Wall Street Journalist Ian Johnson has written a paper for the Hudson Institute titled “The Brotherhood’s Westward Expansion” which traces the connections between the Muslim Brotherhood as it developed in Europe and the United States. Due to the importance of the material in the piece, it is recommended that it be read in its entirety with one caveat. Johnson may be underestimating the role of the Brotherhood in facilitating terrorism when he says:
The Brotherhood’s legacy in the West is not so much terrorism—although the Brotherhood has endorsed it over the years and continues to do so in the Middle East—as it is the spread of a narrow version of Islam. The Brotherhood’s emphasis on Islam as the one true religion and its embrace of anti-Semitism has hindered, rather than helped, Muslim integration in Western societies. Though it may not be a terrorist group, the Brotherhood arguably creates a milieu that is a perfect breeding ground for terrorists—the us-versus-them mentality, the sense of victimization that is the bedrock of extremism and violence.
Although his comments are accurate as far as they go, the U.S Brotherhood is comprised of other groups not discussed by Johnson such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), among others, whose deceptive tactics when responding to terrorism have been described in general in a previous post. In addition, documents released in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial point to the likelihood of an elaborate covert structure not previously known. Taken together, these factors suggest a bigger role for the U.S. Brotherhood in facilitating terrorism beyond simply creating a “breeding ground” and, at the very least, play a role in hindering and obstructing the Government counter-terror efforts. It is likely that the same holds true for the European Brotherhood whose leaders have endorsed Qaradawi’s legitimization of suicide attacks on Israelis and actions against Coalition forces in Iraq although the relative paucity of public information in Europe prevents as full an analysis as in the U.S.