|Cartoon from Danish newspaper|
And the award for turning Islam into one of the fastest growing, most influential, and most intimidating religious movements in the world goes to… the Muslim Brotherhood.
|Sheikh Ali al-Hudaify|
Ironically, while Europe is obstinately ignoring or kowtowing the growing power of radical Islam and the MB, State Department communications revealed by Wikileaks in November and December 2010 show that Arab leaders in the Middle East have voiced increasing alarm at the spread of the MB’s radical Islamic worldview is spreading.
|President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali|
|Hamid bin Khalifa al Thani|
The MB describes itself as a political and social revolutionary movement; it was founded in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna, who objected to Western influence and together with MB’s most influential ideologues Sayyid Qutb , called for return to the earliest days of Islam as a model for society. MB is an expansive and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries, dedicated to creating a global Islamic order that would discriminate against women and punish nonbelievers. Its members and supporters founded and funded al Qaeda, Hamas, and other radical Muslim terror groups, as well as Muslim student organizations on six continents, including one “of the largest college student groups in the United States.”
A prolific writer, who for decades holds the directorship of Qatar University's Seerah and Sunnah Centre, Qaradawi is hailed as one of the leading modern Islamic scholars. He is the founder of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and was twice offered the leadership of the MB. He rejected the offers, explaining in 2004 that he could not commit to “any movement which might constrain my actions, even if this is the Muslim Brotherhood under whose umbrella I grew and which I so defended.” In 2006 he clarified that although the MB consider him “their Mufti” but that he “prefer[ed] to be devoted to the entire nation.” Qaradawi was banned from entering the U.S. in 1999.
Adhering to the MB ideology, which calls on the Muslims to rid themselves of non-Islamic rule, Qaradawi has advocated suicide bombing as “martyrdom in the name of God,” and the killing of American and coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, he issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from buying or even advertising American or Israeli products. Qaradawi issues many fatwas on his popular website www.qaradawi.net; on another website he helped found in 1997, IslamOnline, as well as on his al Jazeera prime-time television program, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat, “Shariah and Life,” allegedly reaching 40 million viewers. Wikileaks cables confirmed that Qatar uses the Doha-based al Jazeera as “a useful tool” to advance its political agenda.
Another recent example of the Qaradawi-Qatari partnership to increase Islamic influence and expand its reach is found in the Qatar Foundation’s Education City, a multi-billion mega-complex housing a combination of Qatari and prestigious American institutions.
The Qatar Foundation was established by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar in 1995, and is currently headed by his wife, Shikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned. American universities lured to Qatar by massive financial incentives include Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Georgetown, Virginia Commonwealth, and Cornell. For instance, the Qatar Foundation covers the costs of A&M at Education City, and pledged $750 million to the branch of Cornell’s medical college. Qatar continues its effort to attract additional prominent American and European academic institutions.
Qatari money and academic ties provide but one of many means for the spread of Muslim Brotherhood influence, which is becoming pervasive in the Western world, which allows the burgeoning network of Islamic organizations and charities to operate.
But Islamic banking was slow to catch on until 1993, when Anwar Ibrahim—then Malaysia’s finance minister, and current opposition leader—helped to introduce the newly invented “Islamic Banking windows” into conventional banks. This measure helped familiarized potential customers with and built confidence in the unknown Islamic banking system. Indeed, it proved central to the development of the global Islamic finance industry. Anwar constant support and advocacy of Islamic rule led Qaradawi, his friend and business partner, to join the list of prominent Western leaders who publically defend the Malay politician, who is on trial for sodomy and corruption charges, which he denies.
Anwar and Qaradawi share substantial business ties: in 1996, Anwar licensed company headed by Qaradawi and transferred it to Malaysia. The company, Majestic Global Investment is Kuwaiti fund management business. Both Anwar and Qaradawi serve on the board of the MB affiliated, Virginia based International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which Anwar helped to found.
Another Western media darling, Tariq Ramadan, who is prominent advocate of the MB agenda, found a permanent house at Oxford’s St. Anthony’s College. Ramadan, Hassan al Banna’s grandson, was banned from entering the U.S. until January 19, 2010, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, issued an executive order allowing his entry to the country. Clinton who pressured the Malaysian government on behalf of Anwar, considers him a reformer and an exemplary moderate Muslim.