Once again, the conversation regarding the legality of the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged after Jordan's highest court dissolved the country's branch of the Islamist organization on July 15.
It was reported soon after that: "The Court of Cassation issued a final verdict ruling that the Muslim Brotherhood group is dissolved... for failing to rectify its legal status under Jordanian law."
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visited the White House in April 2019 to discuss the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood with President Trump. El-Sisi suggested that the United States should designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist entity.
Tens of prominent politicians and security experts opposed such a designation, suggesting that any claim the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization was absurd. One of the videos that circulated the most on social media was presented by Shadi Hamid for Brookings–a Qatar-funded American research institute – wherein he tries to convince the American public that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization; and that this was a "unanimous opinion among security experts." It is not. Such a claim is not only inaccurate but also very hard to sell.
The Muslim Brotherhood has clear and public ties to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida and ISIS, and have themselves been at the forefront of terrorist operations in several countries. Notorious terrorists Ayman el-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden and Al Baghdadi of ISIS were members of the Muslim Brotherhood and had received their initial training in Islamist ideology and militancy throughout their membership.
If the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks as well as the living leader of ISIS were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which leads one to ask how is this organization yet to be designated as a terrorist entity!?
Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain have all labelled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. An official report of the Prime Minister's office in the United Kingdom has stated that the organization is "deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive." It also says that "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."
The United States, on the other hand, has branded itself as the main enemy of terrorism, yet hasn't taken any serious action against the Muslim Brotherhood, besides listing two Muslim Brotherhood spinoff organizations, Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra. This leads us to the question: What is the US waiting for?
Of course, some wish to distinguish between the Brotherhood's military and political activities, banning the former while tolerating the latter. This is a delusion— the Muslim Brotherhood does not acknowledge these separate wings. Just like Hezbollah, the military and political wings are one organization, with one leader, one flag, one agenda, and one financial system.
As has been noted by Alec Schmidt, one of Europe's leading terrorist experts for over forty years, "the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups should be seen as "violent" and "not yet violent." As he concludes, "The main conclusion is that the distinction between acceptable 'non-violent extremists' and unacceptable 'violent extremists' is a false and illusionary one since religious extremism (as opposed to some form of more secular radicalism) is inherently violent. Islamist extremism needs to be challenged and confronted rather than accommodated and tolerated by liberal democracies."
Therefore, banning only one form of their front groups and activities would be nothing but a sign of our own weakness.
The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't shy away from revealing its global agenda. Its founder, Hassan al-Banna, clearly said: "Islam does not recognize geographical boundaries, nor does it acknowledge racial and blood differences, considering all Muslims as one Umma (global community of Muslims). The Muslim Brethren (Muslim Brotherhood) believe that the caliphate is a symbol of the Islamic Union and an indication of the bonds between the nations of Islam. They see the caliphate and its re-establishment as a top priority."
With this ideology, the Muslim Brotherhood developed into being the most organized Islamist movement on the planet with the sole aim of implementing violent Sharia law. It controls tens of thousands of Islamic centers, mosques, organizations, universities, political parties, schools, think-tanks, and even banks.
The Washington Post revealed in 2004 that: "Past and present Muslim Brotherhood supporters make up the U.S. Islamic community's most organized force. They run hundreds of mosques and dozens of businesses engaging in ventures such as real estate development and banking."
The Muslim Brotherhood has a variety of leading figures, some of whom advocate a slow, gradual takeover before they use their new powerful position to crush all opponents. Others have a more aggressive approach, advocating they should attempt a violent takeover as soon as they have a modicum of strength. Whatever the strategy and its tactics, the objective remains the same–crushing all opposition while forcing all to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood's interpretation of a highly politicized brand of Islam.
The organization's finances are very well structured. In 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood had 2 million members according to Irfan Hussain, and has strategically prevented the rapid growth of its numbers from being tracked by also expanding under different names, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); which the FBI acknowledges was formed as part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood uses these dues and other monies to gain financial strength. It does so through real estate holdings such as the North American Islamic Trust in the USA and the Canadian Islamic Trust (charity status removed by the Government of Canada), as well as The Halal certification industry, as noted by Yusuf Qaradawi, along with a wide range of retail stores that will pay for their activities.
Then there is the global "charity" operation, which operates globally and sends all of their collected finances to the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria.
When it can, the Muslim Brotherhood forces non-Muslims—such as the minority of Coptic Christians living in Egypt to pay Jizya–a tax for non-Muslims to live in 'Muslim lands' without being killed. It is also worth mentioning that financiers of terrorism usually focus on funding organizations functioning under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jaber Al Thani financed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with grants up to $850,000 during Mohamed Morsi's presidency.
According to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP): "A 2015 U.K. government investigation concluded that the Brotherhood has 'promoted a radical, transformative politics, at odds with a millennium of Islamic jurisprudence and statecraft....' In line with the British assessment, and despite the Brotherhood's official commitment to non-violence, CEP has documented ideological and operational links between the Brotherhood's ideology and violent terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS."
Examining the teachings, charters, ideology, and ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood will leave you with a conclusion that their entire belief system and agenda is a combination of those of al-Qaida and ISIS.
In 1997, the U.S. State Department added Hamas to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, established as its "Palestinian wing."
The Jihad Agenda
Violent jihad has always been on the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda, as a method of displaying strength "Jihad is an obligation from Allah on every Muslim and cannot be ignored nor evaded," al-Banna wrote. He also wrote, "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet."
Since the 1930s, the Muslim Brotherhood has been responsible for more than 20 terrorist attacks internationally, including the 1948 assassination of then Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud El Nokrashy Pasha, the 1954 failed assassination of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the 1979 massacre of 50 cadets at an Aleppo military school, as well as assassinating members of the police, army, and bombing buildings.
Today, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to spread its agenda of violence through schools, universities, government departments as well as prisons and public prayer rooms. In November 2018, I brought this matter to public attention after exposing a jurisprudential book in Melbourne Airport's prayer room authored by a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which ordered Muslims to kidnap and kill non-Muslims.
Since its founding in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has been responsible for the spread of its militant Islamist ideology throughout Western countries. Denying their existing and growing threat goes against the interests of both our national and international security measures.