Tag Archives: Yusuf al Qaradawi

CAIR Supporters Issued Threat at Black Lives Matter Protest

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.

The Islamic Society of Boston’s Building Controversy

In January 2000, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved a request by the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) to build a mosque and community center in a multi-faceted project. The two parties entered into a Land Disposition Agreement on May 16, 2003, outlining the terms of the agreement and setting up a timetable for the project’s completion.

The building of the mosque and community center was intended to be completed in two phases. The Center for Security Policy has obtained a copy of the original Land Disposition Agreement, which outlines the phases as such:

“Phase 1” shall mean that portion of the Improvements consisting of the mosque, cultural center, parking and landscaping.

“Phase 2” shall mean that portion of the Improvements consisting of the school and underground parking.

The Improvements to be completed by the ISB were defined as “a mosque, cultural center, school, landscaping and related improvements, to be accomplished by the Redeveloper [ISB] pursuant to the Final Working Drawings and Specifications.”

According to the Land Disposition Agreement, the ISB was to begin construction on Phase I within 60 days of obtaining the deed to the land, and construction for Phase II was supposed to begin within five years of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the construction completed under Phase I. Construction for Phase I was to take no longer than 19 months and construction for Phase II was to be completed within 7 years of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy following Phase I. The certificate of occupancy for Phase I was issued in 2008.

Before the Land Disposition Agreement was ever signed, the mosque came under scrutiny. The ISB was founded in the 1980s and began looking to relocate its facilities in the 1990s before eventually reaching an agreement with the BRA to purchase a plot of land known as Parcel R-14. Parcel R-14 is located in Roxbury and is across the street from the Roxbury Community College (RCC).

In 2002, when William Sapers, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Roxbury Community College Foundation, learned of the ISB’s plans to construct a mosque and community center next to the RCC, he became worried due to the ISB’s connections to terrorism. Throughout the next few years, he successfully raised public awareness of these ties to terror, and he was actually sued by the ISB for defamation. Sapers took particular issue with the amount of money the ISB paid for Parcel R-14, which was valued at approximately $401,000 but was purchased for $175,000. The mosque was given the plot for a reduced price with the understanding that money it did not spend would go back to the community and the RCC in the form of services provided.

Although Phase I of the building was eventually completed, the BRA has made multiple concessions to the ISB rather than forcing it to complete construction within the original guidelines outlined by the Land Disposition Agreement. Part of the ISB’s plan for Parcel R-14 was to build a school and a high capacity parking garage. (A smaller parking garage was built in Phase I.) According to a memorandum from August 2013, these were originally intended to be built within three years of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for construction from Phase I, which would have meant that they would be completed by the end of 2011. However, the ISB was given until December 31, 2016 to begin the construction for this project.

According to the terms of the original Land Disposition Agreement, Phase II should have been completed by this year, meaning that the ISB should have finished the building of the school and the parking garage. The source for the Center for Security Policy, who provided the copy of the Land Disposition Agreement and a number of other documents, said that the construction of this parking garage was an important part of the original deal between the BRA and the ISB because the Roxbury Crossing area of Boston does not have enough parking spaces to accommodate its population. The ISB has over 1,000 people attend Friday prayers each week so a full-capacity parking garage on the site of the new mosque and center would undoubtedly alleviate regular parking problems. Additionally, the ISB’s proximity to the RCC would help the college as well.

According to the Center for Security Policy’s source, the ISB tried to convince the then-president of the RCC to allow them to build an above-ground parking garage on one of the RCC’s existing parking lots. This was unsuccessful, in large part due to William Sapers’ scrutiny of the ISB’s connections to terrorism. A copy of an amendment issued in January 2014 to the Land Disposition Agreement was provided to the Center for Security Policy, in which the BRA agreed to extend the deadline for the beginning of Phase II construction to December 31, 2016.

As outlined above, the ISB successfully postponed the beginning of construction for both aspects of Phase II until the end of 2016. Should it fail to procure proper funding and begin construction, it will face sanctions and possible court action.

