of the Secret Apparatus, future MB general guide, and author of its militant manifesto “Jihad Is the Way.”[22] The International Apparatus was not fully operational until the mid-1980s when Mashour, who fled Egypt after Sadat’s assassination, settled in West Germany[23] in 1986 where he reestablished the Apparatus.

The International Apparatus is not just responsible for the Brotherhood’s public operations, but is also involved in operating and funding terrorist groups responsible for attacks on American soil. Thus, for example, Chakib Ben Makhlouf, one of the most prominent leaders of the MB’s Geneva office, is also the president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. He has been described by Egyptian member of parliament and terrorism expert Abdel Rahim Ali as “one of the most dangerous operatives of the Brotherhood’s International Apparatus.”[24] Likewise, according to Egyptian general Fouad Allam, who investigated the MB’s operations in the 1960s-70s, the Geneva office funneled funds that helped establish al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya.[25]

Later Influence

The International Apparatus’s most critical mission, though, has been to infiltrate, subvert, and recruit operatives from within the armies, governments, educational systems, and intelligence agencies of the MB’s targeted states, especially in the West, in what is called “civilization jihad.”

This term dates to a 1991 document titled The Explanatory Memorandum, drafted in a meeting that outlined the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic goals for North America and entered as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terror funding trial in 2008—the largest terror financing case in U.S. history.[26] In 2009, five MB leaders were charged with providing material support to Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch and a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The 1980s and 1990s were the two most important decades for the “civilization jihad.” During this time, Hamas was transformed from an essentially missionary and charitable organization seeking to win Palestinian hearts and minds into a fully-fledged terror group during the first intifada (December 1987-September 1993), and the seeds were sown for the advent of al-Qaeda through the newly-formed Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK, the Services Bureau), also known as Maktab Khidamat al-Mujahidin al-Arab (the Services Bureau of Arab Jihadists) and the Afghan Services Bureau.

As jihadists flocked to Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the Soviet occupation, the Brotherhood was busy running recruitment, jihadist services through its MAK offices throughout the Middle East. In 1984, MB operative Abdullah Azzam established the MAK office in Jordan.[27] Azzam’s philosophy helped establish and organize the Brotherhood’s “global jihad” movement, which earned him the alias, “The Father of Global Jihad.”[28] No less important, this philosophy inspired GI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) to try to export their terrorism and greatly inspired Osama bin Laden, whom Azzam taught at a Saudi university.[29]

In 1985, Azzam, bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, leader of Takfir wa-l-Hijra who fled Egypt after the Sadat assassination, founded MAK in Pakistan, which subsequently evolved into al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, the Amman MAK office recruited one of the world’s most brutal terrorists of modern time, Abu Musab Zarqawi.[30] Mentored by Jordanian former MB leader Abu Muhammad Maqdisi, in 1999, Zarqawi founded Jama’at al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), which six years later, evolved into al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) after Zarqawi pledged allegiance to bin Laden in late 2004. This group eventually morphed into ISIS after Zarqawi’s death in June 2006. Indeed, in a 2014 interview reported in Al-Arabiya News, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf Qaradawi admitted that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.[31] For their part, several MB leaders publicly announced their support for ISIS, including the Qatar-based Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim.[32]

The nature of al-Qaeda’s current relationship with the Brotherhood is somewhat unclear. While Zawahiri argued that bin Laden’s affiliation with the MB was severed in the 1980s due to differences over the anti-Soviet Afghanistan campaign,[33] this claim was discounted by Tharwat Kherbawy, the highest ranking MB member to have defected from the organization,[34] and also by evidence suggesting that the Brotherhood is still organizationally involved with al-Qaeda. Thus, for example, after Morsi’s July 2013 ouster from power, Zawahiri issued a videotaped statement on his behalf where he criticized Egyptian Salafi jihadists for not formally joining the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to help it uphold Shari’a law.[35] In another statement, Zawahiri criticized the deposed MB president for having played politics with opponents,[36] but eventually prayed for his release and supported him while he was facing trial for inciting the killing of regime opponents and for espionage for foreign militant groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp.[37]

A Political Party or a Jihadi Group?

The Obama administration’s stubborn support for the Morsi regime and its tireless attempts to cast the MB as a moderate organization are preposterous—not only because the Brotherhood is the bedrock of some of the worst terror groups in today’s world but also because violence is endemic to the movement’s raison d’être: restoring the caliphate via violent jihad. Were the Brotherhood to give up this foundational goal, it would lose its legitimacy and sole reason for existence. This is why Banna used military terminology in structuring the MB, calling the organization “Allah’s battalion,”[38] a term used to this very day to denote the MB’s governing core; this is why the current Brotherhood leadership includes operatives who personally engaged in violent jihad and terror activities such as Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh.[39]

Furthermore, the organization’s Secret Apparatus remains intact and operational with new recruits required to undergo military training by such militias as the 95 Brigade,[40] which was established in 1995 and which played an active role in the January 2011 riots leading to Mubarak’s downfall. In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera TV, Osama Yassin, a former minister in Morsi’s cabinet, revealed that members of the brigade engaged in the abduction, beating, and torture of “thugs” and threw Molotov cocktails at their opponents.[41] Asked by an Egyptian newspaper to clarify these revelations,[42] the MB dismissed them as a joke. Still, the brigade operatives were later implicated in the killing of anti-Brotherhood protestors. In March 2014, for example, two operatives were sentenced to death after an online video clip showed them killing a teenager by throwing him from a building.[43]

According to the Brotherhood’s own standards and internal bylaws,[44] there are ten solid, unchangeable thawabit (precepts) in their organization’s bai’a (Islamic oath of allegiance) process. The fourth of these precepts is violent jihad and martyrdom,[45] which the Brotherhood states is an obligation of every individual Muslim, as well as the collective obligation of their organization.

Unfortunately, many American specialists either receive foreign funding or are otherwise oblivious to these facts and actively engage in a disinformation campaign. For example, a Brookings Institute article turned the meaning of the “fourth precept” of the Brotherhood’s bylaws on its head, stating that it stipulated that “during the process of establishing democracy and relative political freedom, the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to abide by the rules of democracy and its institutions.”[46]

Reality, of course, was quite different. When after Mubarak’s downfall the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in a sham presidential election,[47] which brought its operative Mohamed Morsi to the presidential palace, its violent[48] and undemocratic rule triggered, in short notice, mass protests throughout the country that brought millions of protestors to the streets and enabled the military to overthrow Morsi in a bloodless coup.

Islamic Reformers

Indeed, the sheer brutality of ISIS and various Brotherhood-affiliated or inspired terror groups across the Middle East has led to the advent of a mainstream Islamic reformist movement that draws on vastly more popular support than the Brotherhood itself. This unprecedented revival of a reform-oriented movement has received too little attention in the West. For example, Islam Behery, one of the movement’s heroic leaders, was incarcerated for a year for blasphemy for insulting al-Azhar University and the Sunni doctrine on his television show.[49] For two years, that show had been dedicated daily to exposing the brutality and terrorism of Sunni doctrine while offering a non-theocratic, liberal interpretation of Islam that pushes for separation of mosque and state. Behery received a presidential pardon in December 2016, which was unprecedented in Egyptian history.

Another supporter of reformation and freedom of thought is Ibrahim Issa, a popular Egyptian commentator, television host, and owner and editor-in-chief of the independent opinion newspaper Al-Maqal. Earlier this year, Issa announced that he would end his TV show due to “current events,” kindling speculation that the cancellation was related to Saudi pressure on the Egyptian regime because of Issa’s criticism of the kingdom’s violent Wahhabi sect.[50] Issa’s reformist stance has placed him on terrorist hit lists since 1992, and he has been living under tight security ever since. His opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood has made him one of the organization’s high profile targets, and in 2015, he became the subject of an official fatwa declaring him an “infidel.”[51]

Another heroic figure of Islamic reform currently facing the possibility of incarceration for blasphemy is the popular author and prominent secular figure Sayyed Qemani. His sin: stating that al-Azhar University should be designated a terrorist organization.[52] Behery, Qemani, and their like have the support of the most mainstream media figures in Egypt and across the Middle East, and they have dramatically changed the Islamic political discourse. Yet Western audiences have almost never heard of their heroic efforts.

The war of ideas is highly dynamic in today’s Middle East. The vast majority of the region’s peaceful Muslims are marginalized by Western support for the Brotherhood and the West’s refusal to designate the MB as a terrorist organization.

Conclusion

The deadly Brotherhood cult is responsible for almost a century of terror since the young Banna engaged in the intimidation and harassment of his Christian and moderate Muslim neighbors. Since then, the Brotherhood established Hamas as its Palestinian wing. Three Brotherhood activists established al-Qaeda. Brotherhood leaders, from inside their prisons, founded al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Brotherhood members recruited the founder of Jama’at al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad who started the trend of video decapitations, and one of its former operatives is currently acting as the caliph of Islamic State. The MB also has other connections to organizations on the U.S. government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Neither Washington, nor any capital, can hope to counter Islamic terrorism successfully without allying with Muslim
figures fighting on the forefront of the battle of ideas. Washington can give these moderate Muslims a voice by designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Brotherhood has stated its intention to destroy the West’s “miserable house” by infiltrating Western society and institutions and subverting them from the inside.[53] Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization will stop its operatives from reaching sensitive positions in the intelligence community and in other powerful U.S. government positions. It will also stop Brotherhood operatives in the United States from funding terrorism operations worldwide.

