The Muslim Brotherhood’s False Appeal

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Muslim-Brotherhood_2013345cWe spend a great deal of time talking about the Muslim Brotherhood’s networks, its agents of influence and the structural elements of its infrastructure. But it may be worth exploring a more basic question.

What is its appeal?

This isn’t an inquiry about the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and its varied front groups to the educated and wealthy Muslims who make up its key demographic.

The Brotherhood promises the Sunni Arab elites that they can stay on top while beating the West by making Islam into as compelling a method of national and international governance as the freedom and free trade that upended their feudal societies.  So it’s no great mystery why a Cal-Tech student from Egypt will join the MSA. It offers him a heady combination of community, power, revenge and destiny.

What is more interesting is the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood, a reactionary Islamist terrorist organization with a history of Nazi collaboration that stands for theocracy, to the Western politicians who have come flocking to it as the last best hope for stability in the Middle East.

A glimmer of that false hope can be seen in the Washington Post editorial that Senator McCain and Senator Graham penned after a disastrous visit in which they failed to pressure the Egyptian authorities to free Muslim Brotherhood detainees.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, McCain and Graham warned ominously, “is a former member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who was radicalized during the violent crackdowns and detentions of Brotherhood leaders by previous Egyptian regimes. “  And if the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t given a chance to take power, the two politicians implicitly conclude, a new generation of Al Qaeda will be born.

Every single Al Qaeda leader, including Bin Laden, had actually been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Somehow Bin Laden turned to terror without the benefit of any Egyptian crackdown.

McCain and Graham’s thinking shows the logical flaw that allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to seduce the West. They focus on the “radicalization” of Ayman al-Zawahiri as a matter of means, not of ends.

The difference between Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, a difference that so many politicians have made their talking point in support for the Brotherhood, does not hinge on the nature of the society that both want to bring about, but on the tactics they use to bring that society about.

It’s not that there are no differences between them, but they are comparable to the ones between the Bolsheviks and the Trotskyites, rather than between the Labour Party and the Bolsheviks. The distinction is occasionally crucial to dogmatic insiders, but irrelevant to us in terms of the violence and warfare that we would inevitably face from such a regime in the long term.

As every leftist activist knows, moderation is a strategy.  Terrorism is also a strategy. Strategies can be revealing, but objectives are much more revealing.

The terrorism-or-democracy fallacy treats Islamists as “bad” if they blow up buildings in order to build a theocracy, but “good” if they compete in elections to build a theocracy. It prioritizes process over outcome and its logic suggests that we should have no objections to Hitler and Stalin if they had come to power as part of a pure democratic process. Or worse still, bet that democracy would moderate them.

Democracy and terrorism are treated as opposite poles. One leads to a stable, prosperous and free society and the other to ruin and perpetual war. But despite all the assertions that democracy is the only thing that can stabilize Egypt, democracy has already badly destabilized Egypt. Most Egyptians were safer and better off under Mubarak. That may be one reason so much of the country appears to have breathed a sigh of relief at the current state of affairs. The majority of Egyptians polled appear to show that democratically they are happy to be rid of democracy.

The lazy assumption that when the Muslim Brotherhood switched from the bomb to the ballot box, it did more than switch means, it also switched ends, doesn’t hold up. Not when examining the tactics of Islamists in power from Turkey to Tunisia to Egypt. Islamists are as violent in power as they are out of power. It isn’t disenfranchisement that radicalizes them. It’s their belief in Islamic rule that does.

Rather than trying to avoid the outcome that leads to an Islamist tyranny, men like McCain and Graham try to avoid leading the Islamists to violent tactics. Their goal is not to stop terrorists from forming regimes, but to dissuade them from using terrorist tactics to form those regimes.

But do McCain and Graham really think that Ayman al-Zawahiri would have been a great improvement as a Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt rather than as a leader of Al Qaeda? If so, they ought to honestly defend that point of view. Instead they warn us that if the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t allowed to take over Egypt by the ballot box, they’ll go on trying to take it over by the bomb.

