Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The threats of non-violent Islamism posed by the Muslim Brotherhood (hereinafter: MB) and associated organizations are, in an almost punishable manner, overlooked and underestimated in Europe.
The goal of MB is nothing less than to undermine and destroy Western democracy. That said, MB and associated organizations still receive substantial financial support from public resources and are facilitating a platform to influence public opinion in Europe.
Islamist study and cultural associations are aided at all levels of governance in Europe. Member states send multimillion donations to organizations such as Islamic Relief, which, although involved in charity work, still holds Islamist agenda and anti-Semitism views.
EU funds continue to fund Islamist organizations inside and outside of Europe. European democratic countries and the EU as a whole are therefore cutting the branch they are sitting on when they support organizations whose agendas are to undermine and ultimately destroy the Western democracy.
The goal of MB is to rule over humanity.
Muslim Brotherhood is known for its seamless adaptability to the local political landscape, adjusting its strategies depending on the different needs in various countries. Still, it always stays focused on the same final goal. The adaptability of MB to local circumstances is the greatest deceit of MB, which also leads many to underestimate how dangerous this organization is, with its roots dating back to the ideals of Muslim movements of the 20th century.
Muslim Brotherhood is an enemy of the Western world, our conceptualizations of democracy, and it strives to destroy them both. It is very pragmatic and strategically aligns with progressive associations, hiding its real motives behind charity work. Its ultimate goal is, however, “tamkin,” which, according to one of the greatest theoreticians of Islam, Ali al-Sallabi, means “rule of Islam over any other religion and domination over entire humanity.”
A former member of MB, Mohamed Louizi, describes MB’s current operation model as a “starfish.” It has different rays, which are formally independent of one another but connected through ideological views, common framework organizations, and individual ties. The associated organizations play a crucial role in the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
MB is not a peaceful organization.
Although Muslim Brotherhood in Europe does not support the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda, calling MB peaceful or pacifistic is out of place. Their support of Hamas and jihad in Syria is proof of their willingness to use violence as an instrument to pursue their goals. The actual nature of Ikhwan, a term used for MB in Arabic, can also be witnessed by their friendly association with Iranian theocracy. The relations between Sunni and Shia Muslims have historically been very tense. Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wished to soothe that distinction between Sunni and Shia Muslims and when Ruhollah Khomeini took power in 1979, the Brotherhood members offered their support.
Muslim organizations that do not associate with violence can give an impression of being “moderate” when compared to Salafi Jihadism groups, which are publically violent. This misconception is, however, a tragic mistake. Like other global Muslim associations, Muslim Brotherhood is an enemy of western values. The supporters of its ideals will misuse terms such as religious freedom, representation of communities, multiculturalism, identity and call for a “dialogue” between civilizations to disguise their real nature.
All those efforts aim at destroying western democracies and freedoms, same freedoms that supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood continuously abuse. This approach includes strategic partnerships with progressive movements. Still, it does not change anything in their end goal – a state founded on Sharia law.
The West is the enemy number one.
Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Brotherhood, believed history is characterized by the fight and inherent tensions between the East and the West. He was also of the opinion that the decline of the East can be attributed to the gradual deterioration of real Islam. In his eyes, the worst consequence of western colonialism was the association of occupation with the liberalization of moral rules.
This is why Hassan al-Banna re-defined the classical Islam dichotomy of dar al-Islam (“the house of Islam”) and dar-al-Harb (“the house of war”) and extended the latter category to virtually every country without Islamic state order and the authority of sharia law.
Al-Banna described jihad as a “necessary, decisive and indispensable duty of all Muslims,” which needs to be also led against “the people of the Book (Christians and Jewish people).” He continued that whenever “Muslims are degraded and ruled over by faithless,” jihad becomes an individual duty for “every Muslim.” Al-Banna also refused as forgery any commonly quoted hadith, which considers a fight of the spirit as the highest form of jihad.
Controversial figure of Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
To better understand the position of the Muslim Brotherhood on violence, allow me to refer to Yusuf al-Qaradawi. This contemporary prominent Muslim theologian substantially influenced the Muslim Brotherhood, and some progressives consider him a bridge between the West and Islam. He also embodies the contradictions of the Muslim Brotherhood’s position on violence.
It is true that Yusuf al-Qaradawi is behind the international condemnation of the events of 11th September in the London news outlet Al-Quds Al-Arabi. At the same time, he is also a supporter of suicide missions in different locations – for instance, in Israel or against a coalition in Iraq.
At the same time, Al-Qaradawi refuses violent confrontation not because he thinks it is inherently wrong but simply because he considers it, under current circumstances, counterproductive to the objectives of the movement. He also voiced that Islam will peacefully conquer Europe one day through missionary endeavours (i.e., Dawa). The degradation of Western tradition is a prominent topic on Al-Qaradawi’s agenda and he is not shy to call, for instance, for the death penalty for homosexuals and defectors.
Generous support from EU budget.
