An Egyptian government website features a warning that the Muslim Brotherhood has a lobby in the U.S. disguised as civil society organizations. The United Arab Emirates has made similar statements and the U.S. Justice Department has confirmed the existence of a Muslim Brotherhood branch in America.
The Egyptian government’s State Information Service has an entire section devoted to documenting the violence and terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is furious with the U.S. for its stance on the Brotherhood. President El-Sisi told the Washington Post in December 2013, then as Defense Minister, that the U.S. has turned its back on Egypt and is misunderstanding the Islamist group.
The documentation includes a timeline of violence perpetrated by Brotherhood members since July 2014, a statement from the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood condemning the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children, and many videos documenting the Brotherhood’s extremism and the justifications for overthrowing it and banning it.
Most importantly, the section prominently features an article about the Muslim Brotherhood operating in America and influencing U.S. policy through various fronts. It cites a study done by the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, a highly-respected organization in Cairo.
“She [Center executive director Dalia Zeyadah] warned that the MB has a network based in the US and operating through civil society organizations engaged in community service domains there. These organizations, she also warned, aim to spread the MB's extremist ideologies in the US,” the Egyptian government website says.
The article from June 2014 states that the Brotherhood is moving to Turkey to set up the “nucleus of its European headquarters which would be operating under the cover of charity work to carry out terrorist acts across the region.”
The Cairo Post reported in February 2014 that the Ibn Khaldoun Center director Dalia Zeyadah “[asserted] that the Brotherhood are still trying to impact decisions of the White House, noting that campaigns against Brotherhood ‘terrorism’ must continue.”
The Egyptian government often talks about the International Muslim Brotherhood to emphasize that it is not just an Egyptian organization. In his interview with the Washington Post, El-Sisi said it operates in 60 countries and that Hamas is one of its branches. He warned that the group is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire.”
The Clairon Project’s research into the Brotherhood sympathies of a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was covered in the Egyptian media in 2013, specifically by the Al-Nahar television network.
The U.S. government confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with a network a fronts under different names during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, one such trial.
The Justice Department’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in that trial includes a list a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities and members. The list includes the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The lattermost organization was listed as an entity of the U.S. Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a sub-section set up to support Hamas.
The United Arab Emirates caused a stir recently when it banned the Brotherhood and some of its most powerful affiliates in the U.S. and Europe, including CAIR, the Muslim American Society and Islamic Relief.
The UAE justified its designation of the U.S-based groups as terrorist organizations despite the immense backlash. The Foreign Minister of the country said it was based on the group’s incitement and funding of terrorism.
Another UAE official said the objective is “putting a cordon around all subversive entities.” And UAE State Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash said the backlash was being orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood lobby in the West.
“The noise (by) some Western organizations over the UAE’s terrorism list originates in groups that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and many of them work on incitement and creating an environment of extremism,” Gargash tweeted.
The U.S. Justice Department, countless terrorism experts and the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. Brotherhood’s own documents are even publicly available.
Yet, those who point this out are ridiculed by these Islamist groups and their allies as bigoted “Islamophobes.” The accusation is even nonsensically made about Muslims who point this out.
The refusal of the U.S. government to recognize the toxic ideology of the Brotherhood is undermining America’s ability to have a frank discussion about the issue of Islamism.
Muslim governments are providing verifiable evidence about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, but their warnings are ignored or rejected. Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim) who voice these same concerns are personally attacked.
Terms like Islamism and Political Islam are used regularly in the Muslim world and even on the Brotherhood’s own website, but the U.S. Brotherhood and its apologists say we can’t. CAIR has waged a campaign to make the media stop using the “Islamist” term.
America is in the middle of a heated debate about the defining the threat. We should listen to our Muslim allies and let the facts speak for themselves, instead of letting Islamists and their apologists edit our vocabularies.
Watch video: CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) is in damage control after being designated a terrorist org by the UAE.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.