Modern Sunni Islamic terrorism can be traced back to the ideas and theories of two primary Islamist leaders, Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sayyid Qutb commonly referred to as “the father of modern [Islamic] fundamentalism”.
The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is one of the most influential Islamist organizations in the modern world. The Brotherhood has provided the ideological background for almost all modern Sunni Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas, al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism says the Muslim Brotherhood has “grown exponentially, from only 800 members in 1936, to over 2 million in 1948, to its current position as a pervasive international Sunni Islamist movement, with covert and overt branches in over 70 countries.”
The Brotherhood’s goal is to first restore the historical Islamic Caliphate and then expand the Caliphate’s authority to the entire world through both violent and non-violent means. Founder Hassan Al-Banna 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.” This ideology is reflected in the creed of the Muslim Brotherhood, “God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur’an our constitution, jihad our way and dying for Allah our supreme objective.” Al-Banna was shot by an assassin in 1949.
In addition to Hasan al-Banna, the works of Sayyid Qutb impacted the philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today Qutb may actually be more influential than al-Banna among Islamic radicals. His books can easily be found in bookstores in the West. Qutb’s book, Milestones has influenced Islamic extremists such as al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, current leader of al-Qaeda.
The premise of Milestones was that the world had degraded into a state of ignorance like the world prior to Muhammad’s existence. Qutb believed apostate rulers and the establishment of Islamic states through jihad was the only way to solve this state of ignorance. According to Qutb, since Arab secular leaders such as Egyptian President Nasser did not follow the sharia, he felt the Egyptian government should be resisted. After a Muslim Brotherhood member attempted to assassinate President Nasser in 1954, the organization was outlawed and dissolved by Nasser. He burned down its headquarters and arrested approximately 15,000 of its members and executed some of them, including Qutb.
The ideology behind the Muslim Brotherhood continues to drive the organization. Whether through overt or covert means – the infiltration into western governments, universities and political organizations continues to put freedom and safety at risk around the world.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader said, “What remains is to conquer Rome. This means Islam will come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice…Conquest through Da’wa [proselytizing], that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wa.”
Most Muslims desire to live in peace. Pray they will overcome their fears and rise up against organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, Hamas and others that are militant.
The Muslim Brotherhood members in western nations present themselves as peace loving and just another group – and yet their website and documents that have been exposed present a different picture. Ask God to expose the truth in our nations about the Muslim Brotherhood and cause leaders to understand their intent.
Pray that Christians will not fear Islam or Islamic terrorism. Pray they will boldly expose the evil in the system, while proclaiming the message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God to those caught in its grip.