What a Muslim Brotherhood State Looks Like

by Joseph S. Spoerl (June 2013)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt in 2012, with the inauguration of President Mohamed Morsi in June and the passage of a new and more Islamic constitution in December,1 has led pundits and policy-makers alike to speculate about what the Muslim Brothers will do with their new-found power. However, few observers have noticed that there is no need to speculate about this. In fact, from 1971 to 2011, the Egyptian state went a long way toward becoming a Muslim Brotherhood state, as first Anwar Sadat and then Hosni Mubarak steadily implemented Islamic sharia in order to appease the Brotherhood and their Salafi kin. To see what a Muslim Brotherhood state looks like, therefore, we need only scrutinize what has happened in Egypt since 1971. For those who care about the cause of liberty, the results are not encouraging.

Historical Background

Under the Nasser regime, from 1952 to 1970, Islamic law in Egypt was restricted to family law. This changed with constitutional amendments in 1971 and again in 1980 under Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat, who revised the Egyptian constitution to say that the principles of Islamic sharia are the principal source of legislation in Egypt, and that Islam is the state religion.2 Paul Marshall and Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, writing near the end of the Mubarak regime in 2011, said that this was “a change whose influence is still percolating through the legal system. Though the main body of law remains civil, the influence of sharia has been increasing, especially with the pressure exerted by such groups as the Muslim Brotherhood…”3 Shea and Marshall highlight one particular part of the Egyptian Penal Code, Article 98(f), which prohibits using religion to “promote or advocate extremist ideologies, ignite strife, degrade any of the heavenly religions, or harm national unity or social peace.”4 This language is so broad that it can justify police action against any deviation from traditional sharia, including apostasy by Muslims, blasphemy, proselytizing by non-Muslims, or any deviation from Islamic orthodoxy as defined by the Sunni Muslim religious establishment of Al-Azhar University.

As documented by Marshall and Shea, and also by the U.S. State Department in its annual International Religious Freedom Report for Egypt,5 the steady Islamization of Egyptian law since 1971 has led to severe persecution of religious minorities and liberal Islamic reformers. As Shea and Marshall observe, “the result is that the country’s intellectual and cultural life, which once set the pattern for much of the Arab world, has become increasingly stultified.”6 Consider some examples, and bear in mind that all of these examples date from the Mubarak era (1981-2011).

Treatment of Non-Muslim Minorities: Coptic Christians

Coptic Christians are the largest religious minority in Egypt, comprising 10-15% of the population. Both Marshall and Shea7 and the U.S. State Department document persistent discrimination against, and frequent persecution of, Coptic Christians in Egypt. In the Executive Summary of its 2011 report on religious freedom in Egypt, which covers the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, before the Muslim Brotherhood took control of the government, the State Department said the following:

The government generally failed to investigate and prosecute effectively perpetrators of violence against Coptic Christians and continued to favor informal “reconciliation sessions,” which generally precluded criminal prosecution for crimes against Copts and contributed to a climate of impunity that encouraged further assaults.8

Regarding the treatment of Christians, the State Department also notes the following:

  • The Egyptian state subsidizes Islamic mosques and schools, but not Christian churches. The government pays the salaries of mosque imams, and Al-Azhar University, with 500,000 students, is financed by the government yet admits no non-Muslim students.
  • The government discriminates against Christians in government hiring.
  • The government discriminates against Christians in granting permits for building or renovating churches.
  • The government prohibits proselytizing by non-Muslims, but permits proselytizing by Muslims.
  • The government allows non-Muslims to convert to Islam, but does not allow Muslims to leave Islam.
  • The government allows Muslim men to marry Christian women, but does not allow Christian men to marry Muslim women.
  • In child custody cases, the government adheres to the principle that there shall be “no jurisdiction of a non-Muslim over a Muslim.” Thus, the minor children of adult converts from Islam to Christianity can be taken from their parents and given to Muslim relatives, only one of the many cruelties inflicted on “apostates” (see below).
  • The government bars non-Muslims from employment in public university training programs for Arabic language teachers because the curriculum involves study of the Koran.

