Israel Update

The Strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood:Not Just Egypt

by Shira Sorko-Ram

Once again we found ourselves glued to the TV as Egyptians rose up against their Pharaoh, crying out for freedom and... JOBS! Who could resist feeling compassion for these citizens who wanted a chance to pursue a better life? To find an exit from virtual serfdom and destitution? Out of this emotional and wrenching upheaval, Western politicians and the media began to hope and pray for a miracle, a western-type “instant democracy.”

Western columnists happily pointed out that few very few protesters were burning U.S. and Israeli flags. Indeed, most of the demonstrators were peaceful. All these were hopeful signs. However, the plain truth is, to implement real reforms in Egypt would mean that the values found in the Islamic religion and its society would have to change.

Instead, Israeli strategists fear that Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood will blend into the state’s political system, gain international legitimacy through the corrupt agencies of the U.N., harness the state’s mechanisms to win hearts and minds and eventually take over exactly what happened in Iran. (Jerusalem Post, 28Feb11)

ARAB PERCEPTION OF DEMOCRACY: STUDENTS AND DEMOCRACY

Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz interviewed the renowned British-American scholar of Islamic studies, Bernard Lewis, about Muslims’ perception of freedom and democracy. His insight is fascinating. He asserts that democracy is a political concept that has no history, no record whatsoever in the Arab, Islamic world.

In the West, he says, “we tend to get excessively concerned with elections, regarding the holding of elections as the purest expression of democracy, as the climax of the process of democratization.” However, he warns, “consider, for example, that democracy was fairly new in Germany after World War I, and Hitler came to power in a free and fair election.”

Lewis believes that immediate elections in Egypt will lead to disaster.

“The religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque” which no other political group can hope to equal. “Secondly, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.”

A much better course, says Lewis, “would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through local self-governing institutions. For that, there is a real tradition in Arab culture.” (Ibid., 25Feb11)

IF THE BROTHERHOD TAKES OVER

As for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Lewis warns, “I don’t think it is in any sense benign. I think it is a very dangerous, radical Islamic movement. If they obtain power, the consequence would be disastrous for Egypt.” “If that happens,” Lewis states, “they would gradually sink back into medieval squalor. Remember that according to their own statistics, the total exports of the entire Arab world other than fossil fuels amount to less than those of Finland, one small European country. Sooner or later the oil age will come to an end... In that case it’s easy to imagine a situation in which Africa north of the Sahara becomes not unlike Africa south of the Sahara.” (Ibid., 25Feb11)

Boaz Ganor, head of an Israeli think tank, agrees that “Egypt is not an inch nearer to a liberal democratic government than it was before the riots began.” Without education of democratic values, without liberal reform, the emancipation of women and the observing of human rights, including religious rights, the pseudodemocratic processes Egypt is currently experiencing will ultimately promote the interests of Islamist elements. (Ibid., 28Feb11)

Meanwhile the Egyptian Brotherhood is faithfully following its well-known strategy as planned. Its leaders have sized up the current situation thus: Egyptians are not happy with Israel, but they are not ready for a war. They are more interested in stability. So for now, sit tight.

Decades ago, the Muslim Brotherhood decided to avoid the path of instant Jihad for the purpose of removing Arab regimes from power, choosing instead to patiently invest in charities, schools and hospitals in poor areas and to spread its Islamist ideology quietly, waiting for an opportunity to leverage its support base.

A spokesman for the Egyptian Brotherhood was even allowed to speak to an Israeli journalist. He was reassuring: “We are not going to declare war on anybody. Egypt has many internal problems that need to be solved before we can look to project our power abroad. We need to judge those that punished our society,” he said, referring to ministers in former dictator Hosni Mubarak’s cabinet. “Our position on the [Israeli-Egyptian] peace treaty is well known, but we have other priorities.” (The Jerusalem Report, 14Mar11)

On the other hand, Al-Qaida’s strategy is to move quickly and violently into countries in chaos, such as what Libya is experiencing. Dislodging the regimes of Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and others and replacing them by force with an Islamic super state a caliphate has most definitely been the preliminary objective of al-Qaida for more than two decades.

