The Root of Modern Day Islamic Terrorism: Part 2

2016 Ramadan GraphicIn the late 1980s, two new leaders became prominent in radical Islam: Osama bin Laden from Saudi Arabia and Ayman al-Zawahiri from Egypt. Both of these men followed the ideology of a teacher named, Abdullah Azzam. The Investigative Project on Terrorism describes Azzam:

Azzam is more responsible than any Arab figure in modern history for galvanizing the Muslim masses to wage an international holy war against all infidels and non-believers until the enemies of Islam were defeated… Azzam helped bring about the mobilization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement more than any other leader. Today, the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank is called the Abdellah Azzam Brigades.

Al-Qaeda, which is Arabic for “the Base” was founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam recruited and trained thousands of “holy warriors” from more than fifty countries to fight in Afghanistan. Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, al-Qaeda began to attack western interests around the world.

Al-Zawahiri took over the leadership of Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1993. In 1998, the group joined with five other radical groups including al-Qaeda to form the World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders. One of the first joint acts of terror was the bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

When bin Laden was killed in May 2011, Ayman al-Zawahiri became the leader of al Qaeda – and still is. He has spent his life in “jihad” and is responsible for many terrorist attacks. He criticized the Brotherhood in his book “The Bitter Harvest”, condemning them for “taking advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by … steer[ing] their onetime passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections.”

ISIS, a Sunni jihadi terrorist group had close links with al-Qaeda until February of 2014. The split between the groups came after al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was unable to stop fighting between ISIS and another rebel group, Jabhat al-Nusra. ISIS is known for its strict interpretation of Islamic (sharia) law and brutal violence including beheadings, rapes, and floggings.

Modern day terrorism started with Hassan al-Banna’s desire to see the Caliphate restored and continue today through groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The techniques for domination may differ from the Muslim Brotherhood, but the goal is ultimately the same.

Prayer Point:

Non-Islamic nations have very little understanding of the basic teachings of radical Islam and the seriousness of their message. Pray that our leaders will receive teaching about the radical side of political Islam and respond with God’s wisdom and insight to deal with the challenge and protect the innocent.

Ramadan 2013 – Day 22 – The Root of Modern Sunni Islamic Terrorism

2013 Ramadan PrayerModern 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.”

Prayer Points:

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.