For over a hundred years, European and American cities were dotted with cells of left-wing radicals, Socialist and Communist groups who infiltrated more mainstream organizations, assassinated public officials, organized violent protests and detonated bombs in public places.
It was the fear of this churning red enemy that Karl Marx described in the opening of the Communist Manifesto as the specter of Communism haunting Europe.
The red cause has since gone mainstream and its bomb-throwers have become the establishment. The old radicals are parliamentarians and ministers, they head up NGOs and oversee newsrooms. They no longer haunt Europe; instead they rule Europe.
Today a new specter haunts Europe. Unlike the specter of Communism, it isn’t much spoken of and when it is mentioned, it is reduced to vague descriptions that fail to describe, like “Violent Extremism” and “Islamic Radicalism”, implying that the problem is a handful of men in a basement somewhere.
The new Islamic threat is no more reducible to the occasional terrorist cell than the Communist threat could be reduced to the handful of radicals who were willing to set off bombs. The green ghost of Islam haunting European and American cities is at least as deadly as the old red ghost of Communism.
Among the panoply of shades and specters haunting Berlin, Paris, New York, London, Sydney, Toronto and countless others, looms the Muslim Brotherhood.
This new specter is the topic of Erick Stakelbeck’s book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy. This book is no mere collection of dry research; instead Erick Stakelbeck delivers a punchy narrative that travels urgently with him at a breakneck pace as he confronts Muslim Brotherhood figures like Tariq Ramadan, traveling to Europe on ghost-busting expeditions to confront the specters in the Western houses that they have taken to haunting.
In vividly retold prose, Stakelbeck intersperses his pungent interviews with Brotherhood bigwigs with background on their activities and the range and breadth of the Muslim Brotherhood network. Like the Communists, the Islamists build up entire networks of front organizations to expand their influence, recruit new followers and funnel money into their operations. It’s a complicated web of deceit that security officials know about, but politicians refuse to deal with because the influence of the front groups has gone too high up the ladder of politics.
The Muslim Brotherhood has become so successful so quickly that many people who hear about the number of its front groups and the pervasiveness of its political influences dismiss them as an implausible conspiracy theory. The Brotherhood, like the Communists before it, is shielded by the seeming improbability of its penetrations, the magnitude of its deceptions and the inconceivable gullibility of its useful idiots.
The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy is an excellent antidote to such an attitude. It’s a book with a personal touch that comprehensively covers the Brotherhood, but tells much of the tale in terms of personal encounters that read like a spy novel, making it an ideal tool for convincing even low-information voters of the true nature of the threat.
From insights into the Obama administration’s obscene embrace of the Brotherhood to meetings with the smooth and sophisticated spokesmen for the Brotherhood’s Western origins in Europe, Stakelbeck tracks down facts and personalities, exposes the violent truth behind the appeaser’s lie of a peaceful political Islam that represses women and non-Muslims with a benevolent smile on its saturnine face.
As the Obama administration sticks to its policy of aiding Muslim Brotherhood takeovers in the Middle East, using political Islamist governments as a supposed bulwark against Al Qaeda Islamic terrorism, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy reminds us that Al Qaeda would not exist without the Muslim Brotherhood.
Every Al Qaeda leader was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the organization has its roots in the Brotherhood’s own Egypt. Stakelbeck argues that the September 11 attacks would never have occurred without the existence of the Brotherhood and convincingly shows that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology acts as a “gateway drug” to more explicit forms of Islamic terrorism.
This is a phenomenon that we can see even among American front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood; like the Muslim Students Association whose presidents have an unfortunate habit of becoming Al Qaeda terrorists. There would be no explanation for such a startling correlation were it not for the fact that the Brotherhood and its front groups are indeed “gateway drugs” for Islamic terrorism.
Gateway drug might well be an apt description of the Muslim Brotherhood which exists in layers. The deeper one goes into the green Islamist onion, the sharper and more violent the ideology becomes. Its power lies in deception and it is that deception which Stakelbeck tackles admirably in The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy.
A decade ago such a description might have seemed absurd. Even after September 11, when the front groups of the Muslim Brotherhood gained immense power and influence by positioning themselves as the moderate Muslim gatekeepers who could keep Muslim terror in check in return for political power and influence, it might have seemed ridiculous.
And then with the Arab Spring, the political checks written by Western leaders to the Muslim Brotherhood were cashed in a big way as Middle Eastern governments fell and the Brotherhood and its allies took over entire nations. Now as NATO nations are readying to arm the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, backing its bid to take over yet another country, it would appear that the green specter of Islam has made more progress in a shorter time than the red specter of Communism.
In the face of complacency and collaboration by Western politicians, Erick Stakelbeck delivers a necessary shock to the system with a blunt, open and unsparing look at the Brotherhood’s power and influence, at its cynical operatives, its ruthless goals and the scope of its plans for the free world.
The great tragedies of the twentieth century occurred because of the long delay in recognizing the terrible menace of the rising evils of Nazism and Communism. The Muslim Brotherhood may emerge as their historical counterpart if the free men and women of the twenty-first century do not wake up to the next great enemy whose soldiers already walk our soil and whose leaders give orders in Washington D.C., London and Berlin.
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