Banished! City forbids Bible studies in homes The city of Gilbert, Ariz., has ordered a group of seven adults to stop gathering for Bible studies in a private home because such meetings are forbidden by the city’s zoning codes.

Banished! City forbids Bible studies in homes

‘This letter will serve as a 10-day written notice to quit such use’


Posted: March 13, 2010
12:20 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

The city of Gilbert, Ariz., has ordered a group of seven adults to stop gathering for Bible studies in a private home because such meetings are forbidden by the city’s zoning codes.

The issue was brought to a head when city officials wrote a letter to a pastor and his wife informing them they had 10 days to quit having the meetings in their private home.

The ban, however, prompted a response from the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed an appeal with the city as the first step in its campaign to overturn a provision it describes as illegal.

 

“The interpretation and enforcement of the town’s code is clearly unconstitutional, ” said Daniel Blomberg, a member of the litigation team for ADF. “It bans 200,000 Gilbert residents from meeting in their private homes for organized religious purposes – an activity encouraged in the Bible, practiced for thousands of years, and protected by the First Amendment.”

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The appeal was filed on behalf of the members, all seven, of the Oasis of Truth Church.

Pastor Joe Sutherland had been told in a letter from code compliance officer Steve Wallace that the people were not allowed to meet in a home for church activities under the city’s Land Development Code.

(There had been no complaints about the meetings, which had been rotating among members’ homes before the officer wrote the letter and ordered the group to “terminate all religious meetings … regardless of their size, nature or frequency,” because he noticed signs about the meetings.

The town interprets its law so that “churches within its borders cannot have any home meetings of any size, including Bible studies, three-person church leadership meetings and potluck dinners,” ADF said.

A city letter confirmed, “Given that the church is considered to be religious assembly, and given the LDC provisions prohibiting that use on Local streets without Use Permits and prohibiting it in single family residential structures, it follows that the church meetings cannot be held in the home.”

“The assembly activities associated with the church, including Bible studies, church leadership meetings and church fellowship activities are not permitted,” wrote Mike Milillo, the city’s senior planner.

“This ban is defended based upon traffic, parking, and building safety concerns. However, nothing in its zoning code prevents weekly Cub Scouts meetings, Monday Night Football parties with numerous attendees or large business parties from being held on a regular basis in private homes,” the ADF said.

The few adults in the church had met for a few hours weekly in members’ homes.

The ADF argues such bans violate the Constitution’s free-exercise clause, and even the state’s Free Exercise of Religion Act protects such meetings.

Further, the restrictions imposed by the city violate the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which grants significant authority for churches to pursue their ministry goals.

Finally, Blomberg said, “the First Amendment’s free-speech clause prevents the town from stopping the church from holding its meetings on the public sidewalk outside the pastor’s home, yet the town won’t allow him to hold the same meetings just a few feet away in the privacy of his own living room.”

The small church has been forced to halt its regular meetings. It meets now in a local school but only can afford the rental once a week.

A spokeswoman for the city of Gilbert told WND city officials were aware of the concern and planned to address it.

Vice Mayor Linda Abbott told WND the code apparently was adopted years earlier, and there was considerable concern on the city council because of the current issues.

“I’m not in favor of that code. That is something we would want revisited,” she said.

WND reported a similar situation in San Diego County. In that case, officials eventually withdrew a warning letter and a cease-and-desist order they had issued against a pastor who had been holding a weekly Bible study in his home.

“I want to offer my apology to you, your wife and your congregation for the unfortunate events of the past several weeks,” said the letter from Walter F. Ekard, chief officer of the county. “My review of the situation shows that no administrative citation warning should have been issued and that a major use permit is not required for the Bible study you have in your home.”

Border Control

New Fashion Rage In Police Mug Shots, These are actual Police Photos.

“Let’s see here.  I need to shower, shave, eat some oatmeal, put on my new Obama T-shirt, grab my 9 and hold up a convenience store.. 
New Fashion Rage In Police Mug Shots, These are actual Police Photos.

Just think about this for a second:

Did you ever see anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, or for you older guys, an Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, or even Nixon, or Bob Dole shirt.

There MUST be a message here, but I can’t quite grasp it. Maybe you can help me out here….

Voters Say Economy, Government Ethics Are Most Important Issues

 Importance of Issues

Voters Say Economy, Government Ethics Are Most Important Issues

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Email to a Friend ShareThis.Advertisement

 Voters continue to rate the economy as the most important issue regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports, but the issue of government ethics and corruption takes near equal status this month.

The latest national telephone survey shows that 82% of U.S. voters see the economy as a very important issue, down two points from early February. Just two percent (2%) see the economy as not very or not at all important.

But 81% now view government ethics and corruption as a very important issue last September, up nine points from the previous survey. Voters haven’t felt this strongly about the issue since when government ethics and corruption ranked at the top of the list in terms of importance. That was the only month in over two years when the economy didn’t rank number one.

