What is the Muslim Brotherhood and why is it dangerous?

With the Muslim Brotherhood in the news these days, maybe we should find out who they are and why they are dangerous.

CHARLOTTENovember 30, 2012 — The Muslim Brotherhood is in the news again. The Brotherhood has played a role in talks between the Hamas and Israel, and last week Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, a longtime leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a decree that makes his power absolute, sparking large protests against Morsi and the Brotherhood in Tahrir Square.

But what is the Muslim Brotherhood, and why does it poses a threat to the West? Let us put the Muslim Brotherhood in historical context, limited though it must be.

In 1744, Muhammad ibn Saud was the ruler of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia. Diriyah was situated near the modern day capital of Riyadh. It was Saud’s goal to unite the desert Bedouin tribes in an effort to gain control of the region.

At the same time, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab had designs for returning the Arabian Peninsula to the purest form of Islam as taught by the Prophet Muhammad.

When Saud realized that an alliance with Wahhab could achieve his goal of unification by legitimizing his cause as a jihad, or holy war for religious purposes, the two men made a political-religious pact which established the first Saudi state. In exchange for protection and freedom to spread the ferocious ancient social code of the Prophet, Wahhab gave Saud the legitimate justification he required for a holy war.

Over time, a group called the Ikhwan gradually emerged, its identity based on literal interpretations of the Koran as taught by Wahhab. Eventually the Ikhwan demanded that its followers live according to the strictest definitions of Islam as practiced in the 7th century.

Being comprised mostly of uneducated, poor desert dwellers living in a savage climate and without comprehensive knowledge of Islam, the Bedouin tribes began to exhibit a fanaticism about their newfound religion as it applied to their daily lives.

In the early part of the 20th century, one zealous follower of Wahhabi doctrines was Muhammad Rashid Rida, who partnered with Muhammad Abduh, his mentor, to initiate Islamic reforms in Cairo.

Not only did Rida fiercely defend the tenets of Wahhabism, he also had intense admiration for the militaristic heritage of Islam. 

By 1928, four years after the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate, one of Rida’s students, Hasa al-Banna, began calling for a revival of Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt. As part of al-Banna’s goal of preventing Egypt from adopting a secular constitution, he founded an organization that would restore Islam’s political agenda.

The group was called Ikhwan al-Muslimun. We know it today as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Using the life of the Prophet Muhammad as their historical template, the Muslim Brotherhood adopted a creed which states, “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; struggle is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

By the 1960s, a prolific philosopher and writer named Sayyid (which means “Chief” in Arabic) Qutb became the most important figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. Though Qutb was eventually executed by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, he was an international figure whose writings included a six-volume analysis of the Koran.

Qutb was vehemently against Western values after living in the United States for several years. He claimed that Western civilization was in a state of spiritual darkness known as jahilia. According to Qutb, Muhammad had eliminated that spiritual darkness. “Man is at the crossroads and that is the choice: Islam or jahilia,” he wrote.

Through the beliefs of Sayyid Qutb, the concept of Islam as a “religion of peace” evolved. For most of us, the idea of “religion of peace” means something entirely different than Qutb’s interpretation.

Qutb believed that a clash of civilizations would occur between the West and Islam and that ultimately Islam would prevail. According to Qutb, when Islam becomes the dominant force in the world, “peace” will be the result. When Islam is in control, the world will be at peace, thus Islam is the religion of peace.

With the fall of Mohammar Qaddaffi and Hosni Mubarak, the Obama administration proudly proclaimed the dawn of a new day of democracy in the Middle East. Obama made an eloquent speech in Cairo and later bragged vociferously about killing Osama bin Laden, but since then the Middle East has become a raging inferno.

More recently, Hillary Clinton very publicly claimed to have brokered a truce between Hamas and Israel even though the treaty was agreed upon before she arrived in the region.

While establishing the deal however, Clinton negotiated with Mohamed Morsi, the new Egyptian president. Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has since become a modern day “pharaoh.”

Time and again we have been told that the Muslim Brotherhood has become a “moderate” organization as it continues to follow the creed established in the middle of the last century: “struggle is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 70 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

 

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