As the Trump administration moves to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, it’s important to know its roots and what it’s really about. The reason that the Muslim Brotherhood and its international model enjoy support from socialist movements—despite the fact that the Brotherhood opposes every “progressive” trend those movements claim to believe in—is that they all believe in the same basic theories of totalitarian governance.
The Muslim Brotherhood is not a form of traditional Islam. The organization started in 1928 as a “modernization” movement that merged Islam with the ideas of socialism. It promotes a system of theocratic socialism, and has from the get-go pushed for “offensive jihad” to spread this system of totalitarian governance.
A main model of socialist theocracy was the invention of Sayyid Qutb, who is considered to be the founding father of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. His books, “Milestones” (1964) and “In the Shade of the Quran” (written 1951–1965), played a large role in creating the new Islamic regimes that have swept the Arab world.
Qutb also was an advocate for “offensive jihad,” which helped spur the creation of tyrannical regimes under this new form of “Islamism.”
According to Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Qutb’s revisions to Islam warped the concept of sharia (Islamic law) to merge socialist politics into a system of theocratic government. He explained in a previous interview that Qutb “evokes a lot of Islamic ideology to push for theocracy.”
Jasser explained that, under this model, criticisms of the government become synonymous with attacks on the religion. This allows the socialist tyrants to kill critics and political opponents, under the guise of defending religion.
It’s likely because of its political roots that socialist tyrants in the West push for the Muslim Brotherhood’s acceptance, despite its almost blanket contradiction to their talking points. Beneath the surface is the same drive for social control and political power.
This new brand of Islam “concerns itself with communism, socialism, nationalism, liberalism, and all the currents from the West,” according to the 2005 book “The Saudi Enigma: A History” by Pascal Ménoret, which cites leftist Islamic scholar Ali al-Umaym.
Meanwhile, this blend of socialism and Islam was a key factor behind modern Islamist terrorism. Part of this was from the Soviet Union’s “liberation front” movements, such as Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Front. Another key part was from the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence behind the terrorist group al-Qaeda.
Qutb’s brother mentored Osama bin Laden, and Qutb’s ideas helped inspire al-Qaeda. The New York Times reported in 2003 that, “at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb—the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.”
If you look at countries such as Iran and Afghanistan before this new form of socialist theocracy took root, you may notice something interesting: The cities looked like those in Western countries. Women there dressed similarly to women in the United States in the 1970s. They have since become victims of this tyrannical system of religious socialism.
And have you noticed that, despite the fact that socialists in the West support international Islam, those same socialists seem to oppose the Saudi Arabia model? This is likely because the Saudi model never fully adopted socialist Islam—it adopted some parts of it, but mostly kept the older conservative model.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Egyptian model” for Islamism came to the doorstep of Saudi Arabia under the banner of “modernization.”
Socialist and communist movements were spreading in Saudi Arabia, with calls for “Egyptian reforms” to replace the traditional form of conservative monarchy. Among those movements were the Central Committee of Arabian Workers, the Organization of Saudi Communists, and the National Liberation Front, which later became the Communist Party of Saudi Arabia.
A group of Saudi princes joined these movements, which led to the “Free Princes” movement. The head of it was the father of modern Saudi progressivism, Al-Waleed bin Talal, who was known as “The Red Prince.” They were labeled as a form of veiled communism, and their attempted coup was thwarted. Despite this, however, individuals such as bin Talal were still pushing for its agenda.
Saudi Arabia has since designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, as has Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.
The United States soon may do the same, despite heavy pushback from legacy news outlets and socialist politicians.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process.”
Muslims who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood theocratic model have backed the decision. Mohamad Tawhidi, a reformist imam and peace advocate, wrote on Twitter: “If President Trump designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist org, it will be the biggest hit to the global Islamist movement. [Muslim Brotherhood] has the most organized network of institutions, politicians & banks. This will shake their empire. Do it. Asap.”
If President Trump designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist org, it will be the biggest hit to the global Islamist movement. MB has the most organized network of institutions, politicians & banks. This will shake their empire. Do it. Asap.
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) April 30, 2019
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Sayyid Qutb’s role in the Muslim Brotherhood. He was a founder of the “Egyptian Model” of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.