Klein: New York Times Lobbies for Muslim Brotherhood

Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, February 10, 2017:

TEL AVIV – The New York Times in recent days has run numerous articles and opinion pieces advocating against designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization amid reports the Trump administration is debating doing just that.

The Muslim Brotherhood openly seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law. While many Brotherhood wings reject the use of violence as a strategic tactic, preferring instead a sophisticated gradualist strategy to achieve their aims, the Brotherhood has spawned terrorist organizations – most notably Hamas – that adhere to its philosophy of a world order based on Islam. The Brotherhood was also a central player in the so-called Arab Spring, revolutions punctuated by violence across the Arab world.

Designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would add the U.S. to the growing list of nations to do so, including Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Times’ propagation of the Brotherhood culminated in an editorial board piece published Thursday titled, “All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy.”

In the editorial, the newspaper warned designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization “would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam.”  The paper claimed that the possible designation “appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.”

The Times’ advocacy for the Brotherhood is particularly noteworthy since it separately posted a full Arabic document from 1991 in which an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member set forth a strategy for “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” with emphasis on operations inside the U.S.

In Thursday’s editorial, the newspaper laid out its case for the Brotherhood:

There are good reasons that the Brotherhood, with millions of members, doesn’t merit the terrorist designation. Rather than a single organization, it is a collection of groups and movements that can vary widely from country to country. While the Brotherhood calls for a society governed by Islamic law, it renounced violence decades ago, has supported elections and has become a political and social organization. Its branches often have tenuous connections to the original movement founded in Egypt in 1928.

Addressing the Brotherhood’s support for the electoral process and purportedly becoming a political organization, an extensive report on the Brotherhood by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies explained the group’s use of some tools of democracy to advance the aim of achieving a world ruled by Sharia law, which is by definition anti-democratic.

Drawing from founding Brotherhood documents and original literature by Brotherhood leaders, the Center explained:

Unlike the militant factions of other Islamist movements, which completely rule out democracy on the basis of it being a Western, pagan, and ignorant idea, the Muslim Brotherhood does use the term “democracy.” In its view, however, it has two main connotations: a tactical, instrumental means of taking over countries through the use of the democratic process, and an “Islamic democracy” based on Sharia law (i.e., Islamic religious law) and a model of internal consultation within the leadership

[Brotherhood Founder Sheikh Hassan] Al-Banna listed seven stages to achieve these objectives, each to be carried out in a gradual fashion. The stages are divided into social and political: the first three are based on educating the individual, the family, and the entire society of the Muslim world to implement Sharia laws in every aspect of daily life. The next four stages are political in nature, and include assuming power through elections, shaping a Sharia state, liberating Islamic countries from the burden of (physical and ideological) foreign occupation, uniting them into one Islamic entity (“new caliphate”), and spreading Islamic values throughout the world.

Sharia law is explicitly anti-democratic. For example, under Sharia, non-Muslims cannot rule over Muslims; a Caliph can come to rule through force and seizure of power; a woman inherits half that of a man and non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims.

In the Times editorial, meanwhile, the newspaper claimed that those “advising Mr. Trump seem unwilling to draw distinctions” between the Brotherhood and its violent adherents.

The paper continued:

Stephen Bannon, the chief White House strategist, once called the Brotherhood “the foundation of modern terrorism.” And Frank Gaffney Jr., an anti-Muslim analyst who heads a small think tank, recently told the Times that the Brotherhood’s goals are “exactly the same” as those of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

Both of these statements are true. The Brotherhood’s historic ideological principles of establishing a worldwide Caliphate are indeed shared by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, although their tactics greatly differ. And Brotherhood ideology has served as the foundation for groups like al-Qaeda.

The defining works of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, ideologue and theorist Sayyid Qutb, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual godfather, greatly influenced Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda doctrine.

An extensive March 23, 2003, article in the New York Times magazine by Paul Berman dissected Qutb’s writings as they relate to terrorist ideology.

In the article titled “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” Berman documented the centrality of Qutb’s influence on al-Qaeda:

The organization (al-Qaeda) was created in the late 1980’s by an affiliation of three armed factions – bin Laden’s circle of ”Afghan” Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt’s fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950’s and 60’s. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb – the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.

In recent days, the Times has featured numerous other articles arguing against branding the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

An article on Tuesday warned, “Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.”

“Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States,” added the Times. “A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.”

A Times article on February 1 was titled, “Trump Pushes Dark View of Islam to Center of U.S. Policy-Making.”

The article lamented a worldview that “conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world.”

A January 26 editorial titled “‘I Think Islam Hates Us’” informed readers the Trump administration “reportedly is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States.”

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Pentagon in Internal Struggle Over Calling out Salafi Jihadism

The Pentagon. (Photo: © Creative Commons/David B. Gleason)

The Pentagon. (Photo: © Creative Commons/David B. Gleason)

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, October 2, 2016:

From time to time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country’s most senior military officer below the commander-in-chief himself, puts out a National Military Strategy. This document is intended for senior American military commanders around the world and sets out big picture strategy guidance for how the U.S. military ought to cope with the myriad threats it may face in the line of duty.

New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine General Joseph Dunford is compiling a new National Military Strategy. Special Operations Command (SoCom), the branch of the military charged with hunting down and killing terrorists, is providing input and expertise to the report.

SoCom is pushing for Salafi jihadism to be discussed in the report as the branch of Sunni Islam responsible for most global terrorism in the world today. It is the ideology shared by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

“If you look at threat doctrine from that perspective, it’s a much bigger problem because it’s not just the violent jihadists, it’s the non-violent jihadists who support them,” one person knowledgeable about the National Military Strategy told The Washington Times. “Pretending there is no relationship between the violent jihadists and Islam isn’t going to win. We’re completely ignoring the war of ideas. We’re still in denial. We’re pretending the enemy doesn’t exist.”

Dunford’s staff declined to comment on the upcoming report, which will be classified. The last National Military Strategy, by the previous chairman, General Martin Dempsey, was released publicly on the Joint Chiefs of Staff website.  It did not make mention the ideological roots of terrorism.

