Report on Islamist States and Individuals in the Context of Current Affairs (unfinished, work in progress)
A Nazi History
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother who planted bombs during the Boston Marathon killing five people and injuring 280 others, wrote, “I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished.... We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all,” inside the boat he was trapped in following the Boston bombing attack. While America and the west continue to struggle to understand jihad, unsure whether it is a mandate for war against non-Muslims or strictly a spiritual concept, to terrorists like Tsarnaev and thousands of others, the idea of one Islam against the world is the basic justification for violence and the imposition of Sharia law.
But it wasn’t always this way. While there have been times in Islamic history when the Ummah, or worldwide Islamic community, has been called to war on behalf of the faith, a longer view suggests that this new concept of jihad is largely a western import, taking root in the late 19th century and blossoming throughout the 20th. Furthermore, it was not the western ideals of democracy and civic equality that inspired this militarized iteration of Islam, but the worst of western civilization: Nazism. This article will trace the roots of modern jihad to primarily western ideas, show these influences have destroyed the secular Islamic world, and finally show how this perverse ideology has re-entered western countries through several key personages in positions of power.
In the year 1258, the Mongol Empire, under the command of Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad and took control of Damascus, and then promptly headed for Cairo. In the aftermath of the conquest of the cities that lay at the very heart of the Islamic world, the Turkish Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, residing in Damascus, declared jihad against the non-Muslim Mongols. The fatwa issued stipulated that even if the Mongols converted to Islam, they were still illegitimate occupiers of Islamic lands because they attacked Muslims to conquer the land. In doing so, Taymiyyah gave jihad a distinctly racial, or racist, quality that has persisted ever since. Centuries later, it was to strengthen and reinforce the most sinister elements of western thought.
Taymiyyah elevated jihad against the infidel to the traditional five pillars of Islam: prayer, pilgrimage, alms, the declaration of faith, and the fast of Ramadan. Wrote Taymiyyah, “When the enemy has entered an Islamic land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory on those closest to the land to defend it, and then on those around them… for the entire land to fight as a single country.” [Emphasis added.]
In this medieval, wartime declaration of Taymiyyah, we recognize the theme of Tsarnaev’s boatside scrawl: one Islam, one Ummah, united, against the world of the unbeliever. (“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all.”) Taymiyyah’s influence, though marginal for centuries, eventually influenced ibn Wahhab, the founder of the fundamentalist Wahhabi movement, whose ideas govern Saudi Arabia today.
The Great Game
Across the Middle East and Asia during the 19th and early 20th century, the empires of Great Britain and Imperial Russia engaged each other in perpetual military, economic, and political competition for control of central Asia. This was the age of the British Raj, Great Britain’s rule of the Indian subcontinent. Due to the need to protect eastern trading routes, Great Britain found itself entangled in the affairs of Muslims in countries from Egypt to India, and virtually everywhere in between.
Yet this was also the height of European imperialism, and France, Italy, and Germany were also looking to expand their spheres of trade with the Middle East. Late to the imperialist game, landlocked Germany was looking to make up for lost time. The Reich’s leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, granddaughter of Queen Victoria and cousin of the last Russian Czar Nicholas II, courted the Ottoman Empire and Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and at once also the last Caliph of Islam, Abdul Hamid II could rightfully claim to speak on behalf of the Ummah.
The Kaiser and the Sultan
In a departure from other interested European powers, the German emperor began to flirt with the ideas of pan-Islamism, or global jihad (note where Wikipedia redirects this page – to al Qaeda). In a speech delivered in Damascus in the late 1890s, the Kaiser heralded “Let me assure His Majesty the Sultan and the three hundred millions of Moslems who, in whatever corner of the globe they may live, revere in him their Khalif, that the German Emperor will ever be their friend.” The other European powers found this embrace positively terrifying, for they ruled colonies with sizeable Muslim majorities. Great Britain, in particular, worried that Indian Muslims would succumb to the call to jihad; France and Russia, each ruling approximately 19 million Muslims in their respective empires, were equally concerned of German-Caliph inspired revolts. It has been rumored ever since that Kaiser Wilhelm II converted to Islam, in spite of his position as defender of the Lutheran Church. So great was the Kaiser’s affinity for Islam that a myth took hold in Northern Africa among the Muslim populations. According to this myth, there was a “traditional” or “natural” German-Muslim friendship stretching back to the time of the Prophet. Wilhelm, it went, may then be a son of the Sultan, and would liberate the Muslims from British and French oppression (McKale, 10).
Germany thus began a collaborative relationship with Turkey to subvert other colonial powers in the region.
During World War I, the German spy Max von Oppenheim used Islam and the concept of jihad against the infidel to Germany’s advantage. Although born into a prominent Jewish family, Oppenheim converted to Christianity, and spent his adult life traveling the Muslim world including Libya, Cairo, Syria, the Persian Gulf, Muscat, Aden, and German East Africa. Germany, at war with the Allies beginning in 1914, looked to the continent’s periphery: Turkey. Called “war by revolution,” Oppenheim’s strategy, formulated with other German orientalists, resulted in the Sheik of Islam in Istanbul issuing a fatwa declaring jihad on the Allies. Turks, Arabs, and other Muslims around the world had been called to make war on the infidels of Great Britain and France. The strategy effectively thwarted, for a time, an (English-inspired) Arab revolt against the Turks.
In 1915, Oppenheim met with Prince Feisal, who would become King Feisal I of Syria and Iraq in 1920 and 1921 respectively. During their historic meeting, which concerned Germany’s assistance of Arab nationalist movements, Feisal stated “I thank God that the interests of Islam are entirely identical with those of Germany… [there may be] difference over religion between Muslim countries and Germany. But in material interests relative to this world differences over religion should never stand in the way of these reciprocal interests” (McMeekin, 195).1 Oppenheim implored the prince to unite Muslims to fight the British, in order to keep the centrality of Islamic spiritual life in Turkey: “The Ottoman Caliphate must always remain the unique and central focus towards which the eyes of all Muslims are directed.” For Oppenheim feared greatly the British conquest of Mecca and Medina, and the ostensible loss of German proxy-control over Muslims through the Caliph. He impressed on Feisal the ominous implications of British rule of Arabia. British occupation of the Arabian Peninsula would “prevent the free exercise of your religion” (McMeekin, 196). Combining religion with anti-imperialist sentiments, this narrative was later incorporated into the official ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, and their offspring, al Qaeda.
Foreshadowing what was to come during the Second World War, Max von Oppenheim established a close personal friendship with Amin al Husseini, the future Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Evidently Oppenheim’s call to pan-Islamic jihad was not lost on the mufti, as his actions during WWII made evident. Moreover, it was Oppenheim who referred Husseini to Hitler to rule “Jew free” Palestine. Both Hitler and Oppenheim were impressed by Husseini’s pioneering race riots in Jerusalem in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1936 (McMeekin, 360).
Having established a network of close relations with the Muslim world, the ground was laid for German-Islamist cooperation through the 1930s into World War II. Out a common desire to rid Egypt of the English, the Nazi Party and the Muslim Brotherhood collaborated, exchanging both methods and ideologies.
Jihadi Genocides of the Armenians.
The Kaiser’s favorite Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, is remembered today for, among other things, the original modern genocide. A brutal autocrat, he was nicknamed “The Red Sultan” for his sanguinary reputation. Armenians, located in the northwestern part of the empire, were considered second-class citizens because they were Orthodox Christians. Despite this, they were also prosperous relatively prosperous and contributed significantly to the economic vitality of the Ottoman Empire. Beginning in the second half the 19th century, the Armenians began to think of breaking from Ottoman rule in favor of rule by the (Christian) Russian Empire; or, at least, forcing the Sultan to institute a number of reforms to relax the persecution of their people.
Regarding his Armenian subjects with contempt and derision, Abdul was absolutely opposed. Following an Armenian delegation to Berlin in 1878, the Red Sultan remarked “Such great impudence… such great treachery toward religion and state… may they be cursed upon by God.” Following a petition of Armenians in Constantinople in 1895 for civil rights, the Sultan invoked pan-Islamism, he called for a campaign of terrorism and murder against the Armenians. Between 1894 and 1896, between 80,000 and 300,000 (the figures have a wide range, due in part to the Turkish governments attempt to obscure the truth) Armenians were massacred by Turkish soldiers and the Armenians Muslim neighbors.
As it turns out, the Hamidian “massacres,” were only the warm up. Two decades later, in 1915, another group of Turks murdered 1.5 million Armenians. The Young Turks, a coalition of secularists and Turkish nationalists, sought to reform the ancient caliphate into a modern state. During World War I, the Turkish state sided with the Central Powers, including Germany. The Armenian population began to organize in coalition with the Russian Caucuses Army. Young Turk, with the enthusiastic support of Islamists, organized the events that would result in a new word entering the language: genocide.
In a precursor to Nazi policies aimed at European Jewry, on May 29, 1915 the Turkish government passed tehcir law, Turkish for displacement, which facilitated the relocation of unarmed Armenians. Subjecting their victims, including women and children, to mass shootings, starvation, drownings, burnings, and gassings, the Turkish fervor was not reserved strictly for Armenians, but more broadly Christians. Reported a Swedish ambassador at the time:
“[The deportations] can not be any other issue than an annihilation war against the Greek nation in Turkey and as measures hereof they have been implementing forced conversions to Islam, in obvious aim to, that if after the end of the war there again would be a question of European intervention for the protection of the Christians, there will be as few of them left as possible.”
An Ottoman Governor, Djevdet Bey, brother-in-law of Enver Pasha, a leader of the Young Turk rebellion, was convinced that the Armenians were going to rebel. He conscripted the able-bodied males into the Turkish military, in order to initiate the genocide in his provinces. He stated, "If the rebels fire a single shot, I shall kill every Christian man, woman, and" (pointing to his knee) "every child, up to here."
The Evil Haj Amin al-Husseini
This kind of fanatic religious genocide was embraced by a particularly odious person present at this time, the Palestinian Amin al-Husseini. From the prominent Palestinian Husseini family, he rose to become Grand Mufti of Palestine through murder and other intrigues2. It was rumored that he and British government functionary in Jerusalem, Ernest Richmond, were gay lovers (Dalin and Rothman, 21). Richmond, more than anyone else, was responsible for seeing that Husseini was appointed Mufti after the death of his brother, Kamil al-Husseini, in 1921.
During his tenure as the Mufti of Jerusalem (1921-1937), Husseini intimidated, ripped off, and murdered countless Palestinian Muslims. Operating more like a mob boss than a Mufti, he forcibly collected more than two million pounds from Muslims in the region, claiming that the funds were used for relief, the reconstruction of the Aqsa Mosque, and other alleged charitable works (Pearlman, 28). Yet he was unable to point to even one school, mosque, or hospital built with the funds, many which were collected a gunpoint (ibid). He did not even adequately support his own mujahedeen, who were often left penniless after fighting the Mufti’s endless raids on Palestinian Muslim. Some of the most prominent Palestinians at the time were murdered or attempted to be murdered by Husseini and his gang, including:
Mayor of Hebron, Nase el Din Nasr, murdered 4th August, 1936.
Mukhtar (Headman) or Arab Birket Caesarea, murdered February, 1937.
Ibrahim Yousef, member of Tiberias Municipal Council, murdered April, 1937.
Mayor of Haifa, Hassan Bey Shukri, escaped assassination attempts May, 1936, and January, 1937.
His son-in-law, Secretary of Haifa Municipal Council, escaped attempt on his life February, 1937.
Mukhtar of Nablus, Suleiman Bey Toukan, fled the country December, 1937, after issuing a public appeal to the government to suppress terrorism.
Mukhtar of Migdal and his wife, murdered April, 1938.
Mukhtar of Mataleen, murdered April, 1938.
Mukhtar of Ein Razal, murdered April, 1938.
Mukhtar of Beth Mahsir, murdered August, 1938.
Wife and three sons of Mukhtar of Deir Es Sheikh, murdered September, 1938. The Mukhtar was absent when his house was attacked.
Mukhtar of Ard-el-Yehud (near Haifa), murdered October, 1938.
Mukhtar of Beth Hema, murdered Ocotber, 1938.
Source: Pearlman, 22.
The list continues for another page, not to mention the thousands of Palestinians and their families who suffered through Husseini’s terror rule of Palestine in the 1930s. Husseini was also known to have murdered several member of the prominent Khalil Taha family, including “Haj Khalil Taha, head of the family, murdered in September, 1936, after refusing a second ‘donation’ to terrorist funds. In January 1937, his son, a prominent Haifa doctor, was murdered. Ibrahim Bey Khalil, an aged member of the family and leader of the Moslem Federation, was murdered September, 1937. Taha Mahmud Taha was murdered in May, 1938. There was no further opposition from the Taha family” (Pearlman, 22).
Like any gangster, Husseini worked off intimidation and terror. But he was more casual than most about resorting to murder of his supposed countrymen, whom he claimed to be helping by targeting the Jews in Palestine. Ironically, the Jews of Palestine were much less likely to be affected by this marauding psychotic than his fellow Arabs and Muslims whom always he claimed to be helping.
Prior to his appointment to Mufti by the British, Amin al-Husseini studied at the School of Administration in the years before World War I, and joined the Ottoman Turkish Army in 1914. He was assigned to the 47th Brigade, stationed around the Greek Orthodox city of Smyrna, as an officer. It was there, presumably, where he learned the ways of modern, you might say cost-effective, genocide. His personal participation in the Armenian massacres would make his special pleading to Adolf Hitler to systematically kill all the Jews, in a manner eerily similar to the Armenians two decades prior, evidently, very convincing.
Husseini’s involvement with the Third Reich was more than ancillary, to say the least. Indeed, Husseini was a partner with several leading Nazis, and close personal friends with the architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, and the odious Chief of the S.S., Heinrich Himmler. An admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, Husseini was welcomed in Berlin in 1941, where he was provided residence on Berlin’s Klopstock Street. The Nazi government spared no expense at making his stay a comfortable one, including giving him “a full staff of servants, a chauffeured Mercedes limousine, and a monthly stipend in excess of $10,000, as well as four other residences and suites in two of Berlin’s most luxurious hotels. The Mufti was also given a generous monthly food budget, which would enable him to lavishly entertain the many leaders of radical Islam residing in or visiting Nazi Germany, whom the mufti would be able to use in mobilizing further Arab support for the Nazi cause” (Dalin and Rothman, 47).
Below is a summary of Husseini’s collaboration with these high-ranking Nazis.
Adolf Hitler – Husseini met with the German Fuhrer in 1941, and “by all accounts [the] long hoped-for meeting went exceedingly well. The mufti had found his soul-mate in the German fuhrer and thanked him profusely for his unbending to the radical Islamic cause” (Dalin and Rothman, 48). Their understandin-+g was built on a mutual hatred of Jews, Communists, and the British. In Husseini, Hitler saw a future leader of a Nazi-dominated Middle East. They also shared the goal of physically eliminating all Jews, especially in Europe (Hitler) and Palestine (Husseini). The confluence of Nazism and jihad reached an apogee toward the end of war, when Muslim S.S. recruits began to view Hitler “the appearance of a Second Prophet” (McMeekin, 363).