When it comes to which political party is trusted more, separate polling finds that voters side with Republicans on economic issues, but Democrats are trusted more to handle government ethics and corruption.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

National security and the war on terror come next as far as voters are concerned. Sixty-four percent (64%) say it’s the most important issue, up very slightly from February.

Voter confidence in America’s conduct of the War on Terror is now at its highest level since last May.

Taxes, which ranked third out of 10 issues last month, is viewed as very important by 62% of voters, a figure that has remained fairly steady over the past several months.

Sixty-two percent (62%) also view health care as a very important issue, down 13 points from late December.

The president is now trying to get his health care reform plan back on track in the Congress, even though most voters continue to oppose it. But 55% would rather see Congress scrap the original plan and start all over again. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think the plan working its way through Congress will hurt the U.S. economy.

Now tied with taxes and health care is Social Security, with 62% viewing it as a very important issue, up three points from last month.

As has been the case for several months now, voters trust Republicans more on taxes, health care and Social Security.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) view education as a very important issue, showing little change from the previous survey.

A majority of Americans (55%) feel the government does not spend enough money on public education. Sixty percent (60%) of those with children in elementary or secondary school say most school textbooks are more concerned with presenting information in a politically correct manner than in accuracy. But 45% of all Americans believe today’s parents are less involved in their children’s education, compared to parents 25 years ago.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters nationwide say immigration is a very important issue, up four points from last month. Sixty-seven percent (67%) think illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the U.S. budget.

Forty-one percent (41%) view the war in Iraq as a very important issue, up four points from the previous survey. Despite the successful elections in Iraq, most voters don’t think the war in that country is over and question whether all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year as President Obama intends.

Abortion now ranks last as an issue, with only 40% who say it is very important. Still, that’s also up slightly from last month as well.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

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Voters Say Economy, Government Ethics Are Most Important Issues

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Muslim Brotherhood

http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East-Encyclopedia/muslim_brotherhood.htm

Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood emblem:
Qur’an and Swords

The Muslim Brotherhood (Arabic: Hizb al Ikhwan al Muslimeen – The party of the Muslim Brothers or Jamaat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun – Society of the Muslim brotherhood )  is a fundamentalist international organization or organizations originating in Egypt, whose goals are the conversion of Muslim countries into states ruled by Sha’aria law, the re-establishment of the Caliphate and ultimately, world dominion. The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, which insists that Islam is a prescription for governance as well as religion, is the prototypical example of Islamism. Their slogan is self-explanatory: “God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur’an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God’s cause our supreme objective.Different factions of the Muslim Brotherhood believe that an Islamic society can be achieved by violent means in the near term, or by education and “preparation” of society and “democratic” takeover.  The Muslim Brotherhood was founded formally in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna,  but it may have existed before in a less formal framework. 

Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

Al-Banna developed the ideology and the methods of organization and recruitment that were to characterize most radical Islamist groups which may or may not have been inspired by the Brotherhood. The ideology includes the following points:

Islam most dominate and not be dominated.

Restoration of the lost caliphate - i’adat al Khalifa al Mafqudah -  is the chief immediate political goal of the Islamist movement. 

Islam is currently inferior to the West because it deserted its roots. It will triumph by returning to its pristine form.

Social revolution and anti-colonial struggle are an integral and major part of the mission of the Islamic revival.

Violent Jihad is a central tenet of Islam and martyrdom in the cause of Allah is highly valued.  Violent Jihad is the greater Jihad, while inner struggle for moral purity is the lesser Jihad.

Islam must aim to take over the entire world and assert its superiority through violent Jihad,

Western civilization is doomed by its decadence and Jewish influence.

Ideas such as democracy and human rights are products of Jewish influence and Western decadence. Society must be ruled by God and not men.

The Jews are particularly vile enemies of Islam. Israel is to be opposed because it is a foreign western implant.

Muslim Brotherhood ideology is virulently anti-Semitic  anti-Western and anti-democratic in principle.  It is important to emphasize this last point, in view of the optimistic theories of certain academics which insist that the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups would evolve toward democracy because of democratic traditions in Islam. The original Muslim Brotherhood ideology views all such democratic traditions as heresy, though it might use democratic means to gain power. Al-Banna was succeeded by Sayyid Qutb. The reasoning behind this opposition is explained in Chapter 6 of Sayyid Qutb‘s book, Milestones: just government is government by God, and not by men. Qutb believed that the best sort of government was a dictatorship based on Sha’aria Muslim law.

Muslim Brotherhood Method of Organization and Recruitment

Hassan al-Banna was a gifted and instinctive grass roots organizer, and the Muslim Brotherhood the pattern for other Muslim organizations in many respects:

Use of existing religious organizations – Under Al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood used mosques, charities and other Muslim groups as the basis of its organization and a means to spread its ideology.

