A Georgetown professor has penned a column in the Washington Post saying the Muslim Brotherhood does not exist in America and even if it did, it’s an entirely peaceful organization.
In an op-ed titled “Calling the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization Would Hurt All American Muslims,” Professor Arjun Singh Sethi says that “the Brotherhood disavowed violence long ago.”
Sethi, a Sikh American and civil rights attorney who teaches law at Georgetown and Vanderbilt universities, says that the Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, “sought to instill Islamic values into everyday life. It later evolved into a popular social and political organization and became Egypt’s leading opposition party.”
The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act has been stuck in committee since November 2015, not being advanced by either Speaker Paul Ryan in the House or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate.
But President Donald Trump is known to be considering an executive action that would require the U.S. State Department to assess whether the Brotherhood should be declared a foreign terrorist organization.
Sethi is worried about that.
The Brotherhood tries to “foster democratization and moderation in the Middle East,” he opines, and has no real presence in the U.S.
Groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA and Muslim Student Association or MSA have “no connection to it,” according to Sethi, even though the connections have been documented by countless other scholars, FBI officials and investigative journalists.
He also tries to discredit the much-quoted “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” authored by Brotherhood member Mohamed Akram.
“This memorandum, of which there is only one known copy, has been widely discredited and called a fantasy,” Sethi writes.
But if it was a fantasy, why did the FBI enter this memo into evidence at the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial in 2007?
“It was sufficient for a judge to accept as evidence and led to people being put in jail for financing Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Dr. Mark Christian, who grew up in a prominent Muslim Brotherhood family in Cairo, Egypt.
Yet, Sethi says anyone who believes what’s published in the memorandum should be dismissed as a purveyor of “fake news” and condemns them as “conspiracy theorists” and “fearmongers.”
Akram, who wrote the memorandum in the late 1980s, is still alive and heading up al-Quds International, still raising money for Hamas in Asia and Europe.
“He was a lawful permanent resident when he was here in the U.S. and now he’s doing the same thing there,” said Phil Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer who developed a screening database deleted by the Obama DHS, described in the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing.”
“This notion that Mr. Akram is some harmless guy is ridiculous, but if you’re going to let him off the hook for being part of one terror organization, what about the other one?” Haney says. “There’s so much overlap here, the evidence is a mile high if you want to look for it.”
Memorandum ‘mere fantasy’
The Explanatory Memorandum is a critical piece of evidence against the Brotherhood because it gives details on the organization’s plan to use “civilization jihad” to destroy Western democracies “from within.” But Sethi discounts all of the content as mere “fantasy.”
Michele Bachmann, former congresswoman from Minnesota and longtime critic of the Brotherhood, said Sethi is employing tried and true Saul Alinsky tactics, seeking to denigrate his opponents rather than supporting his argument with facts.
“The Georgetown professor offers no evidence to back up his patently false claims,” Bachmann told WND.
Bachmann along with several other members of Congress led a drive to declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in 2012 and was immediately ridiculed by Sen. John McCain and others within her own party.
“In light of the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, he [Sethi} has a steep mountain to climb to counterbalance the overwhelming evidence proffered in U.S. district court establishing the presence of the Muslim brotherhood in America together with their direct links to terror financing,” Bachmann wrote in an email.
“Like most conversations among today’s college faculty, truth is what they say it is, not what truth really is,” she added.
Dr. Christian, a former imam named Abdullah Muhammad who converted to Christianity in his late 20s, changed his name and founded the Global Faith Institute, said that arguing the Brotherhood does not exist in America is a bit like saying it doesn’t exist in his native Egypt, where it was banned in 1949.
“By denying the existence of the Brotherhood is like denying death,” said Christian, who’s great uncle was one of the original Brotherhood members. “Yes we are not dead today, but we will be if we continue denying its existence.”
Sethi doesn’t mention that:
- The Brotherhood was responsible for assassinating Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, after he made peace with Israel.
- The Brotherhood’s continued financial support for the terrorist group Hamas, its backing of revolutions across the Middle East as part of the “Arab Spring”
- At least eight countries have banned it, including Russia, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The UAE even went so far as to outlaw as terrorists the Brotherhood spinoff groups in the U.S. such as CAIR.
- “The Brotherhood firmly rejects all notions of Western influences,” according to the Jewish Virtual Library. It is considered by many scholars to be a neo-Salafist revival movement. Salafism is considered the most radical strain of Sunni Islam because it seeks to take the faith back to its roots as modeled by Muhammad.
- According to Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
- All of the main leaders of al-Qaida, including Osama bin Laden, Dr. Iman Al-Zawahiri, 9/11 mastermind Muhammad Atta, Anwar al-Awlaki, and the blind Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman were members of the Brotherhood before joining al-Qaida. All drew inspiration from Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Syyid Qutb.
- Syyid Qutb, widely regarded as the father of modern jihad and who visited America in the 1960s, once said, “The objective is to strike fear into the hearts of Allah’s enemies.”
But Sethi discounts all of this and sees the Brotherhood as nothing more than a social club that likes to play nice with the West and foster democracy around the world.
Sethi admits in the Washington Post column he has spoken at the annual conference of ISNA, one of the organizations identified in the Holy Land Foundation trial documents as either affiliated with or friendly toward the Muslim Brotherhood.
ISNA tweeted about Sethi speaking at its convention, held Sept. 2-4, 2016.
— ISNA Convention (@isnaconvention) August 28, 2016
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna as a “rigidly conservative and highly secretive Egyptian-based organization.”
The Clarion Project, a nonprofit educational group that includes Muslims on its board, reports that the Muslim Brotherhood has mastered the strategy of gradualism.
“One of the mistakes that the West makes is that it doesn’t listen to what the Islamists are saying. If only we listened, we could hear their strategy,” Clarion reports. “In November 2011, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian and arguably the most influential Sunni cleric in the world, called on Muslims to embrace gradualism.’
“Gradualism is an intelligent form of jihad based on pragmatism, patience, long-term planning and self-evaluation.”
‘Democracy’ Brotherhood style
And herein lies the rub. When Islamists affiliated with the Brotherhood talk about “democracy,” it is not the same concept most Westerners would associate with that word.
According to Clarion:
“Qaradawi admits that ‘our democracy is different.’ Secular democracy like that in the West does not honor God and is immoral. ‘Democracy itself also can make what it wants as lawful, or prohibit anything it does not like. In comparison, the Sharia as a political system has limits. If we are to adopt democracy, we should adopt its best features.’”
If the sudden appearance of glowing reports about the Brotherhood seems odd, it shouldn’t, say national security experts who study the shadowy organization. Not when you consider that Trump has said he would like to ban the Brotherhood, an extremely powerful global organization that has had a front-row seat amid Washington’s power elite dating back to the Clinton administration.
The Middle East Forum documents more than $1.5 million in donations by individuals affiliated with CAIR, ISNA, MSA and other Brotherhood front groups to U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle since the late 1990s.
- Speaker Paul Ryan, accepted a $1,000 check last fall from Asad Malik, a wealthy Arab businessman and former board member of CAIR’s Michigan chapter.
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accepted the same amount from Malik for his presidential campaign last year. Ohio Gov.
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich accepted $1,500 from two men affiliated with CAIR and ISNA for his presidential campaign.
- Sen. Marco Rubio accepted $4,500 from Asad Malik, Hashem Mubarak and other Brotherhood-affiliated individuals.
- Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has accepted $500 from Asad Zaman of the Brotherhood-friendly Muslim-American Society.
- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has accepted $1,269 from officials of CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has received $2,500 in donations from individuals affiliated with the Muslim Public Affairs Council in 2015 and 2016.
But Donald Trump is nowhere to be found in the Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch database, meaning his hands are not stained with Brotherhood-tied money.
Brotherhood spends $5 million to spruce up U.S. reputation
The Muslim Brotherhood is running so scared of Trump that it has budgeted $5 million for public relations work to boost its reputation in the U.S. by influencing members of Congress and the media, reported Ryan Mauro for Clarion Project, citing a senior Brotherhood official in Sudan’s comment in an Arab publication.
If the Brotherhood at some point became peaceful, Haney points out that it never got around to changing its motto, which reads as follows:
“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
The Muslim Student Association, a spinoff of the Brotherhood, has a very similar motto:
“The Quran is our Constitution; Jihad is our way, death in the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.”
