Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
CLAPPER: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD LARGELY SECULAR
During a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement"largely secular."
In response to questioning from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) about the threat posed by the group, Clapper suggested that the Egyptian part of the Brotherhood is not particularly extreme and that the broader international movement is hard to generalize about.
"The term 'Muslim Brotherhood'...is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Clapper said."They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally."
The Brotherhood uses the slogan,"Islam is the answer," and generally advocates for government in accordance with Islamic principles. The movement has as a broad goal unifying what it perceives as Muslim lands, from Spain to Indonesia, as a" caliphate."
Myrick interrupted Clapper at one point, saying her concern isn't simply with the violence but with the Brotherhood's beliefs regarding government.
"The danger of the Muslim Brotherhood is not just encouraging terrorism through their ideology, but also trying to take over government, so everyone has to succumb and live under their ideology," Myrick said.
Clapper said later in the hearing that the Brotherhood in Egypt runs 29 hospitals"not under the guise of an extremist agenda." He said the group fills a vacuum cause by the absence of government services, but added,"It is not necessarily with a view to promoting violence or overthrow of the state.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said some branches of the Brotherhood have engaged in violence, but he declined to go into detail in a public session."Obviously, elements of the Muslim Brotherhood here and overseas have supported terrorism," he said.
Hamas, which is designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group but also runs the elected government in the Gaza strip, is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. prosecutors have also produced evidence that some Islamic organizations in America, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust, grew out of the Brotherhood.
How does the Muslim Brotherhood define itself? "Jihad is the way" by Mustafa Mashhur, Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1996-2002 offers a true insight -
National goal: Islamic world domination -"...the Islamic Ummah [nation]... can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity..." -"...know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation..." -"It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah's enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world..." -"...Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established,..."
Means: Jihad - a mandatory religious duty -"Then comes the power of arms and weapons,... and this is the role of Jihad." -"Jihad is a religious public duty... incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels' attack on the nation..." -"And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way." -"The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah's book." -"...that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions..."
Timing: Don't rush, prepare carefully for Jihad -"... despite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth's enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood..." -"... one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it." -"Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah." -"... there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad..."
Personal goal: Aspire to Shahada - Death for Allah -"Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the Death for Allah is our most exalted wish." -"The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish", this is the call which we have always called,... Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish,... We ask Allah to accept all of them,... and may He join us with them, ..."
Jihad against Israel: -"Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47' and 48', [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid (Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil."