Islamist Who Lobbied Congress Lauds Brotherhood Luminary

One of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters who recently tried to lobby Congress to cut off aid to Egypt’s military regime is lauding an Islamist ideological architect who inspired Osama bin Laden‘s thinking.

Ayat Orabi joined the Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) Capitol Hill lobbying mission earlier this month. In a Facebook post Tuesday, she calls Sayyid Qutb a martyr and “the most knowledgeable master of intellectual output in the history of modern Islamic movements.”

It’s consistent with Orabi’s previous radical statements. She claimed last September that Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority had declared “war on Islam,” a message that often incites violence.

Qutb taught that the Muslim world had degenerated into a state of apostasy that he called jahiliyyah, and that insufficiently Islamic regimes should be violently replaced. His manifesto Milestones advocates using jihad of the sword to clear the way for Islamic preaching. He also denounced Muslims who taught that jihad could only be used defensively as “defeatists” in his commentary, In the Shade of the Quran.

“As for those who are in a land hostile to Islam, neither their lives nor their properties are protected unless they have concluded a peace treaty with the land of Islam,” Qutb wrote.

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The Muslim Brotherhood Lobbies Congress

An innocent-sounding New Jersey-based organization called Egyptian Americans For Freedom And Justice (EAFAJ) made the rounds on Capitol Hill May 4 to urge U.S. lawmakers not to support designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The visit, which came hours after the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Hasm terrorist organization claimed responsibly for a deadly attack on a security convoy in Cairo, wasn’t the first time radical Islamists have masqueraded as human rights activists when seeking to sway American minds and won’t be the last.

Although EAFAJ makes an effort to talk the talk of democracy and freedom, its unabashed support for armed jihadis wreaking havoc in Egypt is hard to miss. At a November 2016 EAFAJ event, radical imam Mohamed Elbar declared that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “ought to be beheaded.”

The EAFAJ delegation included several known New Jersey-based Islamic extremists. EAFAJ chairman Hani ElKadi, for example, helped promote a February 2015 communiqué by the the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM), which has carried out numerous terrorist attacks and police killings in Egypt.

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Is Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood Still the Loyal Opposition?

The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, the key Islamist movement in the country, has had a long-standing symbiotic relationship with the monarchy and, until recently, was not considered a threat to the survival of the Hashemite Kingdom.[1] But the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the growth of militant Islamist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) have alarmed the monarchy and led to a drastic shift in the nature of its relations with the Brotherhood from coexistence to persecution. Will the Jordanian regime be able to contain the Islamists and, in turn, will the Brotherhood choose to challenge the throne rather than to acquiesce in its continued suppression?

The Brotherhood and the Monarchy

Probably the foremost Islamist movement in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt. From there, it spread to other parts of the region including Jordan (1946) where it was incorporated into the kingdom’s social and political fabric with some of its members even serving in cabinet. The group reciprocated by refraining from challenging the regime as had its founding organization in Egypt. Bilateral relations warmed substantially during King Hussein’s long reign (1952-99) when the Brotherhood often functioned as a bulwark against anti-Hashemite forces. This was particularly evident during the heyday of pan-Arabism when Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser—who politically opposed the Egyptian Brotherhood—repeatedly sought to subvert the Hashemite monarchy.

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Time to Tackle the Muslim Brotherhood

In his inaugural address on January 20, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to “unite the civilized world against… and eradicate radical Islamic terrorism.” So far, however, the administration in Washington, like its predecessors, has done little to rein in one of the key sources of this growing global phenomenon — the Muslim Brotherhood.

Founded by Sheikh Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood does not always openly advocate violence. But its main agenda is to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate by way of the sword. As its motto reads: “The Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.”

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The Muslim Brotherhood Has Earned Its Terrorist Designation

In an April 11 Brookings Institution report titled “Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?” senior fellow Shadi Hamid states that the Trump administration’s proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group “could have significant consequences for the U.S., the Middle East, and the world.”

Among many astounding claims in the report, the three most misleading among them begin with his statement that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “non-violent Islamist group,” that “there is not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designating it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” and that President Trump’s advisors were enlisting Americans in what Mr. Hamid calls “civilization struggle.”

First, there is overwhelming evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed a violent terrorist organization. The Brotherhood’s slogan is “‘Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nearly every Sunni terrorist group in the world was either fully or partially founded by active or former Brotherhood operatives.

Brotherhood-linked terrorist organizations include ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya.

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Middle East: A Shift from Revolution to Evolution

After each Islamist terrorist attack in the West, the public is divided into two camps: one angry and one indifferent. The problem with defeating Islamist terrorism seems to be that either it is attacked by conservatives who call Islam an evil cult or it is forgiven entirely by liberal apologists. What, then, is the answer?

One of the main failures in Western analyses of the origins of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa is that the West attributes them to a lack of democracy and a lack of respect for human rights. This is, indeed, part of the cause, but the root of the problem is a lack of development and modernity. U.S. President Donald Trump did not exaggerate when he said that the Obama administration’s foreign policy was disastrous. It was catastrophic mainly for two reasons. One was the knee-jerk support for the “Arab Spring” and for extremist Islamic political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The second was the alliances the Obama administration built with unreliable countries such as Qatar, which supports radical political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, Obama made the mistake of continuing to try to appease Iran’s theocratic regime.

The Arab Spring’s uncalculated, hasty attempt to establish so-called democracy only generated more turmoil and chaos in the region. Certain radical political groups simply exploited the elections to serve their own political and sectarian agendas; that swoop for power only resulted in more authoritarian and dictatorial regimes, as have played out, for instance, in Egypt, where we have witnessed the murder of civilians and police officers by the Muslim Brotherhood. In other countries, the situation is even worse; attempts to install democracy have totally destroyed the state and facilitated the spread of terrorist militias, as in Libya.

It is ironic that Western countries and their advocates stress the need to apply democratic practices in Arab countries, but evidently do not recall that development and secularism preceded democracy in Western Europe. The United Kingdom, which has the oldest democratic system, did not become fully democratic until 1930. France became fully democratic only in 1945, 150 years after the French Revolution.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the Arab Summit in Jordan on March 28, 2017 delivered a speech in which he indicated his continuous support for the Muslim Brotherhood:

“If we are serious about focusing our efforts on armed terrorist organizations, is it fair to consider any political party we disagree with as terrorist? Is our goal to increase the number of terrorists?”

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