Soviet style subversion - The Muslim Brotherhood, like the Soviet Comintern, set up special sections for working with different social groups such as peasants, workers and professionals.

Eclectic Facade – Al-Banna and the brotherhood tried to minimize religious and ideological disputes with the religious elites and with local traditions that deviated from Islam, in order to attract the largest number of followers and ensure their welcome in mosques, shrines and Muslim gatherings of all types.

Multi-level structure – The Muslim brotherhood created “respectable” networks for charity and Islamic studies at one level. At the same time, it created a paramilitary clandestine wing with a cellular structure like that of the pre-Soviet Bolshevik party. The legitimate activities of the open outer circle, such as charity, could be used to fund the paramilitary activities, and at the same time, the outer circle served as a basis for recruitment into the clandestine group. 

Muslim Brotherhood under Hassan Banna

Hassan Al-Banna was a teacher and agitator, who used the above methods to grow the popularity of his group. Initially, he had only modest success. By 1936, after 8 years there were only about 800 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in and around Cairo and Ismailiya, where al-Banna taught. However, the rise of Nazi Germany, interested in opposing Britiain in the Middle East, and the  Arab Revolt in Palestine, gave the Muslim Brotherhood it’s big chance. For Al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jewish presence in Palestine was another Westernizing colonialist influence that had to be stopped simply because it was Western. Al Banna formed a tactical and ideological alliance with the Nazis as well as with Hajj Amin al Hussayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a Nazi sympathizer who coopted the leadership of the Palestinian Arab uprising. By 1938,  the Muslim Brotherhood boasted nearly 200,000 members, with fifty branches in Egypt alone, as well as numerous branches in Jordan and Palestine. The organization established mosques, schools, sport clubs, factories and a welfare service network. On the eve of World War II there were more than a half million active members registered in more than two thousand branches across the Arab world.

Muslim Brotherhood following World War II

The Brotherhood began to carry out major acts of violence in the 1940s, and was particularly active between 1945 and 1948. In one week in 1946, four violent attacks were directed at British occupation forces, wounding 128 people. Brotherhood members were put on trial and found guilty by judge Ahmed El-Khazindar. Eight months later, the judge was assassinated by two Brotherhood members.As tensions rose in Palestine, in 1947 and 1948, Jewish-owned businesses in Cairo were bombed by the Brotherhood. When Egypt invaded the newly formed state of Israel, the invasion was spearheaded by Muslim Brotherhood volunteers, who apparently coordinated to some extent with the Egyptian army. Following the failure of the war, the Brotherhood grew increasingly strident in criticizing the government. On  December 18, 1948, Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Noqrashi (Noqrashi Pasha) dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood on the grounds that it had secretly plotted to overthrow the monarchy. Twenty days later, a young Muslim Brotherhood member assassinatied Noqrashi inside the Interior Ministry building.

Al-Banna tried to dissociate himself from the assassination, asserting or pretending that he had  lost control over the group’s paramilitary wing. He declared that those who had carried out the assassination were “neither brothers nor Muslims”. Nonetheless, al-Banna was assassinated by Egyptian government agents on February 12, 1949.

Noqrashi’s successor, Ibrahim Abdel-Hadi, dealt harshly with the Brotherhood, putting large numbers of them behind bars. By the time his cabinet fell in July 1949, 4,000 Brotherhood members were in detention.

The Egyptian government, however, found it convenient to try to accommodate the Brotherhood. A court exonerated the Brotherhood on the charge of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. On April 30, 1951, the ban on the group was rescinded after the radical Wafd Party won the elections. The Muslim Brotherhood cooperated with the young officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who overthrew King Farouk of Egypt, but soon fell out with the Pan Arab nationalists. A decree dissolving political parties in January 1953 did not cover the Brotherhood as it was not a political party. But a year later, the decree was invoked against the Brotherhood by President Gamal Abdel-Nasser who ordered that the group be dissolved. The supreme guide, Hassan El-Hodeibi was arrested, along with other leaders and members.

On 26 October 1954, a gunman fired bullets at Nasser as he delivered a speech in Manshiya Square in Alexandria. The government blamed the Brotherhood. Thousands of its members were rounded up and some were put on trial. Of these, six were sentenced to death and seven others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Muslim Brotherhood under Sayyid Qutb

Following his return from the United States in 1951, Sayyid Qutb gradually assumed ideological leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood  Qutb developed and refined al-Banna’s ideology. While the idea that Muslim rule had to be extended to the west may have been implicit in Banna’s beliefs, Qutb made it far more explicit. He was also more strident in his calls to abrogate all Muslim jurisprudence and return to a somewhat hypothetical pristine state of Islam that existed in the very first years. Qutb’s struggle was no longer against colonial oppression, but against the rule of man. He decreed that all governments that did not follow his ideology were in a state of Jahiliya, the darkness and ignorance that according to Islam, pervaded the Arabian peninsula before the advent of Islam. He systematized opposition to current Muslim regimes by proclaiming that all rule of man is oppression. Man can only be free, according to Qutb, by returning to a society where laws are extracted directly from the word of God as explained in the Quran.

