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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Norman Vincent Peale

The Reverend Doctor Norman Vincent Peale never dreamed that he would find fame and fortune as one of the most successful authors of all time. In fact his self-evaluation of one of his earlier manuscripts was less than flattering. He threw the entire thing in the garbage and stated despairingly, 'I will never be a good writer.'

That manuscript, which was retrieved by his wife Ruth, found its way into book form and became a best-seller entitled, 'A Guide to Confident Living.'

Peale wrote over forty books in his career, most of which became best-sellers, the most popular of which was his stellar classic, 'The Power of Positive Thinking,' which sold 15 million copies and was translated into every language on earth.

Many people knew Norman Vincent Peale primarily as a motivational/inspirational speaker and author who traveled the world giving talks to large audiences about personal growth and development. What many did not know, however, was that Peale was a Dutch Reformed Clergyman who remained a minister his entire adult life, and was Senior Minister of the world-renown Marble Collegiate Church in New York City for 60 years.

At one point during the height of Peale's fame, crowds would line up for as many as ten city blocks trying to get into the Marble Church to hear Peale preach.

Peale was minister to many prominent people of the 20th century, including former President Richard Nixon and family, Art Fleming of the original 'Jeopardy' TV show, actress Maureen Stapleton of 'All In the Family, and Donald Trump.

I had the privilege of meeting Peale on several occasions at his 'School of Practical Christianity,' which he held in his home-base of Pawling, New York, in the middle of beautiful Dutchess County. Despite his worldwide acclaim, Peale remained unassuming and approachable. His Ohio upbringing early in the 20th century had instilled in him an unpretentiousness that was at once disarming and charming. This was definitely part of his appeal.

The authorized biography of Peale, entitled, 'One Man's Way,' contains the recount of an incident that fully displays Peale's sense of Midwestern values. When the royalties from 'The Power of Positive Thinking' began rolling in, Peale carried a bit of shame about his new-found wealth. He had bought a new Cadillac, which he allowed to sit in the garage in his home in Pawling for weeks, because he 'didn't know how his neighbors would feel about a minister being gaudy enough to drive around in an expensive car.'

One day Peale's son was with him as he contemplated his plight, looking out the window at the garage, wondering when he would finally get the car out for a drive. Finally, in disgust, Peale looked at his son and said, 'Son, if you ever decide to go into the ministry, you're an ass.'

Later Peale would drive the car. But he always carried with him values that were instilled in a era in the Midwest when a dollar was a dollar, and ministers were not to parade any wealth they may acquire.

His low-keyed approach to ministry could be seen in the Marble Church. Peale was always dignified, reverent, sometimes somber during worship. But when he rose to speak something came alive within excitement, an enthusiasm, a sincerity that brought his congregation to attention. He knew how to tell a story as no other. He would have you weeping one moment, and then rolling with laughter the next, all in the manner in which he could turn a phrase.

Many within the Christian community looked at Peale with suspicion because of his willingness to frame ancient concepts in fresh ways. For example, 'The Power of Positive Thinking' was originally intended to be entitled 'The Power of Faith.' But Peale's publishers encouraged him to drop the religious language to appeal to a broader audience.

Central to the book, however, was the timeless message that the secret to an abundant life, to the drive to succeed, to a fulfilling life, is faith in Jesus Christ. In all his years of speaking, writing, and preaching, he never lost his belief in that one fundamental truth.

And people the world over have expressed a great debt to the man who introduced them to these timeless truths.

Friday, December 01, 2006

America Surrenders

Perhaps it is my latent cynicism about the modern age that leads me to state the following, but this is the way I see it at the present time. America has, for all intent and purposes, surrendered. Once again, as in Viet Nam, citizens have allowed the mainstream media to turn public opinion against the war on terror, particularly the Iraqi segment of the war.

Americans have increasingly grown in their inability to stomach fighting those who wish to destroy us. We like our military campaigns to be short and neat, with no casualties. Despite this being a blatant denial of reality, we march forward into the abyss, putting into office a gang of socialists who stated today that they would gut our missile defense program as one plank of their platform to cut and run, withdraw troops from Iraq, and essentially weaken the military as they did in the years before Ronald Reagan.

This evening I was watching a program on The History Channel about the bravery and steadfastness of the Americans during WWII in the Pacific theater. Suffering from heat exhaustion, malaria, the brutality of the Japanese army, and lack of food, these brave men refused to give in to defeat. Their stories of honor and courage admittedly made me ashamed of my country today. We are not worthy of them any longer.

This is clearly NOT an indictment against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but an outright condemnation of modern American society that has allowed the Republic to be usurped by an element that neither cherishes nor appreciates our heritage and the values for which our forefathers gave their lives.

In short, most Americans today are unworthy to untie the shoes of the men whom Tom Brokow described as 'the greatest generation in the history of the world.'

These men would never as much as entertain the possibility of going to war with no resolve to win. They would not fight in such a manner as to give the enemy the upper hand due to some asinine 'politically correct' protocol. They would not go marching into Baghdad without the intention of staying until the task was finished.

Iraq is NOT Viet Nam. This is an outright lie of the Left, of and George Soros, of the mainstream media, and of Democrats in Congress. We removed a brutal dictator from office. We set the scenario for the first free elections in Iraq's history. The country elected a government, although fledgling. The small seeds of democracy have been planted in an area of the world where such things simply do not happen.

And, like Bosnia--a Bill Clinton operation--the U.S. military needs to remain in Iraq for at least 10 years to insure the continued progression toward democracy. It is very interesting that no one in Congress or the media takes the Pentagon to task for our 10-year presence in Bosnia, yet the mere mention of an extended campaign in Iraq is enough to get the chickens clucking.

Granted, we may not need to keep troop levels at their present number. Nobody ever once suggested that mid-course corrections in tactics are not in order. But this is clearly NOT the same thing as cut and run or surrender.

The Democrats would like to believe that the mid-term election gave them a mandate to withdraw troops entirely. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The one thing that keeps one faint flicker of hope alive within me is the fact that I know that the electorate did NOT vote for surrender but an adjustment. However, with each passing day that hope fades into despair as I hear reports of America losing its resolve, our enemies cheering us for electing politicians to office who support THEIR goals, and polls that show citizens increasingly growing weary of a war that, when compared to history, has been like a friendly afternoon of war games.

Our casualties in Iraq pale in comparison to other wars.

Yet Americans in their modern naivete, along with the feminization of society at the hands of Leftists, seem to think that war should be something we can view on TV with the family gathered around eating pizza. We are simply not emotionally invested in the war or its outcome.

And this leads me back to my cynicism. The signs as of today point to an American surrender and a Jihadist victory that will embolden them in their march toward world domination. I fear that the only thing that will cause Leftists, socialists, Democrats, and the media to truly become emotionally involved in this fight is another 9/11 or worse.

Nothing else the barbarians have done, not even beheadings, has moved us.

What, exactly, will it take? The Sears Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, AND the White House lying in a smoldering pile of rubble simultaneously? My worst nightmare is that this is the only thing it will take to wake us up to the extreme danger we face.

My hope is that sane Americans will wake up before any of that horrific scenario is realized.

We MUST fight this war to win. We MUST. There is no other choice.

Updates on Russian Poisonings

As reported to you yesterday on The Liberty Sphere, suspicions have been confirmed today that former Russian Prime Minister Yeder Gaidar is, indeed, a victim of poisoning. Gaidar became critically ill while on a trip to Ireland last week, which Gaidar describes as definitely life-threatening. He is now in stable condition in a Moscow hospital but is under constant watch.

Often the effects of poisoning can only be observed after a lapse in time.

However, the fact that the former Russian Prime Minister is stable and no longer suffering from the symptoms of the poisoning is a good sign.

The intrigue surrounding it all continues to mount. Who is behind the rash of mysterious illness and death among some of Russia's high profile individuals? And why?

In yet another development, a close friend of Russian spy-turned-Muslim, Alexander Litvinenko, has tested positive for significant amounts of the deadly Polonium 210, the substance that killed Litvinenko. Mario Scaramella, the Italian academic who met Litvinenko on the day he was allegedly poisoned, was one of the last people to see Litvinenko before he fell ill.

Finally, in a late-breaking development, the Polonium 210 that was used to kill Litvinenko has been traced to a Russian nuclear facility.

The FBI has been called in to help British investigators narrow down the tracks of the deadly substance and those who may have been involved with its use in the U.K.

William and Mary Bans Cross From College Chapel

One of the oldest universities in America, the College of William and Mary, has banned the Cross from its Chapel as a permanent fixture. The new rule states that the Cross will be available only for those who specifically request it.

This strange turn of events was implemented, according to the College President, in order to make the chapel more 'welcoming.' He further stated that he did not wish to discourage the use of the chapel by those who may find the Cross 'offensive.'

In this latest example of political correctness gone nuts, William and Mary has broken a tradition that dates back to its founding in 1693. Since that time the Cross has been a permanent fixture in the chapel that was originally uniquely Christian.

The move has created a furor of unrest among most students and alums. There is even a website dedicated to the cause of restoring the Cross to its rightful place--a website that was started by a college alumnus.

One can only hope that this group prevails. The 'restore the Wren Cross' group also has a petition that contains 5000 names of alums who demand that the College return the Cross to the chapel. There was only ONE letter of complaint about the Cross in all the years the college has stood, and even then the letter stated that the person was 'uncomfortable' with it. No demands were made that it be removed.

The growing assault on Christianity in western society is alarming and appalling. In an era in which Muslims can shut down a Mozart opera in Germany, demand that a Democrat Congressman be allowed to take his oath of office on the Quo'ran, and other such nonsense, it is very interesting that Christianity somehow is the one that must live with the abuse, the scorn, the ridicule, and the outright bigotry of modern collectivists and politically correct numbskulls.

In the movies and on TV Christians are regularly portrayed as emotionally unstable, Bible-thumping, and abusive ogres. But let an Australian novelist submit a manuscript of a novel in which his villain is a Muslim, and the publisher insists that the book not be published.

Nonia Garwish was recently prevented from fulfilling a speaking engagement at an American college campus because a few vocal Muslims complained, in spite of the fact that they are in a distinct minority. Yet on these same college campuses other speakers are allowed to spout some of the most vitriolic, hate-filled garbage one can imagine toward the United States of America.

The Trustees of the College of William and Mary should fire the President and anyone else in the administration that implemented this lame-brained scheme to rid a CHAPEL of the Cross. And if they refuse to do so, then they are just as lame-brained as the ones who conceived of this affront to Christianity.

The time has come when this MUST not be tolerated in American society, period.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Modern-Day Heroes

Today I wish to highlight and honor a few modern-day heroes in America's fight against Islamic Jihadists who threaten not only everything the West stands for but our very existence. These brave men and woman are on the front lines of the battle, risking life, reputation, and fortune to draw attention to the grave dangers we face in this war.

At least two of these heroes/heroines receive regular death threats as a result of their courageous stand. They are putting themselves on the line to insure that America stands strong and that the Jihadists are kept at bay.

There are many, many more unsung heroes who could be added to this list, so it is by no means exhaustive. But here are four of the most vocal that I wish to thank.

Pamela Geller Oshry is the owner/blogger of the highly successful 'Atlas Shrugs' website, which calls attention to the march of the Jihadists on a daily basis. Oshry courageously holds the line of the battle on the Jewish front, forthrightly putting our politicians on notice when they fail to recognize the threat to Jews in the war on terror, and when their policies result in strengthening the hand of Islamic terrorists.

John Bolton is the present U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Never has there been a more powerful voice for freedom and human liberty at the U.N. Bolton pulls no punches in his willingness to fight the good fight in an organization that is overrun by corruption and gangs of thugs from nations that want nothing more than to see America in a pile of rubble. This man needs to be confirmed by the Senate, but Democrats have blocked the vote, and now that they are majority they will see to it that he never gets an up or down vote. This is a travesty of government.

Victor Davis Hanson is a scholar of renown repute. Few are able to write or speak any more eloquently than Hanson in describing the crisis in the West in the face of terrorism. American patriots should make it a point to read every word that flows from the pen of this brilliant scholar.

Nonie Garwish is a former Muslim who travels the globe alerting audiences to the dangers inherent in the Islamic religion. She describes in shocking detail her upbringing as a Muslim, the mindset of Jihadists who choose acts of barbarism to further their cause, and the need of freedom-loving people everywhere to stop the march of Islam. For this she has received death threats, and in some cases college campuses have withdrawn speaking invitations issued to her because of the threats of a few vocal Muslims. This woman is a formidable force in the war on terror.