Is a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood really better than a violent Muslim Brotherhood opposition? Even if the goal is to shut down terrorism, a regime in one of the largest countries in the region that supports terrorism is far more of a threat than that same regime as a terrorist opposition.

Stability through appeasement led to pressure on Israel to create a Palestinian state because a state created through moderate means was bound to be moderate. After two decades of terrorism, there is no evidence that this has been the case. Nor is there any evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood had become moderate to the point of eschewing violence.

In Egypt, Morsi’s successful election through a flawed democratic process did not prevent him from attempting to seize absolute power anyway. It did not prevent him from using armies of thugs to rape, torture and terrorize his political opponents.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s emphasis on political Islam did not preclude terrorist Islam because like the political and military wings of a terrorist organization, political Islam and terrorism Islam are the same Islam.

Western leaders have seized on political Islam as the salvation of a civilized world reeling from attacks by terrorist Islam; but this sees terrorism only as an end, rather than as a means.

McCain and Graham, like most Western leaders, are unable to take the Islamist dreams of a revived Caliphate seriously. That is their undoing and ours. To them, the Brotherhood will become another political party and its Islamist agenda will mean little except a ban on liquor or a lower marriage age for little girls. They refuse to understand their enemies by contemplating the world of the present through the dirty glass of the Islamic lens.

What they fail to understand is that the Islamists don’t just seek to change a few laws; they want to overthrow the entire system, to sweep away the assumptions of one civilization and replace it with those of another.

Western politicians are too much creatures of the current system to contemplate the return of the world as it was a thousand years ago. They have imbibed the machinery of the clock and believe that history only marches forward, never backward. And the Muslim Brotherhood is proving them wrong.

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  • Johnathan Read

    Great Article !!

  • Alvaro

    Good analysis again, Daniel!

    I would like to add that the Muslim brotherhood and their jihadist allies have something in common with the Marxist labor movement of the late 19th century.

    The revolutionary parts of this movement blew up bombs and were determined to overthrow society with a violent revolution. The revisionist part wanted to overthrow society through elections: Only the means to the goal were different, but not the goal itself.

    In the same way, the Muslim Brotherhood and the jihadists blowing up bombs have the same goal – namely Islam dominating the planet.

    The Muslim Brotherhood does that through subversion, politics and “democracy” (despite not being true democrats). They give the impression they are “moderates” who can keep the jihadists in check – in return for money and political support.

    The jihadists work towards the same goal through jihad. The more people they murder, the more “moderate” the Muslim Brotherhood will appear, and the more support and money the Muslim Brotherhood will receive from the West.

    On the other hand, the true secular force in Egypt, namely the army – an institution that could secularize the country and eventually pave way for true democracy – and not the Hitlerite version of “democracy” of Mursi – get their hand cut off when they reach out to the West for support. It is disgraceful.

    • NSNZ

      Have you checked out your assumption that ‘the true secular force in Egypt, namely the army’ is also the accepted understanding of the tiny remaining (original) Coptic race of Egypt, Alvaro?
      Good in theory, but far from practice when Copts are framed, killed and churches burned on an increasingly regular basis there.

      • Alvaro

        In my opinion you can’t just set up ballot boxes and say you have got democracy. In many countries the dictator with the most votes will simply oppress everyone else. Egypt under Mursi was one such country.

        What Egypt needs first (in order to make democracy work) is enlightenment and the separation of state and religion. Only then will the Copts be safe(r) and there will be a true democracy.

        The paradox is that the way to democracy may go through a long term military dictatorship with annihilation of Mursi and his theocratic cohorts.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      The jihadists work towards the same goal through jihad. The more people they murder, the more “moderate” the Muslim Brotherhood will appear, and the more support and money the Muslim Brotherhood will receive from the West.