Qutb also originated or expanded upon the idea and practice of Takfir, branding other Muslims, and particularly state regimes, as infidels, and thus legitimizing Jihad against the Muslim states. The popularity of this idea may have been encouraged by the suffering of the group at the hands of the Nasserist regime.

In August of 1965, Nasser charged that the Brotherhood had set up an armed organisation to seize power by force and another wave of arrests followed. Hundreds of members were rounded up.

In 1966 three Brotherhood leaders – Sayed Qotb, Youssef Hawwash and Abdel-Fattah Ismail – were sentenced to death and executed for plotting against Nasser. More than 100 others were condemned to various prison terms.

Muslim Brotherhood Since Qutb

Following Nasser’s death in 1970 and Anwar As-Sadat’s rise to power, jailed Brotherhood members were released. Groups began to splinter off from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Al-Takfir Wal Hijra – a group that views society as infidel and advocates withdrawal from it announced its appearance by kidnapping and killing a cabinet minister and launching an attack on the Technical Military Academy.The mainstream Muslim Brotherhood reached a modus vivendi by renouncing violence. It remained illegal, it was tolerated by the government and, in some cases, even encouraged as a counter-balance to leftist forces whom Sadat considered the main threat to his regime.

In 1976, the group was allowed to publish a monthly magazine, Al-Dawa, which continued to appear until it was shut down by Sadat shortly before his assassination in October 1981.

In 1981, members of another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad assassinated Egyptian President Anwar as Sadat. The assassination was followed by widespread suppression of the group.

The Brotherhood turned away from violence at least officially. It is unclear whether this renunciation refers only to a commitment to use democratic methods in Egypt, or whether the Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence in general. The Muslim Brotherhood became more active in civil society, winning control of several student unions and professional syndicates, and contesting parliamentary elections under stand-in party names. It is now the single largest opposition group in the Egyptian parliament. 

Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad

A basic tenet of the movement is holy war, Jihad in the sense of Jihad bis Seif, struggle by the sword. Jihad means “struggle” literally, and refers to a holy struggle or holy war.  Some Muslims believe that it refers primarily to an inner spiritual struggle. Others believe that Jihad in the sense of war should be waged only against idolators or only against those who threaten Islam. Al-Banna however, was quite explicit in stating that Jihad was to be waged as a holy duty (“fard“) to subdue any society that did not submit to Islam. (For al-Banna’s definition of Jihad, see the article on Jihad). Likewise Sayyed Qutb was explicit that Jihad was not a defensive war, but a staged struggle to “liberate” all mankind:

The second aspect of this religion is that it is a practical movement which progresses stage by stage, and at every stage it provides resources according to the practical needs of the situation and prepares the ground for the next one. It does not face practical problems with abstract theories, nor does it confront various stages with unchangeable means. Those who talk about Jihaad in Islam and quote Qur’anic verses do not take into account this aspect, nor do they understand the nature of the various stages through which this movement develops, or the relationship of the verses revealed at various occasions with each stage. Thus, when they speak about Jihaad, they speak clumsily and mix up the various stages, distorting the whole concept of Jihaad and deriving from the Qur’anic verses final principles and generalities for which there is no justification. This is because they regard every verse of the Qur’an as if it were the final principle of this religion. This group of thinkers, who are a product of the sorry state of the present Muslim generation, have nothing but the label of Islam and have laid down their spiritual and rational arms in defeat. They say, “Islam has prescribed only defensive war”! and think that they have done some good for their religion by depriving it of its method, which is to abolish all injustice from the earth, to bring people to the worship of God alone, and to bring them out of servitude to others into the servants of the Lord . Islam does not force people to accept its belief, but it wants to provide a free environment in which they will have the choice of beliefs. What it wants is to abolish those oppressive political systems under which people are prevented from expressing their freedom to choose whatever beliefs they want, and after that it gives them complete freedom to decide whether they will accept Islam or not.

….

When writers with defeatist and apologetic mentalities write about “Jihaad in Islam,” trying to remove this ‘blot’ from Islam, then they are mixing up two things: first, that this religion forbids the imposition of its belief by force, as is clear from the verse, “There is no compulsion in religion”(2:256), while on the other hand it tries to annihilate all those political and material powers which stand between people and Islam, which force one people to bow before another people and prevent them from accepting the sovereignty of God. These two principles have no relation to one another nor is there room to mix them. In spite of this, these defeatist-type people try to mix the two aspects and want to confine Jihaad to what today is called ‘defensive war’. The Islamic Jihaad has no relationship to modern warfare, either in its causes or in the way in which it is conducted.

….

This religion is not merely a declaration of the freedom of the Arabs, nor is its message confined to the Arabs. It addresses itself to the whole of mankind, and its sphere of work is the whole earth. God is the Sustainer not merely of the Arabs, nor is His providence limited to those who believe in the faith of Islam. God is the Sustainer of the whole world. This religion wants to bring back the whole world to its Sustainer and free it from servitude to anyone other than God. In the sight of Islam, the real servitude is following laws devised by someone, and this is that servitude which in Islam is reserved for God alone. Anyone who serves someone other than God in this sense is outside God’s religion, although he may claim to profess this religion. The Prophet- peace be on him – clearly stated that, according to the Shari’ah, ‘to obey’ is ‘to worship’. Taking this meaning of worship, when the Jews and Christians ‘disobeyed’ God, they became like those who ‘associate others with God’…. (Qutb, Sayyed, Milestones, Chapter 4)

Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood

Various organizations with the same or similar ideology have been called Ikhwan, Gama’a al Islamiyeh, al Jihad  and many other titles. It is difficult to determine the degree to which any “Jihadi”  group is independent, and it is probably that most Sunni Jihadist groups are related to the original brotherhood in some way. As the Muslim Brotherhood home page explains:

Al-Ikhwan has branches in over 70 countries all over the world. The movement is flexible enough to allow working under the “Ikhwan” name, under other names, or working according to every country’s circumstances. (Source: Mulsim Brotherhood home page)

Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood and its derivatives have branched out to numerous countries, in some cases transmuting to a slightly different, generally more virulent ideology.  It had a very strong representation in Gaza. Yasser Arafat sprang from a family background in the e Ikhwan of Gaza and more importantly, the Hamas was founded by breakaway Palestinian members of the Ikhwan. The principle innovation of the Hamas was the focus of Jihadist ideology on Palestine.

The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) is in one way or another responsible for most of the Sunni terrorist fundamentalist groups. “New” groups formed either when the original group was suppressed and it was necessary to take another name, or because of personal difference or minor or major differences in tactics or theology, or by merger with other similar groups. The most famous such group today is probably Al-Qaeda, which resulted from a merger of Osama Bin Laden’s followers with those of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist Ayman Zawahiri and other groups.

It is difficult to understand the internal organization of each group or the relations between them. Groups and terrorist actions may in some cases be directly traceable to a central group such as Al Qaeda, or they may be derivative organizations or actions such as bombings may apparently be “inspired” by Muslim Brotherhood or Al-Qaeda teachings. As noted, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Group had adopted a cellular organization at one time. The home page of the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan group states the following under the heading “Organization:”

Organization

Al-Ikhwan has branches in over 70 countries all over the world. The movement is flexible enough to allow working under the “Ikhwan” name, under other names, or working according to every country’s circumstances. However, all Ikhwan groups, in all countries are characterized by the following with respect to their method [3]:

1- Following the Salaf: Rejecting any action or principle which contradicts the Quran or Sunna, and inviting people to nothing but them both.
2- Establishing the Sunna: Working -as much as possible- to spread the Sunna in every aspect of life.
3- Increasing the Iman: By concentrating on the purity of hearts, loving Muslims in the sake of Allah, and remembrance (plus being away of any Sufi mistakes).
4- Political Activism: By putting political programs for “Islamising” government in different countries (after realistic studies), and establishing these programs thru the convenient ways which do not conflict with Islam.
5- Stressing Physical Health: By forming sports clubs and committing members to regular exercises.
6- Enriching Scientific Study: By enhancing the knowledge of members and others about Islam. Members with “Shari’a” major have special study programs.
7- Establishing a Sound Economic Infrastructure: By supporting and/or sponsoring any Islamic project and facing its “fiqh” problems. By the way, the ONLY accepted source of money to the Ikhwan is its members’ OWN money [3]. .
8- Fostering Social ties: By maintaining brotherhood links among the members of the Islamic society.

What is noteworthy of the above is that it gives almost no hint of organization, but is rather a potpourri of percepts and goals and principles. Despite the bolded text, it is likely that Muslim Brotherhood funding has come from supporters in Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Holy Land Foundation was apparently established to finance terror.Wikipedia gives an organizational scheme for the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is evidently only derived from a description of organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. From evidence released in the Holy Land foundation trial, it appears that the different groups adopt different methods suited to each country in which they are formed, but with essentially the same goals (see here). The organizational relations between these different groups are unclear.

Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood

The goals of the Muslim brotherhood are set forth in the “home page” of the group:

Main objectives

A huge tree of “sub-goals” branches from these main objectives which are derived from the Quran and the tradition of the prophet (pbuh) [3,4]:

1- Building the Muslim individual: brother or sister with a strong body, high manners, cultured thought, ability to earn, strong faith, correct worship, conscious of time, of benefit to others, organized, and self-struggling character [3].
2- Building the Muslim family: choosing a good wife (husband), educating children Islamicaly, and inviting other families.
3- Building the Muslim society (thru building individuals and families) and addressing the problems of the society realistically. .
4- Building the Muslim state.
- Building the Khilafa (basically a shape of unity between the Islamic states).
6- Mastering the world with Islam.

