Why we need the Muslim Reform Movement – March 2019

Why we need the Muslim Reform Movement

 

This article first appeared in The Spectator Australia March 2019

My visit to Australia from the US was planned over a year ago for this week. In the immediate wake of the horrific, unspeakable act of terror at two mosques in Christchurch, I must first say to my Muslim brothers and sisters that I stand with you in the unqualified defence of religious freedom for every citizen in our nations. An attack on one faith is an attack on all. Terrorists target the vulnerable free amongst us because our liberty and its cohesive strength is the greatest obstacle to their supremacism and bigotry. We can never let their barbarism drive us apart.

Yes, I fear the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry. That sentiment is rising from many accelerants, not least of which is the West’s inability to resolve the growing conflict between the underpinnings of our liberal democracies and the theocracy of global Islamist movements. The best way to erode bigotry against Muslims is for our own communities to openly lead the defence of our respective homelands against Islamist ideological and security threats. Not only will Australia and our nations benefit and repair in the process, but Muslims who create reformist platforms could help push almost a quarter of the world’s population towards liberty.

Then, as our fellow citizens and social media platform contacts begin to see us as indispensable leaders for freedom, for our Constitution, and for our nation state identity, anti-Muslim bigotry will melt away. However, if we are contrarily seen as bystanders, perennial victims, in a domestic and global fight against theocrats within our faith and against the West, I fear the divide amongst us and within our nations will continue to widen.

Respect for any immigrant communities will not come by demand or by identity virtue-signaling. We as Muslims are a diverse community with many ideologies and theological interpretations, and yet, we are still looked upon as a monolith either all good or all bad. Both generalisations are false with an inherent bigotry of low expectations. The denial of this ideological diversity on various platforms only fuels bigotry from every direction. There is little difference between white supremacists fearful of ‘foreign invaders’ and militant Islamists who want to create a global caliphate and consider non-Muslim lands the ‘Land of War’ to be conquered.

Living in the lap of freedom, enjoying liberties our families in places like Syria can only dream of, I believe we have a unique opportunity and responsibility here in the West to take advantage of these liberties we are blessed with. For hundreds of years, inside the proverbial ‘House of Islam’ reformists have had little voice against the theological interpretations which inspire Islamist theocrats. For too long, the bandwidth of Muslim thought has been obstructed by Islamists who de-platform our speech through tyranny in Muslim majority nations and through identity politics in the West. It is time for liberal modern Muslims to advocate for secular democracies and universal human rights with the same vigour that Islamists advocate for a caliphate.

It was because my parents loved their faith that in 1966 they escaped the oppressive Ba’athist regime that turned Syria into an open-air prison in 1963. They immediately embraced Americanism and its attendant freedoms. In the small midwestern town I was raised, I never had a conflict between my faith and what it meant to be an American. My family has helped start, build and grow more than four mosques in the US. I served eleven years in the US Navy.

After 9/11 we formed the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-founded the Muslim Reform Movement in the West in order to confront the root cause of Islamist terror—political Islam. We see liberty and freedom and universal human rights of every individual equally under God and protected by our nation’s Constitution as central to our personal and national identity. We see its advocacy domestically sprouting roots globally as the solution to the oppressive tyrannies of most Muslim majority nations.

We seek to defend this identity of liberty through the Jeffersonian separation of mosque and state. It is time for our own faith community to live by the verse in the Qur’an in which God says to us, ‘Believers! Conduct yourselves with justice and bear true witness before God; even if it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kin’. (Qur’an 4:135).

For too long, our nations and we Muslims who live in the West have been diverted from working on actual legacy solutions to Islamist radicalism and instead retreated to balkanised, hyper-partisan corners. Radical Islamism is a Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution. Militarily, we can only defer its byproducts, but not defeat it.

Make no mistake: many reform-minded Australian Muslims are left out of the conversation which is hogged instead by Islamist apologists and identity politicians. Both extremes, left and right, of identity politics are ripping our nations apart and the best way to begin to bring us back to our united roots is for patriotic Muslims to reclaim our love for our homeland by leading centuries-overdue reform against jihadists, misogynists, bigots and other tyrannical Islamist theocrats.

We must publicly engage and empower counter-Islamist pro-freedom leaders and movements within and outside the House of Islam. Islamist jihadism inspires not only rogue terror organisations, but it also inspires many established Muslim majority governments and their political movements. Today’s neo-caliphate is the OIC from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Qatar all the way to Turkey. These regimes directly inspire Islamist terrorism in order to intimidate the West into passivity and isolationism while legitimising their dictatorships. This week, Turkey’s President Erdogan horrifically used clips of the Christchurch terror to whip up his campaign rallies into a fervour against the West. Islamists will exploit any terror whenever they can.

We must break this cycle. Find our Muslim Reform Movement Declaration online and discuss its precepts with Muslims, or their leaders, about why they would or would not sign on to its principles. We believe it to be a firewall that clearly delineates the difference in values between those who are Islamist identity apologists and those who are patriotic Australians who just happen to be Muslim. It is about time that we all have this essential national conversation. If we cannot have it in the West, then where?

Eid Mubarak! — AIFD wishes all of our friends a Blessed Holiday of the Feast ( Eid Mubarak) on Eid Al-Fitr, June 4, 2019


To our Muslim friends and supporters:

As the month of fasting, reflection and atonement of Ramadan ends tonight at sundown, we at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy would like to wish Muslims around the world “Eid Mubarak”(a blessed holiday) as tonight and tomorrow, we celebrate Eid al-Fitr, (the holiday of the feast) the celebration marking the close of Ramadan.

We hope that this month has allowed each of us to discover a renewed sense of spiritual solace. A time where we rededicated our ourselves to our families, our purpose, our humanity, our faith in our country, our duty to protect our nation, and our duty to protect our world from the radical savagery of militant Islamism.

AIFD has had many opportunities to share our mission during this time of sacrifice, reflection and spiritual growth and we thank those of you have offered your blessings and wishes for continued success and to those who continue to support our efforts through donations, with whom without, we could not exist.

Yours forever in liberty,

All of us at the,
American Islamic Forum for Democracy
aifdemocracy.org

May 18, 2019: “Muslim Reform Movement founder opposes Omar, CAIR and Islamism abroad.” interview by Steve Postal, Christian Post

Omar is a byproduct of the Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups that coddled and developed her when she first came as a refugee from Somalia to live in Minnesota“.

CP CURRENT PAGE:VOICES

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Muslim Reform Movement founder opposes Omar, CAIR and Islamism abroad

By Steven Postal, Voices Contributor

 

I interviewed Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser in January 2017July 2017, and September 2018 on a range of topics including Islamism and what he believes is its antidote, the Muslim Reform Movement. This is a follow-up interview.

Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim.

He is also an active physician and former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and host of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!” and founder of TakeBackIslam.com. Jasser and I discussed Islamism in the context of Reps. Omar and Tlaib, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Brotherhood and developments in Sri Lanka.

Domestic Developments

Postal: You recently called Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar “Islamists.”  Can you elaborate on why you think that is the case?

Jasser: Islamism is a political movement based on a common platform of ideas and worldview. Islamists are those who view domestic and foreign policy through the lens and world view of theocratic (Islamist) precepts. Reps. Tlaib’s and Omar’s positions on a host of issues are textbook Islamist. They are ideologues who see the world’s problems as caused by the West rather than by the tyrannies of Muslim countries and the theologies of the strains of Islam deeply needing reform and modernization.

Omar and Tlaib simply do not see Western interests as a force for good in the world. To that point, Omar and Tlaib have predictably defended Maduro’s Venezuela, Erdogan’s Turkey, and Qatar while reflexively demonizing Israel and the American military.

Postal: Rep. Ilhan Omar has recently been in the news for mocking how people refer to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah in a menacing tone, seemingly equating them with the U.S. military.  She also callously referring to the perpetrators of 9-11 as “some people did something” at a speech to the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) where she erroneously stated that CAIR was founded “after 9-11” when in fact it was founded in 1994.  Additionally, she has produced many anti-Semitic comments and has called Jewish White House Advisor Stephen Miller a “white nationalist.” An old tweet of hers recently resurfaced where she exaggerates the number of Somalis killed in a 1993 U.S. military operation, adding the hashtag “NotTodaySatan”. How should the public interpret her statements?

Jasser: These statements, in addition to Omar’s statements of trying to decrease the sentence of an Islamic State operative, rejecting the value of the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism programs, denying the significance of radicalization of Somali refugees from her own district, and fundraising for leading Islamist organizations like CAIR should leave no doubt that she is in fact an Islamist.  Omar is a byproduct of the Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups that coddled and developed her when she first came as a refugee from Somalia to live in Minnesota.

 

She, like all Islamists believes the propaganda of our enemies. In fact, she leads with it. The hashtag referring to America as Satan says it all.  Having joined the USS El Paso (LKA-117) as a general medical officer during its return from Operation Restore Hope in Somalia I was particularly offended by her tweets from 2017 that grossly exaggerated the numbers of and directly blamed Americans for the deaths of innocents, referring to us Americans as Satan. I highly doubt that she has any clue about what really happened to our serviceman that simply tried to bring food to help prevent massive famine in the year after she left Somalia and became a refugee. It is just unfathomable in its hypocrisy-the level of disdain she has for the country that she supposedly loves and gives her such opportunity.

Omar’ comments on Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and 9/11 minimize if not wholesale deny the global Islamist terror threat. Omar’s anti-Semitic canards, including her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which calls for the destruction of Israel, and her conspiracy theories about Jewish control and monies are classic Islamist supremacism.

Postal: Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes recently met with the American Muslims for Palestine, which an Illinois lawsuit alleges is a front for Hamas.  Any thoughts on this?

Jasser: The Investigative Project on Terrorism and the Daily Caller have detailed the sordid connections seen with Rep. Tlaib and American Muslims for Palestine, a Hamas front group whose leaders met at her office on April 8, 2019. Joe Catron a longtime anti-Semite and extreme anti-Israel activist has openly supported terror organizations. Tlaib proudly photographed herself with Catron who has voiced love for Hezbollah on February 8, 2019 and who urged the terrorist group to launch rockets at Israel.

Tlaib gives voice to an Islamist supremacist movement that is a synergy between the Arab-Palestinian identity movement and the Hamas Islamist identity movement, both of which seek the destruction of Israel. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that she proudly put out a social media photo of a sticky note pasted over Israel with the word “Palestine” written over it, and that she is a vocal supporter of the BDS movement.  She also has accused Jews of having dual allegiance to Israel while stating that she considers herself “more Palestinian in the halls of Congress than [she is] anywhere in the country, in the world.”

Postal: CAIR was recently in the news for the recently uncovered anti-Semitic statements of its leaders including National Executive Director Nihad Awad, CAIR Minnesota’s Government Affairs Coordinator Abubakar Osman, and CAIR Minnesota Board member Abdul Basit.  Meanwhile, CAIR openly opposes the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (S. 852) currently in the Senate.  What are your thoughts on these developments? 

Jasser: Not only is CAIR a byproduct of Hamas activists in the US from the 1990s, but it is also one of the most prominent Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the United States. Inherent in the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as its Palestinian branch, Hamas is a deep-seeded, toxic mixture of Jew hatred from Salafi-jihadi interpretations of scripture. Examples include the Hamas Charter that calls for Muslims to fight Jews to the death to bring about the Day of Judgement, and that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” Arab racial fascism dehumanizes all non-Arabs, especially Jews. Those at the AIFD and the MRM seek to provide a Western, modern reform-minded alternative to this hatred.

Postal: CAIR also refers to an “Islamophobia Network” on its website that includes individuals and organizations.  Included on the list is you, a practicing Muslim, and your organization AIFD, as well as ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish.  This list seems like Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC’s) 2016 publication A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists, which included Majid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim, and his reform-minded organization the Quilliam Foundation. The The Atlantic stated that the inclusion of Nawaz and Quilliam resembled “more like an attempt to police the discourse on Islam than a true inventory of anti-Muslim extremists.” Majid Nawaz sued SPLC, and won a multi-million dollar settlement.  Do you see any similarities here?

Jasser: Very much so. John Rossomando with the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) connected the dots. IPT notes that the SPLC report was compiled with input from ReThink Media, the Center for New Community and MediaMatters. ReThink Media employed Corey Saylor, CAIR’s former national legislative affairs director and Director of their Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. Saylor has literally spearheaded attempts to have me removed from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal commission. His Islamophobia Network could easily be considered by more radical, militant Islamists around the world to be a “hit list” of anti-Islam activists. Its grotesque libelous presentation is cut from the very same mold as the one his associates at ReThink Media would make for SPLC. Another common writer between SPLC and CAIR is Zainab Chaudary, a former civil rights coordinator for CAIR’s New Jersey chapter who was also part of ReThink Media’s Security and Rights Collaborative in 2016 when Nawaz was added to the SPLC’s list according to IPT. She openly acknowledges her work with SPLC.

It is very important here to note that this past few weeks, American Islamists like CAIR along with some in the American Left have been trying to suppress free speech criticism of Omar’s radical Islamist positions by claiming, hysterically, that such legitimate criticism is de facto incitement. Yet, they have through both SPLC and CAIR been leading purveyors of what militants often interpret as “hit” lists of individuals and groups they smear with the label “hate groups” and “bigots.” A few years after CAIR listed me as one of the American “Islamophobes,” the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) informed me that my name was listed in a detailed posting on an Syrian Arabic Jihadi Forum for Al Qaeda militants which was rife with material distributed by CAIR online. If a Muslim is found to have committed “Islamophobia,” this person is a “munafiq” (hypocrite) or “murtad” (apostate) committing the crime of “riddah” (apostasy, treason), which carries the death penalty under Sharia law as interpreted in Saudi Arabia and most Muslim majority countries.

There is no doubt the Atlantic was correct that this list by the SPLC or CAIR was an attempt to stifle criticism of Islam and control the discourse. There’s nothing more revealing than their inclusion of devout Muslims in this list. The world’s worst theocracies and Arab dictatorships will often imprison torture and kill citizens in the name of blasphemy and apostasy laws.

The SPLC deserved the settlement they had to provide Nawaz. It should be noted that their sister group in Britain, the so-called “Hope not Hate” had me and other Muslims also labeled in a list of “anti-Muslim extremists.” That list was also removed after rational activists began demanding answers.

Postal: How is the Muslim Reform Movement and its allies combatting Omar, Tlaib and CAIR on issues of anti-Semitism and Islamism more broadly?