However, unlike al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood views democracy as a front gate to power. It stands a far better chance of profiting from recent events than the militant al-Qaida radicals. (J.P. 25Feb11)

The Brotherhood has always had patience. They are absolutely convinced that time is on their side, and they will ultimately win. Undoubtedly there are groups within the Brotherhood that disagree on the preferred means to achieve their goal, but they do not disagree about the objective.

The ultimate goal for Egyptian revolution is the formation of an Islamic nation ruled by Sharia law. (Ibid.,28Feb11) And their worldwide goal exactly the same as al-Qaida’s has been, is and will be to usher in a global Islamic caliphate.

The Brotherhood is pleased to let the “seculars” secure the beachhead first. For example, a secular activist, Ayman Nour, who spent time in jail under Mubarak, and actually ran for president in 2005, is calling for an annulment of the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty, and the closing down of the gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel.

Why should the Brotherhood do anything but continue preaching from the mosques and developing their community organizing?

THE IRANIAN LESON

The greatest nightmare for every democratic nation is a duplicate of the Iranian revolution. How in the world did such a disaster happen?

First of all, a secular, reform-minded prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, was installed after the Shah fled. Bakhtiar had spent six years in jail under the Shah. In the first month as premier of Iran, Bakhtiar ordered all political inmates to be freed, lifted censorship of newspapers, relaxed martial law, ordered the dissolving of SAVAK (the former regime’s secret police) and requested that the opposition give him three months to hold elections for a constituent assembly that would decide the fate of the monarchy and determine the future form of government for Iran.

His fatal mistake was to invite the Ayatollah Khomeini to return home from his banishment in Paris. The prime minister then lasted a total of 36 days before he was dumped and the Ayatollah installed himself by popular acclamation.

Islamic extremists, if given the chance, win.

In many ways, Mubarak’s overthrow is a waving red flag for Israel. Egyptian natural gas, pumped through a pipeline, produces 20% of Israel’s electricity. A takeover by Islamists will sooner or later end the supply of natural gas from Egypt. Providentially, I believe, immense gas fields have lately been discovered off the coast of Israel.

However, Israel’s government will have to offer more incentives to lure foreign investment from the U.S. and Europe for the billions of dollars needed to develop the potential fields.

What seems almost certain is that the next Egyptian government will be less pro-American. That in itself will directly endanger the security of the U.S. due to the important intelligence gathering and operational role Mubarak had been leading against global Jihad. Mubarak fell, not only because of his corrupt government, but because he was perceived as being pro-American. Obviously the next Egyptian president will also be less pro-Israeli.

The new Egyptian opposition leaders are currently demanding the opening up of their border with Gaza meaning a massive flow of weapons into Gaza. Already ten Hamas terrorist leaders escaped Egyptian jails during the riots and are now back in Gaza.

Undoubtedly, a destabilized Egypt could mean Israel’s southwestern border could become the scene for renewed military conflict. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor and prominent advocate for Israel’s right to exist, told the Jerusalem Post that “Israel must prepare for a worst-case scenario, because neither Israel nor the U.S. has much influence over unfolding events.”

Israel will have to create a much larger and stronger Israeli army. It will have to invest far more money and the defense budget will go up dramatically. The result is that we cannot develop our economy and society the way we had expected, but must invest much more in defense.” (Ibid., 2Mar11)

The one strongest restraint on Egypt would be the loss of $1.5 billion in foreign aid from the U.S. if they break the peace treaty with Israel.

FALL ELECTIONS FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT

The Brotherhood has stated that they do not plan to present their own candidate for Egypt’s upcoming elections. Nevertheless, both of the two names being tossed around for the next president are known for their anti-American, anti-Israel stances, and are considered a good fit for the Brotherhood.

