It takes a nation to protect the nation
Abbreviations: MB = Muslim Brotherhood, TR = Tariq Ramadan.
When our media are telling us that the MB is no longer proposing violence and is not islamist, remember the following points. By 1956 people thought the MB was defunct - yet it is just possible that they are very close to their vision of a pan-national caliphate only 50 years later. They have been a secretive, violent, nazi-inspired organisation from the beginning. They have (and still do) advocate the destruction of Israel.
The first of these books is the most important for grasping what the MB is. It was written by a very sympathetic muslim, at a point in history where the MB was thought to have been destroyed. Thus, he had not reason to pull his punches and pretend the MB was anything other than a combination of Nazism, Salafism and Communism.
Ishak Musa Husaini, The Moslem Brethren - the Greatest of Islamic Movements, Beirut, 1956.
p.vi "Is it worth our while to write a history of the moslem Brethren now that the movement has been ended in Egypt and its future is largely ambiguous?... it greatly resembles the Wahhabi and Sanusi movements and is influenced by the modern traditional (Salaffieh) school... the identification of state with religion, the execution of t Moslem law..."
p.1 Young Men's Moslem Association was started in Cairo in 1927, modeled on the YMCA, and would not be political but would confine itself to the social, cultural, religious and athletic areas. Moslem Brotherhood was founded one year later.
p.2 MB had no association with fascist or nazi organisations, as Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun fi al-Mizan claimed it had in *The Moslem Brotherhood in the Balance*. Banna was also a member of the YMMA.
p.3 Banna admired the way Turkey abolished political parties. In fact, he admired other countries that abolished political parties: Iraq, Roumania, England. Banna did not copy these other countries, though he was influenced by them.
p.41 6 principles of MB a) scientific explanation of the Koran, b)unify the Egyptian nation and the islamic nations around Koranic principles, c) raising of the financial and social standards of the workers, d) social services against ignorance, disease, poverty and vice, e) "liberation of the Nile valley and all of the Arab countries and all parts of the Islamic fatherland from all foreigners", f) promotion of universal peace and civilization based on islam.
p.42-43 they were supposed to avoid theological disputation and political parties
p.44 "they say that their fatherland is every span of land where there are muslims". They seek to re-establish the Caliphate as the symbol of islamic unity.
p.55 MB wanted to guide women back to their place in domesticity, away from the "pseudo-civilised western impulses". "They decided that this, their movement, should be the first feminist movement established in Egypt..."
p.59 "There is no doubt that they believed in the principle of force ... from the beginning..." They were asked how their institutions and companies were different from those of Nazis, fascists and communism.
p.62 Banna's view of islam (quote):"doctrine, worshiip, fatherland, citizenship, religion, state, spirituality, action, a Koran, and a sword".
p.63 MB not happy to have a constitution that said the state religion is islam; all the laws must be islamic.
p.73 MB "want a gradual progression from national unity to Arab unity to islamic unity".
p.90 MB was organised extremely hierarchically - people had to pass exams to move between grades.
p.91 "Their organizational methods are a mixture of the Salafite, Sufi, Batanite, Nazi and perhaps, the Communist systems".
p.92 "Al-Banna was able, by his sagacity, to place his organisation between the two systems of the Nazi-Fascists and the Communists... From the first he took discipline and obedience or actually a sort of pseudo-dictatorship". He was against public ownership of property.
p.95 "the Islamic nation is one and indivisible and that an attack on one part is an attack on the whole".
p.137 "Abd al-Qadir Awdah sent a letter to Jamal Abd al-Nasir on November 4 , in which he promised: 1) to disband the secret organ and surrender all arms and ammunition within fifteen days..."
p.139 "Opinions differ as to the year of its [the secret military organ'] birth. Some authorities hold that the idea of Jihad (holy war) and preparation for it with arms ... was an integral part of the original plan for the organization...Truly Islam did call for Jihad and considered it one of its foundations...Banna must have understood the real meaning of Jihad [i.e. defensive according to this author], being the widely read and highly learned Moslem he was".
p.141 "The candidate was then passed through a set of graded categories leading from a supporting Brother to a worker, to a member in a family, to a member in a cell... Banna commanded the organ completely".
The following author puts the MB in their context in Britain. Basically the Muslim Association of Britain and the British Muslim Initiative are the face of the MB in Britain.
Barry Rubin (ed) The Muslim Brotherhood - The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010
p. 115 MB is not well-established in Britain, because of the large number of south asians and their allegiance to Jammat e Islami.
p.118 In the UK MB has had to appeal to the Ummah to get any traction. Muslim Student Society was founded in 1961, and is the closest group to the MB here.
p.119 in the 1980s in Britain islamists believed europe was Dar al Kufr, and their presence here was temporary. In the 1990s though 2nd generation muslims started to claim Europe was Dar al Islam, and sharia lawa should be applicable to muslims here. Qaradawi told British muslims that european civilisations will succumb to islam.
p.121 Kemal Helbawy has done more to promote MB in Britain than anyone else. Announced formation of MB Information Centre in London in 1995.
p.122 MAB organised demo in London in 2002 for 2nd Intifada "this brought a level of public anti-Israel and even anti-semitic sentiment onto the streets of Britain that had rarely been seen before".
p.123 MAB managed to get SWP/STWC to have gendered meetings - they would share platforms with enemies like socialists and atheists, but never with zionists or israelis. MAB was more concerned about Palestine than the war in Iraq.
p.124 "Palestine must be free, from the Jordan to the sea" is a MAB slogan. "Muhammed Sawalha was a Hamas activist who moved to Britain in 1990. Kemal Helbawy has repeatedly echoed the views of al-Qaradawi and the late Sheykh Yasin of Hamas that Israeli citizens are different from the citizens of other countries... and that suicide bombings in Israel should therefore not be though of as terrorism."
p.125 By 2004 MAB moved away from the Respect Party to have direct influence on Ken Livingstone. Wahhabi shaykh Haitham al-Haddad told muslims that voting was halal, but that they should follow the MAB's advice on who to vote for.
p.126 Qaradawi's 2004 visit to London was for a gathering of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, ECFR was created by the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe.
p.127 There was a split in MAB in 2005 between the pious and the political, leading to the formation of the British Muslim Initiative by Muhammad Sawalh, Azzam Tamimi, Anas Al-Tikriti. Conveniently this allows ECFR to carry out its work without drawing attention to itself.
p.128 MAB established 2 Islam Expos in 2006 and 2008. At the 2008 Expo there was a seminar on "Understanding Political Islam" featuring MB & other islamist speakers. Conflicts Forum is run by an ex-MI6 man, but it is basically an advocate of islamism - an islamist without being a muslim. [Could refer to many left-wingers as that.]
p.129 Because of its alliance with islamist arab countries such as Qatar and the funding from GLA (& Scottish govt), groups like BMI can organise events attracting 10k people and costing 1.1 million pounds, yet BMI has no significant grassroots membership and is run by a self-selecting handful.
p.130 MB activists worked with the Met to close down Finsbury Park mosque to Abu Hamza. Several prominent MB fellows in London wrote a public letter in 2004 justifying attacks on British troops in Iraq.
p.132 MB activities and JI activities in Britain often complement each other. TR sees muslim identiy (the why) as far more fundamental to national identity (the how). Insistence to loyalty to the umma over and above nationality is common to MB thinking"
And here are some notes on a book by an apologist for the Brotherhood in Europe.
Brigette Marachal, The Muslim Brothers in Europe - Roots and Discourse, Brill, Leiden, 2008
The Preface says she is "grateful for the Brothers and Sisters" p.ix The impartiality of this academic work is compromised from the first page. The book was based on a PhD thesis, and from what I can see, such a doctorate should never have been granted for this work. However, one would need to examine the actual thesis to see if they bias is there (but there's not reason to believe it is not).
p.4 most people who refer to MB know nothing about them - mere name droppers
p.5 MB attempts to be a magnet pulling all muslims together
p.6 MB opposed to Wahhabi-salafism, but keep their opposition very quiet.
p.7 many people think MB is highly organised in Europe and see it as a threat because of this, but little evidence that this is true
p.9 throughout 1990s MB talks of citizenship co-existing with collective muslim identity
ch1 - foundation of the broherhood
p.20 1930s - MB emphasized they were Sunnis
p.21 they wanted complete social reform - islam should be considered as a complete way of life, not a religion - wanted to diminish power of Ulema - return to the texts. Opposed to decadence in muslim societies.
p.22 went beyond the social & educational to the political
p.23 they were present as combatants in Palestine in 1936 to 1939 as Egyptian volunteer fighters working with the Mufti of Jerusalem.
p.24 MB admired Nazis and Fascists in Europe - communitarianism, militarism, patriotism, 'puritanism'. Distanced themselves from the racism and chauvanism.
p.26 in 1945 they adopted official name of "Muslim Brotherhood of Palestine", although they were operating also in Sudan and Yemen. Their use of violence in Egypt between 1945 and 1949 was becoming greater. Assassinated PM Al Nuqrashi in 1948; Al-Banna asked the youth to stop being violent, and he was assassinated 2 months later (although vehicle carrying assassins belonged to a government agency [this author cites proof of this coming from Banna's grandson, Tariq Ramadan - are there other sources to substantiate TR's claims?]
p.27 mid-1950s - repression and opposition, migration and radicalization
p.30 Qutb emphasized "social justice" and promoted islamic law against secular law.
p.59 son-in-law of Al-Banna, Said Ramadan did his PhD at Cologne on islamic law, and created the Islamic Centre of Munich.
p.67 implication is that Muslim Association of Britain and British Muslim Initiative are MB fronts -- connecting with trade unions, in order to attack Israel.
p.80 MB is becoming weaker in Europe - lassitude.
p.81 informal associations/networks, go beyond MB proper, and compete in some areas. Aimed at young people, through European Muslim Network founded by TR, and in GB The Radical Middle Way (doesn't connect that to TR).
p.147 Qaradawi symbolizes the new philosophy of the MB.
p.148 Q says everything permitted unless proscribed in Koran or "the prophetic tradition clearly and explicitly states the contrary".
p.149 Q approves of suicide bombings and wife-beating
p.161 TR puts himself forward as an ambassador to muslim youth - he's "involved in the struggle against authoritarianism and injustice".
p.162 TR "privliges the specificity of islam in its global dimension, and denounces the limits of the deviations of western systems".
p.302 salafis want to close muslims off within Europe so that muslims don't become contaminated with european ideas, whilst MB "usually stand for openness within european societies hile promoting a reinforcement of Muslim identity."
p.303 MB will not emphasize differences with salafis, but salafis are useful to MB as they make MB look like a partner to engage with in dialogue.
p.310 "After several decades of Islamic work, the Brotherhood has brilliantly succeeded at insinuating their conceptions into the heard of the community of believers, without many of them quite realizing how this happened."
Caroline Fourest's book on Tariq Ramadan also draws out other occasions on which Hasan Al-Banna explicitly compared his movement to the Nazis and the Fascists. He was opposed to communism. Since the only real difference between the communists and the Nazis/Fascists was that the former were atheistic, I deduce that was his reason for opposing communism, whilst embracing nazism/fascism.
