The media are running stories on the latest events in the terrorist onslaught taking place in Egypt. The conflict is no civil war, but rather terrorist maneuvering on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood which has spent the last 85 years fighting to turn Egypt into an Islamic country.
Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria said that “out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, both Christians and Muslims” he will not label the crisis “a political struggle between different factions.” Rather, he insisted in his August 18 statement that the conflict is “a war against terrorism.” [CNA/August 19; 2013]
Politicians are the ones who should be analyzing the Egyptian situation. Islam is incapable of bringing and maintaining peace, as evidenced by its 1,400 years of history. The Muslim Brotherhood and its satellites, portrayed in the media as political victims of a military coup, are supported and aided by Europe and the United States. No heed is paid to the determination and courage of over 33 million Egyptians who chose last June to publicly resist political Islam, inherently violent and potentially terrorist as it is.
The Western media has kept silent for months now about assaults, kidnappings, systematic destruction of public property, torture and beheadings of Christian leaders and clerics, and consistent targeting of Christian properties with arson.
The history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt provides an accurate portrait of Islam across the centuries.
The Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Cairo. From its very beginnings it openly opposed Western influence and secularism. In reaction to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Brotherhood preached armed jihad, extreme violence and suicide attacks. It was also in 1948 that they assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud Fahmi an Nukrashi Pasha. They were outlawed in 1949 and then dissolved in 1954, but made a comeback and obtained the status of a religious organization in 1984, with a caveat against involvement in politics. They scattered to Europe, Sudan, the Middle East, and to North Africa, and received funding from Saudi Arabia.
American support for the Brotherhood dates back to the 1950s and has evolved over the years. Said Ramadan was welcomed by Eisenhower in 1953, who backed the Brotherhood against Nasser. In 1971 the CIA supported their anti-communist activities in Egypt. In 1978 the Brotherhood disavowed violence, except for Palestine, but more extremist factions founded other organizations, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya for instance, or clandestine groups, all more or less affiliated with the Brotherhood. These groups organized the assassination of President Sadat in 1981 as well as the killing of Western tourists in 1992 and 1993. In spite of the efforts of Hosni Mubarak’s government to repress their political maneuvering, these Islamic fundamentalists infiltrated multiple areas of society, in particular the lawyers’ association. During the 1990s they invoked democratic rights in order to gain entrance to the political arena.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria began in 1930. In the late 70s, armed conflict broke out between the Brotherhood and the Ba’ath Party, then in power. In February of 1982 President Hafez el Assad annihilated their armed forces during the Hama uprising after 27 days of siege. Banned in Syria, members of the Brotherhood sought refuge in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Afghanistan. However, the Brotherhood is still active in Syria, under the auspices of other political entities, funded by Qatar and the powers of the Persian Gulf. There they were vocal proponents of multi-party democracy in hopes of taking power via the ballot box. The establishment of a religious Islamic state was not one of their talking points, but they never clearly ruled out fighting for sharia law, which they considered the basis of legislation.
In Europe their influence and activities use other organizations. In 1961, Said Ramadan founded the Islamic Centre of Geneva with a group of Pakistanis, then an organization supposed to care for deserters from the Red Army Faction in Munich. During the 80s and 90s, the Muslim Brotherhood founded several organizations in Europe, such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations of Europe (FIOE), the Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) to regroup and keep track of expanding Muslim immigrant communities. In 1997 the European Council for Fatwa and Research was founded in Dublin and the Muslim Association of Great Britain. Fatwas, or rules of life, were intended to help Muslims residing in Europe live sharia. The FIOE and the UOIF were founded for this purpose as well. The Brotherhood also has training institutes for imams in France (Chateau-Chinon) and in the UK. They worked to obtain official recognition from governments and establish their own financial institutions (Al Taqwa Bank, founded in 1988 and based in the Bahamas, Switzerland and Lichtenstein; European Trust; and World Muslim League, a Saudi organization founded in 1962).
Recent events in Egypt
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated parliament with candidates running as independents and obtained a marginal number of seats thanks to massive fraud; at that time they soft-pedaled their plans for a theocracy. With this goal in mind, they founded the Freedom and Justice Party in 2011 under the leadership of Mohamed Morsi, which supported sharia. The party won a majority of seats in the legislative elections in January 2012 as well as the presidential elections on June 24, 2012, thanks to gigantic electoral fraud that saw the Brotherhood invent 9 million additional votes.