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Muslim Brotherhood opposes secular tendencies of Islamic nations and wants a return to the precepts of the Quran.
Part of the Brotherhood strategy is to use sympathetic non-Muslim organizations to advance its cause in the U.S. – people like Professor Sethi, says Dr. Christian.
Dr. Christian, who converted to Christianity in his late 20s and changed his name from Muhammad Abdullah, says Sethi has clearly bought into the interfaith dialoguing technique mastered by ISNA and other Brotherhood front groups.
Christian says it was the Brotherhood that initiated the “Common Word” movement more than five years ago that featured hundreds of Christian and Jewish faith leaders signing a letter pledging their unity with Islam on certain theological tenets.
Christian says the model for the Common Word strategy was Muhammad, who used it against the Romans/Byzantines, the Persians and the Egyptians before conquering them.
“ISNA is championing a model that is essentially a way to include churches and synagogues under their umbrella, using the ‘common word’ verse of the Quran,” he said. “Ironically that is the same verse found in the letters Muhammad was sending to the Roman Empire, the Persians and the government of Egypt telling them to submit to him and to Islam before he would send his army to invade those nations and empires and take them over.”
Christian cited Quran 3:64 as the basis for the “common word” strategy that is used to co-opt churches into the Islamic fold, weakening them by diluting their message about Christ as the eternal Son of God, co-equal with the Father, who died on a cross for the sins of mankind – all of which Islam debunks as lies and blasphemies.
“ISNA is using one verse to lure in Christians and Jews under their umbrella and that same verse ironically is the verse that Muhammad the prophet and founder if Islam was using in his letters that he sent to the government of Egypt, the Roman and Persian empires, warning them and giving them an ultimatum either to follow him and submit to him, or be invaded,” Christian said. “And he did invade all of them after he sent that letter. So the ISNA common word document is the letter of Muhamad to the West before they invade. This is a historical fact, not a fantasy. But, the naïve and the uneducated and the complicit are all in the same basket which the Explanatory Memorandum described as helping destroy the West by their own hands and the hands of the unbelievers.”
Trump must act now
Christian said Trump must act to declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, adding that the bill currently sitting in Congress does not go far enough.
“It has to include all of the Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America,” he said. “If he thinks he has any shot at making America great again, America cannot be great when it has a rat like the Muslim Brotherhood eating at its core.”
“The MSA in my opinion and my experience is more dangerous than any of them because it is their recruiting arm and training arm, for the future leaders of ISNA and CAIR,” he added. “They are the main force of anti-Semitic movement in America, working on college campuses. Anti-semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American.”
Haney said much can be gleaned about the Brotherhood by examining its logo. It has two cross swords with a word at the bottom in Arabic, encircled with the Quran in the middle.
The swords are a symbolic of enforcement of sharia internally and externally, he said.
The Quran’s ‘most violent chapter’
“That little word that looks like a backwards p means ‘prepare’. Amazingly, they tell you what they’re preparing for,” he said, citing Sura 8:60 of the Quran.
Sura 8:60 says:
“You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize, that you may terrify the enemies of Allah.”
“Chapter 8 is the most violent chapter in the Quran,” Haney said.
The chapter focuses on the spoils of war.
“First word is exactly the same as the one in the logo. Spoils of war. What? I thought Islam was a religion of peace? Yet they have an entire chapter on the spoils of the war with the infidel,” Haney said.
Secondly, the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, which states “jihad is our way” is in direct conflict with Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, he said.
CAIR and ISNA, named unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, filed appeals in Dallas to have their names taken off the list of co-conspirators. The judge denied their appeal.
“And if the MB is so peaceful, why is it fighting as the opposition group in Syria against Assad and in Egypt against el Sissi?” Haney said. “It’s one of three groups operating in Syria, al Nusra Front, Al Qaida in Iraq and Muslim Brotherhood, and that’s from the Defense Intelligence Agency report published in August 2012.
America needs to “wake up,” Bachmann said, “and realize President Obama allowed widened beachheads of influence of the Muslim brotherhood in the most sensitive portions of our government. The Brotherhood is at war with the U.S. and do not intend to stop the war until the U.S. has become Islamized.”