I will fill out more details here from her book later.
I apologise for the size of the attached graphic. If you have a very large computer screen, you will be able to follow the lines of comparison without scrolling. Apologies to those who do not have such screens. But even on a small screen, I think you will see the overlap in their fascist demands.
It is a first attempt at comparing the National Socialist & German Workers' Party's 25 Demands (1928, 25 Theses), with the Muslim Brotherhood's 50 Demands (1936). There are very few points that do not have a correlate.
I will find another way to represent this at a later date.
Whilst Hitler's 25 points are known as "theses", the word "demand" occurs frequently in the theses. Of course, as you would expect with the duplicitous Muslim Brotherhood, getting hold of the original arabic of their demands is difficult.
The major differences are:
Given that they are addressing very different societies, with very different levels of technological development, and very different religious and political histories, there is an amazing amount of similarity. And, prima facie, the Nazis seem less totalitarian than the Muslim Brotherhood.
If anyone can think of ways to refine this analysis, or of ways to display it more easily, please feel free to jump in.
Quite why hitler hated the jews so much is a matter of debate. some believe its because when his mother died, she was being treated by a jewish doctor. Others believe it was because he blamed the jews for the defeat of Germany in the first world war. maybe its a combination of the two, or something else completly. What we do know is Nazism and islam were compatible at that moment in history.
Hitler used his hatred of the jews as a way of gaining an ally, and his allowing of religious freedom would definitly have appealed to the islamists of the day. Or should i say it did appeal to the Egyptian muslims of the day. hence the allience between them and Hitler.
Nazism was only in its infancy at the time, and i'm sure if they'd won the war it would have become more totalertarian. It happened with Lenin, he started out promising freedom for the people, but to stay in charge he had to control everyones life. This seems to be the norm in brutal ideologys. They are Brutal. To keep people following your idealism you have to kill all oppersition, and maintain order by constantly beating and killing people to keep the masses following your idea of utopia.
I would have thought Hitlers Europe would be having the same trouble with islam as our Europe is having. Allowing islam religious freedom allows it sit, as it did in Egypt, and wait for its moment to strike.
I don't think their was much difference in Nazi, MB/islamic ideology, except for the trump card islam always plays. Its the word of God. No Hitler, lenin, stalin or Mao can beat that.
As for the demands of Hitler and Al bana. Is it to simplistic to ask, if you wanted to rule the world, wouldn't your demands be fairly similar. If you break down the communist manifesto it wasn,t so different. Everyone follows a few simply rules, which all seem reasonable, and you get utopia. Whether that be in this life or the next.
One thing does seem to be apparant when you look at all these links, is Islam and nazism seem to be alive and well today. They may have morphed into something that is a combination of both, but hey, whatever works.
I am not sure if it is simply the outcome of "wanting to rule the world" (but it might be). One thing is for sure: nazism & communism were not going to have a separation of church and state. I think nazism would have developed into a religion. Communism simply worked to destroy religion. With islam they are fused together from the start.
What islam, nazism & communism cannot stand is that there should be any kind of balance of power in society. They are totalitarian. The problem is that we do not have an articulated political philosophy of freedom and individualism to counterpose against them. What we have is a mishmash of hard-won different liberties. And without some coherent framework by which we defend and counterpose individualism and freedom, people are going to be sucked back into one form or another of these totalitarianisms.
This takes us back to Hayek's critique of conservatism. It is a platform that will simply slow down the move to socialism. He made that argument 50 years ago, pointing back to the Whigs of 100 years before that as evidence of the kind of liberalism/libertarianism he supported. But 50 years on, and we are not one step further than where Hayek left off.
If we had such a politics of individual freedom, it would be very clear that islam and socialism were the enemy. And it would be very clear why socialists work with muslims. They have far more in common with each other than they have with (true) liberalism and personal freedom.
The irony is, that the media are always harping on about the idea of personal freedom. When in reality, most of us are sheep and are encouraged to be sheep. Letting us fool ourselves that we are all individuals is part of the problem.
Nickers!!!!!!!! sorry joe i did reply, computer blinked out and i lost it. I'll get back to you later.
The Program of the German Workers’ Party is a program for our time. The leadership rejects the establishment of new aims after those set out in the Program have been achieved, for the sole purpose of making it possible for the Party to continue to exist as the result of the artificially stimulated dissatisfaction of the masses.
1. We demand the uniting of all Germans within one Greater Germany, on the basis of the right to self-determination of nations.
2. We demand equal rights for the German people (Volk) with respect to other nations, and the annulment of the peace treaty of Versailles and St. Germain.
3. We demand land and soil (Colonies) to feed our People and settle our excess population.
4. Only Nationals (Volksgenossen) can be Citizens of the State. Only persons of German blood can be Nationals, regardless of religious affiliation. No Jew can therefore be a German National.
5. Any person who is not a Citizen will be able to live in Germany only as a guest and must be subject to legislation for Aliens.
6. Only a Citizen is entitled to decide the leadership and laws of the State. We therefore demand that only Citizens may hold public office, regardless of whether it is a national, state or local office.
We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of making party considerations, and not character and ability, the criterion for appointments to official positions.
7. We demand that the State make it its duty to provide opportunities of employment first of all for its own Citizens. If it is not possible to maintain the entire population of the State, then foreign nationals (non-Citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-Germans is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after August 2, 1914, be forced to leave the Reich without delay.
9. All German Citizens must have equal rights and duties.
10. It must be the first duty of every Citizen to carry out intellectual or physical work. Individual activity must not be harmful to the public interest and must be pursued within the framework of the community and for the general good.