The ISB is moving to complete Phase II, and has plans, according to email correspondence obtained by the Center for Security Policy, to create a school of higher learning called the American Islamic Institute (AII). The Center for Security Policy’s source provided a copy of a flier for an information session for AII held at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) mosque in Roxbury.

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The AII is proposed as a $15 million facility. It will not be easy for the ISB to obtain such large funds. Phase I construction cost $15.5 million, $8.6 million of which came in donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. The ISB now has a year and a half to raise $15 million, yet the highest income flow rate the ISB ever experienced in a year-and-a-half period was $4.2 million in 2004-2005. The majority of that income at that time came from the Gulf. Yet Saudi Arabia is now strategically opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose activists in America founded the ISB. The United Arab Emirates, another large source of donations for the ISB, has actually declared the Muslim American Society – the group that manages the ISBCC mosque – as a terrorist entity. It is hard to see how the ISB can raise more than triple the amount of its best historical haul after having lost favor with its former Gulf patrons.

Interestingly, the ISB doesn’t mention its financial obligations to the City of Boston or even the fact that it must build a parking garage in any of the AII fundraising materials obtained by the Center for Security Policy.

William Sapers’ suspicions of the ISB were not wrong: together, the ISB and the ISBCC are known to have extensive connections to terrorism. Both have ties to the Muslim American Society, described as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood. A 1991 memorandum by the Brotherhood outlined its goal to wage “civilization jihad” against Western targets, seeking to undermine Western society in preparation for future violent jihad.

The ISB’s first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, is a Muslim Brother and convicted Al Qaeda financier.

Mosque member Aafia Siddiqui was arrested in Afghanistan for plotting to attack New York City, and she tried to grab a rifle and attack military officers and FBI agents in prison.

Member Tarek Mehanna travelled to Yemen to receive terrorist training and plotted to attack a Boston mall; his co-conspirator, Ahmed Abousamra, was wanted by the FBI until he was killed in an airstrike in Syria last month while serving with the Islamic State. Jamal Badawi, a member of the ISB’s board of trustees, was cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-funding trial. Yousef al-Qaradawi, another member of the board of trustees, is the Chief jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood and head of the Union of Good, which finances Hamas. Usaama Rahim, the Boston man who tried to attack police officers with a machete last month, was connected to the ISBCC through his brother, a former imam in its Ella Collins Institute. Additionally, the ISB was attended by the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

Given the ISB’s ties to terror, one must wonder why the city of Boston allowed it to purchase and develop Parcel R-14 in the first place. The ISB was allowed to purchase the land cheaply because it would make up for the difference between value and cost through contributions to the community, but it instead it has brought indoctrination to violence and terrorism to the city.

Additionally, one must question why the ISB has been unable to meet the contractual obligations outlined in the Land Disposition Agreement; an organization that cannot meet its deadlines and pay its bills should not be given leniency.

Boston should use the ISB’s inability to honor its contracts as a means to dismantle the mosque from within.

Chattanooga Shooter’s Link to Al Qaeda Cleric Matters

The media is now reporting that the Chattanooga shooter who killed five U.S. service members outside of the recruiting stations where they worked, was inspired by influential Al Qaeda cleric, the late and unlamented Anwar Al-Awlaki. Muhammed Yusuf Abdulazeez watched the cleric’s videos beginning in 2013, years prior to the attack.  ABC News reports:

Video tapes of Anwar al-Awlaki, the high-profile American al Qaeda cleric and recruiter, have circulated on the internet and have been popular in jihadist circles long after al-Awlaki’s death by American drone strike in September 2011.

Monday U.S. officials told ABC News that in 2013 Abdulazeez did online research for militant Islamist “guidance” on committing violence. The Internet searches were discovered on electronic devices such as his smartphone analyzed over the weekend by the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia, several counter-terrorism officials confirmed to ABC News.

