The threat of Islamic extremism does not only involve the Middle East and the Gulf region. In fact, in The last decades, organizations and members of the Muslim Brotherhood have increased their influence in Europe, thanks to the financial and political support offered by Qatar and Erdogan’s Turkey. Souad Sbai, journalist and writer, talks about the so-called “Ikhwan”, its objectives and its operative methods in her book entitled The Muslim Brothers and the conquest of the West. From Istanbul to Doha, the red line of jihad (Curcio, 2018).
Souad Sbai: a life dedicated to the fight against extremism, president of the Association of Moroccan Women in Italy and the Centro Studi “Averroè”, a woman who was part of the Italian Parliament and who continues to carry out research, training and information on crucial issues such as radicalization and the fight against terrorism. Souad Sbai knows extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood very closely due to the repeatedly threats she received. But Souad Sbai continues to openly denounce the true intentions of the organization.
Souad Sbai’s book begins as a detective story; it begins with the discovery – a short time from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – of a programmatic document called “The Project” that was found during an investigation carried out in the Swiss residence of an Egyptian banker, considered a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and who was accused of being among the financiers of Al Qaeda. The document describes the specific guidelines to conquest the West. We talked about it with the author of the book:
Who are those who would like to conquer the West?
“The Muslim Brotherhood is the main Islamic transnational organization and is where Al Qaeda, ISIS and the whole galaxy of extremism and contemporary terrorism with jihadist origin find their ideological roots. It is an organization founded in the 1920s in Egypt by Hassan Al Banna. From its origins, its main field of action was the Middle East, but nowadays its vast network extends more and more intensely towards the West.
How is it possible?
Following the dictates of Al Banna and, later, of Sayyid Qutb, also Egyptian, the “Ikhwan” have carried out a patient and long work of penetration into the religious, social, cultural, political and economic fabric of the countries of the Arab world . Maghreb, Mashrek, Gulf: the Muslim Brothers have gradually acquired throughout the region a force that has strengthened their desire to seize power, with the aim of establishing fundamentalist dictatorships to useit as a platform to expand internationally.
Does this design also include the “Arab Springs”?
The revolts that passed into history as “Arab Springs” were the result of a plan designed to bring the “Ikhwan” to the government of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria, triggering a domino effect that supposedly should be able to overwhelm the entire Middle East.
In their attempt to conquer the Arab world and the West, did the Muslim Brotherhood act alone?
No. The consolidated alliance between Qatar and Turkey is responsible for providing “support” to the Muslim Brotherhood and for providing the financial boost, the political legitimacy and the media coverage needed to ensure that the overthrows of the regime were interpreted, especially in the West, as democratic revolutions (just think about the role played by Al Jazeera). The plan has failed, but the ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood and of the countries that sponsor them are still alive, both in the Middle East and in the West.
Why in the West?
The West refuses to recognize the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and it is confirmed through the supporters of the organization in Europe and the United States, and that legitimize the members of the organization even in the institutional sphere. All this is reflected in the “Project”, which is a test of how the Muslim Brotherhood had a plan to conquer the West and not just the Arab world.
What is the content of the “Project” of the Muslim Brotherhood for the West described in your book?
The “Project” is a 14-page document that dates back to 1982, but after its discovery, it was never made public. Franco-Swiss journalist Sylvain Besson, was in charge revealed the content of the “Project” in his book “The conquest of the West: the secret project of the Muslim Brotherhood”; a work that is the result of his research work and that was published in 2005. It has a disturbing content.
Because it correspond to what is happening today in Europe while the Muslim Brotherhood do not find any obstacle. For years, through articles, interviews and conferences I have spread the alarm sent by Besson also in Italy. The idea of dedicating a new book to this topic arises from the need to keep the debate alive, to spread a greater awareness among public opinion and among specialists and to make known the danger that the Muslim Brothers represent in the West.
In your book we read that the “Project” consists of 25 points …
In the first part we talk about organizational aspects and provide the rules of behavior that must be respected: to create networks of Muslim Brothers; maintain an appareance of moderation; infiltrate other Islamic organizations to direct them to follow the objectives of the “Project”; avoid open conflicts with the authorities of the western countries; use the “taqiyya”, that is, concealment, the mechanism by which it is lawful to lie and behave in a Western manner, even being able to break the religious dictates in order to deceive the “infidel”.
Then arrive the operative phase. What is it?
Collection of information and construction of databases; media control; creation of think tanks and pressure groups; publication of university studies that legitimize the position and particular vision of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the creation of social support networks – schools, hospitals, charities – to spread the Islamist vision and infiltrate the elements of the Muslim Brotherhood within Western democratic institutions, in parties, in NGOs and in trade unions to put them at the service of the Islamist cause.
Why does the “Project” have a long-term vision?
The goal is for it to take place over several generations and aims to ensure that Muslims living in the West would have a constant jihadist mindset. An instrument that serves to achieve the objectives of the project is the formation of alliances with progressive Western political forces, thanks to which they can approve laws and implement measures favorable to their cause. Therefore, the “mainstream” and the “politically correct” thinking of the so-called European elites implicitly support the plans to conquer the West made by the Muslim Brotherhood.
