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ISLAMIC OPPOSITION: THE ULTIMATE JOKE


The Islamic Action Front Party’s council elected Isaac Al-Farhan as their new
secretary general, in late May of 2009. But before we get into who Al-Farhan really
is, we need to shed some light on the largest opposition party in Jordan: The Islamic
Action Front Party (IAFP).
 
IAFP was founded in 1992 as a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate (franchise) in Jordan,
and so it carries the same ideology. To understand the IAFP, we need to look into the
Muslim Brotherhood Group, established in Cairo in 1928. It has always been a great
opponent to pan-Arab nationalist and/or secular movements against colonial powers
or colonial domestic puppet regimes, usually justifying their opposition by claiming
that the secularity of these pan-Arab movements makes them necessarily ineligible
and unqualified to lead the Muslim Arabs into progress and independence. When
Gamal Abdel-Nasser died (or got poisoned), the Muslim Brotherhood issued a
statement forbidding all Muslims from participating in his funeral or pray for his soul.
The millions of Egyptians who poured out into the streets at his public funeral are the
strongest evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement did not resonate among
the public. The Muslim Brotherhood also fought fiercely against the Great Arab
Revolt (1930s), in which several national movements from Greater Syria waged a
militant campaign against the British and French colonial powers as well as the
Zionists in western Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood, back then, claimed it was
inappropriate to fight and resist under nationalistic banners, which in their point of
view would only further divide the one Muslim Nation, which spans from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.


The Muslim Brotherhood (Cairo)
 
The Muslim Brotherhood’s charter, since 1928 until today, has rejected all forms of
armed resistance and violence, and claims in its charter that the group’s mission is to
"establish God’s religion on Earth, to realize the goals that pure Islam was established
for, and these goals are: (a) to set out missionaries to spread the message of Islam, (b)
to regroup the hearts and minds on the principles of Islam, (c) to raise the standard of
living of individuals, (d) to realize social justice, (e) to liberate the [one] Islamic State
in all its parts [from ocean to ocean] from any non-Islamic sultan, and uniting all
Muslims to become one nation again, (f) the establishment of the Islamic State and to
protect it from within, and spread its message to the outer world, and (g) to support
global cooperation… expanding human civilization…."
 
And to materialize these goals, the Muslim Brotherhood charter states its methods:
"(1) spreading the message, (2) education, (3) guidance, (4) working on establishing
facilities, and (5) preparing the Nation, a jihadi preparation, to establish the Islamic
Nation."
 
There is no call to arms, no reference to armed resistance, rebellion, or revolution. All
they have been talking about was spreading the message of Islam, guiding the youth
towards Islamic teachings, and so on. In short, their ultimate goal is missionary in
nature, to strengthen the faith in Muslims, and to guide the non-Muslims to Islam and
the Great Islamic State would naturally be established.
 
This message of rejection to militant resistance has been consistent even in Iraq, after
the US invasion of 2003. The Islamic Party in Iraq (an affiliate of Muslim
Brotherhood) not only rejected resistance against the American occupation forces, but
actually worked together with the US to undermine the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA),
the largest Shiite coalition in the country. In Chomsky’s and Achcar’s "Perilous
Power," Achcar states that "both Sunni coalitions [the Islamic Party and the
Association of Muslim Scholars] proved more interested in doing business with
Washington, believing that getting US support against the Shiite UIA would put them
in a better overall position than allying with the latter. They were thus keener on
playing a petty sectarian political game than on speeding national liberation from the
occupation."
 
The US has been consistently supportive of Islamic movements throughout the
Muslim World, Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in particular, in its attempt to crush
nationalist and communist movements. They backed the Saudi Kingdom even before
Israel was created, the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against communists, Zia-ul-Haq in
Pakistan against secular nationalism, let alone the Taliban in 1996. Noam Chomsky
states in Perilous Power (pg. 29): "Israel did pretty much the same. Israel wanted to
destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO, which was secular nationalist,
and, in the course of this, helped develop Islamic fundamentalist groups up to the late
1980s. Israel was in fact explicitly supporting such groups to counter the PLO in the
Occupied Territories." And Achcar continues saying: "Actually, they [the Israelis]
very deliberately disarmed all groups that were based on secular ideologies…
communist or nationalist or other. And they didn’t disarm communalist groups,
whether Shiite or Druze, not to mention their Christian allies…. [Hezbollah] grew out
of the Amal movement, a Shiite communalist movement that was not disarmed by the
Israelis, just as they did not disarm the Druze militias, or the Christian right-wing
militias. But they disarmed of course the PLO and the Lebanese left…. [Amal] was
founded by a religious figure, but were always more a Shiite communalist
organization than a religious one, let alone a fundamentalist one. [The transition went
from Amal to Hezbollah] by a radicalization that was catalyzed by the 1982 Israeli
invasion of Lebanon."
 