      Uhm…the Muslim Brotherhood are jihadists. As a matter of fact, all Muslims are jihadists in one form or another, as jihad is not only the highest pillar of which Islam stands, it is also a holy obligatory duty incumbent upon all Muslims in one form or another. While some jihad is violent, very similar to terrorism, non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad is astronomically far more prevalent relative to the violent variety of jihad. For instance, mass Muslim immigration to the West for the nefarious purpose of demographic conquest is astronomically far more prevalent relative to violent jihad attacks such as 9/11.

      In Islam, there is no such thing as so-called “moderate Muslims, since all Muslims as the first and foremost prerequisite of Islam, totally, completely, and unconditionally submit to the “will of Allah” under the penalty of death for blasphemy and apostasy, as Islam alone in the world compels faith via the penalty of death, yet somehow it is still considered to be a religion by the masses instead of what it really is, which is a cult. Then to top it off, the “will of Allah” that all Muslims totally, completely, and unconditionally submit to under the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy is in essence Sharia law, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Hence, Islam in reality is a totalitarian cult masquerading as being a religion to dupe its intended targets.

      Furthermore, per the universally accepted throughout Islamadom doctrine of abrogation, which holds that when two or more verses of the Koran come into conflict with each other, that is they contradict one another, the latter issued verses of the Koran, i.e., those issued later on in Muhammad’s career, abrogate, replace, and override the earlier issued verses of the Koran in which they conflict with. Thus, this means that the infamous sword verses of the Koran, which were issued by Muhammad just shortly before his death, abrogate, replace, and override all the earlier issued peaceful verses of the Koran they conflict with and the very same abrogated Koranic verses that Muslims love to cite to clueless infidels in order to dupe gullible useful idiots. In effect, the latter issued sword verses of the Koran reformed Islam from what initially started out as being a “religion of peace”, into what is now a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult, as the sole fundamental purpose of Islam since the issuance of the infamous sword verses of the Koran is the subjugation of all religions and all infidels into Islamic totalitarianism through jihad and via the eventual imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

      could secularize the country and eventually pave way for true democracy -

      Uhm…I hate to rain on your naive parade, but democracy in the Islamic world is absolutely 100 percent impossible, as Islam is not a religion but instead a form of totalitarianism in its own right. That’s also the reason why every Islamic country in the world today is either a totalitarian hellhole or on the path to becoming a totalitarian hellhole in the not too distant future. Indeed, in many respects Islam is very similar to Communism as both forms of totalitarianism sought world domination.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “The Brotherhood promises the Sunni Arab elites that they can stay on top while beating the West by making Islam into as compelling a method of national and international governance as the freedom and free trade that upended their feudal societies. So it’s no great mystery why a Cal-Tech student from Egypt will join the MSA. It offers him a heady combination of community, power, revenge and destiny.”

    I can understand why their constituents would believe this claim because why would we not tolerate and even support the MB when we obviously get along so well with Saudi tyranny and similar regimes?

    0′Bama just went the against what should have been a clear policy of discouraging any totalitarian political movements, even if they claimed to want to gain power through “democratic elections” – the way Abbas (Abu Mazen) did.

    Democracy is not a gate to pass through. That’s clearly fraud and it’s unacceptable deception for any Westerners to call it democracy.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, McCain and Graham warned ominously, “is a former member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who was radicalized during the violent crackdowns and detentions of Brotherhood leaders by previous Egyptian regimes. “ And if the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t given a chance to take power, the two politicians implicitly conclude, a new generation of Al Qaeda will be born.”

    Don’t put criminals in jail. It might make their friends mad and they might engineer their way out some day. Just give in to tyranny when it shows up. It’s more “peaceful” that way.

    Those 2 RINOs are almost bigger traitors than 0′Bama. At least 0′Bama doesn’t pose as a Republican.

