The strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada – Part 2

Photo credits: Imago Images / Richard Wareham

In general the methods and strategies of the different branches of the Muslim Brotherhood around the world are similar. But the Brotherhood is flexibel enough to adapt their strategies depending on several factors of their surroundings.  Their way of how to manipulae the sociey in the counry hey are working in depends on:

  • The social climate and the definition of freedom in the host country.
  • The number of Muslim organization in the country and their extent of influence on the Muslim community.
  • The extent of the Muslim Brotherhoods influence on the country and the accumulated experience of the Brotherhoods arms there.

The legal and social environment and the culture of tolerance prevailing in Canada have provided a suitable climate for the work of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various branches. Since the beginning of the sixties and during the mid-sixties, the Brotherhood focused on penetrating the Canadian society through several stages:

  • The stage of gathering and mobilizing. The strategy was to plant the seed of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology in North America, through volunteers and enthusiasts, but without establishing any organizational framework. This approach coincided with the start of Islamic events in North America.
  • The stage of organized work. Groups and organizations have been established in North American countries, and have been structured under a coordinating organizational framework called the “Coordination Council.“ This Council was responsible for coordinating the efforts of international groups, verifying their effectiveness, benefiting from their experiences, and coming up with recommendations for the own Muslim Brotherhood network. But this acted as a coordinator, not a regulatory framework.

The Muslim Brotherhood then added some of its intellectual frameworks and organizational structures to the already set up structures and groups in Canada. In joining other organizations and groups the Muslim Brotherhood network had access to the knowledge of these organizations, their books, propaganda and other materials they worked with. The Muslim Brotherhood adapted their own thoughts to the existing material, which made it easier for the Brotherhood to spread their ideology. The organizational framework for all movements and groups the members of the Muslim Brotherhood joined was a cultural framework. All these groups claimed, that Islam is the main reason for young people to join them. [1]

The document mentioned in the first part of this article entitled “Explanatory Memorandum: the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America”, reveals the approach of the group. This strategy has been approved by the Shura Council and the organizational conference of the Brotherhood in 1987. The approach of the Brotherhood in North America had the goal to “empower Islam in North America, to create an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood that adopts Muslim issues locally and globally, works to expand the committed Islamic base, aims to unite and guide the efforts of Muslims, put forward Islam as a civilized alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is”.

This memorandum clearly indicates that the main idea of the Muslim Brotherhood is to apply Islamic law in the US, in preparation for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate. According to this memorandum, the first step in the group’s plan is to work to strengthen the group’s influence in American society. The memorandum explains that the main goal of the Brotherhood is that Islam and its movements are part of the society of the country they live in. To be able to achieve this, the Muslim Brotherhood started to evaluate the different stages the Muslim community and Islam lived through in Northern America. According to the assessment of the Brotherhood these stages are:

  • The stage of self-search and identification
  • The stage of structuring and tighten the organization internally
  • The stage of building mosques and Islamic centers
  • The stage of the establishment of Islamic institutions
  • The stage of the establishment of Islamic schools
  • The stage of social reflection on the open Islamic Movement
  • The stage of opening up to other Islamic Movements and trying to reach out to them to find a consens
  • The stage of reviving the establishment and completing the Islamic institutions.

This memorandum contains a list of 29 organizations and institutions friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. Those organizations and institutions are summarized under the title “list of our institutions and institutions of our friends”, which includes: “the Islamic Society of North America “ISNA”, the Muslim Student Association “MSA”, “the Arab Muslim Youth Association “MAYA”, “the Islamic Fund of North America “NAIT”, “the International Institute of Islamic Thought “IIIT”, as well as the “Occupied Land Fund “OLF, which later became the Holy Land Foundation” HLF”, and other groups working as a supporter of MB tendencies, such as the National Council of Muslims of Canada “CAIR Cani”, the Muslim Students Association MSA, which was formed in the USA but is active in Canada, the organization Muslims of Canada “MAC”, and the Irfan charitable organization, whose offices have been raided by the Canadian police as part of an investigation of the Hamas network. As a result of these investigations they were listed as a terrorist organization in 2014.

In reality, the following points can be identified as the most prominent methods of the group to realize its strategy in Canada and North America:

  • Using the prevailing legal climate in Canada, which allows the freedom to establish social ties, in a way that achieves the integration of the MB and other Islamists into broader social structures than before.
  • Monopolizing the representation of Muslims and penetrating civil institutions and entities of a religious nature and controlling them according to a carefully considered and targeted plan.
  • Expanding the organizational networks of the group through cooperation with foreign charities and Islamic centers under the guise of relief and humanitarian work.
  • Introducing the group’s leaders and symbols to local Muslim communities, and promoting these symbols as religious leaders to follow.
  • Exploiting the phenomenon of Islamophobia: by exporting the group’s cadres to the public scene in the majority of controversial dialogues raised on the issues of Muslim Canadians and their problems related to integration, Islamophobia, extremism and others. It is well known that Islamist organizations in general present themselves as victims of discrimination and racism, and not as their propagandists, and have succeeded on many occasions in putting pressure on police forces, security agencies, Canadian politicians and other institutions.[2]
  • Fundraising and aid: the MB has gained considerable experience in raising funds under the guise of charity work, relief of Muslims and advocacy for the Palestinian cause. The follow-ups show the wide influence of the MB’s organizations in North America, specifically in terms of fundraising that over the past few years, the council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been able to collect millions of dollars, using natural disasters and religious events to urge its followers to donate. At the beginning of 2021, the council of American relations set a financial goal to raise 3 million donations during the first six months of the year, and by the beginning of June 2021, the percentage of donations pledged by the council had exceeded two and a half million dollars. In Ramadan 2020, the council tried to raise two and a half million dollars as separate donations from other types of donations.[3]

It is likely that a part of these donations will be allocated for the support of the group’s activities both in Canada and abroad, especially since previous experiences in dealing with it indicates that the group has used the funds raised in relief operations in many organizational activities.

  • Exporting of women’s faces: the associations affiliated to the “Brothers of Canada” pay special attention to young Muslim women and women who are employed in high positions in order to gain sympathy and export the image of moderation and commitment to Western values.
  • Relying on a wide network of immigrant families that includes some of the former leaders of the group, who generally emigrated from the Middle East three or four decades ago, especially since they became Canadian citizens.[4]
  • Working to mislead the authorities and public opinion through duplication of speech.[5]







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