Prior to becoming famous as an Al Qaeda ideologue, Awlaki was the President of the Colorado State Muslim Students Association (MSA). The MSA is the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in the United States, and a known incubator of “radicalization.” Awlaki was a major supporter of jihadist ideologue, and Al Qaeda and Hamas co-founder Abdullah Azzam.

Awlaki would go one to become the Imam of the Ribat Mosque, where he would meet, counsel and aid two of the 9/11 hijackers. The FBI would uncover evidence tying him to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas fundraising group, the Holy Land Foundation, amid reports of meeting with associates of Bin Laden. He would become the Imam of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Dar al Hijrah Mosque.  He would serve as vice president for the Charitable Society For Social Welfare, run by Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood leading cleric and Al Qaeda linked Abdul Majid Al Zindani, who is also affiliated with the Union of the Good, the Hamas terror finance network run by Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, and of which the Holy Land Foundation was the U.S. representative.

Upon Awlaki leaving the United States, he would guest lecture for Muslim Brotherhood affiliate the Muslim Association of Britain, in the United Kingdom, before eventually traveling to Yemen to formally join Al Qaeda.

Al-Awlaki has provided the ideological guidance for more than a dozen terrorist plots, including most notably, the Fort Hood attack by Major Nidal Hassan. In that case, despite having intercepted Hassan’s communications prior to the attack, the FBI determined that numerous conversations with the known Al Qaeda leader, including one where Hassan referenced suicide bombings,  was “not pertinent” to their investigation.

The media now appears set to do the same thing, having apparently ruled Abdulazeez’s viewing of Awlaki’s jihadist indoctrination videos “not pertinent” in the Chattanooga shooting, as they remain fixated on stories of Abdulazeez’ depression and alcohol abuse being disseminated by family spokespeople.

The reality is that the introduction of Awlaki into Abdulazeez’s indoctrination process is extremely important, and shouldn’t be dismissed as “general jihad propaganda“, as Reuters reported.

As we have previously noted, Abdulazeez’s mosque, the Islamic Society of Greater  Chattanooga (ISGC) had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and openly advertised a connection to Qaradawi in a 2009 fundraising power-point which made obscure references to Jihad. If Abdulazeez was receiving the kind of Muslim Brotherhood style indoctrination and training, known as tarbiyah, at ISGC as has been seen at other MB-linked mosques, it would be logical that he would seek out jihadist ideologues like Awlaki to emulate.

To stop the spread of jihad, it’s vital to investigate and take on the Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosques and organizations which are indoctrinating young people, preparing them to act on the “general jihadist propaganda”.

Chattanooga Shooter’s Mosque Fundraised on Behalf of Jihad in 2009

As we reported Friday, the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga (ISGC) is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood through the Hamas-linked North American Islamic Trust (NAIT.) Now new evidence has been revealed showing that ISGC actually raised funds for the building of their new mosque in 2009, by referencing jihad and key Muslim Brotherhood figures.

According to a 2009 Iftar fundraising dinner slide show, first apparently noticed by Twitter user @alimhaider, contained an overt reference to key Muslim Brotherhood figure Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The title of the slide, “In the cause of Allah” is an English translation of Fi Sabil Allah, as in the phrase “Jihad Fisabilallah”, which means violent jihad against unbelievers. Classic Islamic law reference book, the Reliance of the Traveller, notes in its index, “Fisabilallah: See Jihad”. There is no other reasonable interpretation of the phrase in context.

The reference to jihad in the fundraiser related to the Mosque, was done as a means of explaining that a contribution to the building of the mosque qualified under “Zakat” (annual tithe which is obligatory in Islam), under the category of funding Jihad.


Reliance of the Traveller notes, “The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration)…”

The slide “Cause of Allah” references Yusuf Al Qaradawi, and S.A.A. Maududi, founder of Pakistani Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. Both Qaradawi and Maududi are prolific on the subject of Jihad.