Jasser: We at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and our greater coalition the Muslim Reform Movement consistently educate Americans about the threat of Islamism and the anti-Semitism of Islamists. We seek to confront the Islamist establishment on every issue and every battlefront possible. The rest of America cannot effectively confront the demagogic identity politics of these Islamists without us. We love our faith and what our chosen country America stands for at home and abroad. We also believe in the legitimacy and protection of the sovereignty of the democracy that is Israel and reject anti-Semitic canards and conspiracy theories.  Opposing the Islamist establishment, we are a counter movement that is pro-American, pro-liberty, pro-freedom, pro-Israel and pro-Western.

We educate Americans through media, government testimony, university engagements, social media and publications that there is real ideological diversity thriving among American Muslims. Our leaders include Asra Nomani, Raheel Raza, Soraya Deen, Courtney Lonergan, and Shireen Qudosi among many others.

We also refuse to use the term “Islamophobia” because it is a term created to impose an anti-blasphemy consciousness in the West. Bigotry against Muslims that exists is not Islamophobia but anti-Muslim bigotry. Islam is an idea and it has no rights. Only human beings do. The word Islamophobia is a mechanism for suppressing criticisms of Islamists and their theocracy. We ask all politicians left and right to hold Muslims accountable to the same principles that they do all citizens regarding hate speech such as anti-Semitism, rather to the lesser standard of bigotry of low expectations.

Postal: President Trump is mulling declaring the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.  What are your thoughts on this?

Jasser: We at AIFD support the designation of the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). This is a group that has been responsible for the targeting of Christians, Jews, and dissidents, the persecution of minority Muslims, and the abuse, torture, and murder of women, gay people, and other marginalized groups. It has also made significant efforts to export its radical Islamist and Sharia supremacist ideology internationally. Its logo contains swords and the motto “Be ready…The Prophet is our leader, Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of God is our highest hope.” Those that believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is a non-violent and moderate organization are delusional.

With the recent calls by the Trump administration for making the MB an FTO, our AIFD renewed our call to make the Egyptian MB an FTO, as well as the MB in other nations such as Syria, Yemen, and Kuwait.

However, we need to be strategic with regards to the global “Ikhawni” or Brotherhood movement. I would compare it in the Cold War to fighting the militant version of communism as embodied in the Soviet threat, versus other versions of communism. Odds were that there were deep links between communist parties and global Soviet sympathies. But outlawing “communist parties” would have made counter-ideology and monitoring far more difficult and would have raised serious concerns regarding free speech protections of our Constitution. Turkey’s AKP, Tunisia’s Ennahda, and many other Islamist parties are part of the “Ikhwani” movement but are not as designatable as the branches in Egypt, Syria, Kuwait or Yemen. We will never defeat Islamism by declaring all these groups FTOs. Authoritarian regimes in the Middle East have proven that such designations often serve as arson to the Islamist fire.

People who equate my position with anti-Muslim bigotry are being dishonest. There is nothing more pro-Muslim than to begin making radical Islamist groups radioactive for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Global Fight Against Islamism

Postal: What lessons, if any, can Americans, Muslim Reformers and their allies learn from the attacks in Sri Lanka?

Jasser: The lessons are sadly many of the same ones AIFD has preached since our formation in 2003. All we have ever had since 9-11 is at best a robust defense against whatever radical jihadist cell, group, movement or state arises to threaten us and our allies. We need an offense addressing what AIFD calls the “3 i’s” of Identity, Ijtihad, andInspiration. Until we figure out a comprehensive approach against both violent and non-violent Islamism, we are doomed to defeat.

First, we need to begin fighting against the Islamist “Identity” and for each nation’s secular national identity. Jihadists get young Muslims to identify with armed jihad and theocracy early. We need to counter that with a muscular liberalism of secular nation states. Second, we need to begin empowering Muslims who are fighting againstbackward interpretations of Islam and for modern reform-minded “ijtihad” (modern critical interpretation of Islamic scripture). And last, we need to begin “inspiring” Muslims to be fearless dissidents for freedom, liberty, democracy and universal human rights. It is no accident that Al Qaeda has called its magazines and sermons often by the name “Inspire.”

The small Sri Lankan cell not only engaged the Islamic State, but got training from them. They also apparently had contact with leading clerics across the Middle East like Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi in Qatar. This should remind everyone of the direct connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups.

The Islamic State has shifted focus to outside the Levant to Saudi Arabia (recent terror attempts), Afghanistan (recent Kabul terror attack), Congo, and now Sri Lanka. The fact that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a video after five years of silence is another sign that he is trying to reestablish his presence, dominance, and his brand globally. The Islamic State may have been removed from Iraq and Syria, but it is still ideologically, financially, and operationally stronger than ever.

 

The author would like to thank Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser for participating in this interview.

Press Release: November 21, 2018 “Judge Friedman’s premature ruling is beyond egregious. It is inhuman and un-American.”

AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY
Press Release

Contact: Mischel Yosick – AIFD
Phone: 480-225-7473
Email: mischel@zliberty.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21, 2018

“Judge Friedman’s premature ruling is beyond egregious. It is inhuman and
un-American.”

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: In an unexpected disappointing turn, a federal judge has dismissed charges of female genital mutilation (FGM) against Michigan physicians over his belief that the federal law passed in 1996 was unconstitutional. The Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that, “In a major blow to the federal government, a judge in Detroit has declared America’s female genital mutilation law unconstitutional, thereby dismissing the key charges against two Michigan doctors and six others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to the cutting procedure in the nation’s first FGM case.”

The AIFD has been following this Detroit case closely since charges were first announced in April 2017 when we noted, “The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), a Muslim-led organization whose founding principles include gender equality, welcomes the news that Jumana Nagarwala, a Detroit-based physician, has been arrested for allegedly carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) against girls here in the United States.”(full release)

AIFD President, M. Zuhdi Jasser, has written extensively on this case including a comprehensive piece for the Gatestone Institute in June 2017: “Female Genital Mutilation: American Muslim Physician Says Stop Defending the Abuse of Girls and Women.

Today, in reaction to Judge Friedman’s dismissal of the FGM charges, Dr. Jasser, AIFD President, said:

“Judge Friedman’s premature ruling is beyond egregious. It is inhuman and un-American. The judge essentially just signaled to butchers like “Dr” Nagarwala that they can seek refuge in the U.S. federal system for their crimes against the humanity of young girls. I understand the mental gymnastics of his federalist ruling. But the case hasn’t even been tried yet. While Nagarwala may yet end up in jail for decades due to obstruction charges, there appeared to be many other ways justice could have been served for those poor tortured girls she slaughtered without dismissing the entire #FGM charge.”

Dr. Jasser further noted the profound implications of this premature ruling:

“This is a landmark case. The judge cannot just wrap himself conveniently in a few words of acknowledgment of the horrors of FGM. This case was breaking new ground and it’s not clear to anyone that the feds made their case at all yet let alone fully, as to why they had jurisdiction and why the federal law was in fact constitutional. Instead it appears that the judge simply took a sweeping premature puritanical approach to his federalist concerns. Seven to nine year old girls were being trafficked between states and then tortured by licensed physicians. Federal law enforcement devoted heavy national resources to the case after finding probable cause for the crimes on federal books. It requires a suspension of disbelief for anyone to even entertain an argument that FGM based in cross state trafficking could not fit into many aspects of federal jurisdiction especially given the ’96 law. Yet the judge predetermined the law to be unconstitutional. So if this case is about the hope of finding any justice for the young tortured mutilated girls, there must have been countless ways for the judge to hear the case and then send a clear and unmistakable message about FGM regarding many counts against the perpetrators while yet leaving some room in the decision for some teaching points on “federalism”.”

### end###

If you would like more information about this topic please email:
info@aifdemocracy.org.

About AIFD
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a Muslim led think tank based in Phoenix, AZ, addresses the root cause of the domestic and international threat of radical Islamist terrorism. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution – liberty and freedom – through the separation of mosque and state and is dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice calling for genuine reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization. AIFD promotes reform-minded Muslim voices for liberty, and is shaking the hold which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have upon Muslim leadership.

About M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
Dr. Jasser, president and founder of AIFD, and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith”, and is also founder of Take Back Islam. Dr. Jasser is an American Muslim and son of Syrian immigrants who fled Ba’athist oppression in 1966. Zuhdi is a physician in private practice and a former US Navy officer. He is a former commissioner and Vice-Chair of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) appointed by the U.S. Senate serving from 2012-2016. An internationally recognized expert on Islamism, Dr. Jasser is widely published in the field and is featured in many top-tier media. He regularly testifies to the U.S. Congress on the threat of global Islamism and domestic and foreign counter-ideology strategy. Zuhdi’s work is dedicated to championing universal human rights rooted in an American and Western identity from within the “House of Islam”. Twitter: @DrZuhdiJasser

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October 5, 2018: AIFD Welcomes a New Era of  Counterterrorism

AIFD PRESS RELEASE
American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Contact: Mischel Yosick
480-225-7473
mischel@zliberty.com

October 5, 2018
Phoenix, Arizona

 

The  American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) today commended the Trump administration on the release of its new potent counterterrorism strategy. This long-overdue renewal of a White House counterterrorism strategy, last visited in 2011, addresses many of the issues that our Muslim Reform Movement(MRM) called out as problematic in the Obama administration’s 2011 strategy which avoided any mention of specifics regarding ideology, most notably, Islamism.
We are pleased to see that the generic, ineffective term “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)” will no longer be used and are encouraged that it has been replaced with clearer verbiage that includes phrases like “terrorism prevention” and most significantly, the precise identification of the issue of radical Islamist ideology, or what we refer to as “Countering Islamism (CI).”

While some have attempted to minimize the significance of the changes to the strategy and portray it as a continuation of the strategy by previous administrations, we assert that with this new strategy this administration has demonstrated an unprecedented appreciation of the networks that are stemming from the Islamist ideology. The Trump administration seems to recognize that the Islamist ideology continues to loom globally and pervasively, sprouting new networks in response to the imminent decimation of ISIS. The new strategy appears to address the reality that Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups are on the rise, in that the new strategy calls for heightening technological, financing, and social media counterterrorism arms, to name a few.

We note that this 2018 report specifically states, “departments and agencies will investigate ties between domestic terrorists not motivated by radical Islamist ideology’s and their overseas counterpart to more fully understand them”.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy noted,

“We remain hopeful that in identifying the connection between the global Islamist ideology and radical violent terror networks, this White House counterterrorism strategy will begin to engage Muslim reformers against Islamism, and work with them to implement both short and long-term strategic programs. Such programs are the only solution to the radical Islamist ideology, and will ultimately be far more effective than the past administration’s whack-a-mole CVE program. While we would prefer to see a White House counterterrorism strategy place more emphasis on offense (i.e. the advancement into Muslim communities of ideas related to liberty) rather than simply defense, we believe this is a very healthy start and a much more realistic approach to counterterrorism than the empty bromides of the Obama administration last presented in the 2011 strategy”.

It is our sincerest hope that the administration will quickly advance towards engaging groups like the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and our coalition in the Muslim Reform Movement to effectuate solutions against radical Islamism and the conveyor belt of global political Islam (Islamism) in advancing ideas of freedom, liberty and universal human rights as long-term solutions.

9/13/2018: The Federalist: “Reformer: New Mexico terrorist camp puts American Muslim in defining moment”

[AIFD Editorial]

By 
 13, 2018

Reformer: New Mexico Terrorist Camp Puts American Muslims In A ‘Defining Moment’

‘How American Muslims learn and respond to the slippery slope of non-violent Islamism and its inherent separatism … is critical.’

I interviewed Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser in January and July of 2017 on Islamism and what he believes is its antidote, the Muslim reform movement. This is a follow-up interview.

Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim reform movement (MRM), and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim.

He is also an active physician and former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and host of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!” and founder of TakeBackIslam.com. Jasser and I discussed recent events in New Mexico, and developments in Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Islamism in New Mexico
Recently, five defendants in a New Mexico case, where authorities found 11 starving children and weapons in a remote compound, have appeared before a federal judge. Local authorities had raided the compound on August 3, and local prosecutors alleged that the accused, now facing federal charges, were training the 11 children to commit school shootings.

Postal: Should the public view the New Mexico compound incident as a case of Islamism, in addition to a child abuse (or neglect), or a gun violence case?

Jasser: Yes. Court records identified that children were being starved and trained in jihad to imminently shoot up a school and a hospital. After the state of New Mexico incredulously dropped the ball and charges were dismissed as time ran out on them, the FBI and DOJ have since moved in with their own charges against the cell leaders. Thankfully, the federal government now controls the fate of the cell.

Following the initial raid, authorities confirmed that the body of the three-year-old found in the compound was that of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. Abdul-Hani Wahhaj is the grandson of radical Islamist preacher Siraj Ibn Wahhaj Sr. Out of the five suspects arrested in this case, one is Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s son, and another two are his daughters.

Postal: But to date, it doesn’t appear that Wahhaj Sr. was involved with the compound. So why is the connection to Wahhaj Sr. important?

Jasser: This case and what happened with the younger generation of the Wahhaj family will likely demonstrate the pathways of how American Muslims are often radicalized.

Granted, there is no evidence that the senior Siraj Wahhaj had anything to do with the New Mexico compound and his children’s jihadi terror training camp. In a Facebook video the day after the story broke, he stated that he “want[ed] to find out what happened, what made [his] children act in such a dramatic way.” I believe that his non-violent Islamist preaching spawned the separatist, violent Islamism that we saw in the New Mexico compound.

Siraj Wahhaj Sr.’s sordid history of association with radical Islamism is well known. I have been calling for the ostracization of Siraj Wahhaj Sr. since I personally publicly called him out in the one and only meeting of the Islamic Society of North America I had the misfortune of attending in 1995. At that meeting, I stood up and protested after he seditiously called for Muslims to actively seek the replacement of the “godless” man-made Constitution with the Qur’an. I described this in depth in my 2012 book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam.”

He is a leading fundraiser and preacher for major American Islamist organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Society of North America. The head of the American Muslim Council, the organization that invited him to give the first Muslim invocation to the U.S. Congress in 1991, is still serving time for trafficking over $300,000 cash from Libyan dictator Gaddafi in a plot to assassinate then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in addition to other terror finance charges.

Since the New Mexico jihadi compound story broke, the mainstream media has gone to great lengths to avoid any in-depth coverage of this story. I believe the mainstream media is protecting the senior Wahhaj’s reputation as well as that of the major network of organizations to which he is tied. Had Siraj Wahhaj Sr. not been related to this story, the coverage would have been very different.