    • Larry Larkin

      Two idiots who can’t read history or learn anything from it. It was the Muslim Brotherhood who made a very good attempt at wiping out the Jewish population of Hebron in 1928. The Muslim Brotherhood were the reason the British military saw so much counter insurgency action in Palestine in the 1930s. The Muslim Brotherhood were cracked down on by the previous Egyptian regimes because the Muslim Brotherhood were a bunch of terrorists who assassinated an Egyptian President and were bombing and murdering tourists, Copts, and just about anybody else who wasn’t a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
      McCain might have served his country well in the past, but he’s at least 10, and probably 20, years past his use by date and should be put out to pasture.
      Graham is just an idiot.

  • Linda S. Heard

    The problem with Western politicians and peoples is that they are trapped in their own prisms and conditioning. For them, the decision is simple: ‘Coup’ bad; ballot box good. Through no fault of their own, they are unable to feel the pulse of the majority of Egyptians who lived through the worst year of their lives under Mursi who reneged on his promise to form an inclusive government representing all members of society. Mursi began well and was beginning to be seen as an international statesman until he made the fatal error of dumping democracy to grab more powers to himself than even Mubarak enjoyed.
    Things went downhill from then on to the extent most Egyptians were convinced he was taking his orders from the MB Supreme Guide. As the months progressed, he was slowly but surely placing Islamists as decision makers in all government institutions and governorates. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the free-falling economy and the shortages of wheat, cooking gas, petrol as well as hours-long electricity cuts. The reasons for those shortages was the fact that Mursi was filching those commodities from his people to send to Gaza. It should be remembered that Hamas is a breakaway from the Muslim Brotherhood and it was Hamas that freed Mursi from Wadi Natron prison in 2011, killing guards and police officers in the process.
    As somone who lives in Egypt, I can tell you that almost everyone I spoke with would shake his or her head saying “el balad bize” (The country is ruined). People were despondent, depressed and felt their very identity was being robbed. They could not wait another three years because, by then, Islamists would have a stranglehold over the every single institution, including the army, the police and the judiciary that Musi was trying to control from the get-go.
    For most Egyptians, their wish to remove Mursi was political NOT religious. Egyptians are arguably the most devout Muslims on the planet but the MB has pronounced that anyone who isn’t championing Mursi (a call that has now morphed into anti-coup for PR purposes) is kafr (infidel). The heads of the MB are what are called Qutbis, meaning they are under the influence of the ideology of Sayyid Qutb whose hatred for the ‘loose morals’ of America drove him to twist Islam. He maintained it was legitimate to kill people who called themselves Muslims considered in a state of Jahaliya (irreligious) and overturn states using violence. The more moderate MB leaders who adhere to its founder Hassan el Banna have mostly resigned from the MB to form new parties such as the Strong Party and Wasat.
    When so many speak about reconciliation and inclusiveness going forward, I believe this is impossible to do with the MB Qutbis. Islamists must be part of the coming elected government because they represent a large sector, but not the MB. Instead the interim government should make concessions to those who follow Hassan Al Banna as well as moderates like Abdel Moneim el Fotouh and the Salafists in the Al Nour Party.
    The situation in Egypt is complex. People have a different relationship with their army that freed them from British imperialism via the puppet king Farouk and which backed their plea to oust Mursy unlike the Syrian army that still defends its dictator. I only wish the Western media and the far left would dig deeper, stop coming to knee jerk conclusions and take the time to understand.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “The problem with Western politicians and peoples is that they are trapped in their own prisms and conditioning.”

      Not all of them. But our leaders have to cater to the lowest common denominator because of our weak, comprised education systems.

      “Things went downhill from then on to the extent most Egyptians were convinced he was taking his orders from the MB Supreme Guide.”

      Don’t be naive. Who do you think approved his candidacy?

      “For most Egyptians, their wish to remove Mursi was political NOT religious.”

      We get that. It was just easier for the secularists to lead the charge.