It should be pointed out that the “home page” notes that the person who prepared it is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore the information may not be authoritative. It cites two sources:

[3] “The Messages of Al-Imam-u-shaheed”, Hassan Al-Banna. [4] “An introduction to the Da’wa of Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon”, Saiid Hawwa.

Muslim Brotherhood in North America

 The Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood have also been established in North America since the 1960s. A document published by them explained:

The Ikhwan 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 is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. (Source: United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development et al, No. 3:04-CR-240-G, United States District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, Dallas Division, Gov’t exhibit: Government Exhibit 003-0085; 3:04-CR-240-G; U.S. v. HLF, et al. p.21. Cited herere ) .

The above document came to light as evidence in the case of the Holy Land Foundation. Among other institutions, the Ikhwan in the United States founded the Muslim Students Union and the Muslim Students Association, which spread their ideology and apparently engaged in underground activities under the cover of innocent activities such as civil rights groups and charitable foundation.

Moderation in the Muslim Brotherhood

Since about 1970, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt has professed to have become “democratic,” seeking to take power in Egypt through free elections, education and political work.  A splinter group formed or reformed the Gamaa al Islamiya (originally a group founded by Mawdoodi), and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, supposedly recruited “spontaneously” from a loose aggregation of university students and other individuals which continued to support violence. The Gamaa al Islamiya itself supposedly renounced violence in 1997, apparently as a result of a deal struck with the Egyptian government. The group would renounce terror, in return for a massive release of its jailed members.

Though the Muslim Brotherhood party is outlawed, candidates affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood have gained considerable representation (about 20%) in the Egyptian parliament, even though elections are heavily rigged in favor of the governing party. The announced philosophy of action of the “New faction” of Muslim Brotherhood itself at this time is that violent or “democratic” overthrow of an Arab government must be preceded by intensive Islamic education. They also court dialogue with the west, which is opposed by the “old” faction.

There is no agreement as to whether the renunciation of violence by Muslim Brotherhood groups is permanent and sincere or a tactic that was adopted due to exigencies of government repression. It is not clear either if this renunciation is a general renunciation of violence, or whether it limited to taking power in Egypt by democratic means, after which Islam must be spread by violent Jihad.  There is also disagreement about the relation between different offshoots of the brotherhood. There has been, over time, a progressive process in which older groups assume non-violent means either in reality or professedly,  and new groups are formed from members and leaders of the older groups, which are more violent. Thus, the Ikhwan Muslim brotherhood became professedly non-violent in the 1970s, spawning the al Jihad or Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Gama’a Islamiyeh of  the blind Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. In turn, when the Gama’a Islamiyeh renounced violence in 1997, a part of its members joined other groups to form Al-Qaeda. All these groups apparently believe in imposition of a Sha’aria state and Muslim world dominion as an end goal, and in education toward this goal, but some profess non-violent and democratic means, others are committed to violence against the west and Israel, and others are committed to violence against “non-believing” or “hypocritical” (takfiri) Muslims as well. 

Ami Isseroff

Updated December 17, 2008

References:

 Politics in God’s Name (Al Ahram Weekly, 247, 16-22 November, 1995)

Man At Wheel Of ‘Out-of-Control’ Prius Has Troubled Financial Past

Man At Wheel Of ‘Out-of-Control’ Prius Has Troubled Financial Past

March 12th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Runaway Prius

Fox News:

The man who became the face of the Toyota gas pedal scandal this week has a troubled financial past that is leading some to question whether he was wholly truthful in his story.

On Monday, James Sikes called 911 to report that he was behind the wheel of an out-of-control Toyota Prius going 94 mph on a freeway near San Diego. Twenty-three minutes later, a California Highway Patrol officer helped guide him to a stop, a rescue that was captured on videotape.

Since then, it’s been learned that:

— Sikes filed for bankruptcy in San Diego in 2008. According to documents, he was more than $700,000 in debt and owed roughly $19,000 on his Prius;

— In 2001, Sikes filed a police report with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including jewelry, a digital video camera and equipment and $24,000 in cash;

— Sikes has hired a law firm, though it has indicated he has no plans to sue Toyota;

— Sikes won $55,000 on television’s “The Big Spin” in 2006, Fox40.com reports, and the real estate agent has boasted of celebrity clients such as Constance Ramos of “Extreme Home Makeover.”

While authorities say they don’t doubt Sikes’ account, several bloggers and a man who bought a home from Sikes in 2007 question whether the 61-year-old entrepreneur may have concocted the incident for publicity or for monetary gain.

A man who bought a house in the San Diego area from Sikes in 2007 told FoxNews.com he immediately questioned the circumstances surrounding Monday’s incident.