Heinrich Himmler – The head of the Nazi security services and overseer of the Final Solution was a close personal friend of the Mufti. By 1943, Himmler had grown so fond of Husseini that he dedicated a picture of the two of them, inscribed “To His Eminence, the Grand Mufti, in Remembrance.” In response, Husseini wrote Himmler: “This memento of our first meeting which created the basis of our confiding, is of special value to me… [the picture will serve to remind me of an] understanding, great and energetic man.” The collaboration bore several rotten fruits. Three Waffen S.S. divisions were recruited from European Muslims in the Balkans. More than 100,000 Muslims joined the “Death’s Head” element of the Third Reich. The most infamous Waffen S.S. division, “Handschar” (“saber”), killed 90% of Bosnia’s Jews (12,600 of 14,000). So please was Himmler with the Handschar division’s “success” in Bosnia that he “established a special mullah military school in Dresden to train the Bosnian Muslim recruits” (McMeekin, 362). The alliance between Nazism and pan-Islamism was cherished and nurtured by both sides of the equation; Husseini “formed his own ‘Imam School’ in Berlin, which trained German S.S. officers in the convergence of Nazi and Muslim ideas, which they could instill into their Muslim volunteers” (McMeekin, 362-3).
Josef Goebbels – A skilled propagandist in his own right, al-Husseini worked with the archetype of Nazi propaganda extensively. Goebbels seemed especially interested in the jihad aspect of Islam, and granted Husseini access to Nazi radio stations across the Middle East and over Japanese airwaves in the South Pacific. “I call on you, O Arabs, to unite as one, to organize and fight for your independence and your rights. Unite, O Arabs, and rise against our common enemy, treacherous England,” thundered one such broadcast. Another encouraged sabotage and murder: “In the name of the Koran and for the honour of Islam, to sabotage the oil pipe lines… [and] kill British troops” (McMeekin, 362). Prefiguring a theme of modern jihad, Husseini also glorified martyrdom in the name of Islam: “[Arab Muslims] could achieve eternal salvation by rising up and killing the Jewish infidels living in their countries” (McMeekin, 362). Through his radio broadcasts, Husseini was to incite pan-Islamic rebellions against the British Empire around the globe (Dalin and Rothman, 52-53). In 1941, he and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani infamously attempted a Nazi coup in Iraq to cast off the British-dominated colonial government.
Adolf Eichmann – The architect of the Final Solution found inspiration in Husseini. Although Nazi documentation of the Holocaust is notoriously sparse, it is known that Husseini visited Auschwitz through Eichmann and “encouraged the guards in charge of the [gas] chambers to be more diligent and efficient in their efforts” (Dalin and Rothman, 51). Husseini planned with Eichmann “Einsatzgruppe Agypten,” a “mobile S.S. [death] squad” stationed in Greece, to storm Cairo if Field Marshall Rommel had successfully taken Egypt (McMeekin, 362). Furthermore, he looked to Eichmann for technical assistance building similar death camps in Palestine, which would obviate the need to depart Palestinian Jews to Eastern Europe for extermination.
Joaquim von Ribbentrop – Prior to meeting with Hitler, Husseini held a pre-meeting with the Nazi foreign minister. He and the former champagne salesman became close allies. He pushed Ribbentrop to new heights of anti-Semitism, and “vigorously defended the Nazi anti-Semitism abroad and denounced foreign attempts to ‘interfere’ in German Judenpolitik at home” (Dalin and Rothman, 49). Through Ribbentrop, Husseini helped to end the Third Reich’s deportation policy of Jews to Palestine, sparing them the fate of death camps in the East. Wrote Ribbentrop to Husseini, “I send out my greetings to your Eminence and to those who are today in the capital of the Reich at the gathering under your chairmanship… Germany is tied to the Arab nation by old bonds of friendship and today more than ever we are allies. The removal of the so-called Jewish National Home, and freeing all Arab lands from oppression and exploitation of the Western powers is an unalterable part of the policy of the Greater German Reich. May the hour not be distant when the Arab nation shall be able to build its future and establish unity and full independence” (Dalin and Rothman, 49). Husseini and Ribbentrop founded the Anti-Jewish Action Board, for the purpose of assisting the “physical elimination of Jewry” (ibid.).
In an affidavit at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials following the Second World War, Dr. Rudolph Kastner, leader of the Jewish Rescue and Relief Committee in Budapest, wrote, describing negotiations involving Hungarian Jews:
“They may go to any country but Palestine,” I was told by Eichmann, who, as leader of the Department IV.B. of the Reichsssicherheitshaupant, was personally responsible for the deportation and extermination of European Jews. At first, his argument for his negative attitude towards the emigration to Palestine was that he did not want to rouse the Arabs against the Reich. At last he said to me literally:
“I am a personal friend of the Grand Mufti. We have promised him that no European Jew would enter Palestine anymore. Do you understand now?”
Some days later, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dieter Wisliceny, a close collaborator of Eichmann, confidentially confirmed to me the above statement of his chief, and added:
“According to my opinion, the Grand Mufti, who has been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German Government to exterminate the European Jews, the importance of which must not be disregarded. He had repeatedly suggested to various authorities with whom he has been in contact, above all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of the European Jewry. He considered this as a comfortable solution of the Palestinian problem. In his messages broadcast from Berlin, he surpassed us in his anti-Jewish attacks. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and has constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard say that, accompanied by Eichmann, he has visited incognito the gas chambers of Auschwitz.” (Dalin and Rothman, pg. 169)
The American government knew about and memorialized al Husseini’s involvement with the Nazis. In a document presented to the United Nations in 1947 entitled “U.S. Confirms Role of Mufti as Nazi Middle East Leader,” it was documented that Germany had provided arms to Husseini to foment revolts in Palestine against the British. This is consistent with Germany’s strategy in the First World War: to incite the “Mohammedans,” through the Turkish Caliph, to rise up against the British Empire.
The Reich’s Ostministerium
We jump ahead now to the Second World War, and the Nazi invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa. Capitalizing on their good relations with the Ottoman Turks, the Germans sought to recruit Turkic peoples living under the Stalin’s Soviet dominion into revolts against the Soviets. To help facilitate this aim, and other special projects to be organized among “Eastern peoples,” Hitler established the Ostministerium, or the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Directed by the crank Nazi philosopher, Alfred Rosenberg, born in what is now Estonia but was then part of the Russian Empire, the Ostministerium was to be the ministry that propagated and oversaw Nazi policy, racial and otherwise, to the conquered lands from Poland to the Urals.
The minister charged with organizing the Turks against the Soviets was a professor by the name of Gerhard von Mende. Working with Muslim Turk populations, such as the Tatars, Kyrgyz, and Kazakhs, who were resentful of Soviet rule, von Mende established Nazi divisions to fight the Red Army. Joining von Mende in this pan-Islamic jihad against the Soviets was none other than Amin al Husseini, veteran of the Armenian genocide, who endorsed the Nazi undertaking in his capacity as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. (Indeed, Husseini had first made contact with the Nazis shortly after their rise to power, in 1933, to stress the importance of ridding the Jewish influence from economics and politics.) Soon, Nazi propaganda began to appear with local Muslims in mind; names of such publications included The Holy War and The Volunteer. Von Mende sought to appoint a Mufti for the Crimea in order to legitimize the German command of Muslims, and it was al Husseini who he courted, meeting him personally in 1944. You can almost hear al-Husseini in von Mende’s own words, when he wrote “The Islamic world is made whole… German action toward the Moslems in the East must be such as not to prejudice Germany’s standing among all Islamic peoples.”
The CIA’s Nazi Brotherhood Mosque
Following the Nazi defeat, many of these Western relationships with the Muslim world would live on in Germany, with the ironic assistance by the CIA. General Eisenhower, elected to presidency in 1952, had always viewed the (officially) atheist Soviet Empire with scorn. A religious man himself, Eisenhower emulated the tragic model of the Nazis as an attempted bulwark against the “godless” Soviets. The CIA established stations in Munich, and began to work with the Turks contra the Soviets. In this endeavor, they sought and received the help of von Mende, who, after the war, was employed by West German intelligence, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). One of von Mende’s trusted deputes, the Tatar Garip Sultan, was employed by Radio Liberty, a CIA front organization. Having passed away in 2011, he is remembered fondly on Radio Liberty’s website (see here).
The intersection of Nazi, Islamic, and American interests, over the period of several decades, against the Soviet Union, spawned a fateful project to build a mosque in Munich that would be a community home for the city’s Turkish population. By 1958, the BND, CIA, and Munich’s Turkish leaders were collaborating on this project, which was determined to be in the national interests of West Germany. Although the mosque construction was plagued by chronic quarrels among Board members, a common goal of the Board was fundraising. It should be stated that, despite being Turks living in Germany, many who had fought under the Nazis, the original leaders of the project were not Islamists. Taking a more relaxed view of sharia, several of them were known to drink. In the case of the mosque, however, the source of money polluted the original intentions as a pro-West community center, and welcomed into their company the Muslim Brotherhood.
Said Ramadan was born April 12, 1926 in Shibin al-Kawm, a small town in the Nile Delta. At the age of 14, he met Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Following his graduation from Cairo University, he became Banna’s personal secretary. A year later, after becoming editor of the Muslim Brotherhood weekly, Al Shibab, he married Banna’s daughter. Ramadan then began pursuing his doctorate, finding a mentor at the Cologne University. A revolutionary, Ramadan spent most of his time traveling the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, attempting to organize Islamic revolutions which would one day unite to form a new Islamic caliphate, which had been lost with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Of Ramadan, Gamal al-Banna, brother of Hassan, said, “If the Brotherhood had ministries, he’d have been the foreign minister.” Eventually, Ramadan was expelled from Egypt by Gamal Nasser in 1954 after an attempted assassination, despite the Brotherhood’s initial backing of the coup that led to his power.
In addition to the liaison in Amin al-Husseini, the Brotherhood had ties with the Germany and the Nazis going back to the early 1930s. Resentful of British rule of Egypt, the Brotherhood found a natural ally in the Third Reich, who had in their sights North Africa. Additionally, the Nazi Reich and the Brotherhood shared common enemies in the British Empire, Jews, and Bolshevism. When the German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was storming toward Cairo in 1942, the Brotherhood was prepared to welcome him as a liberator. It is documented that in the 1930s, the Egyptian Brotherhood accepted money from Nazi agents in order to form their “Secret Apparatus,” a shady paramilitary organization, designed to violent foment revolutions, that in so many ways resembled the Nazi S.S. and Gestapo. Decades later, on the eve of Egypt’s revolution in 1952, the plotters considered the “civil army” of the Brotherhood critical should chaos break out following the coup; if there was a want of organic support for the revolution among the citizens of Egypt, the Secret Apparatus of the Brotherhood would take to the streets in order to spark it.
Of the Brotherhood’s approval of totalitarianism, both Nazi and Communist, author Richard P. Mitchell summarizes:
“The truly ‘practical social order,’ which all world systems have touched in part, is found in Islam. The prayer of the Muslim is the best example of this truth. Communism preaches ‘equality, the abolition of classes, distinctions, and pride in property.’ ; the Muslim feels this completely, for when he enters the mosque, he knows that the mosque belongs completely to God, that there are no ‘great’ and no ‘small’ within its precincts. The mu’adhdhin cries out, prayer begins, everyone follows the imam in his actions; there is ‘unity and discipline’, the best qualities of dictatorship. But the imam is no tyrant, for if he errs he must stand corrected by anyone in the congregation who may choose to do so; this is the best aspect of democracy. Communism arranges ‘economic matters and social life’; democracy stabilizes the life of the ‘representative government’; and fascism inspires ‘martial strength and military preparedness’.” [emphasis added]
Describing the Brotherhood’s ideology, the Egyptian jurist and former chief justice of Egypt’s High Criminal Court said it was a “perversion of Islam,” and called it a “fascistic ideology” that prescribes a “total (if not totalitarian) way of life” (Dalin and Rothman, 37).
Given the long history between the Brotherhood and the Nazis, and Germany and Islam in general going back to the Ottomans, it is not surprising that one of Brotherhood’s eminent leaders would seek a contact at Cologne University. The topic of Ramadan’s doctoral thesis was the worldwide implementation of Sharia law.
Commanding a considerable amount of financial power, Ramadan entered the Munich mosque project, entering into implicit partnership with former Nazis and the American CIA. He had connections to Saudi money, and promised that they would gladly finance the project if given control of the mosque. Although Ramadan, for other reasons, did not stick around Munich to see the mosque complete (he fled to Switzerland), the Turkish-German-American project had effectively been co-opted by an organization that has as its stated goal: "Islam is the solution, the Koran is our Constitution, Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our Leader, Jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Sultan Hamid’s pan-Islamism, reinforced by Nazi tactics and subversion, lives on not only in al Qaeda, but also the Muslim Brotherhood.
With this history, is it any surprise that several of the key 9/11 hijackers, including leader Mohammed Atta, were part of a German cell?
The Brother’s Nazism on Display in the World Today
In headlines today, there is ample evidence that the modern jihadis idolize the Nazis. Indeed, the unique strand of 20th century hate is alive and well in modern Palestinian Islamist movement.
In October, residents of Beit Umar in the Palestinian Authority flew the Nazi flag high over a major roadway. It was at least the second time it had occurred in five months. In a recent speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted Amin al-Husseini as “one of the initiators of the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe.”
A Palestinian Authority youth magazine attributed several quotes, admiringly, to Hitler. (The quotes were apparently altered and/or inaccurate.)
In December 2011, a PLO youth magazine featured a story by a young girl who dreamt that none less than Hitler inspired her views on Israel and the Jews. “I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.”
Brotherhood: Suppression and Ascent
Prior to the backlash directed at the Brotherhood after Morsi was deposed, there had been two significant prior crackdowns on the organization. One followed the assassination of a judge by the Society’s secret apparatus, as well as the discovery of a Jeep containing documents describing the secret apparatus, its revolutionary motive and terrorist tactics, and the names of the members. This was in 1948. Banna made peace with the king and other top government officials, sympathetic to their cause, and the ban was lifted. Again, it was banned in 1954 for insisting that Egypt be ruled by Sharia. In 1964, Nasser granted an amnesty to the Brotherhood, only to see them plot his assassination two years later. This led to a broad effort by the government to decapitate the organization, including hanging their leading ideologue, Sayyid Qutb. Slowly, however, the political and economic bans were relaxed, and today the Brotherhood is present in every strata of society.
Though a driving force behind the establishment of an independent Egypt, due to their uncompromising insistence on Sharia law in Egypt and the broader Islamic Ummah, the Muslim Brotherhood was violently suppressed from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s.In 1966, Sayyid Qutb, the most significant author and essayist of the Society, responsible for developing much of its ideology, was executed by hanging by the Egyptian government. He had been implicated in a plot of assassinate Nasser, and continued to advocate overthrowing what he saw as a corrupt, secular government. The two decades that followed were dark time for the Brotherhood, forced underground and out of favor with the large majority of mainstream, respectable politicians. This tenuous situation was only exacerbated after the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Sadat, in fact, was a close associate and sympathizer of the Muslim Brotherhood who had met several times with al-Banna, and admired Amin al-Husseini. It was after Sadat made peace with Israel that he was murdered by an Islamist, Khalid Islambouli, who shouted “I have slain Pharaoh, and I do not fear death!” Declaring martial law (or “emergency law,” as it was called), not repealed until his resignation, the new president, Hosni Mubarak, cracked down on the Brotherhood with an iron fist.