Sources close to the team responsible for preparing the National Military Strategy told The Washington Times  Dunford’s staff was not persuaded on the merits of including the term.

Quintan Wictorowicz, one of the architects of Obama’s national counter extremism policy, charted the relationships between Salafi jihadist groups (although he did not use that term) and other sects of Islam in a 2005 academic paper entitled A Genealogy of Radical Islam.

“Al Qaeda and the radical fundamentalists that constitute the new ‘global jihadi movement’ are not theological outliers. They are part of a broader community of Islamists known as ‘Salafis’ (commonly called ‘Wahhabis’).”

He distinguished between violent and non-violent Salafis saying “The jihadi faction believes that violence can be used to establish Islamic states and confront the United States and its allies. Non-violent Salafis, on the other hand, emphatically reject the use of violence and instead emphasize propagation and advice (usually private) to incumbent rulers in the Muslim world.”

Wictorowicz details several important theological points that distinguish this movement, notably the use of takfir to brand the enemies of the jihadi movement as apostates deserving of death and the concept of jahilliya which posits that the contemporary Muslim world is not really Muslim because they follow man-made laws and are therefore akin to the pagans who ruled Arabia before the time of Mohammed.

He names Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb as a central figure in the development of this doctrine.

Understanding this application of radical theology to the political sphere helps us to identify why certain groups are dedicated to fighting the United States and helps in setting out clearly the differences between Salafi jihadism and Sunni Islam in general.

UK GOV: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY

obama_6-4b

“The Muslim Brotherhood organised itself into a secretive ‘cell’ structure”

Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Dec. 25, 2015:

The Muslim Brotherhood has been running much of its operations out of the UK and pressure mounted on the British government to investigate. While Obama’s official line is that the Salafist organization is a “moderate” group, the British government report that has been issued gives a much more accurate picture.

The British government report notes the similarity between the Muslim Brotherhood and its ISIS and Al Qaeda offspring and how one influenced the other.

The Muslim Brotherhood was established in Egypt in 1928. The founder and first Supreme Guide (spiritual leader), Hassan al Banna, called for the religious reformation of individual Muslims, the progressive moral purification of Muslim societies and their eventual political unification in a Caliphate under sharia law. ..

We’re not talking about a political democratic system here, but a Caliphate. Just like ISIS. Brotherhood activists have tried to sell the notion of a kinder, gentler Caliphate in the West. But that’s like a kinder, gentler Thousand Year Reich.

The report also addresses the similarity between the Muslim Brotherhood and classical terror and totalitarian organizations which used cells and covert setups.

From its foundation the Muslim Brotherhood organised itself into a secretive ‘cell’ structure, with an elaborate induction and education programme for new members. It relied heavily on group solidarity and peer pressure to maintain discipline. This clandestine, centralised and hierarchical structure persists to this day.

From at least the 1950s the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood also developed an international network, within and beyond the Islamic world. Europe became an important base for the
growing Muslim Brotherhood global network. International Muslim Brotherhood organisations received financial and other support from the Gulf. National chapters developed individual concerns and tactical approaches, but shared a common ideology

The key phrasing is that while the MB may run for office, its endgame is totalitarian.

Sir John concluded on this complex subject that, for the most part, the Muslim Brotherhood have preferred non violent incremental change on the grounds of expediency, often on the basis that political opposition will disappear when the process of Islamisation is complete. But they are prepared to countenance violence

So there’s no moderation to see here, just incrementalism.

Influenced by his personal experiences in 1940s Egypt, in the US and in prison under Nasser, the key Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, drew on the thought of the Indo-Pakistani theorist, Abul Ala’a Mawdudi, the founder of the Islamist party Jamaat-eIslami, to promote the doctrine of takfirism. This has consistently been understood as a doctrine permitting the stigmatisation of other Muslims as infidel or apostate, and of existing states as unIslamic, and the use of extreme violence in the pursuit of the perfect Islamic society…

Qutb’s views have at times been reinterpreted by some in the Muslim Brotherhood. But they have never been institutionally disowned. They continue to be explicitly endorsed by many senior Muslim Brotherhood figures, including leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. They remain central to the Muslim Brotherhood’s formational curriculum. Qutb’s thinking led to a resurgence of takfiri ideology, and has inspired many terrorist organisations, including the assassins of Sadat, Al Qaida and its offshoots

The Takfiri accusation is significant for Muslims. Terrorism doesn’t matter. But killing other Muslims does. It’s telling that a British government report emphasizes the “Fitna” aspect of the Brotherhood, but then so many Western countries these days also pray toward Mecca. And there’s no doubt that Gulf Arab states who broke with the Brotherhood were a key force in making this report happen.

But the linkage between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda is important because it’s straightforward and yet hardly mentioned. Unfortunately the report implies that the Muslim Brotherhood is not Salafist. It does however link it to terror and support for terror.

senior Muslim Brotherhood figures and associates have justified attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan;

some members of the Muslim Brotherhood (mainly in non Muslim countries) have strongly criticised Al Qaida. But leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood have claimed that the attacks on 09/11 were fabricated by the US, and that the so called ‘war on terrorism’ is a pretext to attack Muslims.

.The Hamas founding charter claims they are the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood treat them as such. In the past ten years support for Hamas (including in particular funding) has been an important priority for the MB in Egypt and the MB international network.

The report largely focuses on the UK, but finds that the MB operates in the UK under covert organizations and has the same Islamizational goals.

In the 1990s the Muslim Brotherhood and their associates established public facing and apparently national organisations in the UK to promote their views. None were openly identified with the Muslim Brotherhood and membership of the Muslim Brotherhood remained (and still remains) a secret. But for some years the Muslim Brotherhood shaped the new Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), dominated the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

Material still being promoted by UKIM as of July 2014 continued to explicitly claim that it is not possible for an observant Muslim to live under a non-Islamic system of government (and anticipated the forthcoming ‘victory’ of Islam over communism, capitalist democracy and secular materialism).

