As the CIA continues to defend their investment in the Muslim Brotherhood to bring “moderate Islamist democracy” to the Middle East, much of the Middle East and our European allies are moving against the group.
I noted here at PJ Media last month that many of America’s Arab allies (Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia), as well as Israel, had moved well ahead of the U.S. in addressing the group’s toxic influence:
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 23, 2017
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) November 23, 2016
In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the central issues in the current Qatar crisis, where these Arab nations are taking active measures against Qatar for its support of the the Brotherhood:
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) July 2, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 5, 2017
Just last week the foreign minister of Bahrain, whose legislature includes representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood, said that the group is a terrorist organizations and its sympathizers must be prosecuted:
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 5, 2017
Back in February, I reported that the CIA and the National Intelligence Council (NIC) provided the funds to support Nixon Center researchers Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke to create the “moderate Muslim Brotherhood” narrative during the Bush administration. That became the basis for their Foreign Affairs article of that same title:
CIA That LITERALLY Funded the 'Moderate Muslim Brotherhood' Narrative is Opposed to the Group's Terror Designation https://t.co/0memrz2jfM
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) February 9, 2017
Read the late Robert S. Leiken's 2007 FA article, "The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood": https://t.co/UlAdaLLksg
— Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs) June 13, 2017
And the CIA still supports and defends the Muslim Brotherhood today:
— POLITICO (@politico) February 9, 2017
Yet across Europe, intelligence agencies are warning about the group’s operations in their respective countries — and some are taking action.
Here’s a rundown of the actions being taken by our European allies and our Arab allies against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since the terror attack in Nice nearly a year ago, France has taken active measures against the Muslim Brotherhood that include shutting down the group’s mosques and charities as well as banning leading members.
The Nice attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was the son of a well-known Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood figure. And earlier this year an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood fanboy, Abdallah El-Hamahmy, attacked police in front of the Louvre with a machete.
One of the concerns has been that the Muslim Brotherhood had been using France as a safe haven to engage in activity against their own foreign policy:
For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood exploited their opposition to the Egyptian and other Arab regimes as a means to request political asylum in some European countries on the grounds that they were persecuted in their own countries. However, they violated the internationally recognised rules of asylum by continuing their political activities in the host countries. Western nations turned a blind eye to these illegal activities until the forces of terrorism started to bite the hand that fed them. That was when some of those countries (not all) grew alert to the beast that they were sheltering within their borders.
The secret meeting that Muslim Brotherhood leaders held in France 17 December was a glaring example of the Brotherhood’s persistence in violating the principles of political asylum. The meeting took the guise of an intellectual seminar but, in fact, its purpose was to design a plan of action for the coming phase. It was held at the Centre for Arab and Developmental Studies, on Rue de Ste Helene in the 13th Arrondissement, ostensibly to mark the sixth anniversary of Tunisia’s “Jasmine” Revolution. As many journalists in France will tell you, the centre itself was built by a member of the Tunisian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Hanid, with Qatari money.
Participants in that meeting called for, among other things, a revolution in Algeria similar to the Tunisian one, support for the terrorist Islamist groups fighting in Syria and a coup against Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi. I learned from some French journalists who have been following the activities of Islamist groups in France that the original plan had been for a mass rally in which Muslim Brotherhood leaders, bent on escalating their confrontation against Arab states, would urge Arab masses in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Syria to rise up against their governments.