The well-known examples of organizations founded by the Muslim Brotherhood or influenced by their ideology are the already mentioned Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) or the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), which unites organizations associated to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Furthermore, the Federation of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO), which targets students and the youth, also falls under the influence of FIOE. As stressed at the beginning of the article, those organizations are beneficiaries of financial support from public resources and even from the EU budget. And let me say that we are not talking about small coins here.
According to European Commission’s Financial Transparency System, the Islamic Relief’s branch in Germany (Islamic Relief Germany) received more than half a million euros in support in 2019 from the EU budget. In 2018 the Commission paid 400 000 euros to Islamic Relief Worldwide and 340 000 euros to its subsidiary Islamic Relief Germany. Moreover, the Commission supported a thirty-year-long initiative concerning education and training of youth pursued by Islamic Relief Kenya within a framework of a European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
And the money kept flowing.
In 2012 the European Commission co-financed with 70 000 euros a project entitled “Islamophobia Monitoring and Action Network” (IMAN), organized by previously mentioned FEMYSO and Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF).
It is essential to mention here that the French government dissolved CCIF after the murder of Paty due to long-standing Islamist propaganda, relations with jihadists, and radical preachers, who support lapidating, publically spread hateful homophobic and anti-Semitism views, and relativize the terrorist attacks.
Another issue related to CCIF was its reluctance to act against comments, of their supporters on social media, which celebrated the murder of Samuel Paty and other journalists at a weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Anti-radicalization campaign #Heartofdarkness did not go as expected.
Outraged reactions all over Europe followed the launch of ‘The Saffron Project,’ an initiative financed by the European Internal Security Fund. The video of the anti-radicalization campaign Saffron promoted on YouTube entitled “#Heartofdarkness” can be considered more as an attempt to formulate a defence for jihadism and Muslim Brotherhood.
The video, which was supposed to explain the concept of jihad, in reality promoted the Muslim Brotherhood as a pacifist organization. Even the Commission admitted that “it has concerns steaming from # spot7’Jihad video” and #Heartofdarkness campaign.
The Commission subsequently asked for an explanation and threatened that it would “take all the necessary measures if the deficiencies were proven.” This led to the deletion of videos from YouTube. The anti-radicalization campaign ended in this instance in an absolute disgrace since it showed that the people promoting radical views also took part in designing the campaign.
The shameful Turkish study on islamophobia.
Another European Commission scandal in recent years related to its involvement in the Report on Islamophobia for the year 2018, published by Turkish think-tank SETA, well-known for its ties to the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Like every annual report on Islamophobia, that year’s report denounces the critique of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Turkish political party AKP. Different variations of the report were also introduced at the European Parliament by members of political groups S&D and the Greens.
The 2018 edition of the report received financial support of 126 951,81 euros from the European Commission, carried an official flag of the EU, accompanied by the Turkish flag and the title “this project is funded by the European Union.” The report’s publication caused outraged reactions from several sides, including from the Muslim opponents of Islamism and European politicians.
The group of German scientists and Muslim intellectuals denounced, in a letter addressed to Commission’s President Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, the EU support for the report, which under the definition of “islamophobia” lumped right extremists together with reform Muslims.
The group also criticized the faulty methodology of the report, the combination of discrimination against Muslims, and the critique of political Islam under the same denominator of “islamophobia.” They also questioned the legitimacy of financial support provided by the Commission, which was approved by a great spectrum of members of the European parliament, including EPP, ECR, ID, and S&D political groups.
Islamist organization as a guarantee of objectivity.
In 2017, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report entitled “Challenges facing civil society organizations working on human rights in the EU.” The section explaining the study’s methodology reveals that the report was written also based on consultations with experts from civil society. If we look properly among the consulted human rights and “watchdog” organizations, we can also find FEMYSO, which is unpopularly known for one more scandal.
In 2018, the European Parliament organised a “European Youth Event” aimed at all young people in all member states. The event attempted to “introduce and discuss with other participants and with the European decision-makers the ideas to reach changes in Europe,” furthermore to “support the discussion and debate on current topics and future European policies,” and to “facilitate the cultural exchange and present the cultural diversity in Europe.” One of the panels entitled “Safe or free,” dedicated to finding the balance between security and freedom in the EU, was assigned to the Islamist organization FEMYSO.
Stopping the support to Islamists under the disguise of the plurality of expression.
Sceptics must finally acknowledge that even Islamism, which is peaceful on the outside, can pose a severe problem. The supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood share the same mentality as Islamists, who, on the contrary, publicly endorse violence to meet their ends.
They hold views incompatible with the free society and try to spread them. Their goal is to undermine and ultimately destroy democracy in Europe. We should stop supporting Islamists at all levels of European politics and especially those disguised under the “plurality of opinions” movement.
It is not right whatsoever to support those who want to destroy our freedom. Providing financial support and facilitating the public exposure at the EU and all lower levels of governance to organizations influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood is an absurd but sure quest of Europe to self-destruction. Assigning EU funds to people who want to destroy our freedom is ridiculous. We cannot ignore this danger anymore because the future of liberty in entire Europe is at stake.