LIBERTY ALERT!! Iran Sends Weapons to Iraqi Terrorists

An ABC News exclusive report indicates that U.S. officials have found the smoking gun that proves Iran is sending new weapons to terrorists in Iraq. The weapons are brand-new, fresh from Iranian factories. Coalition forces seized the Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006, which suggests that material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias rather than taking the roundabout path through the black market.

One senior official stated, 'There is no way this could be done without Iranian government approval.'

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

Two senior U.S. defense officials have confirmed reports that fighters from the Mahdi army have traveled to Lebanon to receive training from Hezbollah.

Officials also report that some of the Hezbollah fighters have also traveled through Syria and into Iraq to provide training.

U.S. intelligence officials believe the number of Al-Sadr's Mahdi army now includes 40,000 fighters, making it an especially formidable force.

Update on British Airways Radiation Probe, Possible Poisoning of Gaidar

British Airways is reporting that possibly four of its airliners have been contaminated with low-levels of radiation in the latest update of the probe into the radiation poisoning death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. British officials are also reporting that up to 33,000 passengers and 3000 personnel may have been impacted by the radiation found on board the planes.

In yet another intriguing twist, physicians in Moscow are now saying that former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar may have been poisoned. Gaidar is seriously ill in a Moscow hospital after becoming sick in Dublin. The mystery illness produced violent bouts of vomiting and bleeding. Medical personnel say that since they have been unable to determine a natural cause for the illness, everything points to poisoning by an unnatural agent.

British officials have identified at least 12 sites in London that contain levels of radioactivity.

Thus, the saga continues. There is no doubt that a common thread connects all of these incidents. The world awaits the result of this investigation.

Democrats Break Promise to Implement 9/11 Commission Recommendations

As expected the Democrats are already breaking a solemn vow they made to the voters during the campaign to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This was one of the key components of the Democrats' bid to take over Congress, citing President Bush's failure to implement all of the recommendations.

Now that the Democrats have won Congress, apparently they feel they can put a key component of their campaign on the back burner.

A key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission is a reorganization of Congress in order to bring about a more effective oversight of the nation's intelligence agencies. The Democrats obviously have no stomach for such a massive reorganization, no more so than their Republican counterparts.

But it is the hypocrisy of the Democrats that is the issue.

The decision will almost certainly anger commission members, as well as families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, many of whom have pressed hard for implementation of the recommendations.

"The Democrats pledged to implement all the remaining 9/11 reforms, not some of them," said former representative Timothy J. Roemer (D-Ind.), who served on the commission.

Carie Lemack, whose mother was in one of the jets that hit the World Trade Center, echoed that sentiment: "It wasn't a Chinese takeout menu, the 41 recommendations. You have to do all of them."

As we have seen repeatedly in the weeks since the midterm elections, the Democrats are backtracking from campaign promises and proceeding with an agenda that is set by Leftist extremists within the Party instead of listening to the will of the voters who clearly chose more conservative Democrats.

This is just one more example of the type of leaders Americans have chosen to lead Congress.

Baker Gang to Urge Israel Concessions?

Eli Lake of the New York Sun is reporting that the Baker-Hamilton Commission on Iraq is expected to recommend that the Bush administration pressure Israel to make concessions in order to entice Syria and Iran to a regional conference on Iraq.

The recommendations of the Baker team are expected to be delivered to the President and made public either Thursday or Friday of this week. However, all indications point to the group urging the President to open talks with Iran and Syria, two confirmed state sponsors of terrorism.

In advance of the anticipated recommendations, both Iran and Syria on Wednesday issued statements skeptical of the plan unless the United States is willing to make major concessions, one of which is the withdrawal of our insistence at the U.N. that Iran stop its nuclear program.

The Baker team believes that Iran and Syria can be lured to the negotiation table by concessions from Israel, the nation that the Iranian President wants to wipe off the map.

My question is, how many more concessions must Israel make before the entire nation is given away to Islamists?

Little by little Israel has been forced into concessions through the years that have NOT resulted in less violence, but more demands. Precious Israeli land has been summarily turned over to Palestinians under promises, most of the time by misguided American officials, that the result will be peace.

Take a look at the map of the Middle East. Better still, copy a map off on your printer so that you can color in sectors of the area. With the map before you, color in the nation of Israel in red. Then color Islamic nations in black. Compare the two.

Who has the upper hand? Who is it that now looks foolish for demanding more land at the expense of Jews?

The fact of the matter is that Islamists control 99% of the land in the region. Yet they fight over a tiny portion of that land, spewing hate and perpetrating violence toward a group of people who wish to hang onto one tiny segment of land that had once been the possession of Hebrews for centuries. Thus, the insistence of Palestinians to possess more and more of that land cannot by any rational estimation be justified.

When you already control 99% of the region and are yet determined to cause World War III in order to take 1%, you display for the entire world not only your irrationality but your abject insanity.

If the Baker-Hamilton Commission does, in fact, recommend such concessions from Israel, then the Baker gang is even more delusional than I thought. It is bad enough that they urge the President to negotiate with state sponsors of terrorism. It will be the last straw if they urge him to pressure Israel to make concessions.

If this is the advice the Baker team delivers, then the President should not only reject the entire package outright, but send the has-beens from another era home to retirement where they belong.

Tom Tancredo-Jeb Bush War of Words

Denver (TLS). WorldNetDaily News is the source of a controversy that has sparked national interest, the result of a war of words being waged by Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado. In an interview with WorldNetDaily Tancredo, never one to mince words, made some blunt comments about Miami as an example of the damage done to the country by our politicians' refusal to enforce immigration law.

Tancredo pointed to the fact that in many sectors of Miami English is not spoken at all, allegiance is given to Cuba rather than the United States, and the feel is more like a third world country than a city in America.

Here is the text of Tancredo's remarks:

"Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country," Tancredo told WND in a Nov. 19 story as he lamented how the nature of America can be changed by uncontrolled immigration. "You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America. You would certainly say you're in a Third World country."

Florida Governor Jeb Bush was incensed. Bush fired off a letter to Tancredo which stated the following:

''The bottom line is Miami is a wonderful city filled with diversity and heritage that we choose to celebrate, not insult. Miami has been my home for years and I am looking forward to returning there in January.''

Never one to back down when he is convinced of the truth of his words, Tancredo responded by email to Governor Bush, in which he stated the following:

"I certainly understand and appreciate your need and desire to try and create the illusion of Miami as a multiethnic 'All American' city. Indeed sir, one of us is naive."

The exchange is now being reported by several news wire services nationwide.

The buzz is that there is bad blood between Tancredo and the Bush family. The Colorado Republican has dared to take the President and other members of his own Party to task for the failure to do something about the nation's immigration problem that is spiraling out of control. Tancredo's statements about Miami were simply too much for Jeb Bush to resist.

But Governor Bush isn't the only one blasting Tancredo. A fellow member of the House who represents the Miami district invited her colleague to the city to enjoy its finer qualities. She says unequivocally that Tancredo is 'flat wrong.'

In fact, that is only partially true. Miami certainly has its endearing side. It is a center of free commerce and trade that provides a showcase for American capitalism in one of our southernmost areas. However, the city has another side--a dark side that attests to the failed policy of immigration this nation has pursued for over 20 years. The Cuban exiles who have taken refuge in Miami are some of the finest people on earth. There is, however, within their ranks an element that loathes the American culture, political system, and language. It is these who give the rest a bad name, unfortunately.

Countless numbers of Cuban exiles and their families are freedom-loving people who abhor the totalitarian rule of Castro. For this they are to be applauded, and, to the degree that they wish to remain here and support our way of life, they are welcome. But their support for the American way must be demonstrated by a willingness to honor OUR flag, speak OUR language, etc.

Thus, in a sense both Tancredo AND Bush are right. But the point is that the politicians in both parties have still failed at addressing one of the most pressing issues of the day--immigration policy and the enforcement of law.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Notable Quotes--Part Five

'By past definitions of relative power, al-Qaeda and its epigones were weak and could not defeat the West militarily. But their genius was knowing of our own self-loathing, of our inability to determine their evil from our good, of our mistaken belief that Islamists were confused about, rather than intent to destroy, the West, and most of all, of our own terror that we might lose, if even for a brief moment, the enjoyment of our good life to defeat the terrorists. In learning what the Islamists are, many of us, and for the first time, are also learning what we are not. And in fighting these fascists, we are to learn whether our freedom can prove stronger than their suicide belts and improvised explosive devices.

So we have been given a reprieve of sorts with this war, to regroup; and, in our enemies, to see our own past failings and present challenges; and to rediscover our strengths and remember our origins. We can relearn that we are not fighting for George Bush or Wal-Mart alone, but also for the very notion of the Enlightenment--and, yes, in the Christian sense for the good souls of those among us who have forgotten all that as they censor cartoons and compare American soldiers to Nazis.'
--Victor Davis Hanson

Notable Quotes, Part Four--Inverted Values

Billionaire leftist philanthropists seem to be confused about the nature of American society and politics that gave them everything they so sumptuously enjoy. Ted Turner of CNN fame and fortune said he resented President Bush asking Americans, after 9/11, to take sides in our war against Islamic terrorists. George Soros claimed that President Bush had improved on Nazi propaganda methods. Dreaming of killing an elected president, not a mass-murdering Osama Bin Laden, is a new national pastime. That is the theme of both a recent docudrama film and an Alfred Knopf book.
--Victor Davis Hanson

Notable Quotes, Part Three--the Rabid Democrats

Consider some of the recent rabid outbursts by once sober, old-guard politicians of the Democratic Party. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller insists that the world would be better off if Saddam were still running Iraq. Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, rushed to announce that our Marines were guilty of killing Iraqis in "cold blood" before they were tried. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin has compared our interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and mass murderers, while Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said our soldiers have "terrorized" Iraqi women and children. The same John Kerry warned young Americans to study or they would end up in the volunteer army in Iraq--even though today's soldiers have higher educational levels than does the general public. But furor as well as fear, not logic, drives us in West to seek blame among the humane among us rather than the savagery of our enemies.
--Victor Davis Hanson

Notable Quotes, Part Two--The Pope

Yes, Pope Benedict is old and scholastic; he lacks both the charisma and tact of the late Pope John Paul II, who surely would not have turned for elucidation to the rigidity of Byzantine scholarship. But isn't that why we must come to the present Pope's defense--if for no reason other than because he has the courage to speak his convictions when others might not?
--Victor Davis Hanson

Notable Quotes--Part One

'Note also the constant subtext in this new self-censorship of our supposedly liberal age: the fear of radical Islam and its gruesome methods of beheadings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, barbaric fatwas, riotous youth, petrodollar-acquired nuclear weapons, oil boycotts and price hikes, and fist-shaking mobs, as the seventh century is compressed into the twenty-first.

'In contrast, almost daily in Europe, "brave" artists caricature Christians and Americans with impunity. And we know what explains the radical difference in attitudes to such freewheeling and "candid" expression--indeed, that hypocrisy of false bravado, of silence before fascists and slander before liberals is both the truth we are silent about, and the lie we promulgate.

'There is, in fact, a long list of reasons, among them most surely the assurance that cruel critics of things Western rant without being killed. Such cowards puff out their chests when trashing an ill Oriana Fallaci or a comatose Ariel Sharon or beleaguered George W. Bush in the most demonic of tones, but they prove sunken and sullen when threatened by a thuggish Dr. Zawahiri or a grand mufti of some obscure mosque.'
--Victor Davis Hanson

A MUST-READ! Victor Davis Hanson's Brilliant Op-Ed Piece on the West's Loss of It's Values

The following is an opinion piece published by the Wall Street Journal. The article is a composite of a recent speech Victor Davis Hanson delivered in honor of Sir Winston Churchill at the Claremont Institute. This is absolutely the most detailed and eloquent description of our present crisis in the West in the face of the march of Islamic Jihadists.

Losing the Enlightenment
A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium.
But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity. Nor are they Nazis who burned books and turned Western science against its own to murder millions en masse.

No, the culprits are now more often us. In the most affluent, and leisured age in the history of Western civilization--never more powerful in its military reach, never more prosperous in our material bounty--we have become complacent, and then scared of the most recent face of barbarism from the primordial extremists of the Middle East.

What would a beleaguered Socrates, a Galileo, a Descartes, or Locke believe, for example, of the moral paralysis in Europe? Was all their bold and courageous thinking--won at such a great personal cost--to allow their successors a cheap surrender to religious fanaticism and the megaphones of state-sponsored fascism?
Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker.

And we need not only speak of threats to free speech, but also the tangible rewards from a terrified West to the agents of such repression. Note the recent honorary degree given to former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, whose regime has killed and silenced so many, and who himself is under investigation by the Argentine government for his role in sponsoring Hezbollah killers to murder dozens of Jewish innocents in Buenos Aires.