– the Muslim Brotherhood historically focused on remodelling individuals and communities through grassroots activism. They have engaged politically where possible. But they have also selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals. Their public narrative – notably in the West – emphasised engagement not violence. But there have been significant differences between Muslim Brotherhood communications in English and Arabic;

– much about the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK remains secretive, including membership, fund raising and educational programmes. But Muslim Brotherhood associates and affiliates here have at times had significant influence on the largest UK Muslim student organisation, national organisations which have claimed to represent Muslim communities (and on that basis have sought and had a dialogue with Government), charities and some mosques. Though their domestic influence has declined organisations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood continue to have an influence here which is disproportionate to their size;

Its final conclusion is that, “aspects of Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tactics, in this country and overseas, are contrary to our values and have been contrary to our national interests and our national
security.”

Plenty of counterjihadists will find this report too weak for their taste, but it labels the Brotherhood as a hostile, foreign, covert and dangerous organization. It contains the kind of language that existed only in law enforcement circles of the government here, and which was thoroughly purged from them under Obama and his CVE programs. Its conclusions, even disguised in mild language, are fairly similar to what you would find at IPT.

It will prove vital to the work of combating Islamic terrorism and will likely be cited by Counterjihadists for some time to come, not because it’s perfect, but because a major Western government has restated the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is not moderate, that it maintains front groups, that it seeks to take over and that it backs terrorism. All of these are denied or ignored here not only by Obama, but much of the Republican establishment.

Grandmasters of Jihad

gmjThe Gorka Brief, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, may 14, 2015:

Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Al Nusra Front, and ISIS all share the same goal and ideology. They all want to reestablish the theocratic empire of Islam – The Caliphate – that was dissolved in 1924, and they all see Holy War, or Jihad, as the only way to do so. Where does this ideology come from?

Just like America and the Western military world, the Global Jihadist Movement (GJM) has its grand strategic thinkers, their own Clausewitzs and Mackinders. The three most important are the Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb; the Palestinian Jordanian, Abdulah Azzam; and the Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik.

What did these three founders of the GJM have to say about Islam’s relationship to terrorism?

  • Qutb is perhaps the most important person to the Muslim Brotherhood after its founder, Hassan al Banna. After spending two years in the US and deciding that we are a heretical nation that must be destroyed, Qutb wrote his guide to Jihad, the manual on how to destroy us. Entitled Milestones, this text has been found on high-value terrorist targets killed or captured in every theater that jihad is currently being fought in. In it, Qutb is explicit: Muslims have lost their way, Islam must be purged of ignorance of Allah (jahiliyyah), and the only way to do so is through a jihad in which the infidel (kuffar) is subdued or killed. Qutb added that all democracies must be destroyed because in any system in which men make the laws, the sovereignty of Allah has been undermined. The Koran is the only constitution a Muslim needs or is allowed to follow.
  • Next there is Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s boss and spiritual guide. After the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets in 1979, Azzam issued a fatwa, or religious decree with the title: Defense of Muslim Lands. In it, he stated that, since the Caliphate had been dissolved in 1924 and that there was no longer an Islamic Emperor who could declare war against such invaders, Jihad was now fard ‘ayn, or an individual and universal obligation upon all followers of the Muslim faith. Importantly, because Azzam held a PhD in Islamic jurisprudence from the Al Azhar in Cairo, the most important Sunni theological institution in the world, he was fully qualified to issue such a decree, and it was duly endorsed by the greatest names in the Sunni religious establishment. Azzam is not only important because of his making Holy War a duty for all Muslims, but because he created an organization called the Services Bureau (MAK in Arabic) which recruited Muslims from around the world to come fight the infidels in Afghanistan. Not long after its founding, Azzam hired bin Laden as his deputy and it was bin Laden who would inherit the MAK upon Azzam’s death and rename it Al Qaeda.
  • The last and most important Jihadi strategist is the late Brigadier Malik. Also interestingly in 1979, Malik wrote a book which has become the most influential treatise on why Jihad is necessary and how it must be fought. The Quranic Concept of War is a long text on what the faithful Muslim can learn from the way Mohammad fought the infidels and non-believers when he established the empire of Islam. In it, Malik states three things: i) All war must only serve the realization of Allah’s sovereignty on this Earth through the reestablishment of the Caliphate. ii) The only target that matters in warfare is the soul of the infidel: the kuffar must be converted to Islam or be killed. iii) Because the soul is the only target that matters, terror is the best mode of warfare. In other words, it is events like 9/11, the Charlie Hebdo shootings, or the Fort Hood massacre that are the best way to defeat the infidel. (Note this wasn’t a fringe text when it was published – nor is it now – given that the introduction was written by the equivalent of the Attorney General of Pakistan and the preface which endorsed all that was in the book, was signed by none other than General Zia ul Haq, the Commander of all Pakistan’s Armed Forces and at the same time the President of Pakistan.

In other words, the greatest minds behind the threat groups we face today, the authors that shaped the ideology behind the atrocities we witness day in and day out, are all in agreement: Islam has lost its way and Jihad must be used to cleanse the world of disbelief until the theocratic empire reigns supreme.

Whatever our government believes, it is clear what Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of ISIS/The Islamic State believes.

Last September 11th, I was invited to brief an element of the US Intelligence Community that stills holds to the professional standard that one has to be honest about what the enemy says and what they are doing.

In the brief, I took the speech Abu Bakr made earlier in the Summer of 2014 from the pulpit of the Grand Mosque in Mosul, in which he declared the reestablishment of the Caliphate, and represent it as a “word cloud,” the visual representation of a text in which words are given a larger size and put closer to the center of the diagram the more often they are used.

This is the result:

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It is clear that our greatest current enemy has no question about why and what he is fighting for.

Also see:

Understanding History’s 7 Stages of Jihad

7-stages-jihad

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Dec. 8, 2014:

The post-9/11 debate on the meaning of “jihad” has often floundered at a superficial understanding of the term. Jihad is often simply referred to as either “striving” or “holy war.” Jihad, however, must be understood to consist of four varieties of human activity agreed upon by Islamic theologians and jurists. The first is the jihad of the heart, the so-called “greater jihad” of fighting evil within oneself. The second and third definitions involve the jihads of the mind and tongue, the condoning of “right” behavior in others and counseling those who have gone astray. Finally, there is jihad of the sword. Jihad of the sword is most relevant for the counterterrorism community today because it rests at the foundation of the global jihadist ideology.