      “The situation in Egypt is complex. People have a different relationship with their army that freed them from British imperialism via the puppet king Farouk and which backed their plea to oust Mursy unlike the Syrian army that still defends its dictator.”

      Syria and Egypt both need benign pseudo-Muslim dictators to keep the jihadis at bay.

      “I only wish the Western media and the far left would dig deeper, stop coming to knee jerk conclusions and take the time to understand.”

      They cater to their readers and viewers, who don’t care.

    • jackdiamond

      Egyptians were surprised by Morsi’s actions once in office? He had begun to be seen as an “international statesman?” What about the Muslim Brotherhood did they not understand? We can debate whether Qutb “twisted” Islam but note the concern is over Muslims pronouncing other Muslims as kafir (and apostate). Pronouncing Takfir is as old as Islam but it’s the one thing that makes jihadists unpopular with other Muslims. Al Qaeda was very popular with the Jordanians, for instance, until it began targeting Jordanian Muslims– killing Americans was okay but killing Muslims and pronouncing Muslim leaders outside Islam was apparently a source of controversy.

      The Ikhwan/Brotherhood is pretty open about its goals and methods, there is no excuse for being ignorant of it or fooled by it. The priority of the MB has been constructing an infrastructure in the West as a prelude to eventual “rule” later in the century. It practices a doctrine of “concealment” or “flexibility” in kafir countries, as part of its notion of stages (moving from the individual to family to peoples to the nation to the union of Islamic nations, the global Caliphate) with moderation disappearing as their power increases. This “colonization” has been most successful in Europe. Meanwhile, It has fully supported jihad and terror in Muslim countries, it religiously justified suicide bombings in Palestine and Iraq. It has run training camps for terrorism against Kashmir and MB Hassan al-Turabi let bin Laden set up a terrorist network in Sudan and training camps for global jihad. Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, is a terrorist entity. The MB is also directly linked to Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan.

      The last Supreme Guide of the MB Muhammad Mahdi Akef said “the path of the Muslims is global” and that “the Shari’a is the Solution.” In 2004 he called the U.S. “a Satan that abuses the religion. I expect
      America to collapse soon…I have complete confidence that Islam will
      invade Europe and America.” In an interview in 2005 he said “”The Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate
      with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious
      worldview–the spread of Islam until it rules the world…all the members
      in the international arena operate according to the written charter
      that states that Jihad is the only way to achieve these goals…ours is
      the largest organization in the world.”

      Ikhwan Online made this statement of purpose, invoking the MB motto:
      “The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of
      Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed. The goal…is the
      establishment of a world Islamic State. And if prayer is a pillar of
      faith, then jihad is its summit..and death in the path of Allah is the
      summit of aspiration.”

      The followers of Hassan Al Banna are only “moderate” to those Egyptian Muslims “the most devout on the planet.” Not especially to the rest of us.

      • Linda S. Heard

        I don’t disagree with you. Everything you wrote is correct. But here’s my prism argument again. Egypt is a country with some 40 percent illiteracy and over 50 percent living below the poverty line. Do you honestly believe people worried about their next piece of bread or those unable to read and write can access the facts you lay out above? From the perspective of Egyptians who support the MB even though the president drawn from its ranks drove the nation into the ground socially, economically, and politically, the MB is a social welfare organization; they are loyal because they’ve been the receipient of free medical treatment, help with educational expenses, food packages, inexpensive meat and cash handouts, in some, cases for decades. It really is as simple as that.
        The interim government/army has a heck of a job on its hands because its hands are being somewhat tied by diktats from the US and the EU. Any crackdown, any dismantling of the sit-ins resulting in heavy fatalities and President Obama, Baroness Ashton et al will yell military state, death of democracy. The US should be supportive, not demoralizing when Egypt has traditionally been its closest ally in the region, barring Israel. We were disgusted and appalled by the comments from McCain/Graham that served only to stir the pot and anger egyptians from all sides of the spectrum. Egypt, this new brave Egypt, is struggling to breathe and its friends should hold out a helping hand rather than threats and finger wagging.