There are many lessons to be drawn from these examples, besides that they represent a good cross-section of European society in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, and Italy. In almost every case, the lack of public support for the threatened artist or intellectual or author was purportedly based either on his supposed lack of sensitivity, or of artistic excellence.

Van Gogh, it was said, was obnoxious, his films sometimes puerile. The academic Pope was perhaps woefully ignorant of public relations in the politically correct age. Were not the cartoons in Denmark amateurish and unnecessary? Rushdie was an overrated novelist, whose chickens of trashing the West he sought refuge in finally came home to roost. The latest Hans Neuenfels's adaptation of Mozart's "Idomeneo" was apparently as silly as it was cheaply sensationalist. And perhaps Robert Redeker need not have questioned the morality of Islam and its Prophet.

But isn't that fact precisely the point? It is easy to defend artists when they produce works of genius that do not challenge popular sensibilities--Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" or Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"--but not so when an artist offends with neither the taste of a Michelangelo nor the talent of a Dante. Yes, Pope Benedict is old and scholastic; he lacks both the charisma and tact of the late Pope John Paul II, who surely would not have turned for elucidation to the rigidity of Byzantine scholarship. But isn't that why we must come to the present Pope's defense--if for no reason other than because he has the courage to speak his convictions when others might not?

Note also the constant subtext in this new self-censorship of our supposedly liberal age: the fear of radical Islam and its gruesome methods of beheadings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, barbaric fatwas, riotous youth, petrodollar-acquired nuclear weapons, oil boycotts and price hikes, and fist-shaking mobs, as the seventh century is compressed into the twenty-first.

In contrast, almost daily in Europe, "brave" artists caricature Christians and Americans with impunity. And we know what explains the radical difference in attitudes to such freewheeling and "candid" expression--indeed, that hypocrisy of false bravado, of silence before fascists and slander before liberals is both the truth we are silent about, and the lie we promulgate.

There is, in fact, a long list of reasons, among them most surely the assurance that cruel critics of things Western rant without being killed. Such cowards puff out their chests when trashing an ill Oriana Fallaci or a comatose Ariel Sharon or beleaguered George W. Bush in the most demonic of tones, but they prove sunken and sullen when threatened by a thuggish Dr. Zawahiri or a grand mufti of some obscure mosque.

Second, almost every genre of artistic and intellectual expression has come under assault: music, satire, the novel, films, academic exegesis, and education. Somehow Europeans have ever so insidiously given up the promise of the Enlightenment that welcomed free thought of all kinds, the more provocative the better.

Yes, the present generation of Europeans really is heretical, made up of traitors of a sort. They themselves, not just their consensual governments, or the now-demonized American Patriot Act and Guantanamo detention center, or some invader across the Mediterranean, have endangered their centuries-won freedoms of expression--and out of worries over oil, or appearing as illiberal apostates of the new secular religion of multiculturalism, or another London or Madrid bombing. We can understand why outnumbered Venetians surrendered Cyprus to the Ottomans, and were summarily executed, or perhaps why the 16th-century French did not show up at Lepanto, but why this vacillation of present-day Europeans to defend the promise of the West, who are protected by statute and have not experienced war or hunger?

Third, examine why all these incidents took place in Europe, where more and more the state guarantees the good life even into dotage, where the here and now has become a finite world for soulless bodies, where armies devolve into topics of caricature, and children distract from sterile adults' ever-increasing appetites. So, it was logical that Europe most readily of Westerners would abandon the artist and give up the renegade in fear of religious extremists who brilliantly threatened not destruction, but interruption of the good life, or the mere charge of illiberality. Never was the Enlightenment sold out so cheaply.

We on this side of Atlantic also are showing different symptoms of this same Western malaise, but more likely through heated rhetoric than complacent indifference--given the events of September 11 that galvanized many, while disappointing liberals that past appeasement had created monsters rather than mere confused, if not dangerous rivals. The war on terror has turned out to be the torn scab that has exposed a deep wound beneath, of an endemic Western self-loathing--and near mania that our own superior education and material wealth have not eliminated altogether the need for force and coercion.

Consider some of the recent rabid outbursts by once sober, old-guard politicians of the Democratic Party. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller insists that the world would be better off if Saddam were still running Iraq. Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, rushed to announce that our Marines were guilty of killing Iraqis in "cold blood" before they were tried. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin has compared our interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and mass murderers, while Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said our soldiers have "terrorized" Iraqi women and children. The same John Kerry warned young Americans to study or they would end up in the volunteer army in Iraq--even though today's soldiers have higher educational levels than does the general public. But furor as well as fear, not logic, drives us in West to seek blame among the humane among us rather than the savagery of our enemies.

Billionaire leftist philanthropists seem to be confused about the nature of American society and politics that gave them everything they so sumptuously enjoy. Ted Turner of CNN fame and fortune said he resented President Bush asking Americans, after 9/11, to take sides in our war against Islamic terrorists. George Soros claimed that President Bush had improved on Nazi propaganda methods. Dreaming of killing an elected president, not a mass-murdering Osama Bin Laden, is a new national pastime. That is the theme of both a recent docudrama film and an Alfred Knopf book.
What are the proximate causes here in America that send liberal criticism over the edge into pathological hysteria? Is it only that George Bush is a singular polarizing figure of Christian and Texan demeanor? Or is the current left-wing savagery also a legacy of the tribal 1960s, when out-of-power protestors felt that expressions of speaking bluntly, even crudely, were at least preferable to "artificial" cultural restraint?

Or does the anger stem from the fact, that until last week, the Democrats had not elected congressional majorities in 12 years, and they've occupied the White House in only eight of the last 26 years. The left's current unruliness seems a way of scapegoating others for a more elemental frustration--that without scandal or an unpopular war they cannot so easily gain a national majority based on European-based beliefs. More entitlements, higher taxes to pay for them, gay marriage, de facto quotas in affirmative action, open borders, abortion on demand, and radical secularism--these liberal issues, at least for the moment, still don't tend to resonate with most Americans and so must be masked by opponents' scandals or overshadowed by a controversial war.

Just as the Europeans are stunned that their heaven on earth has left them weak and afraid, so too millions of Americans on the Left are angry that their own promised moral utopia is not so welcomed by the supposedly less educated and bright among them. But still, what drives Westerners, here and in Europe, to demand that we must be perfect rather than merely good, and to lament that if we are not perfect we are then abjectly bad--and always to be so unable to define and then defend their civilization against its most elemental enemies?

There has of course always been a utopian strain in both Western thought from the time of Plato's "Republic" and the practice of state socialism. But the technological explosion of the last 20 years has made life so long and so good, that many now believe our mastery of nature must extend to human nature as well. A society that can call anywhere in the world on a cell phone, must just as easily end war, poverty, or unhappiness, as if these pathologies are strictly materially caused, not impoverishments of the soul, and thus can be materially treated.

Second, education must now be, like our machines, ever more ambitious, teaching us not merely facts of the past, science of the future, and the tools to question, and discover truth, but rather a particular, a right way of thinking, as money and learning are pledged to change human nature itself. In such a world, mere ignorance has replaced evil as our challenge, and thus the bad can at last be taught away rather than confronted and destroyed.

Third, there has always been a cynical strain as well, as one can read in Petronius's "Satyricon" or Voltaire's "Candide." But our loss of faith in ourselves is now more nihilistic than sarcastic or skeptical, once the restraints of family, religion, popular culture, and public shame disappear. Ever more insulated by our material things from danger, we lack all appreciation of the eternal thin veneer of civilization.

We especially ignore among us those who work each day to keep nature and the darker angels of our own nature at bay. This new obtuseness revolves around a certain mocking by elites of why we have what we have. Instead of appreciating that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.

We can praise the architect for our necessary bridge, but demonize the franchise that sold fast and safe food to the harried workers who built it. We hear about a necessary hearing aid, but despise the art of the glossy advertisement that gives the information to purchase it. And we think the soldier funny in his desert camouflage and Kevlar, a loser who drew poorly in the American lottery and so ended up in Iraq--our most privileged never acknowledging that such men with guns are the only bulwark between us and the present day forces of the Dark Ages with their Kalashnikovs and suicide belts.

So we are on dangerous ground. History gives evidence of no civilization that survived long as purely secular and without a god, that put its trust in reason alone, and believed human nature was subject to radical improvement given enough capital and learning invested in the endeavor. The failure of our elites to amplify their traditions they received, and to believe them to be not merely different but far better than the alternatives, is also a symptom of crisis in all societies of the past, whether Demosthenes' Athens, late imperial Rome, 18th-century France, or Western Europe of the 1920s. Nothing is worse that an elite that demands egalitarianism for others but ensures privilege for itself. And rarely, we know, are civilization's suicides a result of the influence of too many of the poor rather than of the wealthy.

But can I end on an optimistic note in tonight's tribute to Winston Churchill, who endured more and was more alone than we of the present age? After the horror of September 11, we in our sleep were also given a jolt of sorts, presented with enemies from the Dark Ages, the Islamic fascists who were our near exact opposites, who hated the Western tradition, and, more importantly, were honest and without apology in conveying that hatred of our liberal tolerance and forbearance. They arose not from anything we did or any Western animosity that might have led to real grievances, but from self-acknowledged weakness, self-induced failure, and, of course, those perennial engines of war, age-old envy and lost honor--always amplified and instructed by dissident Western intellectuals whose unhappiness with their own culture proved a feast for the scavenging Al-Qaedists.

By past definitions of relative power, al-Qaeda and its epigones were weak and could not defeat the West militarily. But their genius was knowing of our own self-loathing, of our inability to determine their evil from our good, of our mistaken belief that Islamists were confused about, rather than intent to destroy, the West, and most of all, of our own terror that we might lose, if even for a brief moment, the enjoyment of our good life to defeat the terrorists. In learning what the Islamists are, many of us, and for the first time, are also learning what we are not. And in fighting these fascists, we are to learn whether our freedom can prove stronger than their suicide belts and improvised explosive devices.

So we have been given a reprieve of sorts with this war, to regroup; and, in our enemies, to see our own past failings and present challenges; and to rediscover our strengths and remember our origins. We can relearn that we are not fighting for George Bush or Wal-Mart alone, but also for the very notion of the Enlightenment--and, yes, in the Christian sense for the good souls of those among us who have forgotten all that as they censor cartoons and compare American soldiers to Nazis.

So let me quote Winston Churchill of old about the gift of our present ordeal:
"These are not dark days: these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived."

Never more true than today.

Mr. Hanson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, a distinguished fellow of Hillsdale College, and author most recently of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." This article is adapted form a speech he delivered at the Claremont Institute's annual dinner in honor Sir Winston Churchill.

Where Are They Now? Catching Up With Sheena Easton

She burst onto the music scene in the early 1980s as the vocalist chosen to sing the title track for the James Bond movie, 'For Your Eyes Only.' As the only vocalist to ever actually appear in the opening scenes singing the title song for a film, Sheena Easton's career skyrocketed on the heels of the popularity of the Bond movie. Not only did audiences get to watch her sing the song when they went to the Bond film, but they heard her several times per day on radio sing the number one hit single from the movie.

Easton had several chart-topping songs in the 80s, including 'For Your Eyes Only, 'My Baby Takes the Morning Train,' 'You Could Have Been With Me,' and 'Strut.'

By the early 90s it appeared that the singing sensation had dropped out of sight. But nothing could be further from the truth. Easton continued to make music, appearing in plays in the U.K., recording duets with country music icon Kenny Rogers, appearing in cameo roles in movies such as 'An Indecent Proposal,' and continuing to record CDs.

Although her music has been missing from the rock and pop charts in America, her songs have become hits in various places such as Japan and the U.K.

Her latest claim to fame is her long-running Las Vegas act, for which she won the Lifetime Achievement award. She has also been the co-host for a Las Vegas television program for a number of years. Her most recent gig is on the PAX television network, co-starring in a series about a group of Three Muscateer-type swashbucklers.

Easton is now a U.S. citizen.

Being a connoisseur of great music, I often wonder what happens to singers who seem to pass from the scene unnoticed. It is gratifying to see that Sheena Easton is doing well and is still performing. In my estimation, her tremendous talent has always been underestimated. When one listens to one of her earlier hits, 'You Could Have Been With Me,' discerning ears immediately notice that the voice that produces those notes is out of the ordinary.

Sheena Easton is without doubt one of the greatest singers to make the pop and rock charts in this country.

