The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader, Mohammad Mahdi Akef, is back, yet again making calls for armed jihad. In a report originally posted on the Muslim Brotherhood's Arabic-language website, and translated by the BBC Worldwide Monitoring service, Akef said that jihad is required to bring about "the change to which the nation is aspiring." Akef's call was far-reaching, and with a keen eye toward the future, stating: "tyranny requires the raising of the young people on the basis of the principles of jihad so as to create mujahidin who love to die as much as others love to live and who can perform their duty towards their God, themselves and homeland."
Akef's words leave little doubt as to his true intentions. Jihad, in this case, is clearly not meant to be confused with "peaceful inner struggle" – a toned down definition of the term often promoted on Muslim English-language websites, including that of the Brotherhood.
Akef's support for violence against the West and non-Muslims is nothing new. In February 2007, Akef used the platform of his weekly address to reassure his followers that jihad is the path to crushing Western civilization and ushering in the ascendance of Muslim civilization. This approach is not surprising when considering the Brotherhood's motto: "God is our goal, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death in the service of God is the loftiest of our wishes…" Additionally, one of its core principles is "the introduction of the Islamic Shari'ah as the basis controlling the affairs of state and society."
In 2005, Akef's extremism was widely reported in the Western press when the Muslim Brotherhood leader publically proclaimed the Nazi Holocaust to be a "myth." His remarks also went on to blast Western democracy, which he said "was drawn up by the sons of Zion."
The Muslim Brotherhood and its leader, Akef, have connections in one way or another to most of the major U.S. Muslim organizations, including the Muslim Students' Association (MSA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Akef's role in the 1993 establishment of MAS is particularly documented, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune, "Akef says he helped found MAS by lobbying for the change during trips to the U.S."
Evidence recently released in Dallas as part of the Hamas-funding trial against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) has helped to further illustrate the deep-seated connections between the Brotherhood and MAS (see page 10, item A of the link).