Muslim Brotherhood Declares War on America

Posted: October 13, 2010 in Creeping Sharia, Domestic Jihad, Sharia, Trans-Border Crime

Thursday, October 7, 2010 

By Barry Rubin

This is 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.

This explicit formulation of a revolutionary program makes it a
game-changer. It should be read by every Western decisionmaker and have a
direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s
lives in every Western country.

OK, cnough of a build-up? Well, it isn’t exaggerated. So don’t think the
next sentence is an anticlimax. Here we go: The leader of the Muslim
Brotherhood has endorsed (Arabic) (English translation by MEMRI)
anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida
ideology book. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition force in
Egypt and Jordan as well as the most powerful group, both politically
and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America
this is pretty serious stuff.

By the way, no one can argue that he merely represents old, tired
policies of the distant past because the supreme guide who said these
things was elected just a few months ago. His position reflects current

Does that mean the Egyptian, Jordanian, and all the camouflaged Muslim
Brotherhood fronts in Europe and North America are going to
launch terrorism as one of their affiliates, Hamas, has long done? No.

But it does mean that something awaited for decades has happened: the
Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and
base-building to one of revolutionary action. At least, its hundreds of
thousands of followers are being given that signal. 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.

When the extreme and arguably marginal British Muslim cleric Anjem
Choudary says that Islam will conquer the West and raise its flag over
the White House, that can be treated as wild rhetoric. His remark is
getting lots of attention because he said it in English in an interview
with CNN. Who cares what he says?

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

The Brotherhood is the group that often dominates Muslim communities in
the West and runs mosques. Its cadre control front groups that are often
recognized by Western democratic governments and media as
authoritative. Government officials in many countries meet with these
groups, ask them to be advisers for counter-terrorist strategies and
national policies, and even fund them.

President Barack Obama speaks about a conflict limited solely to
al-Qaida. And if one is talking about the current military battle in
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen that point makes sense. 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. If it doesn’t involve violence right now it will when
they get strong enough or gain power.

More than three years ago, I warned about this development, in a detailed analysis explaining,
“The banner of the Islamist revolution in the Middle East today has
largely passed to groups sponsored by or derived from the Muslim
Brotherhood.” I pointed out the differences—especially of tactical
importance—between the Brotherhood groups and al-Qaida or Hizballah, but
also discussed the similarities. This exposure so upset the Brotherhood
that it put a detailed response on its official website to deny my

Yet now here is the Brotherhood’s new supreme guide, Muhammad Badi
giving a sermon entitled, “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and
Tyranny,” translated by MEMRI.
Incidentally, everything Badi 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. Every Muslim knows,
even if he disagrees with the Brotherhood’s position, that this isn’t
heresy or hijacking or misunderstanding.

Finally, this is the group that many in the West, some in high
positions, are urging to be engaged as a negotiating partner because it
is supposedly moderate.

What does he say?

–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. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of
Allah that cannot be disregarded. Governments have no right to stop
their people from fighting the United States. “They 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

–All Muslims are required by their religion to fight: “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.” Notice that jihad here is not interpreted as so often
happens by liars, apologists, and the merely ignorant in the West as
spiritual striving. The clear meaning is one of armed struggle.

–The United States is immoral, doomed to collapse, and “experiencing
the beginning of its end and is heading towards its demise.”

–Palestinians should back Hamas in overthrowing the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and unite in waging war on Israel.

Incidentally, what Melanie Philips has written on this issue fits perfectly here:

–Rational calculations of the kind applied by the West to its
adversaries, mirror-imaging, assuming that Muslims won’t act in a
revolutionary and even suicidal manner want a better future for their
children, etc., do not apply to the Islamist movement:

“Allah said: ‘The hosts will all be routed and will turn and flee [Koran
54:45].’ This verse is a promise to the believers that they shall
defeat their enemies, and [that the enemies] shall withdraw. The
Companions of the Prophet received this Koranic promise in Mecca, when
they were weak… and a little more than nine years [later], Allah
fulfilled his promise in the Battle of Badr….Can we compare that to
what happened in Gaza?….Allah is the best of schemers, and that though
Him you shall triumph. Islam is capable of confronting oppression and
tyranny, and that the outcome of the confrontation has been
predetermined by Allah.”