Walmart Does More for Poor Than Government

In a triumph of capitalism and free enterprise, Walmart announced yesterday that it would implement it's $4 per prescription generic drug plan in all of its stores. As you already know, the giant retailer had already tested the program in select states. The plan has been such a success that executives at Walmart decided it was time to allow all Americans to participate in this innovative breakthrough for free enterprise.

You do not need medical insurance in order to qualify. The only thing you need to do is get your prescription filled with its GENERIC equivalent, if one is available. If the drug you take has no generic equivalent as of yet, get your physician to switch you to a similar drug that has a generic equivalent. All you have to do at that point is take the prescription to Walmart Pharmacy, and it will cost you a mere 4 bucks, catch. I tried it myself, and it is true.

With this one program alone, Walmart is proving that capitalism can do more for the poor and needy among us than government programs. This is a massive, multi-million dollar plan that will make prescription drugs affordable to many Americans who are unable to purchase much-needed medications. This has been made possible by the system of free enterprise, free markets, and capitalistic expansion of business.

Walmart has taken in a hit in the court of public opinion of late with some of its tactics, such as entering into dubious schemes with local municipalities to get property condemned using eminent domain so that Walmart could build super-centers on the property. There is also talk around and about of Walmart supporting the so-called 'gay agenda,' which does not set well with some in the Christian community. And then there are those who have a penchant of condemning any successful business on the grounds that it 'does not do enough for its employees.'

I agree that eminent domain is being abused in modern society and must be stopped. But this is a minor consideration when one contemplates the mammoth success of Walmart in providing affordable items to the American public. While a case can be made that the retail giant has forsaken some its roots that were laid by founder Sam Walton, hopefully these glitches can be rectified by mid-course corrections.

But let's give credit where credit is due. Walmart has done Americans a big favor in offering their cut-rate prescription plan. They are to be commended. And we should all take notice of the ability of a capitalistic society to do noble things that benefit the weakest among us.

LIBERTY ALERT!! Radiation Found on British Airliners

The British Press is reporting today that traces of radiation have been found on at least two British Airways 767 jetliners as part of the continuing probe of the death of a former Russian KGB agent in London. British officials stated that further testing is being done on more of the jetliners.

Since the death of the Russian spy from radiation poisoning British investigators have been in a race to track down not only the source of the radiation but traces of radiation that may have followed in the tracks of the deceased spy and his killers. Their efforts have turned up valuable clues but so far, no sure answers.

The sudden, violent mystery illness that struck former Russian Prime Minister Gaidar in Ireland is one more piece of the puzzle.

Without making outright charges before all the facts are in, let's pull a few strands of information together that will give us some clues as to where this may lead.

It is well-known in Russian circles that the Muslim insurgency in certain sectors of the country is viewed as a major, growing problem. It is also well-known that Vladmir Putin has implemented a firm policy of resistance to the insurgency, at times leading critics to charge him with the violation of human rights. It is also well-known that Russians by and large are suspicious of Muslims as a whole. The openness that has been ushered into the country as a result of Ronald Reagan's insistence that America win the Cold War outright has culminated in a renewed tolerance toward religious expression to a degree. But we must remember that this nation suppressed open religious expression for 70 years. The 'in-your-face' fundamentalism of Islam does not set well with most Russians, regardless of how tolerant they may wish to be toward religion.

The final strand of information that must be considered is that the Russian spy who died from radiation poisoning had converted to Islam...the very religion that teaches its children that it is an honorable thing to grow up to be a suicide bomber.

Do you get my drift?

So far everything points to an elaborately detailed plan by Jihadists to weaken the Russian government. Please be reminded that as other facts come in, this hypothesis is subject to change. But this is where we are at present.

Add to the mix that Britain is now one of the main European outposts for the Islamic movement's plan to dominate the world, and we now have all the ingredients in place for yet another step toward World War III.

The Day's Top Stories and Commentary

Ok, my friends, here is a run-down on today's top stories, along with my commentary. Sit back, relax, and read. Things are getting very interesting out there.

1. 'Little Chucky' Schumer, D-NY, has declared that Reaganism is dead. In a recent interview Little Chucky stated that with the Democrat insurgency in Congress, the principles of Reaganism have been sent packing--to the grave, that is. You will remember that Reaganism, named after the most popular President of the 20th Century, Ronald Reagan, involved the principles of low taxes, free markets, personal liberty, pro-life, expansion of prosperity, and 'peace through strength'--a doctrine that ultimately brought down the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall. Apparently Little Chucky hopes that most of us have forgotten all of that. We haven't.

Nice try, Little Chucky. We haven't forgotten, and there are plenty of us still out here who are going to be watching every move you and your socialist cohorts make.

2. Senator Jim Webb, D-Virg., has already had a run-in with President Bush at a reception recently in Washington. During the campaign I warned you right here on The Liberty Sphere about Webb and his knee-jerk reactions to situations. I strongly advised Virginians against putting him in office. Here we see an example of why I issued the warning.

Webb admitted that during the reception he avoided President Bush. This, in itself, is a bad omen. When a U.S. Senator has just been elected to office, and he immediately has such animosity toward the President of the United States that he avoids meeting him, surely most rational people will see the problem. However, despite Webb's efforts at avoidance, Bush tracked him down to ask him how his son was doing. Webb's son is serving in Iraq.

This is where the conversation went sour. Rather than answer the President's question, Webb launched into his campaign theme instead. He said, 'I just want my son to come home from Iraq.'

The President stated, 'I didn't ask you that. I asked you how your son is doing.'

Webb retorted, 'That is between me and my son.'

What a rude idiot. My hunch is that many Virginians are already regretting their decision to elect this uncouth boob to office.

3. A sudden, violent mystery illness has hit former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar while on a trip to Ireland. Gaidar is now in stable condition at a Moscow hospital, but initially the illness, according to Gaidar, was life-threatening, involving violent bouts of vomiting and bleeding. Physicians have not been able to determine the cause of the illness. However, Anatoly Chubais, a friend of Gaidar and head of Russia's electric monopoly, stated that Gaidar may have been poisoned.

So far, however, there is no sign of radiation being involved in the illness. The incident does give rise to suspicion in light of the fact that two high profile Russians have fallen to mystery illness in just two weeks, the first being a former KGB agent who had converted to Islam fell ill to radiation poisoning, which proved lethal.

Gaidar has been one of the so-called 'softer critics' of Russian President Vladmir Putin. His daughter is the head of the opposition movement in Russia.

A few critics have suggested that Muslim insurgents in the country have devised a scheme whereby top Russian officials are poisoned in such a way as to point the finger at Putin...all in an attempt to weaken the government and gain a stronger foothold as they have done in France, Britain, and other European countries. The difference in Russia is that the society is more closed than in western Europe, and thus, the attempt to gain power there is a much more difficult task than in those societies that have been historically free and open.

According to Russian TV, these two incidents are merely the latest in a string of mysterious illnesses that have hit Russian leaders over the past few months. The buzz is that the source of the incidents lies in the murky world of the Muslim insurgency and Muslim immigration.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

LIBERTY ALERT!! Treatise Exposes Ultimate Goals of Islam

The following treatise is lengthy and detailed, but it is well worth the time and effort to read and digest it's shocking assertions. Full documentation can be found at the end of the article. Mr. Vidino has done the world a valuable service in providing this thorough expose' of the ultimate goals of Islam, the centerpiece of which is to usher in Sharia law.

I sincerely hope you will take the time to read this article in its entirety. The future of the world may be at stake. At the very least, liberty as we have grown to cherish it hangs in the balance.

I invite your comments on this article. These issues MUST be discussed, and the time is growing short.

Note that while more 'moderate' Muslims may not employ violent means to reach their goals, their goals are nonetheless the same as the Jihadists. In fact, they do not rule out violence as an option. So there go your so-called 'peace-loving' Muslims.

Aims and Methods of Europe's Muslim Brotherhood

by Lorenzo Vidino
Published on Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Current Trends in Islamist Ideology vol. 4

In 1990 Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Sunni scholar and the unofficial theological leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood (al Ikhwan al Muslimoun), published a book called Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase. [1] This 186-page treatise can be considered the most recent manifesto of the Islamist revivalist movement. As Qaradawi explains in the introduction, the “Islamic Movement” is meant to be the “organized, collective work, undertaken by the people, to restore Islam to the leadership of society” and to reinstate “the Islamic caliphate system to the leadership anew as required by sharia.”

Qaradawi’s treatise introduces a new agenda and modus operandi for the movement, signaling a clear break with many salafi groups and even with some past ideological elements of the Muslim Brotherhood. While the book does not rule out the use of violence to defend Muslim lands, it generally advocates the use of dawa, dialogue, and other peaceful means to achieve the movement’s goals. This doctrine is commonly referred to as “wassatiyya,” a sort of “middle way” between violent extremism and secularism, and Qaradawi is one of its key proponents. [2]

After examining the situation of the “Islamic Movement” throughout the Muslim world, the dissertation devotes significant attention to the situation of Muslims living in the West. Qaradawi explains how Muslim expatriates living in Europe, Australia and North America “are no longer few in numbers,” and that their presence is both permanent and destined to grow with new waves of immigration. While Qaradawi says that their presence is “necessary” for several reasons—such as spreading the word of Allah globally and defending the Muslim Nation “against the antagonism and misinformation of anti- Islamic forces and trends”—it is also problematic. Because the Muslim Nation, and therefore Muslim minorities “scattered throughout the world,” do not have a centralized leadership, “melting” poses a serious risk. Qaradawi warns, in other words, that a Muslim minority could lose its Islamic identity and be absorbed by the non-Muslim majority.

Qaradawi sees the lack of Muslim leadership not only as a problem, however. He also views it as an unprecedented opportunity for the Islamist movement to “play the role of the missing leadership of the Muslim Nation with all its trends and groups.” While the revivalist movement can exercise only limited influence in Muslim countries, where hostile regimes keep it in check, Qaradawi realizes that it is able to operate freely in the democratic West. Muslim expatriates disoriented by life in non-Muslim communities and often lacking the most basic knowledge about Islam, moreover, represent an ideally receptive audience for the movement’s propaganda. Qaradawi asserts that revivalists need to take on an activist role in the West, claiming that “it is the duty of [the] Islamic Movement not to leave these expatriates to be swept by the whirlpool of the materialistic trend that prevails in the West.”

Having affirmed the necessity of the Islamist movement in the West, Qaradawi proceeds to present a plan of operation. The Egyptian-born scholar openly calls for the creation of a separate society for Muslims within the West. While he highlights the importance of keeping open a dialogue with non-Muslims, he advocates the establishment of Muslim communities with “their own religious, educational and recreational establishments.” He urges his fellow revivalists to try “to have your small society within the larger society” and “your own ‘Muslim ghetto.’”

Qaradawi clearly sees the Islamist movement playing a crucial role in creating these separated Muslim communities and thereby providing it with an unprecedented opportunity to implement its vision, at least partially. Its local affiliates will run the mosques, schools, and civic organizations that shape the daily life of the desired “Muslim ghettoes.” And Qaradawi’s ambitions go further still. Without saying so openly, he suggests that sharia law should govern the relations among inhabitants of these Muslim islands; Muslim minorities “should also have amongst them their own ulema and men of religion to answer their questions when they ask them, guide them when they lose the way and reconcile them when they differ among themselves.”

What Qaradawi outlines in his treatise might, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than a fantasy. In reality, it corresponds to what the international network of the Muslim Brotherhood has been doing in the West for the past fifty years. Since the end of World War II, in fact, members of al Ikhwan al Muslimoun have settled in Europe and worked relentlessly to implement the goals stated by Qaradawi. In almost every European country, they founded student organizations that, having evolved into nationwide umbrella organizations, have become—thanks to their activism and to the financial support from Arab Gulf countries—the most prominent representatives of local Muslim communities. They established a web of mosques, research centers, think tanks, charities and schools that has been successful in spreading their heavily politicized interpretation of Islam. Finally, today, with the creation of a supranational jurisprudential body called the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the Ikhwan is taking its first, cautious steps toward Qaradawi’s final goal: the introduction of sharia law within the Muslim communities of Europe.

Having been the focus of attention of authorities since its early days, the Muslim Brotherhood tends to be extremely secretive, and only if circumstances are favorable do its members reveal their affiliation. While most of the first Islamic activists in Europe were official members of the Brotherhood, moreover, formal links between the group’s Middle Eastern base and its European followers have waned over time for various reasons. But the issue of formal affiliation to the Ikhwan is moot because the Muslim Brotherhood is more than a group; it is now better defined as a movement whose organization is far from monolithic and whose members are kept together mostly by ideological affinity.