Postal: What should Americans learn from the New Mexico case?

Jasser: I believe the American Muslim community is at a defining moment. How American Muslims learn and respond to the slippery slope of non-violent Islamism and its inherent separatism, as evidenced in the Wahhaj family, is critical. Will we remain in hopeless denial of the evils of Islamism? Will we as a diverse ideological community continue to allow the Islamist “establishment” to dominate and oppress our communities? Or will we finally garner the strength to stand up to Islamism and its separatism?

The Wahhaj family patriarch planted the seeds of Islamist separatism for decades. His hateful rhetoric spreads both within his family and in leadership positions throughout our communities. We can stay silent and enable this radicalization process, or we can fight with every fiber of our being against Islamist brainwashing.

The Global Fight Against Islamism: Syria
Postal: In the midst of what many are predicting to be an imminent massacre against the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib, many believe that President Bashar al Assad has emerged victorious in Syria. He has consolidated his power on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, following the end of the Southern Syrian Offensive on July 31 and the re-capture of Daara and Quneitra Provinces. Possibly in recognition of a return to the status quo, Israel has frozen its multi-year, multi-million-dollar aid program to Syrian citizens, dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor,” and has begun to dismantle its field clinic used to treat those wounded in the Syrian conflict.

In one view, Assad’s victory is a victory against Islamism, as Assad’s gains come at the expense of Islamist groups like the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front. However, Assad has committed mass atrocities against his own people. How should those in the West make sense of everything?

Jasser: There is no victory for anyone in Syria. ISIS may be nearly decimated, but the root causes that created ISIS are larger than ever inside and outside Syria. Syria has been a police state since 1963 and basically an open-air prison for anyone daring to be human.

I have previously laid out how the Syrian regime’s over 50-year Ba’athist and Assadist cauldron of evil played a primary role in the radicalization of large swaths of their population. As I stated in 2016, if Assad’s killing machines were serious about destroying ISIS and radical Islamists alone, these groups would never have grown from nothing in 2013 and Assad, Russia and Iran would have dispensed with them far more quickly. Instead, per the Arab tyrant playbook, the Islamist groups remained a foil that Assad slowly walled off as he exterminated over 600,000 Sunnis and displaced over 10 million, one half of the Syrian population.

Sadly, Islamism and its byproducts from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to the Jubhat al-Nusra and over 200 other radical Islamist offshoots are stronger than ever in the hearts and minds of many Syrians. This is because the Syrian police state, its tyranny, and the means by which Assad and his Iranian radical Islamist (Khomeinist) allies effectively imperialized Syria.

Assad’s secularism is a veneer, as his masters are the Shi’a militant Islamists out of Tehran and their Hezbollah allies. The West’s whack-a-mole process against jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq, and beyond will be unsuccessful long-term as long as the inspiration of non-violent and violent Islamism continues.

Postal: Where did the Syrian Revolution go wrong?

Jasser: After seven years of revolution, Syria has gone from seeing its diverse peaceful revolution with secular democratic yearnings deteriorate into one that is embracing the role of a radical Iranian satellite. Many opportunities were missed in Syria, one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse nations in the Middle East. Diversity could have been Syria’s democratic strength.

Instead, Assad weaponized its diversity to become his and Iran’s greatest asset. Syria has now become an even greater Khomeinist state fulfilling the Shi’a crescent dreams of Ayatollah Khamenei against the Sunnis and the West. Lost in the seven years were many opportunities for a more hopeful attempt at democracy in lieu of twin evils of Shi’a and Sunni extremism.

Postal: What do you think the future holds for Syria?

Jasser: First, in observing the carnage in Syria, many have missed the silver lining that is Tunisia, as essentially a democratic party dealt the Islamists a peaceful loss at the ballot box. In Tunisia, the strongman walked away from that society in 2011 without decimating the majority of the population like Assad has. The Syrian revolution and government tore apart its society, whereas this was not the case in Tunisia.

Despite all that I mentioned I still believe Syrians want to be free. I believe that the humanity of the motherland from which my parents escaped in 1966 will find a way to defeat both its Islamist and Assadist oppressors. In the end, freedom and liberty will win out.

Hopefully, this generation will not be lost. As another massacre now looms in Idlib, there is very little positive outlook for the Syrian people in the short term. In the long term, after the Iranian revolution topples the Khomeinists, Assad’s regime will be next. I pray that our families and friends stay safe and weather the storms to one day be free.

The Global Fight Against Islamism: Turkey and Iran
Postal: What ramifications, if any, do recent U.S. sanctions have for the liberal citizens and Islamist regimes in Turkey and Iran?

Jasser: The far left dogma that sanctions against these countries supposedly harm the people is beyond ignorant. Such rationale ignores the realities of the socialist economies of these Islamist tyrannies. The sanctions relief of President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal was a lifeline for the ruling tyrants alone. The Iranian people were motivated to revolt en masse across the country beginning in December 2017 because they saw that their government was taking hundreds of billions of dollars from the West to spread terror in Syria, Yemen and across the region while doing nothing for the people.

They went to the streets and chanted for the government to stop sending their money abroad and to give them the freedom to work and be paid. The renewed U.S. sanctions stopped the lifeblood of the Khomeinist regime and in fact gave the people newfound respect and support from the West instead of coddling their oppressors.

Sanctions are the best way to put pressure on the Islamist regime, in addition to containing its hegemony in the region. The Iranian riyal has plummeted upwards of 60 percent in the past few months. The combination of a growing revolution, sanctions, and withdrawal of Western corporations from Iran has sent their currency into a death spiral. The clerics are of course blaming the West. But this brewing revolution is one calling for religious freedom against the Islamist religious establishment, rather than just for economic reforms. I think for this reason, the revolution we now see in Iran has staying power and the regime’s days are numbered.

As for Turkey, similarly, [President] Erdogan is tyrannically doing everything he can to consolidate power against the secular Turkish establishment in the government, military, academia, and media. The sanctions against him and his regime have been long overdue and are a perfect message to send to the people of Turkey that we are on their side and will no longer treat their increasingly oppressive government as an ally. In fact, we should begin the process of suspending them from NATO as they fall far from American interests and values at almost every level.

The Global Fight Against Islamism: Saudi Arabia
Postal: Since becoming the crown prince a year ago, Mohammed bin Salman has enacted many reforms in Saudi Arabia, including domestic reforms such as allowing women to drive cars and re-opening its first movie theater in over 30 years, and foreign policy reforms such as its breaking of ties with Islamist Qatar and its détente with Israel. Do you see these reforms as genuine steps in moving Saudi Arabia away from Islamist Wahhabism, or more of an insincere charm offensive?

Jasser: You cannot change a zebra’s stripes. The royal family’s approach to its people remains tyrannical and devoid of human rights. As I noted previously, their so-called reforms are not about genuine religious and political reforms but rather about modernization of the tribal state and diversification of their economy motivated only by survival of the ruling class.

The Royal Rumble in Riyadh was a great WWE metaphor of their reforms — bring in liberalized entertainment, which is actually fake wrestling — to give the people something new but fake. Yes, allowing women to drive was a concrete move. But, as expected, this has been followed by draconian limitations on the associated human needs for expression that come with that driving.

The House of Saud has been lying about reforms ever since they endeared themselves to the West in the early 20th century. If the reforms were real, bin Salman’s proclamations would have been followed with legitimate religious edicts declaring modern interpretations allowing liberalization and the empowerment of Saudi jurists to begin to develop a new 21st-century school of thought rather than their draconian 7th-century one to which they are putting on a few modern faces.

Saudi Arabia’s recent efforts against the Muslim Brotherhood and its funding is a real and welcomed shift, and long overdue. But Saudi Arabia’s continued cooperation with many global Islamist Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups is concerning. So it seems to me that Saudi efforts against the Muslim Brotherhood are based more on pragmatism than on ideology.

Publicly cutting off funding to all western Muslim Brotherhood legacy group entities would show a more sincere departure from Islamism, and would also benefit American interests. I see, however, no sign of any ideological epiphanies against the Islamism of the Brotherhood coming out of any genuine Saudi jurists. Without such legal “fatwas” and reformist explanations underpinning such shifts, Saudi efforts to date against the Muslim Brotherhood remain power plays rather than real long-lasting reforms.

Postal: In our first interview, we discussed how Saudi Arabia In the last 30 years has spent more than an estimated $100 billion to fund the spread of Wahhabism worldwide (in contrast to the $7 billion the USSR spent spreading communism from 1921 through 1991). What would it take to move Saudi Arabia away from Islamist Wahhabism? Do you think this is possible, or are the Kingdom and Wahhabism inextricably linked?

Jasser: Saudi Arabia might slowly move away from Wahhabism towards a more Arabist monarchical state fueled more by Saudi nationalism than Wahhabism. But the Wahhabis have immense power in Saudi Arabia, and have successfully indoctrinated the younger generations for decades.

For example, some reports indicate that 80-90 percent of Twitter activity in Saudi Arabia is from radical Wahhabi youth. There is no sign that the House of Saud is turning towards genuine secularism or liberty. Rather, the royal family is simply convincing the Wahhabis to liberalize a bit.

Again, without the underpinnings of reform-minded clerics making a new school of legal thought in Islam compatible with modernity, all these changes are just power shifts, and a fossilized interpretation of Islam will continue to dominate Saudi educational and judicial thought. Additionally, the royal family had really never shown any evidence that it is not a true believer of Wahhabi Islam. Sadly anything short of a revolution will do little to give hope to the Saudi people, who are over 90 percent employed by the regime.

Postal: What is your opinion of Saudi Arabia’s trade sanctions against Canada, following Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs protesting the arrest of human rights activist Samar Badawi, sister of imprisoned human rights activist Raif Badawi?

Jasser: The Saudis are now trying to make an example of a nation with a weak leader in Justin Trudeau. I sat with various members of the Saudi leadership multiple times when I was on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom from 2012 to 2016. Whenever we brought up the need to release Badawi and his attorney imprisoned falsely for thought crimes against the regime, the Saudi royals saw Badawi as a primary example of a much deeper human rights movement and threat within Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government seemed unprepared to deal with this movement either humanely or transparently.

Trudeau, long an appeaser of Muslim tyrannies, got backed into speaking out for the Badawis as his foreign minister made a statement in support of Raif’s and Samar’s release. USCIRF has called annually for Country of Particular Concern status for Saudi Arabia, which would have imposed mandatory sanctions on the country until it changed its course on religious freedom, when I was on the commission and for every year since 2002. Yet the White House would perennially provide a national security waiver from the sanctions for the petro-Islamist tyranny.

Perhaps now, Saudi belligerence toward the Canadians and their simple defense of Saudi dissidents imprisoned for years will finally begin a cascade of events that will spur others in the West to finally treat Saudi Arabia as the two-bit tyranny it is. Sadly, and more likely, Canada and the West will continue to bow to the Saudis as we continue to turn away from our own Western values in our treatment of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Only time will tell.

8/31/2018: “An Impending Massacre in Idlib Syria: History is Watching!”

AIFD PRESS RELEASE
American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Contact: Mischel Yosick
480-225-7473
mischel@zliberty.com

August 31, 2018
Phoenix, Arizona

“History will judge us as to what we did before, during, and after the Idlib massacre.”

PHOENIX, ARIZONA// The American Islamic Forum for Democracy calls for people of conscience to pay attention to and shed every light possible on what experts across the region are predicting to be an impending massacre in the town of Idlib in Syria. The military killing machine of Bashar Assad and his regime is planning to obliterate the town and trap, torture, and starve its inhabitants under the pretense of finishing off the few remaining jihadi groups that remain holed up there after reportedly escaping other battle arenas in Syria into Idlib.

Many are reporting that the Syrian civil war is entering its last phase and that this battle between the regime and the jihadis in Idlib may be the last one of this over seven-year civil war. Lost in this battle will be the majority of the inhabitants of Idlib which are likely to be far beyond anything resembling collateral damage but actually the intended mass targets of humanity which the genocidal Assad regime seeks to punish. The over 600,000 dead and 10 million Syrian citizens displaced since 2011 are testimony to what happens to those who dared to question the fascist tyranny of Bashar Assad and ask for the end of Syrian Ba’athism.

The Russian, Syrian, and Iranian propaganda machine are in full hysterical tilt even already suggesting that if there is any evidence or mention of chemical weapons use, it must have been done by “the White Helmets” or done by jihadis in order to blame the Syrian regime for another crime against humanity. The amount of disinformation already coming out from Assad’s sympathizers about this impending attack should make the world pause and pay attention that the threat level is extraordinarily high for an actual massacre.

Syria has seen massacres in the past few years of the Revolution in towns across Syria from Hama to Aleppo. Many fear that this massacre will be even worse than Aleppo in order to send a final message as a “closing battle of the civil war”. We call upon people of conscience in the media, government, academia, and human rights activists to immediately bring attention to what is happening in Syria, report on the facts, and not allow Russian, Syrian, and Iranian propaganda to spread deception, disinformation and false cover for crimes against humanity.

History will judge us as to what we did before, during, and after the Idlib massacre.

And on a final note: while the kinetic aspect of the Syrian civil war may appear to be coming to a close, a Syrian revolution of humanity against evil (the Syrian population versus the Assad regime and its Khomeinist and Russian supporters) has been fought on the streets of small and large towns of Syria since the Ba’ath took over all the way back in 1963. The Revolution that began in 2011 was simply on a much larger scale across the country. That revolution will certainly continue as long as the Assad regime is present and in control. The battle for freedom for the Syrian people is not only against Assad but also ISIS and all the offshoots of radical jihadis— all of whom are forms of fascists seeking to tyrannically control Syrian people.
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Why would a person of integrity cheat at Twitter?