        • jackdiamond

          The US should never have been in bed with the MB (in Egypt or elsewhere) but that’s been the current March of Folly since some geniuses decided the MB weren’t jihadists after all. The interim govt/army is going to have a hard time if they don’t crackdown–if not eliminate the MB the way Nasser did.That said, I do find it hard to believe all those Muslims favorable to the MB, at least before it came to power, were simply loyal because of handouts and not what they hear in the mosques every Friday. I’ve seen some Egyptian TV too, the fire-breathing clerics; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion shown as a mini-series (in the Mubarak era); the polls which showed 80% of Egyptians favored more Shari’a law and punishments like death for apostasy. If that’s a false impression from afar, I’m willing to be corrected. If
          it comes down to who can feed the people gets their loyalty, well, I’m all for this govt. succeeding. Since today is better than yesterday.

          We’re all for bread, just no more circuses.

          • Linda S. Heard

            “I do find it hard to believe all those Muslims favorable to the MB, at least before it came to power, were simply loyal because of handouts and not what they hear in the mosques every Friday”
            Not everyone, of course. There are leaders, ideologues, militias, wealthy benefactors, stalwarts – then there is the majority, the base that is loyal because a) Handouts and b) Indoctrination in the MB’s mosques.
            Egyptians have changed a lot since Mubarak had the top job. The religiousity was partly a protest. Young women wore the hijab as a symbol of defiance. Many stopped wearing them following the Jan 25th revolution. They are still pious but most really resent being told how to practice their faith by women in niqab and black gloves and men with beards and short kaftans. One of their recent chants is “Islam is Sunnah and Quran, not Mursi and Ikhwan”.

          • jackdiamond

            In my view, Sunnah and Qur’an are the problem, the Ikhwan invented nothing. Our problem with the Islamic world does not begin and end with the Muslim Brotherhood, but that’s another discussion. Islam-light is better than the full Black-heart. I hope you are right about the (new) new Egypt, for everyone’s sake. Stay safe.

          • Sg23

            Believe me people in egypt are so poor (i’m egyptian) that just a sustenance will go a long way. Beyond that the fact that a large portion of them are uneducated and illiterate and thus easily influenced by overly zealous psychotic preachers that incite violence. Its a combination of everything.

        • Sg23

          I agree completely. I can’t believe McCain and Graham are even in politics with the lack of self restraint they showed in criticizing Egypts interim President/Vice President and Al Sisi. I can’t believe the media is having a field day trying to make it seem as if the army wanted power and are now killing ‘peaceful’ weapon trotting, church burning brotherhood, Rather than talking about how the last 2 most wanted men in america developed from the brotherhood (last 2 alqaeda leaders: Osama Bin Laden, and currently Al Zawahiri)

  • http://www.facebook.com/melvin.polatnick Melvin Polatnick

    Financial support of Islamic hotheads must be ended if stability in the Middle-East is to be maintained. The military has its hands full protecting investors in the economy without an added burden of curbing outside rabble rousers.

  • Prof. Leonard Wessell

    As usual Greenfield presents keen insigts. But this time he made an error. The Nazis did come to power democratically within the constutional structure of the Weimar Republic–and Hitler insisted upon doing just this. After taking “democratic” control he began, as the MB tried, to shut out political opposition and impose dictaorital powers–all deriving from democracy. include the democratic choice of the Parliament of the Weimar Republic to abolish itself in order to give Hitler unlimited power (as Mursi was doing).

    Hitler played his democratically won control at first in such a way that even the British press expressed hope that power would moderate him. More yet, Hitler was not the “radical” of his party, rather Röhm (neutralized later by Hitler through an early use of the SS). Hitler was the “moderate” (suc) of the party who would learn from the exigencies of power tobecome yet more moderate >>> and, unlike FDR (and Obama), Hitler’s deficit spending did produce general wealth in Germany. (Note: one reason for a necessary war in 1939 was that German bonds were no longer being baught >> deficits becoming inflation).