Mohammed Akif, the current General Guide and supreme leader of the Brotherhood and a former head of its Islamic Center of Munich, explained the Ikhwan’s transcendence of formalities in an interview with Xavier Ternisien, a French expert on religion. [3] He said,

We do not have an international organization; we have an organization through our perception of things. We are present in every country. Everywhere there are people who believe in the message of the Muslim Brothers. In France, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) does not belong to the organization of the Brothers. They follow their own laws and rules. There are many organizations that do not belong to the Muslim Brothers. For example, Shaykh al-Qaradawi. He is not a Muslim Brother, but he was formed according to the doctrine of the Brothers. The doctrine of the Brothers is a written doctrine that has been translated in all languages.

In a 2005 interview Akif elaborated further. European Ikhwan organizations have no direct link to the Egyptian branch, he insisted, but they nevertheless coordinate actions with them. He concluded the interview saying, tellingly, that “we [the Ikhwan] have the tendency not to make distinctions among us.” [4]

Regardless of their official affiliation, many individuals and organizations that identify themselves with the message of the Ikhwan operate in Europe and have been actively working toward the goals outlined by Qaradawi in his above-mentioned dissertation. Driven by their firm belief in the superiority of Islam to any other religion or system of life, the European Brothers fight daily to achieve their goal, using all possible tools, including painful but necessary compromises with European authorities. “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice,” Qaradawi says. But he adds, “I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.” [5] The European Ikhwan network, under the cover of various civil rights groups and Islamic organizations, is the vanguard of this peaceful conquest.

Putting Down Roots in Europe

According to Mohammed Akif, “the Brotherhood established itself in Europe” in the 1950s. [6] At that time Nasser and other pan-Arabist regimes were cracking down on the organization, and many of its members had to flee their homelands. For various reasons most of the Muslim Brothers leaving the persecution of Middle Eastern regimes chose West Germany as their destination. Some had reportedly established links with Germany during World War II when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, moved to Berlin and aided the Nazi regime in its anti-Jewish propaganda. [7] Others benefited from the fact that the West German government, implementing what came to be known as the Hallstein doctrine, had opened its doors to dissidents persecuted by regimes that had recognized East Germany, which included Egypt and Syria. [8] Many were attracted, moreover, by the prestige of the country’s technical faculties and decided to further their studies in Germany’s engineering, architecture, and medical schools.

Among this group of pioneers of revivalist Islam in Europe, Said Ramadan stands out. Born in 1926 in a village north of Cairo, Ramadan joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 14 after attending a lecture by the organization’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. [9] In 1946, upon obtaining his law license from the University of Cairo, Ramadan became al-Banna’s personal secretary and began the publication of Al Shihab, the organization’s official magazine. In 1948 he fought in Palestine among Arab volunteers and was briefly appointed the head of Jerusalem’s military corps by King Abdallah of Jordan. He then traveled to the newly established state of Pakistan where, despite his young age, he competed for the chair of secretary general of the World Muslim Congress.

By December 1948 the Egyptian government had outlawed the Brotherhood, and the following year Egyptian police assassinated al-Banna. Given these developments, Ramadan decided to remain in Pakistan, where he worked as a “cultural ambassador” of the country to the Arab world. In 1950, as the ban on the Brotherhood was lifted, he returned to Egypt and began to publish Al Muslimoon, one of the most important magazines of revivalist thought. Nasser’s sudden rise to power in 1953 shook Egyptian political life and—after a short period of peaceful coexistence among the Brothers and Nasser’s Free Officers government—another clampdown on the Brotherhood ensued.”

Realizing he could not continue his activities in Egypt, Ramadan left the country after his release. Following short sojourns in various Middle Eastern countries, he moved to Europe permanently with his wife Wafa, al-Banna’s eldest daughter. They settled in Geneva, Switzerland, and Ramadan enrolled at the University of Cologne, where he obtained a graduate degree in law with a dissertation on Islamic law.

In 1961 Ramadan founded the Islamic Center of Geneva, located first in a villa donated by an Arabian prince and then in an odd white and green building a stone’s throw from Lake Leman. Other eminent Islamic scholars sat on the founding board of the center, including the Indian scholars Mohammed Hamidullah and Maulana Abdul Hassan Ali al Nadwi. It became one of the main headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, and was the first of a score that Ramadan worked to set up throughout Europe with the financial support of Saudi Arabia. The next year Ramadan was also instrumental in the Saudi kingdom’s establishment of the Muslim World League, a government funded transnational organization created to spread the Saudi interpretation of Islam. Ramadan was one of its main founders and even wrote its constitution.

With the ample financial backing of the Saudis, Ramadan began to establish the Brotherhood in other European countries. An early opportunity arose when a group of Arab students in Munich contacted him for help with the construction of a mosque in that city. The Arab students were competing for control of the Mosque Construction Commission, a body that was trying to raise funds for the new Munich mosque. [10] Their adversaries were a group of Muslim ex-soldiers who had fought with the Nazis during World War II and had stayed in Munich after the conflict. Originating from Central Asia and the Caucasus, these ex-soldiers embraced a moderate interpretation of Islam that clashed with the more militant views of the Arabs. By 1960 Ramadan, thanks to his Saudi funding, secured for himself the position of chairman of the commission, and by 1973, when the mosque was completed, the Brotherhood had completely overshadowed other influences over the mosque.

As Geneva was the launching pad for the European operations of the Brotherhood, Munich became its main headquarters in Germany. The Ramadan-dominated Mosque Construction Commission became a permanent organization, which later changed its name to the Islamic Society of Germany (IGD). Ramadan headed the organization for ten years until 1973, when one of the students who had originally contacted him, Syrian born Ghaleb Himmat, took over at the helm. [11]

Himmat, who kept his position until 2002, is a prominent member of the European Ikhwan network and co-founder of Bank al-Taqwa, a financial institution widely believed to have served as the Brotherhood’s clearinghouse in the West. According to European and American authorities, Himmat and Youssef Nada, one of the Brother hood’s top financial minds, used al-Taqwa and an extensive network of companies to finance the construction and activities of dozens of Brotherhood-related projects throughout the West. Both men, whom the U.S. Treasury Department also accuses of having financed Hamas and al Qaeda, [12] have been designated terrorism financiers by various Western countries and by the United Nations.

After Himmat’s retirement, the chairmanship of the IGD passed to Ibrahim El Zayat, a younger, German-born activist with a phenomenal talent for both public relations and, like his predecessor, murky financial transactions. In 2002 El Zayat, as a director of the Saudi-based NGO World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) that spreads Wahhabi literature worldwide, came under investigation in Germany for having funneled more than two million dollars to an al-Qaeda-linked charity and for his involvement in other money-laundering activities. [13] Yet thanks to its activism and good finances, the IGD is now Germany’s most important Muslim organization, representing more than sixty Islamic centers nationwide. Together with Milli Görüs, the Turkish revivalist organization linked to the Refah party that has more than 25,000 members and an estimated 100,000 sympathizers in Germany, the IGD is the de facto voice of the German Muslim community. [14] The two organizations—whose leaders are linked through marriage [15]—have formally joined forces, creating the umbrella organization Zentralrat, and they monopolize the public debate about Islam in Germany and control the majority of German mosques. [16]

Various German security agencies have repeatedly highlighted the links between these groups and the Brotherhood, and warned about the ambiguity of their rhetoric. An official report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Hessen, for example, stated that

the threat of Islamism for Germany is posed … primarily by Milli Görüs and other affiliated groups. They try to spread Islamist views within the boundaries of the law. Then they try to implement … for all Muslims in Germany a strict interpretation of the Quran and of the sharia… Their public support of tolerance and religious freedom should be treated with caution. [17]

Yet, despite these warnings, German politicians consider the Ikhwan groups their primary partners in the dialogue over issues involving the Muslim community, thus granting them legitimacy and empowering them.

Flowering in France

While Said Ramadan was active in developing organizations in Germany, another founding member of the Islamic Center of Geneva, Mohammed Hamidullah, created the first revivalist organization in France. An Indian-born intellectual, author of almost two hundred works on Islamic history, culture and law, Hamidullah headed the Paris-based Association of Islamic Students in France (AEIF). Even though Hamidullah was a moderate, more intent on his studies than on political activities, the AEIF soon became home base for a small group of radical foreign Muslim students who were attending Parisian universities. Among them was Hasan al Turabi, a young Sudanese law student destined to become one of the most important figures of Islamic revivalism of the last thirty years. [18] The son of a qadi (Islamic judge) from the southern part of Sudan, Turabi had joined the Muslim Brotherhood on the campus of the University College of Khartoum in the 1950s and continued his Islamic militancy while studying law at the Sorbonne. [19] Other well-known figures who orbited around the AEIF were Abolhassan Banisadr, the first President of the Islamic Republic of Iran; [20] Said Ramadan al Boutih, one of Syria’s most prestigious legal scholars; and Issam al Attar, a top Muslim Brotherhood leader who fled Syria to escape the regime and finally settled in the German city of Aachen, where he founded the Bilal mosque. [21]

This select group came to debate the purpose of their sojourn in the West. The Syrian branch of the Brotherhood, headed in Europe by Attar, viewed its exile as instrumental to furthering its struggle in Syria. For them, at least in the beginning, Europe was just a convenient place from which they could operate against the Syrian regime, and the AEIF was little more than a club for foreign Muslim students who were planning to leave France at the end of their studies. It had no serious political mission beyond promoting revivalist ideas among its members. But others in the European Brotherhood, particularly the Egyptians, saw their hijra (forced migration, comparing it to the Prophet’s time in Medina) as more long-term and Europe as a permanent base from which to expand the Ikhwan’s struggle to impose God’s word worldwide. The Brothers were in Europe to stay, they concluded, and the continent—with its freedom, wealth and growing Muslim population—was the ideal new front from which the Brotherhood could operate.

In 1979 a small group of AEIF members who embraced the long-term vision of the Egyptian branch of the European Brotherhood, and who wanted to extend the influence of the movement to the Muslim population of France, created a new organization—the Islamic Group in France, which in 1983 became the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF). [22] While the official founders were two students, Iraqi national Zuhair Mahmood and Tunisian national Abdallah Ben Mansour, the UOIF had two important godfathers. The first was Faysal Mawlawi, a former member of the AEIF during his Parisian days who had returned to his native Lebanon to run the al Jamaa al Islamiya radical political party. The second was Rashid Ghannouchi, secretary of the AEIF between 1968 and 1969 and head of al Nahda, the Islamist movement that battled the Tunisian regime. [23] Ghannouchi and Mawlawi, wise politicians with a tremendous ability to adapt their rhetoric to circumstances, understood that the Brothers needed a well-structured organization to be able to influence the political debate and, simultaneously, to radicalize the Muslim minority in the European country with the largest Muslim population.

Over the last twenty years the UOIF has developed into France’s largest and most active Muslim organization, controlling a large number of mosques and attracting tens of thousands of attendees to its annual gathering in Le Bourget. Today the UOIF even boasts its own institution of Islamic knowledge, the European Institute of Human Sciences (IESH). [24] Located in a castle in rural Burgundy, IESH offers various degrees and diplomas in Islamic studies, and states that its goal is to educate imams who, in addition to having an adequate theological and scientific background, will demonstrate “good assimilation in the Western reality.” Given the background of the individuals involved in IESH, however, “assimilation” is unlikely to be its primary goal. The institute was founded by key members of the UOIF, such as Ahmed Jaballah and Zuhair Mahmoud, and regularly hosts the most prominent figures of the international Ikhwan network. [25] Its scientific council is headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, [26] and Faysal Mawlawi, the spiritual guide of the UOIF, is a frequent visitor and lecturer. [27]

The French government has a schizophrenic attitude toward UOIF. On the one hand, the French Council of State significantly turned down the naturalization request of Ben Mansour, a founding member of UOIF, alleging that he headed “a federation to which are affiliated many extremist movements which reject the essential values of French society.” [28] On the other hand, French Minister of Interior Nicolas Sarkozy publicly stated that he believes the UOIF has always held positions that “respected the Republic” and is a reliable partner in the delicate dialogue over the integration of the French Muslim community. [29]

UOIF representatives, most of them recipients of degrees from prestigious French universities, are involved in countless interfaith, anti-racism, and pro-integration partnerships with Christian, private, and government organizations. At the same time, however, they have not abandoned their radical worldview and are occasionally caught making blatantly anti-Semitic remarks or defending the actions of Hamas. [30] Books such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and works of al-Banna and Qutb are regularly sold at UOIF’s events. Tellingly, when UOIF was still a small entity and not under much media scrutiny, one of its representatives, Ahmed Djaballah, defined the launch of the organization as having two stages: “The first stage of the launch is democratic; the second will be putting the Islamic society in orbit.” [31]