Tawhidi, or Not Tawhidi? That is the Question – An Analysis of the “BrotherTawhidi” Tweets

Imam Tawhidi operated under the username “@Tawhidicom” from July 10, 2013, the date his profile indicates he first joined Twitter, through February of 2016 when he became “@ImamofPeace,” which remains his current active username. In a recent response to Lalo Dagach’s May 28, 2017 tweet (who contacted Zuhdi Jasser on social media regarding Jasser’s Asia Times editorial referencing tweets from the account @BrotherTawhidi), Tawhidi tweeted “people were warned since 2013” that the @BrotherTawhidi account was “fake.”  Despite the fact that the “BrotherTawhidi” account is the second result shown by Google when doing a search for Imam Tawhidi, the tweet to Dagach was the only indication from Tawhidi that the alternate account is “fake,” and it has since been deleted by Tawhidi.  While an impostor account violates Twitter’s impersonation policy, which allows “parody” accounts but requires them to be clearly identified as such, the “BrotherTawhidi” account has not been removed by Twitter, despite its non-compliance with the policy… but the two “warnings” about the “fake” account have been removed by Tawhidi.  Continue reading to see that when Tawhidi denies ownership of the “BrotherTawhidi” tweets, he is given the benefit of the doubt based on the “honor system,” a system that he is incapable of abiding by.

Click here to read more.

AIFD Commentary: The New Mexico Militant Jihadi Training Compound and Child Abuse is the tip of the National Islamist Iceberg

Make no mistake.

The militant Jihadi training camp and its horrific child abuse discovered in the small, quiet town of Amalia, New Mexico is not an isolated incident but rather is the tip of the proverbial iceberg of Islamist radicalization in America.

It is unconscionable that major media ignore the bigger story here on Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. and his connections to so-called “mainstream” American Islamist organizations.

AIFD has been closely following the recent reporting regarding the five adults arrested for child abuse in New Mexico after they were found with 11 children held captive in third-world conditions. Every day more information is being released about the situation including the fact that this separatist compound was a terrorist training facility for Islamist radicalization that not only abused these children through starvation and torture, but apparently had plans for terror operations that included attacks on American schools by these radicalized children. This entire situation is straight from the ISIS playbook.

According to a number of sources, including the New York Post, five radical Islamists, three of which were female, were arrested including Siraj Wahhaj, 40; Lucas Morton, 40; Jany Leveille, 35; Hujrah Wahhaj, 38; and Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, including 11 children ages 1 to 15 that were found abused in the facility. The ringleader of the operation was Siraj Wahhaj, son of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. who was accompanied by four of his relatives.

We bring this story to your attention from our perspective as a reformist American Muslim Organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, not only because of the horrific treatment of these children but because of the deeper connections their captors have to the organizations that are thrust upon American Muslims as so-called “mainstream Muslim organizations” in the United States like ISNA, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), MAS (Muslim American Society), and ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) to name a few. One of America’s most prominent Imams, Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. is a leading fundraiser, speaker, and Ideological leader among a host of Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the United States. Currently, there are no known, direct connections or implications that, Imam Siraj Wahhaj based in Brooklyn, New York, had anything to do with the training camp or the horrific conditions in Amalia, New Mexico, other than that the camp was run by his son. But most importantly here, is that this compound cannot be relegated to the status of “just another whacky cell” in order to continue to protect the reputation of leading American Islamist organizations and their Establishment heads from scrutiny. Honest Americans and Muslims cannot ignore the connection with Imam Wahhaj’s long-standing separationist Islamist ideology and his role in radicalizing Muslims in all of the organizations he has influenced across the country for decades.

Our founder, M. Zuhdi Jasser, had written about Siraj Wahhaj in his 2012 Simon and Schuster book “A Battle for the Soul of Islam“, and on pages 84-87 described his first interaction with America’s largest Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)[1]. In those pages, Dr. Jasser detailed an experience he had as a Naval officer on leave while attending ISNA’s annual convention in which Imam Siraj Wahhaj keynoted the opening of the conference. Wahhaj expressed his desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Qur’an and proceeded to direct that it is the duty of Muslims to bring the Qur’an and its teachings and legal system to the United States in lieu of its current constitution. He stated: “Can you imagine someone wondering if a document made by humans would be superior to a document made by God,” as he held up the Qur’an which he said should be the Constitution of this country. Dr. Jasser then went to the microphone and publicly voiced his horror with Siraj Wahhaj Sr.’s separationism and the acquiescence of the audience and the leadership of ISNA to his seditious point of view and commentary.

Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. has since remained, and in fact grown to be, a thought leader in position, ideologically, and for fundraising among various American Islamist organizations. Apparently, it has never bothered them that he was also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, as he testified as a character witness for the convicted bomber, the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Yet, as recently as in the past few months, Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. was openly described at an ISNA meeting proudly by Linda Sarsour, now a leading national advocate for the Women’s March in addition to a host of other Islamist causes, as her mentor she said “favorite person in this room. Imam Siraj Wahhaj who has been a mentor, motivator, and encourager of mine”. Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. has served in various capacities including being on the board of advisers and participating in the speaking circuit of the CAIR, ISNA, ICNA; and MAS to name a few.

It is the responsibility of every media organization and thought leader in America to expose Imam Siraj Wahhaj Sr.’s connection to what’s happening in New Mexico. While he may not have had anything to do directly with the violence or the compound, there should be little doubt that his longtime separationist Islamist ideology proven by concerned Muslims like us at AIFD at every step along the way (yet ignored by most media) very likely played a significant role in the radicalization of his son Siraj Wahhaj Jr.

NOW is the time for Americans to realize that separationist Islamism, like that of the Wahhaj family, is a gateway drug in all of its forms– violent and non-violent— to the radicalization of our youth. It is incumbent upon American media and thought leaders to cover this story and the connection of the abductor(s) and torturer(s) to his father. While Imam Siraj Wahhaj Sr. did voice his desire to have his abducted grandchildren returned safely, earlier this year on Facebook, that does not absolve him of the decades of radicalizing many, as was seen first hand by Dr. Jasser, witnessed in 1995, and that the United States has witnessed repeatedly over and over and over in his positions and ideas about America.
The discovery in New Mexico is just one. How many more camps are actively radicalizing individuals who will carry out terrorist attacks on our soil while we do nothing? Let us rally together to remove the blanket of political correctness that shields these radical leaders who continue to prosper in our denial and use our unprecedented freedoms against us.

1. M. Zuhdi Jasser, A Battle for the Soul of Islam” (Schuster: New York, 2012), 84-87

7/11/2018: AIFD Congressional testimony before: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat”

Link to PDF: Testimony_M Zuhdi Jasser_House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security_20180711 The Muslim Brotherhoods Global Threat

Link to recorded testimony: https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/the-muslim-brotherhoods-global-threat/

TESTIMONY for Hearing before:
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security
“The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat”

Submitted by Dr. M. ZUHDI JASSER
PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY
July 11, 2018

Introduction: Thank you Chairman DeSantis and members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security for holding this very important hearing on “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat.” I am Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) based in Phoenix, Arizona. I am here today, because as an American Muslim, I have dedicated my life to countering the oppressive and radicalizing influence of Islamist groups in the West upon our communities. No group embodies the threat of radical Islamism more than the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and no group runs deeper into the consciousness of global Islamism, especially in our Arab Sunni communities than the Muslim Brotherhood and its global network of affiliates and progeny across the world. Unfortunately, much of the conversation about the Muslim Brotherhood has been obstructed, muffled, marginalized, deferred, or minimized by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers or their allies.

As a devout Muslim who loves my faith, and loves my nation, the avoidance behavior of confronting the Muslim Brotherhood is a major obstacle to our national security and harmony. This has stemmed from a bigger policy to de-emphasize “radical Islam” and the “Islamist” root cause of global Islamist terror. There is no better place to begin an honest conversation about the Islamist threat imposed upon our nation than a focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. A denial of the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood has actually emboldened extremists on both sides of this debate: both radical Islamists and anti-Muslim fascists. In fact, nothing would be more pro-Muslim than the marginalization of the Muslim Brotherhood and its direct affiliates. Making the Muslim Brotherhood radioactive would allow the light to shine upon their most potent antagonists in Muslim communities—those who reject political Islam and believe in liberty and the separation of mosque and state.

Since 9/11 the discussion of the global security threat of the Muslim Brotherhood has sadly and noticeably demonstrated our national disfunction in addressing the depth of the real threat of radical Islam and more specifically the threat of Islamism (aka, political Islam). Our negligence, ignorance, and distraction has enabled groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to take advantage of our unprecedented freedoms and excessively thrive in a manner frankly often not possible anywhere else in the world. It seems that almost every discussion about Muslims and Islam looks at our communities, organizations, faith, and movements through a binary lens of good or bad, ally or enemy. The reality is that it is far more complicated and yes, at times, nuanced.

As we take a look at the Muslim Brotherhood, I will lay out for you their origins, history, networks, ideologies, and direct connections to terrorism. Neither Islam nor Muslims are monolithic and should not be treated as such by anyone – much less our government and media. Please understand, it is as equally foolhardy in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalization work to refuse to acknowledge the role of political Islam in the threat as it is to villainize the whole of Islam and all Muslims. The majority of Americans are smart enough to understand that truthfully identifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a radical terror organization does not demonize all or even most Muslims. In fact, identifying the primary cancer cell(s)of global radical Islamism will go a long way towards beginning to assuage the fears of concerned Americans. Any gross generalization either way is dangerous.

Stating the House of “Islam has no problems” is just as problematic as declaring that “Islam and all Muslims are the problem.” I am here to tell you that our national security policy of refusing to say that “Islam currently has a problem” is dangerous. This surrender, which began just after 9-11, has chartered a course towards failure. It has hamstrung our homeland security heroes from addressing any of the most central Islamist precursors of militant Islamists. If the agency actually emphasized the central role of radical Islamism and its attendant theo-political ideologies of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, it would shift the entire axis of our agency apparatus toward once and for all beginning to actually address the root cause of the theocratic strains of Islam (or Islamism), which would begin to make us safer. So-called Violent Extremism (VE) is simply an endpoint of a common supremacist ideology that is innately theo-political and is a radicalization process that occurs over months to years and is far easier to publicly monitor than waiting for guess work on “Violent Extremism”. There is no better representative of an organization with global reach that endlessly produces Islamist terror progeny than the Brotherhood.

Almost 17 years after 9/11, it is not too late to begin correcting this wrong-headed policy. The best place to begin this course correction is in our approach towards the Muslim Brotherhood. Those who say that an honest identification of the radicalism behind membership and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood would enflame Brotherhood sympathizers both ignore the successes of Muslim Brotherhood’s global project during the past two decades (if not the last century), and they use the very evidence that the Brotherhood are militant Islamists to argue against us identifying them as a threat. It also presumes that the United States is afraid of facing terror groups and their sympathizers due to their radicalization. It also presumes that the United States national security policy should forever remain in a posture of defense against the Muslim Brotherhood rather than one of an offense.

Background on AIFD, The Muslim Reform Movement and Important Terminology:
Our American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) was founded in 2003 in the wake of the horrific attacks of September 11. For us it is a very personal mission to leave our American Muslim children a legacy that their faith is based in the unalienable right to liberty and to teach them that the principles that founded America do not contradict their faith but strengthen it. AIFD’s founding principle is that we as Muslims can best practice our faith in a society like the United States that guarantees the rights of every individual under God but blind to any one faith with no governmental intermediary stepping between the individual and the creator to interpret the will of God. Because of this, our mission is explicitly to advocate for the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, liberty and freedom through the separation of mosque and state. Thus, our mission is directly intended to counter the global Islamist project through the advancement of the ideas of freedom and liberty and deconstruct the ideas of Islamist theocracy much along the lines of America’s founding fathers. We believe that this mission from within the “House of Islam” is the only way to inoculate Muslim youth and young adults against radicalization. The “Liberty narrative” is the only effective counter to the “Islamist narrative.”
AIFD is the most prominent American Muslim organization directly confronting and attempting to reform against the ideas of political Islam and its global byproducts embodied in groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. We believe Muslims can openly counter the common belief that the Muslim faith is inextricably rooted to the concept of the Islamic state (Islamism). We reject the stranglehold which the Muslim Brotherhood, its establishment, and its affiliates have on our communities. AIFD’s mission is derived from a love for America and a love of our faith of Islam. The theocratic “Islamic” regimes of the Middle East and many Muslim majority nations use their interpretations of Islam and ‘shar’ia’ as a way to control Muslim populations. Similarly, Islamist movements and their political parties like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the Khomeinists of Iran, and the Jamaat e-Islami of Pakistan use their liberation theology to repress vulnerable populations and fuel countless militant Islamist offshoots. Many people try to separate the central elements of these parties from their militant terrorist progeny. However, that separation is exactly the deception with which theo-political Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood try to advance. As Recip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has infamously said about democracy, “it is a train that we ride until we get where we need to get and then we get off.”

AIFD was founded on the premise that the root cause of Islamist terrorism is the ideology of political Islam and a belief in the preference for and supremacy of an Islamic state and its attendant global union in a caliphate. Terrorism is but a means to that end. Most Islamist terror is driven by the desire of Islamists to drive the influence of the west (the ideas of liberty) out of the Muslim consciousness and Muslim majority societies. With almost a quarter of the world’s population Muslim, American security will never be sustained until Muslims understand and embrace the ideas of liberty and non-Muslims understand the perils of political Islam. This will happen neither without identifying the enemy: radical Islamism nor without identifying our allies: Muslims who believe in liberty and reject theocracy. At the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), we constantly ask that Americans not just observe what is happening inside the House of Islam but that you take the sides of the reformers, dissidents, and secularists against the theocratic Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no better time than now, for the United States to declare its support for freedom loving Muslims by calling out one of the most insidious and dangerous terror threats within global Muslim communities—the Muslim Brotherhood.

AIFD most recently convened and helped launch the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) in December 2015 in Washington D.C.1 The Muslim Reform Movement is a coalition of over 15 Western Muslim Leaders (from the U.S., Canada, and Europe) whose goal is to actively fight radical Islam from inside by confronting the idea of Islamism at its roots. The MRM has written a Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document which was presented to all Islamic organizations, leaders and mosques across the U.S. in 2016 (Appendix 1), with hopes of using its principles as a firewall to clearly separate radical Islamists (like the Muslim Brotherhood) from Muslims who believe in universal human rights.2

Not one iota of this work is possible in an environment where government agencies and the American public writ large are unwilling to call out influential groups like the Muslim Brotherhood as theocrats and terrorists while engaging other reform minded, modernists with diverse interpretations of core terms, ideas, and movements. Any attempts and policies to protect the Muslim Brotherhood as somehow a group that can evolve within a climate of democracy belies their 90-year history and continues to hand them dominion over Muslim leadership, tribalism, and their ‘establishment’.