Yet by the mid-1980s, the political and social exclusion of the Brotherhood was already being slackened. Not only did this reflect a sympathy with the Brotherhood among many Egyptians, but it also exemplified how resilient and mutable the Brotherhood’s tactics could be in the face of tremendous pressure to dissolve. Never an overtly or singularly political organization, the Brotherhood began to infiltrate professional associations, including engineers, dentists, scientists, pharmacists, doctors, and journalists. This movement within the society was called the “Islamic Trend,” and sought to form a parallel “state within a state,” wholly Islamic, that would rival and eventually replace the secular Egyptian government and grow to encompass of the private economy (Paison). Recruitment was helped immeasurably by the inability of the Egyptian state guarantee work for college graduates. These individuals found themselves without livelihoods, and sought opportunity within the “Islamic sector” (ibid.).
Comparison between Nazi Party and Muslim Brotherhood Origins and Propaganda
An analysis of the origins, propaganda, as well as the enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood and National Socialism contributes to the understanding of the continuity of their respective agendas. It is worth noting that the translation of jihad into English is struggle. Struggle is also the operative word in Adolf Hitler’s political manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The Nazis and the Muslim Brothers had/have find ideological opponents in materialism, modernity, Bolshevism, colonialism, England, the Jews, Socialism.
The Muslim Brotherhood, following the teaching of its founder, Hassan al-Banna, identified early on their religious and political agenda as a reaction against modernity and the seductions of pleasure, material and sexual. Modernity had corrupted Islam and moved it away from its early teachings: “…al-Banna advocated a return to early Islam as the only true religion, and as such destined to supremacy. In his view, contemporary Islam had lost this social dominance, because most Muslims had become corrupted by Western influence and seduced into surrendering their religiosity.” This was not unlike the teachings of National Socialism, which preached that the industrial revolution had brought Germans into cities who had previously been on rural farms, and thus had a special relationship with the “soil.” Like Hitler, al Banna was not an elitist from the old aristocracy, but a populist and an activist, popular with the people rather than the political class. The Brotherhood, like the Nazi Party, was organized around the “leadership principle,” which in practice meant that Hitler and Banna, two men of reputed charisma, ultimately controlled the all of decision making in their organizations.
It being known that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nazis had a cooperative relationship during World War II, it should not come as a surprise that they shared a long list of common enemies. Both parties hated Communism (and Bolshevism) and fought persistently against all Communist influences in Egypt and Germany; both hated materialism, whether it was the materialism of Communism or capitalism; both believed that the Jews were intimately tied into international Communism, while also believing that the capitalist class was largely composed of Jews (who, according to Brotherhood propaganda, were “’a subversive element’ in all states and societies;” both called for boycotts of Jewish business; both sought to end the British Empire and colonialism, and viewed England as a capitalist, colonial power who lived off the expense of others (in the case of the Brotherhood, at the expense of Egypt; in the case of Germany, at the expense of the Germans following WWI); and finally, both advocate(d) genocide of their political enemies,3 especially the Jews. Viewed through the lens of modern Islamism, it is disturbing to learn that two separate editions of Mein Kampf were ranked 12 and 15 on Amazon’s best-selling list in Politics & Current Events in January 2014.
The home of the last official Caliphate is home again, today. According to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, in an article dated October 13, 2013:
Since the June 30 revolution in Egypt, Turkey has become the regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization. Istanbul has played host to many meetings planning what steps are to be taken against the military-backed Egyptian government after the July 3 ouster of President Mohammad Mursi.
These Ankara sponsored events were part of Turkey’s attempt to outlaw “the foreign legitimacy” of the new Egyptian leadership, a move made in addition to its previous role as a political boot camp after the January 25 revolution.
Turkey’s defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the tears of Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the Egyptian security forces attempted to storm the sit-in of Rabaa al-Adawiya, proved Erdogan’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization and their mutual interest in restoring “the era of Islamic rule,” seen by the Brotherhood as the basis for protecting “the Islamic nation.”
The Once and Future Home of the Caliph?
Turkey has been the political instigator for the revival of pan-Islamism through the organ of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1996, the founder of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood (known as Milli Görüs), Necmetting Erbakan, “attempted to facilitate the rise of a new Islamic power, the Eight Islamic countries group, made up of Libya, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.” True, the modern Turkish explication of the extent of the caliphate is more humble than Hassan al-Banna’s, who had written, in the pages of the Brotherhood’s newspaper Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, “No justice will be dealt and no peace will be maintained on earth until the rule of the Koran and the bloc of Islam are established. Moslem unity must be established. Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Tripoli, Tunis, Algeria, Algeria, and Morocco all form one bloc, the Moselm bloc, which God has promised to grant victory, saying ‘We shall grant victory unto the faithful.’ But this is impossible to reach other than through the way of Islam” (Dalin and Rothman, 37). Yet how different is their worldview? The Turkish state today operates on the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder and martyred leader.
The current ruling party in Turkey, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has a long cooperative relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. Though technically distinct from it, the Party gave ample business opportunities Brotherhood businessmen. Recep Erdogan, the leader of the AKP and Prime Minister of Turkey, remains an open follower of Erbakan.
Fethullah Gülen, the Pennsylvanian Brother
Furthermore, the President of Turkey, Erdogan’s second in command, Abdullah Gül, enjoys the support of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish billionaire living in exile in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Gülen operates the largest Nurcu group in Turkey. Nurcu groups, which arose in the late Ottoman period, are community-centered “reading” or “study” groups to discuss what had/has been banned in Turkey. Since the secularist revolution of Kemal Ataturk, Nurcu groups often study the Koran and its most controversial teachings.
Though Gülen does not claim to a member of the Brotherhood, many of his groups teachings and methods are indistinguishable from the methods of the Brotherhood. For example the Gülenist movement’s infiltration into the civil society of Turkey bears resemblance to the strategy employed by the Egyptian Brotherhood. According to an article published in City Journal by Claire Berlinski:
The movement, according to researchers such as Yavuz, has three coordinated tiers: businessmen, journalists, and teachers. The first tier, the so-called Anatolian bourgeoisie, provides financial support: it funds private high schools, universities, colleges, dormitories, summer camps, and foundations around the world. The journalists of the second tier own one of the leading Turkish dailies, Zaman; its English-language counterpart, Today’s Zaman (which is often not a faithful translation); the Turkish television station STV; the Cihan news service; many magazines and academic journals; several lesser dailies and TV channels; and many Internet-only news outlets. Finally, teachers operate the schools.
Not only does Gülen operate schools in Turkey; he is also the largest operator of private charter schools within the United States; one recent tally had the number of schools at 131. These schools, like their counterparts in Turkey, instruct students how to live an Islamic lifestyle, including the segregation of women across all strata of society. Charter schools receive money directly from state and federal governments, making Gülen a recipient of millions of dollars of American tax revenue.
Perhaps the most obvious red flag that highlights the similarity of thought between the Muslim Brotherhood and Gülen is a video that surfaced in 1999, in which he says:
You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers. . . . Until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria . . . like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. . . . The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it. . . . You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey . . . . Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence . . . trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here, [just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.
Erdogan’s Turkey under the AKP
Like his Egyptian counterparts, Gülen and his followers have created a parallel Islamic society within a society, and waited until the conditions were “ripe” for conquering and then dominating the political system within a country. The AKP has been that vessel, and over the last ten years have slowly begun instituting Sharia law within formerly secular Turkey.
Consider a list of “reforms” by the AKP, recounted in 2008:
Actively promote their own like-minded cadres into the judiciary, police and other high level positions
Through supporters, they pay money to girls to switch to wearing Islamic clothing that covers their head
Through the judiciary, they levy exorbitant taxes on the press, forcing these newspapers to be sold, which their supporters then buy. ****There is no secular newspaper left in the country! *** All are Islamist owned, or are heading in that direction.
They passed a legislation that fines a person $10,000 (yes, ten thousand dollars) for ordering a glass of alcoholic beverage at a restaurant!
They have levied exorbitant taxes on the wine sector, which caused them to go bankrupt
They have unleashed police on protestors with no mercy
They have held in prison many people with no charge for 9 months with the made up of charges of trying to topple the government. Imagine that, being held in prison for 9 months without being charged!
Source: Contributor at danielpipes.org
A more recent article adds to the list of Sharia-inspired legislation:
Accepting this reality, the AKP wins ever-greater electoral support by softly coercing the population to be more virtuous, traditional, pious, religious, conservative, and moral. Thus, it encourages fasting during Ramadan and female modesty and discourages alcohol consumption. It has attempted to criminalize adultery, indicted an anti-Islamist artist, increased the number of religious schools, added Islam to the public-school curriculum, and introduced questions about Islam to university entrance exams. Put in terms of Turkish Airlines, pork is already gone, and it’s a matter of time until the alcohol also disappears.
Among the most disturbing developments in Turkey has been their prison “reform,” which has many political prisoners in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours per day. Under pressure from the European Union to improve prison hygienic conditions as a precursor to joining the EU political system Turkey built F-Type prisons. While much cleaner than their predecessors, they permit only one hour per week of social interaction between prisoners.
Domestically, alcohol has been in the sights of the AKP. It is no longer legal to advertise alcohol in Turkey. In May, draft legislation was approved by the general assembly of the parliament, imposing the following restrictions on alcohol:
Existing alcohol-serving establishments are exempt from the “100-meter ban.” But they will fall into its scope if they change hands or take a new name.
Alcoholic beverages cannot be put on sale in a way that makes them seen from the outside. This means that liquor bottles cannot be displayed in shop windows.
Any advertisement or promotion of alcoholic beverages is banned.
Companies which produce, import or market alcoholic beverages cannot sponsor any event using their brand names or logos.
Concurrent with the systemic assault on alcoholic beverages, the AKP has also waged war on tobacco. Working with the Bloomberg Global Tobacco Control Initiative, since 2002, the AKP has encouraged tobacco farmers to substitute their tobacco cultivation with other crops, a method not unlike that which is used to discourage the growers of coca, opium, and other drugs. Tekel, the Turkish state-owned monopoly, limits production to 200kg per producer. As a result of these state-imposed tobacco restrictions, corruption is rampant, and farmers get around the limit by purchasing rights from Tekel civil servants. Thus, one effect of the new policies is that AKP civil servants profit from the production of tobacco through the illegal sale of rights to farmers looking to grow more than their strict allotment – the contract to grow has become a commodity itself. A transfer of wealth has been accomplished under the guise of public health. These new laws led to reduction in tonnage from 251,070 in 2000, to 98,137 in 2007, a decrease of 61%. Apparently they have not, however, led to a reduction in the number of tobacco farmers.
This October, the AKP lifted the almost 90 year old ban on the Islamic headscarf in Turkey. A reform by Ataturk intended to force Turkey into the secular age of governance, this ban was viewed with disdain by Islamists in Turkey. Erdogan, with typical bombast and exaggeration, said “A regulation that has hurt many young people and has caused great suffering to their parents, a dark period, is coming to an end." Perhaps the most symbolic of all AKP laws, does this spell the end of secular Turkey?
Erdogan and Gülen Split
Although the AKP and Erdogan and the Gülenist movement share goal of creating a sharia-compliant Turkey, and indeed a new caliphate, historical differences have led to a recent “open war” between the two Islamist camps. According to an article in Al Monitor, which will be summarized here, the Gülenist has always been more of a cultural, rather than political, Islamic phenomenon. It was only in the 1970s that Gülenists began to infiltrate the Turkish government: in particular, the national police and judiciary. As the AKP came into power, they found a natural ally in these (as a result) Gülenist institutions of the Turkish state, which was officially secular. The partnership between Erdogan and Gülen flourished while the AKP strengthened its political hold on Turkey, especially after the Ergenekon trials, which ended with the imprisonment of Erdogan’s secular rivals in the CHP.
Yet it seems as though the Gülen movement is broadly opposed to Erdogan’s pattern of risky international interventions. Beginning in 2010 with the Flotilla incident, in which a Turkish-led flotilla was seized while smuggling arms and other combat supplies to anti-Israeli terrorists in the Gaza, Fethullah Gülen began criticizing the policies of the AKP, as directed by Erdogan. Gülen has also come out against Turkish involvement in the Syria Civil War. In February 2012, a Gülenist prosecutor called a close Erdogan confidant, Hakan Fidan, head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, to testify in an investigation against the PKK. The next morning, another prosecutor, who is suspected of being with the Gülen movement as well, raided the homes of prominent AKP party members, including sons of three ministers and an AKP mayor. They confiscated “millions of dollars stacked in shoe boxes,” apparently part of a corruption scandal involving oil-for-gold trade with Iran. This trade, of course, prove that NATO member Turkey was going around the sanctions imposed by the world community on Iran to prevent nuclear armament. This prompted many in the Gülen movement to call for AKP resignations, including the resignation of Erdogan himself. In fact, the AKP Environment Minister called on Erdogan to resign following his own resignation.
In response, the authoritarian par excellence Erdogan has begun to close Gülen prep schools, which the movement depends on for revenue and recruitment.
Turkey is infamous for its conspiracies and “deep state.” As such, a degree of skepticism should be applied when evaluating Turkish politics. With that said, many believe that Gülen, leader of a cultural rather than political movement, merely seeks the resignation of Erdogan, who has become somewhat of an international liability. Erdogan’s President, Admiral Gul, has always been personally closer to Gülen than himself. The Gülenists do not have an alternative political party to which they can seek political cover, so it is likely that they will try to force Erdogan to resign rather than declare open opposition to the AKP, which shares many of their political (and cultural) goals. However, should the power struggle escalate, and should Turkey descend into widespread violence, it will only be a matter of time before the violence in Syria spills over Turkey’s border. This would mean a significant number of al Qaeda mujahedeen entering Turkey, and the war that was previously confined to Syria would then have two active theaters.
Erdogan and Barack Obama
It’s difficult to speak of Turkey and Islamism without noting the intimate friendship between President Obama and Recep Erdogan.
In May 2009, a few months after taking his oath as President, Obama said at a press conference in Turkey, “Although as I mentioned we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation…”
In 2012, Obama named Erdogan among his “Top 5” friends international friends. In May, Obama called Erdogan “a strong ally and partner in the region and around the world.”
Obama has consistently noted that he and Erdogan are equally committed to ensuring the ouster of Bashar Assad from Syria, and thus realizing victory for the al Qaeda-infested rebels.
According to the Washington Post, Obama has spent more time on the phone with Erdogan than any other world leader.
Distressingly, according to leaked documents belonging to the intelligence firm Stratfor, when Hosni Mubarak’s government was in the process of surrendering to popular protest, Obama spoke with Erdogan at least three times to discuss who would replace him as President of Egypt. Apparently they decided on the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi.
Qatar, the Muslim Brother’s Hedge Fund
Sometimes the tail wags the dog. In the case of the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, their small population and tremendous wealth give them an outsized influence in diplomacy and international influence. If Ankara is the heart of the emerging Islamic Caliphate, Qatar is the brain. Through sophisticated international investment and diplomacy, Qatar has acted behind the scenes in each of the “Arab Spring” revolutions that installed Islamist government where once secular dictators ruled.
A country rich in natural gas and approximately two million citizens, Qatar has the highest per capital GDP in the world. GDP in 2011 was $173 USD. Citizens enjoy an average income of more than $100,000. (By comparison, California, the richest state in the United States, has a GDP of $1.8 trillion – approximately 10x that of Qatar – and a population of 38 million – or 76x the size of Qatar. GDP per capita in California is $51, 914. In terms of square miles, California is more than 36x the size of Qatar.) Thanks in large part to ExxonMobil, the Qatari state has been effective in exploiting the North Field, and produces approximately 14% of the world’s natural gas, behind only Russia and Iran.