The second, Amr Moussa, often a scathing critic of Israel and the West as head of the 22-member Arab bloc in the U.N. for ten years, enjoys even wider popularity in Egypt and would certainly continue to be hostile to the U.S and Israel.

But the U.S. administration is still locked into the mentality that Islam is a religion of peace. Isi Leibler, an international Jewish leader from Australia, says that to apply such a blithely generalized descriptive term to Islam as practiced in the 21st century is really like saying that pigs can fly.

Western democratic leaders must come to their senses and recognize that the ongoing appeasement of our “engagement” with radical Islamic forces poses a real threat to the future of Western civilization.

Here’s what the indomitable Israeli strategic analyst Barry Rubin has to say to President Obama and the West. You want a foreign policy that backs freedom? Stop supporting upheavals in the relatively moderate Muslim states friendly to the West. Help the rebels in the radical states hostile to the West. Mr. Obama, here’s a start for you. Down with Ahmadinejad! Down with Bashar al-Assad! (Syria) Down with Hezbollah, Iran-Syrian puppet regime in Lebanon! Down with the Islamist government in Turkey! Down with the repressive, terrorist Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip! Rubin adds, “That should be enough to keep Western policy busy for a while!” (Ibid., 6Mar11)

Their strategic documents are published only in Arabic.

At the trial of the United States vs. The Holy Land Foundation, a handbook presented as U.S. prosecutors’ evidence was translated from Arabic. It outlined the strategy of the Brotherhoods’ goal of converting the U.S. into an Islamic nation through sabotage and subterfuge.

“The Ikhwan [Brotherhood member] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (Cataloged as “Exhibit 003-0085” by the U.S. federal government.)

A GLIMPSE INTO THE EGYPTIAN MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD [AL-IKHWAN]

- Created in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, to promote Islamic Sharia law in opposition to social injustice.

- Al-Banna’s credo: “Allah is our objective; the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.

- Widely distributes Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Arab translations, deepening the already existing hostile views of Jews.

- After WWII, it spread throughout the Arab nations, incorporating thousands of Nazi experts into the Egyptian and Syrian armies and governments.

- Assassinated Egypt’s Prime Minister in 1948.

- Attempted assassination of president Gamal al-Nasser in 1954. Nasser then executed its leaders and imprisoned thousands of its members.

- Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel and began releasing imprisoned members of Brotherhood. Was assassinated in 1981 by a jihadist an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

- In 1980, attempted to assassinate the President of Syria, who then wiped out the Syrian branch. Survivors fled to other countries.

- Currently a serious danger to the moderate King of Jordan the second Arab country that made peace with Israel, seeking every opportunity to gain ground, while the Jordanian king works to keep a lid on their growing power. Of special significance to Israel, because Jordan has the longest border with the Jewish state of any other nation.

- Exists as a strong force in every Arab nation.

- In Egypt it dominates the professional and student associations, and is famous for its network of social services in neighborhoods and villages.

- Is the only organized opposition to former president Mubarak’s government.

- Has branches in 70 countries. Exists as a militant clandestine group, and claims to have taken part in most pro-Islamic conflicts. Organizes school students, university students, operates inside mosques and the workplace.

- Unites with leftists and unions until strong enough to expel them.

- Since 2005 has become a significant movement online.

- Uses Internet, CDs, booklets, camps for youth and university students, and, of course, sermons live and on radio and TV.


Thank you for your fervent prayers,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram



Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram are the founders of Maoz Israel Ministries. The mission of MAOZ is: 1) To declare the Message of Messiah and make disciples in the city of Tel Aviv and throughout Israel. 2) To raise up Israeli leaders to prepare for the coming spiritual awakening among the people of Israel. 3) To educate and inform Christians world-wide of the strategic importance of Israel and the Jewish people in God's plan for world revival. The MAOZ web site is http://www.maozisrael.org/.

 

All active news articles