Qaradawi has been noted for his avid support for the terrorist group Hamas and their jihad against Israel, including issuing fatwas authorizing suicide bombing, and has supported jihadist movements in Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and most recently in Egypt. Qaradawi is the leader of the Hamas financing network known as the “Union of the Good”, which utilizes Zakat funds received by its charities in order to support Hamas.

In his work, “Islamic Education and Hassan Al Banna,” Qaradawi discusses how it was the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) which revitalized the classical concept of Jihad for a modern age:

The aspect of Ikhwani training which makes it eminent and unique is Jehad or crusade i e. : Crusader·like training…The real implication of · Jehad (crusade) had been dismissed from Islamic training and way of life, before its conception among the lkhwans.

And in his “Priorities of the Movement in the Coming phase” Qaradawi says:

…it is a duty to defend every land invaded by infidels, stating that such jihad is imperative for Muslims in this land as an individual obligation and that all Muslims must support them with money, arms and men as required until all their land has been liberated from any aggressor who usurps it. Therefore, the Islamic Movement cannot stand idle and watch while any part of Muslim land is occupied by a foreign aggressor.

The other modern Islamic scholar referenced by the document, Maulana S.A.A. Maududi, was famous for successfully merging classical Islamic concepts of Jihad with a modernist language of revolution. He noted the following in his work “Jihad in Islam”:

It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of the Islamic ‘ Jihād’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single state or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. Although in the initial stages it is incumbent upon members of the party of Islam to carry out a revolution in the State system of the countries to which they belong, but their ultimate objective is no other than to effect a world revolution.

So the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga announced in 2009 that it openly aligned its views of Jihad with the views of Qaradawi and Maududi, and told its Muslim congregants that donating to the construction of ISGC was permissible, because it represented funding jihad.

Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Yusuf Abdulazeez and his family were regular attendees as ISGC. Despite claims by the mosque leadership that Abdulazeez was a rare attendee or little known there, a photo from a family Facebook account shows that Abdulazeez held his graduation party at the mosque, and that it was well attended, indicating they were well known regulars.

This fundraising document was publicly available information, three years before U.S. District Attorney William Killian attended the grand opening in 2012 and expressed his friendship with a mosque leadership who built their mosque with a promise that funding them represented an investment in jihad.

Now that investment appears to have matured.

U.S. District Attorney William Killian should recuse himself from this case, because of his association with ISGC, and the investigators must begin to conduct a detailed and through investigation of ISGC itself, and what role its support for violent jihad may have played in the attack in Chattanooga which claimed the lives of five servicemen.

German Intelligence Report Confirms CSP Report on Brotherhood Role in Anti-Israel Protests

A recent article in the Jerusalem Post cites a recent German Intelligence report warning that hundreds of Hezbollah and Hamas operatives are present in Germany, and playing a role in stoking anti-Israel protests and tensions there. In particular the report, authored by Germany’s internal security agency known as Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) notes approximately 300 Hamas members present in Germany, and played a role in orchestrating anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas protests during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge:

“Hamas was successful” in mobilizing its organization and people outside of its core support to participate in anti-Israel protests, the BfV report said. There was “public anti-semitism at pro-Palestinian demonstrations” against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, the agency said, adding, “It was noticeable that a large number of mostly young people with an immigrant background expressed themselves in an anti-Semitic and hate-filled way.”

This analysis by German intelligence serves as confirmation of a Center for Security Policy product produced during Operation Protective Edge, which cited the ability of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations to carry out mass protests on behalf of Hamas, some of which turned violent, in both Europe and the United States.

That report, entitled, “Command and Control The International Union of Muslim Scholars, The Muslim Brotherhood, and The Call for Global Intifada during Operation Protective Edge,” examined how instructions and messaging for Brotherhood activities flowed out of the pronouncements by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. The Center’s piece concluded:

An examination suggests that both the timing, and the content of numerous worldwide Gaza protests do indeed correspond with the timing and nature of the declarations issued by Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and echoed by formal Muslim Brotherhood channels regarding Operation: Protective Edge. In all cases there are signs of support for jihad, and specifically support for Hamas, and in many cases, the Muslim Brotherhood more generally. In cases where speakers’ statements could be acquired, there was a correlation with themes expressed by Qaradawi. In numerous cases protest organizers included groups with known ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood, and in some cases, direct ties to organizations established or affiliated with Qaradawi.