Throughout the eighty-two years of its existence, the Muslim Brotherhood (as well as
all its loyal franchises around the world) has never resorted to violence. Even when
governments, domestic and foreign, accused them of bombings, assassinations, or
other acts of terrorism, they have consistently denied any relationship to the atrocities.
What further proves their non-violence was their long opposition and condemnation
of all acts of violence, whether in the name of Islam or not. Their major split with
Hamas and Islamic Jihad was based on their disagreement on the use of arms to fight
against Israel. And they openly oppose Al-Qaeda – its leadership, ideology, and
actions.
 
When reviewing their 82-years record, we find out that they opposed pan-Arab
movements, such as Nasser (who had a high sense of Arab nationalism and got very
close to uniting the whole Arab world and defeating all colonial, imperial, and Zionist
powers in the region). They opposed the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (one of the
oldest Arab parties that fought for the liberation of Syrian lands from the French,
British, and Zionists, and were one of the main participants in the Great Arab Revolt).
They opposed the Baath Party (literally meaning Resurrection; resurrecting the one
Arab Nation). They opposed all movements and militias fighting for the liberation of
Palestine. Their spokesmen all over the Arab world were calling upon Arabs to stop
recruitments to fight the Zionists, claiming that it was not the right time to do that.
The priority, they kept on saying, was to spread the message of Islam and resurrect
the Islamic Nation from Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean. A dream! If we look into all
Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, aside from Hamas and Islamic Jihad (the renegade
affiliates), we find them to be peaceful and void of any militancy in their words and
actions alike.
 
The Islamic Action Front (Jordan)
 
This is the background that Jordan’s Islamic Action Front (IAF) was built on in 1992.
And it is known that for a political party to exist in Jordan, it has to be licensed by the
Jordanian authority (euphemism for His Majesty, the Magnificent King), and must
meet certain rules and conditions, including their full support and dedication to the
independence and stability of Jordan, its authoritarian system, and its constitution.
This is, of course, in complete contradiction with one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s
goals to depose secular rulers and resurrect the greater Islamic Nation from ocean to
ocean. Or is it?
 
The Jordanian Constitution, designed under British supervision (like the Iraqi
constitution under US presence in Iraq), states that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
adopts Islam as its official religion. Plus, the king of Jordan is a Muslim himself,
upholds prayers and fasts Ramadan. Isn’t that part of the Islamic Action Front’s
"mission accomplished" list? The kingdom’s radio and TV stations broadcast religious
sermons and call upon all Muslims to uphold prayers and commit to fasting. Islam is
entrenched in every subject at school, where Quran and Hadith verses intermit all
textbooks in all subjects, thanks to people like Al-Farhan. Islam, as a religion, is a
required subject in all schools, and its grades are part of the student’s grade point
average. In other words, you can’t pass high school without passing Religion class.
The question that begs answering at this point is: what is it exactly that fundamentally
makes the IAFP an opposition group?
 
Isaac Al-Farhan
 
To answer this question, it would be prudent to first look into the IAFP’s current head
and secretary general, and into his statements to the media. When asked on February
16, 2010, by Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, if he finds it problematic to "Jordanize"
his organization, he responded: "I firmly believe in the full independence of every
party in every country because the party has to cope with the unique situation of each
country, and there should be no interference between one country and another." When
asked to describe his party’s relationship with Hamas, he said "there is no direct
relationship between us and Hamas, other than moral support." He also stated in the
interview that "the Islamic movement in Jordan is completely independent, and
although it has contact with other [Muslim Brotherhood] offices outside the country,
it has no organizational connection linking it with them."
 
If one would read between the lines of all his public statements, it would be pretty
obvious that the IAFP has no political agenda other than promoting more religious
freedom (i.e. restrictions on personal freedoms that do not abide by the Islamic
teachings). If it was up to them, they would cover every woman’s head in public, shut
down night clubs and bars, and build more mosques. The country is already too
conservative and religious as it is, when compared to its neighbors – Syria, Lebanon,
Palestine, and Iraq. Truly, how can we liberate Palestine if only 60% of our women
cover their heads with a veil?
 
