Category Archives: Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi: Leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi: The President of the Global Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi (يوسف القرضاوي) is the undisputed leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the movement’s ultimate authority. Based in Qatar, he operates without interference from local authorities. His ultimate, avowed goal is to have the islamic law (Sharia) enforced world-wide. Al-Qaradawi is fully committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world.”

ultimate goal: sharia everywhere

Born in Egypt in 1926, he studied at Al-Azhar University, the most ancient institution of “education” in the Sunni Muslim world. Founded in 971 A.D, and located in Cairo, it became a “university” in 1961, with branches in several countries. It has rapidly become a hotbed of Muslim Brothers. As a student, al-Qaradawi was active in the resistance to the British presence (1881-1956), and subscribed to the political project of Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna.
With the support of the Qatar régime, he established the College of Sharia and islamic studies and an institute for Sunnah research at the University of Qatar.
College of Sharia, University of Qatar

Al-Qaradawi has his own TV program on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera (Shariah and Life) and an internet site.

As chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which he founded in 1997, he is heavily involved in the islamization of Europe.
The ECFR employs a special form of jurisprudence designed to address the needs of Muslims living as minorities in the West. It is permissible on the basis of Sharia for muslims living in non-muslim lands to postpone the full implementation of Sharia, especially aspects of it that the European majority would not tolerate (such as corporal punishments for sins like adultery). This jurisprudence doesn’t propose that muslims in the West abandon Sharia, as that would be to commit apostasy. Rather, it says that it is legitimate to postpone those punishments so that muslims could work peacefully and freely within European society to fulfill their obligations to the wider muslim nation. Among those obligations figures the formation of micro islamic zones within Europe that are effectively governed by Sharia.
Sheikh Qaradawi in 1991, in his book Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase was one of the first cleric to conceive muslims living as minorities in the West as a strategic asset for the Islamic Movement, for the global islamic revival. Qaradawi believed that by organizing the Muslim communities in the West, the islamic movement will be able to launch an offensive against Christianity, secularism, liberalism, and modernity in general in their own heartlands. Democracy and political freedom are legitimate and even necessary for the islamic movement, he argues, because Western democracies are already two-thirds an islamic state. All that is left, Qaradawi says, is to convert everyone to Islam.
This democratic strategy has put the Muslim Brotherhood in conflict with al-Qaeda and with Hizb ut-Tahrir, who have said that Sharia can not coexist with European jurisprudence and institutions. Qaradawi argued that the Muslim Brotherhood cultural jihad in the West needs to be carried on by democratic means, and that it is better for the muslim nation than armed, violent jihad. Qaradawi agrees with other islamists on one crucial point however: one can’t defect from islam. “The gravest danger facing the muslim nation,” he said, “is the one that threatens its spiritual existence, i.e., that threatens its belief; therefore, apostasy or unbelief after having been a muslim is the greatest danger to society. For muslim society to preserve its existence, it must struggle against apostasy from every sources and in all its forms, and it must not let it spread like wildfire in a field of apostasy so that it will not worsen and its sparks scatter becoming widespread apostasy. Thus the muslim sages agree that the punishment for the apostate is execution.”

The ECFR is the theological body of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) which is the umbrella body for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
Federation of Islamic Organisations in europe

conquer Europe

See The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe, the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, and The Federation of Islamic
Organizations in Europe

More importantly, al-Qaradawi founded the Union of Good (UG, ائتلاف خير).

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See the organizational structure of the UG here.

UG's Organizational Structure

Al-Qaradawi is the President of this global organization.

The UG has created two international organizations connected to the Muslim World League: the IICWC (Committee) and the IICDR (Council).
world muslim league logo

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The chairwoman of the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC) is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, the mother of Huma Abedin, who’s the actual deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Muslim Brotherhood in the US

The IICW describes itself as part of the International Islamic Council for Dawa’a and Relief (IICDR).