How do the Muslim Brothers operate in Italy?
The “Ikhwan” consider Italy an operating arm made up of more than one hundred associations, very active in the social, assistance, youth, cultural and political fields.
And your goal?
Guarantee that the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood establishes its own hegemony in the Italian Muslim community, infiltrating the institutions and in several key sectors to promote the advancement of the Islamist agenda. These associations and their members have always explicitly refused to respect the principles of freedom, tolerance and equality between men and women established in the Italian Constitution. However, they have benefited from the legitimacy and support provided by the political parties and cultural circles that have made it possible for the members of the organization to be part of the institutions: from the Parliament to the local authorities. Specifically, the youth sector is a mine in which the Italian left continues to recruit ambiguous characters to turn them into political-religious leaders, despite their disguised affinity with extremism.
Could you mention an example?
The Internet contains a large amount of compromising material, which reveals the “sympathy” for Hamas, for the former Egyptian president Morsi and for the main living ideologues of the Muslim Brotherhood: Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, preacher linked to Qatar and Turkey, as well as the elite of Al Jazeera and Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Al Banna who is currently under judicial process in France accused of sexual violence.
However, lately these associations and their members have been more predisposed to accept a secular state. It is not like this?
It is an apparent predisposition. The objective is to use the wide spaces of maneuver offered by democracy and pluralism to continue the work of conditioning the various “strong boxes” of power, following the guidelines of the “Project”. In fact, behind the veil of “taqiyya”, the Muslim Brotherhood in Italy, as in the rest of Europe and throughout the West, firmly hold onto their radical positions that are strongly identity-based, that oppose genuine integration and that continue to be transmitted by the self-proclaimed magnets in a large number of places of worship and prayer centers that are part of the organization. These places are not officially recognized by the State, inside there are proselytizing activities that are financed mainly by Qatar and that later lead to terrorism.
The red thread of jihad that he describes in his book, which begins in Doha and reaches Istanbul?
Qatar, dominated by the Al Thani family, and Erdogan’s Turkey, have tried to capture the Middle East using the Muslim Brotherhood as a picklock. This is the essence of the “Arab Spring”. The thread connects the various regions in which Doha and Istanbul, the real capital of Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman Turkey, have been operating since 2011, offering their support to terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al Qaeda, militias and armed groups around type, as well as parties and political movements expression of the “Ikhwan”. All the pawns of the great game to conquer the throne of the new Sultan of the Arab-Muslim world: a throne shared between Al Thani and Erdogan that has the Muslim Brotherhood to administer the new Caliphate.
But the plan has failed, do not you think?
Yes, the plan has failed, but the ambitions remain the same and are giving life to new links and dynamics that also involve Iran. A growing geopolitical realignment is taking place, which finds a solid foundation precisely in the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood (the Khomeinist regime is the Shiite version of the Muslim Brotherhood). The Anti-Terrorism Arab Quartet, consisting of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, is making enormous efforts to try to break this red thread of jihad; red due to the blood of the victims that it has provoked and that currently joins Doha, Istanbul and Tehran in the new “pole” of world Islam.
Why is the West still turning a deaf ear to the requests of the Quartet?
Instead of contributing to the isolation of Qatar – as the Quartet has done for more than a year when it carried out an air, land and maritime embargo against Qatar – the West closes its eyes and prefers to give in to the temptation of economic and “investment” financial institutions. Especially in Europe, Qatar is buying everything and everyone in exchange for silence regarding its policies of destabilization of the Middle East and its support for terrorism, and in return for the indifference regarding the human rights violations that feed the machine organizer of the World Cup of Soccer that will take place in 2022. In this sense, Italy is a case of manual.
In fact, the recent visit of the Emir of Qatar to Italy provoked a great polemic. Why do you define the relations between Italy and Qatar as “dangerous”?
They are dangerous because the sweet colonization to which Qatar is subjecting Italy with the approval of its ruling class will produce bitter fruits. Doing business leaving the field open to extremism spread by the Muslim Brotherhood with funding from Qatar is not a good deal. In fact, as evidenced by the arrests, expulsions and frustrated attacks that have taken place in the last year in the Italian peninsula, the growth of the proselytizing activities of the Muslim Brotherhood is aggravating the terrorist threat in Italy.
Therefore, it is legitimate to ask how long the security forces of our country will be able to prevent what is happening in France from happening.
The Strasbourg bombing, the latest in a long series of terrorist attacks, demonstrates the increasing difficulty that security forces face in containing the terrorist threat. It is likely that Paris is also paying for the support provided to the moderate Arab world. Meanwhile, Italy seems to have passively accepted the “submission” denounced by a French author, Michel Houllebecq.
My latest book is not intended to be just an accusation, but an instrument to awaken the conscience of Italians and all Europeans to oppose the Islamist yoke and to become fully aware of the fact that Qatar’s intention is to convert Europe. in a vassal state, favoring the implementation of the “Project” of conquest of the Muslim Brotherhood.