Qatari riyal fixed to American dollar $3.64
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
Following the model of other small nation states with excessive amounts of cash due to energy reserves (and other means, as will be explained later in this report), Qatar established a sovereign wealth fund. The Qatar Investment Authority was founded in 2005, and currently has $115 billion Assets under Management (AUM). Essentially a hedge fund controlled by a petrostate, the QIA’s aggressive diversification strategy means that the Qatari state holds significant assets around the globe. Some notable holdings include:
QIA Holdings by Country
12.7% of Barclays plc (Banking)
Harrods Group (London-based retail brand purchased from Mohamed al-Fayed)
Glencore Xstrata (UK and Switzerland – Commodity trading)
Approximate 3% of Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands and UK - Energy)
$2.23 billion investment in Printemps Malls (Retail)
Football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (Sports)
Hotel Martinez in Cannes (Tourism)
Offices of Le Figaro (Real Estate)
1% of LVMH (Luxury)
3% stake (reported) in Total (Energy - Oil and Natural Gas)
12% of Lagardère (Mass media )
3% of Vivendi (Mass media)
5% of Veolia Environment (Utility)
Peninsula Hotel in Paris (Tourism)
Colony Capital (Private equity firm specializing in real estate investment)
Miramax Films, purchased from Disney (formerly USA. Note: Founder is Harvey Weinstein, a top Obama donor and propagandist. Produced TV movie Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden.)
Bank of America. Announced in October that Qatar Holding (an arm of QIA) is seeking a $1 billion investment in Bank of America. (Banking)
17% of Volkswagen (Germany - Automobile)
6% of Credit Suisse shares (Switzerland – Bank)
$100,000 million investment in Blackberry. See here. (Canada – Telecommunications)
$1 billion in European Goldfields, including $600 million for operations in Greece (Greece – Mining)
$100 million for tourism and real-estate development in Maya Riviera (Mexico – Tourism)
Raffle’s Hotel, purchased for $275 million from Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal (Singapore – Tourism)
Examining the holdings of QIA, one is drawn to the vast amount of property owned in France. There is good reason for this. Under the previous French government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Qataris began investing heavily in France due to a change in the tax code. A recent report in Reuters explains why: a special treaty between France and Qatar exempts the Gulf state from paying any taxes on properties sold in France. In total, Qatar approximately 40 properties in France, including hotels, offices, and government buildings. They have invested an estimated 5.9 billion euros over the past decade in French properties, which are now valued at 6.3 billion euros.
Yet the QIA portfolio does not capture the full extent of Qatari financial complex. Through the Qatar Foundation, a private foundation controlled by the Emir and his immediate family, Qatar has further diversified interests. The mission of the foundation is to “support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential.” The Qatar Foundation has interests that include:
FC Barcelona, the professional football club of Barcelona, Spain Vodafone, a telecommunications and cell phone provider
A special project with the French government to invest money in Muslim suburbs in Paris for “development”
Of the investment in the Muslim-populated Paris suburbs, French President Francois Hollande visited then-Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in June. He effused about the “mutual respect and understanding” between France and Qatar. Given that Qatar was previously an English colony, with no history of French imperialism, the only plausible reason behind such a statement and visit must be that Qatar holds stakes in so many French companies (see above).
With a special focus on education, like the time-tested Brotherhood strategy of influencing young minds, Qatar has attracted many big names in academia to Doha. The Qatar Foundation is affiliated with the United National Institute for International Education. WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education), a Qatar-based foundation to influence education globally, has more than 18,000 members and a presence in 152 countries.
The following universities, think tanks, and international summits have a presence within Qatar:
Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
Georgetown University (USA)
HEC Paris (France)
Northwestern University (USA)
Stenden University (Netherlands)
Texas A&M University (USA)
Virginia Commonwealth University (USA)
Weill Cornell Medical College (USA)
University of Calgary (Canada)
Brookings Institute Doha (USA)
Royal United Services Institute (UK)
Center for International and Regional Studies (USA, part of Georgetown University)
RAND-Qatar Policy Institute (USA)
Summits and Conferences
2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Bloomberg International Business Forum/Bloomberg Doha Conference
Digital Doha Summit
Doha Aviation Summit
Other Notable Qatari Investments:
Qatar is also notably invested in several other countries:
Greece: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani purchased six (6) Greek islands in the Ionian Sea for private use for €8.5m.
Katara Hospitality (formerly Qatar National Hotels) owns 24 luxury hotels in the UAE and around the world. Plans on owning 60 hotels by 2030.
Another important Qatari organization that has assisted in the spread of international Jihad is Qatar Charities. Once listed among Osama bin Laden’s charities of choice, it was publicly linked to an assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1995. Since Syria descended into Qatari-backed civil war as part of the Arab Spring, the “charity” has been implicated in funneling money to the Syrian rebels. (Reports out of Iran claim $5 billion USD, though this is likely a very high estimate.) Furthermore, according research a MoneyJihad article from March 2013, “Qatar Charity itself is also active in Mali working in an apparently parallel fashion with rebel fighters.” Considering the multi-decade connection to terrorist activities, it is alarming that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with the charity in April 2013 to “fight polio.” Hopefully they’re only “fighting” polio.
The American Base
Since 1991, following the Gulf War, the American government has had a security agreement with Qatar. In 1992, the United States and Qatar signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement. The Al Udeid Air Force base, located West of Doha, has been expanded since 1992 and now houses thousands of U.S. military personnel. It additionally serves as the Forward Headquarters of United States Central Command. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US Air Combat Operations in the Middle Easter was moved to the base from Saudi Arabia. Al Udeid is a major base for drone operations in the Middle East, featuring some of the longest and most advanced runways.
According to a report published by the Congressional Research Service in 2010:
In January 1991, Qatari armored forces helped coalition troops repel an Iraqi attack on the Saudi Arabian town of Kafji, on the coastal road leading south from Kuwait into Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province.50 In June 1992, Qatar signed a defense cooperation agreement with the United States, opening a period of close coordination in military affairs that has continued to the present.
The United States promptly recognized the assumption of power by Shaikh Hamad in June 1995 and has welcomed Qatar’s defense cooperation, as well as Qatari political, economic, and educational reform efforts since that time. Qatari-U.S. defense relations have expanded over the last 15 years to include cooperative defense exercises, equipment pre-positioning, and base access agreements, although Qatari officials have been, at times, critical of U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf…
The Al Udeid airbase south of Doha, the Qatari capital, serves as a logistics, command, and basing hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearby Camp As Sayliyah houses significant U.S. military equipment pre-positioning and command facilities for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations. Qatar invested over $1 billion to construct the Al Udeid air base during the 1990s; it did not have an air force of its own at the time. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also awarded over $100 billion dollars in Military Construction Air Force (MCAF) contracts for the construction of U.S. storage, housing, service, command, and communication facilities. Qatar’s financing and construction of some of the state-of-the-art air force base at Al Udeid and its granting of permission for the construction of U.S.-funded facilities facilitated gradually deeper cooperation with U.S. military forces. U.S. access to the base therewas formalized in late 2000. In April 2003, the U.S. Combat Air Operations Center for the Middle East moved from Prince Sultan Airbase in Saudi Arabia to Qatar’s Al Udeid. Qatar contributed $400 million to U.S. efforts to upgrade and construct facilities there, including a new air operations command center. The base currently serves as the home of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. From FY2003 to FY2007, Congress appropriated and authorized $126 million for U.S. military construction activities in Qatar. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (P.L. 110-181) authorized $81.7 million in FY2008 spending to build new Air Force and Special Operations facilities in Qatar. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) authorizes $69.6 million in FY2009 spending to build new Air Force and Special Operations facilities. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (P.L. 111-84) authorizes $60 million in FY2010 spending to build new Air Force recreational and dormitory facilities at Al Udeid. The Administration’s FY2011 military construction request for Qatar is $64.3 million.
Both the United States and Qatar have become co-dependent on each for different reasons. While the United States provides military force to repel any aggressors from entering Qatari territory, the Qataris serve as the host to American military force in the region, while subsidizing many of the costs associated with maintaining a modern military installation. But this symbiotic relationship comprises America’s interests in the region, for, as will be explained, Qatar has extensive and profitable relationships with various hostile criminal organizations and nearly-criminal states.
Despite Al Udeid’s impressive size and capabilities, it is not the only American base in Qatar. The Al Saliya pre-positioning base is also located outside of Doha. Used for preposition of materials going to Iraq and Afghanistan, construction of the first phase began in 1996. It is now the largest pre-positioning base of the U.S. military outside the United States.
Al Jazeera: The Voice of the Brothers’ Revolution
Founded in 1996, Al Jazeera (English: the Island, or Peninsula, i.e. Qatar) is the Qatari news network based out of Doha. Following the closure of the BBC’s Arabic language channel, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, then the Emir of Qatar, provided a $137 million loan to start the network. Today, Al Jazeera and all subsidiary networks are run by his cousin, Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who is worth $3.5 USD billion.
The biggest personality on Al Jazeera is surely Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and international agitator for pan-Islamism. Qaradawi is author of more than 120 books, and is regarded as one of the leading scholars of Islam living today. An Egyptian by birth, prior to the revolution, he was imprisoned by King Farouq in 1949, assuredly for Brotherhood-related activity. Following the revolution, Qaradawi was imprisoned by Nasser… presumably for the same pro-Brotherhood, anti-government reasons he was imprisoned by the King. (There is a certain predictable pattern among the Ikhwan, after all.) In 1961, Qaradawi left for Qatar. He returned to Egypt in 2011, addressing a crowd in Tahrir Square, urging the Brotherhood to suppress all political opponents.
In February 2011, Qaradawi similarly issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi, urging his killing. Not by coincidence, Qaradawi’s opinion of Gaddafi was in line with the official position of the Qatari royal family, who had been providing money and arms to Libyan rebels. Following the outing of Morsi, Qaradawi urged violence against Egyptian Coptic Christians, whom he blamed for orchestrating the removal of Morsi with the Egyptian military.
Regarding Syria, Qaradawi has used his international celebrity via al Jazeera to declare jihad on Assad. Citing the involvement of Hezbollah on behalf of regime forces, Qaradawi urged all Sunnis to flock to Syria, reminiscent of the declaration a Caliph of yesteryear may have made. "Every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that [must] make himself available… Iran is pushing forward arms and men [to back the Syrian regime], so why do we stand idle?" Qaradawi raged on, renaming Hezbollah the “Party of Satan” in a pun not lost on anyone.
Qaradawi has long been a proponent of pan-Islamism, with penchant for Nazi-inspired rhetoric. Echoing Amin al-Husseini, he once prayed on Al-Jazeera that Allah kill every Jew, “down to the very last one.” In an interview given in 2010, Qaradawi summarized his view on jihad:
“According to Islamic law, in any country that is invaded and occupied by foreign infidels, all the local people should conduct resistance against the occupation, using all the means at their disposal. The jurisprudents said that a woman can set out on jihad without her husband’s permission, a child can set out on jihad without his father’s permission, and a slave can set out without his master’s permission. All the people should set out on jihad…”
Aside from hosting a notorious Muslim Brother revolutionary, the loudest mouthpiece of international jihad, Al Jazeera has more recently launched new networks to complement the Qataris increasing status in the world and other acquisitions. Paralleling their investment in various football clubs, Al Jazeera Sports was launched in 2003, and currently has 16 channels that air English, French, and Italian soccer matches, among others. This year, Al Jazeera America launched on August 20. Headquartered in Manhattan, they have their studios in the former offices of CurrentTV, which was sold to them by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for an estimated $100 million.
In late December, it was reported that the Egyptian government arrested and interrogated “a team of journalists working for Al-Jazeera’s English channel” for suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The arrest came on the heels of a decision by the Egyptian government to officially declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Within a matter of days, both the State Department and Department of Defense informed the Egyptian that they should be “politically inclusive” of the terrorist group. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “expressed concern” over the designation, and “stressed the role of political inclusiveness.” Secretary of State John Kerry was also “concerned” that the Egyptian government did something they should have done 60 years ago. According to the State Department, Kerry “underscored the need for an inclusive political process across the political spectrum that respects the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians in order to achieve political stability and democratic change.”
In January, 2014, this led to the Egyptian Foreign Minister summoning the Qatari ambassador to complain about Qatar’s “interference in internal affairs” in Egypt. Qatar had equated the Egyptian declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization to a “shoot and kill policy” against demonstrators.
The evidence presented above that Qatar, and hence Al Jazeera, are linked not only to the Brotherhood but also al Qaeda should presumably be sufficient grounds to arrest and interrogate any Al Jazeera journalists who remain in Egypt, whose civilian population is continually being terrorized by the criminal Islamist network.
Al Arabiya and its Chiding of the Qatari-backed Arab Spring
The success of al Jazeera cannot be ignored. It offered the first mainstream media outlet for the politics of the Muslim Brotherhood and global jihad, and in seemingly respectable format. It also elevated the profile of Qatar, a once-ignored tiny plot of land, out of the shadow of Saudi Arabia.
Probably in response to the global attention garnered by al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia founded al Arabiya in 2003. Predictably, al Arabiya’s coverage of the Arab Spring has been much less enthusiastic than al Jazeera’s. An article from November, 2013 entitled The Arab Spring’s Uncertain Legacy reads “There is now a growing consensus that the region is facing a time of uncertainty, at the root of which is social and political polarization.” Another article from October, Arab Spring to cost Middle East $800 billion, HSBC estimates, quotes a report by the British bank: “The combination of a severe fiscal deterioration, and a decline in government effectiveness, security and the rule of law will weigh heavily on policymakers' efforts, even to bring employment back to pre-revolution levels.” Highlighting the differences between Saudi Arabia and Qatar with respect to women’s rights, an issue of contention between the two fundamentalist states, al Arabiya reported in November than Arab Spring countries have seen a backtracking on the rights of women. According to the article, Egypt, the former darling of the regional revolution, whose secular dictator was replaced by Muslim Brother Muhammad Morsi for a short time, is ranked the worst in the entire region according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Qatar and al Qaeda
Other than the very public backing of al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood rebels to overthrow secular regimes, Al Jazeera and Qatar have a complicated history when it comes to terrorism. According to leaked American diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks, Qatar’s record of counter-terrorism is the “worst in the region.” According to the cable, “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals.”9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was on the payroll of the Qatari Ministry of Electricity and Water. In fact, it was a no-show job, and he used the time and money to travel to different countries. Months before his capture, KSM was interviewed by Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda. According to the FBI and CIA, American intelligence was on the verge of capturing KSM in 1996 in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, until he was tipped off by a member of the Qatari royal family, Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani. Described as a “deeply religious” member of the family, Abdullah al-Thani was formerly the Minister of Religious Affairs, in 1996, and then Minister of Interior of Qatar until June 2013.
Qatar was also the home of the alleged Taliban embassy, which turns out to have been a farce. Despite Obama telling the world that Karzai and the Afghani government were in discussions with the Taliban in Qatar, the story was later changed when it was revealed that the Taliban had not in fact opened an embassy, but a small office which featured the al Qaeda flag. In this regard, the Obama administration is of two contradictory minds: on one hand, it was announced that Karzai’s government was making peace with the Taliban; on the other, it was announced in June 2013 that American government did not recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Qatar and the Pakistani National Logistics Cell (Taliban)
Qatar and Pakistan, one of the world’s most corrupt states with a military and intelligence services who regularly behave like mercenaries groups, enjoy a cordial relationship. The Pakistani-military subsidiary and construction company National Logistics Cell, which may fairly be termed a corporate division of the Taliban, is partnered with private Qatari investors. NLC has completed several and is working on a number new of construction projects in Qatar. Formally a part of the Pakistani Army, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the truckers in the NLC began transporting heroin, in additional to military supplies. This led to the coalescence of a narcotics mafia within the Pakistani military, who eventually found common ground with the Islamic anarchists of the Taliban. Due to their cooperation in the context of opium production and transportation, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the NLC in Qatar is heavily involved in narcotics. Moreover, it was reported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that the Afghan opium harvest grew by an astounding 49% in 2013, reaching an estimated 5,500 metric tons. Considering the origin of the NLC in the Pakistani military complex, it is unsurprising that in December 2011, the Chief of Pakistan’s ISI, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, traveled to Qatar.