All of this discrimination against Christians and favoring of Muslims can be traced in one way or another to provisions of classical sharia.9 All of it dates to the Mubarak era or earlier.

Persecution of Muslim Converts to Christianity

In its 2011 International Religious Freedom Report, the U.S. State Department says, “Muslim-born citizens who convert to another religion, including Christianity, may not change the religion field on their identity cards.” This is because apostasy – leaving Islam – is strictly prohibited by sharia (indeed the prescribed punishment is death10). Muslim converts to Christianity thus have no choice but to obtain fraudulent government identity cards. Muslims who apostatize are routinely persecuted both by their families and by the Egyptian police and courts. “For example,” the 2011 State Department report says, “on May 31, 2010 Christina Abdel-Mesih, a convert from Islam to Christianity, was arrested for forging identity documents and subsequently was sentenced to prison. While in detention in 2011 she claimed that authorities deprived her of food and water for long periods of time. Guards reportedly often instigated other detainees to beat her.”11 Paul Marshall and Nina Shea describe the plight of 22-year-old Martha Samuel Makkar (also mentioned in the 201012 State Department report).13 She violated sharia, and Egyptian law, both by converting from Islam to Christianity and by marrying a Christian man. Since marriage between a Christian man and a Muslim woman is illegal in Egypt, she had to obtain a forged identity card listing her as a Christian in order to marry her Christian husband. While trying to escape from Egypt at the Cairo airport with her husband and her two sons, aged two and four, on December 17, 2008, she was arrested on charges of forging official documents. Marshall and Shea continue the story:

Subsequently, not only was she persecuted by the police, but also her family attempted to kill her. There are reports that Makkar was sexually assaulted by Egyptian police at El-Nozha police station; at the National Security Office in Heliopolis, she was assaulted by other prisoners while in detention; and she was also tortured to force her return to Islam. [note omitted] On January 24, 2009, she was granted bail but not before the judge said she should be killed for leaving Islam.[note omitted]14

The State Department’s version of this case adds that police threw her from a moving vehicle when “releasing” her from police custody.15 Numerous other cases like this one can be found both in Marshall and Shea’s book and in the State Department reports. They typically include prosecution of Coptic Church officials for presiding at weddings where forged identity documents were used. All of these cases date from the Mubarak era.

Treatment of Other Non-Muslim Minorities

Islamic law has no tolerance for members of religions founded after Muhammad, since he was the final prophet, according to Islamic doctrine.16 Thus, Mormons, Bahais, and Ahmadis (or Qadianis), all tracing their roots to 19th century prophets, face extreme persecution in Egypt. Religious groups cannot meet or own property without permits issued by the Egyptian government, and the government will not recognize these groups. Also, the government requires all citizens to carry official identity cards, which list the bearer’s religion, yet only three religions are allowed: Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. According to the State Department, members of unrecognized religious groups without valid identity cards have reported difficulty registering their children in school, opening bank accounts, or establishing businesses.

In theory, the Egyptian constitution protects the three “heavenly religions,” Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. In reality, one of these religions, Judaism, is not tolerated. There were 75,000 Jews in Egypt in 1948, but, in response to the founding of modern Israel, pogroms and official persecution drove virtually all of them out of the country by around 1970.17 Today the State Department reports fewer than 100 Jews, all elderly, living in Egypt. Successive State Department reports from the Mubarak era say, “Anti-Semitism is common in the state-owned and private media,”18 often including both Holocaust denial and even Holocaust celebration.

Persecution of Liberal and “Unorthodox” Muslims

Charges of apostasy also play a role in the persecution of liberal Muslims who run afoul of their more conservative co-religionists. According to classical sharia, any number of deviations can justify a charge of apostasy. Thus, The Reliance of the Traveller, a manual of classical sharia endorsed19 by Al-Azhar University, asserts: “Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine or adultery, or denies something else on which there is scholarly consensus (ijma…) and which is necessarily known as being of the religion…thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief”20 (emphasis added). In other words, anyone who denies a point on which all four Sunni schools of jurisprudence agree is not just a heretic but an apostate who deserves death. Consider three cases of liberal Muslims who were accused of apostasy in the Mubarak era.

