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Sunday, February 6, 2011
Egypts Muslim Brotherhood: In Their Own Words

Jerusalem Issue Briefs Vol. 10, No. 27 6 February 2011
Egyptís Muslim Brotherhood: In Their Own Words
Jonathan D. Halevi
http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=6003&TTL=Egypt%E2%80%99s_Muslim_Brotherhood:_In_Their_Own_Words

* The Muslim Brotherhood has taken a greater role in organizing the
protest against the Egyptian regime as it unfolds its independent political
agenda. Rashad al-Bayumi, the Brotherhood's second-in-command, announced in
an interview with Japanese TV that the group would join a transitional
government in order to cancel the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as
it "offends the Arabs' dignity and destroys the interests of Egypt and other
Arab states." He further stressed that Egypt does not need American aid.

* The Muslim Brotherhood does indeed participate in political activity
and defend the democratic process. That is not, however, because it has
accepted the principles of Western democracy, but rather because the
democratic process can be exploited to establish an Islamic regime which
will then render democracy unnecessary.

* Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi ĎAkef told the
Egyptian daily Al-Karama in 2007 that only Islam was the expression of true
democracy. "Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true
democracy, exemplified by the Shura [the advisory council under the
Caliphs]."

* The Brotherhood's official website notes that jihad is Islam's most
important tool in effecting a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim
countries, moving on to reestablishing the Caliphate over three continents
in preparation for a conquest of the West, and finally instituting a global
Islamic state.

* The Muslim Brotherhood's step-by-step plan dictates its supposed
"moderation," which will gradually vanish as its achievements increase and
its acceptance of the existing situation is replaced by a strict, orthodox
Muslim rule whose foreign policy is based on jihad.

Muslim Brotherhood to Join a Transitional Government

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal
for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a
transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the
support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab
diplomats told the New York Times on February 3. According to the American
proposal, the transitional government will include members from a broad
range of opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a global movement with Hamas as its Palestinian
branch, has taken a greater role in organizing the protest against the
Egyptian regime as it unfolds its independent political agenda, defying both
the American administration and Israel. Rashad al-Bayumi, the Muslim
Brotherhood's second-in-command, announced in an interview with Japanese TV
(and cited by al-Hayat) that the group would join a transitional government
in order to cancel the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as it "offends
the Arabs' dignity and destroys the interests of Egypt and other Arab
states." He further explained that his animosity to the American
administration stems from its support for Israel, stressing that Egypt does
not need American aid.

Democracy Is Islam's Entryway to Power

The Muslim Brotherhood does indeed participate in political activity and
defend the democratic process. That is not, however, because it has accepted
the principles of Western democracy, but rather because the democratic
process can be exploited to establish an Islamic regime which will then
render democracy unnecessary, as was made evident by its platform in the
2007 Egyptian parliamentary elections. The organization claimed to be
participating in the elections because "the Muslim Brotherhood preaches the
path of Allah...[and therefore it is participating] to fulfill Allah's
commands in peaceful ways, using existing constitutional institutions and a
decision determined by the ballot box." That is, democracy is Islam's
entryway to power.

The Muslim Brotherhood platform also noted that "the rule in [Egypt] must be
republican, parliamentary, constitutional and democratic in accordance with
the Islamic Sharia," and that "the Sharia ensures liberty for all." The
organization does not accept the principle of the separation of church and
state, and the Islamic rule they aspire to is, for them, a realization of
democracy.

Interviewed on September 17, 2007, by the Egyptian daily newspaper
Al-Karama, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi ĎAkef said that
the organization's campaign slogan would be: "Sharia is the Solution" and
that human rights and democracy would be included under Sharia rule. He
devoted his May 12, 2007, weekly missive to an exposition of democracy as
seen through Muslim Brotherhood eyes. He said that only Islam, which was
given to men by Allah, was the expression of true democracy. He wrote that

Islam preceded...doctrines and ideologies devised by men. The final,
absolute message from heaven contains all the values which the secular world
claims to have invented....Islam and its values antedated the West by
founding true democracy, exemplified by the Shura [the advisory council
under the Caliphs] and Islam's respect for the equality of other
religions....With regard to liberty, Islam reached a goal which secular
preachers have not, for the liberty promised by Islam is genuine in every
way, even in faith and religion....As to the claim that Islam does not
recognize civil authority, the authority of Islam is democratic...it is
genuine liberty, it provides equality in practice and is transparent, it
neither oppresses nor robs any man of his rights....It is on that foundation
and with those values that the Muslim Brotherhood calls for justice,
equality, and liberty.

