Ikhwanization 2

Ikhwan is the Arabic for brothers.

Jamiat al-Ikhwan al-muslimun means the Muslim Brotherhood.

The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood is:

Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

The following quotation is from a letter to the editor of Noozhawk, Santa Barbara, by Donald Thorn. It is a useful timetable of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power with the help of the Obama administration. We came to it via Creeping Sharia which has coined the word “Ikhwanization” to sum up the process.

Today, Egypt has a Muslim Brotherhood hard-liner president (Mohammed Morsi), and there are more calls for the destruction of Israel. There are new fears that the regime will invite al-Qaeda back into Egypt and open up a front with Israel along the Sinai.

Who helped the Muslim Brotherhood gain control? [The State Department] and the White House helped train the Brotherhood during Egypt’s elections, selling out Israel and U.S. interests in the Mideast. Even more troubling is the untold story of how the Obama administration secretly helped bring Islamofascists to power.

Consider the timeline:

»1) 2009: Brotherhood spiritual leader Qaradawi writes President Barack Obama and argues terrorism is a direct response to U.S. foreign policy.

» 2) 2009: Obama travels to Cairo and apologizes to Muslims and invites the Muslim Brotherhood, but snubs Israel and Mubarak.

» 3) 2009: Obama appoints a Brotherhood-tied-Islamist, Rashad Hussain, as U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which supports Muslim Brotherhood.

» 4) 2010: State Department lifts visa ban on Tariq Ramadan … grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder.

» 5) 2010: Hussain and Ramadan meet at an American sponsored conference attended by U.S. and Brotherhood officials.

» 6) 2010: Hussain meets in Egypt with Brotherhood’s grand mufti.

» 7) 2010: Obama meets with Egypt’s foreign minister, Gheit, who claims Barack said he was a Muslim.

» 8) 2011: The Brotherhood’s supreme leader calls for jihad against the United States, and Qaradawi calls “days of rage” against Mubarak and pro-western Mideast regimes. Cairo erupts into violence.

» 9) 2011: Obama fails to back his ally, Mubarak, then sends intelligence czar Clapper to Capitol Hill to claim the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and secular.

» 10) 2011: The Brotherhood wins control of Egyptian parliament, vows to tear up 30-year peace treaty with Israel and re-establishes ties with Hamas and Hezbollah.

» 11) 2011: Obama demands Israel relinquish land to Palestine …

» 12) 2011: State Department formalizes ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, letting diplomats deal directly with Brotherhood officials in Cairo.

» 13) 2012: Obama releases $1.5 billion in foreign aid to new Egyptian regime.

» 14) 2012, June: Morsi becomes Egypt’s president and vows to instate Shariah law, turning Egypt into an Islamic theocracy.

» 15) 2012, June:  A delegation of once-banned Brotherhood terrorists join a Muslim Brotherhood delegation at the White House, meeting with a national security official.

» 16) 2012, July: Obama invites Morsi to visit the White House in September.

What does all this mean? The Muslim Brotherhood’s didn’t just suddenly take over in the Mideast or Egypt. It was helped along by a U.S. president sympathetic to its interests, over those of Israel and the United States.

It certainly looks that way. It looks like there has been an Ikhwanization of the US administration.

How should the US deal with the Muslim Brotherhood?

Karl Schake of the (estimable) Hoover Institution writes:

There is little doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood is not going to be a comfortable partner for the United States. …

The Muslim Brotherhood operates with decentralized national branches in many countries (including the United States). The different branches, however, share core beliefs. They clearly seek to attain political power in order to foster wide-ranging social change. Make no mistake, the Brotherhood is not a status quo political party. It would institute Sharia law, deny women the political and social latitude of men, and, if history is a precedent, be hostile to non-Muslims. …

In Egypt, the influence of the Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda accounts for less of their appeal than their long-standing opposition to the Mubarak government. Egyptian politicians are keenly aware that while most Egyptians support an Islamic government, polling of public attitudes indicates Islam is not a priority for Egyptian voters — only 3 percent of respondents in recent polls considered Sharia law an important issue. Egyptians are overwhelmingly concerned about security, the economy, and justice.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is not Hamas or Hezbollah …

Note that Hamas, an actively terrorist organization, is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood

…  at least not yet. It does not bring violence into the political sphere. It was not the motivating force in toppling Hosni Mubarak; in fact, its members were late to the revolution. But the Brotherhood capitalized on its decades of political organization and social activism to dominate the elections.

