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What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Muslim Brotherhood (a literal translation of its Arabic name, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) was founded in Egypt in 1928 for the purpose of re-establishing the lost caliphate of Islam. Its creed, in English, translates as

“Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

It has spread to 80 nations. It was suppressed as a terrorist organization for much of its history in the land of its birth, but in 2011 managed to overthrow the government of Egypt. For a short time it replaced that government, until its abuses in power provoked demonstrations by millions of Egyptians and the arrest of its leaders.

Many of them were tried and convicted of high crimes, and were sentenced to death for them. However, no executions have yet taken place because of Egypt’s lengthy process of court appeals before any capital sentence can be carried out.

In the countries where it and its tendril organizations are active, it continues to pursue the implementation of shariah law and the end of Western civilization’s influence.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood a Violent Organization?

By its doctrine, the Muslim Brotherhood is devoted to the overthrow of all existing governments in the world, and their replacement with the rule of shariah law.

However, especially in Western countries, it has wedded itself to an official nonviolent approach in order to ensure itself of legal protections for its speech and organizing. This does not in any way limit its attachment to jihad.

For example, in 1996 its chief American agent, Abdurahman Alamoudi, enjoyed significant access to the Clinton White House as the founder of the American Muslim Council. Now, he is serving a 23-year prison sentence on Federal terrorism charges.

His organization, and other Brotherhood offshoots, was able to use the protections of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect its efforts to organize for the purpose of undermining the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and indeed the Constitution itself.

The Brotherhood has given rise to offshoots such as al Qaeda that practice violence for the same ends of restoring the caliphate and establishing shariah.

There is no doubt that, as in Egypt, the Brotherhood will use violence as soon as it finds itself with enough power to do so effectively.

It only rejects violence tactically where it is weaker because at the moment there are advantages to doing so. Its tactics can thus be better described as “pre-violent,” rather than “nonviolent.”

In This Phase, What Dangers Does It Pose?

As the following set of backgrounders will show, the Brotherhood has produced a dense and sophisticated network of organizations designed to influence Western societies.

Alamoudi’s example is again illuminating. As the founder of the American Muslim Council, he had direct access to the American President, Bill Clinton. But he has much wider access than that. In the interest of developing good relations with the Muslim world, and on the assumption that the American Muslim Council was interested in providing them, Alamoudi was given extensive access to two lucrative targets for recruiting.

The first of these was the US military, for which the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot organization was allowed to write guidance on how to think and talk about Islam. His organization was also allowed to provide chaplains to guide the moral formation of Muslim soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

The second was felons in Federal prisons, where his clerics were allowed to travel among and preach to prisoners inclined to Islam. After his arrest, the Federal government merely transferred this responsibility to another Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Islamic Society of North America.

Thus, the Brotherhood has been able to exercise an outsized influence on Federal policy, and to recruit among our military and in Federal prisons.

How Do We Know This?

An organization that has existed for almost 90 years, much of the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrine is freely available – even online, and even in translation.

It makes no secret of its devotion to jihad and the establishment of shariah law. In addition to its own published doctrine and statements, which are available in English on the Ikhwan’s website, we have a substantial set of documents that were introduced into evidence in trials of Ikhwan members such as Alamoudi.

In 2004, a police officer observed a woman in Islamic garb videotaping the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and the subsequent FBI raid led directly to a member of Hamas named Ismail Elbarasse whose house contained a sub-basement filled with Muslim Brotherhood documents.

One of the most important of trials was the United States versus the Holy Land Foundation in 2008. The captured internal documents make clear that the Brotherhood has established its network of organizations in the United States for the purpose of pursuing the undermining of the Constitution with an eye towards its eventual replacement by shariah law.

This is a long-term project: Alamoudi himself made public statements to the effect that it might take a century. Nevertheless, the organization has already been around nearly that long, and believes it is serving the eternal will of God. It is willing to move patiently, so long as it can continue to achieve progress towards its goals.

How Big is the Brotherhood's Network?

The Brotherhood’s network is both big and intricate.

It touches 80 nations, and has offshoots designed to target every aspect of American power: executive and legislative branches at the Federal, state and local level; the law enforcement community, which it hopes to sway into worry about Islamophobia in its ranks instead of the threats posed by Brotherhood members; intelligence agencies, the military; prisons; the media; think tanks and policy groups; academic institutions.

Its work in the latter includes student groups such as the Muslim Students Association, which acts to shut down the debate and inquiry that is an important part of the academy when such inquiries threaten the advance of shariah.

See additional backgrounders for much more detail on the organization and function of the network.

FEATURED TOPIC

Civilization Jihad

“Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” (The Brotherhood's Motto)

Backgrounders

The Brotherhood in Europe

Many Brotherhood their leaders immigrated to Europe because the group was suppressed in Egypt following their attempt to overthrow the Nasser government. Foolishly, the CIA saw them as a partner in the Cold War against a godless Soviet Bloc.

A History of Violence & Jihad

“Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” (The Brotherhood's Motto)

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