“Immediately I thought this guy has an angle here,” the man said on Friday. “But I don’t know what the angle is here.”

The man, who asked not to be identified, said the home he purchased from Sikes had undisclosed problems that eventually cost him $20,000. He tried to sue in civil court, but Sikes had filed for bankruptcy during the process.

“It got to the point where it wasn’t worth me paying legal fees to go after a guy who was broke,” he said. “I ate the 20,000 bucks.”

The man said Sikes came off as a dishonest businessman who was difficult to work with during the transaction.

“It didn’t surprise me,” he said of Sikes’ recent troubles with his Prius. “I thought this guy is trying to pull a scam here.”

Toyota executives, who have talked extensively with Sikes, have said they’re “mystified” by Sikes’ account.

“It’s tough for us to say if we’re skeptical,” Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, said Thursday. “I’m mystified in how it could happen with the brake override system.”

Esmond said all Priuses are equipped with a computer system that cuts power to the wheels if the brake and gas pedals are depressed at the same time — something Sikes was doing.

Sikes’ reputation apparently precedes him in Northern California, as well.

“I’ve been warned that he used to do business here,” Jim Pernetti of AAA California Document Services told Fox40.com, “and that I should be very wary of anything with him.”

Sikes called 911 on Monday to report that his gas pedal was stuck and his blue 2008 Prius was speeding at 94 mph down a freeway near San Diego. A CHP officer helped bring the car to a stop, but not before two calls to police dispatchers that spanned 23 minutes.

Asked why he didn’t simply put his car in neutral, Sikes said: “You had to be there. I might go into reverse. I didn’t know if the care would flip. I had no idea how it would react.”

Sikes, who did not return several calls and e-mail messages, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the incident was no hoax.

“I’ve had things happen in my life, but I’m not making up this story,” he told the newspaper.

Roughly 8.5 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled by Toyota, including more than 6 million in the United States, due to acceleration and braking problems in several models. Regulators have linked at least 52 deaths to crashes allegedly caused by accelerator problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent experts to a New York City suburb where a 56-year-old woman said her 2005 Prius sped up on its own as she was leaving a driveway.

Obama Plans ‘Backdoor’ Tax to Pay for Health Plan

Obama Plans ‘Backdoor’ Tax to Pay for Health Plan

March 13th, 2010

By Dan Weil, Business News

 Obama flips the bird to those who pay taxes

A stealth provision in President Obama’s latest healthcare proposal dramatically increases taxes on the wealthy — extending Medicare taxes for the first time to “unearned” investment income.

The new 2.9 percent tax would apply to interest, dividend, annuity, royalty, and rent payments.

Under current law, Medicare payments come from salaries alone.

But Obama wants a Medicare tax to be paid on the investment income accrued by individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000.

The plan doesn’t make it clear if capital-gains income is subject to the 2.9 percent tax. If it is, the wealthy would face a capital-gains tax rate of 22.9 percent. That’s because the rate already is slated to increase to 20 percent next year from 15 percent currently.

In addition, households with income above $250,000 would see another 0.9 percent added to their Medicare tax on their normal working income. It would put their rate at 2.35 percent.

The new healthcare overhaul is expected to cost $950 billion.

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We’re not buying it, Obama

We’re not buying it, Obama

March 13th, 2010

By Michael Goodwin, NY Post

 Sorry Obama, we’re not buying what you are selling

Once again, Barack Obama is a happy pitch man. He’s on stage with a microphone, jacket off, sleeves rolled up, his voice rising and falling as he tries to whip the big crowds into revival-tent fervor.

He’s still peddling Hope & Change, although now he calls it health-care reform. He swears his miracle elixir will save your life, your money and your country.

It will do anything you could possibly want — unless you want the truth.

Then you’re squat out of luck. See, truth is a pre-existing condition not covered by ObamaCare.

We used to arrest people for selling snake oil. Now we elect them.
“No false claim left behind” is the perfect summation of President Obama’s last-gasp push for a bill that hasn’t even been written. No matter details or cost, it’ll cure whatever ails you and America.

He’s for it, whatever it ends up saying. Just as he was for the House bill and the Senate bill, both before and after they were written, although they contradicted each other in key ways.

And we have to do it now — now, for history, before it’s too late.

For Obama, it’s already too late. The public took a leap of faith on him once, and his expensive potions are making the country sicker. The sell-by date on his promise machine has expired.

He and Nancy Pelosi might browbeat, scare and bribe enough weak-kneed House Democrats to get a party-line majority, but he’s already lost something far more important than whether the health takeover squeaks by.