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Abdullah bin Omar Nasseef is the Secretary General of the IICDR

The International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child

Beyond that, Qaradawi founded The World Council of Muslim Clerics in 2003, and placed its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The World Council includes Shiites as well as Sunnis. Qaradawi is presiding this global front of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Being both an Islamic law authority and the head of the UG, al-Qaradawi gives islamico-legal justifications (fatwas) to transferring funds to paramilitary organizations under the heading of “financial jihad.”
Qaradawi has called zakat (tithing) generated by shariah-compliant financial transactions “jihad with money.”

jihad with money

In a lecture given in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2002, he noted that collecting money for the jihad fighters was a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.
Al-Qaradawi was also appointed to the board of directors of the Al-Taqwa (“Fear of God, or Muslim Piety”) Bank.


The Hindu reported in 2011 that al-Qaradawi “has emerged as a key mediator in secret talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.”

Al-Qaradawi is emerging as a peace broker between the Taliban and the United States, aiming to give the Obama régime “a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014.”

In return for the release of prisoners still held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, the lifting of United Nations sanctions on its leadership and its recognition as a legitimate political group, the Taliban was expected to agree to sever its links to transnational organisations like al-Qaeda, end violence and eventually share power with the Afghan government.

Al-Qaradawi is increasingly seen by both the United States and the Talibans as an mediator between al-Qaeda .

In 1993, al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa landmark edict endorsing democratic pluralism; the Muslim Brotherhood later cast its embrace of electoral politics in Egypt and elsewhere as a form of da’wa, or proselytising missionary work. Even though Mr. al-Qaradawi said he remained committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world,” he argued this could be achieved peacefully.

Al-Qaradawi condemned 9/11 and, in September, 2005, he described the Iraqi al-Zarqawi as a “criminal,” and in 2009 he lashed out at al-Qaeda for a “mad declaration of war on the whole world.”

In 2008, al-Qaeda’s now-chief Ayman al-Zawahiri lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood for its decision to embrace electoral politics. In many countries, Brotherhood figures cadre clashed with groups sympathetic or linked to al-Qaeda.


Birth of the Muslim Brotherhood

Hassan al-Banna (left), حسن البنا and Saïd Ramadan (right), سعيد رمضان

Al-Banna was born in the small village of Mahmudiya, Egypt, in 1906.
[Biographical info here, ikhwanwiki arabic here, translated here].

He co-founded the Muslim Youth Association in 1927, restored the newspaper Al-Manar created by Rashid Rida and Muhammad Abduh, as well as the weekly al-Shehab, a magazine founded by Imam Abdul Hamid Ben Badis [more info here], and then launched the Muslim Brotherhood in March 1928.

In the 1932, al-Banna moved to Cairo. At the time, Egypt was still under British colonial rule, and it was modernizing quickly, going through wrenching economic and social changes: Cairo was industrializing, the peasants were moving to cities, traditions were breaking up, and cultural habits were in flux. Banna was appalled by this combination of colonialist oppression and rapid cultural change. He began to organize and do some writing of his own, attacking the British but also especially the “immorality” that had arisen in Cairo, the capital. Al-Banna emphasized the universality of islam (شمولية الإسلام) and the importance of fighting all manifestations of moral decay and of alienation in society (مظاهر الانحلال الخلقي، وجميع مظاهر الاغتراب في المجتمع). The way of islam should be the way of life for all (ضرورة تطبيقه كمنهج حياة،). Al-Banna’s answer was islam, and the leader of the Brotherhood required complete submission to islam (الولاء الكامل للإسلام).

It is the nature of islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.
— Al-Banna

Al-Banna talked of islam less as a religion than as a political project. What made al-Banna uniquely successful was that he was an islamic populist and political activist. Grassroots-oriented, members of the Muslim Brotherhood did not aspire to become intellectuals like the old community of muslim scholars; they spoke in simple sentences, and they usually adopted Western dress and modern rhetoric. There is no division between state and islam, Al-Banna said. In one tract, he wrote: “If someone should say to you ‘This is politics, not religion!’ say: ‘This is islam and we do not recognize such a division.” In another he said, “Oh Brother, tell me: if Islam is something other than politics, culture, economy, law, and society, then what is it? Is it only acts of prostration, devoid of a pulsating heart?”