This says: It doesn’t matter how long the battle goes on, how many die,
how much destruction is unleashed, how low your living standards fall,
how unfavorable the odds appear to be, none of that is important or
should deter you.

In the real world, of course, the Islamists are unlikely to win over the
long run of, say, 50 or100 years. But those views do mean that these 50
or 100 years are going to be filled with instability and bloodshed.

Equally, Badi’s claims do not mean all Muslims must agree, much less
actively take up arms. They can have a different interpretation, simply
disregard the arguments, and be too intimidated or materialistic or
opportunistic to agree or to act. Yet hundreds of thousands will do so
and millions will cheer them on. And by the same token, neither the
radical nor the passive will assist in moving toward more moderation or
peace or compromise.

Well, will the problem go away if people in the West condemn
“Islamophobia” or make concessions or apologize or produce a just peace?

His words provide some important points for people in the West to consider:

“Resistance is the only solution…. The United States cannot impose an
agreement upon the Palestinians, despite all the means and power at its
disposal. [Today] it is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and
it is also on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan. [All] its
warplanes, missiles and modern military technology were defeated by the
will of the peoples, as long as [these peoples] insisted on resistance –
and the wars of Lebanon and Gaza, which were not so long ago, [are
proof of this].”

First, the more the likelihood that U.S. policy might obtains a peace
agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the more anti-American
violent activity will be sparked among the Islamists and their very
large base of support, the more Iran and Syria will sponsor terrorism.
Desirable as peace or even progress toward peace might be, the West
should have no illusions about those things providing regional
stability, and they will produce more instability.

Second, U.S. actions of apology, concessions, and withdrawals—whether or
not any of the specific steps are useful or desirable—they are
interpreted by the Islamists and by many in the Middle East as signs of
weakness which should spark further aggression and violence. There are
hundreds of examples of this reaction every month. Here’s a leading
moderate Saudi journalist explaining how many
Iraqis and other Arabs are viewing the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq means
that it is turning the country over to Iran. Wrong but an accurate show
of that very common Middle East way of thinking.

Indeed, this last factor explains the Brotherhood’s timing. Note that he
says nothing about fighting Egypt’s government, which won’t hesitate to
throw the Brotherhood leaders into prison and even to torture them.
Still, the coming leadership transition in Egypt, with the death or
retirement of President Husni Mubarak, seems to offer opportunities.

The new harder line coincides with the Brotherhood’s announcement
that it will run candidates in the November elections, another sign of
its confidence and increased militancy. The Brotherhood is not a legal
group but the government lets members run in other parties. Its
candidates won about 20 percent of the vote in the last elections,
especially impressive given the regime’s repressive measures. If the
Brotherhood intends to defy Egyptian law now there will be
confrontations, mass arrests, and perhaps violence.

Most important of all, however, Badi and many others sense weakness on
the part of the West, especially the U.S. leaders, and victory for the

Even former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is warning
about such things. Blair comes from the British Labour Party. Many
conservatives understand these issues. But the West can never respond
successfully without a broader consensus about the nature of the threat
and the need for a strong response. Where are Blair’s counterparts in
the left-of-center forces in North America, the kind of people who
played such a critical role in confronting and defeating the previous
wave of anti-democratic extremism, Communism?

This new hardline signals

1. Increased internal conflict in Egypt, the start of a decade-long
struggle for power in the Arabic-speaking world’s most important
2. The likelihood that more Brotherhood supporters in the West will turn to violence and fund-raising for terrorism.
3. The true nature of the radical indoctrination–preparing people for
future extremism and terrorism–in the mosques and groups they control.
4. A probable upturn in anti-American terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe.

In August 1996, al-Qaida declared war on America, the West, Christians
and Jews. Nobody important paid much attention to this. Almost exactly
five years later, September 11 forced them to notice. Let it be said
that in September 2010 the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with one hundred
times more activists than al-Qaida, issued its declaration of war. What
remains is the history of the future.

Update: A well-informed friend in Egypt just said that while he’s been
expecting this move by the Brotherhood for some time that I have been
the only one who’s noticed it outside the country. This is the kind of
service I’m trying to give my readers.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs
(GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International
Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader
(seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for
Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria
(Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,


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