Hamas in Qatar
In October, it was confirmed by Al Monitor that the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, was living in a “guest house” in Doha, receiving “guests from around the world.” In the same article, another senior Hamas source called the terrorist group’s relationship with Qatar “excellent.” In a well-established pattern of providing terrorists with a megaphone that reaches all corners of the world, Qatar invited Meshaal to speak on Al Jazeera, where he excused his absence from Palestine, obliquely citing the “activity” in the Arab region near Egypt. It would seem that Meshaal no longer feels safe in Palestine now that the new Egyptian government has decided to crack down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood spinoff that is Hamas.
2022 FIFA World Cup
Lately, Qatar has been making news due to their use of Nepalese labor in connection with preparations for hosting the World Cup in 2022. Dubbed “slaves” by the The Guardian, dozens have already died and thousands continue to endure slave-like conditions of forced labor and coercive employment. More than 90% of the workforce of Qatar is made up of immigrants. The Guardian revealed these horrifying facts:
Evidence of forced labor on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.
Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.
Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.
Some laborers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.
About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.
What is all of this labor being used for? The Qataris plan on building nine modular stadiums, complete with air conditioning, to host the event (at which they will not serve any alcohol). All told, the state plans on spending an exorbitant $220 billion, including the cost of improved infrastructure (think NLC) and accommodations. Once the games are complete, the plan is to deconstruct the stadiums and ship them around the world as “football development aid.” (See here, page 30.) Note that the architect of the stadiums is Albert Speer Jr., the son of Hitler’s personal architect and Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. This is not a joke.
Egypt and Qatar
Qatar and Turkey
According to Wikipedia, “Qatar and Turkey enjoy a problem-free relationship. There is ongoing cooperation and dialogue on the regional and international issues.” The coincidence of interests between the two governments, and their close, respective affiliations to various franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, such a sophomoric summation of relations (“problem-free”) is perhaps just as telling as a more nuanced one. Let us examine a few key aspects of this relationship in more detail.
Economic Relations: The question of economic health of the Turkish state is debatable. While some analysts note that Turkey has enjoyed a high GDP growth rate (8.2% in 2010; 8.0% in 2011), much of this growth is suspected to be predicated on the expansion of cheap credit by the Turkish state and participating banks. As a result of the credit expansion, Turkey’s credit rating has been downgraded by the two main credit rating agencies from “positive” to “stable”/”stable with a warning.” Debt as a percentage of GDP reached 43% in 2010, and remained relatively high at 40% in 2011. Inflation in Turkey is also a problem, reaching 10% in 2011. Not unlike the United States, since the economic events of 2008, Turkey has kept interest rates artificially low; and again, not unlike the United States dollar, the exchange rate of the Turkish lira has declined as a result of this policy.
Dependent on foreign investment and cheap credit to remain solvent, the Turkish state has found a partner in Qatar. According to the same Wikipedia page:
On 11 June 2008, Qatar Investment Authority and Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and it opened a comprehensive cooperation between two countries. Bilateral co-operation mechanisms consist of on Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and Business Council. III. JEC Meeting was held in Istanbul between Turkey and Qatar on November 19–21, 2006. Turkey-Qatar Business Council Meeting held in Istanbul on April 20, 2008 was realized with the participation of Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan.
Turkey and Qatar enjoy significant trade, and cooperate on economic ventures external to both countries.
In February 2013, the Gulf Times, a Qatari-based news agency, reported that a Turkish diplomat in Doha announced that Turkey had the “potential to become a favorite destination for Qatari business houses to venture into overseas projects.” He went on to say that Qatar was interested in investing in the Turkish tourism industry.
In March, the Commercial Bank of Qatar and Turkey’s Anadolu Endustri Holding reached an agreement for the takeover of 70.84% of Alternatif Bank by the Qatari lender. According to the head of the Turkish Businessmen Association in Qatar, Turkish construction contracts Qatar should attain a level of $10 billion over a four year period.
Turkey and Qatar have partnered to build a new highway across Bulgaria, which will improve transportation between Greece and Romania.
Turkey and Qatar have partnered to build a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline to service Greece and Bulgaria with Qatari energy.
In the lead-up to the Qatar World Cup in 2022, Turkey is expected to undertake between $25-$30 billion in the Qatari market, consisting primarily of infrastructure and construction projects.
Investment in Airlines & Boeing
Both Turkey and Qatar have and are continuing to make significant investments in the airline industry, at a higher rate than competitors. Qatar Airways was founded in November 1993, approximately a year after Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani assumed control over the day to day ruling of Qatar. Qatar Airways has grown to a fleet of 126 planes servicing 128 destinations. They are the sponsor for FC Barcelona’s shirt for the 2013-14 season, replacing the sponsorship of the Qatar Foundation.
Qatar Airways began operating as the private airline of the Qatari royal family. From its humble beginnings leasing planes from Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airlines has grown to be one of the most respected luxury brands among passenger airlines. Their slogan being "World's 5-Star airline," their business class was ranked #1 by the industry's World Airline Awards. Rapid growth in the airline business has led to a "kind of marriage" between Qatar and the American aerospace company and military contractor Boeing. Qatar Airways had planned on launching 15 new routes in 2013 with Boeing 787s but due to continued technical challenges can only launch 10. Despite the perpetual delays, relations between Qatar and Boeing remain exceptionally strong due to their mutual dependence. In terms of airports, New Doha International Airport will be renamed Hamad International Airport when it opens in April 2014. When complete, the expansion will double the total number of contact gates from forty to eighty (80).
Turkey under the AKP has similarly expanded its footprint in the airline industry. In July 2004, the government controlled airline “announced a massive $2.8 billion order of 36 jets from Airbus, plus an order for 15 Boeing 737s,” helping it to maintain one of the youngest fleets in Europe. More recently, in January 2013, the Turkish state has announced an ambitious plan to build the world’s largest airport, at an estimated cost of $9.3 billion. It will reportedly accommodate 150 million passengers when complete in 2017, and have an unmatched 6 runways. By comparison, New York’s JFK has 4 runways, while London Heathrow, the third busiest in the world, has only two. (Currently Istanbul’s is the 19th busiest airport, yet will have 3x as many runways as Heathrow.)
Merging Sharia Legal Systems?
In October, it was reported that “senior judicial officials from Qatar and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of strengthening the judicial system in both countries through regular exchange of judicial officials in the prosecution departments in both nations.” The most plausible explanation for this cooperation is the fact that both Turkey and Qatar are run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Why else would two sovereign nations exchange officials? While the world generally cooperates in cross-border prosecution through institutions such as INTERPOL and the United Nations, this little reported agreement between the Qatari Attorney General and the Turkish Judicial Minister seems extraordinary.
To be filled in
A Special Focus on Education
The influence exerted by the Brotherhood on the educational system cannot be overlooked. “Perhaps in no other field except politics was the Society more persistent in the pursuit of its aims” (Mitchell, 284). Hassan al-Banna was a schoolteacher, and worked with associates in the Ministry of Education in order to promulgate a pamphlet instructing parents on how to raise a proper Muslim child. Distressed at the low standards of the educational system, the Society began developing supplements, instructing children on their Islamic duties. Alarmed at the separation between secular schools and Islamic education, the Society, as early as 1935, began to petition the ministry of education to reintroduce religion into public school, and also ban Christian missionary schools, which had no place in Egypt. The Society viewed these Christian schools as both heretical, for they were not Islamic, and subversive to the interests of Egyptian nationalism, for Egypt’s religion – in the view of the Society – is Islam, and Islam only (Mitchell, 285). Implicit in the Society’s ideological stance regarding education was that Islam should be the basis of Egyptian nationalism, leading to the “rebirth” of Egypt into a flourishing Islamic society. This is not unlike the interrupted attempt by the Nazi party to indoctrinate the youth into a neo-pagan cult of the S.S., ridding Germany of Christianity and its disdainful concern for the sick, infirm, and meek.
Sayyid Qutb was an inspector for the Ministry of Education, which led to his travels to America, where he studied pedagogical methods. Additionally, Qutb wrote extensively on education from an Islamist perspective, and his work remains most influential to this day. Wrote Qutb:
“No renaissance of Islamic life can be effected purely by law or statute, or by the establishment of a social system on the basis of the Islamic philosophy. Such a step is only one of the two pillars on which Islam must always stand in its construction of life. The other is a production of a state of mind imbued with the Islamic theory of life, to give permanence to external forces leading to this form of life and to give coherence to all social, religious, and civil legislation… And the natural method of establishing that philosophy is by education.”
Once can see the clear totalitarian aspirations in Qutb’s writing; the purpose of education was to inculcate in students a psychological predisposition for an Islam that would encompass all the nations “social, religious, and civil legislation.”
Before his ouster, President Morsi, working with the Brotherhood Shura Council, began to implement a completely revised educational system, giving total control, including administrative and control of the curriculum, to the Brotherhood. Part of the official ideology of the Society is its dedication to ending “ethical duality” – that is, the separation of secular and religious education. Muslims are confused because of the separation of civic and Islamic education; thus, the traditional split between the religious university, al Azhar, and the civic universities (a “relic of the West”) must end (Mitchell, 223).
But not only would the law that Morsi proposed, had it been adequate time, rewritten Egyptian education according to Brotherhood ideology, but more cynically it would allow for the recruitment of new Society members. The schools and universities have always been fertile grounds for membership drives, as evidenced by the Brotherhood front in North America, the Muslim Students Association. Founded in 1963 by Muslim Brotherhood exiles, the MSA now boasts nearly 600 chapters in universities in the United States and Canada. Connected with multiples jihadi terrorist organizations, the MSA has was investigated the New York Police Department in 2011, after labeling it an “incubator” of Islamic radicalism in 2007 (Stakelbeck, 120). In recent years, MSA chapters have been noted for their tactics of intimidation. For example, in 2007 the MSA of University of California, Irvine invited radicals Imams to the campus to speak out against the existence of Israel. University administration, who allowed permitted these speakers onto the campus, forbade Israeli student groups from recording the Imams, lest anything embarrassing come to light. In 2010, at UC Berkeley, the MSA and the Students for Palestinian Justice set up a mock Israeli checkpoint with barbed wire. An Israeli student pleading for peace was assaulted with a shopping cart, resulting in her having to go to the hospital.
Sadat had banned the Brotherhood from politics in 1977. Mubarak, however, lifted this ban and allowed the Brothers to participate in the 1984 and 1987 elections, under the banner of the Wafd and Labor parties, two off-and-on allies of the Society, or as independent candidates. Indeed, until Mubarak resigned, the Brotherhood often ran candidates as “independent,” although they were outspoken in their intentions. Today, the Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party holds 217 seats in the House of Representatives.
Could it be that the model of the MSA was taken from the National Socialist German Students’ League (NSDStB), a Nazi student association that exerted political pressure on universities and professors, especially Jewish and pacifist professors? Founded in 1926, this Nazi student organization had “the mission of integrating University-level education and academic life within the framework of the National Socialist worldview.” The second and most successful leader of the NSDStB was Baldur von Schirach, an ambitious young Nazi who, in his tenure, relentlessly purged German academia of critics of National Socialism. The group was also instrumental in adding new areas of study to university curricula, including Racial Studies and Military Science (Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, Part 3, Chapter III). Schirach was impressively cunning, and by forming alliances with sympathetic right-wing groups, managed to take control of the nationwide General Students’ Union, despite National Socialists holding a mere 10% of the seats. Voting to follow the Reich’s leadership principle, that is slavish obedience to Adolf Hitler, Schirach handed over German student affairs to the Fuhrer in 1932. For his success, Schirach was made Reichjugenfuhrer, or head, of the Hitler Youth, a paramilitary organization for German boys aged 14-18. It was to play a special role in developing the minds and attitudes of young Nazis.
That a Nazi-derived organization controls a complex of professionals, including doctors and engineers, educators, and wields political power through elected officials, should be alarming to those concerned with the stability of Egypt. Such a decentralized system makes countermeasures extremely difficult, especially given the presence of Muslim Brothers within the legitimate economy. To purge all members at once, even if it were possible, would definitely lead to a collapse in the Egyptian economy and likely civil war. Knowing this, the Society is aware of the limits of oppression by the Egyptian state. Still, there are less direct methods the Egyptian state could take to cripple the Brotherhood, acting beyond Egypt’s borders. As will explained, the Brotherhood’s international presence, particularly in Qatar, Pakistan, and Turkey, as well as their alliance with al Qaeda and thus the profit derived from narcotics and human trafficking, make them vulnerable from a legal and human rights standpoint. Furthermore, there are many prominent figures in the West whose respectability should be challenged publicly in the press, given their association to Brotherhood and al Qaeda-linked operations.
Over the last two decades, coinciding with and influencing the emergence of al Qaeda as a modern pan-Islamist movement, a radical group of Muslims has coalesced around the heretical views of the Takfirirs. The distinguishing characteristic of the Takfiris is their claimed right to determine who and who are not believer (takfir means one who accuses another of apostasy). According to the Takfiri, the non-believer, or kafir, does not have a right to live. Despite the clear admonitions in the Qu'ran that forbid murder, the adherents of the Takfiri movement embrace their self-given right to murder.
As such, this worldview has traditionally been considered heretical in Islam. It only gained currency in modern times through the writings of the Egyptian Muslim Brother Sayyid Qut'b, who judged Nasser's rule in Egypt to be insufficiently Islamic. To justify revolution against the secular military government of Nasser, and the necessary violence to effect a change in power in order to bring about Koranic rule, Qut'd embraced the Takfiri doctrine. By incorporating the heretical doctrine of murder against the kafir, Qut'd was, in his mind and the mind of the Muslim Brotherhood, able to manipulate Islam into a religion that made murder of the kafir, even the Muslim kafir, a compulsory individual obligation.
It is not surprising that a movement with an ontological basis in a fanatical obsession with violence, murder and purging of its identified enemies (alleged apostates), is today less concerned with religious purity than violence in the name of profit. A capacity for brutality long being a hallmark of effective organized crime syndicates, the Takfiris, along with al Qaeda, are major players in the international drug traffic, smuggling, slavery, and sex slavery. The charges against Daoud & Partners, if indeed connected with al Qaeda and Taliban connected crime boss Dawood Ibrahim, fit into a well-defined concern of related and interdependent criminal enterprises.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is active across several countries in Northern Africa, including Mali, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, and Morocco. They are Takfiris, as evidenced by a recent shooting at a Nigerian college that resulted in the deaths of dozens of students. On the surface, AQIM is a franchise of al Qaeda, and officially adheres to the doctrine of establishing a new caliphate governed by Sharia law. Yet this appears to be nothing more than a convenient political cover providing an air of legitimacy to an otherwise outlaw organization.
For the day-to-day activities of AQIM are not religious in nature, but capitalistic. The premier smuggling and trafficking organization in northern Africa, AQIM serves as the primary conduit between South American drug cartels and Europe. The nickname of their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar is Mr. Marlboro, reflecting their gigantic market share of smuggled black market cigarettes.
