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“Islam vil returnere til Europa som erobrer og en vinner etter å ha blitt utvist to ganger. Denne gangen menner jeg at erobringen ikke vil skje med sverd, men ved å ty til taller og ideologi”
– Yusuf al-Qaradawi, åndelige lederen for Det muslimske brorskapet
Qaradawi på vidéo:
Det muslimske brorskapet, sosialistenes favoriter
In 1990 Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Sunni scholar and the unofficial theological leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood (al Ikhwan al Muslimoun), published a book called Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase.  This 186-page treatise can be considered the most recent manifesto of the Islamist revivalist movement. As Qaradawi explains in the introduction, the “Islamic Movement” is meant to be the “organized, collective work, undertaken by the people, to restore Islam to the leadership of society” and to reinstate “the Islamic caliphate system to the leadership anew as required by sharia.”
Qaradawi’s treatise introduces a new agenda and modus operandi for the movement, signaling a clear break with many salafi groups and even with some past ideological elements of the Muslim Brotherhood. While the book does not rule out the use of violence to defend Muslim lands, it generally advocates the use of dawa, dialogue, and other peaceful means to achieve the movement’s goals. This doctrine is commonly referred to as “wassatiyya,” a sort of “middle way” between violent extremism and secularism, and Qaradawi is one of its key proponents. 
After examining the situation of the “Islamic Movement” throughout the Muslim world, the dissertation devotes significant attention to the situation of Muslims living in the West. Qaradawi explains how Muslim expatriates living in Europe, Australia and North America “are no longer few in numbers,” and that their presence is both permanent and destined to grow with new waves of immigration. While Qaradawi says that their presence is “necessary” for several reasons—such as spreading the word of Allah globally and defending the Muslim Nation “against the antagonism and misinformation of anti- Islamic forces and trends”—it is also problematic. Because the Muslim Nation, and therefore Muslim minorities “scattered throughout the world,” do not have a centralized leadership, “melting” poses a serious risk. Qaradawi warns, in other words, that a Muslim minority could lose its Islamic identity and be absorbed by the non-Muslim majority.
Qaradawi sees the lack of Muslim leadership not only as a problem, however. He also views it as an unprecedented opportunity for the Islamist movement to “play the role of the missing leadership of the Muslim Nation with all its trends and groups.” While the revivalist movement can exercise only limited influence in Muslim countries, where hostile regimes keep it in check, Qaradawi realizes that it is able to operate freely in the democratic West. Muslim expatriates disoriented by life in non-Muslim communities and often lacking the most basic knowledge about Islam, moreover, represent an ideally receptive audience for the movement’s propaganda. Qaradawi asserts that revivalists need to take on an activist role in the West, claiming that “it is the duty of [the] Islamic Movement not to leave these expatriates to be swept by the whirlpool of the materialistic trend that prevails in the West.”
Having affirmed the necessity of the Islamist movement in the West, Qaradawi proceeds to present a plan of operation. The Egyptian-born scholar openly calls for the creation of a separate society for Muslims within the West. While he highlights the importance of keeping open a dialogue with non-Muslims, he advocates the establishment of Muslim communities with “their own religious, educational and recreational establishments.” He urges his fellow revivalists to try “to have your small society within the larger society” and “your own ‘Muslim ghetto.’”
Qaradawi clearly sees the Islamist movement playing a crucial role in creating these separated Muslim communities and thereby providing it with an unprecedented opportunity to implement its vision, at least partially. Its local affiliates will run the mosques, schools, and civic organizations that shape the daily life of the desired “Muslim ghettoes.” And Qaradawi’s ambitions go further still. Without saying so openly, he suggests that sharia law should govern the relations among inhabitants of these Muslim islands; Muslim minorities “should also have amongst them their own ulema and men of religion to answer their questions when they ask them, guide them when they lose the way and reconcile them when they differ among themselves.”
