Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > The "Project': Muslim Brotherhood blueprint for cultural jihad - English translation
The "Project': Muslim Brotherhood blueprint for cultural jihad - English translation
January 15, 2007
The Muslim Brotherhood "Project"
If that's what you might think, you would be wrong.
In fact, such a document was recovered in a raid by Swiss authorities in November 2001, two months after the horror of 9/11. Since that time information about this document, known in counterterrorism circles as "The Project", and discussion regarding its content has been limited to the top-secret world of Western intelligence communities. Only through the work of an intrepid Swiss journalist, Sylvain Besson of Le Temps, and his book published in October 2005 in France, La conquête de l'Occident: Le projet secret des Islamistes (The Conquest of the West: The Islamists' Secret Project), has information regarding The Project finally been made public. One Western official cited by Besson has described The Project as "a totalitarian ideology of infiltration which represents, in the end, the greatest danger for European societies."
Now FrontPage readers will be the first to be able to read the complete English translation of The Project.
What Western intelligence authorities know about The Project begins with the raid of a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland on November 7, 2001. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, director of the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years and who admitted to being one of the organization's international leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, regarded as the oldest and one of the most important Islamist movements in the world, was founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928 and dedicated to the credo, "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
The raid was conducted by Swiss law enforcement at the request of the White House in the initial crackdown on terrorist finances in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. US and Swiss investigators had been looking at Al-Taqwa's involvement in money laundering and funding a wide range of Islamic terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, HAMAS (the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood), the Algerian GIA, and the Tunisian Ennahdah.
Included in the documents seized during the raid of Nada's Swiss villa was a 14-page plan written in Arabic and dated December 1, 1982, which outlines a 12-point strategy to "establish an Islamic government on earth" – identified as The Project. According to testimony given to Swiss authorities by Nada, the unsigned document was prepared by "Islamic researchers" associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
What makes The Project so different from the standard "Death of America! Death to Israel!" and "Establish the global caliphate!" Islamist rhetoric is that it represents a flexible, multi-phased, long-term approach to the "cultural invasion" of the West. Calling for the utilization of various tactics, ranging from immigration, infiltration, surveillance, propaganda, protest, deception, political legitimacy and terrorism, The Project has served for more than two decades as the Muslim Brotherhood "master plan". As can be seen in a number of examples throughout Europe – including the political recognition of parallel Islamist government organizations in Sweden, the recent "cartoon" jihad in Denmark, the Parisian car-burning intifada last November, and the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London – the plan outlined in The Project has been overwhelmingly successful.
Rather than focusing on terrorism as the sole method of group action, as is the case with Al-Qaeda, in perfect postmodern fashion the use of terror falls into a multiplicity of options available to progressively infiltrate, confront, and eventually establish Islamic domination over the West. The following tactics and techniques are among the many recommendations made in The Project:
In reading The Project, it should be kept in mind that it was drafted in 1982 when current tensions and terrorist activities in the Middle East were still very nascent. In many respects, The Project is extremely prescient for outlining the bulk of Islamist action, whether by "moderate" Islamist organizations or outright terror groups, over the past two decades.
At present, most of what is publicly known about The Project is the result of Sylvain Besson's investigative work, including his book and a related article published last October in the Swiss daily, Le Temps, L'islamisme à la conquête du monde (Islamism and the Conquest of the World), profiling his book, which is only available in a French-language edition. At least one Egyptian newspaper, Al-Mussawar, published the entire Arabic text of The Project last November.
In the English-language press, the attention paid to Besson's revelation of The Project has been almost non-existent. The only mention found in a mainstream media publication in the US has been as a secondary item in an article in the Weekly Standard (February 20, 2006) by Olivier Guitta, The Cartoon Jihad. The most extensive commentary on The Project has been by an American researcher and journalist living in London, Scott Burgess, who has posted his analysis of the document on his blog, The Daily Ablution. Along with his commentary, an English translation of the French text of The Project was serialized in December (Parts I, II, III, IV, V, Conclusion). The complete English translation prepared by Mr. Burgess is presented in its entirety here with his permission.