The concept of jihad of the sword has been repeatedly reinterpreted and redefined since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. During this extensive time period, jihad by the sword has been used by protagonists to rally co-religionists in the pursuit of a political objective. Al-Qa`ida and the broader Salafi-jihadi movement have also reinterpreted this concept to justify the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

To properly understand the historic significance of al-Qa’ida, it is relevant to review the contextual evolution of the concept of jihad and the great success al-Qa’ida has had in redefining it for the current conflict.

Since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, jihad by the sword has been shaped by seven, historically-shaped political conceptualizations of jihad, occurring in the following order:

  1. empire building;
  2. the suppression of apostate subjects;
  3. the revolution against “false” Muslim leaders;
  4. the anti-colonial struggle and “purification” of the religion;
  5. countering Western influence and jahiliyya;[1]
  6. guerrilla warfare against secular invaders; and finally
  7. the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

This article will identify each contextual interpretation and the significance of jihad as terrorism.

SEVEN SWORDS OF JIHAD

Each of the contextualizations of jihad of the sword has been dictated by the desire to have jihad fill a real, specific and political need for Muslims in a given age and facing a specific threat. When the Prophet Muhammad was building a completely new state, he used the concept of jihad to justify the expansion of Islam. Although the Qur’an does not use the term jihad to refer directly to empire-building in the military sense, sura 25 verse 52 stipulates “obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost endeavor.” Understood in the context of Muhammad’s return to Mecca from Medina, and the ensuing conflict with the Meccans that is reflected in the latter half of an earlier sura, it is clear that striving is in this instance connected to military combat post hijra,[2] as Muhammad returns to Mecca and enforces his new writ. This constitutes the first offensive use of the concept, referring to the conflict to establish order among the Arab tribes around Mecca, through the use of force if necessary.

When Muhammad’s successor, Abu Bakr, faced recalcitrant tribes on the Arabian Peninsula that were threatening the order Muhammad had previously established, the second meaning of jihad was born: ridda, or the war against apostasy, against one’s own subjects. In the Western world, this would be equivalent to a war against rebels.

The third contextual definition of jihad came centuries later after the eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate’s strength, starting in the second half of the 13th century. It is this reworking of the meaning of holy war, most significantly by Ibn Taymiyya, that has the greatest consequence for today’s context. The motivation for this redefinition was the need to provide Muslims with the right to revolt against their own leaders, specifically the Mongols. Islam had previously prohibited revolution against Muslim rulers. Ibn Taymiyya’s answer was to remove the prohibition; he argued that jihad is permissible against one’s own leaders if they do not live as true Muslims and if their rule does not conform to the requirements of Shari`a. He said,

And it is known by necessity from the din (religion) of the Muslims, and the agreement of all the Muslims, that whoever permits the following of a din other than Islam or following a Shari`a other than the Shari`a of Muhammad then he is a kafir (unbeliever), and it is like the kufr (blasphemy) of one who believes in part of the Book and disbelieves in part of the Book.[3]

Since the fusion of Mongol, Turkic and Tartar power was occurring at the same time that Ibn Taymiyya was writing, he was specific about the threat to “pure” Islam and how Muslims must respond:

Fighting the Tartars, those who came to the land of Shaam is wajib (religious duty) according to the Book and the Sunna, for indeed Allah said in the Qur’an: And fight them until fitna (schism/ blasphemous upheaval) is no more, and the din becomes all for Allah.[4]

Therefore, in the Middle Ages jihad became legitimate revolution based upon a new mechanism by which the people could denounce their leaders as un-Islamic.

The fourth political reconceptualization of jihad occurred four centuries later, starting in the early 1700s. As the European powers pushed militarily and politically into North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, the threat to Islamic societies was two-fold. Empires such as the British had to be physically resisted. At the same time, the West’s cultural influence upon the purity of the Islamic faith was growing and had to be countered. During this period, jihad was defined as anti-colonial resistance.

This new interpretation of jihad was typified by the pronouncements of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi Islam. Its practical and military consequences were amply demonstrated during the decade-long resistance to the 1830 French invasion of Algeria led by `Abd al-Qadir and also by the Sudanese resistance to the British led by the self-proclaimed mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. The second, non-military element of this redefinition of jihad—what author Noor Mohammad has described as Islam’s internal “housecleaning”—was represented by Shah Waliullah’s call to spiritual revival and the purification of India’s Muslims under British control.[5]

This definition of jihad would lead directly to the next interpretation, one that relies heavily on the principles laid down hundreds of years prior by Ibn Taymiyya, including the doctrine of takfir (excommunication). This fifth version of jihad was fathered and later developed by Abu al-A`la Mawdudi in India (then later Pakistan) and Sayyid Qutb in Egypt. This time the threat was embodied by the post-WWII Arab leaders of the Middle East and the influence of Western “soft power,” which together equaled a new jahiliyya, or age of polytheism and ignorance. Apostate leaders were to be resisted once more (and removed if possible), Islam purified and Shari`a re-imposed.

HOLY WAR AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, jihad would no longer be limited to resistance against the cultural and political influence of the secular West or un-Islamic Arab rulers. Although it is true that within Afghanistan, among the Afghans, the motivation to resist Soviet domination did not have to be couched in terms of theology but simply in terms of survival and sovereignty, to the Arab mujahidin recruited by the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, jihad was a crucial concept, a brand Azzam assiduously built in his travels around the world. Most importantly, Azzam built his jihadist brand in a way that negated earlier requirements for holy war to be declared by a legitimate authority, as he redefined military resistance as an individual duty.

In his introduction to “Defense of Muslim Lands,” he plainly stated that

…if a piece of Muslim land the size of a hand-span is infringed upon, then jihad becomes fard `ayn (a personal obligation) on every Muslim male and female, where the child shall march forward without the permission of its parents and the wife without the permission of the husband.

