The Muslim Brotherhood in America: Part II - MB History & Their Arrival in America
This is the second in a 10+ part series at Big Peace which will detail the history, objectives, strategy, operational structure, modus operandi, and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
Click here to review Part I - Understanding the Threat
In the autumn of 1914, the nearly 700 year old Islamic state (Caliphate), known as the Ottoman Empire, entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers (Germany et al), having already signed a secret agreement with Germany a few months earlier to do so. Following the defeat of the Imperial German Army and the end of the war, the Allies partitioned the Turkish country which led to the Turkish War of Independence. National hero and leader Mustafa Kemal created the secular nation-state of Turkey, and became its first President. Mustafa Kemal "Ataturk" (father of Turks) dissolved the Islamic Caliphate, did away of the position of "Sultan" in the system, banned overt Islamic signs such as the growing of beards, wearing of head coverings, and the public call to prayer by the muzzeins, and replaced Arabic script with Latin. The legal, business and social systems were turned on their heads in favor of those fashioned closer to a Western-style than an Islamic one. Ataturk built a secular military to protect Turkey.
The 700 year old Islamic Caliphate was dissolved. Across the Muslim world, this was not well-received.
A few years later (1928) outside of Cairo,Egypt, Hassan al Banna and his colleagues formed the Society of Muslim Brothers. Their purpose: to re-establish the Caliphate under which Shariah (Islamic Law) is the law of the land, and liberate the Islamic nation from the yolk of foreign rule. The Creed of the Brotherhood was, and is today: "Allah is our goal; the Messenger our Guide; the Koran our law; Jihad is our Way; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration."
Over the next decade, the "Muslim Brotherhood" built a multi-tiered system in furtherance of achieving its objectives - the same objectives they maintain today. Spreading throughout Egypt, the Brotherhood - or "MB" - strongly opposed the presence of British military troops and influence in Egypt. Under Islamic Law, the presence of non-Muslim forces in Muslim lands is a "weighty matter which cannot be ignored." The Brotherhood used violence against the British troops and their families. They also fought against the system in Egypt which was not adhering to Islamic Law, targeting judges and others in the government. The Egyptian government sought to identify, capture, and/or kill members of the Brotherhood. In 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood killed the Prime Minister of Egypt, and in 1949, the Egyptian security service gunned down MB founder Hassan al Banna on the streets of Cairo.
This is not surprising, since violence is inherent to the MB's structure. The "Special Section" is an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood and conducts "Special work" - "military work" or violence and warfare. These are the guys who conduct assassinations, bombings, and other similar operations within the MB. The Special Section still exists today - several of the International leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood or "Supreme Guides" have come from the Special Section - a hint the MB doesn't eschew violence as they say they do.
The Muslim Brotherhood worked with the Nazi's during World War II, as Hassan al Banna was fond of Hitler. Under the guidance of Muslim Brother Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti (senior Islamic Jurist) of Jerusalem, the MB created an all Muslim SS Division within the Nazi's Third Reich.
Following the MB's assassination attempt on the life of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954, Nasser cracked down, outlawed the Brotherhood, and went after its leadership. Many of the key MB leaders fled Egypt and moved into Europe and elsewhere. In many European countries, the Brotherhood established the first Islamic organizations there, many of which are the most prominent Islamic organizations in Europe today.
According the MB By-Laws: "The Muslim Brotherhood in achieving these objectives (creation of the Islamic state under which Islamic Law is the law of the land) depends on the following means...make every effort for the establishment of educational, social, economic, and scientific institutions and the establishment of mosques, schools, clinics, shelters, clubs, as well as the formation of committees to regulate zakat affairs and alms."
In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood uses the subversion of a society via the creation of many front groups to gain influence and power within a society in furtherance of its stated objectives. Did they execute on this doctrine when they came to the United States and create these kinds of organizations? Lets take a look at the history.
Key Brotherhood leaders came to the United States in the 1950's after fleeing Egypt. The Brotherhood primarily settled in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Their mission statement had not changed. They were here to re-establish the global Islamic State (Caliphate) and implement Islamic Law (Shariah).
In 1962-63, Muslim Brothers Ahmed Totanji, Jamal Barzinji, Hisham al Talib, and others established the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of Illinois inUrbana. The purpose of the MSA was to give new young Muslims a place around which they could organize, train, and begin executing their strategy here in North America.
Today, the MSA can be found on hundreds of college campuses around the U.S. and serves as a point of recruitment for the Muslim Brotherhood and for jihadis. There is no effort on the part of the U.S. government to restrict or dismantle the MSA's activities here. Out of the MSA came nearly every Muslim organization in America today.
After creating the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the MB created a host of organizations through the mid-1970's here in the United States. [Remember the MB By-Laws quoted above] These include the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), the Islamic Medical Association (IMA), the Muslim Communities Association (MCA), the Muslim Arab Youth Assembly (MAYA), the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), and others. Additionally, in 1973, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), funded by Saudi Arabia, became the financial center or "bank" of the Muslim Brotherhood activities in the United States. Today, NAIT holds the titles/deeds to many of the mosques, Islamic organizations, and Islamic schools in America today.
In the late 1960's a group of Muslims, primarily of South Asian decent, organized in North America to form what formally became the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in 1977. ICNA's stated goals, to include in their 2010 Handbook, is to estabish the Al Jama'ah or Islamic State which, according to the handbook, "Has the authority to enforce Sharia's political, educational, criminal Justice System..." ICNA is now partnered with the Muslim American Society (MAS) formed in 1993, another Muslim Brotherhood front group. Both of these organizations have many local offices all over the United States working in furtherance of the Islamic Movement.
The 1980's proved to be the beginning of massive growth for the Brotherhood in North America. In the early part of the decade, the MB created the organization they say is the "nucleus" of the Islamic Movement in North America - the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA was created to be an umbrella organization for many of the original MB groups. During the first couple years of standing up ISNA, hundreds of "Islamic Societies" were created all over cities in the U.S. All of these are MB fronts answering to ISNA HQ. ISNA was and is primarily a Dawah organization. Dawah is the "Call to Islam" and is a requirement under Islamic Law before Jihad can be waged. As we will discuss later in this series, Dawah is an important stepping stone for the Muslim Brotherhood before reaching "The Final Stage" (Jihad to overthrow the government as defined in their doctrine) in any nation it seeks to subordinate to Islamic Law.
In the late 1980's, the Brotherhood createdthe Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) out of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood as an answer to the issue of Palestine. This is an issue the International Muslim Brotherhood made a part of their global strategy written in the early 1980's. In the early 1990's, the International MB then created the Palestine Committees in all Arab and Western nations to be focal points to support Hamas. In the United States, three MB/Hamas fronts were created. They were the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), the United Associaion for Studies and Research (UASR), and the Occupied Land Fund (OLF), which later became the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was the fourth Hamas front in the United States. With the exception of CAIR, these Hamas fronts no longer operate here, and the HLF was convicted in November 2008 in Dallas, Texas in the largest successful terrorism financing and Hamas trial in U.S. history.
As documented in the Muslim Brotherhood's strategic doctrine for North America, "An Explanatory Memorandum" dated 1991, the MB needed to create a vast number of new organizations to handle the requirements for the accelerating Movement here in the U.S. and in North America generally. According to the Memorandum, new organizations were need to support the Movement in the following areas: political, cultural, financial, social, security, youth, women, media, intellectual, professional, administrative, legal, scientific, and others. In approximately 1993, the MB begins establishing between 80 and 120 new non-profit organizations annually.
Today, there are over 2,000 Islamic non-profit [501(c)(3)] organizations in the United States. Not all are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, but many are. The number of total Islamic organizations here is multiplied significantlywhen the MB lobbying organizations, for profit organizations, and the many covert organizations they have established off the radar are all factored in. This is a staggering number, and is one more signficant piece of evience clearly identifying the Muslim Brotherhood's hostile and well-organized Movement within the United States.
When the MSA was created in the early 1960's, it created the "Religious Affairs Committee" which evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Today, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is a powerful MB entity which overseas the Movement in North America and ensures it operates in accordance with Islamic Law.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a multi-faceted lobbying organizaions, which is involved in outreach to the religious, law enforcement, hollywood, and political communities. MPAC continues to gain credibility as a CAIR becomes more widely known as the Hamas entity it is.
If we keep in mind that from the enemy's perspective (ie the MB perspectiv), this is an Influence Operation, not a "terrorist" operation, their operation heremight begin to make a little more sense. While it may be shocking to imagine these organizations have any ability to operate in the U.S., what is more disturbing is that the very individuals advising the senior leadership of the U.S. government today are from these hostile entities.
In Part III, we will take a deeper look into the MB's doctrine and methodology here in the U.S., and discuss, in detail, a few of the key MB organizations already mentioned above.