U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s conduct during her recent visit to Malaysia was anything but diplomatic. In a press conference hosted by Foreign Minister Anifa Aman, Clinton took the unusual step of siding with opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar is on trial for corruption and sodomy charges, which he claims are politically motivated. Perhaps.
But Clinton’s announcement that she had raised Ibrahim’s prosecution with the Malaysian government, and that the State Department “raise[s] it on a consistent basis,” should be viewed not merely as the U.S. concern for the rule of law. Clinton’s statement should be regarded as a major victory for Anwar Ibrahim. More broadly it is a triumph of the International Muslim Brotherhood, whose ideology Anwar advances.
Who is Anwar Ibrahim?
Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, is currently the opposition leader, and considered by many Westerners to be a leading moderate Muslim intellectual. Yet, even a cursory examination of Ibrahim’s background reveals that he is an Islamist, dedicated to promote global Islamic rule based on Shari’a Law.
Ibrahim came to prominence in the early 70’s’ after he founded and led Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), known in English as Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement.
In February 1999, HARAKAH, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) publication in English printed a speech given by Anwar at a 1979 ABIM meeting. “It is our conviction that if all parties concerned are sincere and serious about understanding Islam, its concepts and principles, they will accept Islam as the only practicable and viable alternative to the present order,” he said.
To achieve this goal, Anwar proposed that “Schools, especially institutions of higher learning must be encouraged to cultivate the spirit of Islamic universalism to break down the present communal barriers.”
On December 11, 2005, in an interview to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat, Mohammad Mahdi Akef, former leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood, stated: “the Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious worldview – the spread of Islam, until it rules the world.” [emphasis added]
Despite such statements many in the U.S. and the West regard the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic creed and the many Islamist organizations it spawned, such as al Qaeda and Hamas an social movements. “Islamism is … but a social movement like any other – communism, nationalism, liberalism, fascism, socialism.”
Qutab and Maududi also inspired the creation of radical Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda and Hamas, and Islamic charities that use the guise of humanitarian relief to transfer funds to Hamas, al Qaeda, the Chechen mujahedeen, and others. The U.S. recently shut down the activities of the now defunct Oregon branch of the al Haramain Islamic Foundation, and Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), one of the largest Islamic charities in the US. Holy Land Foundation was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in December 2001.
In 1999 while in prison on previous charges of corruption and sodomy, Ibrahim wrote to Abdul Hamid Abu Sulaiman, former Rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia, and a fellow director of the Virginia based Muslim Brotherhood’s International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The IIIT was identified by the FBI as an unindicted coconspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation.
In his letter to Sulaiman, Anwar wrote: “I’m trying to keep myself busy–with prayers and du’a, tadarrus and reading…My old copy of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Quran is most valuable because of my earlier short notes and references from Ibn Kathir, al-Qurtubi, Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Maududi’s tafsirs (interpretations).”
When Sulaiman became the Rector of Islamic University of Kuala Lumpur, which houses IIIT’s sister organization, International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), he “vigorously started the work of Islamization of Education. Arabic and Fiqh. Islamic Law and Jurisprudence were introduced as compulsory and university requirement courses. The University from the very beginning, took steps to gradually Islamize subject matters of the social science, discipline, and the effort is still on.”
In a 2005 ABIM conference in Malaysia, Dr Ahmad Totonji, the Former Secretary –General, of the Saudi based World Assembly Of Muslim Youth (WAMY) – documented as funding al Qaeda and Hamas - and the VP of IIIT’s Administration praised Anwar’s activity to advance Islamic rule. Totonjii was also co-founder and officer of another Saudi funded, now-defunct Islamic charity, Safa Trust (first known as the U.S. branch of the Saudi SAAR foundation, incorporated as a 501(3)c on July 29, 1983 in Herndon, VA. In December 2000, it was and renamed Safa Trust). Both were suspected of funding of al Qaeda. Read more.