Hoping to Rule Britannia

While Arab members of the Muslim Brotherhood spurred the spread of revivalist Islam in continental Europe, Muslims from South Asia initially played this role in the United Kingdom, where the majority of Muslims were Pakistanis and Indians. In the 1950s and 1960s, followers of Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abul Ala Maududi began to establish the first revivalist organizations in Great Britain. In 1962 a small group of Muslim activists from East London founded the UK Islamic Mission, an organization with the stated goal of “bringing about a new spiritual awakening” and building a society “based on the ideals, values and principles of Islam.” [32]

The Mission sees Islam as an all-encompassing system that covers every aspect of life. Defining itself as an “ideological organization,” the Mission states that “Islam is a comprehensive way of life which must be translated into action in all spheres of human life. The Mission, therefore, aims at molding the entire human life in accordance with Allah’s will.” [33] The Mission also openly declares its desire to introduce sharia in Great Britain, at least in the areas of private and family law. The UK Islamic Mission advocates, in fact, a “continuous campaign for the establishment of Muslim family laws,” and an “Islamic social order in the United Kingdom in order to seek the pleasure of Allah.” While the stated goal of many Muslim organizations created at the time was to safeguard the Muslim identity of the South Asian immigrant population, the scholar Gilles Kepel has correctly noted that the Mission goes beyond such a protectionist aim in openly promoting the Islamization of British society. Following Maududi’s teachings, it urges the Muslim community not to be satisfied with simply keeping its own social values; rather, it should proselytize and strive to impose “the Islamic social order” on all, as a “vanguard to spearhead a life-long struggle in the cause of Allah.” [34]

In order to carry out its goal of creating an “Islamic social order,” the Mission understood the importance of extending its teachings to the largest audience possible. Today the UK Islamic Mission has become a nationwide organization with thirty-nine branches, over thirty-five mosques and Islamic schools in which about five thousand British Muslim children receive Islamic education. [35] It has a youth branch, Young Muslims UK, that attempts to attract the sons and daughters of Muslim immigrants through study groups, summer camps, and Quran competitions. To appeal to the most Westernized among them, Young Muslims UK even sponsors such activities as Go-Karting and Paintball, all conducted in religiously-oriented and sex-segregated environments. [36]

In 1973 the Islamic Mission established a college and research center, the Islamic Foundation. First located in a small two-room office in central Leicester, the Islamic Foundation has grown to be one of Europe’s largest institutions of Islamic studies and, by 1990, moved its headquarters to a sprawling mansion in rural Markfield, a few miles from Leicester. [37] The Foundation regularly organizes symposia and conferences and even runs its own institute of higher learning, the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, which issues diplomas in Islamic jurisprudence. It translates and publishes scores of Islamic texts, with a clear focus on revivalist authors in general and Maududi in particular.

The links between the UK Mission and Maududi go well beyond ideology, moreover. The level of coordination between the Mission and Jamaat-e-Islami is very high, though Mission officers in Leicester have publicly denied that the two organizations are formally linked. “We belong to the international Islamic movement,” claims Dr. Manazir Ahsan, the director general of the Islamic Foundation, “neither to Jamaat [-e-Islami] nor to Ikhwan nor to the Refah Party in Turkey—but all of them are our friends.” [38] The evidence contradicts him, however, and indicates that the relationship resembles more a symbiosis than a friendship, at least in regard to Jamaat-e-Islami. The first directors of the Islamic Foundation were officers of Jamaat-e-Islami, including Khurram Murad, who became one of Jamaat’s top leaders after leaving Leicester. [39] One of the Foundation’s founders and its current chairman is Khurshid Ahmed, a world-renowned Islamic scholar and member of the Pakistani Senate who joined Jamaat-e-Islami in 1956 and currently serves as its vice president. [40]

But it is also true that, as members and sympathizers are increasingly British-born Muslims who feel limited affinity to Pakistani politics, the UK Mission and the Islamic Foundation have developed a life of their own. [41] While issues such as Kashmir remain important, the Mission has increasingly focused its attention on problems affecting the everyday life of British Muslims, with the stated goal of preventing their absorption into mainstream British society.

Radicalizing the Muslim community is the Foundation’s first priority, but it also emphasizes the importance of carrying out its dawa mission among the non-Muslim British population. The Foundation publishes several introductory books to Islam aimed at British Christians, and its director during the 1980s, the above-mentioned Murad, even published a handbook on how to convert non-Muslims. [42] The Mission’s brochures boast of the organization’s successes in proselytizing in order to impress, as Kepel notes, “their Arabian benefactors and confirm the latter’s conviction that Islam, in its most intransigent version, would subjugate the whole world, with the Mission forming an avant-garde.” [43]

Outreach toward non-Muslims goes beyond the religious duty of dawa, as the Mission attempts to increase its influence in the social and political life of Great Britain. The Islamic Foundation is involved in partnerships with several secular institutions of higher learning, for example, and has signed memoranda of understanding with various Christian organizations. It often works with city councils on issues involving the Muslim community, and it even conducts Islamic-awareness training for British police officers. Given that politicians from all parties attend its conferences, it is not surprising that even the Prince of Wales, sitting beside Khurshid Ahmad at a 2003 dinner in Markfield, praised the Islamic Foundation as “all that is to be admired about Islamic scholarship in the West” and “a fine example for others to follow.” [44]

In 1997 the Arab component of the Muslim Brotherhood founded its own organization in Great Britain, the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). MAB’s leadership includes individuals such as Azzam Tamimi, a former activist in the Islamic Action Front (the Jordanian Brotherhood’s political party); Mohammed Sawalha, a self-declared former Hamas member; and Osama al Tikriti, the son of the leader of the Iraqi branch of the Brotherhood. [45] MAB’s founding president, Kamal al Helbawy, was formerly the official spokesman for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. [46] Having gained notoriety thanks to its active role in the anti-war campaign during the first months of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, MAB has formed strong alliances with British civil rights and leftist organizations. Its role as a political player became apparent as it endorsed such anti-war politicians and close allies as London mayor Ken Livingstone and Respect Party candidate George Galloway.

Given their large Muslim populations, Great Britain, France, and Germany are naturally the three main centers of activity of the Ikhwan in Europe. But virtually every European country has witnessed some degree of intense activity by the Brothers. As Ikhwan members often mention, their vision of Islam as a social religion compels them to create organizations. Tariq Ramadan, the ubiquitous Swiss scholar and son of Said Ramadan—whose affiliation with the Brotherhood is much debated—has stated that the communitarian dimension of Islam is fundamental because “the Islamic faith cannot be reduced to a strictly private affair.” [47] But other scholars mention more practical reasons for the Ikhwan’s organized activism. Qaradawi asserts that the “organized collective work” characteristic of the Islamic Movement “is ordained by religion and necessitated by reality.” [48] Only a well-structured network enables the Brothers to implement their goals, the first of which is preventing the integration or, even worse, the assimilation of Muslim minorities.

Cozying Up to the Elite

“In conversations with journalists and diplomats [Tunisian Islamist Rachid] Ghannouchi gives a moderate, democratic, pluralist image,” confessed a follower of this very important player in Europe’s Ikhwan network. “With us,” he added, “he talks about driving out the American invaders and their allies (the regimes in power),… of saving the Holy Kaaba and the Tomb of the Noble Prophet from the plots of the enemies of the Arabs and Islam.” [49] The Muslim Brothers have an unparalleled ability to employ different tactics—to adapt their rhetoric and modus operandi—according to the circumstances.

In the first years of their existence, Islamist revivalist organizations took very hard and confrontational positions on issues that involved the Muslim community. This stance was apparently dictated both by the leaders’ radical views and by the desire to make themselves known and gain primacy within the Islamic community. In 1988, for example, the Islamic Foundation of Leicester fought vigorously to play a predominant role in organizing the protests against the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses—protests that swept the South Asian Muslim community in Great Britain. While its outrage was unquestionably genuine, the Foundation appeared to be most concerned about making sure that other Islamic groups did not lead the protests. [50]

The following year, having witnessed how the Rushdie affair enhanced the status of the Foundation, the French Ikhwan decided to imitate the tactics of their British comrades when an opportunity presented itself in France. As the first nationwide controversy over the use of the hijab in public schools erupted in 1989, the then-relatively powerless UOIF became the most active defender of the right to wear the veil. Hoping to attract the sympathies of the Muslim community, the UOIF showed little interest in pursuing a constructive dialogue with the French government while it organized several protests against the ban and declared that “the Muslims of France could not accept such attacks on their dignity.” [51]

Today, now that it has achieved a dominant position within France’s organized Islamic community, the UOIF has completely changed its tactics and strives to gain the trust of the authorities. Believing it can gain more by working within the system than against it, the UOIF is avoiding head-on confrontations with the government that could set back its agenda. In March 2004, therefore, when the French Parliament passed a controversial new law banning all religious symbols and apparel in public schools, the UOIF kept incredibly quiet. It abstained from participating in the protests that were organized, not only in France, but also throughout the world. Azzam Tamimi, a leader of the Muslim Association of Britain who was harshly critical of this decision, explained that the UOIF is now “against any activity that could cause a confrontation with the public powers.” [52]

In its change of behavior, the UOIF provides a quintessential example of the Brother - hood’s most effective quality: flexibility. If in 1989 the issue of the hijab constituted a perfect opportunity to make the UOIF known to the French Muslim community as a strenuous defender of the honor of Muslims, fifteen years later it constituted a dangerous trap to avoid. Because the law passed with overwhelming and bilateral support, the UOIF saw no practical advantage in challenging the establishment.

Challenging the establishment, in fact, is not the current policy of the European Brotherhood. Realizing they are still a relatively weak force, the Brothers have opted for a different tactic: befriending the establishment. They are taking advantage of the European elite’s desperate desire to establish a dialogue with any representatives of the Muslim community, and they are putting themselves forward as the de facto voices of European Muslims. Thanks to the Europeans’ naïveté and their own activism, the Brothers are now the closest partners that European political elites have in discussing the integration of the local Muslim communities. Nowhere is this more evident than in Brussels, where Ikhwan organizations have become the only officially recognized representatives of the European Muslim population, monopolizing the debate with the institutions of the European Union.

In 1989 the European Brothers founded the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), with the stated goal of “serving Muslims in European societies.” [53] Even though it has gained prominence in Europe as a moderate Muslim organization, however, FIOE is nothing more than the umbrella organization for most Ikhwan groups in Europe. Its founders and main members are the French UOIF, the German IGD and the British MAB, and its headquarters are in Markfield, located in spaces leased from the Islamic Foundation. Serving on FIOE’s board are such prominent European Ikhwan figures as UOIF’s Ahmed Djaballah and IGD’s Ibrahaim El Zayat. Its president, Ahmed al Rawi, has personally defended suicide bombings in Iraq and Israel, claiming that Muslims “have the right to defend themselves.” And yet he is a habitué of the European circles of power, having testified before the European Parliament and attended John Paul II’s funeral. [54]

In 1996 FIOE created the European Trust, a financial institution devoted to raising funds for its various activities, such as the sprawling European Institute of Human Sciences, the Association of Muslim Schools in Europe, and its glossy magazine Al Europiya. Also in 1996, in cooperation with the Saudi WAMY, FIOE established a youth branch—the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO). Originally headed by the ubiquitous El Zayat and strategically headquartered in Brussels, FEMYSO has managed to become, in its own words, “the de facto voice of the Muslim youth of Europe.” Today it oversees a network of thirty-seven member organizations, and it enjoys regular relations with the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations. [55]

The Long March Toward Sharia in Europe

The success of organizations such as FIOE and FEMYSO is the crowning achievement of the Brothers’ thirty years of hard work. The Ikhwan groups have managed to be - come part of the establishment, finding a small niche in the corridors of European power. The Brothers view this triumph as a mere starting point, however. Having gained the trust of large segments of both Europe’s elites and its Muslim communities, the Brothers want to use their newly acquired power to create the “Muslim ghetto” envisioned by Qaradawi. An extensive network of mosques and educational facilities already exists; the next step toward the creation of what Reuven Paz refers to as “non-territorial Islamic states in Europe” is the implementation of Islamic law for Europe’s Muslim population. [56]

An article in a 2002 issue of Al Islam, the official publication of the European Brotherhood’s historic Islamic Center of Munich, openly states that “In the long run, Muslims cannot be satisfied with the acceptance of German family, estate, and trial law… Muslims should aim at an agreement between the Muslims and the German state with the goal of a separate jurisdiction for Muslims.” [57] The Brothers fully understand that the implementation of sharia in Europe is a very difficult task that currently seems quite far-fetched. But patience and long-term vision are two of the movement’s strongest assets, and the Brothers are working to reap their fruits “in the long run.” For now, the Ikhwan is generally refraining from officially asking for the implementation of sharia, despite hints that make its ultimate aim quite apparent. The Brothers have begun, for example, to create an Islamic legal framework that lays the foundation for imposing sharia in the West.

