Obama’s Brotherhood Moment

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


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Game over: Barack Obama has endorsed a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new, post-Mubarak government for Egypt.

This should come as no surprise. Obama has behaved consistently all along, from his refusal to back the protesters in Iran, who were demonstrating against an Islamic Republic, to his backing of these protesters in Egypt, to whom he has just given a green light to establish a government that, given numerous historical precedents, will likely be the precursor to an Islamic Republic.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that a post-Mubarak Egyptian ruling group “has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.”

Robert Malley, an Obama adviser and Mideast negotiator for Bill Clinton, explained that Obama’s expression of willingness to see the Brotherhood as part of a ruling coalition in Egypt was a “pretty clear sign that the U.S. isn’t going to advocate a narrow form of pluralism, but a broad one.”

In The Post-American Presidency, Pamela Geller and I profile Robert Malley, Samantha Power, and other fierce foes of Israel in the Obama Administration. In light of the information we reveal in the book, the Administration’s stance toward the Muslim Brotherhood comes as no surprise. But the ideology and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood will come as a surprise to most Americans, especially now that the mainstream media is retailing numerous soothing falsehoods about the group. Thus they warrant a closer look.

Contrary to claims that it is a moderate organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually the prototypical Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia group of the modern age. Founded by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood emerged as a response to colonialism and Western influence in the Islamic world. Al-Banna wrote that “a wave of dissolution which undermined all firm beliefs was engulfing Egypt in the name of intellectual emancipation. This trend attacked the morals, deeds and virtues under the pretext of personal freedom. Nothing could stand against this powerful and tyrannical stream of disbelief and permissiveness that was sweeping our country.” His remedy? Restoration of Islamic law as the ruling principle of governance.

Al-Banna consequently decried Kemal Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate in secular Turkey, which he complained separated “the state from religion in a country which was until recently the site of the Commander of the Faithful.” Al-Banna characterized it as just part of a larger “Western invasion which was armed and equipped with all [the] destructive influences of money, wealth, prestige, ostentation, power and means of propaganda.”[1]

Al-Banna’s Brotherhood had a deeply spiritual character from its beginning, but it didn’t combat the “Western invasion” with just words and prayers. In a 1928 article al-Banna decried the complacency of the Egyptian elite: “What catastrophe has befallen the souls of the reformers and the spirit of the leaders?…What calamity has made them prefer this life to the thereafter [sic]? What has made them…consider the way of struggle [sabil al-jihad] too rough and difficult?”[2] When the Brotherhood was criticized for being a political group in the guise of a religious one, al-Banna met the challenge head-on:

We summon you to Islam, the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam, and if this smacks of “politics” in your eyes, then it is our policy. And if the one summoning you to these principles is a “politician,” then we are the most respectable of men, God be praised, in politics . . . Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world. . . . We believe that Islam is an all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order.[3]

Al-Banna wrote in 1934 that “it is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world: God is greatest [Allahu akbar]! This is not parochialism, nor is it racial arrogance or usurpation of land.”[4]

In the same article al-Banna insisted that “every piece of land where the banner of Islam has been hoisted is the fatherland of the Muslims” — hence the impossibility of accommodation with Israel, against which the Brotherhood and its offshoots still struggle. But the problem was not just Israel, which after all did not yet exist when the Brotherhood was founded. According to Brynjar Lia, the historian of the Muslim Brotherhood movement: “Quoting the Qur’anic verse ‘And fight them till sedition is no more, and the faith is God’s’ [Sura 2:193], the Muslim Brothers urged their fellow Muslims to restore the bygone greatness of Islam and to re-establish an Islamic empire. Sometimes they even called for the restoration of ‘former Islamic colonies’ in Andalus (Spain), southern Italy, Sicily, the Balkans and the Mediterranean islands.”[5]

Such a call might seem laughable except that the Brotherhood also had weapons and a military wing. Scholar Martin Kramer notes that the Brotherhood had “a double identity. On one level, they operated openly, as a membership organization of social and political awakening. Banna preached moral revival, and the Muslim Brethren engaged in good works. On another level, however, the Muslim Brethren created a ‘secret apparatus’ that acquired weapons and trained adepts in their use. Some of its guns were deployed against the Zionists in Palestine in 1948, but the Muslim Brethren also resorted to violence in Egypt. They began to enforce their own moral teachings by intimidation, and they initiated attacks against Egypt’s Jews. They assassinated judges and struck down a prime minister in 1949. Banna himself was assassinated two months later, probably in revenge.”[6]

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  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Turkey, Lebanon and almost certainly Egypt.
    Not a bad harvest for Soetoro on behalf of his islamic roots.
    Is anyone in the US awake or they are still looking for more “change”?