The French have responded by shutting down mosques operated by the Muslim Brotherhood and those preaching its ideology:
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) April 16, 2017
Last November, the Interior Ministry closed Sanabil, a Muslim Brotherhood charity, responsible for radicalizing inmates in the prison system:
— Ministère de l'Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) November 23, 2016
Pilier du soutien aux détenus musulmans, l’association Sanâbil dans le collimateur de l’Etat https://t.co/fdVDSZuJw6
— Le Monde (@lemondefr) November 23, 2016
In April, the French government expelled Hani Ramadan, brother of internationally known Islamist advocate Tariq Ramadan. Both are the grandsons of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna and the sons of Muslim Brotherhood “diplomat” Said Ramadan:
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 9, 2017
— Ministère de l'Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) April 8, 2017
There are indications that the policy targeting the Muslim Brotherhood will continue under new French President Emmanuel Macron:
— مركز المزماة للدراسات والبحوث (@AlMezmaah) May 9, 2017
These actions against the Muslim Brotherhood in France are likely to continue, especially as they engage in destabilizing social activities across France:
The UK has historically been another Muslim Brotherhood safe haven in Europe:
Lorenzo Vidino: For too long, London has been a hub for the Muslim Brotherhood – Telegraph http://t.co/XR2Vz0T2sl
— Hany Ragy (@Hragy) October 19, 2014
Especially after the group’s ouster in Egypt in 2013, London has become one of their international hubs taking orders from their Egyptian leadership in exile:
London Calling: Inside the Muslim Brotherhood’s hush-hush propaganda office in the U.K. http://t.co/UJ2Up1M5ri
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) September 27, 2013
Egypt steps up efforts to extradite Brotherhood fugitives from UK https://t.co/rAWLgYa9Uw
— Al-Monitor (@AlMonitor) June 18, 2017
Some countries that have already banned the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Israel (there known as the “Islamic Movement”), have seen the UK used as a financial conduit for the financing of terrorist operations:
Charges against senior members of the Islamic Movement: Millions received from Turkey and Britainhttps://t.co/5ophR9tF2m
— Ynetnews (@ynetnews) May 11, 2017
In March 2014, then-Prime Minister David Cameron established a government review of the Muslim Brotherhood led by the former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins. With many countries in the Middle East taking action against the Brotherhood, the review was tasked to look into the group’s role in promoting extremism:
David Cameron orders inquiry into activities of Muslim Brotherhood http://t.co/7TysUL5cQE
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) April 1, 2014
The Brotherhood attacked the effort, with leaders threatening violence if the review continued:
Brotherhood urges UK not to proceed with probe http://t.co/5UbmYIxhAQ
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 3, 2014
Senior Muslim Brotherhood official in UK warns of attacks in response to government probe http://t.co/evYQLlfPqr
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) April 6, 2014
And then a few months later, the group’s attorneys claimed (falsely) that the ongoing review would clear them of any ties to extremism or terrorism:
— سلمى العيسى (@Salma_AlEssa) October 24, 2014
When the report was published in December 2015, PM Cameron charged the Brotherhood with a “highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism” and being a “rite of passage” into violence and terrorism. He also noted that operatives in the UK had supported terrorism, namely Hamas, and that the Brotherhood had issued statements calling for violence:
The Muslim Brotherhood’s foundational texts call for the progressive moral purification of individuals and Muslim societies and their eventual political unification in a Caliphate under Sharia law. To this day the Muslim Brotherhood characterises Western societies and liberal Muslims as decadent and immoral. It can be seen primarily as a political project.
Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. 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. It has stated its opposition to al-Qaida (AQ) but it has never credibly denounced the use made by terrorist organisations of the work of Sayyid Qutb, one of the Brotherhood’s most prominent ideologues. Individuals closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK have supported suicide bombing and other attacks in Israel by Hamas, an organisation whose military wing has been proscribed in the UK since 2001 as a terrorist organisation, and which describes itself as the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Moreover, despite the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s public condemnation of violence in 2012/13 and afterwards, some of their supporters have been involved in violent exchanges with the security forces and other groups. Media reports and credible academic studies indicate that in the past 12 months a minority of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt have engaged alongside other Islamists in violent acts. Some senior leaders have publicly reiterated the Muslim Brotherhood’s commitment to non-violence, but others have failed to renounce the calls for retribution in some recent Muslim Brotherhood statements.
PM Cameron continued by saying the ideology and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood ran counter to British values:
Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and activities therefore 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. The Muslim Brotherhood is not the only movement that promotes values which appear intolerant of equality and freedom of faith and belief. Nor is it the only movement or group dedicated in theory to revolutionising societies and changing existing ways of life. But I have made clear this government’s determination to reject intolerance, and to counter not just violent Islamist extremism, but also to tackle those who create the conditions for it to flourish.
— Islamism Map (@IslamismMap) February 14, 2017
Needless to say, the Muslim Brotherhood rejected the findings of the UK government review:
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) June 7, 2016
While the UK had not entirely banned the Muslim Brotherhood, it had recognized the danger of the group’s ideology and support for terrorism abroad and taken actions to limit the use of the UK as a safe haven for members of the group. The review also acknowledged the corrosive influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the UK Muslim community:
— Islamism Map (@IslamismMap) February 14, 2017
The UK is not alone in expressing concern about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood at home.
In February, Die Welt reported that German intelligence was concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood was expanding its networks throughout eastern Germany:
— WELT News (@WELT_News) February 4, 2017
— Terror Events (@TerrorEvents) February 7, 2017
Those concerns were echoed by the German domestic security anti-terrorism chief, who said the Muslim Brotherhood covertly sought to maintain a monopoly over mosques and impose sharia law in Germany:
Gordian Meyer-Plath, president of the regional department of the German domestic security and anti-terrorist organisation claimed the Muslim Brotherhood “have long been active in Saxony, although they were stealthy”.
The BfV anti-terror leader posed the question that when “a [large] number of Muslims have come to Germany, do they see a chance to expand their network beyond some central structures and become interesting for the new Muslims in Saxony?”
Mr Meyer-Plath claimed that while the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany is “beyond jihad” – meaning it is not directly involved with terror attacks – he says the organisation poses a threat to western democratic systems.
Mr Meyer-Plath added: “The Muslim Brothers still want to establish Sharia law in Germany.”
The Muslim Brotherhood currently operates in 70 countries. The group is reportedly sponsoring the construction of mosques in Germany in Dresden, Leipzig, Meissen, Riesa, Pirna, Bautzen and Goerlitz.
Privately, German officials reportedly are expressing concerns to their counterparts in other countries about the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence and their increasing links to terror attacks:
— Nino Brodin (@Orgetorix) June 11, 2017
A considerable debate recently broke out in Sweden over the Muslim Brotherhood after a government report warned of the group working to establish “parallel societies” and monopolize domestic Islamic organizations, aided by the support of Sweden’s political elites:
— DW Conflict Zone (@dw_conflictzone) July 3, 2017
— The Local Sweden (@TheLocalSweden) March 3, 2017
The Daily Mail reported:
The Muslim Brotherhood is creating a ‘parallel social structure’ in Sweden with the help of ‘political elites’ who foster a culture of silence, a damning government report has found.
The document claims that the Brotherhood is building a ‘parallel society’ within the Scandinavian country, which can help the Islamist group to achieve its ends […]
The research focused on Muslim Brotherhood members both in Egypt and in Europe.
Publication of the damning document about the group has sparked a row in Sweden, with critics labelling the report ‘conspiratorial’ and claiming it misrepresents Islam.
The report, which was published on Friday, was commissioned by Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which is part of the country’s Ministry of Defence.
The paper’s authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of practising Muslims in Sweden, which they say encourages tension with the secular society and puts community cohesion in jeopardy.
The authors also claim the organisation is targeting political parties, NGOs, academic institutions and other civil society organisations.
‘Islamists aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB’s activists pose a long-term challenge in terms of the country’s social cohesion’, the report says.
The document, edited by Magnus Norell, claims that as migration to the country increases, so the problems will intensify.
The Clarion Project has published a translated copy of the MSB report:
— Clarion Project (@clarionproject) June 15, 2017
The chief author of the report published an article at HuffPo last year on the activities of Swedish Green Party members who were open supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood:
The Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden
— Jan Sjunnesson (@sjunnedotcom) July 9, 2016
Others note that the Swedish government’s approach to multiculturalism creates a cultural current that the Muslim Brotherhood’s subversive efforts draft off:
— Gatestone Institute (@GatestoneInst) April 4, 2017
At least one report claimed that following the inauguration of President Trump, some Muslim Brotherhood members in the U.S. were looking to relocate to Sweden:
— Ledarsidorna.se (@ledarsidorna_se) March 28, 2017
The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) warned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to establish parallel societies in the West more than a decade ago.
These concerns were detailed in a March 2005 AIVD report entitled “From Dawa to Jihad“.
— Islamism Map (@IslamismMap) January 25, 2017
The report (pp. 40-41) describes the Muslim Brotherhood’s subversive objectives in targeting government institutions for co-opting or takeover, and even employing violent means to undermine the democratic order:
At an international level there have been indications that in particular the radical branches of the Muslim Brotherhood employ covert Dawa strategies. Rather than confronting the state power with direct violence, this strategy seeks to gradually undermine it by infiltrating and eventually taking over the civil service, the judicature, schools, local administrations, et cetera. Apart from clandestine infiltration, covert Dawa may also be aimed at inciting Muslim minorities to civil disobedience, promoting parallel power structures or even inciting Muslim masses to a revolt.
In the Netherlands some forms of covert Dawa, aiming at a clandestine infiltration of political and social institutions, are also conceivable, for example, attempts to infiltrate community-based organisations with the aim of monopolising them (thus obstructing the proper functioning of ‘civil society’). But in the long run, more serious forms of such covert subversion are also conceivable, for example attempts by radical Islamic organisations to infiltrate local administration, the judicature et cetera, whilst concealing their actual objectives and loyalties.
Although such activities are carried out within the boundaries of what can be considered tolerable within a healthy democracy, the effects are undesirable. Hence the above-described activities may be qualified as somewhat threatening.
Targeted by terror attacks in recent years and with a large radicalized Muslim population around Brussels, Belgium has taken notice of the toxic influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Going back to 2007, Belgium has seen adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood involved in terror prosecutions.
