Monday, May 26, 2014
8. The Muslim Brotherhood in North America (Other Countries, USA Role, Intel, Recommendations, Conclusions)
CAIR regularly exploits attacks against Muslims for profit and creates false stories in the media to create fake outrage, even when the attacks are not caused by racism or religious hatred.
According to a police affidavit, 17 year old Fatima Alawadi of El Cajon Californian jumped out of her mother’s car going approximately 35 miles per hour (56 kilometres per hour). They were having a discussion concerning her upcoming forced marriage to her cousin in Iraq. According to the affidavit based on police, paramedic and hospital staff, she told her mother “I love you Mom” and jumped out of the car as she did not want the forced marriage.
On 21 March 2012, Fatima’s mother Shaima Alawadi was beaten in her home having been hit six times in the head and suffered four skull fractures. According to police, she had been beaten with a large object.[i]
On 24 March 2012, Shaima Alawadi was taken off life support and she died in hospital from her beating injuries. Her body was flown back to Iraq for burial. She and her husband had initially left Iraq to escape persecution suffered under President Saddam Hussein.
0n 25 March 2012, police state that whatever the motive, the attack appears to be "an isolated event," not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants. Concerns about a hate crime were raised as it was also reported that a noted had been left next to her body with the statement: “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”
On 08 November 2012 her husband Kassim Alhimidi was arrested for her murder. It turns out that a divorce was being planned and the 17 year old daughter of the family was refusing to marry her cousin who lives in Iraq and these issues were at the centre of the problems.
On 31 January 2014 the CAIR (Chicago) Monitor ran a story that blamed the death of Shaima Alawadi on the “America’s inherent racism and prejudice.”[ii] This is fully 13 months after the arrest of Kassim Alhimidi for what appears to be an honour killing and some 21 months after police state that the attack appears to be "an isolated event," not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants.
The paragraph stating that the killing of Shaima Alawadi was the fault of America reads as follows:
On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense as Martin was on his way home in Sanford, FL, armed with a bag of skittles and iced tea. He was 17 years old, an African-American student at Michael Krop High School. One month later on March 21st, Shaima Alawadi was beat to death inside her home and left next to a note that read, “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.” She was a 32-year-old mother of five who had left her country, Iraq, with her family following the Shiite uprisings, in hopes of finding peace in El Cajon, CA. These two now-lifeless Americans represent the true victims of America’s inherent racism and prejudice. We must then think to ourselves: what was their crime—the color of their skin (i.e. their darker than white complexions), their ethnicity, their beliefs?—and when will the hate end. (Emphasis added)
The honour killing and maiming of wives and daughters is a sensitive issue that most likely has it basis in cultural rather than religious norms. However, the question of honour killings and wife beating is an issue of particular sensitivity for organizations such as CAIR and CAIR CAN. This may account for the policy of denial and the blame for such events on others.
Long-time CIAR CAN board member and well known North American Muslim Brotherhood figure Dr. Jamal Badawi has written on wife beating.[iii] He approves of the practice and falls back on the belief that men are in charge of women because they spend their resources to support them. The verse in the Quran that he refers to is Surat An-Nisā' (The Women) 4:34. [iv]
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.[v]
Dr. Badawi does not seem to address the issue of whether it is permissible for an unemployed man to beat his employed wife.
The issues of wife beating, domestic violence and honour killings are delicately interwoven. However, Dr. Badawi has made is views clear and his writing leaves many some disturbed. His introductory paragraph on the subject of is worth reading in full:[vi]
In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not overlook her POSITIVE ASPECTS (see Qur'an 4:19). If the problem relates to the wife's behavior, her husband may exhort her and appeal for reason. In most cases, this measure is likely to be sufficient. In cases where the problem continues, the husband may express his displeasure in another peaceful manner, by sleeping in a separate bed from hers. There are cases, however, in which a wife persists in deliberate mistreatment and expresses contempt of her husband and disregard for her marital obligations. Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body, but NEVER ON THE FACE, making it more of a symbolic measure then a punitive one.
Continuing with his own words, Dr. Badawi makes the following observations:
It must be seen as A RARE EXCEPTION TO THE REPEATED EXHORTATION OF MUTUAL RESPECT, KINDNESS AND GOOD TREATMENT, discussed earlier. Based on the Qur'an and hadith this measure may be used in the cases of lewdness on the part of the wife or extreme refraction and rejection of the husband's reasonable requests on a consistent basis (nushuz). Even then, other measures, such as exhortation, should be tried first.