Below is a run-down on AQIM’s history and activities:
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is an Islamist smuggling organization that operates in North Africa. They profess to support the overthrow of local governments in favor of instituting sharia law – the comprehensive social, economic, and political system outlined in the Koran. Their flag reads “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful” and features an AK-47, the preferred weapon of the jihadi, on top of the world.
Yet in more recent time, AQIM is less interesting in being a messianic religious movement than a smuggling operation, offering recruits money and economic opportunity. Here are some facts about the organization and its operations in northern Africa.
Formed in 1998 out of the Algerian insurgent group, Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA; English: Armed Islamic Group), AQIM is responsible for more than a dozen major terrorist attacks since 2002.
They operate in primarily Mali, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Tunisia, Niger, and Morocco.
AQIM allies include other Islamist cartels such as Al-Shabaab (in Somalia), Boko Haram (in Nigeria), and Ansaru (in Nigeria).
In 2006, Ayman al Zawahiri, the spiritual leader of al Qaeda, formally acknowledged that AQIM was part of the al Qaeda franchise.
AQIM is widely suspected of complicity in the September 11, 2012 attack on an American Benghazi compound, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed.
AQIM is perhaps the preeminent smuggling organization across northern Africa, dealing directly with South American cartels and the cocaine trade.
In addition to narcotics trafficking, AQIM also profits handsomely from kidnapping and cigarette smuggling, which is estimated to bring in approximately $1 billion annually. Such a lucrative cigarette business has led to leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar to be dubbed Mr. Marlboro.
Many who join AQIM (as well as other local Islamist groups) are not fundamentalists, but just looking for a job. Said one Somali who joined Boko Haram, “… At least I could get a job. The rate of unemployment is a threat to security.” With that warning, you’d think that Obama might want to get the U.S. unemployment rate down?
According to a director of a Mali think tank, “AQIM approaches young people by proposing economic incentives. It could be cash or economic incentives.”
One South American drug cartel, the FARC of Colombia, actively trades cocaine for arms with AQIM. Much of the cocaine finds its way to Europe.
In 2009, a Boeing 727 was discovered, torched, in the Malian city of Gao. It had departed from Venezuela, and was reported filled with cocaine. This was dubbed “Le Boeing de la Coke” by the French press.
AQIM, unsurprisingly, is trying to “impose Sharia” in Gao. Really, are they trying to impose Sharia or simply prepare the trading routes? Do we have to assume religion motivates everything these goons do?
The U.S. State Department declared in 2012 that Mali was “a leading regional partner in U.S. efforts against terrorism.” In December 2012, a one-year military peacekeeping mission was authorized in Mali by the U.N.
AQIM represents a definitive link between the narcotics trade and Islamic terrorism. AQIM’s direct involvement with the FARC and other South American cartels, not to mention the suspicious Boeing 727 from Venezuela filled with cocaine, point to a new axis narcotics and terrorism that stretches from South America to Pakistan.
The lynchpin between Qatar, Pakistan, and al Qaeda very well may be the infamous Dawood Ibrahim, the head of the crime syndicate known as D-Company. The son of a Mumbai police constable, Ibrahim now wields considerable power in various industries, both legal and illegal, including the Indian film industry (Bollywood), hawala money transfers, pharmaceuticals, human trafficking, narcotics, and, well, terrorism. Below is a rap sheet on one of the world’s most wanted criminals.
Dawood Ibrahim, #3 on the 2011 World’s 10 Most Wanted list (behind “Chapo” Guzman and Ayman al-Zawahiri) is an Indian crime boss who operates a vast criminal enterprise known as D-Company. He has also been implicated in international terrorism and linked to several terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
D-Company’s activities include drugs, smuggling, money laundering, and counterfeiting.
Ibrahim is closely connected with the Indian film industry, Bollywood, and friends with several notable actors and actresses.
Ibrahim is said to control the Hawala system, a system of money transfer and remittances outside the view of regulatory and control agencies. Hawala is often used for money laundering.
Ibrahim has been implicated in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, which killed 257 people and injured 713. Indian authorities also implicated the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the bombing.
Ibrahim was further implicated in the 2008 Mumbai bombings, carried out by Pakistani jihadi group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, which killed 166 people. The only surviving attacker admitted that it was coordinated with help from the ISI.
Ibrahim was known for his association with Osama bin Laden before his death, using bin Laden’s terrorist network to facilitate smuggling.
Ibrahim has previously lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
On August 18, 2013, a Lashkar-e-Tayyiba bomb-maker told Delhi police that Ibrahim lives in Karachi, under the protection of the ISI. Almost like bin Laden did, no?
Ibrahim’s brother, Anis, obtained a Belize passport in 2009. This almost certainly indicates that Ibrahim is expanding his business beyond the traditional scope of Asia and into South America.
Ibrahim has diversified his drug production, and now operates methamphetamine labs.
Furthermore, according to a paper prepared by the Congressional Research Service in June 2013
[B]oth Ibrahim and his organization were listed as significant foreign narcotics traffickers (SDNTKs) in May 2008, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. His organization, D-Company, can be characterized as both a transnational criminal syndicate as well as ideologically aligned with terrorist groups operating in South Asia.
Dawood Ibrahim himself cannot reasonably be called an Islamist. There is nothing to indicate that he favors the imposition of Sharia law or the conquering of the “infidel.” In fact, he has long been known to associate with Hindu nationalists in addition to Islamists. First and foremost, he is a businessman. His ties with Islamist terrorists in Pakistan point only to a shrewd and cynical mind that piggybacks on ideology for the express purpose of profit and black market trade routes.
The ISI functions as his personal bodyguard – much like Hitler’s S.S., except with hundreds of nuclear weapons. The ISI provides the necessary cover, physical and political, and protection, as they do with infamous terrorists. Given his vast wealth and political connections, it isn’t unlikely that Dawood is their boss, and not the other way around.
The BJP, Dawood Ibrahim, and the 2014 Indian Elections
The upcoming elections of 2014 in India appear to be tilting in favor of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party born out of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS is a paramilitary organization of Hindu volunteers that traces a significant part of its ideology back to the idea of racial purity. According to Wikipedia, “During WWII the RSS' members openly admired Nazi-leader Adolf Hitler. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, who became the supreme leader of the RSS after Hedgewar, drew inspiration from Adolf Hitler's ideology of racial purity.” In his book, Golwalkar wrote:
To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races—the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.
Narendra Modi, who will run as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014, is a member of the RSS. In 2002, Hindu nationalists attacked the Muslim neighborhood of Gulbarg Society, setting fire to a house where many Muslims had taken shelter. Thirty-five people were killed, and an additional 31 others went missing. During the attack, Modi, Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat where the attack took place, ignored calls from the imperiled victims. In 2012, Modi was absolved of any guilt. Yet many feel his complicity is obvious beyond the pale.
This raises an uncomfortable possibility. Although Dawood Ibrahim is a Muslim, operating under the protection of the Pakistani ISI, he has documented connections with Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist organization which has been aligned with Modi’s BJP since the 1970s. Considering the linkages to Nazism of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the RSS, as well as the definite quality of racial supremacy of their ideologies, it is entirely possible that Narendra Modi would not be entirely hostile to Dawood Ibrahim and the ISI; indeed, they may find surprisingly creative ways to work together. Furthermore, under the last government of the BJP, in 1998 India developed and tested five nuclear weapons. The ISI is known for nothing if not their preoccupation with the accretion of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.4
Daoud & Partners
Making headlines stateside over the past several months for human trafficking of Nepalese in connection with the American military, engineering, and construction contractor Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) is a Jordanian-based construction contractor Daoud & Partners. (Daoud being the Arabic spelling of Dawood; the English name being David.) According to the evidence presented in a Florida court, Daoud & Partners promised 12 Nepalese men safe jobs in Jordan, but were instead transported to Iraq. On their way to the U.S. Air Force base where they were going to work, they were captured by insurgents, and 11 of them were killed. KBR, working with Daoud & Partners, have been found willingly violating the Trafficking Victims Protections Act. (Note: Since approximately the time of this lawsuit was announced, the website for Daoud & Partners, www.daoudco.com, is no longer operational.)
Saudi Arabia and Qatar Relations Post-Gulf War
The meteoric rise of Qatar from a politically insignificant, geographically marginal Gulf state into a global diplomatic and economic powerhouse can be traced back to the early 1990s and the first Gulf War. When Saddam Hussein made the decision invade to Kuwait, he also threatened to invade Saudi Arabia. Once he had conquered Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Hussein would control a 25% of the world's known oil reserves. The Saudi military was relatively small compared to that of Iraq's, and in the event of such an invasion would surely have been defeated. As a preventative measure, King Saud invited an American military presence on the Arabian Peninsula. Cordoned off from the general population, their mission was to defend Saudi oil fields. (Among other reasons, this presence of American soldiers on "Muslim land" would figure predominantly into bin Laden's jihad narrative against the United States.) In addition to sheltering a foreign military, the Saudi government also subsidized the cost of the war, at a cost of $20 billion. Combined with the costs that resulted from the disruption in global oil flows as a consequence of the war, as well as other reason the loss of investment in Kuwaiti bonds, the financial pressure on the Kingdom was tremendous.
It was in this context - the Gulf War and subsequent Saudi temporary default - that several key events occurred, providing the foundation for the international prominence of theretofore marginal Qatar. Qatar had been a partner with the United States in the Gulf War, permitting the use of Qatari land for a staging base against Hussein's forces. This cooperation blossomed in the following years. In 1992, the United States and Qatar signed a Defense Cooperation Treaty. In 1993, Sheikh Hamad Khalifa al-Thani overthrew his father in a bloodless coup, in what was tantamount to a hostile leveraged buyout from one generation to another in a royal, governing family. More than $1 billion was invested in the U.S. Air Force base by the Sheikh Hamad. This investment, and the technology it was able to purchase, is one reason that the base was named U.S. Air Force Central Command in the Middle East.
Qatar in the 1990s, under the rule of Hamad, also saw the birth of al Jazeera, and its development into a regional (and now global) broadcasting brand. In building their station around the Muslim Brotherhood personality of Yusuf Qaradawi, the Qataris effectively created a sort of Air Jihad, a communications and news network that connected and influenced the voice of all Muslims sympathetic to fighting for the creation of a new Caliphate governed by Sharia law.
This same span of years saw the birth and dramatic growth of Qatar Airways into a world-renowned airline, with extensive business relations to American aerospace and military contractor, Boeing.
Therefore, since the mid-1990s, the relative importance of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to the United States has shifted dramatically. Prior to Sheikh Hamad's ascendency to the throne, Qatar was hardly a blip on the diplomatic radar for the United States, and trade between the two countries was minimal. Saudi Arabia, until very recently, has been a reliable American (and Israeli) ally due to American exploitation of oil and the revenue it created for the Kingdom. The discovery of vast natural gas in the North Field giving more and more economic weight to Qatar with each passing year, relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have suffered.
Despite some overlap in the ruling aristocracies between the countries, tensions have heightened considerably since the 1990s, and especially since the Arab Spring. While Qatar was once seen as a patron of its larger neighbor, the financial independence provided by natural gas exploitation, coupled with the launch of al Jazeera, has led to significant diplomatic strife. Al Jazeera has long welcomed Saudi dissidents as guests, providing a visible for platform for critics of the Saudi ruling family. Moreover, Qatar, rather than shunning the Muslim Brotherhood and other hardline Islamists who are unfriendly to the ruling Sauds, has served as a haven for them. In response, the Saudi government has “repeatedly attempted to influence Qatari domestic policy – for instance by supporting pro-Saudi members of the royal family.”
The Arab Spring has only widened the chasm between the Kingdom and Peninsula. President Obama has directed American policy to hew the strategic imperatives of Qatar, including deposing Gaddafi and Mubarak. (Al Jazeera's leading voice, Yusuf Qaradawi, it will be remembered, swears allegiance to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which had been trying to topple the Egyptian military government since shortly after Nasser's coup.) The Arab Spring, before it degenerated into complete anarchy, began as a popular Islamist movement against established monarchies and secular dictators. Saudi Arabia, with a youth unemployment rate of 30%, was always vulnerable to spillover from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria. Furthermore, although Islamic fundamentalism permeates Saudi society - look no further than the religious police, named the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice - the ruling Wahabbi Sauds have a history of suppressing pan-Islamist movements, like the Muslim Brotherhood.
For example, in 1979, the Grand Mosque in Mecca was held hostage by a group of Islamic militants, the Juhayman al-Otaybi. They held several worshippers hostage, and hoped to overthrow the monarchy. In response, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed to resolve the precarious situation. Eventually, the Army and National Guard systematically, and with many casualties, routed out Islamists from the mosque. They had been extremely hostile to the (American-allied) Saudi regime, listing among their demands that the Saudis cease exporting oil to the United States. Moreover, the original Ikhwan, or Brotherhood, was founded in Arabia at the time of Ibn Saud’s conquest of the Arabian peninsula; shortly after consolidating power, Ibn Saud dispensed with them. Nearly all were killed with the approval of the new king.
The wealth required to develop a modern Air Force base, a worldwide multimedia network, and a world-class airline was facilitated by the natural gas of the North Field. Proven reserves of the North Field are estimated at 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In order to exploit this natural resource, the technology and capital equipment poor Qataris needed a partner in a multinational energy company. ExxonMobil has been in Qatar since the early 1990s, and since the discovery of the North Field has increased its footprint considerably. As of 2010, there were 550 ExxonMobil employees based out of Qatar, assisting local Qatari companies with whom they are partnered. The North Field has a peak production of 60,000 million cubic feet per day. Qatargas, the state monopoly LNG company, had revenues of $37.2 billion in 2011. In May 2013, it was reported by Bloomberg that ExxonMobil announced that they would be partnering with Qatar Petroleum International to build a $10 billion natural gas export terminal in Texas. The energy company is involved with no less than nine (9) joint ventures with Qatar, with ownership varying between 10%-45%. According to their website, “[ExxonMobil has] participated in 12 of the 14 LNG trains, 27 of the world’s largest LNG ships, three receiving terminals in Europe and the United States, and Qatar’s largest condensate refinery. Additionally, ExxonMobil is the only foreign participant in two domestic gas projects – Al Khaleej Gas and Barzan Gas.” Exemplifying the symbiotic relationship between the American energy company and Qatar, ExxonMobil sponsored the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2013, an annual tennis tournament held in Doha. This marked the 19th straight year that ExxonMobil had sponsored the tournament, to which the company name has now been appended.
The partnership with Qatari state energy companies has led to ExxonMobil’s obligatory corporate sponsorship of official state initiatives within, and external to, Qatar. They align well with the geopolitical and investment strategy of the al Thani family, namely sports and education. The company sponsors tennis, football, and golf tournaments, and support education of Qatari nationals, as well as supporting the Qatari World Innovation for Education (WISE) global educational initiative, under the direction of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation. The importance of both sports investment, and educational policy to not only Qatar, but the Muslim Brotherhood’s long term strategy, it would not be unfair to characterize ExxonMobil as – likely unwittingly - underwriting key aspects of Islamist economic and foreign policy.