One area of attention has been the foreign funding of Muslim Brotherhood mosques, particularly from Qatar and Kuwait:
— LEVIF / L'EXPRESS (@LeVif) March 10, 2016
At least one senior Muslim Brotherhood leader based in Kuwait, Tareq Al-Suwaidan, was banned from the country back in 2014:
Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood Leader Banned From Belgium http://t.co/kxaQ93boTR
— The Global MB Watch (@globalmbwatch) November 5, 2014
Legislative efforts are being made in Austria to ban the Muslim Brotherhood:
FPÖ-Chef Strache verschärft Gangart gegen Islam https://t.co/8NkrE11zuY
— Die Presse (@DiePressecom) June 1, 2017
One area of recent concern was the role of Muslim Brotherhood schools in creating an environment enabling “parallel societies” seen in other countries by rejecting Western values:
A state-funded study into Islamic kindergartens in Vienna suggests that Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish counterpart Milli Gorus have links to some of the capital’s preschools.
Austria’s Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) wants to introduce tighter controls on Islamic kindergartens to prevent radicalization and said he believed the study was necessary because there is a danger of “parallel societies emerging”.
The author of the study, Ednan Aslan, is a professor at the Institute of Islamic Studies at Vienna University. He found that the religious education preached by several of the capital’s 150 Muslim establishments led to “theologically-motivated isolation” and robbed children of their autonomy through “intimidation”.“Intellectual Salafists and political Islamists are the dominant groups in the Islamic kindergarten scene in Vienna,” the study concluded.
“In many of their publications the Muslim Brotherhood and Milli Gorus reject the Western way of life as an inferior worldview,” Aslan writes in the 178 page study.
He told the Standard newspaper that it was not acceptable that a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, who runs a kindergarten in Vienna, should openly support the war in Syria or appear in a video in which he states that “we want to evangelize in Europe”.
Elsewhere we’ve seen concerns about Muslim Brotherhood leaders with extremist views operating in respective European countries, and even Brotherhood groups trying to stream from efforts to legalize gay marriage as a pretext for legalizing polygamy:
Switzerland's controversial Islamic leaders. https://t.co/QkRqQxcidG
— Switzerland News (@Switzerland) April 16, 2017
Italian Islamic leader wants legal recognition of polygamy https://t.co/wB4l05Jozp
— Crux (@Crux) August 17, 2016
Muslim Brotherhood groups in Europe have also played a role in fostering some of the rising anti-Semitism on the Continent:
The Italian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood released a version of the Koran that contains remarks describing Jews as morally duplicitous and as a people of rejects and swindlers. In several of the footnotes interpreting the text, the commentator, an Italian convert to Islam, suggested Jews are responsible for their own misfortunes and accuses them of being “champions of moral duplicity” who consider as “acceptable any wickedness toward non-Jews”.
Needless to say, based on the experience of European countries there is considerable warrant for caution and concern about the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities and institutions. As we’ve seen in these examples, Western intelligence agencies are rightfully sounding the warning.
Even our neighbors to the north are hearing about the toxic influence of the Muslim Brotherhood:
— Ottawa Citizen (@OttawaCitizen) May 16, 2015
Yet as our Arab and Israeli allies in the Middle East make efforts to ban the Brotherhood, here in the U.S. we are treated to a litany of hysteria and deliberate misinformation:
Banning the Brotherhood could turn into a McCarthyist witch hunt to smear Muslims in the US https://t.co/F2Dbw5mReX
— David Hearst (@davidahearst) February 9, 2017
Analysis: Why listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group is a bad idea https://t.co/UPOzxPGd1t
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 10, 2017
— Brookings (@BrookingsInst) April 16, 2017
Here's how the push to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization could hurt American Muslims https://t.co/4sH8zU4TOw
— Abigail Hauslohner (@ahauslohner) January 11, 2017
Some laughably claim that American foreign policy can’t survive without the Muslim Brotherhood:
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) February 22, 2017
We even hear the over-the-top claim that the U.S. designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be illegal!
— Brookings (@BrookingsInst) February 10, 2017
Meanwhile, elements of the Muslim Brotherhood directly threaten U.S. embassies:
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) May 26, 2017
And efforts inside the Trump administration and Congress to take action against the Muslim Brotherhood languish:
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) February 8, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 6, 2017
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 10, 2017
It's time for State Dept to take a serious look into the Muslim Brotherhood. Org threatens our national security.https://t.co/WGlB8LM6tQ
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) February 9, 2017
There is an active campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood to scuttle those efforts:
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) March 17, 2017
Senior Muslim Brotherhood official brags they spent $5 million in PR push to successfully stop US terror designation https://t.co/QaODZVPhli
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 23, 2017
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 21, 2017
The Washington, D.C. foreign policy establishment and the media cartel continue regurgitating tired, false talking points to assure Americans how progressive and fashionable supporting the Muslim Brotherhood really is. Meanwhile, the Middle East is banning the Brotherhood and Europe’s intelligence agencies warn about the group, leaving the United States behind.