Cynthia Farahat, a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow and columnist for Al-Maqal daily newspaper, is currently working on a book about the Muslim Brotherhood.


[1] ABC News, Feb. 10, 2011.

[2] John Esposito, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Terrorism and U.S. Policy,The Huffington Post (New York), Mar. 22, 2016.

[3] Reuters, Nov. 15, 2014.

[4] The Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2014.

[5] Reuters, Dec. 17, 2015.

[6] Rep. Dave Brat, press release, Brat.House.gov, July 19, 2016.

[7] Abdallah Aqeel, “Al-Sheikh al-Muhadith Ahmad Abdel Rahman al-Banna al-Sa’ati,” AlaqeelAbuMostafa.com, accessed Aug. 30, 2016.

[8] Hassan al-Banna, Mudhakkirat al-Da’wa wa’l-Da’iyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Shihab, 1979), pp. 17-8, 25-6; Misr al-Balad TV (Cairo), Mar. 19, 2014.

[9] Mahmoud Sabbagh, Haqiqat al-Tanzim al-Khass (Cairo: Etisam Publishing, 1989).

[10] Abdel Rahim Ali, “Abdel Rahman Sendi: Mu’asis al-Tanzim al-Khass bi’l-Ikhwan,” Islamists-Movements.com, Nov. 12, 2015.

[11]Assessing the Islamist Threat, circa 1946,Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2006, pp. 76-82; FrontPage Magazine (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Feb. 13, 2006.

[12] Khaled Mohieddin, Al’an Atakkalam: Mudhakkirat al-Thawra (Cairo: American University of Cairo Press, 1995), p. 45; Hassan Ashmawy, Mudhakkirat Harib (Cairo: Islamic Publishing House, 2000), p.15.

[13] Farouk Taifour, “Al-Juz’ al-Rabi: al-Ikhwan wa’l-Tanzimat al-Sirriya,” Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, EIPSS-EG.org, Feb. 24, 2016.

[14] “Profile: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” BBC, Dec. 25, 2013.

[15] Al-Wafd (Cairo), Dec. 14, 2013.

[16] Salah Shadi, Safahat min al-Tarikh (Cairo: Islamic Publishing House, 1987), p. 79.

[17] Ahmad Abdel Majid, Al-Ikhwan wa Abdel Nasser: Al-Qissa al-Kamila li-Tanizm 1965 (Cairo: al-Zahra for Arabic Media, 1991), p. 33.

[18] Tharwat Kharbawi, Sirr al-Ma’bad (Cairo: Nahdet Misr Publishing, 2012), p. 220.

[19] YouTube, “Al-Sadat Yatahadath an al-Gama’a al-Islamiya wa’l-Ikhwan,” May 9, 2012.

[20] Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013; rev. ed.), chap. 12.

[21] TV News (Cairo), June 29, 2012.

[22] Mustafa Mashour, “Al-Jihad huwa al-Sabil,” The Official Muslim Brotherhood Encyclopedia, IkhwanWiki.com, accessed Aug. 31, 2016; idem, “Jihad Is the Way,” trans. Palestinian Media Watch, Jerusalem, Feb. 9, 2011.

[23] Daniel Pipes, “How Islamists Came to Dominate European Islam,” National Review Online, May 25, 2010.

[24] Al-Bawabah News (Cairo), Mar. 11, 2014.

[25] Rifaat Sayed, Hassan al-Banna, al-Sheikh al-Musalah (Cairo: Akhbar al-Youm Publishing, 2004), p. 198

[26]The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan for America—Court document,” The Clarion Project, Washington, D.C., accessed Sept. 1, 2016.

[27] Farouk Taifour, “Hal Kharajat Daesh min Rahm Fikr al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin?” Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, EIPSS-EG.org.

[28] “Abdullah Azzam: Overview,” Counter Extremist Project, New York, accessed Feb. 9, 2017.

[29] Karsh, Islamic Imperialism, chap. 13.

[30] Elaph (London), July 18, 2005.

[31] Al-Arabiya News Channel (Dubai), Oct. 14, 2014.