In 1989 the UOIF, perhaps the most important of the various European Ikhwan groups, made a small but extremely significant change to its name. Previously known as the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, it now called itself the Union of Islamic Organizations of France—a small semantic difference that had a huge meaning. [58] By changing the name, the Brothers declared that they were in France, and in Europe, to stay. They realized that the presence of Muslims in Europe was a permanent and growing phenomenon, and that it required a new approach. The following year Ghannouchi, one of the historical spiritual leaders of the UOIF, gave a landmark speech at the organization’s annual meeting in which he referred to France as dar al Islam (land of Islam), a place where the presence of Muslims is permanent. [59]

A definitive new Ikhwan position on the juridical connotation of Europe was formalized two years later, at another seminar organized by the UOIF. There, scholars of the importance of Qaradawi, Mawlawi, and Djaballah agreed that the traditional distinction between dar al Islam and dar al Harb (land of war) did not currently reflect reality. While Europe could not be considered dar al Islam because sharia was not enforced there, it could not be considered dar al Harb because Muslims were allowed to practice Islam freely and were not persecuted. According to Mawlawi, the distinction was based only on ijtihad (interpretation, not coming directly from the text) and limited to a historic context that no longer exists. The Ikhwan scholars decided, therefore, that it was possible for them to create a new legal category. They concluded that Europe should be considered dar al dawa (land of preaching), a territory where Muslims live as a minority, are respected, and have the duty to spread their religion peacefully. Other definitions have followed: Qaradawi has spoken of dar al ahd (land of contact), for example, while Tariq Ramadan has adopted the term dar al shahada (land of testimony). [60]

By acknowledging that the presence of Muslims in the West is permanent, and by giving their status a new legal definition, the Ikhwan scholars set the stage for creating new rules to regulate this presence. While there is extensive jurisprudence that addresses the situation of non-Muslim minorities living in dar al Islam, very few provisions cover the relatively new situation of Muslims living permanently in non-Muslim countries. For most European Muslims, this has not been a major issue, either because religion does not play a large role in their lives or because they have found their own ways to reconcile their faith with their lives in the West. But many do many feel the need for guidance from the ulema about such everyday matters as marriage, divorce and relations with non-Muslims. These problems require the development of a new jurisprudence, which has come to be known as fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) for minorities (fiqh al aqaliyyat). [61]

Given the lack of intellectual Muslim leadership and structured Islamic clergy in Europe, the Brotherhood sees itself as the entity most able to fill this void and to create this new fiqh. [62] Mawlawi, one of the top Ikhwan thinkers on minority fiqh, has said, “It is obvious that when secular and Islamic laws collide, a Muslim is expected to honor his Islamic law whenever possible.” [63] But while affirming the superiority of Islamic law, he refers to the Quranic verse that states “Be observant of Allah to the best of your ability” (“fa-ittaqu Allaha ma istata‘tum”). [64] According to Mawlawi, this verse allows a Muslim who is in the “legal bind” of having to choose between respecting sharia or European law to follow the “less detrimental” option. [65] Other European Brothers hold slightly more ambiguous positions, torn between their beliefs and their political instincts. Thus far, formal proposals to introduce Islamic law in Europe have been quite timid, in fact, and the reaction from most European politicians has been cold, to say the least.

For the time being, then, officially sanctioned Islamic courts in Europe represent only a dream. The European Ikhwan have established an unofficial one, however—the European Council for Fatwa and Research. This body currently limits itself to dispensing advice to Muslims living in Europe who have to juggle obedience to Quranic precepts with respect for the laws of their host countries.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research

In March 1997 FIOE sponsored the first meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, an organization that has become quite a feather in the European Brothers’ cap. Held in London, the meeting was attended by more than fifteen well known Islamic scholars who endorsed the Council’s draft constitution. The Council is described as “an Islamic, specialized and independent entity” created to issue “collective fatwas which meet the needs of Muslims in Europe, solve their problems and regulate their interaction with the European communities, all within the regulations and objectives of sharia.” [66] In practical terms the Council is a jurisprudential body that provides Muslims living in Europe with non-binding legal advice focusing on matters they face in their everyday lives as members of a minority community in non-Muslim countries.

The Council’s headquarters are in Dublin, where it operates in conjunction with the local Islamic Cultural Centre. Both institutions have received generous financial backing from the Al-Maktoum Charity Organization, which is headed by Shaykh Hamdan Al Maktoum, the UAE Minister of Finance and Industry and the Deputy Ruler of Dubai. [67] The Council generally meets twice a year in different European venues and currently comprises thirty-two Islamic scholars from throughout the world, the majority of whom reside within the European Union. (The Council’s bylaws specifically state that no more than 25 percent of it total membership should live outside Europe.) Its sessions take place behind closed doors, and the clerics deliberate on issues brought forward by either Council members or European Muslims who ask the Council for advice.

In reality the Council is a body created and dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s global network. Its jurisprudence is aimed at guiding Muslims through a “program of perfect life for the individual, the family, society and the state”—phrasing that echoes al-Banna. [68] Among its members are key figures of the European Ikhwan, such as UOIF’s Djaballah and Ounis Qourqah, IESH’s al Arabi al Bichri, FIOE’s al Rawi, and the ever present Ghannouchi. Several other members are high-profile scholars from Arab Gulf countries, most of whom hold positions very close to those of the Ikhwan. The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland’s Hussein Mohammed Halawa is the Council’s secretary general and oversees its day-to-day operations, while the Lebanese cleric Mawlawi is its vice president—an honor given to him in recognition of his role in promoting the historic doctrinal change of Europe from dar al Harb to dar al dawa. As Ghannouchi observed, “Some members [of the Council] belong to the Brothers, some others do not. What is important is the ideology, not the movement.” [69]

Most tellingly, the president of the Council is Qaradawi, whose position of prominence is widely accepted by the other members. Though the Council is technically a democratic body in which the majority rules, its scholars rarely vote, tending instead to avoid internal dissent and to follow the position of Qaradawi and the Council’s most influential figures. [70] Qaradawi is not only the Council’s best-known scholar, but also the real driving force behind it. He is a charismatic figure whose prestige is crucially important to the Council’s relevance. A gifted speaker with an uncommon ability to deal with the media, Qaradawi disseminates his teachings through his own website and a popular weekly show on al Jazeera called “Al Sharia wal Hayat” (“Sharia and Life”). He should now be considered, according to an internal memo of the British Home Office, “the leading mainstream and influential Islamic authority in the Middle East and increasingly in Europe, with an extremely large popular following.” [71]

While Qaradawi is indeed extremely popular and influential well beyond the underworld of the Ikhwan, his views, as the same memo acknowledges, are far from moderate. He has repeatedly defended suicide attacks against Israel and American forces in Iraq. He has repeatedly pledged his support to such organizations as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic jihad, labeled the Middle East peace process as “a conspiracy to stop the Palestinian Resistance,” and decreed that “jihad is incumbent upon the entire Muslim nation in order to liberate Palestine, Jerusalem, and the Al Aqsa Mosque.” [72] Similarly, in 2004 Qaradawi issued a fatwa justifying attacks against all American citizens in Iraq, including civilians, saying “there is no difference between U.S. military personnel and civilians in Iraq since both have come to invade the country” and since “civilians are actually there to serve the U.S. occupying forces.” [73]

The European Council for Fatwa and Research reflects the dual personalities of Qaradawi and its leaders. Overall, its jurisprudence gives the impression of being quite moderate and innocuous, offering suggestions to individuals who want to follow the requirements of their religion in their new land. Many fatwas simply discuss how to perform certain Islamic rituals in non-Muslim countries, solving mostly logistical problems. Some rulings, for example, address questions about praying in buildings in which facing Mecca poses difficulties. [74] Another fatwa deals with the timing of Muslim prayers in Scandinavian countries in relation to sunrise and sunset. [75] As most Muslims living in the West must deal with the banking system, many decrees attempt to reconcile the need to contract loans, use mortgages, and open bank accounts, with the Islamic ban of riba (usury), which the Muslim Brothers interpret to include interest.

On these matters the jurisprudence of the Council is quite liberal. Its fatwas urge Muslims to seek all possible “Islamic alternatives” and “Islamic organizations throughout Europe to enter into negotiations with European banks to find formulas that are acceptable,” as many of them are already doing. [76] But, if no alternative is possible and the haram (forbidden) transaction is vitally important, the Council draws on the principle of accommodation to allow the European Muslim to carry out transactions with riba. In general the Court tends to respect Western law as much as possible and espouses a relatively moderate interpretation of Islamic law. No fatwa touches issues of criminal law, where any intrusion of Muslim jurisprudence would be perceived very negatively by Europeans. In some cases the Council explicitly decrees that European Muslims should follow the laws of European countries and the rulings of its judges, even if those contradict sharia. In cases of divorce, for example, the Council ruled that “it is imperative that a Muslim who conducted his Marriage by virtue of those countries’ respective laws, to comply with the rulings of a non-Muslim judge in the event of a divorce.” [77]

But not all the jurisprudence of the Council follows this moderate trend. Despite its professed focus on issues affecting everyday life, some of the Council’s fatwas are extremely political and reveal the radical side of at least some of its clerics. In the July 2003 Council meeting held in Stockholm, for example, Qaradawi described five categories of terrorism, including “terror that is permitted by Islamic law” and “martyrdom operations.” Ruling that Israel could be defined as “invaders” and thus legitimately targeted, Qaradawi stated that “those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake.” [78] Mawlawi, the Council’s vice president, holds similar views about terrorism. In issuing a fatwa that prohibited Arab countries from cooperating with the United States in the “War on Terror,” Mawlawi noted that what is dubbed terrorism by Washington is in most cases “jihad and legitimate right,” such as resistance operations in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. [79]

Even more troubling, for its potentially disruptive effects, is the Council’s jurisprudence that deals with family matters. While many rulings uphold Islamic principles that are perfectly compatible with European legislation, some fatwas express opinions that are at odds with basic Western concepts, particularly with regard to domestic violence and equality between the sexes. And while some fatwas instruct Muslims to follow European marriage and divorce laws, other rulings on the same matters refer only to Islamic law, omitting any reference to respecting Western legislation. The relationship between husband and wife is an area where the incompatibility between the Council’s jurisprudence and Western law is particularly manifest. Various Council rulings state that men should be good husbands and fair to their wives, but some fatwas clearly pay no heed to the concept of equality between men and women. A 1997 Council fatwa, for example, states that a wife needs her husband’s permission to cut her hair, provided that the cut is significant and “completely change[s] the appearance of the woman.” [80] By the same token, the Council authorizes a husband to prevent his wife from visiting another woman, even a Muslim woman, “if he felt that this relationship has an adverse effect on his wife, children or marital life in general.” [81]

These rulings are not surprising, given the positions that Qaradawi holds on marriage and marital relations. In his hallmark treaty on Islamic law, The Licit and Illicit in Islam, Qaradawi openly states that “the man is the lord of the house and the head of the family.” He asserts, moreover, that when a wife exhibits “signs of pride or insubordination,” her husband is entitled to use violence against her, even though this has to be done without hitting hard and avoiding the face. [82] These teachings are clearly at odds with the criminal law and public sentiment of every European country. Significantly, the provisions regarding the treatment of women caused The Licit and Illicit in Islam to be banned in France in 1995. Charles Pasqua, France’s Minister of Interior at the time, commented that the book deserved the ban because of “its violently anti-Western tones and the theses contrary to the laws and values of the Republic that it contains.” [83] Qaradawi has also repeatedly observed that polygamy is a right that all Muslim men should be able to enjoy, provided they respect certain rules.

Polygamy and domestic violence represent two extremes, which would be prosecuted by European criminal laws. But the Council holds other positions that contradict Western laws governing marriage and divorce. It promotes an openly ambiguous situation for Muslims who have contracted marriage under European law, as the Council urges them to respect both the European laws and the conflicting principles of sharia. Just as disturbing is the possible application of the Council’s jurisprudence to nikah marriages (those performed in an Islamic rite). A small, yet significant, number of Muslims living in Europe do not officially register their marriages but simply get married in an Islamic rite. In these cases, where the marriage does not exist under European law, the only rules that could apply are those of sharia, and the Council could potentially become the body regulating such marital relationships.