Of particular note is the option that many individual chose when looking at the rules offered by ancient texts such as the Torah, the Bible or the Quran. The holy books, many theologians argue, should have their spiritual and moral values taken up and used in today’s society. The physical aspects of life at the time are not relevant to today’s society and should be left in the past. Many others simply state that those were different times and that different standards applied. Society has move along and now we have different standards that reject issues such as wife beating.
Shahina Siddiqui of the Manitoba Islamic Association is also a founding member of the board of directors of CAIR CAN and has been on that board for more than ten years. She remains on the board of the National Council of Canadian Muslims,[vii] which is what CAIR CAN is now called following a 2013 name change. In addition to these positions, she was also the media spokesperson for CAIR CAN.[viii] As with many others in the Muslim Brotherhood movement, she supports polygamy. In a 2008 newspaper article on Ali Hindy of Toronto and how he had performed multiple polygamous marriages, the following was printed:
"The purpose of polygamy was to protect women," said Shahina Siddiqui, a social worker with the Islamic Social Services Association, who has worked on a number of polygamy cases. "The way it is being done here, it is not just. Second and third wives have no social support, no legal protection, no recourse if things go wrong; that in itself negates the entire premise of the Islamic law. It can't do what it was meant to do." Polygamy can work, Siddiqui stresses, if the society is set up for it, if it's open to it, and if adults consent to it.[ix]
At the root of this issue for groups such as CAIR CAN and the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood lies the problems of moderate Islam (times have changed) and the heavily politicized views of the salafist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The Ikhwani, as salafists, are determined to move societal standards back to the time of the first three generations after the founding of Islam. Therefore they seek a more literal interpretation of the Quran and are not willing to move away from the rules which may have been seen as valid in the year C.E. 622 (Year one is the Islamic calendar) but not so much in 2014.
This is not the place to address the role of intelligence in democratic societies. It is a much larger topic unto itself that needs addressing in a post-Cold War, post-2008 economic crisis, post-Edward Snowden world. We appear to be in a “third wave” of the intelligence community. The first was that of the formation of the most intelligence agencies and processes as a result of the end of World War Two and the start of the Cold War. Following the collapse of the Cold War and the USSR, there was no overwhelming force or principle that focussed the intelligence community. That ended with the attacks of 911 (start of second wave) which then reformed (distorted?) the priorities of the intelligence community in the West and brought us to where we are now. Clearly, a focus on Al Qaeda and its inspired followers is required, but it should not be allowed to shape all of the thinking and decision making that occurs.
The state does have a duty, a responsibility and an obligation to protect itself and its citizens/subjects. In democratic societies, this is a difficult and the task of achieving the proper balances between the security of the state and the rights of the collective and individuals citizens is floundering.
Part of this problem is the nature of the primary intelligence and enforcement organizations used by the state. Most of them are products of the Cold War and – consciously or not – they operate in a world which they assume is state centric (in the Westphalian sense of the term). This view of the world, known by International Relations scholars as “Political Realism” or is sometimes discussed as “Power and Realist Theory.”
Set up and run according to these views of the world, these agencies are now attempting to use “square hole” operating rules and methods in a “round hole” world. No matter how big the hammer, the process will not work well, its fails regularly and causes doubt and concern among the citizenry.
Consider, as just one small example the issue of electronic spying carried out by agencies such as the NSA in the USA, GCHQ in the United Kingdom or CSEC in Canada.
In the Canadian case, the CSEC has a legal mandate to do electronic spying, but not on Canadians. Its focus in to spy on foreign threats. In the ‘bad old days’ of the Cold War, this type of distinctions between ‘Canadians’ and ‘non-Canadians’ may have made sense. It does not make sense now.
Today, however, organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood are non-state actors and see the world in a totally different manner. They envisage, as do many others, a sort of post-Westphalian world where the secular states dissolves in favour of a new (old?) form of structure and organization. To them, the Westphalian state system was a European export of the 1700s and the 1800s which was used as a tool of colonial oppression to subdue them. In their view, the system is worn out and needs to be replaced.
It is not just the Muslim Brotherhood that sees the world through this lens. The world of finance and economics clearly runs both within and outside the boundaries of the sovereign state. Financial derivatives and foreign currency trading flow across multiple state borders and most politicians have no real idea on what is happening or how to control it.