The Arab Spring and Syrian Turf War
The simultaneous ascent of Turkey and Qatar, two Muslim Brotherhood-governed, and Islamist-friendly, countries, begs the question of what larger purpose the Arab Spring may serve. This is best understood in the context not of religious terms, but of the international narcotics traffic. Takfiri influence among Islamists being quite prominent, the Islamic aspects of jihad over the past decade have taken a back seat to illicit profits. Much like Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, or Bolivia under Evo Morales, in which professed “socialism” provided an ideological veneer for cocaine production and distribution of the FARC, the modern Islamist movements have taken advantage of a theological aegis of Islam in order to co-opt the machinery of nation states, facilitating the quasi-legitimization of organized criminal activity. It may be said that Ibrahim’s D-Company is now represented at the U.N. not only through Pakistan, but also through Qatar and Turkey.
In terms of opium production, most of the world’s poppies are grown in Afghanistan. (In 2007, it was estimated that 92% of the global cultivation of poppies was from the central Asian country.) Partnering with the Taliban and al Qaeda, D-Company controls a major percentage of the heroin market. Combined with its control of the hawala system in India, which serves as a mechanism to launder illegal profits by avoiding any formal banking system (not only from narcotics but other black market businesses as well), Dawood Ibrahim’s empire is vertically integrated to take advantage of the multi-billion dollar narcotics business.
It will be recalled here that during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Pakistani military’s National Logistics Cell, working in concert with the Taliban, began transporting heroin. Thus it is not unreasonable to say that Dawood Ibrahim, the Taliban and al Qaeda, and the Pakistani ISI control much of the global heroin market.
Like any other business, production of a good begs distribution. Over the last decade, two of the top distributors of Afghan-sourced heroin are al Qaeda (along with affiliated narco-terror groups, such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb ut-Tahrir) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an ethno-nationalist Kurdish terrorist organization with deep connections to the Russia mob (see here and here). The PKK annual revenue from heroin has been estimated to be $100 million annually. While Ibrahim depends on the Pakistani NLC and al Qaeda, the Russian mob (whose leadership is disproportionately Kurdish) depends on the PKK.
Consider the various governments that were overthrown during the Arab Spring. None of them were friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda; indeed, in each case, the governments were affirmatively hostile to the interests of any political party seeking to establish Sharia law.
- Tunisia: The regime of Ben Ali had banned the Muslim Brotherhood-connect, Islamist Party, or Ennahda Movement, or Renaissance Party, from participating in election in 1989. After Ben Ali’s removal, the party has emerged as the largest in Tunisia. The party was founded in 1981, inspired by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
- Egypt: As explained above, the Mubarak regime, as well as the supporting Egyptian military, was overtly hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a history of violence and assassination.
- Libya: Although Muammar Gaddafi had a history of collaboration with Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaddafi’s Jamahiriya should not be considered Islamist. If anything, it was a socialist inspired political movement, with pan-African aspirations. (Gaddafi sold weapons to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, at steep discounts, to assist in the overthrow of the Apartheid regime of de Klerk.) In the end, al Jazeera’s Qaradawi called for jihad against Gaddafi, issuing a fatwa for his murder.
- Syria: Bashar al-Assad, still in power, is not Sunni but Alawi. He and his father, Hafez al-Assad, have long suppressed the Islamist elements within Syria, who are simultaneously anti-Alawi, anti-Christian, and anti-Druze.
Specifically with respect to Syria, the Islamists are challenging a Russian-backed secular dictator who had been warming to the PKK, and using them as a proxy against other regional powers – namely Turkey, where Erdogan has soured relations with his Baathist neighbors. Recast in the light of organized crime, and in particular the international heroin market, two events that occurred within six days of each other in January 2013 are directly relatable to the Syria civil war. On January 10, three women were assassinated in Paris in what French authorities described as executions. Among the victims was Sakine Cansiz, a leader of PKK. A nationalist separatist group, the PKK considered Cansiz, 55, to be a living legend. Present at their foundational meeting in 1978, she was also responsible for creating the highly influential women’s movement within the organization. The two other victims found dead with Cansiz at the Kurdish information center were Fidan Godan, 30, and Leyla Soylemez, 24, described by The New York Times as Kurdish activists. Less than a week later, on January 16, Russian mafia boss Aslan Usoyan was assassinated outside a restaurant in Moscow at the age of 75. More commonly known as Ded (Granndfather) Khasan, Usoyan was an ethnic Kurd born in Georgia. His illicit business interests included arms and drug dealing, as well as casinos and illegal extraction of natural resources.
Who would have had an interest in assassinating prominent Kurds in the heroin business? An educated guess would point to Kurdish political and criminal adversaries, al Qaeda and their sponsors in the Muslim Brotherhood sponsored states of Qatar and Turkey. Consider:
The PKK has long been designated a terrorist group by Turkey, even before the government of Erdogan.
As rebel (i.e. al Qaeda/Islamist) threat coalesced against Assad, he aligned himself with the PKK as a hedge against Turkey, who has been arming the rebels.
Qatar, through its partnership with heroin traffickers in the National Logistics Cell, presumably appreciates the decimation of their black market competition in the PKK. Coinciding with the assassinations of the PKK women in Paris, Qatar invested in the Parisian suburbs.
Paris has a large, unassimilated (and disaffected) Muslim population, where al Qaeda (specifically, Takfiris) reportedly has established itself.
North Korean Poppies and their Relationship to the Syrian Civil War
If indeed the Russian mob and al Qaeda are engaged in a cross-continental turf war, from Libya to Syria and into Afghanistan, it would explain the growth in North Korean poppy cultivation over the last several years. Presuming that Russian organized crime is having a more difficult time procuring poppies from the Taliban/al Qaeda-dominated Afghani grows, the logical choice for a substitute in providers is North Korea. Since 2001, and especially in the last two years, North Korean poppy cultivation has exploded. College students are employed by the “Hermit State,” and rewarded with “handsome” salaries. Production is centered around the Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang. A satellite photograph shows a dramatic increase in acreage of one farm since 2001, increasing by more than 33 acres. A Heritage Foundation scholar estimates that the total revenue of opium equals the entire legitimate export of the country, placing the figure around $1 billion annually.
It is likely that these poppies are being cultivated for the exclusive distribution by the PKK and allied organizations, rather than any al Qaeda groups. To explain this, one must consider the longstanding relationship between Syria and North Korea.
Syria’s alliance with Pyongyang goes back decades. North Korea was aligned with Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War, when it declared war on Israel (the only country it has declared war on since the end of the Korea War in 1953). The Syrian government employs T-62 tanks, which despite being a Russian design, have also been produced by North Korea. Eli Lake at The Daily Beast has reported that Syria possessed North Korean Scuds, and that Syria was being instructed on how to produce medium- to long-term missiles. These can be used for the delivery of chemical weapons. The Bush administration added both Syria and North Korea to the Iran Non-Proliferation Act in 2005 and 2006 respectively. In 2007, the Council on Foreign Relations published an interview with Gary Samore, in which he speculated that Syria and North Korea may have been working in tandem on a nuclear program. In 2008, Time, reported that North Korea “was intimately involved in helping Syria build a plutonium-fueled nuclear reactor, "basically a copy of Yongbyon.” In May, South Korea seized a Chinese ship containing 445 North Korean graphite cylinders, en route to Syria for use in their missile program. In recent months ships or planes headed to Syria and Myanmar with “weapons equipment” have been diverted from North Korea, reported the Wall Street Journal in November. Meanwhile, the Telegraph of England reports that the Axis of Evil is alive and well in North Korea, citing connections to Syria and Iran. Further demonstrating the Syria-Iran-North Korean axis is a report at WND, indicating that two North Koreans were among the dead at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility explosion on January 21.
The War on Drugs and the Arab Spring – Select Report on Countries
Although the Middle East has always had problems with narcotics trafficking and abuse, since the revolutions of 2011 al Qaeda has taken advantage of the chaos (that they caused) in several countries leading to a burgeoning drug trade. Heroin (from Afghan poppies), cocaine (from South America and likely Burma), and methamphetamines (produced in labs in India). Below is a history of the drug trade within select countries, and, when appropriate, insight into the developments within these countries post-Arab Spring.
Libya & Tunisia
Since the Arab Spring, Libya and Tunisia have seen a dramatic rise in drug usage and smuggling.
Libya, it is claimed, is the new headquarters of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). There are “nightly” turf battles in Tripoli and Benghazi. Hmm, wonder who attacked that “embassy?”
Says one Libyan, “The drug traffickers are very violent. They will do anything to protect their business. They are better armed than the special unit. They have rocket launchers, while the police only have handguns.”
Drugs, alcohol, and other contraband enter Libya by the south (through Niger and Chad), but also through their ports on the Mediterranean.
In Tunisia, since the revolution, there has been a dramatic increase in drug usage. The current party in power in Tunisia is the Ennadha Movement, closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
AQIM operates smuggling routes across north-western Africa, including in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Chad, Morocco, Mauritania, and Niger. Though they are nominally al Qaeda, it is not wrong to think of them more of a smuggling operation for drugs (including cocaine from South America), arms, cigarettes, and alcohol.
To quote Ralph Cwerman, an American advisor to the Israeli mission at the UN in 1990, “With tens of thousands of troops station in Bekaa, Damascus has long controlled Lebanon’s drug-producing region… Senior Syrian military and intelligence officers stationed in the Bekaa have long been directly or indirectly involved in trafficking and have grown rich off the drug trade-which explains why there is such heavy competition among Syrian officers to be posted in Lebanon… How far up the Syrian military ladder does drug involvement extend? According to senior intelligence experts in Israel and the West, it reaches the inner circles of Syria’s government.” (Marshall, The Lebanese Connection. Pg. 113.)
For some time, the Syrian government has been suspected by the Drug Enforcement Agency of complicity in the international drug traffic.
Israel accused Syria of invading Lebanon in the 1980s only to get control of the lucrative Lebanese narcotics traffic.
Yet as narcotics addiction rose in Syria as a result of the boom during the war, it is likely that even the Syrian government began to crack down on their own soldiers who were involved in the illegal trade.
Both in Syria and Lebanon, Italian organized crime has a long history of importing opium and heroin into Europe and North America, especially through New York and Montreal.
Inexplicably, in 2007, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a trip to Syria to meet with President Bashar Assad, to the chagrin of President Bush.
Nancy and her husband Paul Pelosi own two vineyards in the Napa Valley – Skellenger Lane Vineyard and Zinfandel Lane Vineyard. See here. Nancy is also known to have used her proximity to famous wineries, among them Gallo, to raise money for her campaigns.
Bashar Assad, his wife, and family are well-known for their expensive taste in wine. As Alawis, they do not strictly observe the traditional ban on alcohol observed by Muslims.
In fact, for Alawis, wine represents God (as it does in Christianity).
Nancy Pelosi has been unusually quiet since Obama started arming the Syrian rebels.
Turkey, Armenia, and the Kurds
Neutral during World War II, Turkey became an international center of espionage and intrigue, attracting spies from both sides of the war and neutral parties.
Deeply involved in the Turkish drug trade are Armenian and Kurdish groups, who have and continue to use narcotics to fund operations.
The leader of the Turkish state-supported Grey Wolves, was arrested by French police in 1984 for drug trafficking (Marshall, pg. 155). See also here for Turkish state support of drug trafficking and mafia activities in the Kurdish areas of south-eastern Turkey.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), operating in Turkey and Syria, is a well-known, Russian-connected opium smuggling revolutionary party. The PKK was a pro-Soviet Kurdish revolutionary party, a proxy for Moscow, and closely connected with Russian organized crime.
As part of the opium growing Golden Crescent, Pakistan both produces and consumes an alarming degree of opiates, including heroin.
In 2007, it was estimated the Golden Crescent product 8,000 of the world’s 9,000 tons of opium.
An estimated 32% of Golden Crescent transporters are Pakistani.
It is estimated that 500,000 Pakistanis are “hardcore” heroin addicts, an alarmingly high number.
Furthermore, it is estimated that nearly half of the opium produced in Afghanistan, itself responsible for 90% of the world’s supply, is trafficked through Pakistan.
The criminal enterprise, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, was a Pakistani-founded and Dubai-based bank that facilitated illicit trade in drugs, weapons, and money laundering. BCCI had clients in virtually all major global markets, and even involved President Carter’s White House Budget Director, Bert Lance.
Dawood Ibrahim, an underworld boss and heroin kingpin, is reportedly protected by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI). Ibrahim and the ISI support the opium-growing Taliban in Afghanistan.
Employees of Pakistan International Airlines have been caught smuggling large quantities of heroin and cigarettes.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, growing more of the plant than all other countries combined. 2013 was a record producing year.
Following the retreat the Soviets in 1989, the resulting power vacuum saw warlords turn to opium as a source of income, not unlike Lebanon.
The Taliban, in order to remain financially secure, entered the opium business in earnest under the leadership of Mullah Omar. This, despite an initial ban on the crop by the Taliban as “un-Islamic.”
Osama bin Laden, a guest and friend of Mullah Omar as well as associate with Dawood Ibrahim, extended several al Qaeda-affiliated terror networks to smuggling the valuable crop, which became the large source of income for al Qaeda, the ISI, and Ibrahim.
Smuggling out of Afghanistan occurs through two primary routes: the “Balkan route”, through Turkey and Bulgaria, and through Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan), known as the “silk route.”
The U.N. estimates that one million Afghanis, or 8% of their total population, are currently addicted to opium.
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was (is?) a terrorist organization that operated in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. According to U.N. report, they were responsible for smuggling heroin north into Russia, through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT), another Islamic terrorist organization banned in several European countries, is active throughout the world (but particularly in Uzbekistan and, apparently, Kyrgyzstan), merged with IMU.
HuT and IMU can reasonably be branded franchises al Qaeda, given their profit from the Afghan opium trade, their desire to institute Sharia law on a global scale, and their embrace of terrorism.
The chart below summarizes the effect of the Arab Spring on key countries, and the shift in alliances.
Primary International Affiliation:
Primary International Affiliation:
Socialist International (through Constitutional Democratic Rally)
Russia/USA (post 9/11)
Continuing violence. Breakdown of social fiber.
N/A - same
-Ongoing Civil War-
America’s Lost Allies
When the Obama administration withdrew its support for steadfast ally (Egyptian President) Hosni Mubarak, America’s Sunni allies in the Middle East caught the first glimpse of an administration that would be different from all previous administrations, Democrat and Republican. As the most populous state, and most influential theologically through Al Azhar University, Egypt had been the linchpin of American diplomacy in the Arab world. Despite all Mubarak’s flaws, the peace maintained between Israel and Egypt had prevented wider regional wars, and Egypt’s religious minorities had lived in relative security.
Following the ouster of Mubarak, that August the Libyan dictator Gaddafi was murdered by the American- (and NATO) backed Libyan rebels following a brutal civil war. In both cases, the power vacuum was filled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt went on to elect Mohamed Morsi, whose party, the Freedom and Justice Party, was explicitly Muslim Brotherhood. In Libya, despite a coalition government, violence is commonplace and al Qaeda has substantially grown in power. Feeding off the political and social chaos, the Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining popularity by deploying militias to restore order amongst anarchy, thus establishing a false political center.
Qatar flag on armored Ratel 20 in Libya
Finally, the Obama administration’s siding with the Syrian rebels, specifically al Qaeda, has left America’s traditional allies in the Middle East questioning the sanity of American policy. Since when, they seem to be asking, is American the “muscle” for D-Company and al Qaeda? This has resulted in a historic between American and her allies.
In November, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, born a Soviet citizen, was quoted in Moscow as saying “ties between Israel and the US are weakening” [because of the Barack Obama administration’s position on the Iranian nuclear question and other issues].
According to Professor Barry Rubin, the Director of the GLORIA Center, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), “the [Obama] administration has crossed a line and is now backing the ‘bad guys.’” Israel now finds herself “looking over [her] shoulder in the misty night, they realized that a monster [i.e. the United States] … following them.”