Azzam invoked Ibn Taymiyya by name to justify his version of self-declared jihad and then warned his audiences of the price they would pay if they did not follow the path of military resistance. Quoting from the Qur’an, sura 9 verse 39: “If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things.”[6] By the late 1980s, Azzam’s rebranding of Muslim holy war in a new political and geostrategic context was so successful that even in the West jihad would become synonymous with guerrilla resistance to communist invasion and dictatorship.

Only after the eventual defeat of the Soviets, the end of the Cold War and the outbreak of the first Gulf War would the seventh and most important redefining of jihad of the sword be born. With Azzam’s death in 1989, his organization of Arab guerrillas, the Mujahidin Services Bureau (MAK), was taken over by his deputy Usama bin Ladin. Rejected by his own government when he offered to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq with his Arab fighters, Bin Ladin would change the mission and name of his organization. The “godless” Russians had been defeated, the bipolar world order replaced by the hegemony of a victorious United States, a country that had been invited to bring its troops and influence into the Arabian Peninsula to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraq. Guerrilla warfare within Saudi Arabia against the apostate House of Saud and against U.S. targets was impractical, if not impossible.

Several influential figures who had followed the teachings of the original Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Hassan al-Banna, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, had, after the severe crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, joined the MAK. Bin Ladin’s Wahhabi understanding of jihad would be suffused with the ideology of the Egyptian Qutbists. What resulted was al-Qa`ida and a new indirect approach to violent jihad. Subsequently, the meaning of jihad was expanded for a seventh time since Muhammad built his empire in the seventh century. The fight would be focused less on irregular warfare in countries where Muslims were suffering and more on the “far enemy,” which they identified as supporters of tyrannical regimes in the Muslim world. With the East Africa embassy bombings, the USS Cole attack and then finally the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Bin Ladin successfully defined jihad as willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means. The seventh political definition of jihad, therefore, is terrorism.

CONCLUSION

It is crucial for analysts and strategic planners to fully understand this mutation and evolution of the concept of jihad over time. It is incorrect to see jihad solely as a religious concept referring to the striving of the individual to be pure, because jihad of the sword is referenced in the hadith in multiple instances. It is clear that the meaning of violent jihad has been shaped during the centuries to fit the needs of those espousing holy war and calling their co-religionists to the battlefield. Usama bin Ladin’s great historical significance is that he managed to turn jihad from referring to guerrilla resistance against military oppression of the 1980s to mean the killing of mass numbers of civilians on the soil of non-Muslim lands. Understanding this contextual evolution is critical in the effort to find strategies to weaken al-Qa`ida’s ideology.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka teaches irregular warfare and counterterrorism at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University, Washington D.C. He is an Associate Fellow of the Joint Special Operations University (USSOCOM) whose first degree was in Philosophy and Theology. Most recently, he co-authored, with David Kilcullen, “Who’s Winning the Battle for Narrative: Al-Qaida versus the United States and its Allies,” in Influence Warfare (Praeger 2009). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or any other government agency.

[1] Jahiliyya refers to the age of polytheism and “unbelief” that existed before the Prophet Muhammad.[2] The hijra refers to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.[3] Ibn Taymiyya, “Rulings of Fighting the Mongols,” fatawa, 28/524.[4] Ibid.; See also Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Shaykh al-Imam: Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah fi Islah al Raiwa Rajyah (Cairo: Dar al-Shab, 1976).[5] Noor Mohammad, “The Doctrine of Jihad: An Introduction,” Journal of Law and Religion 3:2 (1985): p. 396.[6] This is otherwise known as part of the Sura at Taubah (Repentence).

(Originally published 3 October 2009 in the CTC Sentinel, Combating Terrorism Center, West Point)

Revealed: Jihadist Lessons at the Boston Marathon Bombers’ Mosque

islamic-society-of-boston-AP-640x480Breitbart, by ILYA FEOKTISTOV & CHARLES JACOBS, March 27, 2015

The Boston Marathon bombers’ mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), employs an intensive radicalizing program aimed at Boston’s historically moderate Muslim community, especially at its youth. It’s called “Tarbiya,” which is Arabic for “growth and refinement.” It is not something that is practiced as part of classical mainstream Islam.

APT has obtained several curriculum documents created by ISB-affiliated groups, which describe exactly what is taught and when, with assignments detailed down to book and page number. We are making the most detailed and traceable of these documents availablehere and here. We will focus in this article on a particular Tarbiya program called “Young Muslims,” which was explicitly endorsed by Suhaib Webb, the Imam of the ISB’s mega-mosque in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. It lists books that all participants must read, and even includes page numbers for specific assignments (the document was formerly available at the program’s website, and can still be accessed through an archived version of the site).

The authors of many of these books are among the “Who’s Who” of radical Islamic ideologues. A lot of the books are available in the Boston Marathon bombers’ mosque’s library. Major focus is given to books by Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Said Qutb, the father of modern jihadism; Maulana Maududi, the father of political Islam on the Indian subcontinent; and Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Anti-Defamation League calls the “Theologian of Terror.” Some of the books on the “must read” list have nothing to do with Islam, such as several books written by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Moore. Having young Muslims read a curriculum that includes far-left atheist authors of Jewish and Christian backgrounds shows that the goal of Tarbiya is not just to develop a Muslim’s spirituality, but also to develop within him a deep animosity to Western democracy.

The ISB and its political arm, the Muslim American Society (MAS), are very open about the program’s existence and even have websites dedicated to it. MAS teaches Tarbiya at each of its dozens of chapters across the United States, and the entire national Tarbiya program happens to be led by the Imam of the Boston Marathon bombers’ ISB Cambridge mosque, Basyouni Nehela. MAS describes Tarbiya in these terms:

MAS aspires to raise a generation of committed and disciplined Muslims who will spread the message of Islam and implement the Movement’s vision in all fields of Islamic work[.] … MAS delivers a rigorous educational curriculum to its current and potential members … The focus of Tarbiya is to groom members who… are equipped with the necessary knowledge, understanding, and skills to make a difference in the society by taking an active role, both individually and collectively, in the reform process that seeks the betterment of our community, our country, and the whole world.

