Obama should address radical Islam in Egypt
This Thursday, President Barack Obama will address the Muslim world from Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country and one of the most prominent countries in the Middle East. The president has suggested that he will use the speech to “reboot the U.S. relationship with the Muslim world.” Pundits have opined that the speech will focus on building trust. Still others say he will address the decades-long Arab-Israel conflict.
Whatever the case, there is one area that will likely not be discussed: radical Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood, for those unfamiliar, is a central force that has driven radical Islamism for decades. In other words, to understand the nature of radical Islam, one must first understand the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a nutshell, the group was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna with the primary goal of implementing Sharia (Islamic) Law across the Arab and Muslim world. But al-Banna also proselytized a grander vision – to spread Islam across the entire planet. He is quoted as having said, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
The notion that the entire world should be ruled by Islam proved to be a very powerful motivator for al-Banna's followers, perhaps the most famous of which is Sayyid Qutb. Qutb, in his work, Milestones (1964), wrote that Muslims are not merely obliged to wage jihad in defense of Islamic lands, but must wage offensive jihad to liberate the world from the servitude of man-made law and governance.
To Qutb, the United States and all it did – and still stands for – were the antipathy of Islam, modesty and everything holy in the world. Over the decades, the Brotherhood's ideology went on to spawn the major terrorist groups that have terrorized our society ever since.
There are several high-profile examples of the impact of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as many that are lesser known. It was the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood that inspired Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The Muslim Brotherhood ideology lies at the heart of the Hamas charter that calls for the derailing of any Israel-Palestinian peace process and the destruction of Israel. And the Muslim Brotherhood ideology promulgates the fatwas (religious edicts) of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, who deems it a religious duty for Muslims to fight Americans in Iraq.
Obama should take this opportunity to address radical Islam, and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet, I do not expect the President will mention any of this when he is in Egypt, a country where the Muslim Brotherhood controls 20 percent of the parliamentary seats, on Thursday. Instead, the president is attempting to gain favor in the eyes of the Muslim world, especially the Muslim community in the United States.
But if now is not the time to address the Muslim Brotherhood, then when? Especially since the Muslim Brotherhood has also been operating in the United States for years.
A formerly secret document released by the FBI in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial of 2008 – the largest terrorism financing prosecution in U.S. history - outlines the goals and strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood concerning America. The document states the work of the Brotherhood in the United States is 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 and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In other words, the goal is to destroy America from within so Islam can dominate.
According to the Muslim Brotherhood's own documents, several high-profile American-Muslim groups are to be enlisted to implement these plans. These include the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and several others. These are groups that have consistently sought to act as apologists for radical Islamic terror and shield Americans from the clear and present threat posed by radical Islam by branding any critics of radical Islam as "Islamophobes."
I speak as someone with extensive experience uncovering the truth about radical Islam. I recently directed the feature-length documentary, "The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For America." The film profiles this imminent threat to U.S. national security in great detail. The film is narrated by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim who is president of the Arizona-based American-Islamic Forum for Democracy. The film also offers definitive proof of the threat from radical Islamists, as well as what all Americans can do to protect its freedoms. As a result, I have been branded an Islamophobe.
Obama is not likely to speak directly or strongly about radical Islamic terror because he wants desperately for the United States to enter into a conciliatory period with the greater Arab world. One of the first things his administration did was declare that there was no longer a “global war on terror.” Any military engagements in the region are now being referred to as “overseas contingency operations.”
Contingency operations are important, but one of the first rules of contingency planning is to first understand the facts. And the central fact is clear: radical Islamism is a real threat. And that threat is being fuelled by an ideology of hate spread by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
It is certainly to America’s benefit to improve its relationship with the Muslim world. However, it is also in America’s best interests for Obama to address the real challenge of radical Islamism that America is facing.
Taking all this into account, Obama must be compelled to address radical extremism, and attempts to whitewash radical behavior, in his speech in Egypt.
The only way that America can possibly work toward greater cooperation with the leaders of the Muslim world, is to collectively strive to stamp out radical elements wherever they reside. After all, the radical Islamic ideology not only hurts America and the West, but sheds a negative cloud over millions of peace-loving Muslims every day.
Wayne Kopping is director and editor of The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For America and the critically-acclaimed Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West.