We therefore demand:
11. The abolition of all income obtained without labor or effort.
Breaking the Servitude of Interest.
12. In view of the tremendous sacrifices in property and blood demanded of the nation by every war, personal gain from the war must be termed a crime against the nation. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all enterprises (already) converted into corporations (trusts).
14. We demand profit-sharing in large enterprises.
15. We demand the large-scale development of old-age pension schemes.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle class; the immediate communalization of the large department stores, which are to be leased at low rates to small tradesmen. We demand the most careful consideration for the owners of small businesses in orders placed by national, state, or community authorities.
17. We demand land reform in accordance with our national needs and a law for expropriation without compensation of land for public purposes. Abolition of ground rent and prevention of all speculation in land.
18. We demand ruthless battle against those who harm the common good by their activities. Persons committing base crimes against the People, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished by death without regard to religion or race.
19. We demand the replacement of Roman Law, which serves a materialistic World Order, by German Law.
20. In order to make higher education – and thereby entry into leading positions – available to every able and industrious German, the State must provide a thorough restructuring of our entire public educational system. The courses of study at all educational institutions are to be adjusted to meet the requirements of practical life. Understanding of the concept of the State must be achieved through the schools (teaching of civics) at the earliest age at which it can be grasped. We demand the education at the public expense of specially gifted children of poor parents, without regard to the latters’ position or occupation.
21. The State must raise the level of national health by means of mother-and-child care, the banning of juvenile labor, achievements of physical fitness through legislation for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and maximum support for all organizations providing physical training for young people.
22. We demand the abolition of hireling troops and the creation of a national army.
23. We demand laws to fight against deliberate political lies and their dissemination by the press. In order to make it possible to create a German press, we demand:
a) all editors and editorial employees of newspapers appearing in the German language must be German by race;
b) non-German newspapers require express permission from the State for their publication. They may not be printed in the German language;
c) any financial participation in a German newspaper or influence on such a paper is to be forbidden by law to non-Germans and the penalty for any breach of this law will be the closing of the newspaper in question, as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-Germans involved.
Newspapers which violate the public interest are to be banned. We demand laws against trends in art and literature which have a destructive effect on our national life, and the suppression of performances that offend against the above requirements.
24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations, provided that they do not endanger the existence of the State or offend the concepts of decency and morality of the Germanic race.
The Party as such stands for positive Christianity, without associating itself with any particular denomination. It fights against the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a permanent revival of our nation can be achieved only from within, on the basis of:
Public Interest before Private Interest.
25. To carry out all the above we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the Reich. Unquestioned authority by the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and over its organizations in general. The establishment of trade and professional organizations to enforce the Reich basic laws in the individual states.
The Party leadership promises to take an uncompromising stand, at the cost of their own lives if need be, on the enforcement of the above points.
Munich, February 24, 1920.
Das Programm der NSDAP
("The Program of the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party"), Berlin .
Here's the Muslim Brotherhood's 50 Demands (I took out the sub-headings, and renumbered them 1 to 50 for the graphic I did). They can be found here (with some more information about their fascist language e.g. phalanx). http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/articles/1456.html
Political, judicial and administrative sectors
1- An end to party rivalry, and a channelling of the political forces of the nation into a common front and a single phalanx.
2- A reform of the law, so that it will conform to Islamic legislation in every branch.
3- A strengthening of the armed forces, and an increase in the number of youth groups; the inspiration of the latter with zeal on the bases of Islamic jihad.
4- A strengthening of the bonds between all Islamic countries, especially the Arab countries, to pave the way for practical and serious consideration of the matter of the departed Caliphate.
5- The diffusion of the Islamic spirit throughout all departments of the government, so that all its employees will feel responsible for adhering to Islamic teachings.
6- The surveillance of the personal conduct of all its employees, and an end to the dichotomy between the private and professional spheres.
7- Setting the hours of work in summer and winter ahead, so that it will be easy to fulfill religious duties, and so that keeping late hours will come to an end.
8- An end to bribery and favoritism, with consideration to be given only to capability and legitimate reasons [for advancement].
9- Weighing all acts of the government acts in the scales of Islamic wisdom and doctrines; the organization of all celebrations, receptions, official conferences, prisons and hospitals so as not to be incompatible with Islamic teaching; the arranging of work-schedules so that they will not conflict with hours of prayer.
10- The employment of graduates of Al-Azhar in military and administrative positions, and their training.
Social and educational sectors
1- Conditioning the people to respect public morality, and the issuance of directives fortified by the aegis of the law on this subject; the imposition of severe penalties for moral offences.
2- Treatment of the problem of women in a way which combines the progressive and the protective, in accordance with Islamic teachings, so that this problem - one of the most important social problems - will not be abandoned to the biased pens and deviant notions of those who err in the directions of deficiency or excess.
3- An end to prostitution, both clandestine and overt: the recognition of fornication, whatever the circumstances, as a detestable crime whose perpetrator must be flogged.
4- An end to gambling in all its forms - games, lotteries, racing, and gambling-clubs.
5- A campaign against drinking, as there is one against drugs: its prohibition, and the salvation of the nation from its effects.
6- A campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior; the instruction of women in what is proper, with particular strictness as regards female instructors, pupils, physicians, and students, and all those in similar categories.
7- A review of the curricula offered to girls and the necessity of making them distinct from the boys' curricula in many of the stages of education.
8- Segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless between the permitted degrees [of relationship] to be counted as a crime for which both will be censored.
9- The encouragement of marriage and procreation, by all possible means; promulgation of legislation to protect and give moral support to the family, and to solve the problems of marriage.
