“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
Motto of the Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood began was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al BANNA as a youth organization with the primary objectives of moral and social reform throughout Islam. The movement extended to Syria where one branch founded in 1935 (the Aleppo branch) became the Syrian headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization then expanded its social-political involvement and became the known as the Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon. Al-BANNA was a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler when he was a writer and before his rise to power. Al BANNA wrote supportive letters to Hitler and as a result, Hitler’s requested that Nazi intelligence contact AL BANNA for the purpose of working together. Hitler enlisted Al-BANNA to establish a spy network for Nazi Germany throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The Nazi-Muslim alliance became such that Al-BANNA promised Hitler that when the Nazi’s arrived Cairo and Alexandria, the Muslim Brotherhood would ensure that all of the British troops would be killed.
The decade of the 1930’s saw the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood as a political group; it became an official political organization in 1939.
In 1942, Hassan al BANNA established additional branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in Transjordan and Palestine and moved the Syrian headquarters to Damascus in 1944. In Egypt after the end of World War II, Egyptian members took violent action against King Farouk’s government, leading to the expulsion of the organization from Egypt. It’s members moved to moved to Transjordan where many more participated in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949, fighting against the Jewish occupiers.
On December 28, 1948, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi. Consequently, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned and Al BANNA was later killed by government agents in Cairo in February 1949.
On October 26, 1954, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdul Munim Abdul Rauf, attempted to kill Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdul Nasser . As a result, the organization was outlawed again and over 4000 of its members were imprisoned, including prominent member Sayyid QUTB, who became the most influential intellectual of the group, writing books in prison much like Hitler did before his rise to power. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood expanded their ranks to Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The organization also opposed the growing alliance between Egypt and Communist USSR at that time.
In the 1950s, Jordanian members of the Muslim Brotherhood supported King Hussein of Jordan and against Egypt’s Gamal Nasser’s attempts to overthrow him. King Hussein banned all political parties in Jordan in 1957 with the exception of the Muslim Brotherhood. When Syria joined Egypt in the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958, the Muslim Brotherhood went underground; when Syria left the UAR 1961, the Muslim Brotherhood won 10 seats in the following next elections until the Ba’th coup in 1963 forced them underground once more.
Egyptian President Nasser legalized the Muslim Brotherhood again in 1964 and released all of the prisoners being held in Egyptian prisons. After more assassination attempts were made again against him, however, NASSER had many Brotherhood leaders imprisoned and others executed in 1966. Nasser’s successor, Anwar SADAT, promised that he would implement Sharia Law in Egypt. Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979, however, angered the Muslim Brotherhood once again and led to Sadat’s assassination in 1981.
The Muslim Brotherhood was angered with the appointment of Hafez al-ASSAD, an Alawite Muslim, as the Syrian president in 1971 because the majority of Muslims did not consider Alawites true Muslims. ASSAD attempted to work peacefully with the organization, but his support of Maronites in the Lebanese Civil War made the Muslim Brotherhood declare its jihad against the proliferation of people and organizations opposing their views. An increase in terrorist strikes was noted; in 1979, the Muslim Brotherhood was responsible for killing 83 Alawite cadets in the Aleppo artillery school. Meanwhile, ASSAD tried to placate the Muslim Brotherhood by changing regime officials and releasing political prisoners. When such changes were deemed ineffective, military force was used to restore order.
On 25 June 1980, an assassination attempt was made against ASSAD. As a result, ASSAD had the Syrian parliament declare membership with the Muslim Brotherhood a capital offense and sent his army to root out its members. In the operation that lasted through February 1982, the Syrian army killed many of the Muslim Brotherhood in an event that has become known as the Hama Massacre. As a result, the Syrian branch members of the Muslim Brotherhood dispersed and joined Islamic organizations in other countries.
In Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood convinced King Ibn Saud to let them start the Islamic University in Medina in 1961. Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the Muslim Brotherhood splintered into moderates and radicals components, with the radicals joining in Syria and declaring jihad against the Ba’th party leaders. King Hussein allowed the Jordanian branch to give military training to Muslim Brotherhood rebels in Jordan.
In 1973, the Israeli government permitted local Islamic leader Ahmad YASSIN to run social, religious and welfare institutions for Palestinian Muslims. This process lasted for nearly a decade; in 1983, YASSIN was arrested for illegal possession of firearms and sentenced to prison. He served two years and was released 1985. upon his release, he became a folk hero of the Muslim Brotherhood and became one of the founders of the terrorist group HAMAS following the 1987 Intifada.
The Muslim Brotherhood was partially accepted in Egypt in 1984 as a “religious organization,” but was placed under surveillance by the Egyptian intelligence Services. In 1989, the Muslim Brotherhood political wing in Jordan, known as the Islamic Action Front, won 23 out of 80 seats in Jordan’s parliament. Although King Hussein tried to limit their influence though election law reformation, they became the largest group in the parliament with the 1993 elections. Importantly, they strongly opposed the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1994.
At the onset of the Soviet-Afghan war, the Muslim Brotherhood was a constituent part of the Afghan resistance.
More recently, The Muslim Brotherhood is suspected as being behind the the ongoing Chechen revolt against Russia. Officials of the Russian Intelligence services have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of planning the homicide car bombing in Grozny, Chechnya on 27 December 2002.
Numerous Islamic terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, have their roots in The Muslim Brotherhood.
from HomeLandSecurityUS Website