By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack
Beneath the stealth of Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the west is an even more sinister and insidious level of deception that involves Sufi Islam and a brand of it known as the Naqshbandi Order. It is this order that the Brotherhood’s agents ultimately serve when they infiltrate western political systems, power centers and institutions, as they have been doing for years. Throughout the 1990’s and even after 9/11, both the Clinton and Bush administrations relied on Muslim Brotherhood front group leaders for outreach to Muslim communities. When that strategy proved problematic, the Bush administration began reaching out to Sufi Muslims like Hisham Kabbani, which has proven to be an even worse strategy.
It is critical for westerners to understand the neo-Ottoman pecking order. Leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. who have worn the mask of moderation helped to convince U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush that Sufism is the path to peace in the Muslim world. A key figure in the Naqshbandi order is Hisham Kabbani, a figure Shoebat.com has written about before.
Kabbani gained favor with western leaders after 9/11 in part for comments he made in 1999 about 80% of mosques in the U.S. being radical wahhabist mosques funded by Saudi Arabia. Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. expressed their disagreement but in reality, those groups are ultimately in league with the Naqshbandis and will become mortal enemies of the Saudis when the time is right.
Kabbani is the prized student of the now deceased Naqshbandi Sheikh by the name of Nazeem Kibrisi, who is also identified as the father-in-law of Kabbani. When it comes to restoration of the Ottoman Caliphate, Kibrisi was all-in. In fact, in 1994, he gave a speech in Belgium that called for it. Kibrisi’s vision expressed in that speech (below) would dwarf ISIS as a threat to western civilization. Seen in the beginning of this video – in the front row – is Turkey’s current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who also follows the Naqshbandi order:
As the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) who criticized 80% of the mosques in the U.S., Kabbani’s credentials were sufficiently burnished after 9/11 as a Muslim leader who could bridge the divide between Islam and the west. His list of accomplishments on the ISCA website include advising…
…numerous government agencies (in September of 2001) on issues of national security as it relates to radical religious insurgents, both domestically and abroad.
Another accomplishment Kabbani lists is meeting with then Vice President Dick Cheney in the White House in 2006 to “present his views on the cures of Islamist radicalism”.
When I met former CIA Director during the Clinton Administration (1993-1995) James Woolsey in Detroit back in 2008, he lauded Sufi Islam in general and Kabbani in particular; it was incredibly instructive. Woolsey was voicing the groupthink paradigm of the powers that be in the U.S. Government. At the time, the Bush administration was in the White House.
Placing such trust in Kabbani was clearly ill-advised as the (no doubt) shared views of his mentor Kibrisi clearly demonstrate. The cold, hard reality is that Kabbani and the leaders in the mosques he criticized all want the same thing – a Caliphate. Whether intentional or by accident, the tactic of good cop vs. bad cop had worked to perfection!
Kabbani’s reach in the west wasn’t strictly limited to the U.S. In Great Britain, he founded the Sufi Muslim Council (SMC) in 2006 that the U.K. Government relied on in ways very similar to how the Bush Administration relied on the ISCA. All the while, both the UK and the US were actually playing right into the hands of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Naqshbandis.
While Kabbani is the founder of the SMC, its leader and co-founder was Haras Rafiq, who has since led CENTRI and worked as an outreach officer at Quilliam Foundation, two organizations that specialize in “countering extremism”.
When the SMC was founded, it too assumed the ‘good cop’ role against groups like the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
After the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, an article published shortly after the SMC was founded explained how Rafiq was seen as an asset by the British government:
Mr Rafiq, who served on the government’s Muslim taskforce, created to tackle Islamic radicalisation following the 7/7 London bombings, says the SMC is seeking to fill a “vacuum” within the Muslim community.
“Unfortunately, many UK Muslim organisations lack the courage to stand up and speak forthrightly about extremism,” he told Guardian Unlimited.
A few years later, in 2010, Rafiq would be with CENTRI. He was interviewed for an article that appeared on the Middle East Forum and referenced Kabbani:
Asked why imams are reluctant to criticize jihadist recruitment activities, Mr. Rafiq replied that, although there are individuals, such as Sheikh Kabbani in the U.S., who speak out against jihadists, many are silent out of fear and intimidation, especially vis-à-vis the doctrine of “loyalty and enmity.” Mr. Rafiq further affirmed that many mosques in the West are being funded and run by extremists, and not enough pressure is being put on Muslim leaders such as King Abdullah to allow for a “free market” of ideas. He added that all this is further exacerbated by taqiyya, or doctrinal deceit, which permits Islamists to dissemble their true beliefs.
Finally, asked whether Islam is inherently problematic, Mr. Rafiq responded in the negative, laying the blame on the contemporary ideology of Islamism, and the fact that most of the literature on Islam disseminated in mosques has been sponsored by extremists. According to him, “traditional, classical Islam” is in-and-of-itself not a problem.
At some point prior to joining CENTRI, Rafiq appears to have parted ways – at least formally through SMC – with Kabbani. Yet, the parting does not appear to have been acrimonious or rooted in fundamental disagreements over things like a Caliphate. In the aforementioned article, Rafiq still referred to Kabbani as a voice of moderation in Islam. In reality, as Kibrisi’s prized student, Kabbani desires a Caliphate as well.
Fast forward to earlier this year, when the self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself the leader of the Islamic State. Seeming to mock the idea of a Caliphate, Rafiq wrote:
…the wider Islamist bodies such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jamaat-e-Islam that underpin the ideological philosophy of many front organisations in the UK. These two organisations also claim that their aim is to create a Caliphate and govern under their version of Sharia law. Their tactics may be different but the aims are the same.
So if ISIS has called for all Muslims to take a pledge of allegiance with essentially the new Caliph of the new Islamic State, what will Islamists in Britain do? Will they give their oath as their doctrine implies, and continue to support the Jihad either by travelling to the region or by staying here and undertaking further activities; or will they go against their principles and decide, after a period of self-reflection, that their ideas are not as robust as they once thought they were. After all, is the “Islamic State” not what they have been waiting for?
Rafiq is clearly sounding alarm bells by declaring that the Muslim Brotherhood wants a Caliphate while portraying himself as a voice of moderation that should be listened to. Again, Rafiq’s colleague (Kabbani) wants a Caliphate too, just like the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only that but both want the Caliphate established in the same place – Turkey.
In fact, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the very Muslim Brotherhood that the SMC was supposedly opposed to, is very much in league with Kabbani when it comes to establishing a Caliphate in Turkey, as Shoebat.com reported. Earlier this year, al-Qaradawi traveled to Turkey and declared it, expressing solidarity with none other than Erdogan, who follows the same Naqshbandi order of Kabbani and Kibrisi.
Earlier this month, Rafiq appeared on a BBC radio panel opposite a man named Majed Iqbal. In this excerpt from the discussion, Rafiq comes off as reasoned and rational while Iqbal is put in the awkward position of having to defend ISIS:
In the days, weeks, and months after the 9/11 attacks, the administrations of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in the U.K. embraced the leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups, thereby outsourcing the job of dealing with the Muslim community. As the years passed and the true intentions of these front groups became increasingly more obvious, it appears that new vendors were needed.
In 2006, with the founding of the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) in the U.S. and the Sufi Muslim Council (SMC) in the UK, the outsourcing continued. As was the case previously, that outsourcing was ill-advised.
It has led to U.S. support for a Turkish agenda that seeks a Caliphate.