    The lesson of it all is that nothing new is under the sun of tryanny. Whoops, false! Chaimberlain, scared by WW I, made a deal with Hitler for “peace in our time”, but he NEVER was pro-Nazism. This is unlike Obama who seems to be very pro-Islamic MB and is willing,in the name of democracy, to give them a chance to become dictators.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Technically Hitler was appointed chancellor at a time when the Nazi Party had begun flailing politically.

      All that occurred within the political context of the Republic, but not directly through the ballot box, which is why I wrote pure democracy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

      “After taking “democratic” control he began… to shut out political opposition and impose dictatorial powers–all deriving from democracy.” Gee, this could equally apply to Obama.

    • Seek

      The German analogy is more complicated. Adolf Hitler, contrary to popular misconception, did not win the the 1932 German presidential election. It was the octonegarian, Paul Hindenburg, who won it, in a three-candidate, two-stage election. (Under the Weimar system, chancellor and president were two separate offices). Hitler wound up with only 36 percent of the vote, but he gained crucial leverage in persuading the ailing Hindenburg (with the help of naive recent Chancellor Franz von Papen), to appoint him chancellor in January 1933. A year later, Hitler cemented his absolute rule by abolishing the presidential office.
      Moral: Don’t lose a war, go through a depression and then elect an old guy president.

  • Spinoneone

    “What if terrorist Islam and political Islam are the same thing?”
    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    • VLParker

      God, I hope so.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    There are true moderates and pseudo moderates. I exposed the pseudo-moderates here: http://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/. “Moderate men falling down.” Greenfield’s piece exposes phony moderates.

  • Fred

    The MB is dedicated to Allah and His rule upon the earth. Only they know Allah for what He is (which in their view is entirely “other”, which is to say “indescribable”, which makes their “insight” entirely empty, and thus entirely worthless) and what He wants. They have the Truth for all time and everyone who opposes them is an enemy of God who they must wipe out – now – if they are to serve Allah properly. Is there a greater glory for the “slaves” of Allah than to destroy those who reject His will? No!
    So we, who would rather not be murdered, but who vaingloriously insist on our (anti- Allah) freedom of choice are the enemy. Indeed, our whole social structure, based as it is on tenets contrary to those revealed by Islam, is a demonic imposture by Satan, and we are Satan’s agents, knowingly or not, and all in need of immediate death (in a way they are doing us a favor).
    As I have been telling my sons, back when, in the 60′s and 70′s, when we were pushing for so many of the progressive agendas that have since become parts of our social fabric, I had no idea that, having won so many battles, it would turn out so badly, so ugly, so vehemently disunited. I thought back then that multiculturalism was the key the new egalitarian world of peace and love we all dreamed of so idealistically. I certainly never imagined that the primary enemy of our beautiful new world would a resurgent medievalism complete with beheadings.
    And all I can say now is that I still believe in equality in law and tolerance even though I no longer believe in that beautiful chimera of peace and love. Maybe its advancing age, but it seems to me that eventually we must deduce a few plausible contenders for “facts”, because in fact facts can be deduced, and the fact is that whatever else Islam may be, it is like unto a medieval plague upon the modern world, which thrives on diversity and innovation, while Islam insists on orthodoxy and stasis.
    Islam is a retrograde proto-fascism in the guise of religion. Islam is imperialistic, colonialist, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-democratic, anti-pluralist, anti-modernist, in short : anti-humanist. Yet it is embraced by intellectuals who excuse all of that by declaring Islam a victim. And victims Muslims certainly are. They are victims of Islam, which is the one and only source of the one and only Truth, which is not subject to change. But it will change. It is changing. Everything is changing and everything changes, but how is not possible to predict. So the “true” Muslims murder the “moderate” Muslims (and us infidels, naturally) because Islam is perfect after all, and all change is evil.
    No, I never imagined that here in the 21st century we would be refighting the stupid battles over religion that befouled the world a thousand years ago. Just shows how short sighted wild idealism (like mine) usually is. But we will have to fight this anti-human “religion” at least as long as its faithful feel their faith requires them to kill us for not being faithful too. “Islam” means “submission”, and that is all that will do. There is no reasoning with anyone who does not wish to be reasonable, to consider another point of view, and to consider their own mistakes, and having perfect Truth does not lend itself to reason. So reason as we might, we shall do so in a vacuum where no true slave of Allah will ever go, and all this stupid ugliness will go on and on and on just as it has for ever and ever and ever. Happy days!