The Tamarod movement, a grassroots coalition, brought 33 million Egyptians into the streets on June 30 to call for Morsi’s resignation and collected 26 million signatures on a petition calling for early presidential elections. According to Fr. Boulard, Director of the Jesuit Cultural Center of Alexandria, the coup was a popular movement rather than a military movement, since nearly 80% of the people rejected Morsi’s leadership. The popular revolt was followed by the ousting of Morsi on July 3, 2013, by the military. Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was declared interim president.
President Morsi’s armed units were responsible for the deaths of over 1,500 Egyptians and every kind of abuse, leading to a veritable reign of terror that the majority of Western media failed to condemn during months of Morsi’s time in power. While the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis held sway, Egypt’s Christian Copts were undergoing legal persecution in the courtroom, frequently hauled up for charges of blasphemy. When the army finally ejected Morsi, the media denounced a military coup against political victims.
Patriarch Sidrak condemned “those media that promote lies and falsify the truth in order to mislead world public opinion.” Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, also denounced “the fallacies” broadcast by Western media.
On July 4, the Muslim Brotherhood called for “peaceful protests;” ordered to retire by the army, they refused. On August 14, Egyptian security forces broke up the camps of protesters allied with the Muslim Brotherhood; a total of 623 were killed on both sides. Since then, over 900 people have died in six days.
On the official website of the Freedom and Justice Party, a Muslim Brotherhood article incites its supporters to target churches with arson. On August 14, 52 churches and Christian buildings were set on fire simultaneously across Egypt. Islamists marked Christian homes and businesses with graffiti to designate them for attack. In Beni Suef, a city 80 miles south of Cairo, three nuns were paraded through the streets after their Franciscan school was looted and torched. They were rescued by a Muslim woman who had taught at the school and whose son-in-law is a local policeman. The AP reported August 17, that two other teachers at the school “had to fight their way out of the mob, while groped, hit and insulted by the extremists.”
On August 17, the Egyptian interim prime minister, Hazem Al Beblawi, proposed the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood. On August 20, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, was arrested and detained pending charges of “incitation to murder.”
Sinai on sale
It is worth noting that Israel and Morsi had discussed a proposed sale of land in Sinai. Ostensibly the plan offered land to Palestinian refugees so that Israelis could continue to occupy Palestinian territory. The sale was in fact a 40% discount for the wealthiest Palestinian businessmen, who would have assembled Palestinian exiles, starting with those from the Gaza Strip. The plan was established with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood of Hamas and US approval. The Muslim Brotherhood would have pocketed 8 billion dollars if the deal had gone through. However, the army hit back against Morsi and refused to sell Sinai territory.
Terrorists or victims?
Their mission statement is simple, and announced in every mosque: “Allah is our goal. The prophet Mohammed is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad, just warfare, is our path.”
The plans of the Muslim Brotherhood are clearly expressed: “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 God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Their tactics are clear: They are then to work to employ, direct and unify the Muslims’ efforts and powers for this process. In order to do that, they must possess a mastery of the art of “coalitions” the art of “absorption” and the principles of “cooperation.”
Recent decades in Egypt should serve as a warning for the Europe and America of tomorrow. The West is leaving the door open to Islam—by definition violent and exclusionary, by inclination terrorist—while the illusion of liberal democracy, with its birthrates dwindling to suicidal levels, is doing nothing to halt its influx. What is more, weak clergy, mired in their dreams of religious liberty and ecumenism, have turned their backs on the only religious, political and social solution: conversion. The only adequate response to the situation is that of today’s martyrs, the Christians of Egypt. They live the Our Father on a daily basis, and all of Egypt respects them for it; even the Moslems sense their moral authority. Let us support them with our prayers and pray that the clergy may offer them teachings that will strengthen and nourish their faith in this hour of trial.
1 The Muslim Brotherhood also founded Hamas.
2 Salafis are Muslims with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and, in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who consider violent jihad against civilians a legitimate expression of Islam even though leading Salafi scholars have condemned attacks on civilians.
3 Before Islam invaded.
4 Samir Amin at Algerie patriotique, July 23-13.
5 “Memorandum on the general Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” dated May 22, 1991: (p.21)