10- The closure of morally undesirable ballrooms and dance halls, and the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes.
11- The surveillance of theatres and cinemas, and a rigorous selection of plays and films.
12- The expurgation of songs, and a rigorous selection and censorship of them.
13- The careful selection of lectures, songs, and subjects to be broadcast to the nation; the use of radio broadcasting for the education of the nation in a virtuous and moral way.
14- The confiscation of provocative stories and books that implant the seeds of skepticism in an insidious manner, and newspapers which strive to disseminate immorality and capitalize indecently on lustful desires.
15- The supervision of summer vacation areas so as to do away with the wholesale confusion and licence that nullify the basic aims of vacationing.
16- The regulation of business hours for cafés; surveillance of the activities of their regular clients; instructing these as to what is in their best interest; withdrawal of permission from cafés to keep such long hours.
17- The utilization of these cafés for teaching illiterates reading and writing; toward this end, the assistance of rising generation of elementary school teachers and students.
18- A campaign against harmful customs, whether economic, moral, or anything else; turning the masses away from these and orienting them in the direction of ways beneficial to them, or educating them in a way consonant with their best interests. These involve such customs as those to do with weddings, funerals, births, the zar (a ceremonial of exorcism), civil and religious holidays, etc. Let the government set a good example in this respect.
19- Due consideration for the claims of the moral censorship, and punishment of all who are proved to have infringed any Islamic doctrine or attacked it, such as breaking the fast of Ramadan, wilful neglect of prayers, insulting the faith, or any such act.
20- The annexation of the elementary village schools to the mosques, and a thoroughgoing reform of both, as regards employees, cleanliness, and overall custodial care, so that the young may be trained in prayer and the older students in learning.
21- The designation of religious instruction as a basic subject in all schools, in each according to its type, as well as in the universities.
22- Active instigation to memorize the Qur'an in all the free elementary schools; making this memorization mandatory for obtaining diplomas in the areas of religion and (Arabic) language; the stipulation that a portion of it be memorized in every school.
23- The promulgation of a firm educational policy which will advance and raise the level of education, and will supply it, in all its varieties, with common goals and purposes; which will bring the different cultures represented in the nation closer together, and will make the first stage of its process one dedicated to inculcating a virtuous, patriotic spirit and an unwavering moral code.
24- The cultivation of the Arabic language at every stage of instruction; the use of Arabic alone, as opposed to any foreign language, in the primary stages.
25- The cultivation of Islamic history, and of the national history and national culture, and the history of Islamic civilization.
26- Consideration of ways to arrive gradually at a uniform mode of dress for the nation.
27- An end to the foreign spirit in our homes with regard to language, manners, dress, governesses, nurses, etc; all these to be Egyptianized, especially in upper class homes.
28- To give journalism a proper orientation, and to encourage authors and writers to undertake Islamic, Eastern subjects.
29- Attention to be given to matters of public health by disseminating health information through all media; increasing the numbers of hospitals, physicians, and mobile clinics; facilitating the means of obtaining medical treatment.
30- Attention to be given to village problems, as regards their organization, their cleanliness, the purification of their water supply, and the means to provide them with culture, recreation, and training.
1- The organization of zakat (charity) in terms of income and expenditure, according to the teachings of the magnanimous Sacred Law; invoking its assistance in carrying out necessary benevolent projects, such as homes for the aged, the poor, and orphans, and strengthening the armed forces.
2- The prohibition of usury, and the organization of banks with this end in view. Let the government provide a good example in this domain by relinquishing all interest due on its own particular undertakings, for instance in the loan-granting banks, industrial loans, etc.
3- The encouragement of economic projects and an increase in their number; giving work to unemployed citizens in them; the transfer of such of these as are in the hands of foreigners to the purely national sector.
4- The protection of the masses from the oppression of monopolistic companies, keeping these within strict limits, and obtaining every possible benefit for the masses.
5- An improvement in the lot of junior civil servants by raising their salaries, by granting them steady increases and compensations, and by lowering the salaries of senior civil servants.
6- A reduction in the number of government posts, retaining only the indispensable ones; an equitable and scrupulous distribution of the work among civil servants.
7- The encouragement of agricultural and industrial counselling; attention to be paid to raising the production level of the peasant and industrial worker.
8- A concern for the technical and social problems of the worker; raising his standard of living in numerous respects.
9- The exploitation of natural resources, such as uncultivated land, neglected mines, etc.
10- Priority over luxury items to be given to necessary projects in terms of organization and execution.
Don't kid yourself. Long before the Jan. 25 revolution that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, many academics and policymakers argued that his main adversary -- the Muslim Brotherhood -- had made its peace with democracy. This was based on the assumption that, since the Muslim Brotherhood participated in virtually every election under Mubarak, it was committed to the rule of the people as a matter of principle.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood has embraced many of the Mubarak regime's autocratic excesses: Editors who are critical of the Brotherhood have lost their jobs, and more journalists have been prosecuted for insulting the president during Morsy's six months in office than during Mubarak's 30-year reign. And much as Mubarak's ruling party once did, the Brotherhood is using its newfound access to state resources as a political tool: It reportedly received below-market food commodities from the Ministry of Supply and Social Affairs, which it is redistributing to drum up votes in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The Brotherhood's most blatantly undemocratic act, however, was Morsy's Nov. 22 "constitutional declaration," through which he placed his presidential edicts above judicial scrutiny and asserted the far-reaching power to "take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution." When this power grab catalyzed mass protests, Morsy responded by ramming a new constitution through the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, and the Brotherhood later mobilized its cadres to attack the anti-Morsy protesters, and subsequently extract confessions from their captured fellow citizens. So much for promises of "consultation."