Islamic ideological Framework and the Muslim Brotherhood
Our founding fathers were able to navigate a war of ideas against theocracy. We can do it again in the 21st century with Islam. It is absurd to assert that just because the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist group which uses its interpretation of the faith of Islam as a basis for its rule, that the United States cannot wage a battle against Islamist theocrats while cherishing Muslim liberals, modernists and critical thinkers. We have for too long been playing a “whack-a-mole” program against byproducts of Muslim Brotherhood ideologues rather than directly countering the primary cancer cells of the Muslim Brotherhood operations.
In order to understand the Muslim Brotherhood, the following terms and ideas must become part of the fair domain of our national security agencies. Our agency analysts and government experts are both smart and fair enough to know that each of these terms carries with it a diverse set of interpretations from within the ‘House of Islam’ and that suppressing this essential debate hands the debate to our Islamist enemies. I submit the following terms and proposed definitions for the record in hopes that other government agencies follow suit and rather than engaging Islamist apologists who obstruct and deny, that they instead begin engaging honest Muslims who are ready to confront the global radical movements that use them:

A. Islam: the faith tradition, its practice, and scriptures identified by over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.
B. Islamism and Islamists: the theo-political movement (Islamism) or party and its adherents (Islamists) who seek to establish Islamic states governed by shar’ia law in Muslim majority nations and institutions. Muslim Brotherhood members are Islamists.
C. Shar’ia: Islamic theological jurisprudence as interpreted by Muslim jurists and clerics and practiced by Muslims. The legal instrument of Islamist theocrats.
D. Jihad: a holy war or armed struggle against unbelievers or enemies of an Islamic state. It can also mean spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.
E. Wahhabism: a Sunni Islamist movement based in a puritanical literalism and intolerance of any other interpretations or faith. A revivalist movement originated in the Najd of Arabia in the mid-19th century by Ibn Abdul Wahhab. It is the dominant strain of thought empowered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its ideas are central to the Salafi-jihadism of groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
F. Salafism: Sunni Islamic fundamentalism which attempts to return normative Muslim practices to the literal ways of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. Salaf literally means “companions of the Prophet”. It is often synonymous with Wahhabism but is far more ubiquitous. Salafism, like Wahhabism deplores invention.
G. Salafi-jihadism: The expansionist ideology (a combination of Salafism with militant jihadism) of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that seek to create Islamic states and a global caliphate.
H. Caliphate and Caliphism: the theo-political ideology or desire by Islamists to re-establish the caliphate, a globally unified Islamic governance of Islamic states which are led by a single caliph.
I. Ummah: the entire Muslim Faith community, but it can also mean the Islamic state
J. Islamic reform, Ijtihad: critical interpretation of scripture (exegesis) and Islamic jurisprudence in the light of modernity.
K. Takfir: the rejection (‘excommunication’) of another Muslim from the faith community. The declaration of another Muslim as an apostate.

Please see the attached diagram to understand where the Muslim Brotherhood fits into various ethnic, sectarian, historic, and ideological divisions within the faith. (Appendix 2).

Appendix 2_Jasser_MB Political Islam Diagram

To think that these words and concepts, and others are off limits in the freest nation on earth, censored to our agencies, is just incredulous considering the growing threat we face today from violent Islamism. It smacks of a bizarre invocation of blasphemy laws in America. It is groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that have benefited from our refusal to discuss these elements of Islam and Islamism. Violent manifestations of each of these above ideas is a natural byproduct of the intolerant non-violent underbelly of theo-political autocratic belief systems. Any security apparatus unable or unwilling to connect the dots between the non-violent and violent manifestations of these ideologies is leaving us bare and will continue to miss the signs of radicalization. A designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization will necessitate a bring about a long overdue better understanding of these concepts by our security apparatus.

The latest recommendations from the Homeland Security Advisory Council ignorantly state the exact opposite recommending that only “plain American English words” be used and these terms be avoided.3 We cannot functionally address the global threat of the Muslim Brotherhood without understanding these concepts. Interim Report and Recommendations of the Homeland Security Advisory Council Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee of the US Department of Homeland Security. June 2016.

I hope and pray that my testimony today about the Muslim Brotherhood will open your eyes to the reality our government has been dismissing when it comes to their global threat upon our national security.
Personally, I will add that we are rendered entirely unarmed in our work at AIFD and in the Muslim Reform Movement in America, Canada, and Europe if we cannot engage our own faith community within the House of Islam on these ideas and if agencies are too timid to address the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood and its influence in radicalizing Muslims across the planet into “Violent Islamism”.4 All of the Muslim leaders in our Muslim Reform Movement would agree that looking just at “Violent Extremism” (VE) is too nebulous, nonspecific and will result over and over in agency blinders to the attacks we have seen including the radical Islamist attacks at Fort Hood, Boston Marathon, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. We cannot hold security agencies accountable to precursor ideologies and warning signs when those precursors and their groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are not identified as real threats.

History of the Muslim Brotherhood
We hear many denials all over the map about the Brotherhood threat. From dismissals that the Muslim Brotherhood is disorganized, to it is normalized, to it is too weak. We hear “it is not one organization” to “it is nonexistent” to “no one knows what it actually is” to “it is a legitimate peaceful political party that participates in elections in Egypt and Tunisia and elsewhere”. On and on. Essentially, it is imperative that we first agree on what the facts are regarding the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. It expanded rapidly across Egypt upon the ideas of its founder Hassan Al-Banna on the premise the Islamic world was declining against Western hegemony. From the outset it established a secret apparatus to serve as “defender of the movement against the police and governments of Egypt.” Another founding father of the Brotherhood Islamist movement, Sayyid Qutb authored the primary manifesto of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology Milestones in 1964. This book argued for the establishment of Islamic political systems with whatever means necessary most particularly using violent jihad. Having been particularly impacted by his impression of freedom in America during his two-year stay at the University of Colorado, referred to any part of the world without an Islamic governance as corrupt and ignorant or “jahilliyah”. They both called for the implementation of traditional and theocratic Islamic society.

Al-Banna and then Qutb put forth the notion that Islam is all encompassing for society and their motto became and remains until today, “Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our Leaders, the Qur’an is our constitution, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration.” 5

Al-Banna argues for Islamic liberation theology in a step-wise process from individual, to family, home, education, society, and nation to rid it of foreign domination, political, economic, and spiritual in an Islamic state and its caliphate of states in order to master the world. This process begins with the societal ‘upbringing’ process of children also known as—tarbiyah—a program seen in the youth programs of all Muslim Brotherhood indoctrination programs including western Brotherhood organizations like the Muslim American Society (MAS).

For decades the Muslim Brotherhood cut its teeth on its own perennial victimization and repression by severely autocratic Arab regimes like the Egyptian dictatorships of Gemal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak as well as other Arab regimes that they conveniently associated with secularism even though the distinction between Western liberal democratic secularism and Arab tyrannical secularism was intentionally dismissed by them as all being jahilli (ignorant). It is no coincidence that Qutb was not only the founding father ideologically of the Muslim Brotherhood but also inspired Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda leaders, and radical jihadists across the planet. There have been many less frontal more supposedly democratically accommodating descendants of Qutbian ideology. However, it’s underlying supremacist jihadist mission of its party and secret apparatus never changes.

Their logo and motto has always been the same. Some apologists try to say that jihad is a greater jihad and not a lesser jihad of militant movements. In fact, the founder, Hassan al-Banna, rejected the greater jihad and in his tract “On Jihad” said as: “… Jihad in its literal significance means to put forth one’s maximal effort in word and deed, and Benessa said in an undated speech in the sacred law it is the slaying of the unbelievers and related connotations, such as beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their shrines and smashing their idols… It is obligatory on us to begin fighting with them after transmitting the invitation to embrace Islam, even if they do not fight against us.”6 Thus, terrorism is appropriate when it suits the MB and its affiliates. Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, today’s contemporary Al-Banna, in his speeches and books, has enlisted the same thought process on salafi-jihadism.

Moderating the Muslim Brotherhood?
Robert S. Leiken and Stephen Brooke of the Nixon Center tried to bizarrely argue in 2007 that the Muslim Brotherhood could somehow be moderated and be an ally against supposedly more radical groups like Al Qaeda and against other common more radical enemies like Iran.7 They famously argued that American policy should be to find the moderates within the Muslim Brotherhood and use them rather than avoid them. As Muslim brotherhood expert, Eric Trager points out in his book, Arab Fall, Mark Lynch even “went further to say that the Muslim brotherhood could serve as a ‘firewall’ against Al Qaeda style radicalism.” He further noted that Lynch said its organization “allows it to effectively monitor and control social space through mosques, charities, organizational networks, and widespread networks adding that the brotherhood’s presence in religious institutions made it a more effective counter to jihadis than domestic intelligence agencies or non-Islamists neither of which could penetrate the religious sphere.” 8 9 It is unfathomable that D.C. thought leaders were convincing Americans that the mothership of Sunni Muslim radicalization would be our ally only because it was positioned so centrally within the Muslim theological network of Egypt and other Muslim states and communities. It is a “bigotry of low expectations” that caters only to the existing Islamic establishment at the expense of Muslims and all the vulnerable populations under the boots of Islamists. In fact, in D.C. its very cancerous network became the reported reason for which we should tolerate and turn a blind eye to supposedly “minority radical offshoots” rather than treat the primary cancer of the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Put another way. According to voices of policy makers sympathetic to Muslim Brotherhood Islamists, the alternative to trying to defeat the Muslim Brotherhood is allying with the radical global terrorist group in the hope of somehow sharing some goals. I find that very premise deeply offensive both as an American and as a Muslim.

There was also a growing false premise that the Brotherhood had rejected violence and accepted electoral politics, political parties and nonviolence. Many in the West even wanted to believe that they had rejected Qutbism. However, none of these statements, which were façades, were joined with theological and ideological reform and rejection of core Islamism. Trager summarized that: “The Brotherhood’s autocratic behavior in power (after 2011) discredited the moderate Muslim Brotherhood argument to a great extent and not because the Brotherhood’s behavior or goals fundamentally changed once it became Egypt’s ruling party as some have argued. Rather those who touted the Brotherhood’s moderation mistakenly privileged the group’s political tactics which have shifted over time in their analysis while downplaying the totalitarian and anti-Western goals that have defined the brotherhood since its founding.

“In short, the Muslim Brotherhood was never a moderate organization or a democratic one in any sense of that word. It is a rigidly hierarchical, purpose driven vanguard that seeks total control over its members so that they can mobilize them for empowering Hassan al-Banna’s deeply politicized interpretation of Islam as an all embracing concept. It accepts electoral institutions as a mechanism for winning power but its ultimate goal is theocratic: it seeks to establish an Islamic state and ultimately establish a global Islamic state that will challenge the West. And following Mubarak’s ouster it was the only political group in Egypt with a nationwide political machine. The brotherhood therefore had an unprecedented opportunity to finally transition from spreading its message within Egyptian society to pursuing power outright”11

Simply put: there is no ‘moderate’ Muslim brotherhood; that is a misnomer. Every arm of the organization goes towards the purpose of supporting its central primary mission of Islamist hegemony and rule.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization

Prior to the Arab Awakening in 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership often made no qualms about supporting the goals of Al Qaeda. In September 2010 the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, delivered a weekly sermon mirroring the ideological themes of Al-Qaeda’s August 1996 declaration of war against the United States. Calling on Arab and Muslim regimes to confront not just Israel, but also the U.S., he declared that “Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny.” This “resistance” can only come from fighting and understanding “that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.” He also predicted the imminent downfall of the U.S., saying, “The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.”12 Barry Rubin remarked, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s leader has endorsed anti-American jihad and a view virtually identical to al-Qaida’s ideology. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition in Egypt and Jordan and the most powerful group in Muslim communities of Europe and North America, this is serious stuff”…”it was a declaration of war that went unnoticed. The Muslim Brotherhood recently called for jihad on the U.S. and Israel, adopting a view almost identical to Al-Qaeda’s.”13

For any naysayers over the years, the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent period of rule of the Egyptian government of 17 months that came to an end in June 2013 proved that it was not a functional moderate democratic organization but rather a radical militant Islamist organization which produced and continues to produce many terrorist offshoots in their network of organizations and individuals. At some point every honest analyst will need to recognize that the fruit of the poisoned tree will never be acceptable, and it is the Brotherhood’s tree which is the primary problem in the Arab Sunni world and not just its “whack a mole” byproducts.
We have learned many lessons from the revolutions of the Arab Awakening in 2011. Most significant of those is how directly related the Muslim Brotherhood is to almost every Sunni radical Islamist group in the region. There was direct communication between Pres. Mohammed Morsi and Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri according to a November 22, 2013 article in Egypt’s Al-Watan newspaper. Morsi allegedly agreed to grant a presidential pardon to over 20 terrorists including one of the lotteries childhood friends who was running Ansar Bayt-al-Maqdis, an ISIS branch in the Sinai. 14 Morsi’s brother actually mediated the initial contacts between Al-Zawahiri and Morsi himself. In a telling confluence of ideologies and strategies, Al-Zawahiri told Morsi, “Rule by God’s law for us to stand beside you, there is no so-called democracy, then get rid of your opponents,” according to the El-Watan transcript. The Al Qaeda militants also even agreed at a remote border area training camps with common personnel to defend the Brotherhood regime. For those who question the veracity of these accounts, there is no doubt that attacks in the Sinai increased following Morsi’s fall from power. And Brotherhood leader Mohammed el-Beltagy following Morsi’s deposition said that attacks in the Sinai would stop the second president Morsi is reinstated”15 Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the group responsible for most of the attacks, belonged to al-Qaida before joining the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Reports indicate that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was “structurally” tied with the MB.