Al-Banna’s method to win members was to identify a practical problem in a community and then solve it. The Brotherhood would help build a new clinic or school or mosque or develop a local industry. This would convince folks that al-Banna’s movement was solution-oriented and its members sincere. New members were recruited directly in mosques, but also in coffee shops and the market.

Al-Banna casted the islamic (المشروع الإسلامي) project of the Muslim Brotherhood as twofold:
a) to resist Western colonialism (الاستعمار) in its attempt to conquer the peoples of muslim faith (الشعوب المسلمة), and
b) to implement Islamic law (Sharia, الشريعة) in the affairs of life (شؤون الحياة).

Said Ramadan first saw Banna speak at an outdoor revival-style meeting in 1940. After each such gathering, Banna would ask people to come up on the stage — almost like a pledge to the movement. After about five meetings, the fourteen-year-old Ramadan, not much over five feet tall but powerfully built from wrestling, finally decided to go forward.

“What took you so long?” Banna said. The sheikh had known all along that his future protege was in the crowd. He had just been waiting for him to take the first step.

It was a story that Ramadan liked to tell his friends and acolytes. Banna, he felt, was often misunderstood as purely a political figure. The man had a deeply spiritual, mystic side as well and, as Ramadan tells it, he slept in a graveyard once a month to remind him of his ultimate fate.

Ian Johnson

By the advent of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had grown enormously, attracting huge numbers of students, civil servants, urban labourers, and others elements of the egyptian landscape. It then spread rapidly throughout Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and North Africa.

“We want to raise the banner of Islam in Andalusia and Seville, the Balkans, and the coasts of Italy and the Mediterranean islands, they are all Islamic colonies to be returned to the bosom of Islam”(نحن نريدرفع راية الإسلام في الأندلس وأشبيلية والبلقان، وسواحل إيطاليا، وجزر البحر المتوسط، فكلها مستعمرات إسلامية يجب إعادتها إلى حضن الإسلام), — Al-Banna

Members of the Brotherhood built up Western-style organizations such as political parties, youth groups, women’s groups, and paramilitary wings. The Muslim Brotherhood became an alternative, non-state organization able to provide what the government could not, and this allowed the Brotherhood to appeal to the muslim world’s rising middle class. They vocalized the anger of the poor but drew their leadership from the educated classes.

(source) [See here about the organizational hierarchy of the muslim brotherhood]


Gamal al-Banna, the younger brother of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder


The Muslim Brotherhood was established as a secret society.

Mahmoud Sabbagh (محمود الصباغ), an active member of the organization, wrote about the pledge of allegiance the members must make : “The brother will then be reminded that as long as he is a believer, he will be determined for jihad for allah, to work in the ranks of the Mujahideen. We take a pledge to jihad in the way of allah until islam is victorious or we perish without victory but with a commitment to secrecy and obedience.”

See Leadership and Allegiance in the Society of the Muslim Brothers by Lella Landau-Tasseron for more details on the secret organization

When he was president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, himself an ex-member of the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced the organization, and pointed to this practice of the pledge of allegiance as its most dangerous dimension:
Addat on the Muslim Brotherhood
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As the Brotherhood grew, it focused against two causes. One was anti-colonialism, another was anti-semitism. The Muslim Brotherhood was at the forefront of a rising anti-Semitism in Egypt. In 1937 and 1938 the Brotherhood attacked shops owned by Jews as well as other targets in Cairo. Even if Banna could not accept the Nazi idea that the Germans were a master race, Nazi agents still supported him, since anti-Semitism formed a key part of his political activity. This activity crystallized in the Brotherhood’s close association with Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

The Brotherhood developped a paramilitary arm responsible for assassinations and terrorist attacks, secret formations of Fedayeen, prepared for jihad (جهده لإنشاء تشكيلات سريّة من الفدائيين، وإعدادها للجهاد). By the 1930s, the Brotherhood received significant funds from a German journalist affiliated with the Nazi legation in Cairo to establish the Brotherhood’s para-military “Special Apparatus.”

