02 November '10
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan), a radical Sunni Islamist organization, was founded in 1928. Today it has several million members and branches all over the world, including the US. Although the Ikhwan’s goal is similar to that of other Islamist groups, calling for the establishment of a transnational caliphate and the application of Islamic law and principles to all aspects of society, it differs from al Qaeda because — at least officially — it opposes violence at the present time, in most circumstances. But there are exceptions, including the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Hence it gave rise in 1987 to Hamas, its ‘Palestinian’ branch, which is open and explicit about its antisemitic and jihadist position. There is little or no daylight between the Ikhwan and Hamas, and Brotherhood-linked organizations around the world have played a large role in funding and supporting Hamas.
There is little doubt that some of the groups that claim to speak for Muslims in the US also have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. The most widely-cited evidence is the “Holy Land Foundation” (HLF) case in which numerous individuals and groups were charged with material support for terrorism, conspiracy and money laundering in providing funds for Hamas and other jihadist groups. After a mistrial in 2007, several individuals were convicted in 2008 and sentenced to long prison terms. The process gave rise to a list of unindicted co-conspirators which included the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both were cited as belonging to the US Muslim Brotherhood.
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