On January 27, 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood published on their official Ikhwanonline.com website an announcement that the organization was entering a “new phase” and calling its followers to prepare for a “long, uncompromising jihad” against the Egyptian government. The statement also positively recalled the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, including the operations of the “secret apparatus” terror wing active in the 1940s and 1950s, and the group’s battalions organized by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna that fought against Israel during its War of Independence in 1948.16 Since Aug 2013, Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt have been killed in firefights during attacks on police and military targets, and during the manufacture and placement of explosives for acts of terrorism. There were innumerable calls for violence in ’14-’15 by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood including calling for retribution and beheadings from rotten bodies. Coptic Christians faced ongoing violence from vigilante Muslim extremists, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, many of whom acted with impunity. Attacks included 70 churches and more than 1,000 homes and businesses of Coptic families torched in the ensuing violence. During the Muslim Brotherhood protests, direct incitement towards the Copts was repeatedly reported from leading Muslim Brotherhood figures, and since the protest dispersal this targeting of the Christian community continues in official statements on Muslim Brotherhood social media outlets and from its leadership. As the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has previously noted, this terror campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood is not a new development. Over the past decade violence by the Muslim Brotherhood has been directed at the Coptic community, as it observed back in its 2003 Annual Report.17 MB Sheikh Essam Telemeh said if police detain your family you should organize and kidnap their family as hostages.18 A senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, gave a July 3, 2015 interview where he defended the sabotage of power stations and high voltage pylons targeting Egyptian citizens by the Muslim Brotherhood as punishment for support of the Egyptian government.19 Then, On May 27, 2015, a group of 159 Muslim Brotherhood-associated scholars from 35 nations announced the publication of a document endorsing violence in Egypt in response to a “war against Islam’s principles.” Specifically, Article 4 of the “Call to Egypt” calls for “retribution punishment” against government officials, judges, police, soldiers, religious officials, and media personalities backing the government.20 The document was affirmed by the Muslim Brotherhood in an English-language statement published on their official website.21

I served on USCIRF from 2012 to 2016 and visited Egypt in 2013 when the Muslim Brotherhood was in control of government. I was not only struck by their inability to rule but by their monocular Islamist lens with which they viewed Egyptian society, government and the world. I was also struck by the number of American Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who had gone back to help facilitate the Muslim Brotherhood’s governance. Even with that, they were all quite young and not very interested in making the Constitutional process egalitarian and secular. They insisted upon keeping final authority of law with the clerics in determining its adherence to shar’iah. Last, they would have nothing with abandoning their motto, symbol and jihadism.

Furthermore, if not most importantly, the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other radical Islamist groups was noted in a series of emails between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and confidant Sid Blumenthal on April 7, 2011. Blumenthal reported at the time that he was directly told by the highest levels that the relationship between the MB, Al Qaeda and other radical groups was “complicated”.22

This relationship was also not only limited to Egypt. The Clinton emails describe definitive links between the MB and Al Qaeda in Libya as seen for example with Ali Al-Salabi, who founded the Al Qaeda linked Libya national party (LNP). Al-Sallabi is described as Qaradawi’s man in Libya (Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi based in Qatar since exile from Egypt in 1961).23 The LNP was dominated by former members of Al-Qaeda linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who maintained al-Qaeda ties during their struggle with forces of former dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. Militias of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood joined forces with U.S. designated terrorist organizations, particularly Ansar al-Sharia, as part of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries and Libya Dawn forces fighting against the military forces of the internationally recognized Libyan government.

Similarly in Tunisia, Rached al-Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia’s Brotherhood affiliated Ennahda Party, was allied with Ansar al-Sharia and its late leader, Abu Iyadh, a former Bin Laden ally sanctioned by the U.S. after 9/11. Abu Iyadh was responsible for al-Qaida’s assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood two days before the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.25

Yemen’s MB also has deep connections to Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula through Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani. Treasury Department officials described al-Zindani as a “Bin Laden loyalist” in a 2004 press release. He also helped al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, while serving on the board of the Brotherhood-linked Union of Good, which raises funds for Hamas.26 27 On February 2, 2004, the Treasury Department designated Shaykh Al-Zindani, a leader of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Islah political party, a terrorist. The Treasury Department’s designation states that al-Zindani has a “long history of working with Bin Laden, serving as one of his spiritual leaders,” in addition to his activities in support of Al-Qaeda, including recruiting and procuring weapons. Al-Zindani was also identified in a federal lawsuit as a coordinator of the October 2000 suicide attack targeting the U.S.S. Cole in Aden, Yemen that killed 17 U.S. Navy sailors, including personally selecting the two suicide bombers. In September 2012, al-Zindani reportedly called for his supporters to kill U.S. Marines stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen.

Zindani is the personification of the link between elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda because Zindani has been a leader of the Yemeni Brotherhood’s Al-Islah Party, a member of Al-Qaradawi’s International
Union of Muslim Scholars, the Union of the Good Hamas fundraising syndicate, and was identified as a mentor of Osama Bin Laden and an advisor to AQAP in 2013. Additionally, Al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood have also used many of the same funding mechanisms, such as the Lugano, Switzerland based Al-Taqwa Bank. And in what was a significant low point in American foreign policy Blumenthal reported to Clinton that “MB leaders were pleased with the results of the discussions with the USG and IMF both of which in the analysis of the MB leaders appear to accept the idea of Egypt as an Islamic state”. This sentiment from the U.S. continued and was reinforced at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. Their entire model for rule as expressed by the Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was that they would use the Turkish model of civilian rather than clerical rule as long as it always was in line with Islamic law as the Egyptian Constitution of 2012 enumerated. This is by definition a theocracy. Gemal Al-Banna, Hassan al-Banna’s brother warned prior to his death in January 2013, that shari’ah would then always prevail in such a system.

In Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood’s Lajnat al-Daawa al-Islamiya (“Islamic Call Committee”) was designated by President George W. Bush on September 23, 2001 by Executive Order 13224 and by Secretary of State Colin Powell on January 9, 2003. Reasons cited for the designation included Lajnat al-Daawa being used as a financial conduit for Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and its funding of terrorist groups in Chechnya and Libya. Both Al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef held positions with the organization.29

Last but not least, the designation of Muslim Brotherhood entities as terror organizations is not new. The Hamas designation is a Muslim Brotherhood designation. The United States has previously designated global elements of the Muslim Brotherhood. The terrorist group HAMAS, which self-identifies as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine,” was designated a terrorist organization by President William Clinton on January 23, 1995 by Executive Order 12947, and later by Secretary of State Madeline Albright on October 7, 1997.30 31

This all then comes full circle with many obvious connections of American Islamist leaders to the Muslim Brotherhood and its terror apparatus. One glaring example is Esam Omeish, a former president of the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS is a well known as the overt arm in the US of the global Muslim Brotherhood as chronicled by an extensive investigative series in the Chicago Tribune.32 He remains a prominent figure at Dar al-Hijra mosque in Falls Church, Virginia. Last summer he was labeled by the national security committee of the Libyan House of Representatives as an enemy of the state. He has recently advocated that the U.S. support a group known variably as the “Revolutionary Shura Council,” or the “Mujahideen Shura of Derna,” despite ties between its officials 28 Matthew Levitt. Untangling the Terror Web. Al Qaeda is not the only Element. Policy 672. October 28, 2002 http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/untangling-the-terror-web-al-qaeda-is-not-the-only-element and al-Qaida. Egypt’s air force bombed the group in retaliation for terror attacks against Coptic Christians in April.

Omeish endorsed Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood in a 2012 IRIN News article, stating that although it came in a distant second in Libya’s 2012 elections, it “may be able to provide a better platform and a more coherent agenda of national action.” 34 After appointment to a statewide immigration commission in 2007 by Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Omeish was asked to resign after a revelation among others that he praised “Palestinians who chose the jihad way to liberation” during a rally in 2000. He has also congratulated Palestinians who gave “up their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Al-Aqsa”. The connection of the MB motto, mission, militant groups and their American affiliates could not be more obvious. There is no public information that Omeish was directly involved in any terror support. But his advocacy for jihad, the Brotherhood and its affiliates speaks volumes. The common link for many radical Islamist groups regionally and globally is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another clinic in how American Muslim Brotherhood affiliates serve to water down or misdirect their global connections to terrorism is in the wake of the Syrian Revolution of 2011. Make no mistake. Like other revolutions in the wake of the Arab Awakening, the Syrian Revolution began as a popular attempt at shedding the yoke of Bashar Al-Assad’s tyranny and his Ba’ath Party. But in the wake of the regime’s genocidal approach to its own citizenry, a vacuum arose which was filled by militant Islamist groups that coalesced into ISIS in 2013. I discuss this evolution in depth at Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Institute in: ”Understanding the Cauldron that Brewed ISIS.”35 However, all of that does not ameliorate the direct connection between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the host of radical Islamist groups operating in the region including ISIS and Al Qaeda. Because of its Muslim Brotherhood connections and ideologies, the Syrian American Council (SAC) became a dominant force among Syrian-Americans lobbying for American influence among anti-Assad revolutionary movements in Syria.

As has been typical, despite our diversity within the Syrian Muslim community, Islamists with a strong mosque and Brotherhood network are able to marginalize the rest of us secular liberal democratic thinkers. The Syrian American Council has repeatedly represented Islamist interests in Syria. They brought Islamist members of the Free Syria Army (FSA) to D.C. to lobby for support only days prior to the FSA working with Turkey to invade the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Northwestern Syria, an American ally who helped defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. As the Investigate Project notes, “no distinction existed between the FSA, Ahar al-Sham or Jabhat al-Nusra, Anas al-Abdeh, fomer president of the anti-Assad National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (ETILAF)” told the London based Al-Hayat in 2016. The SAC’s connection to the MB is apparent. Molham al-Droubi a key leader of the Syrian MB told IPT in 2013 that many of the SAC’s members formerly belonged to the Syrian MB. An Arabic post in 2014 notes that its ideology is closer to ISIS that to the West. In fact the Syrian MB stated that American attacks against ISIS and its allies are not the answer. They have openly mourned the death of AlQaeda leader in Ahrar Al Asham. 36 Then in Qatar, the global MB leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi an influential spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood joined in criticizing the American military campaign against ISIS since while he is anti-ISIS, he only wants movements acting in the name 33 John Rossomando. Islamist Activist Asks Obama to Support Libyan AQ Group. IPT News. March 18, 2016. https://www.investigativeproject.org/5217/islamist-activist-asks-obama-to-support-libyan-aq 34 John Rossomando. Libyan Security Committee calls U.S. Muslim Leader a Terrorist. IPT News. June 12, 2017. https://www.investigativeproject.org/6273/libyan-security-committee-calls-us-muslim-leader 35 M. Zuhdi Jasser. Understanding the Cauldron that Brewed ISIS. Religious Freedom Institute. Georgetown University. July 12, 2016. https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/12/understanding-the-cauldron-that-brewed-isis of Islam and jihad to fight in the region. 37 According to Kamal al-Labwani a former ETILAF member and secular democratic activist, SAC’s lobbying led the U.S. to support extremists who posed as moderates.38

Another illustrative focal point between the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups is Mohammed Ghanem. He openly supported MB ideologue, Sheikh Qaradawi saying in a 2012 Facebook post, “I love this appreciated scholar very much, even I adore his jurisprudence. I consider this a great honor and now I am over the moon.” Ghanem is a central figure in U.S. government and State Department contacts with the Syrian opposition and was in fact was romantically involved with Khulood Kandil the former State Department Syria Opposition Outreach Desk Officer.39 Her uncle, Hisham Kandil, was Egypt’s prime minister during the Brotherhood’s brief rule in Egypt. Ghanem openly minimized the threat of radical Islamist groups. He stated, “Americans never felt this insecure when Ahrar al-Sham or other ‘extremist’ rebels established safe havens inside Syria. This is because when Syrian rebels – whatever their political beliefs – conquer territory from Assad or ISIS, they do so to seek greater opportunity and freedoms for their homeland…contrary to some news reports, rebel fighters are not barbarians. “40 He went on to condemn the Obama administration’s 2012 labeling of Jabhat al-Nusra (a known Al Qaeda affiliate) a terrorist organization because “it cooperates closely with the Free Syrian Army and because it has achieved military successes and has delivered critical civilian aid.”41

SAC also notoriously brought Sheikh Mohammad Rateb Nabulsi, a known terror apologist, to the United States for a speaking and fundraising 17 city tour in early 2014. His website had a April 2001 fatwa fully sanctioning suicide bombing against Israeli civilians. He also is a known homophobe with long screeds against homosexuality appearing for example in April 28, 2011 on Al-Aqsa TV of HAMAS saying “Homosexuality involves a filthy place and does not generate offspring… that is why brothers, homosexuality carries the death penalty.” He also directly and repeatedly connected what he described with homosexuality to his hate for western free nations. This cleric was clearly responsible for radicalizing countless Muslims. 42

The Muslim Brotherhood’s network is also bolstered by a direct support by leadership of various humanitarian organizations. Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) is a prime example of this activity in the United States. Khaled Lamada, IRUSA board chairman has been criticized for his connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. A Facebook picture in January 2015 shows him displaying a Muslim Brotherhood salute along with Egyptian MB luminaries like Waleed Sharaby, a leader of the MB-linked Egyptian Revolutionary Council.43 His social media profile is rife with Egyptian MB support. He posed in 2015 with MB Shura council member Gamal Heshmat and exiled pro-Brotherhood Egyptian judge Waleed Sharaby. Heshmat and Shraby have openly supported terrorism. Heshmat met in 2014 in Qatar with Khaled Meshaal, who was a top Hamas official at the time. He has ridiculed the U.S. designation of Hamas as a terror group.

Lamada is tied closely to the Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) who have endorsed Brotherhood linked terrorists in Egypt. EAFJ connections to MB leadership in Egypt are deep. Lamada spoke at the EAFJ 2016 Ramadan Iftar fundraiser. Lamada for his part denies any of these affiliations. But social media posts also suggest other IRUSA board members Mohamed Amr Attawi and Hamdy Radwan also have deep MB loyalties. Many of their names link back to the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood phone book founded by Palestine Committee of the MB in the U.S. The United Arab Emirates included IRW on a 2014 list of terror groups. They described IRW as ‘Islamic Relief of the Global Muslim Brotherhood’. Bangladesh has barred IRW from working with Rohingya refugees from Burma due to concerns it would radicalize them. Israel did the same in Gaza since IRW had been known to employ HAMAS members. These are all claims IRW denies. A number of European banks including Credit Suisse, HSBC, and UBS, have refused to do business with IRW over concerns with their terror financing. IRW is the largest U.S. Muslim charity and provides 25 percent of its annual budget. It is a USAID partner.44 A recent comprehensive report by the Middle East Forum lays out the detailed case for IRW’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and its global militant Islamist network.45

Some detractors to Muslim Brotherhood designation have stated that such a designation would be “exploited and manipulated for political gain”. Some have dismissed the MB as “non-existent” and that the 1991 Memorandum presented in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror financing trial and convictions in 2008 as suspect and “conspiracy theories”. The document’s veracity has withstood multiple legal challenges during the HLF trial and multiple other circumstances. It was seized from the “archivist” Ismail Elbarasee of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. The network’s existence and mission is certainly not only dependent upon this document, but now over the past 27 years since they met in Philadelphia in 1991 and plotted a “civilizational jihadist process” whereby Brotherhood members in America work toward destroying the Western civilization from within” all of the actions of these MB legacy groups in the America have towed the MB Islamist line with little deviation and certainly no open antagonism. From the previously mentioned Muslim American Society, Syrian American Council, to the larger Islamic Society of North America, North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) to name a few, their agendas are consistent with this global support and theocratic, theo-political activist process and network of the Muslim Brotherhood. For those of us who have grown up in Muslim communities with families from Muslim majority nations, we know who the theo-political advocates for the Muslim Brotherhood are and the leadership of these organizations typically fits that ideological pattern. It is abjectly false to state that the only evidence of the MB in the U.S. is that memorandum.