In December, the Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow to discuss Iranian nuclear development.
Russia and Israel also cooperate militarily. Israel, in September 2010, agreed to sell drones to Russia.
Jordan had been America’s closest Sunni ally for decades, a partner on anti-terrorism policies, as well as close to Israel.
In October 2011, following the removals of Mubarak and Gaddafi, the Washington Post quoted King Abdullah as saying “I think everybody is wary of dealing with the West. … Looking at how quickly people turned their backs on [Egyptian President Husni] Mubarak, I would say that most people are going to try and go their own way. I think there is going to be less coordination with the West and therefore a chance of more misunderstandings.”
This November, King Abdullah met with a visiting Russian minister of Agriculture. According to the Jordan Times, “the King highlighted cooperation prospects and means to develop them in the various sectors, mainly agriculture, tourism, transport and energy as well as in economic fields.”
An ally since 1932, Saudi Arabia recently has announced to the world that the American government can no longer be trusted. The headline in the UK’s Daily Mail put like this: Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with US over response to conflict in Syria.
Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the chief of Saudi intelligence, went to Moscow in December to discuss the ongoing Syrian civil war.
In response, President Obama sent Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Saudi Arabia. Nothing definitive was reported of the meeting.
Finally, an “adviser to some of Saudi Arabia’s royals and officials,” Ahmed al-Ibrahim, said “We feel we have been stabbed in the back by Obama.”
What is going on the Middle East? While various news outlets do not offer consistent opinions, it appears likely that virtually all American allies in the region have switched allegiances and are now under the Russian nuclear umbrella, with the exceptions of Qatar and Turkey. The American government’s implicit backing of the Arab Spring, a radical revolutionary project sponsored by Turkey and Qatar aimed at establishing a new caliphate with an economic dynamism based as much on narcotics trafficking as much as fossil fuel extraction, appears to expunged the goodwill that America had built through the decades in the region.
A further parallel can be drawn between the Third Reich’s New Order and the (stilted) emergence of the narco-caliphate. Hitler and the Nazi inner party never had coherent plans to govern the vast territories which were to be ruled from Berlin. Instead, the focus was on extermination of the undesirables, and, cynically, the personal enrichment of leading Nazi Party members (who had grown to be tremendously wealthy since their grip tightened on Germany). The mechanics of a new order of sorts in the Middle East, based on the messianic writings of al-Banna and Qutb, are equally undefinable. In each country that deposed the secular dictator in exchange for a Brotherhood and/or al Qaeda (is there a difference today?) government, chaos ensues while Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities are subjected to pogroms and other terror campaigns, their property looted, their houses of worshipped torched. The only organizations that flourish in such environments are armed militias, whose primarily sources of income are black market activities like the smuggling of drugs, slaves, arms, and cigarettes.
America’s former allies in the Middle East, looking around today, must see what the Romans did in 376 as the Goths crossed the Danube: civilized societies slowly surrounded by barbarians, with no respect for law or the organic civil society. As Rome saw the advance of the Goths, then the Vandals, the stable nations in the Middle East have witnessed a rise of barbarity and decline in order in the territories around them. Borders, conventions, treaties, private property, and international norms are all irrelevant to a trans-national movement that recognizes no authority aside from their warped interpretation of the Koran. Moreover, the most “successful” aspects of this new order barely recognize the Koran in anything but lip service, instead focusing exclusively on profiting through their indifference to violence, terror, and intimidation.
Given the close relationships between Syria, Iran, and Russia, Israel’s defection signals that Israeli discontent over the proposed American nuclear deal with Iran may be bluster. If indeed the Israelis are forging a closer relationship with Moscow, as the evidence suggests, there is simply no way that the Iranian regime would think of mobilizing against Israel. For if Iran were to follow its own rhetoric and direct its military to attack the Jewish state, they would be completely isolated, and have to contend with Russia, Syria, Israel, in addition to their traditional Sunni adversaries. In the final analysis, turning conventional wisdom on its head, Iranian bellicosity toward Israel is virtually unthinkable at this time.
Cooperation between Israel and Hezbollah
Genocide of the Christians
Since World War II and the Holocaust, the focus of religious persecution has, perhaps rightly so, been on members of the Jewish faith. Caught between the likes of Hitler in Europe, Stalin in Russia, and Amin al Husseini in the Middle East, the Jewish population of Europe was decimated in the 1930s and 1940s. Although the story is well known (while being denied in much of the Arab world) of the Holocaust, less remembered is Stalin’s infamous “Doctors Plot,” of 1952-1953, which was to be the impetus which the Communists used to begin an equally murderous campaign against “Zionism” in Russia. Only the death of Stalin in 1953 prevented the plan from spawning a new epoch of Jewish extermination.
Yet the first mass murders to inspire the world genocide were the Christians, mostly Armenians, systematically exterminated by the Turks. Today, the Muslim Brotherhood, lamenting the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate, has sickeningly commenced a modern genocide of Christians across the Middle East and North Africa. Scandalous in its own right, the accounts are realized in an even more bizarre light when it is remembered that in each country thrown into turmoil as a result of the Arab Spring, Christians were often protected by the dictators, who ruled not by Sharia but more realpolitik… if brutally so. In each case, the Obama administration has therefore backed the factions who have subsequently initiated a modern day, continent-spanning jihad against Christians.
Since the birth of Jesus Christ and the advent of Christianity, Christian communities have persisted in what are now predominantly Muslim territories, such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Pakistan. Whether Kurdish, Armenian, Coptic Christian, Syrian Orthodox, or any other of the various religious-ethnic groups who are preponderantly Christian, they have co-existed with their Muslim neighbors, with the occasional flaring of tensions that typifies the Middle East. But in modern times, the wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Middle East is limited to the Hamidian Massacres and Armenian Genocide, discussed above.
A Sudanese Model of Religious Extermination
The survey that follows of recent violence directed at Christians in the Middle East is best equated with the ongoing genocide of Sudanese Christians in South Sudan. The North Sudan, predominantly Muslim and ruled by Islamic fundamentalist Omar al-Bashir, former host of Osama bin Laden, has continued to wage a decades-long war on the (largely) Christian South. The Second Sudanese Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2005, claimed between 1-2 million lives, mostly civilian. According to Wikipedia, the war was initiated when “Islamic fundamentalists in the north had been discontented with the Addis Ababa Agreement… gave relative autonomy to the non-Islamic majority Southern Sudan Autonomous Region. The fundamentalists continued to grow in power, and in 1983 President Nimeiry declared all Sudan an Islamic state, terminating the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region.” Reports of ethnic cleansing of black Christians by the North persist today, despite the fact that the war officially “ended” in 2005:
"The ongoing war against Christians and African indigenous people is more of an 'ethnic cleansing' in that they kill all black people, including Muslims, but they give specific connotation to the war in targeting Christians to secure funding and support from the Arab and Islamic world by saying this war is a religious war," said [one humanitarian worker]. "And in so doing, they get huge support from those countries."
The North Sudan, with its al Qaeda-supporting, fundamentalist dictator, aggressively purging Christians and black Africans, is a model state in the minds of the Muslim Brothers. A survey of the Middle East with respect to their Christian populations in the years since the Arab Spring – since the ascendency of Islamic supremacy as practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda – demonstrates the intentions of the Brotherhood toward Christians. Much like the Nazis of the Third Reich targeted European Jewry, the Brotherhood today is obsessed with the terror, extermination, and eradication of the Christian people and their history.
According to a Kuwaiti daily, Al-Watan, Egyptian intelligence intercepted plans by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to attack Coptic Christians on Christmas Day (January 7). Weapons and funds for the attack were to come through the Gaza.
The construction and renovation of Churches in Egypt is highly politically contentious, and often the occasion of violence.
On November 5, 2013, the Christian Post quoted the head of indigenous people and minorities at the United Nations, who said “serious violations against Christians in Egypt and Syria.” Horrific violence has been documented on video in both countries. A representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said the matter is being ignored by international media.
Reported in The Daily Beast in August 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt waged a “full-scale terror campaign against Egypt’s Christian minority,” revealing their “true colors.” According to the article, at the time 40 churches had been “looted and torched,” while 23 others had been “heavily damaged.” Islamists also “paraded nuns down the street like prisoners” and burned two security guards alive for the crime of working for Christian proprietors.
According to a report by the Gatestone Institute in November 2013, 80 Coptic Churches had been torched or attacked in the period between July and November. Their goal, according to one persecuted resident, was to “erase all the traces of a Christian presence” in Egypt. Even orphanages were “looted and destroyed.”
Humanitarian News and Analysis, a service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported in November, 2013 that churches in Libya had come under increasing pressure from “hardline Islamist groups.” The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tripoli said “The level of security remains precarious for all foreigners, especially for Christians, because of the presence of some fundamentalist Islamic groups.”
On September 25, 2013, it was reported that “a group of Muslims cornered two Coptic Christians and killed them after they refused to convert to Islam.” They had their heads beaten in; brought to a local hospital, one was pronounced dead on arrival, the other died shortly after from the injuries. Seizing control of Libyan oil and seeking to impose Sharia law, the Jihadis threaten the lives of all Christian in Libya in the post-Gaddafi power vacuum.
In March, 2013, the Vatican news agency reported that St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Benghazi suffered an arson attack, while in February, 2013 Libyan police arrested Christians for proselytizing and promoting Christian literature and symbols.
Justifying the arrests of Christians who were outspoken about their religion, a Libyan security official stated “Proselytizing is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security.”
Though on the surface not an overt attack on Christianity, in December, 2013 an American teacher living in Benghazi was shot and killed. The attack exemplified the resentment of not only Christians, but also westerners in general, by the Islamist militias.
Jihadis beheaded a Tunisian man on video, calling him a “polytheist apostate.” He went on to proclaim, “Allah empower your religion, make it victorious against the polytheists.”
Although religious freedom is guaranteed in the Tunisian constitution, evangelism is not permitted. Even so, the Ennahda Party, Islamists, seek to turn Tunisia into a Sharia state, and stamp out the small country’s tiny Christian population. This would undo the meager religious freedom that exists today.
Citing various attacks in Syria and across the Middle East, Britain’s Prince Charles stated in December 2013, “For 20 years I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding," he told the audience… "The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so… This is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution including to the Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.”
The Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson urged the United States, ostensibly the Obama administration, not to resign itself “a Middle East without Christians.” Citing the Christmas Day bombings in Iraq, the flight of Syrian Christians to Turkey, and the attacks on Coptic Churches in Egypt, Gerson advocated that the United States pursue a foreign policy that focused on human rights to combat the growing trend in violence against the region’s Christians.
King Abdullah conference on problem
Reports among citizens in Pakistan tell of gang break-ins and kidnappings of Christians, who make up a mere 1.6% of the Pakistani population. Pakistani Muslims who speak up for persecuted Christians are also targeted, in a country where large sections have been effectively ceded to the Taliban.
In March, 2013, Muslim mobs torched dozens of Christian homes in Lahore, Pakistan. Hundreds of Christians fled the area to avoid retribution. The mob action was sparked, allegedly, by a Christian man who blasphemed the Prophet Mohammed.
In September, 2013, two suicide bombers targeted the All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar. 127 people were killed, and an additional 170 wounded. Responsibility was claimed by the Taliban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah.
A Catholic Pakistani mother of five was sentenced to death by hanging in 2010, also for the crime of blasphemy against Islam. Blasphemy in Pakistan is seen as a very serious offense in the eyes of the law, despite the fact that the Pakistani Constitution guarantees equal right for Christians. The law, which produces verdicts reminiscent of a medieval witch hunt, is often invoked after a Muslim reports the “crime” of a Christian neighbor. The woman is on death row awaiting the results of her appeals process.
Since the demise of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Christian population has been rapidly and steadily diminishing, in a climate of persecution and terrorism. As of 2012, there remained only 330,000 Christians left in Iraq, down from 1.2 million at the beginning of the 1990.
OpenDoorsUK.org, a group dedicated to tracking Christian persecution worldwide, ranks Iraq #4 on the list of nations who persecute Christians. They summarize their very tenuous situation as such: “Christians in Iraq are on the verge of extinction. Large numbers have fled abroad or to the (until recently) safer Kurdish region, where they face unemployment and inadequate schooling, medical care and housing. The church faces many challenges – members being killed or abducted, and a lack of capable leaders. In central and southern Iraq, traditional Christians suffer as much as Muslim-background believers, as a result of their visibility. In May 2012, 20 Christian families in Mosul received threats, and the house of another Christian was set on fire.”
In March, 2013, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church said that the number of Christian houses of worship have dwindled dramatically over the past 10 years. There were just 57 churches left in 2013, compared to more than 300 in 2003. Many attribute this decline directly to the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq, who have been selectively targeting Christians.
According to Tiffany Barrans, the international legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice, “What is clear is that the mass exodus of Christians in the Middle East - including Iraq - has been caused by radical Islam - whether by Islamic governments, terrorist organizations, or extreme Islamists... We examined the issue in Iraq in a 2011 report from our European affiliate. At that time, we determined that Al Qaeda had been strategically targeting Iraqi Christians - even issuing a warning to all Christians to leave the country.”
On October 31, 2010, Our Lady of Salvation, a Syriac Catholic cathedral, was raided by the (“al Qaeda linked”) Islamic State of Iraq terrorist group. The attacked left 58 dead and 78 injured, producing international condemnation, in addition to outrage by Iraq’s Shia population. According to the Iraqi Defence Minister, the attackers spoke classical Arabic, not an Iraqi dialect. Classical Arabic is spoken in Saudi Arabia, but also popular in Islamist circles.
Attacks and persecution against Iraqi Christians has been on the rise, in particular since 2006. Al Qaeda has reportedly begun forcing Christians to pay Jizya, an integral part of sharia that deals with non-Muslims, which roughly translates into protection money.
A Mosque in Munich – Ian Johnson
War by Revolution – Donald McKale
The Society of Muslim Brothers – Thomas P. Mitchell
The History of the Muslim Brotherhood – Michele Paison
The Brotherhood –Stakelbeck
Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam – Dalin and Rothman
The Berlin-Baghdad Express – Sean McMeekin
1 Not only did Germany and Islam share a common enemy in England, but after the war became apparent that mutual disdain for Jews was to be another facet of the relationship. In December 1919, bitter from the loss at war, the deposed Kaiser wrote in a letter that the Jews were responsible for “the lowest, most abject outrage ever to be perpetrated by any nation in history. [The Germans had been] egged on and misled by the tribe of Juda whom they hate, who were guests among them! That was the thanks they got! Let no German ever forget this, nor rest until these parasites have been wiped out from Germany soil and been exterminated! This poisonous mushroom on the German oak tree!” The pseudo-biological racial claims – the so-called parasitic nature of the Jew - that characterized Hitler’s anti-Semitism are observed.
2 “There is little doubt that had Shiekh Husain resisted the pressure and then been appointed Mufti, he would have been killed by the followers of Haj Amin al-Husseini. Throughout the years of struggle for the leadership of the Arabs of Palestine, the Husseinis targeted and killed those who opposed their claim to leadership” (Dalin and Rothman, 19).
3 Said Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi in January of 2009, “Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.”
4 Author’s Note: In a recent discussion with an Indian citizen with political connections, an author of this paper was hinted at that the above speculation regarding the cooperation between Dawood Ibrahim and the BJP is likely, if not definite. A sourced report reaching similar conclusions regarding the collusion of Ibrahim and Indian political parties can be found here.