The Brotherhood’s apparatus has been designed, since the late 1980s, to quickly and rapidly support Hamas internationally, and it continues to fulfill that role.The BfV report should be taken to heart by Western intelligence agencies. Analysts should be encouraged to draw lessons from Hamas’ “successful” mobilization of political and public relations support, and recall that providing propaganda on behalf of a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization falls well within material support statutes.


Egypt’s Request for Qatar’s Extradition of Sheikh Yusuf Al- Qaradawi

Sheikh Yusuf Al- Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist, has resided in Qatar for decades. However on May 26, 2015 Egyptian authorities requested Qatar extradite Qaradawi back to Egypt. Yusuf Qaradawi, followed by as many as 41 other Muslim Brotherhood officials, such as the former President of Egypt Mohammad Morsi, are awaiting the death penalty in Egypt. Following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government, Qaradawi issued a call for jihad in Egypt.  Their convictions include, but are not limited to, murder, violence, inciting violence, theft, insulting the judiciary and escaping from jail. The Egyptian court will have their final decision on the matter June 2, 2015.

Yusuf Al- Qaradawi’s background is far from clean, as his membership to the Muslim Brotherhood has led to multiple arrests. The Muslim Brotherhood has been the cause of many Egyptian crackdowns, such as the ones in 1949, 1954 and 1981. In Qaradawi’s autobiography, each arrest and imprisonment experience is discussed with a sense of dignity and positivity, even comparing himself to the Quaranic story of Joseph. A similar sense of comfortableness is seen in Qaradawi’s comments on the current charges he is facing, saying they are “worthless and undeserving of attention.”

Yusuf Al- Qaradawi along with the other 41 Muslim Brotherhood Organization members facing charges can all be found on the Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organization, wanted list. The addition of all these men to the wanted list is a good sign for Egypt. Leaders like the Chief of the Egyptian Police Interpol, Gamal Abdel Bary, commented saying this is “an important change in the international communities’ view to the banned groups members.”

Qatar is a member of Interpol, and therefore should comply with the request of Qaradawi’s extradition.

However, since Egypt’s request was made Qatar has not been inclined to comply. The Assistant to the Minister of Justice Adel Fahmy tells a local Egyptian newspaper, “Qatar did not previously accept the Interpol calls to arrest the defendants although both countries, Egypt and Qatar, are signatories to an agreement of exchange of prisoners.” Egypt contacted Qatar earlier this year regarding Qaradawi, requesting Qatar to freeze all assets of his on the basis that they go to fund terrorism. Qaradawi is the head of the Union of the Good a network of Muslim Brotherhood-linked charities which finances Hamas.

Egypt and Qatar’s have a long history of a rocky relationship. And to make matters worse, recently the Egyptian delegate to the Arab League, Tariq Adel, accused Qatar of supporting terrorism earlier this year.  Qatar responded by recalling its ambassador to Egypt, and their relationship has yet to improve. Qatar’s financing of terrorism has also been a source of tension between Qatar and several states, including the U.S., Germany, Iraq and Israel.

Since Egypt’s declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, steps have been made to detain Brotherhood members. This move by Egyptian authorities to indict Qaradawi for his role in calling for violence is a painful but necessary step to expose the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, and their anti-democratic ways.

Reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar seems unlikely, and Qaradawi’s return to Egypt is not imminent.


Islamic State’s Dabiq 8 Focuses on Unifying Ummah, Criticizing Islamists

The Islamic State issued it’s eighth edition of the glossy web magazine Dabiq. While most editions focus on some theme or another, Dabiq 8 may be the most clear yet. Each article is clearly selected to carry across the theme that the Islamic State represents the whole of the Muslim Ummah, and that Islamist organizations which purport to operate within a “nationalist” context are not legitimate.

The magazine begins by establishing the Sharia obligations for unity and against factionalism, citing the hadith, “whoever is killed under a blind banner, calling to ‘asabiyyah (tribalism or factionalism) or supporting ‘asabiyyah, then his death is a death of Jahiliyyah.”  Free Fire Blog has previously referenced this hadith, as it forms the basis of the Al Qaeda work “Jihad and the effects of intention upon it” by Sheikh Abul Qadir Abdul Aziz.

Building on this theme, Dabiq quotes “Khalifah” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi from his Ramadan message saying,

“By Allah’s grace- you have a state and a khilafah, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership. It is a state where the Arab and Non-Arab, the white man and black man, the easterner and westerner are all brothers. It is a khilafah that gathered the Caucasian, Indian, Chinese, Shami, Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian, Maghribi, American, French, German, and Australian.”

This is a direct rebuttal to analysts who mistakenly stressed racism as a factor expected to impede Boko Haram joining Islamic State, and a general policy of the U.S. government which has stressed the jihad in West Africa as being linked solely to “local grievances”.  The writers of Dabiq 8 stresses, “it was a rejection of nationalism that drove the Mujahidin in Nigeria to give bay’ah to the Islamic State and wage war against the Nigerian Murtaddin (apostates)…” They continue on this theme by applauding the Danish Muslim who targeted free speech cartoonist Lars Vilks and a Copenhagen Synagogue for rejecting a conception of “Danish” citizenship in favor of religious identity.

The writers continue on this theme in order to criticize Al Qaeda’s operation in Syria accusing Jabhat Al-Nusra of allying with Islamist militias who remain focused solely on Syria, rather than global jihad across borders, noting:

The scenario of nationalist “Islamism” working together alongside nationalist secularism to set up a nationalist government with elements of “Islam” and democracy within a constitutional framework is the same scenario that Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have experienced. the crusaders, expecting the eventual division of the two sides over the cake, sit back and wait to support the side more favorable towards their interests against the other…

Although the game is clear to those with a sound understanding of iman and waqi (faith and current affairs), it was unclear to the jihad claimants of sham (the Jawlani front).

The focus then pivots slightly to a discussion of Caliph AbuBakr as-Siddiq (the first Caliph following Mohammed) who prosecuted the “Ridda Wars” and discusses the logic behind As-Siddiq’s unwillingness to compromise with Arab tribes that refused to pay Zakat (a tithe which is one of the pillars of the faith.) The point being raised regards what the Islamic State views as the failure of other Islamic groups to implement the full shariah, and seeking justification for IS’ prosecution of violence against those groups.

This theme is touched on again as the magazine celebrates the swearing of bayah by Boko Haram, the attack on the Tunisian Bardo Museum, and the suicide bombings of two Shiite mosques in Yemen noting:

“May Allah Accept all those mujahidn who fight, massacre and terrorize the Kuffar while not differentiating between them under the influence of irja (an Islamic heresy which is understood to separate Islamic belief from the fulfillment of religious obligations) or on the grounds of nationalism.”

This leads into articles focusing on Islamic State’s expansion into Libya, which relies on these claims to justify IS’s attacks on Islamist militia faction “Libyan Dawn.” In particular the writers criticize the “Manhaj (school of Islamic jurisprudence) of the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of attempting to implement Shariah in Libya on a piecemeal basis. In particular AbdelHakim Belhadj, a major Libyan jihadist figure and leader within Libyan Dawn, is labeled as a Murtadd (apostate), which would appear to dispel earlier reports that he may have been aligning with Islamic State.