In the Holy Land Foundation prosecutions – the largest terrorism financing trial in American history – Justice Department officials successfully argued in court that the international Muslim Brotherhood and its U.S. affiliates had engaged in a wide-spread conspiracy to raise money and materially support the terrorist group HAMAS. The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) officials charged in the case were found guilty on all counts in November 2008, primarily related to millions of dollars that had been transferred to HAMAS. During the trial and in court documents federal prosecutors implicated a number of prominent U.S. Islamic organizations in this conspiracy, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). These groups and their leaders, among others, were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case. The Justice Department told the court that these U.S. Muslim Brotherhood affiliates acted at the direction of the international Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorism in a July 2008 court filing: “ISNA and NAIT, in fact, shared more with HLF than just a parent organization. They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to HAMAS. Shortly after HAMAS was founded in 1987, as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood (Govt. Exh. 21-61). The International Muslim Brotherhood ordered the Muslim Brotherhood chapters throughout the world to create Palestine Committees, whose job it was to support HAMAS with “media, money and men.” (Govt. Exh. 3-15). The U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood created the U.S. Palestine Committee, which documents reflect was initially comprised of three organizations: the OLF (HLF), the IAP, and the UASR. CAIR was later added to these organizations (Govt. Exh. 3-78) listing IAP, HLF, UASR and CAIR as part of the Palestine Committee, and stating that their is “[n]o doubt America is the ideal location to train the necessary resources to support the Movement worldwide…”). The mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support HAMAS, and the HLF’s particular role was to raise money to support HAMAS’ organizations inside the Palestinian territories. Govt. Exh. 3-17 (objective of the Palestine Committee is to support HAMAS).

The fact that the international Muslim Brotherhood does terrorism financing inside the U.S. was attested to by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, who testified before the House Select Committee on Intelligence in February 2011, and responded to a question about the Muslim Brotherhood’s networks and agenda in the U.S.: “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism. To the extent that I can provide information, I would be happy to do so in closed session. But it would be difficult to do in open session.”47

The lack of a terror designation for the Muslim Brotherhood has given them freedom to operate terror financing indirectly to the MB which then provides support to Al Qaeda. One of the examples cited by Richard Clarke in his U.S. Senate Banking Committee testimony was the case of Soliman Biheiri, who ran an investment firm specializing in Islamically permissible investments, the Secaucus, New Jersey-based BMI Inc. BMI offered a range of financial services for the Muslim community, and invested in businesses and real estate. According to federal prosecutors, among the shareholders of BMI were Al-Qaeda financier Yassin Al-Qadi and top HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook – two specially designated global terrorists. Both Qadi and Marzook operated separate businesses out of BMI’s offices that also did business with BMI. Other BMI investors included Abdullah bin Laden, nephew of Osama bin laden, and Tarek Swaidan, a Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood leader. In a Sept. 2003 detention hearing, federal prosecutors described Biheiri as “the U.S. banker for the Muslim Brotherhood,” and stating that “the defendant came here as the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial toehold in the U.S.” Biheiri was convicted on federal immigration charges on October 9, 2003.48 Even prior to that the connections have been well known. Before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in October 2003, Richard Clarke, former National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism for Presidents William Clinton and George W. Bush, testified to the extent that terrorist organizations continued to operate inside the U.S. and the connection to the Muslim Brotherhood networks: “Dating back to the 1980’s, Islamist terrorist networks have developed a sophisticated and diversified financial infrastructure in the United States. In the post September 11th environment, it is now widely known that every major Islamist terrorist organization, from Hamas to Islamic Jihad to Al Qaeda, has leveraged the financial resources and institutions of the United States to build their capabilities. We face a highly developed enemy in our mission to stop terrorist financing. While the overseas operations of Islamist terrorist organizations are generally segregated and distinct, the opposite holds in the United States. The issue of terrorist financing in the United States is a fundamental example of the shared infrastructure levered by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda, all of which enjoy a significant degree of cooperation and coordination within our borders. The common link here is the extremist Muslim Brotherhood – all of these organizations are descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.”

In court papers, federal prosecutors noted that the Holy Land Foundation trial included “numerous exhibits…establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the MB, the Palestine Committee and the defendants in the case.”49 A 1988 FBI report also identified many of these ideologically obvious Islamist groups ISNA, NAIT and IIIT as members of the “ikhwan model” with the aim for recruiting support for an Islamic revolution in the U.S.” The Saudi funded “Bridge Initiative,” an arm of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, argued in 2016 that the document was merely “one man’s utopian vision”. Their response was that if the idea “was central in a Muslim movement one would think more would have taken up the idea and spread it”. As is typical of Salafi-jihadi apologists funded by the Saudis, they ignore the vast number of attacks on our soil linked to American Muslim radicalization by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated ideologies and mosques from Fort Hood in 2009 to the Boston bombing of 2013 to San Bernardino and on. Not to mention that from the beginning global MB icons had no qualms in engaging openly as endorsers of their Brothers in the United States.

For example, in 1995, global Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi confirmed the connections between Muslim Student’s Association and the Brotherhood, and said that the goal of the organization was to “conquer” the U.S. through dawa (Islamic proselytizing). In a 1995 speech to an Islamic conference in Ohio, al-Qaradawi, said victory will come through dawa. He said, “conquest through dawa, that is what we hope for.” Qaradawi is well chronicled in fatwas justifying Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. He further said, “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America, not through the sword but through dawa.’ He has long been barred from the United States. In his speech, al-Qaradawi further said the dawa would work through Islamic groups set up by Brotherhood supporters in [the U.S.]. He praised supporters who were jailed by Arab governments in the 1950s and then came to the United States to “fight the seculars and the Westernized” by founding this country‘s leading Islamic groups. He named the MSA [as one such group]. Though many Muslim youth today may reject any association with Qaradawi, good luck finding any denunciations of Qaradawi or the Muslim Brotherhood for that matter by Muslim Student’s Assocation chapters around the United States.

The civilizational argument is made by their continued denigration of western society, government, and the United States by the progeny of these programs. The Explanatory Memorandum, like Qutb’s Milestones, should serve in their own words to highlight their global threat.

The Cold War Analogy
In the Cold War, Leninist communist principles fueled the Soviet hegemonic global plan for driving communist revolutions. Similarly, Ladan and Boroumand argue in “Terror, Islam, and Democracy” that “Like Mawlana al-Mawdudi and various Western totalitarians Sayyid Qutb identified his own society (in his case, contemporary Muslim polities) as among the enemies that a virtuous, ideologically self-conscious vanguard minority would have to fight by any means necessary, including violent revolution, so that a new and perfectly just society might arise. His ideal society was a classless one where the “selfish individual” of liberal democracies will be banished in the exploitation of man by man would be abolished. God alone would govern it through the implementation of Islamic law (shar’iah). This was Leninism in Islamist dress.” 50 Qutb may have railed against some aspects of the godlessness of communism and socialism within his works; however, it is clear that he was influenced by them in the formulation of some of his core ideas. Ibrahim Al-Hodaiby writes in an article four decades after Sayyid Qutb’s execution: “In Milestones Qutb presents a manifesto for change, one heavily influenced by Lenin’s revolutionary “What is to be Done?” with the clear Islamization of its basic notions.” They even borrowed the term ‘vanguard’ from Lenin.

So in essence for those of us reformists who reject socialism and communism as well as the Muslim Brothehood’s Islamism and seek liberty, there is nothing more pro-Muslim and pro-modern Islamic interpretations then supporting a Muslim Brotherhood designation as a global terrorist organization. They are today’s equivalent in a liberation theology mantra of the Cold War’s communist parties (Muslim Brotherhood) and communism (Islamism).

Other states have designated the MB an FTO
Multiple states have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and/or proscribed the group from operating in their countries. An Egyptian court banned the group in October 2013, and the government officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 201351; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia designated the group on March 7, 201452; the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates published a list of terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and its local affiliates 53; on March 21, 2014, the Foreign Minister of Bahrain backed the terrorist designations of the Muslim Brotherhood by both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. While certainly various members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have their own hypocrisies when it comes to terrorism and the promotion of salafi-jihadism, their designations carry with them some admission with regards to the associated global network, funding streams and a shift, especially with petro-Islamist gulf states to some of their previous rather facilitative policies with pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the MB is a Sunni Islamist group hatched in Egypt, the overlap with Islamist movements in Pakistan and Asia are quite central. This dates back to the relationship between Hassan al-Banna and Mawlana Al-Mawdudi. While the MB hatched groups like ISNA and NAIT, Mawdudi’s Jamaat-e-Islami hatched similar groups like the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). There has always been major overlap between leadership and organizational ideologies, but no conversation on the MB should ignore their major cross cultural affiliates like the Turkish AKP, the Pakistani JI, or even the Shi’a Iranian Khomeinists.

Public Obstacles
Denial fuels bigotry rather than quelling it: If the reason for routinely publicly engaging Muslim leaders after acts of Islamist terror against Americans is simply to quell the fear of Americans, I will contend that the denial and obfuscation of the administration and the Muslims they engage does the exact opposite. Enabling the deep denial of the need for American Muslims to address the root causes of Islamist inspired terrorism and its separatism by not naming the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization actually in the end fuels a growing fear of Muslims and Islam due to our policy choices for avoidance over transparency. Pew polling demonstrates that American feelings about Muslims is “cooler” than any other faith group scoring a 40 out of 100.

In fact, there is nothing that would do more to melt away anti-Muslim bigotry to the extent that it exists than for Americans to see Muslims step away from denial and actually engaging and confronting the Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood with their own jihad for liberty and against theocracy. We should be calling for a jihad against jihad rather than shielding Muslims and Americans from the tough love that they need.
Defensive posture: the last 90 years of the Muslim Brotherhood existence has proven that a Western fear of riling up the militant Islamists by proactively identifying them as terrorists is only going to empower them through appeasement and defensiveness rather than taking them on offensively. Every day the Muslim Brotherhood militants will find an excuse to commit an act of terror or blame the west for their ills rather than their own theocracy. It is long overdue for us to take the offense against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bipartisan blinders and false assumptions: Both the Bush administration and the Obama administration have thus far erroneously felt that giving the radical Islamists air time for their Islamic theological verbiage will lend them credibility. From the time of Attorney General Gonzales, onward there have been significant attempts by the Department of Justice to control the lexicon used to describe radical Islamists, with repeated recommendations to avoid any religiously charged terminology. The assumption that radical Islamists need our air time in order to brand themselves is false and it is more absurd to assume that their identity and branding can be defeated by ignoring groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact it requires the opposite—honest exposure, engagement, and marginalization of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact the suppression of the truth of their Islamist identity is an obstacle to a whole host of policies and engagements which would be the beginning of their defeat.

The problem of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Lobby: The OIC is the proverbial elephant in the room. On the issue of the Muslim Brotherhood there is some significant division within the Arab Sunni world. The constant refrain from the Obama administration that the United States should not “declare war against 1.6 billion Muslims and their governments” is related to global intimidation by the OIC sadly while ignoring the plight of Muslim and non-Muslim dissidents in their nations who lead the fight against Islamist movements.

First, make no mistake. Across the Middle East and Muslim majority world, many leaders, scholars, and pundits call these individuals and their acts exactly what they call themselves- Islamists and jihadists. Some of these governments like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt, have come around and perhaps in the interest of self-preservation have identified the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood and are finally beginning to defund the very Islamist groups their petro-Islam fed around the world that were berthed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, their approach is very schizophrenic because the Islamic states of each OIC nation is based in some form of autocratic theocracy and platforms for theo-political movements that are either directly Islamist like the Khomienists of the Islamic Republic of Iran or the shar’ia state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or the Wahhabism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All these states have state sponsored ideologies that are the underbelly that inspires militant movements like ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Hizballah and their Muslim Brotherhood common ideologies. Those Islamist governments often exploit the militancy of jihadists in order to dictate the ruling form of Islam. Only in the United States and in the West can we both identify the radicalism of the Muslim Brotherhood while also countering with an offense of secular liberal ideals of universal human rights which is far more effective than the Islamism and Salafism of OIC nation-states who are just jihadists of a different flavor.

There is no country that would be more effective at beginning to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood than the United States due to the profound safe harbor they have enjoyed in the United States. The OIC nations hide behind the façade of “countering violent extremism” all the while their governments fuel “violent Islamism”. It is heartbreaking as an American Muslim to see my own American democratic government invoke OIC-like blasphemy law behaviors preventing the antiseptic of sunlight upon the Islamist ideas which radicalize our co-religionists. With our founders’ history in defeating theocracy, Americans are uniquely qualified to understand the battle against theocracy from within a faith. The best summary of the influence of the OIC upon our public discourse regarding Islam is Deborah Weiss’ monograph, “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech”.

The Dangers of Qatar and Turkey
These divisions are beginning to bare out with countries like Qatar and Turkey which are dominated by leaders sympathetic to or directly involved in Islamist party politics. With Qatar for example, it has become the Arab national safe haven for former Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood luminaries and activists. They have provided them not only safe haven but a global perch from which to spread their ideology and hegemony. Their media arm, Al Jazeera, is reportedly staffed by upwards of 90 percent MB sympathizers. Their position on the MB has placed them squarely in the crosshairs of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. It is not surprising that along with Qatar’s relationship with the Brotherhood it is also very sympathetic politically ideologically and economically with Iran and its Khomeinists. This schism within the Sunni region led to an embargo last year on Qatar that remains until Saudi demands are met with abandonment of the Muslim brotherhood being primary.

