by Paul & Phillip D. Collins ©, Aug. 12th, 2007

Like it or not, radical Islam is on the rise. And the group spearheading this rise is Muslim Brotherhood. Wherever political Islam is gaining ground, one is almost guaranteed to find the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Take the Gaza Strip, for instance. Most people know that in June of 2007 Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. What many people do not know is that Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (El Ahl, no pagination). Gaza is the most publicized of the Brotherhood’s successes. However, the group has experienced other victories the media has said little about. In 2005, the Brotherhood made significant political gains in Egypt, increasing its number of independent parliamentarians from 15 to 88 (no pagination). In Jordan, the Brotherhood’s political wing, known as the Islamic Action Front, has become part of Jordan’s political establishment, possessing 17 out of 110 parliamentarians (no pagination). Without a doubt, the Brotherhood’s influence is starting to be felt.

To say the least, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political ascent is impressive. However, without the aid of some powerful forces, the Brotherhood may have never been more than a group of marginalized religious fanatics. The hidden hands of these powerful forces can be seen at work before World War Two with the British travel writer Freya Stark. Stark was not just a writer. She was also an agent of British intelligence. Stark was used by British intelligence to foster an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood (Dorril 622). Brotherhood collaboration with Western intelligence continued with an alliance between the Brotherhood and the CIA that began around 1955. According to former CIA agent Miles Copeland, it was around this time that America began looking for the Muslim equivalent of Billy Graham, hoping to use such a charismatic individual to influence the Arab world. When this failed, the Agency began forging ties with the CIA (Aburish 60-61). What was the motive for this marriage between Western intelligence and the Muslim Brotherhood? This alliance would help the Western power elite neutralize the challenge to their hegemony coming from the secular Arab nationalist movement. Said Aburish elaborates:

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