Breaking From Obama Administration, UK Calls Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization
Following an intensive 18-month governmental study, the United Kingdom issued a startling indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). It described the organization as fiercely anti-democratic, openly supportive of terrorism, dedicated to establishing an Islamist government, and opposed to the rule of law, individual liberty, and equality.
We use the word “startling” not because this is news but because, in such a politically correct world, it took guts for a world leader to acknowledge the obvious about a movement that purports to represent more than a billion people. If anyone at all — in particular our own president, former secretary of state, and high priesthood of political correctness, the New York Times — had simply bothered to read the Brotherhood’s own words, they would have inescapably reached the same conclusion.
The new account, resulting from an exhaustive investigation by respected foreign-policy experts, presents a brutally honest and in-depth examination of the movement. In breaking from the US, the UK has ironically shifted closer to Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia in identifying the MB as a terrorist group.
“Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and activities . . . run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.
Compare this to the description of the Muslim Brotherhood by James Clapper, America’s and the world’s top intelligence official, the director of National Intelligence. The MB was “largely secular,” Clapper said just a few years ago, and it “has eschewed violence.”
After years of witnessing the anti-democratic agenda of the MB firsthand and simply taking at face value the writings and sayings of its leaders and its offshoots, the Obama administration still clings to an Alice in Wonderland view of the organization that gave us al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Shabaab, and nearly every Sunni terrorist affiliate in the world.
Moreover, the Obama administration brazenly ignored every word of the detailed findings by the British team. Within minutes of the release of the UK report, the Obama Administration condemned it in an e-mail to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), citing the MB’s stated commitment to nonviolence and arguing that pushing back against the organization would lead to the radicalization of some of its followers. The “political repression of non-violent Islamist groups has historically contributed to the radicalization of the minority of their members who would consider violence,” the statement reads. “The de-legitimization of non-violent political groups does not promote stability, and instead advances the very outcomes that such measures are intended to prevent.”
Now read the words of the UK-government report, which manifestly demonstrates that the MB’s so-called non-violence was due not to its participation in an open society but rather to a calculated campaign based on “expediency” and using democracy as a means to take away freedoms and to institute “Islamisation.” On this complex subject, Sir John Jenkins, a co-author of the report, concluded 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 — including, from time to time, terrorism — where gradualism is ineffective.
This goes to the heart of the problem. Ever since it took office, the Obama Administration has accepted Islamist groups and regimes run by the Muslim Brotherhood into its fold, under the belief that, when allowed to participate in government, Islamists will no longer feel repressed and forced to engage in brutality. Rather, they will channel their frustrations into peaceful political action, support a pluralist form of government, and forgo any violence.
Really? Perhaps that is why the record of the administration’s Islamist regime change throughout the Middle East has now brought the United States to the precipice of World War III. It has allowed for the destabilization of our close Arab ally Egypt, the alienation of Jordan, the evisceration of Israel’s national security, and the ascendancy of the most ruthless, despotic, terrorist-supporting regime in the world, Iran.
During Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four years in office, the Obama administration effusively embraced the top financial supporter of Islamist terrorist syndicates in the world, the oil-rich potentate of Qatar, which was simultaneously providing safe haven to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were issuing fatwas to kill Americans and Jews. Don’t take our word for the evils and duplicity of the Brotherhood and its real agenda. Just read a select few bullet points from the UK report.
- “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.”
- “There is little evidence that the experience of power in Egypt [in 2012-13] has caused a rethinking in the Muslim Brotherhood of its ideology or conduct. UK official engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood produced no discernible change in their thinking. Indeed even by mid 2014 statements from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood–linked media platforms seem to have deliberately incited violence.”
- Literature in the Muslim Brotherhood movement in this country continues to reflect some of the concerns of the foundational Muslim Brotherhood ideology, notably that western society is inherently hostile to Muslim faith and interests and that Muslims must respond by maintaining their distance and autonomy.
- Material still being promoted by UKIM [UK Islamic Mission] 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).
- However, in common with the Muslim Brotherhood elsewhere, Muslim Brotherhood–related organisations and individuals in the UK have openly supported the activities of Hamas. . . . 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.
None of this should surprise anyone alive in the past 90 years. Former schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in 1928, accepted the political utility of violence, and the Brotherhood conducted attacks, including political assassinations and attempted assassinations against Egypt state targets and both British and Jewish interests during his lifetime, the report states. The British government is the first Western government to acknowledge the Muslim Brotherhood’s international reach and how its network promotes its ideology.
Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb promoted the stigmatization of other Muslims as infidels and their states as un-Islamic. He advocated extreme violence in pursuing the perfect Islamic society. The MB never officially disowned Qutb’s doctrine, known as takfir, and it continues to consist of those who support savagery and want to overthrow the West.
The British government is the first Western government to acknowledge the organization’s international reach and how its network — particularly in the UK — promotes its ideology, raises funds, and provides safe haven for members who left their home countries to support Brotherhood activity. The UK report describes the MB’s shadowy and secretive front groups in its home country. It 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).
Their shadowy and secretive counterpart in the US is the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Hundreds of newly declassified documents obtained and analyzed last week by the IPT provide an overwhelming amount of evidence that CAIR was formed as an extension of the Brotherhood in the United States. The IPT has extensively documented CAIR’s ties to the MB and its Palestinian affiliate Hamas.
The White House, which continues to welcome the organization as a participant in policy discussions, recently invited to a meeting on religious discrimination a CAIR official who accused the FBI of killing two men in cold blood in separate incidents.
To this day, the FBI, our nation’s top law-enforcement agency, refuses to engage with CAIR because of its relationship to Hamas, while the Obama administration treats CAIR as if it were the Rotary Club.
The release of the British study is only the latest in a string of embarrassments to our nation, which is flawed by a fatal error in its understanding of who its allies and partners are. Iran and Islamist regimes are the enemies of free peoples, of women, of Christians, of democracy, and of the West. The Obama Administration, in its embrace of Iran and other Islamist regimes in the Middle East and of Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas fronts in our homeland, has eviscerated US national security and increased our vulnerability to Islamic terrorism and future Iranian aggression more than at any other time in our history. The shootings in San Bernardino and the rise of ISIS are only the beginnings of what we fear are much more horrific and lethal developments.
The Obama Administration, in its embrace of Iran and other Islamist regimes in the Middle East and of Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas fronts in our homeland, has eviscerated US national security and increased our vulnerability to Islamic terrorism and future Iranian aggression more than at any other time in our history. The shootings in San Bernardino and the rise of ISIS are only the beginnings of what we fear are much more horrific and lethal developments. America is accustomed to its role as the Shining City on that Hill. In the past seven years, however, it has receded to being a mole hiding under a rock and waiting for an attack. We have only ourselves to blame. We need to remove from power those whose blind ideology placed the American people in such a vulnerable position.
America is accustomed to its role as the Shining City on that Hill. In the past seven years, however, it has receded to being a mole hiding under a rock and waiting for an attack. We have only ourselves to blame. We need to remove from power those whose blind ideology placed the American people in such a vulnerable position.
Steve Emerson is the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Pete Hoekstra is the Shillman Senior Fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and the author of Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.
This article was originally published by National Review.