First, a couple of notes from the author to the reading audience: As with all of my articles, none of the Islamic terms or phrases used are of my own invention; every term or phrase (including the title itself) is derived exclusively from primary sources (i.e., the Quran, Hadith, Tafsir and Sharia Law). I invite and encourage everyone to access the hyper-linked references, then evaluate each statement in this article for accuracy and completeness.
Expanding The ‘Observant Muslim Base’ is the latest in what I hope will be an on-going series of articles dealing with complex, sometimes abstract subjects, which are often counter-intuitive to those of us in the non-Islamic West. By counter-intuitive, I mean that there are times when it is almost impossible for us to believe that the authorized Islamic sources mean exactly what they say. Instead, our natural tendency is to respond ‘That can’t possibly be true!’ Nonetheless, if we hope to preserve any chance of victory against the escalating threat we face, we must endeavor to master this (sometimes unpleasant) subject; we must ‘dis-enthrall ourselves, and then we shall help save our country, the last best hope on earth.’
The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of ‘Expanding The Observant Muslim Base’ (Al-Qaeda Al-Islamia Al-Moltzema), which is a tactical term found in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) document known as the Explanatory Memorandum (EM). In Arabic, the EM is a concise, densely written manifesto – not a word is arbitrary or incidental. Saturated with iconic language, it distills 1,400 years of Strategy & Tactics, which have been used since the time of Mohammed to advance the ‘Global Islamic State’ (also see The Quranic Concept of War).
Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum: Expand the observant Muslim base.
Since 9-11, we’ve heard the term Al-Qaeda (i.e., ‘The Base’ or القاعدة in Arabic) almost every day. However, Al-Qaedais not just the name of a hydra-like global terrorist organization. It is also an abstract concept, with a deep ocean of Islamic history behind it. For example, after Mohammed established his final Al-Qaeda in Medina in 622, it became the power base of Islam for the next hundred years, initially under Mohammed’s leadership, and then under four ‘Rightly Guided Caliphs.’ Also, we see it reflected on TV every night; the black flag of Jihad displayed so prominently by ISIS features the ‘Seal of Mohammed,’ which goes back to the founding of Islam in 610.
The MB has maintained a highly-visible leading role in the global effort to ‘expand the observant Muslim base’ since it was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, in close collaboration with Sayyid Qutb. After these two ‘founding fathers’ summarized and published the goals and operational tactics of Islam, they began attracting thousands of dedicated followers from countries all over the world. To this day, the MB remains the largest and most well-organized Islamic organization on earth. Not only that, but the MB continues providing a solid, reliable theological and political base to fellow members (operatives) in nearly every country in the world.
Meanwhile, as a relatively small but financially influential Islamic community began to coalesce in North America, a ‘Group’ (see Figure 1 above) of respected MB leaders summarized the same strategic goals and tactics discussed by Al-Banna and Qutb in a format tailored to fit the theological and socio-political challenges faced by Muslims living in a wealthy, predominantly non-Islamic region. These respected members of the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference (see Figure 1 above) called this carefully crafted strategic and tactical communiqué the
It is important to recognize that the MB summarized the goals and tactics for ‘expanding the observant Muslim base’ more than 10 years before Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri helped form a global coalition of 12 Islamist groups called the World Islamic Front (a.k.a. the Global Jihad Front and/or Al-Qaeda), then declared Jihad on America and Israel on February 23, 1998. In fact, Al-Zawahiri, who is the current leader of Al-Qaeda, was not only a member of the Brotherhood in his native Saudi Arabia, but also bases his operational templates on the views of prominent Islamic theorists like Al-Banna and Qutb.
Despite the fact that the EM was introduced as prima facie evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, many today still do not realize that the ideology of a wide spectrum of Islamic macro-groups, such as Al-Shabaab, Hamas, ISIS, and the World Islamic Front, are all based on exactly the same aggressive goals and concepts that were summarized and endorsed in 1987 by Muslim Brothers in North America. In simple terms, every Islamic group mentioned just above is engaged in their own regional version of ‘expanding the observant Muslim base.’
Finally, as I discussed earlier in Fitnah Is Worse Than Slaughter, much of the driving force (catalyst) for this expansion comes from ‘push-back’ (aka Islamophobia) encountered by the Muslim community in North America. As mentioned earlier, the EM is very concise and comprehensive, and includes tactical principals (‘operative verbs’) that are designed to overcome and neutralize this Islamophobic ‘push-back,’ which is also described in the EM as a ‘Civilizational alternative,’ and/or a ‘Civilizational Jihad.’
Here is how the EM addresses the problem of ‘push-back’ from the resistant, non-Muslims they encounter: ‘The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihadist Process with all the word means. The Ikhwan [i.e., Brothers in Arabic] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it [i.e., Fitnah] is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.’ As discussed in the Fitnah article, this concept is derived directly from Quran 2.193 & 8.39.
Background – How Did We Discover The Explanatory Memorandum?
In August of 2004, a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer conducted a traffic stop after observing someone videotaping the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. As it turns out, the driver was Ismail Selim Elbarasse, who was already wanted in connection with fundraising for Hamas. The FBI subsequently executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence, where they found 80 boxes of archived documents hidden in a sub-basement.
The search led to an incredible discovery. Among the thousands of documents found, one of the most revealing was entitled An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America, aka the Explanatory Memorandum (EM). Originally commissioned in 1987 by the leadership of the MB in North America, it was not officially released to the Board of Directors until 1991. It may just be a coincidence, but it is plausible that the same Muslim Brothers who commissioned the EM also authorized the 1988 Hamas Charter. In any event, Hamas (aka the Palestine Branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood), pursues the exact same goals and objectives found in the EM, and even uses the same slogan as the MB (Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.)