The liberal Muslim Farag Foda (or Faraj Fawda – the transliteration varies) was murdered by Islamists in 1992 after being accused of apostasy. His crime was to have advocated the separation of religion and state. His murderers accused him “of being an apostate, of advocating the separation of religion from the state, and favoring the existing legal system in Egypt rather than the application of sharia.”21 Indeed, to advocate secular government is to contradict something “on which there is scholarly consensus (ijma)” in Sunni Islam, since every school of Islamic law presupposes the fusion of religion and government. The scholars of Al-Azhar University denounced the way he was killed but still held that he was an apostate who deserved to die.22 The Mubarak regime did execute his murderers, but in an ominous harbinger of things to come, one of the top Muslim Brotherhood religious scholars, Mohamed El Ghazali,23 testified in defense of the killers, declaring that it was the right of any Muslim to kill an apostate and that the murderers should not be executed.24 The single-most respected religious authority in the global Muslim Brotherhood,25 Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, subsequently wrote a biography of Mohamed El Ghazali in which he praised his justification of Farag Foda’s murderers as an example of steadfast defense of Islamic religious principles.26 As Uriya Shavit has remarked, “This leaves little doubt as to the fate of free-thinking intellectuals under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.”27

Another liberal Egyptian Muslim, Professor Nasr Abu Zayd, was a professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Cairo University, specializing in the Koran.  He made the mistake of challenging the mainstream Sunni view of the Koran as the eternal, literal, uncreated word of God, arguing instead that the Koran is a product of seventh-century Arab culture and must be read as such in order to separate its eternal religious truths from historical and temporal elements in its message that have no relevance in the modern world.28 For this great sin, Islamists in Egypt accused him of apostasy, perhaps relying on the classical view that it is apostasy “to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus … belongs to it.”29 Islamist activists initiated a lawsuit in the Egyptian courts, demanding that Nasr Abu Zayd be divorced from his wife, since he was no longer a Muslim and sharia prohibits marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man. In 1995 the Mubarak-era courts ruled that he was indeed an apostate and that, therefore, his marriage was null and void. Al-Azhar scholars and Islamists called for his execution as an apostate. In the same year, Abu Zayd and his wife fled from Egypt to the Netherlands, where he took up a position at the University of Leiden.30

Marshall and Shea make a point that helps us to understand this case: “The doctrine of hisba, which entitles any Muslim to take legal action against anyone he considers harmful to Islam, provides Islamists extensive opportunities to harass intellectuals and others who arouse their displeasure.”31 Hisba refers to a central duty of Islamic sharia, namely, the duty “to command the right and forbid the wrong,” which is a communal or collective obligation of the whole Islamic community to police the behavior of every Muslim, intervening verbally or even physically when seeing a fellow Muslim violate some Islamic duty.32 This aspect of classical sharia explains the totalitarian nature of Muslim Brotherhood ideology. In her biography of Hasan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, the historian Gudrun Krämer writes that “the Qur’anic injunction ‘to enjoin the good and prohibit the wrong’… was to play a crucial role in al-Banna’s career as an Islamic activist.”33

Finally, consider the case of Ahmed Subhy Mansour, founder of the Quranist movement.34 Virtually every State Department report since 2001 documents ongoing persecution of the Quranists, who deviate from every school of classical sharia by arguing that the Islamic religion should be based on the Koran alone, not also on the example and teachings of Muhammad (second only to the Koran as the basis of sharia). Ahmed Mansour was a friend of Farag Foda and, like Foda, was committed to secular democratic government with equal rights for non-Muslims. He was convinced that the more illiberal and intolerant aspects of Islamic law stemmed not from the Koran but from the alleged sayings of Muhammad, which he (together with many Western historians) regards as historically unreliable. For these unorthodox opinions, he was fired from his position on the faculty at Al-Azhar University and, in November 1987, he and twenty-four fellow Quranists were imprisoned and accused by the government of inducing Muslims to commit apostasy. In 2001, he and his wife fled Egypt and applied for asylum in the U.S. Mansour now lives in Virginia.35