The Emir of Qatar has been historically close to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi who has been there since 1961. Qatar has been all in with the belief that the brotherhood represented the wave politically of the future in the Middle East. They similarly have supported Hamas and the Iranian global sponsorship of terror turning a blind eye to their support of Hezbollah and the Assad regime. They share rich natural gas fields with the Iranian regime. The Brotherhood’s desire to create a global Sunni caliphate and Islamic state positioned the Qatari royal family to be part of that leadership. However this positioning has put them not only in the advocacy of all of the terror connections of the Muslim Brotherhood globally but also at odds with the other regimes in the Middle East who see the Muslim Brotherhood as an existential threat. Make no mistake. The Muslim brotherhood would not be what it is today were it not for petro-Islam billions coming from Qatar and until a year ago the rest of the Gulf states.

A designation of the Muslim brotherhood as a terror group is essential for American and global security and the containment of the Qatari royal families anti-Western and anti-democracy pro-Islamist positions. Additionally, their fealty for the Iranian theocrats and their heavy economic cooperation also demands their containment.

The other global platform for the Muslim brotherhood is growing with the country of Turkey which also has an Islamist party in control–the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Recip Erdogan. Turkey is a separate case study requiring a hearing on its own; however, its decades-old support of Hamas, it’s aid to help Iran subvert the sanctions against them, and its own evangelical Dawa into the West including now the largest mosque in the United States built in Maryland by the Turkish Republic’s diyanet religious authority are all consistent with and in parallel to the project of the Muslim Brotherhood. While Erdogan’s government for years was sympathetic to the Assad regime in Syria, the revolution of 2011 was viewed as an opportunity to have a neighboring Sunni Islamist power sympathetic to the AKP in place. So Turkey along with Qatar proceeded to aid and support the radical Islamist element of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and marginalize the more liberal secular elements of the revolution. It also helped them counter their Kurdish enemies. Qatar did the same. Nothing epitomizes the relationship between Erdogan’s AKP and the global Muslim Brotherhood then the recent hosting by the Republic of Turkey of the 90th anniversary gala of the Muslim brotherhood. Speeches and rhetoric from the event and releases around the event in Turkey noted the Brotherhood’s call to continue on the path of a comprehensive restoration of Islamic states around the world. Turkish groups closely allied to President Recip Erdogan have lobbied Congress to end U.S. support of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which is the backbone of the US supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against ISIS. The Turkish American branch of Erdogan’s Islamist AKP, MUSAID USA and the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), were closely involved. Interestingly IPT reported that none of these groups lobbied with FARA registration (Foreign Agents Registration Act). Michael Rubin of AEI notes that “It’s not just MUSAID USA. There’s at least half a dozen organization and maybe twic that who have down the same rabbit hole” of influence operations. Apparently, these two organizations have also been on the FBI’s radar. MUSIAD Executive Director Ibrahim Ulya sent an email to President Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s energy minister and thought to be Erdogan’s heir apparent. In that he discussed the accusations of espionage by the FBI. Frequent communications between them expose how close these American organizations are with the Islamist AKP ruling party of the Republic of Turkey.

IPT notes that these groups have courted U.S. Islamist groups as they have the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East. They have coordinated protests and other activist work with CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and USCMO (United States Council of Muslim Organizations). In fact, CAIR has presented its annual humanitarian award to the Turkish government in 2017 “for its humanitarian efforts for Syrian and Iraqi refugees”.58 Just a few weeks ago, the USCMO leadership was in Ankara to congratulate President Erdogan on his recent sham of an electoral victory as guests of the Turkish regime. CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush praised it’s “democracy and the rule of Law” in 2016 and also congratulated Erdogan on his victory. They all did not seem to care about the fact that the Committee to Protect Journalists named Erdogan’s Turkey “the worst jailer of journalists in 2017.”59 In fact, leaders of the Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) like Mahmoud ElSharkawy with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood have also worked closely with these Turkish Islamist organizations in the U.S. They have all sought an aggressive activist role in downplaying the 1915 Armenian genocide that killed 1.5 million people. They all promoted a FactCheckArmenia.com anti-Armenian propaganda site.

Conclusions and Recommendations:
The importance of identifying the Muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization could not be more clear to our national security and counterterrorism strategy. This will begin not only a necessary process of treating the cancer at its core before it metastasizes rather than its byproducts after it has already spread. But now we can also begin a a much longer strategy of identifying other Islamist movements that are parallel to the Muslim Brotherhood and equally dangerous. I leave you with the following recommendations:

1. Designate the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization beginning in Egypt and then on a country by country basis. Libya, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen branches of the MB are the most obvious follow-ons based on my testimony here. But I would recommend that the designation be taken on a country by country basis and not a blanket global one, and only be driven by a need to designate every group in the world which is either a self-identified actual Muslim Brotherhood organization or an obvious Islamist terror group. This designation is not only an ideological one but one related to material, social, and militant support of the Muslim Brotherhood’s salafi-jihadi movement.
2. Use this designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization as a pilot strategic designation to be made country to country across the world, but do not dismiss the equal global threat of parallel militant Islamist groups like East Asia’s Jamat-e-Islami, Iran’s Khomeinists, or Turkey’s AKP to name a few.
3. Call out American Muslim leaders to take a position on the Muslim Brotherhood, the evidence provided here, and its overarching theo-political ideologies. Will my fellow Muslims be on the side of freedom, liberty, and modernity or will they be on the side of the tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s Erdogan’s AKP, Iran’s Khomeinists or Pakistan’s Jamaat e-Islami?
4. Develop foreign policy mechanisms to disincentivize Qatari and Turkish government facilitation of the Muslim Brotherhood and its global affiliates including those in the West. Considerations should include a move to suspend Turkey from NATO (perhaps warranting a separate hearing on the very complex U.S.-Turkey relations).
5. Lift up diverse pro-liberty, secular reformist Muslim voices beginning with our Muslim Reform Movement and its allies within the Muslim community who are anti-Islamist. Use that strategy and our Declaration of our Muslim Reform Movement to identify allies within Muslim communities across the world.
6. Use the MB designation as a template to transition immediately from the currently useless non-ideological center of gravity that relies on “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) to a much more practical one centered on “Countering Islamism“ (CI) or (CVI).
7. Stop engaging Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in government and media and NGO’s and recognize their Islamist terror sympathies, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and anti-American ideological underpinnings. We must recognize that they are not the only voice for American Muslims or any community of Muslims.
8. Re-open investigation into CAIR’s radical ties and into the extensive domestic and foreign network of foundations and poorly hidden branches. Also investigate the Syrian American Council, MUSAID USA and Islamic Relief USA to name a few organizations with concerning global Islamist ties.

Respectfully submitted,
M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD
President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
July 11, 2018

 

1 Press Conference of the Launch of the Muslim Reform Movement, National Press Club, December 4, 2015: : https://youtu.be/xlAnr8bIIr8
2 Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement. Washington, D.C. December 4, 2015.

3 Interim Report and Recommendations of the Homeland Security Advisory Council Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee of the US Department of Homeland Security. June 2016.

4 http://www.muslimreformmovement.org
5 Mustafa Mashhour, “Jihad is the Way” (AR) IkhwanWiki, http://www.ikhwanwiki.com/index.php?title=

6 Majmuat Rasail Al-Imam al-shahid Hasan Al-banna. International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations. pp. 238 https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/837.pdf#page=239
7 Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” Foreign Affairs 86, no. 2 (March-April 2007), 108, 113.
8 Marc Lynch, “Assessing the MB Firewall” Abu Aardvark, May 13, 2008,
(http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abuaardvark/2008/05/assessing-the-m.html)
9 Eric Trager. Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days. Georgetown University Press. Washington, D.C. pp. 41.

10 Erick Trager. Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days. Georgetown University Press. Washington, D.C. pp. 44.
11 Eric Trager. Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood won and lost Egypt in 891 Days. Georgetown University Press. Washington, D.C. pp. 54.
12 Dispatch 3274. Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide: ‘The U.S. is Now Experiencing the Beginning of Its End’; Improvement and Change in the Muslim World ‘Can Only Be Attained through Jihad And Sacrifice. MEMRI. October 6, 2010.
13 Barry Rubin. The Region: The Declaration of War that went Unnoticed. JPost. 23:29. October 10, 2010

14 John Rossomondo. “Emails show Clinton was Told about MB-AQ Links”. IPT News. May 2, 2016.
15 John Rossomondo. “Emails show Clinton was Told about MB-AQ Links”. IPT News. May 2, 2016.
16 Adam Kredo. Open Jihad Declared in Egypt Following State Dept. Meeting with Muslim Brothhood-Aligned Leaders. Muslim Brotherhood call for ‘long, uncompromising jihad’. January 30, 2015.
17 USCIRF Annual Report. Egypt: A Country of Particular Concern (CPC). May 2015.
18 Patrick Poole. Muslim Brotherhood Steps Up Terror in Egypt, While U.S. Provides Cover. PJ Media. June 2, 2015. 19 Leila Fadel. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Divides over Response to Killings. July 11, 2015.
20 Muslim Brotherhood supports call for retribution. Daily News Egypt. May 31, 2015.
21 Muslim Brotherhood Statement Reiterates Commitment to January 25 Revolution Goals. May 29, 2015.

22 John Rossomondo. “Emails show Clinton was Told about MB-AQ Links”. IPT News. May 2, 2016.
23 Email (February 27, 2011) from Jake Sullivan to Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks. https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/28627
24 Al Arabiya Institute for Studies. Libyan Dawn: Map of allies and enemies. AlArabiya. August 25, 2014.
25 Top Tunisian Militant killed by U.S. Strike in Libya. AFP. July 3, 2015. https://tribune.com.pk/story/914209/top-tunisian-militant-killed-by-us-strike-in-libya-report/
26 U.S. Designates Bin Laden Loyalist. Department of Treasury Press Release. February 24, 2004.
https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js1190.aspx
27 Abdul Majid Al-Zindani. The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch. https://www.globalmbwatch.com/abd-al-majid-al-zindani/ (accessed July 8, 2018).

28 Matthew Levitt. Untangling the Terror Web. Al Qaeda is not the only Element. Policy 672. October 28, 2002 http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/untangling-the-terror-web-al-qaeda-is-not-the-only-element
29 Executive Order on Terrorist Financing. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism. White House Press Secretary. September 24, 2001.
30 The Charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement. August 18, 1988.
https://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm
31 Foreign Terrorist Organizations. U.S. Dept. of State. Hamas. October 8, 1997.
32 Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen. Chicago Tribune. September 19, 2004.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/chi-0409190261sep19-story.html

33 John Rossomando. Islamist Activist Asks Obama to Support Libyan AQ Group. IPT News. March 18, 2016. https://www.investigativeproject.org/5217/islamist-activist-asks-obama-to-support-libyan-aq
34 John Rossomando. Libyan Security Committee calls U.S. Muslim Leader a Terrorist. IPT News. June 12, 2017. https://www.investigativeproject.org/6273/libyan-security-committee-calls-us-muslim-leader
35 M. Zuhdi Jasser. Understanding the Cauldron that Brewed ISIS. Religious Freedom Institute. Georgetown University. July 12, 2016. https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/12/understanding-the-cauldron-that-brewed-isis
36 Ravi Kumar. Syrian Brotherhood stands nearer to ISIS than to the U.S. IPT News. September 16, 2014.

37 Qatar-based cleric criticizes US role against Islamic State. Reuters. Middle East and North Africa. September 14, 2014.
38 John Rossomando, Syrian American Council Learns How to Pressure Washington. IPT News. April 3, 2018. https://www.investigativeproject.org/7393/syrian-american-council-learns-how-to-pressure
39 John Rossomando, Syrian American Council Learns How to Pressure Washington. IPT News. April 3, 2018. https://www.investigativeproject.org/7393/syrian-american-council-learns-how-to-pressure
40 Mohammed Al-Ghanem. Americans can trust Syrian rebels. The Hill. September 12, 2014.
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/217504-americans-can-trust-the-syrian-rebels
41 Mohammed Al-Ghanem. Taking Syria back from extremists. The Washington Post. December 27, 2012.
42 Kenneth Timmerman. Obama Administration let anti-gay Muslim leader into the U.S. NY Post. March 2, 2014. 43 John Rossomando. Photos show IRUSA Chairman’s Muslim Brotherhood Support. IPT News. May 29, 2018. https://www.investigativeproject.org/7468/photos-show-irusa-chairman-muslim-brotherhood

44 John Rossomando. Photos show IRUSA Chairman’s Muslim Brotherhood Support. IPT News. May 29, 2018. https://www.investigativeproject.org/7468/photos-show-irusa-chairman-muslim-brotherhood
45 Islamic Relief: Charity, Extremism, Terror. Middle East Forum. July 2018.
https://www.meforum.org/MiddleEastForum/media/MEFLibrary/pdf/Islamic-Relief-FINAL-v3-Online-(002).pdf

46 CR No. 3:04-CR-240-P. Governnment’s Amended Memorandum in Opposition to Petitioners Islamic Society of North America and North American Islamist Trust’s Motion for Equitable Relief. USA vs. HLF et.al.
47 House Select Committee on Intelligence, “International Security Threats,” C-SPAN, Feb. 10, 2011, http://c-spanvideo.org/program/InternationalSecuri
48 Glenn Simpson, “The U.S. Provides Details of Terror-Financing Web,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 15,
2003, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB106358213631213600

49 John Rossomando. Explanatory Memorandum’ Detractors Ignore Evidence about MB in America. IPT News. March 1, 2017. https://www.investigativeproject.org/5807/explanatory-memorandum-detractors-ignore-evidence

50 Ladan and Roya Boroumand. Terror, Islam, and Democracy. Journal of Democracy. 13.2 (2002) 5-20. 51 Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood. CBS News. October 8, 2013.
52 Reuters Staff. Saudi Arabai designates Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group. Reuters. March 7, 2014. 53 Reuters Staff. UAE lists Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group. November

54 How Americans Feel About Religious Groups: Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals rated warmly, Atheists and Muslims more Coldly. Pew Research Center:Religion and Public Life. July 16, 2014.

55 Weiss, Deborah Esq. The Organization of islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech. June 6, 2015

56 Eric Trager. The Muslim Brotherhood is the Root of the Qatar Crisis. The Atlantic. July 2, 2017.
57 Muslim Brotherhood thanks Turkey for Hosting 90th Anniversary Gala. Ikhwanweb. April 3, 2018.

58 Abha Shankar. Will Turkey’s New Diplomatic Push Reduce its American MB Support? IPT News. July 7, 2016. 59 IPT News U.S. Islamists Ignore Erdogan’s Authoritarianism, Celebrate Win. June 26, 2018.