The lack of public discussion about The Project notwithstanding, the document and the plan it outlines has been the subject of considerable discussion amongst the Western intelligence agencies. One US counterterrorism official who spoke with Besson about The Project, and who is cited in Guitta's Weekly Standard article, is current White House terrorism czar, Juan Zarate. Calling The Project a Muslim Brotherhood master plan for "spreading their political ideology," Zarate expressed concerns to Besson because "the Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians."
One renowned international scholar of Islamist movements who also spoke with Besson, Reuven Paz, talked about The Project in its historical context:
The Project was part of the charter of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was official established on July 29, 1982. It reflects a vast plan which was revived in the 1960s, with the immigration of Brotherhood intellectuals, principally Syrian and Egyptians, into Europe.
As Paz notes, The Project was drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood as part of its rechartering process in 1982, a time that marks an upswing in its organizational expansion internationally, as well as a turning point in the alternating periods of repression and toleration by the Egyptian government. In 1952, the organization played a critical support role to the Free Officers Movement led by Gamal Abdul Nasser, which overthrew King Faruq, but quickly fell out of favor with the new revolutionary regime because of Nasser's refusal to follow the Muslim Brotherhood's call to institute an ideologically committed Islamic state. At various times since the July Revolution in 1952, the Brotherhood has regularly been banned and its leaders killed and imprisoned by Egyptian authorities.
Since it was rechartered in 1982, the Muslim Brotherhood has spread its network across the Middle East, Europe, and even America. At home in Egypt, parliamentary elections in 2005 saw the Muslim Brotherhood winning 20 percent of the available legislative seats, comprising the largest opposition party block. Its Palestinian affiliate, known to the world as HAMAS, recently gained control of the Palestinian Authority after elections secured for them 74 of 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Its Syrian branch has historically been the largest organized group opposing the Assad regime, and the organization also has affiliates in Jordan, Sudan, and Iraq. In the US, the Muslim Brotherhood is primarily represented by the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Since its formation, the Muslim Brotherhood has advocated the use of terrorism as a means of advancing its agenda of global Islamic domination. But as the largest popular radical movement in the Islamic world, it has attracted many leading Islamist intellectuals. Included among this group of Muslim Brotherhood intellectuals is Youssef Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born, Qatar-based Islamist cleric.
As one of the leading Muslim Brotherhood spiritual figures and radical Islamic preachers (who has his own weekly program on Al-Jazeera), Qaradawi has been one of the leading apologists of suicide bombings in Israel and terrorism against Western interests in the Middle East. Both Sylvain Besson and Scott Burgess provide extensive comparisons between Qaradawi's publication, Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase, published in 1990, and The Project, which predates Qaradawi's Priorities by eight years. They note the striking similarities in the language used and the plans and methods both documents advocate. It is speculated that The Project was either used by Qaradawi as a template for his own work, or that he had a hand in its drafting in 1982. Perhaps coincidentally, Qaradawi was the fourth largest shareholder in the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, the director of which, Youssef Nada, was the individual in whose possession The Project was found. Since 1999, Qaradawi has been banned from entering the US as a result of his connections to terrorist organizations and his outspoken advocacy of terrorism.
For those who have read The Project, what is most troubling is not that Islamists have developed a plan for global dominance; it has been assumed by experts that Islamist organizations and terrorist groups have been operating off an agreed-upon set of general principles, networks and methodology. What is startling is how effectively the Islamist plan for conquest outlined in The Project has been implemented by Muslims in the West for more than two decades. Equally troubling is the ideology that lies behind the plan: inciting hatred and violence against Jewish populations around the world; the deliberate co-opting and subversion of Western public and private institutions; its recommendation of a policy of deliberate escalating confrontation by Muslims living in the West against their neighbors and fellow-citizens; the acceptance of terrorism as a legitimate option for achieving their ends and the inevitable reality of jihad against non-Muslims; and its ultimate goal of forcibly instituting the Islamic rule of the caliphate by shari'a in the West, and eventually the whole world.