This should not have been surprising; the Brotherhood had a structural advantage over all of the other political parties just forming. But the sharp decline in support for Brotherhood candidates in Egypt’s June 2012 presidential elections suggested that voters were irritated at the Brotherhood’s ineffectualness in Parliament, concerned that it broke its promise not to run a candidate in the presidential elections, and worried about Islamist domination of Egypt’s politics.

Though Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi did win the election, the Egyptian voters expressed real concern about these issues during presidential polling. Exit polls suggest voters were even more distrustful of the military’s candidate, worried the secular candidate represented the Mubarak past. Voters also resented the military’s moves to usurp Parliament and the Constitution drafting process. For now, it looks like Egyptians are holding the Muslim Brotherhood accountable for their political actions, not just their ideological appeal. …

What they all agree on is that the US should continue providing Egypt with massive aid regardless of who is in power:

Even those political actors deeply suspicious of U.S. policies and resentful of our past actions want the United States to be a major participant in their countries’ transitions. … They want  American [economic] assistance — and they don’t have much sympathy for our current economic straits, given how much more dire are their own are. … They want us to actually care about their futures, not what they can do to advance our interests. …

But if what happens to them in no way serves US interests, why should the US care about them? There is something childish about such thinking.

The most worrisome thought dealing with Brotherhood and even Salafist politicians is not what will happen should they succeed, but what will happen should they fail. Moderate Muslims have been winning the argument over the past decade that al Qaeda’s nihilist vision isn’t the path. Restoration of the caliphate by any means is not the Islam most Muslims want. 

How can he possibly know that?

He is basing his conclusions on what diplomats said to each other when they met at Doha. How far are the communications of diplomats likely to reflect “what most Muslims want”?

He takes an optimistic view of what “the people” in the Arab world want, but issues a warning:

Elections in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya — even the glacially slow political change that the Gulf’s authoritarian governments are quietly experimenting with — demonstrate the people of the Arab world want accountable and transparent governments. They want institutions to constrain the power of rulers; they want grievances addressed; and they want the means by which to change their leaders if those leaders aren’t responsive to their concerns. The revolutions of the Arab spring have given citizens of those countries hope that political change can achieve those ends. If governments fail to produce that change, the al Qaeda narrative could again get traction in the disillusionment and despair that follows.

Is that something the US should fear? How much worse would al Qaeda be than the Muslim Brotherhood? How bad the Muslim Brotherhood will be, only time can show.

It is an interesting essay. Read it all here.

  • Liz

    If you replace the key words in the Muslim Brotherhoods motto, “Allah”, “Prophet”, “Quran” and “jihad” with “God”, “Jesus”, “Bible” and “holy war”,  you can easily imagine being present at some solemn Klan ceremony, reciting their own motto.
    Looks like were heading for more Crusades and Dark Ages.

  • In both Egypt and Libya there are university-trained young people who have said, “We want the real democracy.” They are not powerful enough now to raise a majority sufficient to win control of government. But if the well-organized Islamists install “one election” governments and then convert their countries to sharia law (or worse, theocracies like Iran’s), the proof will be in the pudding: deliver a just society or there will be another revolution. This could take another 50 years, but eventually Islamist governments will become just as corrupt as the regimes they replaced and the people will eventually understand: only the real Democracy will do. The formula given by Schake is correct: “They want institutions to constrain the power of rulers; they want
    grievances addressed; and they want the means by which to change their
    leaders if those leaders aren’t responsive to their concerns.”

    If the current generation doesn’t get it, the next one will. The question is what we do in the meantime. Sending money to Egypt no matter who is in charge will only delay the inevitable — and once again we will be seen as supporting the oppressors. Support for Egypt or any other country should be linked to American interests, pure and simple. If you are not establishing good government and real democracy, don’t count on any dollars from over here. If you do establish such things, the spigot will flow accordingly. We keep tying to buy “stability in the Middle East.” It doesn’t work.