[32] “Al-Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim: La li’l-Tahaluf al-Salibi dudd al-Dawla al-Islamiya,” You Tube, Sept. 19, 2014.

[33] Stephen Lacroix, “Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Muslim Brotherhood,Foreign Policy, Oct. 3, 2012.

[34] Al-Aan TV (Cairo), Apr. 19, 2014.

[35] “Ta’kib al-Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri ala Azl Morsi wa-Tahdid al-Jaish,” You Tube, July 5, 2013.

[36] “Ayman al-Zawahiri Yuwajih Risalat Itab li-Morsi wa-Yadou Allah an Yafuku Asrahou,” You Tube, Feb. 11, 2014; Erich Follath, “Political Stability Eludes Polarized Egypt,” Der Spiegel (Hamburg), July 29, 2013.

[37] Reuters, Dec. 17, 2015.

[38] Banna, Mudhakkirat al-Da’wa, p. 144.

[39] “Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh Yajtami ma’a Haraket Taliban Afghanistan,” You Tube, June 8, 2013.

[40] Al-Wafd (Cairo), Jan. 11, 2013.

[41] Al-Jazeera TV (Cairo), Nov.-Dec. 2011.

[42] Al-Watan (Cairo), Jan. 3, 2013.

[43] Al-Arabiya News, Mar. 29, 2014.

[44]Bylaws of the International Muslim Brotherhood,” June 1928.

[45] Muhammad Kandil, “Al-Thabit al-Rab’i: al-Jihad Salbiluna,” The Official Muslim Brotherhood Encyclopedia, IkhwanWiki.com, accessed Sept. 1, 2016; “The Muslim Brotherhood: Understanding its Roots and Impact, 1. Overview,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington, D.C., accessed Feb. 9, 2017.

[46] Umar Ashur, “Hal Ya’ud al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun fi Masr ila’l-Unf al-Siyasi?” Brookings Institute, Washington, D.C., July 30, 2014.

[47] Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat, “Egypt’s Sham Election,” National Review Online, Dec. 6, 2011; Shuruk News (Cairo), Mar. 22, 2016.

[48] Amb. Yahia Najm, Akhbar al-Yom TV (Cairo), in Cynthia Farahat, “CairoGate: Egyptian Diplomat Survives MB Torture Says ‘It was like a Nazi camp,'” Dec. 9, 2012.

[49] Al-Ahram (Cairo), Dec. 29, 2015.

[50] Bawabat al-Qahira (Cairo), Jan. 1, 2017.

[51] Bawabat al-Haraqat al-Islamiya (Cairo), Mar. 18, 2015. The fatwa was subsequently broadcast on the official Muslim Brotherhood television channel Rabaa, broadcasting from Turkey. See Al-Arabiya News, Dec. 5, 2017.

[52] Al-Dustur (Cairo), Jan. 3, 2016.

[53]The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan for America—Court document,” The Clarion Project, Washington, D.C., accessed Sep. 1, 2016.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood a Firewall Vs Extremism?

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Jordan. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, March 6, 2017:

The British Government appeared to soften its line against the Muslim Brotherhood in response to a parliamentary inquiry into how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office relates to political Islam.

Originally the government’s report, conducted by British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir John Jenkins, was critical of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the whole report was not released to the public, sources close to the report told The Middle East Eye the Muslim Brotherhood served as a “rite of passage” for jihadis.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee argued the Muslim Brotherhood and other non-violent Islamist groups are a ‘firewall’ against extremism.

In point 57 they wrote:

“Based on the experience of Tunisia, political Islam could in some countries be a way of providing a democratic alternative for political, social, and economic development and a counter-narrative against more extremist ideologies. However, there are cases where political Islamist groups have inspired individuals to commit violent acts; the fact that such individuals left the groups to do so does not excuse the groups from some responsibility for inspiring the individual in the first place. Nonetheless, the vast majority of political Islamists are involved in no violence whatsoever. Because of this, and because of their broader status as a ‘firewall’ against extremism, political Islamists have suffered criticism and attack from ISIL and other extremist organisations. No political movement can entirely control its individual members or supporters, particularly under extreme provocation. Incarceration of political activists without fair trial and the shutting down of political avenues to address grievances is likely to lead some to extremism. Political Islam is far from the only firewall, but in the Muslim World it is a vehicle through which a significant element of citizens can and should be able to address their grievances. The nature of Islam makes it more likely that religion and politics will remain overlapping for the foreseeable future, and emerging democratically accountable systems will need to accommodate this.”

