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It takes a nation to protect the nation

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WINTER 2005 • VOLUME XII: NUMBER 1

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Tags: Europe, Germany, MiddleEastForum, MuslimBrotherhood

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First Germany, Then Europe

While the Muslim Brotherhood and their Saudi financiers have worked to cement Islamist influence over Germany's Muslim community, they have not limited their infiltration to Germany. Thanks to generous foreign funding, meticulous organization, and the naïveté of European elites, Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations have gained prominent positions throughout Europe. In France, the extremist Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (Union of Islamic Organizations of France) has become the predominant organization in the government's Islamic Council.[69] In Italy, the extremist Unione delle Comunita' ed Organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia (Union of the Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy) is the government's prime partner in dialogue regarding Italian Islamic issues.[70]

In parallel to European Union integration efforts, the Muslim Brotherhood is also seeking to integrate its various European proxies. Over the past fifteen years, the Muslim Brotherhood has created a series of pan-European organizations such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, in which representatives from national organizations can meet and plan initiatives.[71] Perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood's greatest pan-European impact has, as with the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland, been with its youth organization. In June 1996, Muslim youth organizations from Sweden, France, and England joined forces with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth to create a European Islamic youth organization.[72] Three months later, thirty-five delegates from eleven countries met in Leicester and formally launched the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), which maintains its headquarters in Brussels.[73]

According to its official publications, FEMYSO is "a network of 42 national and international organizations bringing together youth from over 26 different countries." FEMYSO proudly stated in 2003 that over the preceding four years it had become

The de facto voice of the Muslim youth in Europe. It is regularly consulted on issues pertaining to Muslims in Europe. It has also developed useful links with: the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Youth Forum, and numerous relevant NGOs at the European level.[74]

Ibrahim el-Zayat, who held the presidency until his commitments in Germany forced him to step down, even used the FEMYSO perch to address the European Parliament.[75] Because the Muslim Brotherhood provides the bulk of FEMYSO's constituent organizations, it provides the "de facto voice of the Muslim youth in Europe." While FEMYSO claims that it "is committed to fighting prejudices at all the levels, so that the future of Europe is a multicultural, inclusive and respectful one,"[76] such statements ring hollow given the position of sponsors like the World Assembly of Muslim Youth which believes that "the Jews are enemies of the faithful, God, and the Angels; the Jews are humanity's enemies. … Every tragedy that inflicts the Muslims is caused by the Jews."[77]

The Muslim Brotherhood's ample funds and organization have contributed to their success in Europe. But their acceptance into mainstream society and their unchallenged rise to power would not have been possible had European elites been more vigilant, valued substance over rhetoric, and understood the motivations of those financing and building these Islamist organizations. Why have Europeans been so naïve? Bassam Tibi, a German professor of Syrian descent and an expert on Islam in Europe, thinks that Europeans—and Germans in particular—fear the accusation of racism.[78] Radicals in sheep's clothing have learned that they can silence almost everybody with the accusation of xenophobia. Any criticism of Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations is followed by outcries of racism and anti-Muslim persecution. Journalists who are not frightened by these appellatives are swamped with baseless and unsuccessful but expensive lawsuits.

In some cases, politicians simply fail to check the backgrounds of those who claim to be legitimate representatives for the Muslim community. As in the United States, self-described representatives for the Muslim community are far more radical than the populations they represent. In other cases, politicians realize that these organizations are not the ideal counterparts in a constructive dialogue but do not take the time to seek other less visible but more moderate organizations, several of which exist only at the grassroots level, impeded by financial constraints.

What most European politicians fail to understand is that by meeting with radical organizations, they empower them and grant the Muslim Brotherhood legitimacy. There is an implied endorsement to any meeting, especially when the same politicians ignore moderate voices that do not have access to generous Saudi funding. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of radicalization because the greater the political legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, the more opportunity it and its proxy groups will have to influence and radicalize various European Muslim communities. The ultimate irony is that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna dreamed of spreading Islamism throughout Egypt and the Muslim world. He would have never dreamed that his vision might also become a reality in Europe.

Lorenzo Vidino is deputy director at the Investigative Project, a Washington D.C.-based counterterrorism research institute.