In the late 1940s, Al-Banna led brigades of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 Palestine War to fight against the birth of the Israeli State under the slogan “to die for allah is our loftiest aspiration.” Several units of volunteers in Palestine belonged to the Brotherhood.


Banna with Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem (source)


In 1948, al-Banna called for kings (الملوك) and rulers (الحكام) to implement Islamic law in the affairs of life, and preached for an islamic state (بالدولة الإسلامي) in the form of an islamic caliphate (الإسلامية في صورة الخلافة). “If the governments do not implement Sharia, then all Muslims are sinners (إذا لم تقم الحكومة الإسلامية فإن جميع المسلمين آثمون),” he said.

By the end of the 1940s, the Muslim Brotherhood had become a threat to the central authorities of Egypt. The New York Times described it in 1948 as “the largest terrorist organization in Egypt,” and reported it was involved in “a series of bombings, political assassinations and attempted assassinations”.

New York Times:

The following list of outrages was attributed to the terrorist organization: the explosion outside the house of [former Prime Minister]Mustapha El Nahas, president of the WAFD, early in the year; the attempted bombing of the Sudan Agency; bombing of department stores of Ades, Ben Zion, Gettegno, the Delta Land Company and the Société Orientale de Publicité and the most recent tommy-gun attempt on the life of Nahas Pasha.

On May 14, 1948, following the invasion of Palestine by Egypt and the proclamation of a state of siege, Prime Minister of Egypt Nokrashy was appointed Military Governor of Egypt. On December 9, 1948, Nokrashy ordered “the dissolution of the Moslem Brotherhood,” confiscating and liquidating all the Brotherhood’s premises, including “several farm and manufacturing cooperatives and a group of medical dispensaries.”

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior, reports the NYT,”accused the Brotherhood of ‘aiming at seizing power and overthrowing established order in the country‘. He charged the Brotherhood with being responsible for a six months’ series of bombings, assassinations and riots” and “proclaimed a ‘state of emergency throughout Egypt‘ just before midnight as the police moved to surround the Brotherhood headquarters and post guards at all of its branches, estimated to number about 300.”

Brotherhood members were forbidden to continue any form of political activity.

Soon after, Prime Minister Nokrashy was assassinated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian government had al-Banna assassinated the following day.

Mayor Mahmoud Abdul Majeed was involved in the plot against Banna (source)

Encyclopedia Britannica “estimated that at its height in the late 1940s [the Muslim Brotherhood] may have had some 500,000 members.”


In the next part, we will see how Saïd Ramadan revived the Muslim Brotherhood from abroad.

Said Ramadan joined the Muslim Brotherhood when he was 14. After graduating from Cairo University, he became al-Banna’s personal secretary. A year later, Ramadan was named editor of the Muslim Brotherhood weekly, Al Shihab, and he married al-Banna’s daughter.
Ramadan will become the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organizer, from Pakistan to Switzlerland, Palestine and the United-States.

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Said Ramadan worked in close cooperation with Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem.
Image 1028

Organizational Hierarchy of the Muslim Brotherhood

(Source arabic here, g-translated here)


8. — Mohamed Badie, محمد بديع (source arabic here, g-translated here.
7. — Mohammed Mahdi Akef, مهدي عاكف (source arabic here, g-translated here)
6. — Mamoun Hudaibi, مأمون الهضيبي (source arabic here, english here)
5. — Mustafa Mashhour, مصطفى مشهور (source ikhwanwiki arabic here, g-translated here)
4. — Mohamed Hamed Abu Nasr, محمد حامد أبو النصر (source ikwanwiki arabic here, g-translated here)
3. — Omar Tlemceni, عمر التلمساني, (source ikwanwiki arabic here, g-translated here) More info here, here,
2. — Hassan Hudhaibi, حسن الهضيبي (english here, arabic here)


Source g-translated here, arabic here