Islamic State’s quarrel with the Muslim Brotherhood is based on their opposition to the tactic of “gradualism” articulated by Muslim Brotherhood Jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, but which draws upon the program established by Sayyid Qutb in his work Milestones, and on the work of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna, both of whom supported utilizing progressive revelation to develop Islamic societies towards the eventual full establishment of Shariah law. Historically, this difference has always been a source of tension, with Islamic State’s predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, coming under criticism from Al Qaeda

Dabiq 8 goes on to provide a substantial criticism of “Ijra”, the heresy of the Murji’ah, and a term which the Islamic State has utilized to refer to the Brotherhood and its related forces since the Caliphate Declaration which stated:

So let those leaders be ruined. And let that “ummah” they want to unite be ruined – an “ummah” of secularists, democrats, and nationalists… an “ummah” of murji’ah (a sect that excludes deeds from faith), ikhwān (the “Muslim Brotherhood” party), and surūriyyah (a sect influenced by the ikhwān claiming to be Salafī).

Official in Turkey’s Ruling Party Refers to President Erdogan as ‘Caliph’

An official in Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) caused controversy this week by tweeting that the country should “get ready for the caliphate” and referred to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “caliph.”

Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu, the man who wrote the tweet on March 17, is the head of the AKP in the southeastern province of Siirt. He was responding to Erdogan’s opponents who object to the Turkish leader’s plan to change Turkey’s government from a parliamentary system to a presidential system. Erdogan would be the leader, thus giving him more power.

Erdogan’s main criticism came from Selahattin Demirtaş, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair, who said his party “will never let you [Erdogan] be president” in such a proposed system of government. Çalapkulu was mainly countering this statement with his tweet and also referred to past comments by Erdogan opponents that the leader could not even be a village headman (muhtar).

Çalapkulu backed off his words, however, after receiving harsh reactions because of them. On March 19, he changed his Twitter account to private so that only confirmed followers can see his comments and released a written statement saying he had a different meaning for the term caliph.

Part of his statement reads, “I use this word to refer to a leader who has command of all the problems, institutions and administration of his country; a leader who is the independent and powerful voice of the world’s downtrodden; the protector of the oppressed; a good, successful, pioneering and visionary leader.”

It is possible that Çalapkulu did not mean to use the title caliph with its full religious connotations or was being facetious, but the tweet is worth noting given Turkey’s increasing Islamic identity and pivot away from the West under Erdogan’s rule.

More importantly, the AKP official is not the first person to refer to Erdogan as a caliph, in jest or not. Some of Erdogan’s followers have called him this title before and essentially pledged allegiance to him like many have been doing recently to Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Furthermore, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has said that Istanbul, Turkey is the capital of the coming caliphate and has suggested that Erdogan is blessed by Allah and could be the one to lead the Islamic world order.

Çalapkulu may have been joking or using caliph in a non-literal way, but in its full context the AKP official’s tweet is part of a larger narrative where Turkey is becoming more Islamic and identified, at least by some, as a central part of a future caliphate. In fact, Erdogan and the AKP have actually perpetuated this image and a neo-Ottoman atmosphere. Erdogan’s religious-based policies and centralization of power are helping in this endeavor.

Feeling the Pinch on Free Speech

An article in USAToday by Dean of Journalism DeWayne Wickham calling Charlie Hebdo’s decision to feature another image of Mohammed on its post-attack cover, “fighting words”, not protected by the 1st amendment reminds us how badly damaged Free Speech protections have become.  Much of the free world claimed to rally around Charlie Hebdo crying JeSuisCharlie, in the wake of the brutal terror attack perpetrated by jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The world was rightly outraged that these people were killed for having the temerity to publish cartoons. The problem is that as outrage fades, few people are paying attention to the continued efforts to use the attention that violence wrought to achieve Al Qaeda’s goals, without violence.

For example by the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s effort to see Charlie Hebdo prosecuted:

“OIC is studying Europe and French laws and other available procedures to be able to take legal action against Charlie Hebdo,” he said. “If French laws allow us to take legal procedures against Charlie Hebdo, OIC will not hesitate to prosecute the French magazine,” he said. “This (the publication by Charlie Hebdo) is an idiotic step that requires necessary legal measures,”[Secretary General] Iyad Madani said on his Twitter account while condemning the republication of the anti-Islam cartoons.