If the experience over the past quarter of a century seen in Europe and the US is any indication, the "Islamic researchers" who drafted The Project more than two decades ago must be pleased to see their long-term plan to conquer the West and to see the Green flag of Islam raised over its citizens realized so rapidly, efficiently and completely. If Islamists are equally successful in the years to come, Westerners ought to enjoy their personal and political freedoms while they last.
To read the English translation of The Project, click here.
Website of Scott Burgess translator of The Project
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful
1/12/1982 [December 1, 1982]
Towards a worldwide strategy for Islamic policy
This report presents a global vision of a worldwide strategy for Islamic policy [or "political Islam"]. Local Islamic policies will be drawn up in the different regions in accordance with its guidelines. It acts, first of all, to define the points of departure of that policy, then to set up the components and the most important procedures linked to each point of departure; finally we suggest several missions, by way of example only, may Allah protect us.
The following are the principal points of departure of this policy:
Point of Departure 1: To know the terrain and adopt a scientific methodology for its planning and execution.
Point of Departure 2: To demonstrate proof of the serious nature of the work.
Point of Departure 3: To reconcile international engagement with flexibility at a local level.
Point of Departure 4: To reconcile political engagement and the necessity of avoiding isolation on one hand, with permanent education and institutional action on the other.
Point of Departure 5: To be used to establish an Islamic State; parallel, progressive efforts targeted at controlling the local centers of power through institutional action.
Point of Departure 6: To work with loyalty alongside Islamic groups and institutions in multiple areas to agree on common ground, in order to "cooperate on the points of agreement and set aside the points of disagreement".
Point of Departure 7: To accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements in the broad sphere and on common ground such as the struggle against colonialism, preaching and the Jewish state, without however having to form alliances. This will require, on the other hand, limited contacts between certain leaders, on a case by case basis, as long as these contacts do not violate the [shari'a] law. Nevertheless, one must not give them allegiance or take them into confidence, bearing in mind that the Islamic movement must be the origin of the initiatives and orientations taken.
Point of Departure 8: To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic principles, bearing in mind that Allah's teachings always apply. One must order the suitable and forbid that which is not, always providing a documented opinion. But we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.
Point of Departure 9: To construct a permanent force of the Islamic dawa and support movements engaged in jihad across the Muslim world, to varying degrees and insofar as possible.
Point of Departure 10: To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.
Point of Departure 11: To adopt the Palestinian cause as part of a worldwide Islamic plan, with the policy plan and by means of jihad, since it acts as the keystone of the renaissance of the Arab world today.
Point of Departure 12: To know how to turn to self-criticism and permanent evaluation of worldwide Islamic policy and its objectives, of its content and its procedures, in order to improve it. This is a duty and a necessity according to the precepts of shari'a.
THE FIRST POINT OF DEPARTURE:
Know the terrain and adopt a scientific methodology for [The Project's] planning and execution.
Use the necessary scientific and technical means for planning, organization, execution and follow-up.
Create centers of study and research and produce studies on the political dimension of the Islamic movement.
c- Suggested missions:
Draw up a map of doctrines of the Muslim world.
Draw up a map of Islamic movements in the Muslim world.
Carry out successive political and scientific studies in varying Islamic areas, those which apply more particularly to current events.
Carry out a scientific study which addresses the history of contemporary Islamic movements, and use it.
THE SECOND POINT OF DEPARTURE
To demonstrate proof of the serious nature of the work.
Devote sufficient effort to the service of the workers [for Allah] and coordinate their efforts to the sole and same objective.
Devote sufficient time.
Spend money to the extent possible.
Mobilize the greatest possible number of supporters and officials.