As the Brotherhood's first year in power has demonstrated, elections do not, by themselves, yield a democracy. Democratic values of inclusion are also vital. And the Muslim Brotherhood -- which has deployed violence against protesters, prosecuted its critics, and leveraged state resources for its own political gain -- clearly lacks these values.
False. While it is certainly true that Muslim Brothers, like America's Christian evangelicals, are religious people, the Brotherhood's religiosity isn't its most salient feature. Whereas Christian evangelicals (as well as devout Catholics, orthodox Jews, committed Hindus, and so on) are primarily defined by their piety, the Muslim Brotherhood is first and foremost a political organization -- a power-seeking entity that uses religion as a mobilizing tool. As a result, the political diversity within the evangelical community, including its quietist trend, cannot exist within the Muslim Brotherhood, which strives for political uniformity among its hundreds of thousands of members.
The Brotherhood achieves this internal uniformity by subjecting its members to a rigorous five- to eight-year process of internal promotion, during which time a rising Muslim Brother ascends through four membership ranks before finally becoming a full-fledged "active brother." At each level, Brothers are tested on their completion of a standardized Brotherhood curriculum, which emphasizes rote memorization of the Quran as well as the teachings of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and radical Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb. Rising Muslim Brothers are also vetted for their willingness to follow the leadership's orders, and Muslim Brothers ultimately take an oath to "listen and obey" to the organization's edicts.
The Brotherhood's 20-member executive Guidance Office, meanwhile, deploys its well-indoctrinated foot soldiers for maximum political effect. The movement's pyramid-shaped hierarchy quickly disseminates directives down to thousands of five- to 20-member "families" -- local Brotherhood cells spread throughout Egypt. These "families" execute the top leaders' orders, which may include providing local social services, organizing mass demonstrations, mobilizing voters for political campaigns, or more grimly, coordinating violent assaults on anti-Brotherhood protesters.
By channeling deeply committed members through an institutionalized chain of command, the Brotherhood has discovered the key ingredients for winning elections in a country where practically everyone else is deeply divided. For this reason, it is extremely protective of its internal unity: Its current leaders have largely dodged ideological questions -- such as explaining what "instituting the sharia [Islamic law]" means in practice -- to prevent fissures from emerging.
The Brotherhood has further maintained internal unity by banishing anyone who disagrees with its strategy. It excommunicated a former top official, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, when he declared his presidential candidacy in mid-2011 despite the Brotherhood's policy at the time against nominating a presidential candidate -- and even after the Brotherhood reversed its own decision, Aboul Fotouh remained persona non grata. It similarly ousted top Brotherhood youths who opposed the establishment of a single Brotherhood party and called on the Brotherhood to remain politically neutral.
To be sure, the Brotherhood's long-term vision is religious: It calls for "instituting God's sharia and developing the Islamic nation's renaissance on the basis of Islam." But the Brotherhood views itself the key vehicle for achieving this vision, which is why it places such a priority on protecting its organizational strength and internal unity. Indeed, far from approximating a devout religious group akin to evangelical Christians, the Muslim Brotherhood's disciplined pursuit of power -- which includes indoctrinating members and using force against detractors -- makes it most similar to Russia's Bolsheviks.
Not really. In the aftermath of the Muslim Brotherhood's rapid emergence as Egypt's new ruling party, the existence of wealthy businessmen within the organization's top ranks was taken as a sign that it was a capitalist organization that would put Egypt's economic interests first and thus steer a moderate course. The Brotherhood's supposed capitalism was also taken as a sign that it would seek cooperation with the West as it pursued foreign direct investment.
But just as electoral participation doesn't necessarily make an organization democratic, being led by wealthy businessmen doesn't make the Brotherhood capitalist.
Not that the Muslim Brotherhood claims to be capitalist anyway. "It is not," Ashraf Serry, a member of the Brotherhood's economic policy-focused "Renaissance Project" team, told me during a June 2012 interview. The Brotherhood, he explained, believed in striking a balance between "the right to capture ... treasure" and "the ethics and values that secure the society" -- whatever that means.
The text of the "Renaissance Project" is similarly ambivalent. On one hand, the platform emphasizes capitalist ideas such as ending monopolistic practices, encouraging foreign trade, reducing Egypt's deficit, and cutting many of the bureaucratic regulations that inhibit the emergence of new businesses. Yet it also envisions a large role for the state in managing Egypt's economy, including price controls for commodities, "strict oversight" of markets, "reconsideration" of the Mubarak-era privatizations of state-owned enterprises, and governmental support for farmers. And of course, there's a substantial Islamist component to the Brotherhood's economic agenda, which calls for establishing governmental Islamic financial institutions and using zakat (religiously mandated charity) and waqf (Islamic endowments) as tools for combating poverty.
What this hodgepodge of economic ideas means in practice remains unclear, because the Brotherhood has been rather skittish about making economic decisions since assuming power. While the Brotherhood has seemingly overcome its initial objections to accepting an interest-bearing loan from the International Monetary Fund (interest is forbidden in many interpretations of Islam), it has nonetheless postponed signing off on the loan repeatedly. And while Morsy has tried to implement certain policies for cutting government spending and raising revenue -- such as instituting a 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and shops and increasing taxes on certain goods -- he has immediately backtracked on each occasion under pressure from his own Brotherhood colleagues.
If anything, the Brotherhood's economic policy is ultimately characterized by indecision -- both because of its contradictory economic ideas and the political challenges it faces. As Egypt enters a fiscal tailspin, with cash reserves falling from $36 billion in February 2011 to approximately $15 billion today, that isn't going to be good enough.
