The Muslim Brotherhood is beginning to be recognized as a duplicitous and extremist organization by a security agency in Germany as well officials in the UK.
In its report about extremism, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Bavaria (the largest state in Germany) included an evaluation of the Brotherhood organization in Germany for the first time.
On the federal level as well as locally, this office – which is part of Germany’s domestic security agency – previously concluded that the Brotherhood was comprised of moderates who eschewed violence.
The new report out of Bavaria, however, says that al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya – the Brotherhood front group in Germany — presents itself as a tolerant organization encouraging dialogue but is hiding its true goals for Germany and the West.
The report concludes that those goals are no different than those of the Brotherhood’s founder Hasan al-Bana, who agitated for the Islamization of society and the establishment of sharia government.
The Brotherhood’s roots in Germany go back to the end of World War II when two Brotherhood groups were established — one in Munich and another in the Westphalia region in northwest Germany. Today, the organization has branches in most of Germany’s big cities in addition to many front groups.
Even though al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya keeps its distance from the political sphere in Germany, it is very involved in making connections with the different political parties and decision-makers to widen its influence.
The group is also very active in social media where various comments show sympathies with terror organizations. Its members are also active among refugees, making connections by offering a variety of services to newcomers.
Professor Susanne Schroter, founder and director of the Frankfurt Research Center on Global Islam, remarked, “The Muslim Brotherhood are the masters of disguise regarding their organizational activities and political goals. They become more transparent about their goals as their political status improves but purport themselves as tolerant moderates when they are in the minority, as they are in German society.
“Abroad, their various organizations appear as if they are unrelated, grass-roots groups concerned with the economic welfare of local populations in order to infiltrate societies and affect them.”
Schroter added that the Brotherhood’s efforts to get close to political parties and prominent figures in Germany are bearing some measure of success.
As early as 2005, Bavaria banned the activities of one of the largest Islamic centers in Bavaria, due to the center’s connection to the Brotherhood. Police at the time said the center, called the Multicultural House, promoted extremism and hatred.
Gunther Beckstein, minister-president of Bavaria between 2007-8 recognized the threat of the Brotherhood as well, closing down an Islamic school in Munich because of ties to the Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, in the UK, a former senior military commander called for a ban on the Brotherhood in Britain.
Lt.-Gen. Sir Barney White-Spunner, a former commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he agreed with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who recently said it was time to get tough on the Brotherhood.
With the appointment of Sara Khan as the new commissioner for countering extremism, White-Spunner said, “The next step must now be to follow the foreign secretary’s advice and proscribe the Muslims Brotherhood and its UK-based affiliates. There is little point in our armed forces and security services fighting at such cost over the past decades to contain extremism when we permit its embodiment to operate so freely in the UK. We are prepared to die to defend freedom of speech in this country – but we will die if we confuse that freedom with allowing extremism and hatred to continue unchecked.”