'Civilization Jihad' – the Muslim Brotherhood's Potent Weapon

Part 3 of a serialization of Shariah – The Threat to America, the report of Team B II of the Center for Security Policy.

Violent jihad dominates the attention of those responsible for national security. But the more dangerous long-term threat, the Center for Security Policy’s Team B report found, is what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.”

This pre-violent form of jihad, according to the totalitarian ideology of sharia, is considered an integral, even dominant element of jihad.

Team B, which used open-source information to compile its groundbreaking report, Sharia – The Threat to America, takes a look at civilization jihad as part of enemy threat doctrine. Here’s a summary.

While it is true that many Muslims do not follow the directives of shariah, let alone engage in jihad, too many of them provide the proverbial sea in which the jihadis swim. By offering little meaningful opposition to the jihadist agenda, a large number of Muslim communities and nations generally project a tacit agreement with jihadis’ ends, if not with their means.

Under shariah, civilization jihad – a “pre-violent” form of jihad – is considered an integral, even dominant element of jihad that is at least as obligatory for shariah’s adherents as the violent kind.

Such tactics are ostensibly “non-violent” (and therefore “moderate”) not because the Muslim Brotherhood eschews violence out of principle, but because it has decided that this phase of battlefield preparation is better accomplished through stealthy means. Hence civilization jihad can be considered “stealth jihad.”

Civilization jihad is a form of political and psychological warfare that includes multi-layered cultural subversion, the co-opting of senior leaders, influence operations, propaganda and other means of insinuating shariah gradually into Western societies.

The violence is always implicit in the overall strategy (such as that idea that we must proceed with the Ground Zero mosque, lest our opposition incite Muslim violence), albeit held in reserve for the final stages of the offensive. It is the combined effect of the violent and pre-violent strains of jihad that constitutes the most serious threat to America and its free people.

Origins of civilization jihad

We get the concept of civilization jihad from, among other sources, a document that was entered into evidence in the 2008 United States v Holy Land Foundation terrorist finance trial. The document, titled An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group, was written in 1991 by Mohamed Akram, a senior Hamas leader in the United States and a member of the board of directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

The Explanatory Memorandum (click here for the original document in Arabic) explains that the Muslim Brotherhood-organized “Islamic Movement” in the US is a “settlement process” to establish itself in the United States and, once entrenched, to undertake a “grand jihad” characterized as a “civilization jihadist” mission under Muslim Brotherhood direction.

Specifically the document describes the “settlement process” as a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is relying on non-Muslims in America to aid it, usually inadvertently, to destroy America from within.


Dawa, the call to Islam that by Islamic law must precede jihad, is all-too-often dismissed, as are its manifestations under the rubric of non-violent jihad, simply because this kind of assault does not kill. Instead, it intends “merely” to subjugate.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told a Toledo, Ohio, Muslim Arab Youth Association convention in 1995, “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through the sword, but through dawa.”

Absent an appreciation of the threat posed by stealth jihad, the pre-violent civilization jihadist is free to proceed unimpeded under the radar in Western societies, infiltrating and subverting along lines specifically tailored to today’s liberal, multicultural-minded non-Muslim populations. It does so in ways that are genuinely difficult to recognize, oppose or counter.

The objective of civilization jihad, also known as stealth jihad, is the same as the violent form of jihad: subjugation of Dar al-Harb (the “House of War,” or the non-Muslim world) to shariah, which would result in the non-Muslim population of humanity being subsumed under Dar al-Islam, or the House of Islam.

Team B deals with the issue at length in its section on the Muslim Brotherhood, because the Brotherhood has the dominant role with respect to the prosecution of the pre-violent form of jihad in the United States and in the West more generally. The insinuation of shariah and its adherents into America’s academic, banking and finance, government, intelligence, law enforcement and military institutions – as well as civil society more generally – is quite far advanced.

Official U.S. doctrine on threat development requires that threat assessment begin with an unconstrained analysis of the enemy’s stated threat doctrine. The first two sections of the Team B report make plain that it is indeed possible to know the enemy and his intentions with certitude.

If adherents to shariah have sworn to destroy us, it is their doctrine that we are required to know. Whether that doctrine is judged by Team B to be accurate, appropriate or even identifiable with “genuine” Islam is irrelevant.

If it can be demonstrated that the enemy refers to and relies on this doctrine to guide and justify his actions, then that is all that matters in terms of the enemy threat doctrine. US civilian and military leaders must thoroughly understand and orient upon this threat doctrine for the purpose of defeating such foes.

Failing to orient an enemy’s self-identified doctrines not only violates our own doctrine on threat analysis but renders us unable to defeat the enemy because we have failed properly to identify him.


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