They never will. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration took comfort from Morsy's handling of the November Gaza war: From Washington's viewpoint, the Egyptian president resisted using the conflict as a pretext to break relations with Israel, and instead authorized negotiations with the Jewish state to achieve a relatively speedy ceasefire.
From the Muslim Brotherhood's perspective, however, Morsy preserved the movement's anti-Israel agenda. He stood by his refusal to meet with Israelis by outsourcing those negotiations to Egyptian intelligence officials; the ceasefire strengthened Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the Egyptian government accepted no new responsibilities to stem the flow of weapons into Gaza. Far from yielding to the reality of Egyptian-Israeli relations, Morsy simply deferred their reassessment so that he could focus on his more immediate goal -- consolidating the Muslim Brotherhood's control at home. Indeed, one day after the Gaza ceasefire, Morsy issued his power-grabbing constitutional declaration, and rammed through a new Islamist constitution shortly thereafter.
This is, in fact, the very order of events that the Muslim Brotherhood envisions in its long-term program. As Shater explained during his April 2011 unveiling of the Brotherhood's "Renaissance Project," building an "Islamic government" at home must precede the establishment of a "global Islamic state," which is the final stage in achieving "the empowerment of God's religion." To be sure, consolidating power at home could take years, and the fact that the Brotherhood doesn't totally control Egypt's foreign-policy apparatus will also prevent it from scrapping the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty -- for now.
But the Muslim Brotherhood does aim to scrap the treaty, which simply cannot be reconciled with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred in which every Muslim Brother is thoroughly indoctrinated. This vitriol was perhaps most apparent in Morsy's now-infamous 2010 remarks, in which he called Jews "the descendants of apes and pigs." Even as president, Morsy's blatant bigotry remains irrepressible: In a meeting with a U.S. Senate delegation in Cairo, Morsy implied that the U.S. media was controlled by the Jews.
And while the Brotherhood's apologists claim that these are idle words on which the movement won't act, its leaders have repeatedly signaled the opposite. In recent months, the Brotherhood's political party drafted legislation to unilaterally amend the treaty, a Brotherhood foreign policy official told a private salon that Morsy was working to "gradually" end normalization with Israel, and Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie has twice called for Muslims to wage a "holy jihad" to retake Jerusalem.
Washington should stop deluding itself: It will not be able to change the Brotherhood's ideology on Israel. Instead, it should focus squarely on constraining the Brotherhood's behavior in order to prevent it from acting on its beliefs anytime soon. As the Brotherhood makes quite clear on its Arabic media platforms, it has no intention of reconciling itself to the reality of either the peace treaty or the very existence of Israel.
Yet the lesson of the Arab Spring is that what appears to be stable at one moment can be toppled at another -- especially if people are frustrated enough with the status quo. The conditions that sparked Egypt's 2011 uprising have only worsened in the past two years: The country's declining economy has intensified popular frustrations, and the constant labor strikes and street-closing protests indicate that the Brotherhood's rule is far less stable than it might appear on the surface. Meanwhile, Morsy's dictatorial maneuvers have forced an anti-Brotherhood opposition to form much more quickly than previously imagined.
Most importantly, a close look at voting data suggests non-Islamists are making critical gains among the Egyptian public. 57 percent of Egyptians voted for non-Islamist candidates during the first round of the 2012 presidential elections, and non-Islamist candidate Ahmed Shafiq won more than 48 percent in the second round -- despite being very unattractive to many Egyptians for having served as Mubarak's last prime minister. Moreover, though the Brotherhood successfully campaigned for the December constitutional referendum and won nearly 64 percent of the vote, turnout was only 33 percent -- meaning that the movement was only able to mobilize, at most, about 21 percent of the voting public.
To be sure, the Brotherhood is exceedingly likely to win the forthcoming parliamentary elections, and it may rule Egypt for some time. It is, after all, uniquely well organized, while its opponents are deeply divided: To the Brotherhood's theocratic right, the Salafists are split among a handful of competing organizations and, to its left, the field is even more fragmented among communists, socialists, Nasserists, old ruling party members, and a smattering of liberals. Perhaps most dangerously, the Brotherhood's quick ascent has empowered it to shape Egypt's new political institutions, and it will likely tailor these institutions to perpetuate its reign.
But the Brotherhood's support isn't strong enough to preclude the emergence of a challenger. For that reason, the United States must ensure that it avoids the impression that it is putting all of its eggs in the Brotherhood's basket. Already, non-Islamists are asking why the United States has been loath to squeeze a new ruling party that is neither democratic nor, in the long run, likely to cooperate in promoting U.S. interests. Whether or not these non-Islamists can effectively challenge the Brotherhood right now -- and I am dubious -- they are right in challenging the Washington conventional wisdom that fails to see the Brotherhood for what it is: a deeply undemocratic movement concerned above all else with enhancing and perpetuating its own power.
This takes us back to Hayek's critique of conservatism. It is a platform that will simply slow down the move to socialism. He made that argument 50 years ago, pointing back to the Whigs of 100 years before that as evidence of the kind of liberalism/libertarianism he supported. But 50 years on, and we are not one step further than where Hayek left off.
I wish we could highlight or 'pin' some comments, like that one.
I am not sure if it is simply the outcome of "wanting to rule the world" (but it might be). One thing is for sure: nazism & communism were not going to have a separation of church and state. I think nazism would have developed into a religion. Communism simply worked to destroy religion. With islam they are fused together from the start ...
Tony Cliff, founder of the SWP, saying (1946) that the Muslim Brotherhood were fascists.
