The recent rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt brings home an awkward truth about current threats and 21st century warfare against Americans. We can never prevail in any “war on terror” without first acknowledging our enemies who would engage in terrorism.
Terrorism per se is not among our various “enemies, foreign and domestic,” to quote the U.S. statutory oath of office
. The Muslim Brotherhood is — in addition to al-Qaida, etc.
A full 500 years before Christ, the Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu warned in "The Art of War": “One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement.”
Unless and until Americans face the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is our enemy, based on its own writings and core values, we are doomed to lose many if not most of our wars against “terrorism.”
According to a recent Washington Post Op-Ed
, “The radicalization of the Brotherhood seems more a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ In the name of fighting terrorism, the [Egyptian] regime is making the problem far worse.”
The more important question for freedom-loving Egyptians and for Americans today is, “What does the ‘radicalization of the Brotherhood’ really mean?”
Fortunately, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America have explained in detail what its purpose is, and how it intends to destroy everything for which we stand.
The subversion campaign self-identified by the Muslim Brotherhood as “civilization jihad” must not be confused with, or tolerated as, a constitutionally protected form of religious practice.
Its ambitions transcend what American law recognizes as the sacrosanct realm of private conscience and belief. It seeks to supplant our Constitution with its own totalitarian framework, the core of which is Shariah supremacism.
This concept of civilization jihad derives from, among other sources, a document entered into evidence in the 2008 United States v. Holy Land Foundation terrorist finance trial in Texas titled, “An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group,” which is reproduced in full as an appendix to, and parsed in, the 2010 “Report of Team BII” published by the Center for Security Studies under the title, “Shariah The Threat To America; An Exercise In Competitive Analysis
The “Explanatory Memorandum” was written in 1991 by Mohamed Akram, a senior Hamas leader in the U.S. and a member of the board of directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America (also known as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen or Ikhwan). The document makes plain that the “Islamic Movement” is a Muslim Brotherhood effort, led by the Ikhwan in America.
The Explanatory Memorandum explains that the “Movement” is a “settlement process” to establish itself inside the United States and, once established, to undertake a “grand jihad” characterized as a “civilization jihadist” mission that is likewise led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Specifically, the document describes the “settlement process” as a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Even more powerful and illuminating evidence comes from the various public statements of the international Muslim Brotherhood’s senior leadership. These statements by the group’s senior leadership belie the suggestion that “extremism” is somehow a new phenomenon in the Muslim Brotherhood brought on by outside forces.
In the fall of 2010, foreshadowing if not inspiring the so-called Arab Spring, the supreme guide of the International Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, announced
that Muslims “crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life . . . the U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.”
Given the extremity of these (among other) views espoused by Muslim Brotherhood leadership, to speak of “the radicalization of the Brotherhood” suggests an ignorance of the organization’s history, and wholly mischaracterizes the dilemma of “radicalization” in Egypt and internationally.
It disregards the possibility, if not likelihood, that the Muslim Brotherhood is a principled organization committed to certain strategic objectives, regardless of what forces and circumstances “push” the organization.
In attempting to determine what the strategic objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood are, both in Egypt and in America, one might start with the organization’s founding documents in the 1920s, or its enduring official motto: "Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and dying in the way of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."
It’s time for Americans to face facts: the Muslim Brotherhood views us as an enemy, both in Egypt and in the United States, regardless of whether or not it is “pushed toward terrorism.”
Joseph E. Schmitz served as inspector general of the Dept. of Defense from 2002-2005 and is CEO of Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC. Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.
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