Here’s something important: The Muslim Brotherhood’s leader has endorsed
anti-American jihad and a view virtually identical to al-Qaida’s ideology. Since
the Brotherhood is the main opposition in Egypt and Jordan and the most powerful
group in Muslim communities of Europe and North America, this is serious
Does that mean all these branches are going to launch terror
attacks, as one affiliate, Hamas, has long done? Not necessarily.
Egyptian TV show stirs debate over Muslim Brotherhood
The Region: An offer he had to refuse
hundreds of thousands of Brotherhood followers are being given a signal. Some
will engage in terrorism; others will redouble efforts to seize control of
countries and turn them into bases for war on the West.
is the group that often dominates Muslim communities and runs mosques in the
West. Its front groups are often courted by Western governments and
Yet here is the Brotherhood’s new supreme guide, Muhammad Badi
giving a sermon entitled, “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny,”
translated by MEMRI in which he says:
• Arab and Muslim regimes betray their
people unless they confront not only Israel but also the US. Waging jihad
against both is mandatory for all Muslims. Otherwise, “They are
disregarding Allah’s commandment to wage jihad... so that Allah’s word will
reign supreme” over all non-Muslims.
• All Muslims are required by their
religion to fight as their highest priority, since “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 its enemies pursue
• The US is easy to defeat through violence, since it is
“experiencing the beginning of its end and is heading toward its
• Palestinians should back Hamas in overthrowing the Palestinian
Authority in the West Bank and unite in waging war on Israel.
calculations applied by the West to adversaries, assuming Muslims won’t act in a
revolutionary and even suicidal manner, want a better future for their children,
etc., don’t 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 through Allah you
shall triumph... The outcome of the confrontation has been predetermined by
Thus, it doesn’t matter how long the battle lasts or its cost in
destruction and death, you should go on fighting.
IN THE real world,
Islamists are unlikely to win over, say, 50 or 100 years. But those views mean
these 50 or 100 years are going to be filled with instability and bloodshed.
Muslims don’t have to agree with Badi’s views, yet hundreds of thousands will,
and millions will cheer them.
There’s even more food for thought in
“Resistance is the only solution... The United States
cannot impose an agreement upon the Palestinians, despite all the power at its
disposal. [Today] it is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and is also
on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan” because it has been defeated by
First, US efforts that seem to be succeeding at
brokering Israel-Palestinian peace would only spark more violence, not less, as
Islamists seek to defeat them. Desirable as peace or even progress toward
peace might be, the West should have no illusions about those things providing
regional stability; they will produce more instability.
apologies, concessions and withdrawals are interpreted by Islamists and many in
the Middle East as signs of weakness, which spark further aggression and
Note that it is precisely fear of a tough opponent thet keeps
Badi from saying anything about fighting Egypt’s government, which won’t
hesitate to throw Brotherhood leaders in prison and even torture
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
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
Most important, however, Badi and many others sense weakness on
the part of the West, especially the US leaders, and victory for the
Even former British prime minister Tony Blair is warning about
such things. Blair comes from the British Labor 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?
hard line 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.
August 1996, al-Qaida declared war on America, the West, Christians and Jews.
Nobody important paid much attention. 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 100 times more activists than al-Qaida, issued its
declaration of war. What remains is the history of the future.
is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of
Middle East Review of International Affairs and Turkish Studies. He blogs at