Collect money efficiently, control expenses and invest in the general interest.
c- Suggested missions:
Establish schedules with the hours of workers and specialists and use their efforts with good judgment and on time (appropriate effort at the right time).
An engagement with economic institutions adequate to support the cause financially.
THE THIRD POINT OF DEPARTURE
Reconcile international engagement with flexibility at the local level.
To leave a margin that provides sufficient flexibility at the local level for the issues that do not conflict with the general lines of the global Islamic policy.
The local leadership will define local issues that come within their prerogative, according to the principle of flexibility and according to previously defined priorities.
c- Suggested Missions
To establish a dialogue at a local level with those who work for the cause according to the global political lines of the Movement. It is up to the local leadership to define the shape of that dialogue.
THE FOURTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To reconcile political engagement with the necessity of avoiding isolation, on the one hand, with permanent education and institutional work on the other.
To invite everyone to take part in parliament, municipal councils, labor unions and other institutions of which the membership is chosen by the people in the interest of Islam and of Muslims.
To continue to educate individuals and generations and to guarantee the training of specialists in various areas according to a previously designed plan.
To construct social, economic, scientific and health institutions and penetrate the domain of the social services, in order to be in contact with the people and to serve them by means of Islamic institutions.
To plan specialized study missions which will concentrate on useful areas such as communications, the history of Islam, etc.
To conduct feasibility studies concerning various institutions and create them according to priorities established in each country.
To give an Islamic policy perspective on the pressing questions of the day.
To keep questions of local importance such as issues concerning workers, unions, etc. within an Islamic framework.
To create a certain number of economic, social, health care and educational institutions, using available means, to serve the people within an Islamic framework.
THE FIFTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To dedicate ourselves to the establishment of an Islamic state, in parallel with gradual efforts aimed at gaining control of local power centers through institutional action.
To influence centers of power both local and worldwide to the service of Islam.
To study the centers of power, both local and worldwide, and the possibilities of placing them under influence.
To conduct a modern study on the concept of support for the dawa and Islamic law, and more particularly on the men of influence in the State and the country.
c- Suggested Mission
To draw up Islamic laws, civil laws, etc.
To work within various influential institutions and use them in the service of Islam.
To use the work of economic, social, and other specialized Islamic institutions.
THE SIXTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To loyally work alongside Islamic groups and institutions in various areas and in agreement on a common ground in order to "cooperate on points of agreement and put aside points of disagreement".
For each to work according to his capacities in his chosen field and to master it, with loyalty and coordination of effort.
To avoid creating new Islamic movements in a country which already has one; there will be but one movement, serious and complete.
c- Suggested missions
To reduce the differences that exists between workers for Islam and to resolve their conflicts according to shari'a.
THE SEVENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements in the broad sphere and on common ground such as the struggle against colonialism, preaching and the Jewish state, without however having to form alliances. This will require, on the other hand, limited contacts between certain leaders, on a case by case basis, as long as these contacts do not violate the [shari'a] law. Nevertheless, one must not give them allegiance or take them into confidence, bearing in mind that the Islamic movement must be the origin of the initiatives and orientations taken.
To combine all efforts against the supreme forces of evil in accordance with the principle that one must "battle one evil with a lesser evil".
To limit the collaboration to the leadership or to a limited number of individuals in order to maximize the benefit and minimize the possible drawbacks.
To work from perspective of the objectives previously defined for the dawa.
To make a study to evaluate the areas with the object of mutual assistance between Islamic and other movements and draw lessons from it.
To study the areas which allow cooperation, and define the boundaries.
To study the philosophy and plans of other movements.
c- Suggested Missions:
Each country should study the possibility, in the future, of strengthening internal collaboration.
THE EIGHTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic principles, bearing in mind that Allah's teachings always apply. One must order the suitable and forbid that which is not, always giving a documented opinion [according to shari'a]. But we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.
