Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood, a threat to Canada? according to a report, perhaps!

Declared a terrorist organization in Egypt, with hundreds of their members jailed, and under investigation in the United Kingdom, the Muslim Brotherhood is now named in a reported entitled, The Muslim Brotherhood in North America as seeking to provoke, incite and accomplish systemic overthrow of existing free and open societies.
This year, British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered an inquiry into the group’s activities in the U.K.
"What I think is important about the Muslim Brotherhood is that we understand what this organization is, what it stands for, what its beliefs are in terms of the path of extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom. Our policies should be informed by a complete picture of that knowledge," Cameron said in April.
(Tom) Quiggin (author of the report and a court expert on terrorism and member of the Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network, ) believes that the organization’s period of relative moderation has come to an end and it is now becoming “increasingly aggressive in its actions."
But the threat facing Canadians is not so much physical but more systemic.
"This is cultural, this is political, this is a different kind of threat," he said.
The goal of the Brotherhood in North America is to establish front organizations and eventually gain political power, he said.
These front organizations are interlinked by a common ideology, set of beliefs and set of leaders, Quiggin said.
The Brotherhood has already tried to spread influence and raise money through these adherent groups, which have "sought to systematically and repeatedly circumvent and break Canadian regulations and laws," according to the report....
“The aim of the group in North America is to weaken and destroy the free and open societies within Canada and the U.S.A. from within and replace them with the heavily politicized views of [founder] Hassan Banna, Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the report, entitled The Muslim Brotherhood in North America (Canada/U.S.).
The report, written by Tom Quiggin, a court expert on terrorism and member of the Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network, raises concerns about the Brotherhood’s alleged ties to Canadian organizations, some which have either been accused of being terrorist organizations or alleged to have links to extremist groups. (From CBC News. May 27, 2014)
Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood (known in Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) is a transnational organization headquartered in Egypt. Founded by Hassan al-Banna in Ismailia, Egypt in 1928, the brotherhood is the oldest and largest Islamic political group, with representation in most Middle Eastern countries.
According to the group’s founding document, it is "an international Muslim Body, which seeks to establish Allah’s law in the land by achieving the spiritual goals of Islam and the true religion." The current chairman of the group is Mohamed Badie. Due to its often fraught relationship with ruling parties across the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood operates under different names in different countries, from the Al-Menbar Islamic Society in Bahrain to Hadas in Kuwait to the Islamic Movement in Israel. Hamas, the party that currently rules Gaza, is a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. To circumvent a ban on the group in Egypt, the Brotherhood fields independent candidates in elections.(From CBC News January 31, 2011)
Muslim Brotherhood beliefs:
Al-Banna founded the group as a response to a growing secularism in Muslim society. The Brotherhood views liberal Arab governments as an impediment to the establishment of Islamic states.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s stated objectives, as laid out in the group’s founding document, are as follows:
  • Inform the masses of Islamic teachings.
  • Unify mankind under Islamic teachings as well as bring "closer the viewpoints of the Islamic sects."
  • Raise the standard of living of marginalized people.
  • Expand social justice and social insurance to cover every citizen.
  • "Liberate the Islamic nation from the yoke of foreign rule."
  • Establish the country as an Islamic state and defend the nation against "the internal enemies."
  • Support global co-operation based on the provisions of Islamic Sharia law.
As one  born and raised in what many would consider a "free and open" society, Canada, I am sensitive to the implications of this report, given how innocent and naïve the Canadian culture is to threats from organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. Accommodating thousands of immigrants each year, and absorbing them into our workplaces, our governments and our communities has significantly enriched the Canadian "mosaic" as it has traditionally been called. Pockets of various immigrants cultures have been integrated, relatively smoothly, if not completely assimilated, in all provinces and regions of the country. However, with some exceptions, we have not witnessed, or found the need for such a report as the one just released.
Naturally, we concur with one of the report's recommendations, that Canada co-operate with Great Britain in the investigation of the Brotherhood, and that perhaps our advance scrutiny of immigrants requires additional detailed checks, in addition to uncovering the organizations within the country that have already been 'engaged' in supporting the goals and aims of the Brotherhood, perhaps even without knowledge of that purpose.
While the Brotherhood disavows "jihad" in the Al Qaeda model, systemic penetration of a non-lethal nature can be, and often is even more 'lethal' to an established culture and society's norms than what might be accomplished through violence.
Canada is not Egypt, nor any of the Middle East countries and we are not willing to move in that direction, under influence of any organization that espouses Sharia Law, whether imposed through violence and terror, or through more 'moderate' and 'modest' measures like political influence. Witness the right's victory yesterday in France, and the anti-Semitism that is finding resonance in many parts of Europe and in Russia. The world is considerably "smaller" from the perspective of transmission of information, including political interference, and there is a need in all countries to guard and protect the freedoms and the openness that have characterized our culture and our history, and even to move to enhance those freedoms and that openness, not to restrict it with a tidal wave of Islamic extremism, of any kind.


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