ĎAkef has never equivocated regarding his views on Western democracy. On
April 30, 2005, he told the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram that the
Muslim Brotherhood opposed American democracy because it was "corrupt and
serves the American agenda....The Muslim Brotherhood has held demonstrations
against foreign intervention and against any democracy that serves the
Americans....[American] democracy is corrupt because it wants to destroy the
[Islamic] nation, its faith and tradition." He told the BBC that Western
democracy was "unrealistic" and "false."

One of ĎAkef's examples of America's "corrupt values" is the attempt to stop
female circumcision in Africa. On July 12, 2007, he wrote that "[the
Americans] spend billions of dollars and endlessly plot to change the Muslim
way of life, they wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith
and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice
current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the
Pharaohs."

The Importance of Jihad

According to the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad, that is, holy war against the
infidels, is one of the fundamental elements spread by the Muslim
Brotherhood. The organization's ideology, as it appears on its official
website, regards "the Prophet Muhammad as its leader and ruler, and jihad as
its path." Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense; it is the
unceasing attack on every infidel rule, intended to widen the borders of the
Islamic state until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.

Clicking the links "The Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood" and "Muslim
Brotherhood Measures" leads to explanations of jihad based on the writings
of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Jihad, it is noted, is
Islam's most important tool in effecting a gradual takeover, beginning with
the Muslim countries, moving on to re-establishing the Caliphate over three
continents in preparation for a conquest of the West, and finally
instituting a global Islamic state. The organization's website states:

We want a Muslim individual, a Muslim home, a Muslim people, a Muslim
government and state that will lead the Islamic countries and bring into the
fold the Muslim diaspora and the lands robbed from Islam and will then bear
the standard of jihad and the call [da'wah] to Allah. [Then the] world will
happily accept the precepts of Islam....The problems of conquering the world
will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed.

The goal is to establish one Islamic state of united Islamic countries,
one nation under one leadership whose mission will be to reinforce adherence
to the law of Allah...and the strengthening of the Islamic presence in the
world arena....The goal...is the establishment of a world Islamic state.

And if prayer is a pillar of the faith, then jihad is its summit...and
death in the path of Allah is the summit of aspiration.

The Muslim Brotherhood does not hide its global aspirations and the violent
path it intends to follow to achieve them. The Brotherhood is meticulous in
its step-by-step plan, first to take over the soul of the individual and
then the family, people, nation and union of Islamic nations, until the
global Islamic state has been realized. The principle of stages dictates the
Muslim Brotherhood's supposed "moderation." However, that "moderation" will
gradually vanish as Muslim Brotherhood achievements increase and its
acceptance of the existing situation is replaced by a strict, orthodox
Muslim rule whose foreign policy is based on jihad.

For the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad is at the center of the struggle against
the United States, the West, Israel, and other infidel regimes. The supreme
leader of the Muslim Brotherhood regards Islam as waging "a battle of values
and identity" against the forces of "imperialism" and the "Anglo-Saxons"
attacking the Arab-Muslim world "on the pretext of spreading democracy,
defending minority rights, and opposing what they call terrorism." He
advises Muslims to adopt "the culture of resistance against the invasion,"
explaining that Allah gave "the occupied, oppressed nations jihad and
resistance as a means of achieving freedom." He added that "the culture of
resistance to invasion and occupation have intellectual, military, and
economic aspects. Experience in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan have proved
that resistance is not imaginary or fictitious or impossible, but rather it
is possible when the [Islamic] nation presents a united front and uses its
weapons and faith to face an imperialist, whether he comes with arms or
inundates us with his ideas, values, or obsolete morality." Akef's
successor, Mohammad Badi', maintains the same platform.

* * *

Note

A comprehensive analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda may be found in
Jonathan D. Halevi, "The Muslim Brotherhood: A Moderate Islamic Alternative
to al-Qaeda or a Partner in Global Jihad?"

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