The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe

by Laurence on 3/16/2005 · 11 comments

Maybe Nariman can tell us more about this phenomenon. Perhaps he has an alternative interpretation to this rather scary story in Middle East Quarterly on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since its founding in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood (Hizb al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) has profoundly influenced the political life of the Middle East. Its motto is telling: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”[1]
While the Brotherhood’s radical ideas have shaped the beliefs of generations of Islamists, over the past two decades, it has lost some of its power and appeal in the Middle East, crushed by harsh repression from local regimes and snubbed by the younger generations of Islamists who often prefer more radical organizations.
But the Middle East is only one part of the Muslim world. Europe has become an incubator for Islamist thought and political development. Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities, and Islamic organizations. Unlike the larger Islamic community, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal may not be simply “to help Muslims be the best citizens they can be,” but rather to extend Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.


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{ 11 comments }

praktike March 16, 2005 at 10:56 am

Oh no! Islamic law is coming to the United States! Head for the hills!

Nathan March 16, 2005 at 3:19 pm

Nothing quite like constructive debate…

Though maybe that was supposed to be humor. It’s so hard to tell anymore.

I’ve not got time to read the whole essay, but nothing about that last sentence suggests that Islamic law is coming to the U.S. Rather, it says, fairly unambiguously that this may be the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal. It never ceases to amaze me that, broadly speaking of course, left-leaning types wring their hands in fear and consternation over an assertive Christian minority’s (admittedly a significant and powerful one, but still a minority) attempts to shape public life while snorting and guffawing at the news that an Islamic minority – as crazy as it may seem – is committed to bringing the blessings of their religious law to every last boy and girl. And not just committed, but eager to kill and die doing so.

I know blessed little about the Muslim Brotherhood to be quite honest. And I also don’t think there’s much reason to worry about Islamic law coming to these fair shores. But, to abuse the spirit of Margaret Mead’s words:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

praktike March 17, 2005 at 4:16 pm

“It never ceases to amaze me that, broadly speaking of course, left-leaning types wring their hands in fear and consternation over an assertive Christian minority’s (admittedly a significant and powerful one, but still a minority) attempts to shape public life while snorting and guffawing at the news that an Islamic minority – as crazy as it may seem – is committed to bringing the blessings of their religious law to every last boy and girl. And not just committed, but eager to kill and die doing so.”

The US is, what, 90% Christian?

On the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s simply nuts to think that they’d succeed in imposing Islamic Law on the United States, no matter how many Margaret Mead quotes you drudge up.

Nathan March 17, 2005 at 4:44 pm

And, I never said the Muslim Brotherhood stands a chance in realizing their goals, but that it’s simply nuts to totally ignore or scoff at them. I did the same about bin Laden all the time before 9/11. You seemed to have missed what I was saying. What has been one of your guys’ gripes the past couple years? “We’re not doing enough to secure nuclear stockpiles” was one I remember. And you were right, we could be doing more. The premise of the concern, I thought, was that a small group of people can cause catastrophic death with these weapons. Was that all a pose? Not really serious about those ideologies?

The point of the Christian vs. Muslim extremists isn’t to say that you should be ignoring the former in favor of the latter. No, it was that it’s kind of absurd to get so red in the face about the former when the latter has been much more committed to murder in the name of God.

Nice use of “drudge” on the Mead quotation by the way. Because, after all, that’s how I feel when the left waves it like a magic banner.

praktike March 17, 2005 at 5:09 pm

But you’re changing subjects. We’re not talking about terrorist attacks, we’re talking about “extend[ing] Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.”

Nathan March 17, 2005 at 5:14 pm

No, we’re talking about what I was talking about in the first place:

the Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal may not be simply “to help Muslims be the best citizens they can be,” but rather to extend Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.

And, in my book, due to the unlikelihood of that happening, the main focus of the discussion should be on what they might do to achieve their goal. Loads of these folks have proclaimed the highly irrational belief that they are on the approaching an age of worldwide Islam and that violence will bring that age sooner. Terrorist attacks or not though, people trying to impose a religious ideal on society worry me enough that I’m not going to scoff.

Laurence March 17, 2005 at 9:11 pm

Been to New York City lately? Notice anything missing?

praktike March 18, 2005 at 5:55 pm

I will continue to worry about terrorist attacks while scoffing at the likelihood of an Islamic takeover of the US, thank you very much.

Mark Hamm March 18, 2005 at 6:51 pm

Speaking of a Christian conservative minority in this country, I was watching a special on TV about prohibition. I found myself thinking that prohibition wouldn’t have a chance of happening again in the US, then again I’m sure some good fellow thought the same thing back around 1910.

Islam has always worried me because I guess it is a tenet of the faith that in many cases a martyr goes to heaven. And that spreading the faith can include killing infidels (me!). WHile not all Moslems believe this, some do. Christians don’t have that as a tenet of their faith (though that doesn’t stop them from killing). I can’t remember many Christians saying that fellow that murdered the abortion doc would go to heaven.

Nathan March 18, 2005 at 8:43 pm

I scoff at the prospect of a takeover too, prak. It’s what they might do because they think they can achieve it that worries me. It’s what worries the author of the piece too.

ikhwaan March 31, 2005 at 2:04 pm

Muslim Brotherhood in Bosnia: http://www.islambosna.ba

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