[1] "Homepage," Muslim Brotherhood Movement website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
[2] The Chicago Tribune, Sept. 19, 2004; also see Daniel Pipes, The Islamic States of America?, FrontPageMagazine.com, Sept. 23, 2004.
[3] Khalid Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," The Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International, Fall 2000, pp. 12-5.
[4] Richard Labeviere, Dollars for Terror: The U.S. and Islam (New York: Algora Publishing 2000), p. 141.
[5] Georges Lepre, "Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen SS Handschar Division 1943-45," Schiffer Aviation History, Jan. 2000, pp. 31-4.
[6] M. H. Faruqi, "Les Frères Musulmans. Politique de 'rabbaniyya,' les prières avant le pouvoir Dr. Saïd Ramadan, 1926-1995," Historique du Centre Islamique, Islamic Center of Geneva.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] "Prasidenten der IGD," Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
[10] Faruqi, "Les Frères Musulmans," Historique du Centre Islamique.
[11] "Senators Request Tax Information on Muslim Charities for Probe," U.S. State Department news release, Jan. 14, 2004.
[12] Fouad Ajami, "Tariq Ramadan," The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 7, 2004.
[13] Labeviere, Dollars for Terror, p. 122.
[14] Official dossier on Ahmed Nasreddin (hereafter Nasreddin dossier), Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica (Italian secret service, SISDE), Apr. 6, 1996, p. 10.
[15] Ibid., p. 24.
[16] Ibid., p. 31.
[17] Newsweek, May 12, 2004.
[18] "Recent OFAC Actions," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Nov. 7, 2001.
[19] Nasreddin dossier, p. 31.
[20] Ibid.
[21] "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland" Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004; "Islamismus," Landesamt fur Verfassungsschutz, Hessen website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
[22] "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
[23] Official Guide to the Munich Mosque (Munich: The Islamic Center of Munich), purchased by the author at the Milli Görüş' bookstore, Cologne, Feb. 2004.
[24] "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
[25] Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), July 29-30, 1967.
[26] "Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land.
[27] Nasreddin dossier, p. 31.
[28] Report on radical Islam, Baden Württenberg state Verfassungsschutzbericht, 2003, p. 48.
[29] "Koordination mit Zentren in folgenden Städten," Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
[30] Report on Ibrahim el-Zayat, Cologne police, Aug. 27, 2003, p. 3.
[31] David Kane, FBI senior special agent, affidavit in "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention," United States of America v. Soliman S. Biheiri, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The affidavit also details WAMY's links to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
[32] Kane, "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention."
[33] The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 15, 2003.
[34] Report on el-Zayat, Aug. 27, 2003, p. 4.
[35] Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," pp. 12-5.
[36] Klaus Gruenewald, "Defending Germany's Constitution," Middle East Quarterly, Mar. 1995, p. 10.
[37] See Al-Aqsa Foundation, "Recent OFAC Reports," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, June 6, 2003.
[38] Nasreddin dossier, p. 9.
[39] Ibid., p. 30.
[40] Duran, "Jihadism in Europe," pp. 12-5.
[41] "Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Gorus," Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land website, accessed Dec. 22, 2004.
[42] Annual report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz), 2000, Cologne, p. 174.
[43] Annual report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz), 1999, Cologne, p. 165.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Agence France-Presse, Jan. 16, 1998.
[46] Mehmet Ülger, "Manifestatie Milli Görüş in Arnhem," De Humanist, July 2003.
[47] Annual report, Bundesverfassungsschutz, 2000, p. 198.
[48] Udo Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten (Frankfurt: Eichborn Publishing, 2003), pp. 32-3.
[49] Author interview with Udo Ulfkotte, Frankfurt, Feb. 2004.
[50] Within the German federal system, each state has its own Office of the Protection for the Constitution (Landesverfassungsschutz), which is independent from the national Bundessverfassungsschutz.
[51] "Islamismus," Landesamt fur Verfassungsschutz, Hessen.
[52] Frankfurt: Eichborn Publishing, 2003.
[53] Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 38.
[54] "Christentum und Islam," German Association of Muslim Social Scientists (GMSG), Oct. 26, 2002.
[55] Anti-Semitism Worldwide 1998/9 (Tel Aviv: Stephen Roth Institute, Tel Aviv University, 2000).
[56] Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 38.
[57] Annual report, Bundesverfassungsschutz, 2000, p. 174.
[58] Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten, p. 164.
[59] Ibid., p. 162.
[60] Hartwig Mueller, head of the Verfassungsschutz of Nordrhein Westfahlen, interview on German television SWR, Mar. 21, 2003.
[61] Die Welt (Berlin), May 6, 2003.
[62] Michael Waller, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, Oct. 14, 2003.
[63] The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2003.
[64] Die Welt, May 6, 2003.
[65] Ibid.
[66] Author interview with Ulfkotte, Frankfurt, Feb. 2004.
[67] Ibid.
[68] Time, Nov. 2, 2003.
[69] Ibid., Apr. 27, 2003.
[70] Renzo Guolo, Xenofobi e Xenofili. Gli Italiani e l'Islam (Bari: Laterza Publishing, 2003), p. 14.
[71] "The Global Community," MABOnline, Muslim Association of Britain, Dec. 20, 2004.
[72] Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations brochure, emailed to author by a representative of FEMYSO, Jan. 2004.
[73] Ibid.
[74] Ibid.
[75] "L'Islam en Europe ou L'Islam d'Europe," conference program, European Parliament, Brussels, Dec. 11, 2002.
[76] FEMYSO brochure.
[77] "Animosity toward the Jews, " A Handy Encyclopedia of Contemporary Religions and Sects (WAMY), FBI translation from Arabic; Steven Emerson, statement to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, July 9, 2003; Kane, "Supplemental Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention."
[78] Bassam Tibi, Islamische Zuwanderung, Die gescheiterte Integration (Munich: DVA, 2002), p. 135.

Related Topics: Muslims in Europe, Muslims in the West, Radical Islam | Lorenzo Vidino | Winter 2005 MEQ

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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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