Another key factor is that secrecy is the enemy of knowledge.[x] The amount of knowledge in the world is exploding and it is being shared to a greater degree than ever. The vast majority of this knowledge is not classified or held by government agencies. Agencies that try to focus on secret information for analysis are working with a pool of knowledge that is becoming relatively smaller and increasingly irrelevant as each year passes. If their secret knowledge is not contextualized and assisted by open source knowledge, they are not producing the best product available. In 2007 in a book titled Seeing the Invisible – National Security Intelligence in an Uncertain Age, I stated that:
Secrecy is the enemy of knowledge. And it will take lots of knowledge to prevail in the face of asymmetric threats such as transnational terrorism or transnational organized crime. The current threat is devolving downwards from systems threats (countries or large organizations) to the individual or small groups (self-forming terrorist groups etc). Unfortunately, most of the highly technological and classified intelligence systems were designed to operate against country level Cold War style threats. These highly classified systems work well against large scale threats such as armies or nuclear weapons networks, but they cannot perceive individual level capabilities or intentions.
At the same time, most intelligence agencies still cling to their treasured classification systems. Unfortunately, the over classification of intelligence is just another barrier to the flow of needed information. In Cold War days, this may have been acceptable as events moved at a rather glacial pace most of the time. Now, however, the information needed to stay current can change in weeks or months and a crisis can develop almost overnight. This means barriers have to be broken and intelligence has to be based on a “need to share” rather than a “need to know” basis.
OSINT is no more or less reliable than classified intelligence. Despite the widely held assumption that classified intelligence is more reliable that OSINT, there is no actual body of evidence to support this. As with any other form of information, there are methods available for verifying the reliability of sources and facts.[xi]
“There’s smart secrecy and stupid secrecy…”. This is the view of Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative scholar and Senior Fellow from the equally conservative Hudson Institute. He is the author of the recent book “Necessary Secrets - National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law.”[xii]
The above has also been my view for a number of years, having worked in a variety of capacities in the intelligence world and having been the holder of one of those “above top secret” clearances. It 2010, I pointed this out in Global Brief magazine by stating again:
Secrecy has a valid place in intelligence agencies and in government in general, even in democracies. It can be a valid concept when an agency has to protect a source or agent or to protect an ongoing operation. Secrecy is, however, the enemy of knowledge. An overuse of classification means that knowledge and information has a difficult time crossing the artificially created boundaries of secrecy. With knowledge being the only real weapon against an asymmetric threat, such as terrorism, large secrecy-driven bureaucracies are making the problem of security more difficult. With too much secrecy, the intelligence world becomes an insular place where analysts will only talk to people who confirm what they already (mistakenly) may know.[xiii]
This paper, for instance, was written entirely with open sources. You will not see footnotes that say I have a “confidential source” nor will you see statements such as “a government official with knowledge on this subject said….”.
Additionally, excessive secrecy slows the travel of knowledge. During the Cold War, information often moved at a glacial rate (pun intended). This was not critical, as events and equipment development tended to move rather slowly as well. Intelligence personnel could watch the progression of a new tank or aircraft occur over a period of five years or more. Now, information has a tendency to stale date in times periods closer to six or eighteen months, not five years. In order to be useful, information and intelligence has to travel quickly. Secrecy is a barrier to this, yet agencies tend to put secrecy of even the most mundane of details ahead of operational efficiency.
This obsession with secrecy is weakening both the government’s ability to understand the world around it as well as weakening the confidence of the population in the government. For more on this, and especially how this negatively affects journalists, see the podcast interview starting at 10:58 with Ottawa Citizen journalist Ian MacLeod titled My Brother’s Keeper? This is available online at the Broken Mirrors Website.[xiv]
As a society, we need the citizens and the government to redefine how we deal with emerging changes and emerging threats to society. Intelligence is too important to be left to intelligence agencies.
This paper has its primary focus on Canada although nearly every aspect of the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada has links to the USA. As already stated, the Muslim Brotherhood tends to see North America and one operational area for organization and impact. The Muslim Brotherhood may be more successful in countries such as Canada, the USA, the UK and Australia due to those countries having long histories of immigration and integration. As well, individual members have been successful in their education and careers as evidenced by the high number of PhDs and other advanced degrees, mostly in the sciences, medicine and engineering.