To evaluate the education of individuals and not to excessively use typical modern education that does not correspond to reality, which is devoid of flexibility and could have grave consequences such as the conflict between individuals for a simple comment or a simple failure.
To give a documented and scientific view, in the form of speeches, communiqués and books, that bears on events important to the Ummah.
To avoid the Movement hurting itself with major confrontations, which could encourage its adversaries to give it a fatal blow.
To carry out a study to evaluate the experiences of Islamist movements in order to avoid their fatal errors.
To develop educational methods that are at the same time exemplary, realistic and true to our principles, in order to bestow a flexibility sufficient to permit the facing of reality.
To develop initiation programs for the faithful and proceed with sensitivity to the foundation of past experience.
To prepare individuals according to modern educational methods.
THE NINTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To construct a permanent force of the Islamic dawa and support movements engaged in jihad across the Muslim world, to varying degrees and insofar as possible.
To protect the dawa with the force necessary to guarantee its security at the local and international levels.
To make contact with all new movements engaged in jihad, everywhere on the planet, and with Muslim minorities, and to create links as needed to establish and support collaboration.
To maintain jihad and awakening throughout the Ummah.
To form an autonomous security force to protect the dawa and its disciples locally and worldwide.
To study movements engaged in jihad in the Muslim world, as well as among Muslim minorities, to better understand them.
To build bridges between movements engaged in jihad in the Muslim world, and between Muslim minorities, and to support them insofar as possible within a framework of collaboration.
THE TENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.
To make the policy decisions to collect important and precise information.
To diffuse Islamic policy so that it is largely and efficiently covered by the media.
To create a modern surveillance system by means of advanced technology (possibly created at the research centers mentioned earlier).
To create an effective and serious media centre.
c- Suggested Missions:
To warn Muslims of the dangers that threaten them and the international conspiracies directed at them.
To give our views on current events and future issues.
THE ELEVENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To adopt the Palestinian cause as part of a worldwide Islamic plan, with the policy plan and by means of jihad, since it acts as the keystone of the renaissance of the Arab world today.
To provide an Islamic view on all areas, problems and solutions relative to the Palestinian question, based on the precepts of Islam.
To prepare the community of believers for jihad for the liberation of Palestine. [One can lead the Ummah to realize the plans of the Islamic movement above all if victory is ours], if God wills it.
To create a modest nucleus of jihad in Palestine, and to nourish it in order to maintain the flame that will light the road toward the liberation of Palestine, and in order that the Palestinian cause will endure until the moment of liberation.
To collect sufficient funds for the perpetuation of jihad.
To conduct a study of the situation of Muslims and the enemy in occupied Palestine.
To conduct studies on the Jews, enemies of Muslims, and on the oppression inflicted by these enemies on our brothers in occupied Palestine, in addition to preaching and publications.
To fight against the sentiment of capitulation among the Ummah, to refuse defeatist solutions, and to show that conciliation with the Jews will undermine our Movement and its history.
To conduct comparative studies on the Crusades and Israel, and [the victory that will be that of Islam].
To create jihadi cells in Palestine, and support them in order that they cover all of occupied Palestine.
To create a link between the moujahadin in Palestine and those throughout the Islamic world.
To nourish a sentiment of rancor with respect to the Jews and refuse all coexistence.
THE TWELFTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To know how to turn to self-criticism and permanent evaluation of worldwide Islamic policy and its objectives, of its content and its procedures in order to improve it. This is a duty and a necessity according to the precepts of shari'a.
To conduct constructive self-criticism, in order to avoid pitfalls.
To proceed with constant evaluation, on a scientific basis, to permit the further construction of policies.
To improve Islamic policies and to take profit from past experiences must be a clear and essential objective.
To evaluate current practices and profit from past experience.
To ask officials in the various countries to give their views on direction, methods and results.
To produce an official document on global Islamic policy.
To make the countries, the officials and the people aware of that policy.
To begin to apply the policy, to evaluate it annually and to improve it if need be.