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    Any reason for my ccmments being blackballed?

  • The Pulpit

    Most of us who read Front Page Mag know this about the MB. What we need to have from Robert and others a more nuanced analysis of what's going on today with Egypt and how the MB is involved in progressing shari'a. Inferences from its past are not enough. What's actually going on with the MB and this play for power now?

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Mubarak's statement about stepping down in September changes nothing. Mark my words, he'll resign within weeks if not days.

    And though it was unlikely that anything Obama did would alter outcomes, Robert is absolutely right, it is patently absurd that he give US government imprimatur to a movement antithetical to our values and interests.

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    IS MUBARAK A DEAD MAN WALKING? DOES OBAMA WANT HIM KILLED?

    The menacing, terror-tied, Brotherhood ally Mohamad ElBaradei said of Mubarak's defiant decision to finish out his presidential term and life in Egypt that it's totally unacceptable. And just as he threatened violence earlier in the day if Mubarak refused to resign and leave the country ElBaradei now says that the dictator is a man marked for death. He's a " lame duck president and dead man walking" says the angry Nobel Peace Prize winner as his dream of replacing Mubarak turns to dust.

    continued

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    !Mubarak knows the danger he is facing. He knows the intensity of the anger rising against him; but he refuses to play the coward. He is a survivor who has escaped the fate of Anwar Sadat; in thirty years he's escaped seven attempts on his life and has contempt for Elbaradei's threats. He refuses to go the way of the Shah and flee Egypt for his life. "You want me to leave the land I love then come and kill me," he is saying to Elbaradei and the Brothers. And this could happen, but by other means……….

    Click my name to continue reading article

  • davarino

    Obama may be the world's president but he's not mine. When I say that I mean he does not intend to represent me, so how can I say he is my president. How can America say he is their president. He shills for the rest of the world. You cannot be our president because you do not represent yourself truthfully. You are a wolf in sheeps clothing and only seek to harm America. You lived abroad and identify with those who live in other countries more than we Americans. Good luck with your short lived quest "mr president". Enjoy it while you can cause your out in a couple of years.

    • Dennis X

      Four more years, four more years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • kate b

    To 'The Pulpit', because of your name, I will explain, this way.

    Firstly, al Banna is the nephew of Hajj Amin Al Husseini, who worked with Hitler to eradicate the Jews, and is thought to be the mastermind behind the death camps (the blueprints of which were found in a German property, of an unnamed person, why unnamed?) So there's totally bad blood behind this; but also a bad ideology.

    You may be familiar with Esau and Jacob, well, it's the same battle. So what does it mean in real terms? It means that there is going to be an Ayatollahization of Egypt, Copts will be even more in danger now, and if you are a Jew get out.

    The Sharia embraces all aspects of life, and despite sura 3:3 it doesn't confirm the scriptures before it as there is no mercy or love; zero tolerance means they don't have to think and terror rules e.g is there adultery, no, why because they're all dead. Isalm has nothing to do with Life.

    Despite the coming devastation to Egypt and the Egyptian people, there is hope, read Yeshayah 19, as G*d remembers Egypt's kindness to Joseph and Iran too will be remembered because of Cyrus' kindness and his allowing Israel to rebuild the temple.

    Hope this helps, Pulpit – it is a spiritual battle. Love, life and forgiveness against what Egypt has chosen: hate, death and hardheartedness from a religion which steals, kills and destroys.

  • Theo Prinse

    The German minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle said that Egypt has to move to more secularism – freedom of speech – and wants no fundamentalists.
    But it was A.Hitler who incited more hatred against jews into the muslims, sorry, the mohamedans, sorry, the abdullah's … via the grand-Mufti of Jerusalem back in the late thirties … than mohamedanism has ever known before …
    Than he lost the war, lots of SS fled with Odessa into the ministries of Nasser where the nazi's helped incite the '67 war against Israel. They lost that one too.
    So, today, the post WWII Germans like Gerhard Schröder, Joska Fischer, Otto Schilly, the French-German Bendith Cohn etc. and an ecologist party the Grüne, think they have morally overcome what there dad's did in WOII … but they didn't.
    The German green party is idealistically extremely against Nuclear Power – the answer against islam-oil – and these "Germans" invited the islamization into Europe with a European Union resolution islamization-for-oil.
    So the current generation Germans are trying to win the 2nd W.W with the Hitler incited islamization of Europe after all ! Euh, Egypt ?

