At German scholar Matthias Küntzel's website, the transcript of a speech he gave last year on Global Jihad, Islamic Radicalism, and the Challenge to Europe:
Global Jihad and Islamic Radicalism started in 1928 with the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood. This happened during the same decade in which Mussolini’s fascism and Hitler’s National Socialism came into being.
The Muslim Brothers constitute for the global Islamist movement what the Bosheviks were for the Communist movement during the last century: the ideological reference point and organizational core that decisively inspired all subsequent tendencies. Al Qaida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri started as a member of the Muslim Brothers, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stems from a party which was massively influenced by the Brotherhood, Ruhollah Khomeini got his inspiration from them while Hamas serves as the Brotherhood’s official branch in Palestine....
Not every Muslim who refers to the Koran, is an Islamist. But each and every Islamist refers to the Koran.
We know that the bulk of the Muslims do not share the Islamists’ interpretation of the Kor’an. It would be wrong and self-deluding however, to claim that those who understand certain passages of the Koran literally, misuse or misunderstand this text. For there is today no authority to decide whether, for example, the command to >strike off the disbelievers’ heads< (Sura 47, verse 4) is to be understood literally or metaphorically.
There are, however, four common features that earmarks the global Islamist movement’s interpretation of the Kor’an; features that constitutes the common ground for al-Qaida, the Islamic state, Hisbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the rulers of Iran....
This four-point program – only Allah’s law is valid, jihad is our path, the Jew is our main enemy and death is better than life – applies to the IS and to Iran, to Shiite Hezbollah and to the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. It is a common program and a common global war and thus a global challenge to Europe and the world. But what about the Western response, today?
There is no response to global Islamism as such. There is no common effort, for example, to outlaw suicide bombing politically and legally as a crime against humanity.
Instead, European governments make the goat the gardener and recommend a partnership with Iran in the fight against the Islamic State. That is like recommending a partnership with Hisbollah in order to fight Hamas.
Iran has been a silent supporter of al-Qaida and the Taliban – both Sunni-oriented – for decades. They tactically supported the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and they tactically support the rise of the Islamic State in the Sinai right now.
We all recall that the United States financed Osama bin Laden during the Eighties in order to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Washington, at that time, ignored bin Laden’s ideological program. 9/11 was the result of this mistake.Today, the West seem to be willing to repeat this very mistake by ignoring Teheran’s ideological program and the global program of Islamism as such.
This is my critique of the policy of the European Union and the West:
It refuses to take the ideological program of Islamism as a new and totalitarian movement into account. However, if you refuse to recognize the ideological basis of Islamism, you cannot draw the necessary conclusions. You betray the progressive Muslims throughout the world and you show fear where you may have to prove your strength. The result is a feeling of helplessness, not determination.