Five years before the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaida declared war on America, the West, Christians and Jews – and virtually no one noticed.
Now, a longtime observer of Islam is warning that a “war declaration” of potentially much greater significance has been made.
The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Badi, who was elected only months ago, has “endorsed anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida ideology book,” writes Barry Rubin, author and director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal.
The Brotherhood – the dominant Islamic organization in the West that has spawned most of the major Muslim terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, along with the largest “mainstream” organizations – is giving the signal that it is “ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action,” says Rubin.
In a sermon published Sept. 30 titled “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny [against the Muslims],” Badi said waging jihad against both Israel and the United States is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded.
Governments trying to stop Muslims from fighting the U.S., he said, “are disregarding Allah’s commandment to wage jihad for His sake with [their] money and [their] lives, so that Allah’s word will reign supreme” over all non-Muslims.
Rubin concludes: “Let it be said that in September 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with 100 times more activists than al-Qaida, issued its declaration of war.”
He calls the sermon “one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.”
The sermon is a signal to the Brotherhood’s hundreds of thousands of followers, Rubin says.
“Some of them will engage in terrorist violence as individuals or forming splinter groups; others will redouble their efforts to seize control of their countries and turn them into safe areas for terrorists and instruments for war on the West.”
Rubin calls Badi’s “explicit formulation of a revolutionary program” a “game-changer.”
“It should be read by every Western decision-maker and have a direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s lives in every Western country,” he writes.
Some U.S. and Western leaders are urging engagement and partnership with the Brotherhood, Rubin notes, because they regard it as moderate. But the movement, founded in the 1920s in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish empire, considers itself an instrument of the charge Muslims were given when Islam was founded 1,400 years ago – to make the Quran and Allah’s authority supreme over the entire world.
In a 1991 document titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” the Brotherhood stated the Muslim community “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 Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In his sermon, Badi declared Arab and Muslim regimes are betraying their people by failing to confront the Muslim’s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States.
All Muslims are required by their religion to fight, he said: “They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”
Asked by WND to assess Rubin’s conclusions, Robert Spencer, author and director of the website JihadWatch.org, said Rubin is right that “war against the West has been the Brotherhood’s program, according to captured internal documents, since at least 1982.”
“This sermon just crystallizes many of the ideas contained in those documents,” he told WND.
Spencer said be believes it’s possible that Badi’s sermon is a seminal declaration of war comparable to al-Qaida’s 1996 declaration.
“It certainly could be,” he said, “but I don’t see it as all that much qualitatively different from things they’ve said before. If they were dedicated as far back as 1991 to ‘eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within,’ this doesn’t seem to represent a huge departure.”
Call to arms
Rubin emphasizes the significance of the remarks coming from Badi. He explains that when a “marginal Muslim cleric” like Britain’s Anjem Choudary says that Islam will conquer the West and raise its flag over the White House, the remark can be treated as “wild rhetoric.”
“But when the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood says the same thing in Arabic, that’s a program for action, a call to arms for hundreds of thousands of people, and a national security threat to every Western country,” Rubin says.
Rubin notes the Muslim Brotherhood controls front groups recognized by Western governments and media as authoritative. Government officials in many countries meet with these groups, he says, asking them to be advisers for counter-terrorist strategies and national policies.
Prominent U.S. organizations launched by Muslim Brotherhood leaders include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Students Association, North American Islamic Trust, the Islamic Society of North America, the American Muslim Council, the Muslim American Society and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR – a self-described civil rights group that has more than a dozen former and current leaders with known associations with violent jihad – is trying to keep alive a lawsuit against two investigators behind the WND Books best-selling expose “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America”
CAIR’s origin as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is documented in “Muslim Mafia.” CAIR and some of its leaders were confirmed by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in the trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted of helping fund Hamas.
Banner of the revolution
Rubin points out President Obama “speaks about a conflict limited solely to al-Qaida,” which “makes sense when referring to Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.”
“Yet there is a far bigger and wider battle going on in which revolutionary Islamists seek to overthrow their own rulers and wage long-term, full-scale struggle against the West,” he says. “If it doesn’t involve violence right now, it will when they get strong enough or gain power.”
Three years ago, Rubin published a detailed analysis of the development, explaining that the “banner of the Islamist revolution in the Middle East today has largely passed to groups sponsored by or derived from the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The exposure, he writes, “so upset the Brotherhood that it put a detailed response on its official website to deny my analysis.”
“Yet now here is the Brotherhood’s new supreme guide, Muhammad Badi giving a sermon entitled, ‘How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny,’” Rubin says.
Badi’s interpretation, he says, is in tune with the stances and holy books of normative Islam.
“It is not the only possible interpretation, but it is a completely legitimate interpretation,” he says. “Every Muslim knows, even if he disagrees with the Brotherhood’s position, that this isn’t heresy or hijacking or misunderstanding.”
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