In its response, the government argued the following:

“The Government agrees that individuals need a vehicle through which they can address their grievances, including through participation in the democratic process. As events in the Middle East and North Africa have demonstrated, those who are subject to repression, feel disenfranchised, or locked out of the political process, may turn to violence if they are unable to change their situation through peaceful means. The best ‘firewall’ is to support the democratic process and to ensure that individuals have a voice. Political Islamist groups, including their senior leaders, have a crucial role to play in ensuring that this happens in the MENA region.”

In an earlier part of the report the government reiterated the original finding that the Muslim Brotherhood has a “highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”

Read the full report on the UK government’s relationship with groups espousing political Islam by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the government’s responses here.  

The way the British government has handled this issue is indicative of the complexity of the problems faced by Western states when dealing with a group like the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded with the explicit goal of creating an Islamic State ruled under sharia governance. Along with Jamaat e-Islami in Pakistan it is the progenitor of all other Islamist groups. Their leaders have consistently supported sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic policies and their ideal vision of a state is utterly at odds with the values of human rights. Rather than being a firewall against Islamist extremism they have fanned its flames.

It is of course the duty of the British government to engage constructively with whoever is in power around the world in order to work for the betterment of the UK and its citizens.

Yet it behooves the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to consider that the Muslim Brotherhood is at its core an organization that opposes the values Britain claims to uphold.

For more information about the Muslim Brotherhood, see Clarion Project’s Special Report.

Government Report: Islamists Building ‘Parallel Society’ in Sweden Aided By PC Culture of Silence

David Ramos/Getty

Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, March 4, 2017:

Aided by a politically correct culture of “tolerance”, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is secretly building a “parallel” society in Sweden by infiltrating organisations and political parties, a government report has concluded.

Surprisingly, the document takes aim at “political elites” for fostering a doctrine of multiculturalism and silence, which can help and facilitate the nefarious ends of anti-democratic organisation like the Brotherhood.

Somewhat predictably, however, the publication of such claims in Sweden – where open criticism of liberal, multicultural ideals is rare – has caused a row, with critics labelling the report “conspiratorial” and claiming it misrepresents Islam.

Published Friday, the document was commissioned by Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), part of the country’s Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for civil protection and public safety.

The paper’s authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of practicing Muslims in Sweden, encouraging tension with Secular society, and targeting political parties, NGOs, academic institutions and other civil society organisations.

They also slam the “established structure of values among the country’s political elite [which] places a high value on ‘acceptance’ and ‘tolerance’ of citizens who are in some sense different from the mainstream”.

In the report, the Islamism of the MB is described as a totalitarian political ideology born out of Islam, a religion. This can make it “difficult to oppose what on the surface appears to be (a vulnerable minority) religious rights”, it explains.

Critics, therefore, “run the risk of being called ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ and because of the situation in Swedish society such classifications endanger people’s careers”.

The press was quick to label these claims inflammatory, and 22 academics and “experts” in religion have published a blog post questioning the methodology of the research.

The academics – from many of Sweden’s leading universities – say it is “almost conspiratorial” to suggest criticism of Islamism is difficult in Sweden. They also insist the claim that the Brotherhood is building a parallel society is refuted in past research.

In response to the blog post, the department has refuted the criticism of their methodology, and the report’s editor, Magnus Norell, told public service broadcaster SVT:

“Had they smoked something before they read it? You just need to read the report. If someone doesn’t accept this, there’s not much I can do about it. It’s proven.”

Controversially in Sweden, the report also links Islamism and poor social integration to immigration.

“Islamists aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB’s activists pose a long-term challenge in terms of the country’s social cohesion”, it states.

Adding: “Migration from Africa and the Middle East is likely to continue in coming years, both in form of relatives and refugees…

“Given that MB’s goal is to increase the number of practising Muslims in Swedish or European territory, there is a great likelihood that a ‘tug of war’ will occur between the majority community and the Islamic community with the MB’s encouragement…”

The authors of the blog post objected to this claim. “The [report’s] authors seem to conclude that Swedish Islam is a homogeneous phenomenon and that Swedish Muslims are led by the Muslim Brotherhood…” they write.

“It is a conclusion that goes against the overall research, which rather points towards the Muslim community being diverse and there being competition between Muslim groups…”

Founded in 1826, the MB aims to create a global, Sunni Islamic Caliphate by organising Muslims politically. It is arguably the largest Islamist organisation in the world and has links to the Muslim Council of Britain and many other mainstream European Islamic institution.

The group has been accused of fostering links to militants and is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Also see:

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