What Qaradawi outlines in his treatise might, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than a fantasy. In reality, it corresponds to what the international network of the Muslim Brotherhood has been doing in the West for the past fifty years. Since the end of World War II, in fact, members of al Ikhwan al Muslimoun have settled in Europe and worked relentlessly to implement the goals stated by Qaradawi. In almost every European country, they founded student organizations that, having evolved into nationwide umbrella organizations, have become—thanks to their activism and to the financial support from Arab Gulf countries—the most prominent representatives of local Muslim communities. They established a web of mosques, research centers, think tanks, charities and schools that has been successful in spreading their heavily politicized interpretation of Islam. Finally, today, with the creation of a supranational jurisprudential body called the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the Ikhwan is taking its first, cautious steps toward Qaradawi’s final goal: the introduction of sharia law within the Muslim communities of Europe.
Having been the focus of attention of authorities since its early days, the Muslim Brotherhood tends to be extremely secretive, and only if circumstances are favorable do its members reveal their affiliation. While most of the first Islamic activists in Europe were official members of the Brotherhood, moreover, formal links between the group’s Middle Eastern base and its European followers have waned over time for various reasons. But the issue of formal affiliation to the Ikhwan is moot because the Muslim Brotherhood is more than a group; it is now better defined as a movement whose organization is far from monolithic and whose members are kept together mostly by ideological affinity.
Mohammed Akif, the current General Guide and supreme leader of the Brotherhood and a former head of its Islamic Center of Munich, explained the Ikhwan’s transcendence of formalities in an interview with Xavier Ternisien, a French expert on religion.  He said,
We do not have an international organization; we have an organization through our perception of things. We are present in every country. Everywhere there are people who believe in the message of the Muslim Brothers. In France, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) does not belong to the organization of the Brothers. They follow their own laws and rules. There are many organizations that do not belong to the Muslim Brothers. For example, Shaykh al-Qaradawi. He is not a Muslim Brother, but he was formed according to the doctrine of the Brothers. The doctrine of the Brothers is a written doctrine that has been translated in all languages.
In a 2005 interview Akif elaborated further. European Ikhwan organizations have no direct link to the Egyptian branch, he insisted, but they nevertheless coordinate actions with them. He concluded the interview saying, tellingly, that “we [the Ikhwan] have the tendency not to make distinctions among us.” 
Regardless of their official affiliation, many individuals and organizations that identify themselves with the message of the Ikhwan operate in Europe and have been actively working toward the goals outlined by Qaradawi in his above-mentioned dissertation. Driven by their firm belief in the superiority of Islam to any other religion or system of life, the European Brothers fight daily to achieve their goal, using all possible tools, including painful but necessary compromises with European authorities. “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice,” Qaradawi says. But he adds, “I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.”  The European Ikhwan network, under the cover of various civil rights groups and Islamic organizations, is the vanguard of this peaceful conquest.
Putting Down Roots in Europe
According to Mohammed Akif, “the Brotherhood established itself in Europe” in the 1950s.  At that time Nasser and other pan-Arabist regimes were cracking down on the organization, and many of its members had to flee their homelands. For various reasons most of the Muslim Brothers leaving the persecution of Middle Eastern regimes chose West Germany as their destination. Some had reportedly established links with Germany during World War II when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, moved to Berlin and aided the Nazi regime in its anti-Jewish propaganda.  Others benefited from the fact that the West German government, implementing what came to be known as the Hallstein doctrine, had opened its doors to dissidents persecuted by regimes that had recognized East Germany, which included Egypt and Syria.  Many were attracted, moreover, by the prestige of the country’s technical faculties and decided to further their studies in Germany’s engineering, architecture, and medical schools.
Among this group of pioneers of revivalist Islam in Europe, Said Ramadan stands out. Born in 1926 in a village north of Cairo, Ramadan joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 14 after attending a lecture by the organization’s founder, Hassan al-Banna.  In 1946, upon obtaining his law license from the University of Cairo, Ramadan became al-Banna’s personal secretary and began the publication of Al Shihab, the organization’s official magazine. In 1948 he fought in Palestine among Arab volunteers and was briefly appointed the head of Jerusalem’s military corps by King Abdallah of Jordan. He then traveled to the newly established state of Pakistan where, despite his young age, he competed for the chair of secretary general of the World Muslim Congress.