Beyond the physical persecution of Muslim liberals, the government under Mubarak also used censorship to “protect” Egyptians from their “unorthodox” ideas. Marshall and Shea note, for example, that Nasr Abu Zayd’s “books remain unavailable in university libraries and even in the Alexandria library”36 and that many of Ahmed Subhy Mansour’s books also have been banned.37 The State Department notes that Egypt practices sweeping censorship on religious grounds. The 2011 Report says:

Various ministries are legally authorized to ban or confiscate books and works of art upon obtaining a court order. The Council of Ministers may order the banning of works it deems offensive to public morals, detrimental to religion, or likely to cause a breach of the peace. The Islamic Research Center (IRC) of Al-Azhar has the legal authority to censor and, since 2004, to confiscate any publications dealing the Qur’an and the authoritative Islamic traditions (Hadith). A 2003 Ministry of Justice decree authorizes Al-Azhar to confiscate publications, tapes, speeches, and artistic materials deemed inconsistent with Islamic law.38

Marshall and Shea state that all Egyptian universities under Mubarak had to censor bookstores, libraries, and course syllabi in accordance with Al-Azhar’s strictures. Even the American University of Cairo’s bookstore and professors have had to submit to censorship. For example: ”On May 13, 1998, the Minister of Higher Education ordered the removal of Maxime Rodinson’s book Muhammad from the curriculum [at A.U.C.], claiming that it contained fabrications harmful to respect for the prophet and Islam.”39 Rodinson is a top scholar of Arab and Islamic history at the Sorbonne in Paris and his biography of Muhammad is regarded as one of the best works on the topic by Western scholars. Marshall and Shea point out that “the major goal of censorship is to ensure that nonapproved views of Islam are not circulated. [note omitted]”40 Again, recall that all of this describes Egypt under the Mubarak regime, before the Brotherhood took control of the government in 2012. Such censorship is required by classical sharia, since the duties of the ruler of an Islamic state include “protecting the religion and the sacrosanct, [and] preserving the religion from alteration and substitution.”41

The State Department reports that Egypt has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), but with the reservation that the covenant shall be ratified only to the extent that it does not contradict Islamic law. The State Department also notes that Egyptian courts have used this reservation to dismiss attempts by Muslim converts to Christianity to seek protection from persecution.42 Thus, the ICCPR’s protection for freedom of religion is essentially worthless, since, as we have seen, sharia dictates many violations of this right. This pattern holds across the Islamic world: nominal protections for basic human rights in constitutions, laws, and treaties are typically qualified by the phrase, “as is consistent with sharia.” Consider, for example, the 1990 “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (since re-named the Organization for Islamic Cooperation). The declaration concludes with Article 25, which says “The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”43 This phrase essentially nullifies most of the “human rights” allegedly protected by the document.


In an open letter to the Egyptian king and other Muslim rulers in 1947, Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, laid out a detailed program of reforming government in accordance with sharia.44 A careful reading of that program, followed by a study of the Islamization of Egyptian law since 1971, shows that in fact, many of the “reforms” called for by al-Banna had already been implemented long before the Brotherhood’s recent rise to power. To a surprising degree, Egypt became a Muslim Brotherhood state under Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. Thus, we know what a Muslim Brotherhood state looks like. It is a state that tramples on basic human rights and freedoms. It is a state that rejects freedom of speech and of the press, religious freedom, academic freedom, and artistic freedom. It is a state that crushes liberal Muslims and would-be reformers of Islam. It is a state that systematically discriminates against non-Muslims. It is a state that persecutes converts from Islam to Christianity with shocking cruelty.

