The Muslim Brotherhood, as I explain in Onward Muslim Soldiers, is the father of virtually all of today’s jihad terrorist groups. And as this Washington Post article shows, it has not been inactive here in the U.S. — yet State, demonstrating more of its astounding and suicidal myopia, is trying to find “friends” in the Brotherhood. (Thanks to Miss Moneypenney for the link.)
When U.S. immigration officers in New York City whisked away Ishaq Farhan as he stepped off an incoming international flight in May 2000, his Jordanian diplomatic passport was no help to him. Federal agents questioned him for hours before barring his entry into the country. Then they made him pay for the flight back to Jordan.
The U.S. Embassy in Jordan lost no time making amends to Farhan, a leading opposition politician who has been closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide movement opposed to Western influences. A State Department official visited his home, issued him an immediate visa and passed on the United States’ “deep regret for the difficulties Dr. Farhan experienced.”
The episode demonstrates the U.S. government’s dilemma. Some federal agents worry that the Muslim Brotherhood has dangerous links to terrorism. But some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials believe its influence offers an opportunity for political engagement that could help isolate violent jihadists.
“It is the preeminent movement in the Muslim world,” said Graham E. Fuller, a former CIA official specializing in the Middle East. “It’s something we can work with.” Demonizing the Brotherhood “would be foolhardy in the extreme,” he warned.
Foolhardy, I suppose, is in the eye of the beholder. Read on:
The Brotherhood’s history and the challenges it poses to U.S. officials illustrate the complexity of the political front in the campaign against terrorism three years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. FBI agents and financial investigators probe the group for terrorist ties and legal violations, while diplomats simultaneously discuss strategies for co-opting at least its moderate wings. In both sectors of the U.S. government, the Brotherhood often remains a mystery.
The Brotherhood — or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, as it is known in Arabic — is a sprawling and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries. It is dedicated to creating an Islamic civilization that harks back to the caliphates of the 7th and 8th centuries, one that would segregate women from public life and scorn nonbelievers.
In some nations — Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Sudan — the Brotherhood has fomented Islamic revolution. In the Palestinian territories, the Brotherhood created the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which has become known for its suicide bombings of Israelis. Yet it is also a sophisticated and diverse organization that appeals to many Muslims worldwide and sometimes advocates peaceful persuasion, not violent revolt. Some of its supporters went on to help found al Qaeda, while others launched one of the largest college student groups in the United States.
For decades, the Brotherhood enjoyed the support of the government of Saudi Arabia and its oil billions, which helped the group expand in the United States.
Read it all.