But that’s not all. Dr. Al-Farhan has a very unique background! In 1973, he was
Jordan’s minister of education, the minister of higher education, and the minister of
Islamic endowments ( ?PQ ?S ????? ? ), and has supervised the authorship of school
textbooks. He was also appointed as the president of Jordan University, and Zarqa
University. And from 1989 to 1993, he was a senator ( ?PYZS ? [\]^ _` abZ), appointed
directly by the king himself. Supporters would say "he’s an outspoken supporter of
Palestine and the Palestinian right to resist." But so is the king of Jordan! What are the
key disagreements that Al-Farhan has with the Jordanian authorities that qualifies him
to lead the largest so-called opposition party in Jordan?
 
Islam Inc.
 
This version of mind-numbing Islam was adopted by the Turks near the end of the
Ottoman era, and continued by the British, and later on by the Americans. In this
newly constructed Islamic ideology, there is no conflict between capitalism and
consumerism on the one hand, and the pillars of Islam on the other. The pillars of
Islam, of course, had to be reduced to the five acts of worship, spearheaded by prayer,
five times a day. Muslim clerics at mosques recite sermons authored and printed out
from the ministry of Islamic endowments. General Intelligence Department (GID)
agents ( ?? dePf^) are scattered all over the country, and sent to attend sermons to keep
the imams in check. These imams are government employees, and get paid, on
average, a lousy 200 JDs per month. Islamic Law (gh ?dj ?? ), which is also a discipline
at Jordanian universities, is the only major that has no minimum grade point average
requirements. It is common belief among citizens that those who end up majoring in
Islamic Law are those whose grade point averages were too low to be admitted into
any other discipline. Imams; a bunch of unproductive losers, redundant creatures,
choose to become government-paid employees to spread government religious
propaganda in exchange for money, and simultaneously consider themselves as part
of the opposition in the country. Whether they are aware or not of their own selfdeceit
cannot be verified.
 
And just like the infamous professor, Al-Nabhani, at the College of Islamic Law (one
of Jordan’s oldest higher-education schools) used to yell in his numerous sermons and
college lectures in the 1940s (according to Abdul-Rahman Munif’s account) that
joining the lines of soldiers and militias to fight for the liberation of Palestine was
semi-heresy; so did the clergymen and imams all over the country speak ill of
Hezbollah and the Shiite faith, only a week before the Israeli invasion and
bombardment of Lebanon in July of 2006. Posters were hung on light posts warning
of the threat of the Shiite Crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon) and its alleged
deadly influence on Jordan’s stability, security, and Sunni Islam. It was an easy sell to
the 92% Sunni population.
 
To add to the list, the imams regularly preach against drinking alcohol, viewing TV
channels that present women in non-Islamic clothes, and disdain Muslim men who do
not come regularly to the mosque to pray – all very important matters. They, however,
do not speak against smoking, bribery, disorganization, littering, malpractice, home
evictions, causes of poverty, and most recently citizenship revocations. They seldom
discuss anything political, and when they do, they make sure to praise the king overtly
and excessively. They preach that obeying the king is equivalent to obeying God and
his prophet, quoting supporting Hadith verses. They preach that democracy is a
western/colonial invention designed to corrupt Muslims and Islam, that socialism is
unnatural to the human design, and that communism is Godless and evil. As for
shopping at malls, drinking soda and smoking at coffee shops, and eating junk and
fast-food; it’s all fine as long as the products are kosher ( ?mn .(
 
This is the Islam that Isaac Al-Farhan, the IAFP, and all Muslim Brotherhood official
and unofficial franchises want to spread all over the world. It is a governmentsponsored
religion, with carefully selected verses from the Quran and Hadith that
serve the authorities, taught forcibly from childhood onwards, with one goal: Control.
Islam Inc. is the old/new invisible prison for the Arab-Muslim mind.
 