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The Land of Entitlements

The Land of Entitlements

By David S. Van Dyke

Even though more than half of government spending goes to entitlements, the era of entitlements is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of our country.
Democrats are eager to defend creating yet another healthcare entitlement by flatly stating “everybody loves Medicare.”  To put this in context one must realize that there are no Medicare recipients alive today who have first hand knowledge of being without Medicare while elderly.  Some may remember their parents or grandparents surviving well into old age without Medicare, but not themselves.  Very few alive today remember a time without Social Security.  Within the space of a human lifespan our society has become a culture conditioned to accept (and expect) entitlements as the norm without questioning the consequences.  It has been a very effective strategy to enlarge government.
Social Security was enacted in 1935 (75 years ago).  The country was suffering in the Great Depression.  Communism was actually popular in this country at the time.  The very concept was unprecedented.  It is important to realize that the average life expectancy in 1935 (all races, both sexes) was 61.  Social Security was originally intended to provide supplemental retirement income for workers (and their spouses) after they retire and reach the age of 65.  At the time Social Security was enacted it was palatable to the American public and a reasonably safe bet for the federal government.  Most people didn’t live long enough to become eligible.  For several decades Social Security did not appear to be the obvious Ponzi scheme that it is.  At its inception there were something like 16 workers for every Social Security recipient and the associated payroll taxes were low.  Left alone, Social Security would be solvent to this day and perhaps far into the future.  But things changed.
Before too long Social Security was funding all sorts of things for which it was never intended (e.g., disability, dependent children).  Congress viewed it as a giant vote buying machine.  Further, they saw that great big pile of money from Social Security payroll taxes and couldn’t help but spend it and replace it with worthless IOUs.  Perhaps more worrisome, within 30 years of being enacted the average life expectancy had increased to about 70.  As a result, at over time there were more and more living eligible recipients and fewer workers per recipient.  By this time it was politically impossible to stop the Social Security juggernaut.  Every worker who had been taxed for this entitlement expected to receive it.  Many had parents or grandparents who had come to depend on their Social Security payments.  What was originally envisioned as a supplemental income came to be viewed as a total government funded pension.  If the money collected through payroll taxes had not been spent as fast as it came in, Social Security might still be solvent today.  But this is not the case.
Estimates vary, but right now the Social Security Administration is posting an unfunded liability of about $38 trillion.  The current worker to recipient ratio is just under 3:1 and is expected to reach 2:1 within only a few years as baby boomers start to retire.  For the first time Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it is collecting in payroll taxes.  The nation is staring down the barrel of a very real financial crisis… and politicians are fretting about the planet being slightly warmer 90 years from now.
Had Social Security never been enacted or (at least) had been reformed when we had a chance, our country would be in much better financial health.  I clearly remember my father complaining that my maternal grandparents drew far more from Social Security than they ever paid in.  This is probably true for every generation ever since Social Security was enacted.  My father passed away last year at the age of 90 (he retired when he was 63) and my mother is still alive at age 87.  They have drawn many times more from Social Security than they ever contributed.  We are today witnessing the inevitable implosion of the largest Ponzi scheme ever devised by mankind.  Social Security essentially defines “unsustainable.”  We can buy some time, but none of the necessary measures are palatable to either politicians or the American public.
The obvious remedies are to raise the age of eligibility to at least 70 (today the average life expectancy is nearly 79), increase Social Security withholding taxes, establish some form of means testing (i.e. don’t pay Social Security benefits to retiring millionaires) and perhaps somehow correlate total lifetime benefits paid with total contributions.  These measures will buy us time, but they won’t fix the fundamental problem.  In short, it is utterly impossible to continue down the path FDR established 75 years ago.
If Social Security doesn’t pose enough of a threat, left unchecked, Medicare will utterly bankrupt the nation.  Medicare was enacted in 1965 following other “Great Society” welfare measures.  At the time the average life expectancy was 70.  More significantly, medical care was not as sophisticated or expensive as it is today.  There were few effective interventions for the big killers, cardiovascular disease or cancer in 1965.  Who could have predicted the absolute explosion in medical and pharmacologic innovation?  Who could have anticipated that life expectancy would continue to increase?  Consider how common such procedures as total knee and hip replacement are today.  Think about coronary artery bypass graft surgery, stents, pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, intraocular lens replacement, advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, advances in the management of diabetes and the myriad of drugs that treat and prevent disease.  No, to LBJ and the liberal Congress of 1965 Medicare appeared to be a relatively small ticket, vote buying initiative.  The problems Medicare (and Medicaid) present today nearly dwarf Social Security but we can employ the same tactics to buy some time while we formulate a more realistic solution for the long run.
The fact is that our current entitlement programs threaten to consume virtually 100% of GDP if left unchecked.  In truth, we can’t go on much longer without making some unpopular changes.  Why Obama is pushing for an expansion of our current entitlement system defies logic.  We can’t even afford to maintain the programs we already have.
The generations of our parents and grandparents gave rise to these entitlement programs and milked them for all they were worth.  Let us pray that the generations of our children and grandchildren will learn the lesson of such folly.  Let us pray that all of us wake up from our entitlement stupor in time to enact necessary changes before then entire nation falls prey to a true financial and social crisis.
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