  • USMCSniper

    What else would you expect out of Obama? Barack Hussein Obama was a practicing Muslim throughout his entire youth through high school, as an undergraduate at Occidental and Columbia where he studied under his selected Marxist professors, at Harvard law school, after graduating Harvard Law School and even after passing the bar, and only converted for political reasons to the Marxist based Black Liberation Christian crackpot sect under the anti American, openly racist, anti semitic Reverend Jerimiah Wright when in his 30's. He is a clandestine Muslim and a radical Marxist, a racist, and the worst President in the history of the United States.

    • EARL MARMIE

      USMCSniper, YOU ARE EXACTLEY RIGHT!! I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY!! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAD BETTER WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, BUT IT MAY BE TOO LATE! KEEP 'EM COMING! NCTROOPER

  • Verna

    http:tellthechildrenthetruth.com

  • P. A. Helvenston

    British Newspapers have reported that a violent activist from Egypt was supported by the US State Department, came to the US to study revolution and returned to foment it in Egypt and is involved in the revolution there now. This information was from leaked wikileaks papers. Obama met alone with leaders of the Muslim brotherhood in 2009 and God only knows what he promised them. The Mubarak administration says the Obama Administration has been in constant contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group outlawed in Egypt. How is that for betraying an ally? Now Obama has come out publicly and stated his goal to have the Muslim Brotherhood form a substantial role in a new Egyptian government. This entire affair demands a congressional investigation. This president needs to be impeached before the Islamists nuke the entire world. Let's get him out of office now. Impeachment Now.

  • Nobama

    +1 to impeachment our our President Fraud. There are already more than a dozen reasons to do so.

  • Connie

    This article is a very narrow and one-dimensional view of the events. The reason Obama did not publicly support the Iran protests is not because he is a supporter of the Islamic Republic, but because he correctly understood that such support would simply play into the ruling party's hand.

    One of the reasons there is so much antagonism towards the US in the Arab world is the support for dictators that kept people oppressed. The sooner that changes the sooner people will stop disliking the US.

    The author is a little full of himself. He keeps mentioning how he is a leading scholar of Islamic history and theology, but he neither studied them in any university nor teaches about them anywhere. His Wiki entry says he is "self-taught". Maybe that's why all the Muslim Brotherhood activities that he mentions in the article date from the 30's and 40's, to try to show how "scholarly" and cultured he is. Real scholars don't need to prove anything.

    • kid bertha

      Connie you are deceived and misinformed. Replacing Muburak with an MB influenced leader is no different than what happened in 1979 Iran. It is ALL about the expansion of the CALIPHATE. Islamic World Domination!!!

      El-B is a wolf in sheep's clothing and time will tell the truth.

  • http://www.gatwickmeetandgreetparking.info leesaphir

    I happen to think that Obama does great things!

    • kafir4life

      So you've been included in the liberal evaluation of his bowel movements, then? I've heard some great things about them. Is it true that they smell like fresh baked cinnamon buns?

  • Puzzled

    kafir4life: Comments like yours make discussions an impossibility. Can't you keep your tone at the same level of those before you? Don't you have arguments, or are you just as arrogant as the members of the present administration, who consider the common folk slow and unprepared to deal with complex issues? Are you so immature that your comments have to be laced with bodily functions which reflect your lack of respect for others as well as for yourself.

  • tanarg

    The look on the face of Obama has changed. It is now the look of a guilty man who knows that he has been found out.

  • http://westforwestwing2012.com westforwestwing

    Robert, very good point about the Muslim Brotherhood not presenting a radical new version of Islam, but rather, they're all about "returning" to the "pure" Islam of its early days.

    It occurred to me that all the various renewal movements in Christianity have proposed to do the same thing: return to the "original," "pure" Christianity. The difference, of course, is that the original, pure Christianity was a completely non-violent, non-coercive, love-centered thing. Whereas the original, pure Islam was violent and bloodthirsty and conquest-centered.