The correlation between social status and the level of religiousness is staggeringly
high: the poorer an individual is, the more religious he is. The Palestinian refugee
camps in Jordan, where once socialist and communist ideologies were the main
currency, are today filled to the brink with the most conservative, religious people in
the country; where the woman who’s covering all her body except her face and palms
is the promiscuous one! As for the poorer parts of Amman, like downtown, women
are almost non-existent in the streets. If a foreigner were to walk in downtown
Amman at any time of day, he would think that women are going extinct. This was
not the case 20, 40, or 60 years ago. Poverty, unemployment, economic stagnation,
and privatization have all been on the rise, at the same pace with religious fervor.
This is not coincidence. Other than alleged suicide bombings and other small-scale
explosions, none of which have been proven to be attributed to the Muslim
Brotherhood and all its affiliates across the Arab and Islamic worlds over the past
century, they have never had any real success, let alone any real attempt, to usurp any
domestic or colonial government. In fact, wherever Islam Inc. is at its strongest, the
people were subdued the most; namely, Saudi Arabia. Wherever the presence of Islam
Inc. is weak, tendencies towards democracy and awakening seem much stronger. One
might rush to ask "what about the Islamic revolution in Iran, and Hezbollah, and
Hamas?" The answer is too clear: These three examples, and a few others, do not
adhere to Muslim Brotherhood’s or Islam Inc.’s guidelines, and are detested by the
Muslim Brotherhood council. This is why Hamas, which is Sunni and a renegade of
the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, gets all its political and financial support from
Shiite Iran, not from Sunni Muslim organizations. The Sunni governments and
organizations limit their support to moral statements, lest Uncle Sam gets upset.
 
The Muslim "Nudge" Button
 
On the one hand, westerners (orientalists) publish articles on their great respect for
Islam as one of the greatest religions in the world. And on the other hand, they publish
articles on their disgust and horror of the day the when total Islamic world hegemony
becomes a reality. In both cases, the religious Arabs see in both published materials
great evidence that "Islam is the solution." They proudly cite those western articles as
proof that they’re superior. If religious ideology was truly more suitable to govern and
reach glory, then why didn’t Europeans and their western offshoots adopt a religious
identity? Why did Ataturk abandon Ottoman religious fervor and switch to secular
national aspirations to unite the country and lead the Turks out of the quagmire of
defeat in the First World War, and into progress and development, if religion was a
much better recipe? Why did all the success stories of today’s developed nations, both
east and west, require pushing religion to the socio-political back seat?
 
The western powers know which buttons to press to reinforce Islam Inc.’s ideology. A
Muslim cleric in Denmark travels to Egypt to tell Egyptian clergymen (the same
clergymen who approved of the Egyptian government’s blockade of Gaza) about
twelve anti-Islam caricatures in some obscure Danish tabloid. It was the Egyptian
media that first broke the story of the twelve caricatures, and even claimed that the
cartoonists drew depictions of the prophet himself. The truth is Muhammad was not
depicted in any of the twelve caricatures. But none of the fervent Muslims figured that
out because Islam Inc. forbids them from looking at those blasphemous cartoons.
How convenient! They filled the streets, with government permission and support,
and rallied and protested in front of Danish embassies, without having seen the
caricatures at all, and demanded the boycott of all Danish products (i.e. two types of
cheese, and one type of butter). Great sacrifice!
 
Wasn’t it strange that the Arab and Muslim governments did not suppress those
massive demonstrations as they usually do when they come out, in smaller numbers,
to protest Israeli and American massacres? When thirty people in Jordan went (on
January 1, 2010) to protest the Egyptian blockade of Gaza, and approached the
Egyptian embassy, the Jordanian police (mostly in civilian clothes) overwhelmed the
protestors in number and attacked them from every direction with batons, and
outrageously beat up the peaceful protestors and detained two of them in an unknown
location. Yet when thousands of protestors went to protest the twelve caricatures in
front of the Danish embassy, the police wasn’t there to stop them.
 
Then when things calmed down, another news item appeared about another act of
defamation to Islam and Muhammad. It was the Pope himself, cited by the same Arab
government-sponsored media, to have said that Islam had spread by the sword. Again,
protests filled the streets of the Islamic world, and some churches were burned with
Molotov cocktails, to prove that Muslims are not violent. The irony! Then news came
out of Guantanamo prison cells, that American soldiers had flushed copies of the Holy
Quran into the toilet. Never mind the detention and torture of those Muslim prisoners,
but to flush the Quran is really pushing it! Waves of people went out to demonstrate,
with Arab governments’ consent.
 
Conclusion
 
What is it exactly that fundamentally makes the IAFP an opposition group? Nothing.
It is not an opposition group at all. It is a government-sponsored organization
disguised as an opposition group. It functions as a valve to maintain and control the
Islamic herd; to release their tensions under controlled measures, and to infiltrate all
their levels and keep their Islamism under check. Mistakes do happen: Hamas, Islamic
Jihad, Al-Qaeda, etc. They officially represent the largest political group in the
country, whose true job is to strike an impossible balance between carefully selected
Islamic teachings and submission to authorities, and then to maintain that impossible
balance. Islam Inc. was carefully designed over decades to keep the Arabs under
check. The Grand Islamic Nation, from Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean, was never
intended to leave the land of fantasies.

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