During the course of the research, it became quite clear that other countries besides those in the Middle East have a significant Muslim Brotherhood presence that operates along the same general lines as those adherent groups in North America. Among those countries that continuously appeared in the research are Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, France and Germany, as well as the pan-European Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.
Each country is different and each has its own story to tell. However, the timelines, methods, organizational names and approaches to publicity appear to remain relatively constant over those countries listed above.
It is probable that the Muslim Brotherhood has an organizational presence in about 60 countries in total (low end estimates) to as many as 70 (higher end estimates).
In the UK, the government of Prime Minister David Cameron has recently announced that it will launch
“an urgent investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood amid fears that the Islamist organisation is planning extremist activities from Britain. The review will include an assessment by MI6, the foreign intelligence service, of claims that the group was behind the murder of three tourists on a bus in Egypt in February and a spate of other recent attacks. MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, will also be asked to investigate how many senior leaders are based in this country after last year’s military coup in Egypt, which deposed Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was elected president.”[xv]
The UK decision to have this investigation may well lead to similar investigations in other countries that have a significant Muslim Brotherhood presence. Among those most likely may be Australia, Canada, Germany and France.
The role of the government of the United States appears to be ambiguous with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood and its respective adherent organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, has ordered its staff to cut ties with CAIR[xvi] in 2009 following concerns about its support for HAMAS. The prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation cases was an example of an active policy of enforcement, yet the US DoJ has not followed up on these initial successes by going after the unindicted co-conspirators that it identified during the HLF convictions and sentencing of 2008/09.
In 2013, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill did make an observation and noted that the Attorney General of the USA would refuse to attend meetings if he knew CAIR officials were present:
Liaison partnerships.—The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case in which the Holy Land Foundation was found guilty of material support of a terrorist organization. The committee acknowledges the attorney general’s refusal to attend certain meetings knowing that CAIR officials would be present, as indicated in testimony before the committee on February 28, 2012. The committee understands that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has an existing policy prohibiting its employees from engaging in any formal non-investigative cooperation with CAIR. The committee encourages the attorney general to adopt a similar policy for all department officials.[xvii]
United States Secretary of State Kerry, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was responsible for “stealing” the revolution. He was quoted as saying:
And those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology. They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future, and not have a corrupt government that deprived them of all of that and more. And they tweeted their ways and Facetimed their ways and talked to each other, and that’s what drove that revolution. And then it got stolen by the one single most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood.[xviii]
However, many in the USA feel that the Muslim Brotherhood was potentially a useful partner before the Arab Spring[xix] and other continue to believe this after the Arab Spring and the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood Presidency in Egypt.
At the same time, a number of Muslim Brotherhood related officials have close ties to the US government, not the least of them the ISNA president Imam Mohamed Magid[xx] who is also on the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.[xxi]
While the Canadian government has taken an active role in cutting charity money support (ISNA, IFRAN etc) and the UK government is pressing ahead with an investigation into the role of the Muslin Brotherhood there, the US government overall remains ambiguous and appears to be increasingly out of step with its “five eyes” allies.
The role of the Muslim Brotherhood does not appear to be consistent with values of the Canadian Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights nor the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Government of Canada may wish to pursue a wider investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood with a particular focus on its activities in Canada and the USA. Cooperation or information sharing with the proposed investigation[xxii] in the United Kingdom may be useful.
With respect to Canada, the government may wish to address:
1. Which organizations in Canada have Muslim Brotherhood affiliations throughout their history and current activities?
2. Which organizations in Canada have Muslim Brotherhood affiliations through their leadership, board of directors etc?
3. Which of these organizations has charitable status and should this status be reviewed?
4. Which of these organizations has access to government, and should this access be reviewed?
5. Should CBSA consider the increased screening individuals from Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia (and others) for membership or activities with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood?
6. Should the Canada Revenue Agency conduct a more extensive review of charity applications as well as a review of existing charities?
7. Should Canada consider requiring individuals who advocate imposing foreign standards on Canadians through political means register their activities as a form of lobbying?
Reciprocity of Charitable Funds
A number of charities in Canada receive funding from overseas. They have been required to report this funding since 2009. However, the sources and the amounts are not generally made known. As a means of providing transparency and accountability, two recommendations could be made:
1. The amounts and sources of the funds should be made available,
2. Money from foreign countries should only be acceptable if reciprocity exists with the country of the donors involved. Currently, many foreign states will not allow foreign money to enter their countries while at the same time, both their state and private institutions can send money to Canadian charities.