The description of the program makes it seem like yet another benign new-agey spirituality and growth system. That is because, while it is openly advertised, the extremist and jihadist aspects of its curriculum are not – both for the sake of keeping this radical indoctrination from outside scrutiny and for the sake of keeping it, at first, from the Muslim youths who are thinking about joining it.

Indeed, a “Young Muslim” first entering the program will not be reading any extremist authors for a very long time. The first phase of the program is dedicated to completely legitimate religious learning. Participants read the Quran and other Islamic religious texts. They learn about the life of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, and they study the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.

But soon, those participants who show a high level of dedication, zeal, and religiosity, of willingness to internalize everything that has been taught to them, are told that simply praying and giving charity are not enough. At this next stage of Tarbiya, they are assigned books, such as Let Us Be Muslims by jihadist ideologue Maulana Maududi, who provides them with the core Islamist idea: Muslims need to be more than pious; they need to rule over all mankind:

Brothers in Islam! The Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage are so important that they are described as the pillars of Islam. They are not, however, like the worship rites in other religions. […]

These acts of worship have in fact been ordained to prepare us for a greater purpose and to train us for a greater duty… What exactly is that great ultimate purpose? Stated simply: the ultimate objective of Islam is to abolish the lordship of man over man and bring him under the rule of the One God. To stake everything you have – including your lives – to achieve this purpose is called Jihad.

Having thus channeled the zealous young Muslim’s sincere religious devotion into an extremist agenda, the third stage of Tarbiya indoctrination consists entirely of incitement to violent Jihad, hatred for America, and of Western civilization in general. It is in this stage that young Muslims study in detail the Islamist corollary to Mein Kampf or theCommunist Manifesto: Said Qutb’s Milestones, which outlines a road map to establishing a global Islamic State ruled by Sharia law. It is Said Qutb who inspired Osama Bin Laden. According to Qutb:

All Jewish and Christian societies today are also ignorant societies… Islam cannot accept any mixing with this ignorance… One should accept the Islamic law without any question and reject all other laws in any shape or form… The abolition of man-made laws cannot be achieved only through preaching… It must employ Jihad.

By the time a young Muslim Tarbiya participant reaches this phase, he has already bought in to all the indoctrination in the previous phases that brought him there. The books he studies in the third phase, such as To Be a Muslim by Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Fathi Yakun tell him:

A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal… Obedience for a Muslim means to obey every command and implement it whether in time of happiness or hardship, and whether one likes it or not… He will not act against the leader in agreed matters, and will be loyal to him in every action, regardless of his personal likes or dislikes… Dissociate yourself from every gathering or organization that opposes your ideological standpoint, especially when the Movement asks you to do so.

A key component of Tarbiya is not just the material taught, but the structure of the program, in which recruits are organized into intimate cells called “usras.” MAS is considered by Federal prosecutors to be the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, and the program directly follows the methods developed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s founders in Egypt. Eric Trager, an expert on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has lectured about the Brotherhood’s Tarbiya process in Egypt:

At the lowest level of the Brotherhood structure is what’s called an usra, or “family.” You can think of this as a cell. This is a group of five to eight Muslim Brothers. They meet weekly for about three hours. They discuss the Quran, religious texts, the Brotherhood’s curriculum, politics. They share their personal lives. The members of this group become a Muslim Brother’s best friends. The people that you work most closely with are in your usra. The usra is a mechanism through which the Brotherhood embeds your social relationships into the organization so that you’re less likely to disobey it due to peer pressure and you’re less likely to leave it because you’ll be leaving your best friends.

This is exactly how the MAS branch in Boston describes its usras:

The usra is an intensive, spiritually-focused, activism-oriented program that develops the individual and invites him or her to join hands with MAS and work for the sake of Islam as a central priority in life. There are weekly assignments prior to and following each usra. Each member is expected to spend approximately 3-6 hours a week on usra and usra-related activities (usra attendance [~ 2 hours], usra assignments [1-2 hrs], dawah work (example MSA work, MAS Youth work, or other Islamic work, etc) [3 hrs], social activities [2 hours /month].) Each usra generally contains around 5-7 members.

MAS demands that those entering its Tarbiya program be “willing to be committed to theusra and hold working for Islam as a central priority in life.” ISB Roxbury Imam Suhaib Webb defines the usra as: “the usra is you’re in the ocean swimming, you’re lost, your boat sunk and suddenly you see some people on the boat, you get there and they give you a blanket and a cup of soup, that’s the usra.” All of this makes leaving the MAS/ISB program extremely difficult. It also makes it extremely likely that if a young Muslim participant is encouraged by his usra leader to do something terrible for the sake of the movement, he will gladly comply, even if this means prison or death. The usra system of the Tarbiya program is less similar to a religious requirement than it is to the demands of a criminal enterprise. These methods used by MAS/ISB are much like the techniques that gangs and mafia groups use to recruit and maintain a death grip on their members.

We do not know who, if anyone, encouraged the Tsarnaev brothers to bomb the Boston Marathon. We think it was extremely unlikely that any ISB or MAS leader told them to do it and taught them how to make the bombs. The slow and steady work of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, referred to by Islamism experts as “the stealth or civilization jihad,” aims – not through violence, but through pressure and persuasion (“Dawa” in Arabic) – to gradually move Western Muslim youths into its camp. The ISB and MAS are experiencing success, probably beyond their expectations, in posing as moderates and becoming accepted into Boston civic society. This success includes positive coverage in the mainstream press, support from mainstream politicians, and access to new unsuspecting recruits within Boston’s traditionally moderate Muslim community. Why risk all of that with a bomb that only can set the effort back? The Tarbiya curriculum repeatedly states that the time for violent jihad has not yet come – much preparation work still needs to be done. The Muslim Brotherhood’s program will always have this fundamental problem: when you tell teenagers that something can be a good thing to do, but “not yet”– whether it be sex or alcohol or violent jihad– you will surely find that some will jump the gun.