Approved by the MB’s Shura Council (aka Organizational Conference) for internal use only, the EM was never supposed to become public. For this reason, the EM is both an Enigma Code and the Rosetta Stone of the Global Islamic Movement (GIM). Like the Enigma Code, it was meant to remain hidden (unbroken), but now provides the key to deciphering the Strategy & Tactics of the GIM. And, like the Rosetta Stone, the EM enables those of us in the non-Islamic world to discern the commonly-held strategic and tactical doctrines of every Muslim organization in the world.
The EM was written by a former US resident and still-active senior MB/Hamas leader named Mohamed Akram (aka Mohamed Akram Adlouni, aka Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni). To this day, Muslim apologists insist that Mohamed Akram is an obscure, ‘self-described’ fringe member of the MB, and that the EM is the ‘product of either of the Muslim lunatic fringe, or of the Islamophobic lunatic fringe.’ In fact, Mr. Akram is currently the President of an OFAC-listed organization (Al-Quds International) who not only remains a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial (HLF), but is a well-known fundraiser for Hamas in Asia and Europe. Mr. Akram was also listed in a 1992 ‘Phonebook‘ (included as evidence in the discovery phase of the HLF trial), where he is listed as a member of both the Board of Directors and the Executive Office (see page 03 and 15, respectively).
Regarding the ‘lunatic fringe’ argument, the EM will never become obsolete or outdated. Why not? Because it is based entirely on the Quran and Hadith. The Strategy & Tactics described in the EM are exactly the same today as they were 30 years ago (when it was written), and exactly the same as they were 1,400 years ago (when Islam was founded).
Relevant Current Events
On January 28, 2015, we learned that high-level officials at the U.S. State Department had hosted meetings with several ‘former’ members of the Freedom & Justice Party (F&JP), which is the well-known political arm of the MB in Egypt. Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute observed that the visit served two goals. ‘First, to organize the pro MB movement in the US,’ and second, to ‘reach out to administration and the policy community in DC,’ adding that the delegation’s composition was designed to portray ‘an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the [Abdul Fattah al-Sisi] regime.’
Just two days later, it was revealed that the MB in Egypt posted a message on its official website, stating that ‘It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase…where we recall the meanings of Jihad and prepare ourselves…to a long, uncompromising Jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.’ The official announcement also referred to Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the MB, stating that ‘Imam Al-Banna prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers, and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan Al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.’
In retrospect, these sharply contradictory statements (i.e., saying one thing in English, but something entirely different in Arabic) are common, and are very similar in nature to the January 11, 2015 appearance of Mahmoud Abbas at the Charlie Hebdo solidarity march, while on the very same dayhis organization (Fatah)posted violent pictures and statements on its official website.
Despite claims by the State Department that the meetings were ‘routine,’ on January 31, 2014, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry said that the reasons for the meetings were ‘not understandable, as they are not a political party, and according to the Egyptian law they should be treated as a terrorist group.’ Along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also declared the MB to be a terrorist group.
Incidentally, the word ‘Prepare’ (Wa-Aiddu), which is mentioned several times in the above quotes, is taken directly from Quran 8.60, and is prominently displayed in the MB logo. The verse reads ‘Prepare for them whatever force and tethered horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not.’ In other words, preparing forces to terrify your enemies is the iconic theme of a supposedly moderate Muslim organization, which currently enjoys unprecedented direct access to the highest levels of the US Government.
To finish up this section, there is a revealing point of contact (nexus) between  the F&JP individuals who met at the State Department,  the MB members who posted the call to Jihad on their website, and  the ideology found in the Explanatory Memorandum.
The point of contact is Hassan Al-Banna, an open advocate of offensive Jihad who was honored in the EM in the following concluding passage: ‘This paragraph was delayed…to stress its utmost importance as it constitutes the heart and core of this memorandum…It suffices to say that the first pioneer of this phenomenon [i.e., doing Jihad] was our prophet Mohamed…as he placed the foundation for the first civilized organization, which is the mosque…And this was done by the pioneer of the contemporary Islamic Dawah [i.e., ‘Promotion of Islam’] Imam martyr Hasan al-Banna…when he and his brothers felt the need to re-establish Islam and its movement anew, leading him to establish organizations with all their kinds.’
At this point, it would be fair to ask whether the MB’s efforts to ‘expand the observant Muslim base’ in North America have been successful. The objective answer would be an unqualified ‘Yes.’
On December 01, 2014, the White House issued an official response to a petition signed by more than 213,000 Americans, requesting that the Muslim Brotherhood be designated as a terrorist group. The White House response reads as follows:
‘We have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence. The United States does not condone political violence of any kind and we continue to press actors of all viewpoints to peacefully engage in the political process. The United States is committed to thwarting terrorist groups that pose a threat to U.S. interests and those of our partners.’
Despite the constant focus on Islamophobia by MB-front groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), there has actually been a wave of conversions to Islam, while the population of Muslims in America has nearly doubled since 9-11. In addition, the number of Mosques has also nearly doubled since 9-11.
More importantly, the less visible (overt) strategic goals of creating a ‘Central political party, [influencing] local political offices and political symbols, [building] relationships and alliances, and establishing an American Organization for Islamic Political Action‘ have probably succeeded far beyond what Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni and the other members of the Shura Council in North America ever expected.