There is much more to be said about the Muslim Brotherhood, for example about its extreme anti-Semitism,45 its implacable rejection of Israel’s right to exist,46 its aggressive imperialism,47 its misogyny,48 and its domination of Islamic organizations in Europe and North America.49 We will stop here, however, and content ourselves with the following conclusion: the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is both deeply rooted in classical Sunni sharia and utterly hostile to the personal freedoms that are at the foundation of the American constitutional order. It has created a human rights nightmare in Egypt. That nightmare will only get worse as the Brotherhood consolidates its power.

[1] On the strengthening of the Islamic character of the new constitution passed in December 2012, see L. Lavi, “An Examination of Egypt’s Draft Constitution Part I: Religion and State – The Most Islamic Constitution in Egypt’s History,” Middle East Media Research Institute, Inquiry and Analysis Series Report No. 904, December 3, 2012, http://www.memri.org/report/en/print6846.htm

[2] Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 62.

[3] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 62.

[4] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 67.

[5] These reports began in 2001 in compliance with a law passed by Congress in 1998. As of this writing (May 7, 2013), the most recent available is the 2011 report. They can be found at  http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/

[6] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 62.

[7] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, pp. 65-66.

[8] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192881

[9] See, for example, Yohanan Friedman, Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam translated by David Maisel et al. (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985), and Mark Durie, The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom (N.P.: Deror Books, 2010).

[10] Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, translated and annotated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, revised edition (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 1994), f1.3 (p. 109), o8.1 (p. 595).

[11] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192881

[12] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2010, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010/148817.htm

[13] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 69.

[14] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 69.

[15] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2010, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010/148817.htm

[16] Al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller, o11.2 (p. 607).

[17] Maurice M. Roumani, “The Silent Refugees: Jews from Arab Countries,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer 2003), pp. 41-77 at pp. 61-2. See also Adi Schwartz, “A Tragedy Shrouded in Silence: The Destruction of the Arab World’s Jewry,” Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation, No. 45 (Summer 2011), pp. 47-80, http://azure.org.il/article.php?id=581

[18] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192881

[19] Al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller, pp. xx-xxi. Moreover, the Reliance of the Traveller is in the Shafi school of Sunni Islamic law, which has for centuries been the dominant school in Egypt. It is thus an especially useful tool for understanding what sharia means in the Egyptian context. It also enjoys the endorsement of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (pp. xviii-xix), a major Muslim Brotherhood organization based in Herndon, Virginia. It is thus an excellent index of the world view of Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood generally.

[20] Al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, f1.3 (p. 109).

[21] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 74.

[22] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 74.

[23] In his classic study of the Muslim Brotherhood, Richard P. Mitchell repeatedly cites Mohamed El Ghazali (or al-Ghazali) as a typical, mainstream Muslim Brotherhood thinker: Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 61, 90-1, 124, 188, 213, 220, 239-40, 254, 273, 323, 326.

[24] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 74. See also Ana Belen Soage, “Faraj Fawda, or the Cost of Freedom of Expression,” The Middle East Review of International Affairs, Volume 11, Article 3/8 (June 2007) http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2007/issue2/jv11no2a3.html and Alison Pargeter, The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition (London: SAQI, 2010), p. 207, and Barry Rubin ed., The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), p. 12.

[25] See Bettina Gräf and Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, editors, Global Mufti: The Phenomenon of Yusuf al-Qaradawi (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), chapter 2: “Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the Muslim Brothers: The Nature of a Special Relationship,” by Husam Tammam, pp. 55-84. In their introduction to this volume, the editors note that “Yusuf al-Qaradawi (born 1926) is easily one of the most admired and best-known representatives of Sunni Islam today. Indeed, it is difficult to identify any other Muslim scholar or activist who could be said to rival his status and authority, at least in the Arab-speaking world” (p. 1).

[26] Uriya Shavit, “Islamotopia: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Idea of Democracy,” Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation Number 46 (2011), pp. 35-62 at p. 54, http://azure.org.il/article.php?id=587

[27] Shavit, “Islamotopia,” p. 54.

