Many people use the name "Muslim Brotherhood" (MB) without really knowing what it means, who is behind it and how many people it affects and controls. The MB was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. After a while, it became a powerful organization aiming at integrating Muslims all over the world. It sends two different messages to its adherents and to the West. Its motto continues to be: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
Its 8th "Supreme Guide" and current leader is Mohammed Badie. In a sermon, he recently declared that the only way to deal with Israel is "holy jihad." This doesn't turn every member of the Muslim Brotherhood into a bloody murderer, but it makes one wonder what kind of ideology is promoted within the organization, and especially from its senior leadership. Some in the Middle East and in the West see the MB as an organization responsible for Islamic terrorism.
It is important to understand the broad reach the Muslim Brotherhood has around the world and particularly in America. It has 70 branches all over the globe and uses many platforms to broadcast its message. Many other Muslim organizations are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood one way or another.
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One organization many people are familiar with is the self-described "moderate" CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations.) It presents itself as a mainstream Muslim organization aimed at fighting for civil rights for Muslim and all other people regardless of their religious upbringing. Interestingly enough, Article 7 of its core values states, "CAIR believes the active practice of Islam strengthens the social and religious fabric of our nation." This is a statement that seems to indicate that even though CAIR is open to all faiths getting along, it believes that Islam is the best way to improve the United States. It would be interesting to find out what CAIR mean by "the active practice of Islam."
In 2014, in a somewhat unexpected statement, the United Arab Emirates listed CAIR as a terrorist organization. This might be a bit strong, but the UAE also believe that CAIR is one of the many arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR has been known to support Hamas at times, and Hamas is clearly a terrorist organization. These blurred lines need to be defined, especially in America where so many are supportive of CAIR without asking any questions.
Then, we must consider the Muslim Student Associations (MSA) all over U.S. campuses. While diversity is always a good concept to teach the next generation – especially in America, the epitome of a "racial and cultural melting pot" – it must be taught ethically. In the case of U.S. university MSA chapters, that is seldom if ever the case. The pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist agenda is unashamedly pushed forward on a regular basis. The MSA national organization was started in 1963 in America by the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, and again, while not all of its adherents are flagrantly anti-Semitic, the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood permeates more often than not.
Campuses in America also suffer from the vitriolic propaganda of yet another organization known as "Students for Justice in Palestine" (SJP). That organization openly promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) started in 2005 by Mahmoud Abbas and continually growing all over the globe. SJP is tightly connected to the group "American Muslims for Palestine" (AMP), which has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. This "alphabet soup" of Muslim organizations seeking to present an image of grass-roots movements to promote justice and diversity is far from being straightforward. In almost all cases, many of its members support or have supported the terrorist organization Hamas.
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So, it is very hopeful to see the current Trump administration cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood. With the recent appointments of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, we might see the beginning of a shift in U.S. support for Muslim organizations. Before I am accused of Islamophobia, let's be clear that not all Muslims are a threat to the West and to Israel. Those who are a threat are connected to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they must be exposed. Of course, not everyone agrees with President Trump's push, and some even think that it could be vastly counter-productive to list the MB as a terrorist organization. The question remains: "If you support terrorist organizations like Hamas, are you guilty by association?" I believe the answer is an unequivocal yes!
With the recent congressional passage of the Taylor Force Act, Palestinians are now forced to make a choice. If they continue to reward families of terrorists against Israel with financial benefits, the Palestinian Authority will no longer receive financial aid from the U.S. government. What took us so long to come up with this obvious move?
This is the first U.S. administration to actually follow words with actions when it comes to the Palestinian doubletalk. The passing of the Taylor Force Act might be the beginning of the tightening of the U.S. grip on Islamic terrorism. Defining and fighting Islamic radicalism is necessary for the survival of Western civilization and is crucial to help us define who are the many Muslims who are not supporting violence and terrorism. Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood might be beginning to lose its grip on America!