The Council’s fatwas are not legally binding, as they are simply opinions of respected scholars rather than judgments delivered by qadis. Members of the European Ikhwan network are quick to point out that its role, comparable to that of the Vatican’s, is purely consultative, intended only to advise Muslims about religious issues that arise in their daily lives. [84] Yet the Brothers’ ambitions for the Council go beyond a merely advisory role. As stated in its bylaws, the Council is “designed to become an approved religious authority before local governments and private establishments, which will undoubtedly strengthen and reinforce local Islamic communities.” [85] The Brothers see today’s non-binding Council’s jurisprudence as just a step toward their long-term goal of establishing sharia for Muslims in Europe.

Most Ikhwan groups operating in Europe have the stated goal of establishing Islamic law for local Muslim populations. The Brothers understand that the places where this is most likely to occur are in areas of high Islamic concentration—in other words, in Qaradawi’s “Muslim ghettoes.” The Brothers believe that, once Muslims reach a majority in certain areas of various European countries, European governments will feel compelled to allow Islamic law to regulate the personal/civil relations among them.

While the Ikhwan’s intentions might appear to be nothing more than a dream, a disturbingly large number of European Muslims seem to favor introducing Islamic law into Europe. A 2005 poll revealed that four out of ten British Muslims want sharia introduced into parts of Britain. [86] Another poll conducted by a local Muslim institute reports that 21 per cent of Muslims living in Germany believe that the German constitution is incompatible with the teachings of the Quran. [87] But while salafi and other extremist organizations are already demanding the introduction of sharia in a confrontational and counterproductive way, the more politically savvy Brothers are using a different strategy to achieve the same goal.

The European Ikhwan have repeatedly compromised their strict observance of sharia in order to advance their cause. Every tactic that might help the movement is justified, even if it entails breaking some Quranic principle, because the higher goal of spreading Islam excuses all deviations. Mawlawi and other Ikhwan scholars have asserted, for example, that the creation of Islamic centers in the West is a priority for the Islamic Movement. Muslims should make every effort, therefore, to purchase buildings and turn them into mosques, even if they must resort to financial transactions forbidden by Islamic law to do so. [88] Similarly, asked whether Muslims could vote and participate in the political life of their European host countries, the Council responded that the issue “is to be decided by Islamic organizations and establishment,” which should evaluate what position best serves the interests of the Movement. [89] At the moment the Brothers have embraced compromise as the best means of increasing their influence, which will allow them in turn to lobby more effectively for their goals—goals that include the establishment of sharia in Europe.

Now relatively weak in the West, the Brotherhood has concluded that engaging in dialogue and showing openness and moderation is their wisest strategy. But if the balance of power were to change over the next few decades, nothing guarantees that the Ikhwan would not change its approach and discard dialogue. A German government’s analysis of the tactics of Islamist groups operating in Germany reveals a well-founded suspicion that the Ikhwan’s desire for dialogue is far from sincere: “While in recent times, the Milli Görüs has increasingly emphasized the readiness of its members to be integrated into German society and asserts its adherence to the basic law, such statements stem from tactical calculation rather than from any inner change of the organization.” [90]

To date European Brotherhood organizations have rarely been directly linked to specific cases of terrorism, but their contribution to the education and radicalization of violent extremists has already been significant. The Brotherhood’s renunciation of violence seems more opportunistic than genuine, moreover, when its European members use fiery rhetoric to endorse terrorist operations in the Middle East. While they are quick to condemn violence in the West to avoid becoming political pariahs, they do not refrain from approving of it elsewhere, notably in the Middle East, because they believe they can get away with it. It is not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that should it become convenient for them to do so, the ever-flexible Brotherhood would embrace violent tactics in the West as well.


1. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase (Swansea, U.K.: Awakening Publications, 2000).

2. Eric Brown, “After the Ramadan Affair: New Trends in Islamism in the West,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology (Hudson Institute), vol. 2, September 2005: 8.

3. Xavier Ternisien, Les Frères Musulmans (Paris: Fayard, 2005), pp. 110-11.

4. Sylvain Besson, “La Conquête de l’Occident: Le Projet Secret des Islamistes (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 2005), p. 100.

5. “Leading Sunni Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi and Other Sheikhs Herald the Coming Conquest of Rome,” Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch #447, 6 December 2002.

6. Besson, La Conquête de l’Occident, p. 37.

7. See, for example, Kenneth R. Timmerman, “Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America (New York: Crown Forum, 2003).

8. Khalid Duran, “Jihadism in Europe,” The Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International, Fall 2000: 12-15.

9. For the life of Said Ramadan, see: M. H. Faruqi, “Les Frères Musulmanes: Politique de ‘Rabbaniyya,’ les Prières avant le Pouvoir,” published on the website of the Islamic Center of Geneva (; and Tariq Ramadan, “Une Vie Entière,” available at

10. Ian Johnson, “The Beachhead: How a Mosque for Ex-Nazis Became Center of Radical Islam,” The Wall Street Journal, 12 July 2005.

11. History of the IGD, available at IGD’s website:

12. “Recent OFAC Actions,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, 7 November 2001.

13. Report on Ibrahim el-Zayat, Cologne police, 27 August 2003; and Ian Johnson, “How Islamic Group’s Ties Reveal Europe’s Challenge,” Wall Street Journal, 29 December 2005.

14. Report on the Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüs (IGMG), Innenministerium, Nordrhein-Westfalen land website:

15. Ibrahim El Zayat, chairman of the IGD, is married to Sabiha Erbakan, the sister of Milli Görü’s leader, Mehmet Sabri Erbakan.

16. For the activities of IGD, IGMG, and Zentralrat, see Udo Ulfkotte, Der Krieg in unseren Staedten (Frankfurt: Eichborn Publishing, 2003).

17. “Islamismus,” report by the Landesamt fur Verfassungsschutz, Hessen, available at http://www.verfassungsschutzhessen/. de/downloads/islam.pdf.

18. Paul Landau, Le Sabre et le Coran (Monaco: Editions du Rocher, 2005), pp. 72-3.

19. Ahmed S. Moussalli, “Hasan al-Turabi’s Islamist Discourse on Democracy and Shura,” Middle Eastern Studies 30, issue 1 (January 1994).

20. Jean-Yves Camus, “Islam in France,” paper published by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (ICT), 10 May 2004, available at:

21. Khalid Duran, “Jihadism in Europe,” The Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International, Fall 2000. Pp. 12-5.

22. Ternisien, pp. 254-5.

23. Fiammetta Venner, “OPA sur l’Islam de France: Les Ambitions de l’UOIF,” Paris: Calmann-Levy, 2005. Pp. 11-14.

24. Website of the European Institute of Human Sciences:

25. Hugh Schofield, “France’s Islamic Heartland,” BBC, 18 April 2003.

26. Website of the European Institute of Human Sciences:

27. Venner, p. 102.

28. Decision of the French Conseil d’État, 7 June 1999, as quoted in Venner, p. 15.

29. Venner, p. 28.

30. For more information on the UOIF’s double-talk, see Venner.

31. Mohamed Sifaoui, La FranceMalade de Islamisme (Paris: Le Cherche Midi, 2002), pp. 49-50.

32. UK Islamic Mission, “Introduction,” 2004-2005 Annual Report.

33. UK Islamic Mission, “Introduction,” as quoted in Gilles Kepel, “Allah in the West: Islamic Movements in America and Europe (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997), p. 131.

34. Ibid., p. 132.

35. UK Islamic Mission, “Introduction,” 2004-2005 Annual Report.

36. Website of Young Muslims UK:

37. Website of the Islamic Foundation:

38. Kepel, p. 133.

39. Ibid.

40. Biography of Khurshid Ahmed, website of the Jamaat e Islami:

41. Joergen S. Nielsen, “Transnational Islam and the Integration of Islam in Europe,” in Stefano Allievi and Joergen S. Nielsen, “Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and across Europe” (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2003), pp. 38-9.

42. Kepel, p. 132.

43. Ibid.

44. Speech by HRH The Prince of Wales during his visit to the Islamic Foundation, 24 January 2003, available at

45. Michael Whine, “The Advance of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K.,” in Current Trends in Islamist Ideology (Hudson Institute), vol. 2, September 2005: 30-38.

46. Ternisien, p. 124.

47. Tariq Ramadan, LesMusulmans dans la Laïcité (Lyon: Tawhid Editions, 1998), pp. 78-81.

48. al-Qaradawi.

49. Antoine Sfeir, Les Réseaux d’Allah: Les filières Islamistes en France et en Europe (Paris: Plon, 2001), p. 51.

50. Kepel, pp. 126-35.

51. Ibid., p. 187.

52. Ternisien, p. 127.

53. Website of the FIOE:

54. Ian Johnson, “How Islamic Group’s Ties Reveal Europe’s Challenge,” Wall Street Journal, 29 December 2005.

55. Website of FEMYSO:

56. Reuven Paz, “The Non-Territorial Islamic States in Europe,” paper published by the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM), Herzliya, Israel.

57. Al Islam, issue 2, 2002: 14, as quoted in the 2003 report by the Baden Württenberg state Verfassungsschutzbericht, p. 48

58. Ternisien, p. 7.

59. Kepel, p.152.

60. Ternisien, pp. 190-2.

61.See Shammai Fishman, Fiqh Al-Aqaliyyat: A Legal Theory For Muslim Minorities. Hudson Institute: Research Monographs on the Muslim World. Series No. 1, paper No. 2. Accessed at:

62. W. Shadid and P. S. van Koningsveld, “Religious Authorities of Muslims in the West: Their Views on Political Participation,” Shadid, W. and P.S. van Koningsveld, eds. Intellectual Relations and Religious Authorities: Muslims in the European Union (Leuven: Peeters, 2002), pp, 149-70.

63. “Living Islam in the West: An Interview with Shaykh Faisal Mawlawi,” Palestinian Times, Issue 98, Available at:

64. Quran, Surah at-Taghabun ayah 16

65. “Living Islam in the West: An Interview with Shaykh Faisal Mawlawi,” Palestinian Times, issue 98, available at: http //

66. Fatwas (First Collection), translated by Anas Osama Altikriti, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

67. Website of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland:

68. Closing remarks at the Council session in Stockholm, July 2003, as quoted in Besson, p. 124.

69. Ternisien, pp. 197-8.

70. Alexandre Caeiro, “The European Council for Fatwa and Research,” presentation at Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, European University Institute, Montecatini Terme, 19-23 March 2003.

71. Memo on Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Home Office, 14 July 2005.

72. “Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on Hamas Jerusalem Day Online: ‘We are a Nation of Jihad and Martyrdom’; ‘The Resistance in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon Must Go On’; ‘We Stand Alongside Our Brothers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad,’” Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch #1051, 18 December 2005.

73. Gihan Shahine, “Fatwa Fight,” Al Ahram Weekly, 16-22 September 2004, issue 708.

74. “Fatwa 3,” Resolutions and Fatwas (Second Collection), edited by Anas Osama Altikriti and Mohammed Adam Howard, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

75. “Fatwa 4,” Resolutions and Fatwas (Second Collection), edited by Anas Osama Altikriti and Mohammed Adam Howard, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

76. “Fatwa 26,” Resolutions and Fatwas (Second Collection), edited by Anas Osama Altikriti and Mohammed Adam Howard, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

77. “Fatwa 17,” Resolutions and Fatwas (Second Collection), edited by Anas Osama Altikriti and Mohammed Adam Howard, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

78. “Al-Qaradhawi Speaks in Favor of Suicide Operations at an Islamic Conference in Sweden,” Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch #542, 24 July 2003.

79. Alaa Abu Elnin, “Tipping U.S. on Baathists Prohibited: Prominent Scholar,” Islam Online, 30 May 2003, available at

80. Fatwas (First Collection), translated by Anas Osama Altikriti, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

81. Fatwas (First Collection), translated by Anas Osama Altikriti, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

82. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Le Licite et l’Illicite en Islam (Paris: Editions al Qalam, 1992), p. 207. 83. Ternisien, p. 312.

84. Author’s interview with Ali Abu Shwaima, editor of al Europiya (Milan), January 2006.

85. Fatwas (First Collection). translated by Anas Osama Altikriti, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.

86. “Poll: Four in 10 Muslims want Sharia Law,” Channel 4, 19 February 2006.

87. Data released by the Zentralinstituts Islam-Archiv-Deutschlandin; see debate on Deutschlandradio Kultur, 7 January 2006, available at

88. Alexandre Caeiro, “The European Council for Fatwa and Research,” presentation at Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, European University Institute, Montecatini Terme, 19-23 March 2003.

89. Fatwas (First Collection), translated by Anas Osama Altikriti, European Council for Fatwa and Research, date unspecified.
90. Annual -Report, Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz), 2000, Cologne, p. 198.