Additionally, the CRA has repeatedly shown that charities in Canada have used their charitable status for funding terrorism in areas as diverse as the Kashmir and Palestinian territories. The charitable status for these organizations has been removed, yet few actions have been taken concerning a criminal investigation for funding terrorism, even though the CRA reports repeatedly highlight the names of the individuals involved. The recent listing of IRFAN as a terrorist entity does appear to be a positive step in that direction. Whether this is the start of a trend or a “one off” event is not clear, but it does send a message of its own.[xxiii]
The Muslim Brotherhood has been active in Canada and the United States since the late 1950s and has developed a series of front organizations and charities. Whether it is the original goals of Hassan Banna in the 1930s, the 1981 Project, the 1991 Memorandum or the 2014 Young Muslims in Canada website providing direction, the goals remains the same: The establishment of an Islamic state as envisaged by individuals such as Hassan Banna and Sayyid Qutb. The experience of President Morsi and his attempt to implement el-Shater’s Ikhwani policy of “renaissance” shows that the beliefs are current and not simply historical. They are also global.
Individuals such as Dr. Wael Haddara are at the forefront of these efforts and Dr. Haddara’s role with the Egyptian president and his role at the UN show the degree to which he (and others) have influence both in Canada and abroad.
CAIR-CANS proposed lawsuit against the Prime Minister of Canada serves to highlight how the policy of denial is practiced in and for the main stream media. It also demonstrates how the organization feels it can threaten anyone, including the Prime Minister, who dares to assess the origins and nature of their work.
The various Muslim Brotherhood adherent organizations in Canada are led by educated and sophisticated individuals who practice a policy of denial as to their roots and aims of their organizations. As such, the statements of denial and “the past” and “we are a grassroots” organization should be examined with great skepticism.
[v] There are multiple interpretation of what it means to beat or strike a woman as noted at the end of the third last sentence. For seven different English language translations, see http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=4&verse=34
[vi] Is wife beating allowed in Islam? By Dr. Jamal Badawi: http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/w_abuse_badawi.htm
[viii] This information on her as a spokesperson was taken from the CAIR CAN media guide. Archived copies of the CAIR CAN website can be found by using the Internet archive website called “The Way Back Machine” which can be found at www.web.archive.org. For a copy of the see: http://web.archive.org/web/20030701034732/http://www.caircan.ca/ and the select “download the CAIR CAN Journalists Guide” which will then be found at: http://web.archive.org/web/20030617021214/http://www.caircan.ca/downloads/jgprint.pdf
[ix] GTA's secret world of polygamy: As Toronto mother describes her ordeal, imam admits he has `blessed' over 30 unions, Noor Javed Staff Reporter, Published On Sat May 24 2008, AARON LYNETT/TORONTO STAR. Available online at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2008/05/24/gtas_secret_world_of_polygamy.html
[x] For more information on open source intelligence and how secrecy is the enemy of knowledge, see Thomas Quiggin, Seeing the Invisible – National Security Intelligence in an Uncertain Age, World Scientific, Singapore, 2007, pages 157 to 177.
[xi] See the larger discussion of this issue at Thomas Quiggin, Seeing the Invisible – National Security Intelligence in an Uncertain Age, World Scientific, Singapore, 2007, pages 157 to 177.
[xii] See the article Smart Secret and Stupid Secret as published in GLOBAL BRIEF. It is available online at: http://globalbrief.ca/tomquiggin/2010/09/26/smart-secret-and-stupid-secret/
[xv] The Times of London, PM orders inquiry into Muslim Brotherhood’s terror links, Francis Elliott, Michael Savage and Sean O’Neill.Last updated at 12:01AM, April 1 2014. See the story online at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4050750.ece
[xvii] COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2013 http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cjs-fy13-full_committee_report.pdf
[xix] The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood: Friend or Foe? Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke, Foreign Policy,
[xx] The DHS document lists Magid as being: Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS
Center). See page 28 of https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/hsac_cve_working_group_recommendations.pdf
[xxi] See the DHS document Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group, Homeland Security Advisory Council, Spring 2010 which is available online at: https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/hsac_cve_working_group_recommendations.pdf
[xxii] The Times of London, PM orders inquiry into Muslim Brotherhood’s terror links, Francis Elliott, Michael Savage and Sean O’Neill. Last updated at 12:01AM, April 1 2014. See the story online at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4050750.ece