* * * *

On the other hand… As he lay wounded and hiding inside a boat stored for the winter in a suburban Boston-area backyard on April 19th, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev penciled a confession on the 22-foot cruiser’s walls. Four days prior, he and his brother exploded twin homemade pressure cooker bombs at the 117th Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264. Less than 24 hours before Dzhokhar was eventually discovered by the boat owner, the Tsarnaev brothers ambushed and murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, hijacked a Mercedes SUV, and engaged in a fierce 8-minute gun battle with cops before Dzhokhar drove the SUV over his brother, Tamerlan, and escaped. Tamerlan died shortly thereafter, but, as he waited for his inevitable capture or death, Dzhokhar took the time to list his grievances in detail. The jury at his currently ongoing trial saw the boat and the wall panel bearing Dzhokhar’s message:

“Our actions came with a message and that is la ilaha illalah [there is no god but Allah]. We are promised victory and we will surely get it. […]

“We will pursue this evil force to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world. […]

“Know you are fighting men who look into the barrel of your gun and see heaven, now how can you compete with that. […]

“Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr. You should be ready for this right now. […]

“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. […]

“A Muslim has no relatives except those who share the belief in Allah. […]

“The ummah is beginning to rise/awaken [bullet hole] has awoken the Mujahideen.”

“To be true Muslims, we must be Mujahideen. We can no more sit back passively; we must try, actively, to change history, that is, wage Jihad.

Only the odd-number passages above were actually written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the inside of the boat. The rest come from books taught as part of the Young Muslims Tarbiya program.

Muslims have lived in Boston since the early 20th century. Islam has existed for over 1,400 years. Yet Tarbiya did not exist until it was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1930s as a cultic innovation within the religion of Islam. This cult did not begin to affect Boston’s historically moderate Muslim community until the 1990s, with the creation of the Boston marathon bombers’ mosque and the takeover of many other local Muslim institutions.

The correlation between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s note in the boat and what is being taught to Boston’s Muslims through the ISB/MAS Tarbiya program is striking. These kinds of teachings, as APT board member and moderate Muslim Sheikh Ahmed Mansour says, put a bomb in a young Muslim’s heart. Unless the Tarbiya program is exposed and terminated, there will be others who will take the bombs in their hearts and recreate them in real life, just as the Tsarnaevs did on April 15th, 2013.

Charles Jacobs is president and Ilya Feoktistov is research director of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

‘DESTROYING WESTERN CIVILIZATION FROM WITHIN’

observant-baseWND, By Bruce Phillips, March 2, 2015:

In his three most recent columns, Bruce Phillips, who has nearly 40 years of experience in Middle East affairs, examined whether or not the Palestinian party Fatah is really as moderate is it is often portrayed by media an government. Part 1 provided an analysis of Fatah’s own trademark logos and posters while Part 2 looked at recent statements and actions of Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas and current Fatah leadership. In his third column, he spotlighted “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad.”

[Note from the author: As with all of my articles, none of the terms or phrases used here are of my own invention; every term or phrase is derived from primary Islamic sources, such as the Quran, Hadith, Tafsir and Shariah. I encourage everyone to access the hyperlinked references, then evaluate each for accuracy and completeness.]

This is the latest in an ongoing series of articles dealing with complex, sometimes abstract, subjects, which are often counterintuitive to those of us in the non-Islamic West. By counterintuitive, I mean there are times when it is almost impossible for us to believe that the authorized Islamic sources mean exactly what they say. Nonetheless, if we hope to preserve any chance of victory against the escalating threat we face, we must endeavor to master this sometimes unpleasant subject; we must, as Abraham Lincoln said, “disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall help save our country, the last best hope on earth.”

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of “expanding the observant Muslim base” (al-Qaida al-Islamia al-Moltzema), which is a tactical term found in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document known as the Explanatory Memorandum. In Arabic, the document is a concise, densely written manifesto – not a word is arbitrary or incidental. Saturated with iconic language, it distills 1,400 years of strategy and tactics used since the time of Muhammad to advance the “global Islamic state.” (Also see “The Quranic Concept of War“).

Since 9-11, we’ve heard the term al-Qaida (“the base,” or القاعدة in Arabic) almost every day. However, al-Qaida is not just the name of a hydra-like global terrorist organization. It is also an abstract concept, with a deep ocean of Islamic history behind it.

For example, after Muhammad established his final Qaida in Medina in A.D. 622, it became the power base of Islam for the next hundred years, initially under Muhammad’s leadership and then under four “rightly guided caliphs.”

Also, as we see reflected on TV regularly, the black flag of jihad displayed so prominently by ISIS features the “seal of Muhammad,” which goes back to the founding of Islam in A.D. 610.

The Muslim Brotherhood has maintained a highly visible leading role in the global effort to “expand the observant Muslim base” since it was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna in close collaboration with Sayyid Qutb.

After these two “founding fathers” summarized and published the goals and operational tactics of Islam, they began attracting thousands of dedicated followers from countries all over the world. To this day, the Muslim Brotherhood remains the largest and most well-organized Islamic organization on earth. Not only that, but it continues providing a solid, reliable theological and political base to fellow members in nearly every country in the world.

Meanwhile, as a relatively small but financially influential Islamic community began to coalesce in North America, a group (see Figure 1 above) of respected Muslim Brotherhood leaders summarized the same strategic goals and tactics discussed by al-Banna and Qutb in a format tailored to fit the theological and socio-political challenges faced by Muslims living in a wealthy, predominantly non-Islamic region. These members of the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference called this carefully crafted strategic and tactical communiqué the “”An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

It is important to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood summarized the goals and tactics for “expanding the observant Muslim base” more than 10 years before Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri helped form a global coalition of 12 Islamist groups called the World Islamic Front (aka the global jihad front or al-Qaida), then declared jihad on America and Israel on Feb. 23, 1998.

In fact, Zawahiri, who is the current leader of al-Qaida, was not only a member of the Brotherhood in his native Egypt but also bases his operational templates on the views of prominent Islamic theorists like al-Banna and Qutb.

Despite the fact that the Explanatory Memorandum was introduced as prima facie evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, many today still do not realize that the ideology of a wide spectrum of Islamic macro-groups, such as Al-Shabaab, Hamas, ISIS and the World Islamic Front are all based on exactly the same aggressive goals and concepts that were summarized and endorsed in 1987 by the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

In simple terms, every Islamic group mentioned above is engaged in their own regional version of “expanding the observant Muslim base.”

