Sunday, 29 September 2013

30 The Muslim Brotherhood

It would be naïve to assume that the division of the Middle East was done solely to benefit the local Arabs. It is likely that the British wanted to retain a degree of control over the strategically important oilfields which they and the Americans had discovered and developed there.

Whilst the British and Americans no doubt played all sorts of dirty games in the region and propped up all manner of unsavoury regimes in order to keep the oil flowing; this happened all around the world.

Whereas in other parts of the world the trend has been for these brutal regimes to give way to democracy; in the Islamic world this hasn’t happened. Islam considers democracy to be an abomination.

 This is because it creates man made laws which are above Allah’s Law (Sharia). For this reason, any attempt to impose democracy on an Islamic country is very likely to fail. Islamic parties will simply get themselves elected and then work towards replacing democracy with Sharia (as is happening in Pakistan).

For this reason, Islamic societies tend towards either totalitarian theocratic rule (Sharia) or a dictator brutal enough to prevent this from happening. Attempts at democracy are usually either outright bloody failure (Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria) or propped up by a secular military (Indonesia, Turkey). In the case of Malaysia, (which the British expended a great deal of money and lives to turn into a functioning democracy) a single (Muslim) party has held power since independence. 

This suggests that it isn’t all that democratic anyway. Muslim populations will be exploding in the Western democracies over the next few decades. This is likely to create the same sort of problems there.

During the period of Western control of Islamic lands, Islam lost most of its overt political power. It survived however, mainly in its religious form. Muslims enjoyed a period of relative freedom. Women could walk unveiled, secular education became accessible to many and the compulsion for Jihad was mostly put on hold. 

Unfortunately for the Muslims however, a culture does not change easily in a few years, or even a few decades. Islamic societies were still burdened with many practices which severely retarded their economic progress.

The only industry which did boom was the oil industry. This was mainly run by Western companies and was unable to move elsewhere. Most of the profits from this industry which came back were lost in corruption[1].

In 1928, an Egyptian school teacher by the name of Hasan al-Banna, founded a society called the Muslim Brotherhood. This was a fundamentalist group dedicated to the reintroduction of traditional Islamic teachings (Koran and Sunnah) and law, (Sharia) to the Muslim world.

 It also advocated the forced imposition of Islamic rule over the whole world. They believed in the use of violence to achieve their goals. They understood however, that the West was too powerful to defeat in this way. Instead, they set about utilizing the other tactics of Jihad such as “Taquiya” or sacred deceit, corruption and infiltration.

Whilst the brotherhood has had strained and often bloody relations with many of the secular Arab dictatorships, it found a warm welcome in some of the Gulf States. A number of wealthy Arabs shared the same goals as the brotherhood. Conveniently, they also had the money to put their plans into action. 

One of the Brotherhoods offshoots is Al-Qaeda and you can see this structure in its organization. Wealthy Saudi, Osama Bin Laden is at the top supplying funds. Spiritual leadership meanwhile comes from his Egyptian No 2, Al Zawahiri. Organizational skills and planning, (for the 9/11 attacks at least) were provided by Egyptian Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

The brotherhood’s motto is:
“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 Brotherhood has a number of violent Jihadi groups under its influence. These include Al-Qaeda and Hamas but it has many more offshoots which do not overtly support violence. The following is a list of its North American subgroups:
·         American Trust Publications
·         Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers
·         Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America
·         Audio-Visual Centre
·         Baitul Mal, Inc.
·         Foundation for International Development
·         International Institute of Islamic Thought
·         Islamic Association for Palestine, parent group of CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations)
·         Islamic Book Service
·         Islamic Centres Division
·         Islamic Circle of North America
·         Islamic Education Department
·         Islamic Housing Cooperative
·         Islamic Information Centre
·         Islamic Medical Association of North America
·         Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
·         ISNA Fiqh Committee
·         ISNA Political Awareness Committee
·         Islamic Teaching Centre
·         Malaysian Islamic Study Group
·         Mercy International Association
·         Muslim Arab Youth Association
·         Muslim Businessmen Association
·         Muslim Communities Association
·         Muslim Students Association
·         Muslim Youth of North America
·         North American Islamic Trust
·         Occupied Land Fund (later known as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development)
·         United Association for Studies and Research

I expect this pattern is repeated in most countries of the world, especially the Western democracies. In the UK, the largest Islamic organization is the Muslim Council for Britain which is a Brotherhood organization. Since this list was published the Holy Land Foundation has been closed down. They were successfully prosecuted for funding terrorist organizations in Palestinian territories. CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

[1]   2011 corruption index Top 10 least corrupt countries, 9 are majority Christian. Bottom 10 most corrupt countries, 6 are majority Muslim.

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