[28] See Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, “Renewing Qur’anic Studies in the Contemporary World,” in Marshall and Shea, Silenced, pp. 289-294.

[29] Al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, 08.7(7) (p. 597).

[30] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, pp. 76-78.

[31] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 62.

[32] Al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller, q1.0 (pp. 714-725).

[33] Gudrun Krämer, Hasan al-Banna (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2010), p. 9.

[34] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, pp. 78-80. See also the Wikipedia article on Mansour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Subhy_Mansour

[35] In a bizarre twist, Mansour and his wife ended up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2002 and decided to visit the local mosque, operated by the Islamic Society of Boston. To their horror, they discovered that it was teaching the same hateful and intolerant version of Islam that had driven them out of Egypt. Jeff Jacoby, “Questions the Islamic Society Should Answer,” The Boston Globe, January 1, 2006, http://www.jeffjacoby.com/205/questions-the-islamic-society-should-answer; Eli Lake, “In 2002, Kerry Welcomed Boston Mosque Now Suspected of Ties to Wahhabism,” The New York Sun, October 22, 2004, http://www.nysun.com/national/in-2002-kerry-welcomed-boston-mosque-now/3627/; Oren Dorell, “Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties,” USA Today, April 25, 2013, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/23/boston-mosque-radicals/2101411/

[36] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 77.

[37] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 79.

[38] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192881

[39] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 72.

[40] Marshall and Shea, Silenced, p. 71.

[41] Al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller, o25.9(4) (p. 647); see also o25.2 (p. 639): “…the Islamic community needs a ruler to uphold the religion, [and] defend the sunnah.”

[42] U.S. State Department, International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, Egypt, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192881

[44] See Hasan Al-Banna, Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949): A Selection from the Majmu’at Rasa’il al-Imam al-Shahid Hasan al-Banna., translated from the Arabic and annotated by Charles Wendell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), Chapter 5, “Toward the Light,” pp. 103-132. See also Joseph S. Spoerl, “The World View of Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood,” The New English Review, December 2012, http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/128355/sec_id/128355

[45] See Joseph S. Spoerl, “Islamic Anti-Semitism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism Vol. 4 (2012), pp. 595-612 http://www.jsantisemitism.org/; Jeffrey Herf, “Scapegoat,” The New Republic, May 12, 2011, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/world/88104/muslim-brotherhood-anti-semitism-israel-egypt#; Anti-Defamation League, “Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Theologian of Terror,” http://www.adl.org/anti-semitism/muslim-arab-world/c/sheik-yusf-al-qaradawi.html; Meir Litvak, “The Anti-Semitism of Hamas,” The Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture, Vol. 12, Nos. 2&3 (2005), http://www.pij.org/details.php?id=345

[46] See Joseph S. Spoerl, “Hamas, Islam, and Israel” The Journal of Conflict Studies, Vol. XXVI, No. 1 (2006), pp. 3-15, http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/JCS/article/view/2166

[47] See al-Banna, Five Tracts of Hasan al-Banna, Chapter 6 “On Jihad”, pp. 133-162. See also Gudrun Krämer, Hasan al-Banna, p. 99 and Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers, p. 265.  Al-Banna once said, “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.” See Neil MacFarquhar, “Egyptian Group Patiently Pursues Its Dream of Islamic State,” The New York Times, January 20, 2002, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/20/world/egyptian-group-patiently-pursues-dream-of-islamic-state.html

[48] See Mona El-Naggar, “Family Life According to the Brotherhood,” The New York Times, September 4, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/world/middleeast/05iht-letter05.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and “International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Attacks UN For Promoting Resolutions Banning Polygamy, Underage Marriage, Marital Rape, Promotion of Gender Equality,” Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 5227, March 8, 2013, http://www.memri.org/report/en/print7063.htm

[49] See Lorenzo Vidino, The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), and Ian Johnson, A Mosque in Munich (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010).

Joseph S. Spoerl is professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College.

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