In early September, demonstrators stormed the Sacramento office of California Governor Jerry Brown, in a raucous protest in support of California AB 953, an “anti-racial profiling” bill. The demonstration was supported by the local and state Council on American Islamic Relations chapters, CAIR-Sacramento Valley, and CAIR-California. During the protest, demonstrators took over the governor’s office chanting slogans, including, reportedly, “This is what a pharaoh looks like.”
While seemingly an odd statement to make in the midst of an American political demonstration, with the presence of Hamas-linked, Muslim Brotherhood front CAIR, the chant takes on a disturbing, and potentially deadly connotation.
For the Muslim Brotherhood, a “pharaoh” denotes a secular dictator, or “taghut”, comparable to the Egyptian rulers from the time of Jahiliyyah, that is the period of pre-Islamic ignorance before the coming of Mohammad and the revelation of the Quran.
This is most simply demonstrated from the words of Khalid Islambouli, the assassin of Anwar Sadat, who yelled, “Death to Pharaoh!” before opening fire. As recently as 2008, Iranian television unveiled a documentary, “Assassination of a Pharaoh” in honor of the killer.
Nor is this the only significant reference to the Muslim Brotherhood using the term. “Return of the Pharaoh,” a prison memoir regarding the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood under Gamal Abdel Nasser, was authored by Muslim Sister Zainab Al Ghazali, a contemporary of Sayyid Qutb. Al Ghazali’s book remains an important textbook for Muslim Brothers, even in the United States, where it was prominently featured on 2010 Tarbiyah Handbook issued by the Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
The term is also used by chief Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, in his 1990 work “The Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase,” where he writes:
“The most serious danger threatening the Muslim Ummah and the Islamic Movement is the rule of the Pharaohs who believe that their opinion is infallible and is right itself that can never go wrong.” (Qaradawi, pg. 189)
March 10th, 2003, Qaradawi would announce in a sermon, “America is the Pharaoh of the new era, and the greatest deceiver in the world, killing people and assassinating them without properly charging them… ” Ten days later, on March 24th,2003, Qaradawi issued a fatwa legitimating as martyrs those who died fighting Americans in Iraq.
In a 2011 fatwa, Qaradawi invoked Pharaoh while discussing when “moderates” (such as himself) viewed Offensive Jihad as legitimate, saying:
1- To ensure the freedom to propagate the call to Islam, to prevent fitna in the religion (of Islam), and to remove the physical obstacles which prevent the call to Islam from reaching the multitudes of people. This was the reason for the conquests of the rightly-guided (caliphs) and the companions (of the Prophet), as well as those who followed them in righteousness. (They fought) to remove the power of the tyrants who controlled the necks and minds of men, and who said what Pharaoh said (Ed. emphasis added) to those of his people who believed (in Islam): “Have you believed before I gave you permission to believe?” This is the embodiment of the goal expressed in the saying of the Almighty: “Fight them on until there is no more fitna.”
On July 18th, 2013, following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie labeled Egyptian Army leader Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, “worse than Pharaoh...” Three days later on July 21st, Qaradawi declared that those who had overthrown Morsi had disobeyed a legitimate Islamic ruler, and could be killed.
The Center for Security Policy has been noting with concern the influence of Muslim Brotherhood-related groups within ongoing anti-police protests, beginning with CAIR’s involvement with the Ferguson protests in November of last year. CAIR officials at the time had compared the events in Ferguson to the FBI shooting which killed Luqman Abdullah, a Detroit area Imam tied to convicted cop killer Imam Jamil Abdullah Amin (AKA H.Rap Brown).
As events in Ferguson reached a fever pitch, a supporter of Al-Amin, Zale Thompson, assaulted two NYPD officers with a hatchet, while another Amin supporter, Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabber, was arrested in December for threatening police officers over Ferguson.
CAIR continues to publicly promote its role in the Black Lives Matter movement. In July CAIR National attorney Jennifer Wicks said that BLM was “absolutely intertwined with the Muslim community.”
Law enforcement and intelligence officials should recognize that the phrase “Pharaoh” carries with it significant ideological overtones, and if invoked by a Muslim Brotherhood associated organization may be suggestive of future violence, as demonstrated above.