By Tony Cliff, from Fourth International, Vol.7 No.9, September 1946
The British are… doing all in their power to foster the Moslem Brotherhood, a clerical-fascist organisation in Egypt, which is at present organising branches in Palestine. It was this organisation which succeeded to a certain extent in diverting the demonstrations against the Balfour Declaration which took place on 2 November 1945 in Cairo and Alexandria into attacks on the communal minorities, Christian and Jewish. Their success was only partial, as the Egyptian workers’ movement understood that the communal attacks constituted an assault upon it. The workers’ paper El Damir stated at that time: “It is very heartening that the workers were not dragged into the plots hatched against them to involve them in the attacks of 2 November, the day of the cursed Balfour Declaration… The Egyptian workers’ movement struggles against racial fanaticism and deprecates every movement fostered around it.”
The Moslem Brotherhood tried to erect separate committees of Moslem workers in various enterprises, but this failed owing to the unity, irrespective of community, displayed by the Egyptian workers. While the Moslem Brotherhood showed great activity on 2 November, it refused to participate on 21 February, 1946, “Evacuation Day” as this was a real anti-imperialist movement and not a communal one.
Slogans of solidarity among Moslem, Christian and Jewish workers were shouted throughout the demonstrations, and the fascist leader Ahmed Hussein, who tried to worm his way into the demonstration, was howled down and not allowed to speak. When the Workers’ and Students’ Committee called an anti-imperialist strike on 10 May of this year the Moslem Brotherhood declared its opposition. The strike took place, however, despite the opposition of the Brotherhood, the Egyptian Government and the Arab League.
The Egyptian government and the British imperialists do all in their power to nourish and strengthen the Moslem Brotherhood. Reuters publishes a Brotherhood declaration every Monday and Thursday. The announcement of John Kimche that the Brotherhood had half a million members was printed in all the local newspapers, although in reality they have a membership of not more than 10,000. At the same time all news about the Workers' and Students’Committee is systematically suppressed.
The Brotherhood issues a daily paper (whose financial sources it does not of course divulge), while the workers’ papers have been closed down. It arranges meetings and conferences; similar gatherings of the workers are banned. The radio station devotes a regular programme to it, and its delegates are given every assistance to visit the neighbouring Arab countries; the workers’ representatives are refused visas. The Stalinists’ habit of dragging after the “nationalists” was displayed in its ugliest form during the last few days.
While the Jewish Stalinists launch a struggle against the British White Paper and demand free immigration and settlement, one of their groups going so far as to join the world Zionist Organisation, the Arab Stalinists sing laudations to the Mufti. Thus, in an article entitled “The Grand Mufti,” the Arab Stalinist weekly, writes on 23 June 1946 in honour of the Mufti’s arrival in Egypt: “Our struggling nation honours those who sacrifice themselves. The Arab nation in Palestine has shown vitality and faithfulness to its interests and those who work for them. Arab Palestine from end to end celebrated the good news… Arab Palestine expressed its feelings in its celebrations and demonstrations for every man who it is sure served his country faithfully. In these expressions the nation provides us with a great lesson that it does not pay attention to words but honours deeds and glorifies and honours their doers. Our nation has proved that it has not forgotten nor will forget those who struggled, passed through trials and made sacrifices for their homeland.”
These praises of the Mufti were offered only a few months after the same paper wrote the following: “This great historical strike [the strike of government workers and employees] showed up British imperialism, and demonstrated that there is no difference between Arabs and Jews, showed who is the common enemy and pointed the way of struggle against this common enemy.” (21 April 1946.)
We should not be surprised if the spinelessness of the Arab Stalinists leads them to repeat their slogan of 1935–36, when they demanded that the government disarm the Jews. All the provocations of the Moslem Brotherhood did not succeed in sowing communal antagonisms in Egypt. And the last great strike in Palestine in April of this year in which 26,000 Arab and 6,000 Jewish workers participated, proved that despite the splitting propaganda of the Zionists and the feudal-bourgeois Arab leaders, there is a solid basis for the unity of the Palestinian toilers in defence of their vital interests.
In reply to the bloody imperialist provocations, constantly repeated, which cause tremendous suffering to Arab and Jewish masses alike, the struggle must be launched for the all-embracing unity of the trade unions in the Arab East countries irrespective of national or communal differences. The struggle must be launched for the establishment of a united trade union movement in Palestine; the existing differences between the wages of Arab and Jewish workers must be fought against; equal pay for equal work must be the slogan; municipal labour bureaus should be established to include all the workers; all boycotts against the products, agricultural or industrial, of another nation, must be abolished. The expropriation of the key sections of the economy from the hands of foreign capital, and the agrarian revolution — these are the fundamental conditions for the broad and all-sided development of the economies of the countries of the East, the raising of the material and cultural status of the masses, irrespective of nation or community, and the eradication of the barriers between them. Imperialism, source of communal provocation, must be rooted out and the struggle launched for liberation of the Middle East, in which all the minorities — Jews, Kurds, etc. — will be given wide autonomy in the regions inhabited by them, within the all embracing framework of the Republic of Workers and Peasants of the Arab East.
The British working class must fight for the evacuation of the British occupation army from the East. The overthrow of imperialism will put an end to the subjugation of the masses of the East and the trading in their blood. The English and American workers must demand, at the same time, the opening of the gates of their countries to the victims of fascism including the Jews; and must organise material assistance for the suffering European masses in general and those in the Displaced Persons’ Camps in particular.
Jerusalem, 8 July 1946
We were only 2.5 years ahead of the Egyptian ambassador (and now the British media) in pointing out that the Brotherhood are Nazis.