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years.  Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s “test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

The OIC’s ]continued efforts have been backed by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whose International Union of Muslim Scholars, also announced renewed support for criminalizing free expression:

Influential preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi wants a law to be brought in by the UN to forbid the “contempt of religions,” according to an article he wrote, which was published on the organization’s website. “The Union calls on Islamic countries to submit a global law draft criminalizing the defamation of religions and the prophets and the holy sites of all, through a global conference to discuss clauses in complete freedom,” the preacher added. He condemned the decision by the French journal to publish the cartoon saying that it gave “credibility” to the idea that “the West is against Islam,” AFP reported.

The irony of course is that OIC member states, including Jordan, Egypt, U.A.E., Algeria and Turkey (putting the Istanbul in the Istanbul Process) all attended the Paris Unity Rally following the Charlie Hebdo attack, taking credit for standing against terror and in favor of free speech. The same is true for some supposedly “moderate” Muslim organizations in Europe. For example, the French Council on the Muslim Faith (CFMF), which condemned the attacks, calling them, ““an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press” while at the same time CFMF’s membership includes the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, whose leaders have had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qaradawi. The same is true of the Muslim Council of Britain, considered to have links to Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistani Islamist group which has held massive protests against Charlie Hebdo in Karachi.

What needs to be recognized is that as horrific as the attacks were, they are not the main effort against free speech. It is not terror attacks like the Paris assault that will ultimately diminish free speech. Terrorism is, as in death by lethal injection, only the painful pinch of the needle that you feel. It does no good to address that threat, but ignore the efforts of groups like the OIC that represent the pressing of the plunger to finish the job.


Irish Islamic Cleric with MB links Threatens Lawfare Against Journalists over Cartoons

Irish Muslim Cleric Dr. Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland threatened legal action against any Irish media which dared to republished the famous cartoons produced by Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre carried out yesterday by three jihadist gunmen which killed twelve people:

When asked by Niall Boylan on 4FM if he (Boylan) retweeted the cartoon would his life be in danger, Dr Selim – who condemned the shootings – said: “Not your life would be in danger but definitely we will check the Irish law and if there is any legal channel against you, we will take it,” he said.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, an intelligence digest which tracks Muslim Brotherhood connected groups, has previously documented that Dr. Salim is an Irish Muslim Brotherhood leader, with ties to Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi:

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) is an important part of the European Muslim Brotherhood serving as host for the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), the theological body headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The ICCI is also the registered headquarters for Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Noah Al-Kaddo, the ICCI Executive Director, is also an officer of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the European umbrella organization for the Muslim Brotherhood and the parent organization of the ECFR. Ali Selim is the private secretary to ICCI Imam Hussein Halawa and is described as a “resident theologian.” Mr. Selim attracted a great deal of local media attention in September 2006 when he told a newspaper interviewer that, ideally, he would like to see Shariah law adopted in Ireland in the “event of a Muslim majority.”

Selim, perhaps unintentionally, illustrates the key role played by Muslim Brotherhood groups in the overall global effort by Islamists to institute Islamic law- including blasphemy law. While Al Qaeda (or perhaps ISIS) may have been responsible for the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, acting as sharia enforcers, it’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups which attempt to implement “lawfare”-abusive litigation and other legal tactics- to achieve the same end, often successfully. The two efforts are not diametrically opposed, rather they are symbiotic. MB groups offer an apparently reassuring way out, telling us what we must, and must not do, to avoid the wrath of their fellow ideologues.  For this reason it’s just as vital to oppose Islamist lawfare and legal intimidation as it is to engage the kinetic jihadist actors. Sadly Selim’s confidence in openly stating such an agenda shows just how far down the road to imposed blasphemy laws much of the West has gone.