Finally, as I discussed earlier in “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad,” much of the catalyst for this expansion comes from “push back” (aka “Islamophobia”) encountered by the Muslim community in North America. The Explanatory Memorandum is very concise and comprehensive, and includes tactical principals – “operative verbs” –designed to overcome and neutralize this “push-back,” which is also described as a “civilizational alternative” or “civilizational jihad.”

Here is how the Explanatory Memorandum addresses the problem of “push-back” from the resistant, non-Muslims they encounter: “The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihadist Process with all the word means. The Ikhwan (‘brothers’ in Arabic) 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 (fitnah) is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

As discussed in my column on fitnah, or “resistance,” the concept is derived directly from Quran 2.193 and 8.39.

How the Explanatory Memorandum was discovered

In August 2004, a Maryland Transportation Authority police officer conducted a traffic stop after observing someone videoing the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. As it turns out, the driver was Ismail Selim Elbarasse, who was already wanted in connection with fundraising for Hamas. The FBI subsequently executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence, where agents found 80 boxes of archived documents hidden in a sub-basement.

The search led to a remarkable discovery. Among the thousands of documents found, one of the most revealing was “An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

Originally commissioned in 1987 by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, it was not officially released to the board of directors until 1991. It may just be a coincidence, but it is plausible that the same Muslim Brotherhood members who commissioned the memorandum also authorized the 1988 Hamas Charter. In any event, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, pursues the exact same goals and objectives found in the document and even uses the same slogan as the Muslim Brotherhood: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Approved by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council, or organizational conference, for internal use only, the document was never mean to become public. For this reason, it is both an Enigma Code and the Rosetta Stone of the global Islamic movement

Like the Enigma Code, it was meant to remain hidden but now provides the key to deciphering the strategy and tactics of the movement. And, like the Rosetta Stone, it enables those of us in the non-Islamic world to discern the commonly held strategic and tactical doctrines of every Muslim organization in the world.

The Explanatory Memorandum was written by a former U.S. resident and still-active senior Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leader, Mohamed Akram (aka Mohamed Akram Adlouni, aka Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni). To this day, Muslim apologists insist Akram is an obscure, “self-described” fringe member of the Brotherhood and that the document is the “product of either of the Muslim lunatic fringe or of the Islamophobic lunatic fringe.”

However, Akram is currently the president of an organization listed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Al-Quds International, which not only remains a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial but is a well-known fundraiser for Hamas in Asia and Europe. Akram was also listed in a 1992 “phonebook” included as evidence in the discovery phase of the Holy Land Foundation trial, where he is listed as a member of both the board of directors and the executive office (See page 3 and 15, respectively).

Regarding the “lunatic fringe” argument, the Explanatory Memorandum will never become obsolete or outdated, because it is based entirely on the Quran and Hadith. The strategy and tactics described in the document are exactly the same today as they were 30 years ago when it was written and exactly the same as they were 1,400 years ago, when Islam was founded.

Relevant current events

On Jan. 28, we learned that high-level officials at the U.S. State Department had hosted meetings with several “former” members of the Freedom & Justice Party, the well-known political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Samuel Taros of the Hudson Institute observed that the visit served two goals: “First, to organize the pro MB movement in the US” and, second, to “reach out to administration and the policy community in DC.”

He added that the delegation’s composition was designed to portray “an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the [Abdul Fattah al-Sisi] regime.”

Just two days later, it was revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt posted a message on its official website stating that it “is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase … where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves … to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”

The official announcement also referred to Muslim Brotherhood founder al-Banna, stating “Imam Al-Banna prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers, and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan Al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.”

In retrospect, these sharply contradictory statements – saying one thing in English and something entirely different in Arabic – are common and are very similar in nature to the Jan. 11 appearance of Mahmoud Abbas at the Charlie Hebdo solidarity march while on the same day his Fatah organization posted violent pictures and statements on its official website.

Despite claims by the State Department that the meetings were “routine,” on Jan. 31, 2014, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry said that the reasons for the meetings were “not understandable, as they are not a political party, and according to the Egyptian law they should be treated as a terrorist group.”

Along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also have declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.

Incidentally, the word “prepare” (Wa-Aiddu), which is mentioned several times in the above quotes, is taken directly from Quran 8.60 and is prominently displayed in the Muslim Brotherhood logo.

The verse reads: “Prepare for them whatever force and tethered horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not.”

In other words, preparing forces to terrify your enemies is the iconic theme of a supposedly moderate Muslim organization, which currently enjoys unprecedented direct access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

To finish up this section, there is a revealing point of contact, a nexus, between the Freedom & Justice Party representatives who met at the State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood members who posted the call to jihad on their website and the ideology found in the Explanatory Memorandum.

The point of contact is al-Banna, an open advocate of offensive jihad who was honored in the Explanatory Memorandum in the following concluding passage: “This paragraph was delayed … to stress its utmost importance as it constitutes the heart and core of this memorandum. … It suffices to say that the first pioneer of this phenomenon [i.e., doing Jihad] was our prophet Muhammad … as he placed the foundation for the first civilized organization, which is the mosque. … And this was done by the pioneer of the contemporary Islamic Dawah (“promotion of Islam”), Imam martyr Hasan al-Banna … when he and his brothers felt the need to re-establish Islam and its movement anew, leading him to establish organizations with all their kinds.”

Conclusion

At this point, it would be fair to ask whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to “expand the observant Muslim base” in North America have been successful. The objective answer would be an unqualified yes.

Despite the constant focus on “Islamophobia” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, there has actually been a wave of conversions to Islam, while the population of Muslims in America has nearly doubled since 9/11. In addition, the number of mosques has also nearly doubled since 9/11.

More importantly, the less visible strategic goals of creating a “central political party, [influencing] local political offices and political symbols, [building] relationships and alliances, and establishing an American Organization for Islamic Political Action ” have probably succeeded far beyond what Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni and the other members of the Shura Council in North America ever expected.