  • TopAssistant

    Is Obama using the Muslim Brotherhood to form a global caliphate or are they using him to do so? Either way, it is being formed; the Democrat Party is helping; the RINO/GOP leadership/followers in the soon to be defunct Republican Party are doing their part to prevent any and all hearings; the mainstream media (MSM) remains silent.
    The Muslim Brotherhood in America wrote a plan to destroy America however, our USELESS politicians in BOTH the House and Senate, BOTH Democrat Party and the RINO/GOP refuse to hold hearings on their plan and the group. You can buy it online at Amazon for $5.00.
    An Explanatory Memorandum: From the Archives of the Muslim Brotherhood in America: “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of 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.”
    “Another extraordinarily important element of the Memorandum is its attachment. Under the heading “A List of Our Organizations and Organizations of Our Friends,” Akram helpfully identified 29 groups as Muslim Brotherhood fronts. Many of them are even now, some twenty-two years later, still among the most prominent Muslim- American organizations in the United States. Worryingly, the senior representatives of these groups are routinely identified by U.S. officials as “leaders” of the Muslim community in this country, to be treated as “partners” in “countering violent extremism” and other outreach initiatives. Obviously, this list suggests such treatment translates into vehicles for deep penetration of the American government and civil society.” http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2013/05/25/an-explanatory-memorandum-from-the-archives-of-the-muslim-brotherhood-in-america
    Do they sound peaceful? You can read an online copy here at The Oak Initiative website: http://www.theoakinitiative.org/pdfs/teamb/15-Shariah-The-Threat-to-America-Team-B-Report-Web-285-308.pdf

  • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

    There’s no “what if?”

    The Muslim Brotherhood advises Muslims in the West to view their time here as a grand jihad, the goal of which is to bring down Western Civilization from within.

  • cathy

    Allen West Insists Muslim Brotherhood ‘Infiltrated’ Obama Administration
    Posted: August 14, 2013 4:10 PM

    Former Congressman Allen West, who has left the door open to a political comeback, ripped President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies on Wednesday and claimed the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated” the American government.

    “In 2009 President Obama traveled to Egypt and delivered a very conciliatory speech at the University of Cairo. Not much later, events termed the ‘Arab Spring’ compelled President Obama to advocate for the deposing of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak,” West posted on Facebook on Wednesday. “Many warned of the rise of the ‘granddaddy of Islamic terrorism,’ the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt as the only viable and organized political entity. We were castigated as alarmists and Islamophobes. The Muslim Brotherhood even lied about running a candidate for president. We are now witnessing the result of our blindness. Read the Muslim Brotherhood’s charter. Read the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum Strategic Goal for North America that was uncovered during an FBI raid in Northern Virginia. Read Erick Stakelbeck’s book, ‘The Brotherhood: America’s Next Enemy.’ And yes, we do have Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups and individuals infiltrated into this current Obama administration. This is serious.”

    http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/blog/allen-west-insists-muslim-brotherhood-infiltrated-obama-administration

    http://www.theoakinitiative.org/pdfs/teamb/15-Shariah-The-Threat-to-America-Team-B-Report-Web-285-308.pdf