Myers spoke on the war and the Islamic jihad during Tuesday’s luncheon of the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
During his career, Myers worked in homeland security and anti-terrorism efforts.
“The war on terror is not over; we are just in a grand-opening phase. ... The greatest ideological threat America will face in the next century is the doctrine of Islamic jihad (“war to establish the religion”),” Myers said.
He stressed that al-Qaida is an idea and “you cannot kill an idea.” However, he said the driving force behind the globalization of the doctrine of jihad is not al-Qaida. Myers said the Muslim Brotherhood has been that force. He said it has been successful in spreading Islam and moving many across the globe to a committed belief in Islam and Islamic law.
Myers traces the roots of the modern War on Terror to the days of colonization leading to the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire. When the Ottoman Empire became a republic, there was no longer a centralized governmental leader for Muslims to follow. Myers said the Muslim Brotherhood was formed out of a desire to reinstate this type of unity.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has very patiently ascended across the Middle East,” Myers said. “We are facing a global jihad.”
He said all branches of the organization are not working on the same specific goals. Yet, all have the end goal to promote Islam, the prophet and Allah. Myers said the Muslim Brotherhood believes “The Quaran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
While groups like al-Qaida are physical in their attack, the Muslim Brotherhood is a “cultural jihad,” Myers said.
He said the group also has a presence in the United States. He said this presence “constitutes an insurgence movement right here in America.”
Myers said he based his statement on findings in documents from the U.S. v. The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development court case. The case found the U.S.-based organization had provided support to Hamas terrorists.
“The Muslim Brotherhood began with the Muslim Student Union, today the Muslim Student Association, [which is] located on every major college campus,” Myers said.
Reading from a Muslim Brotherhood document, Myers highlighted that the group plans to influence Western culture and use Westerners themselves to destroy their own culture.
He said the group’s goal is “Eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands — our hands — and the hands of the believers so that Allah’s religion is victorious,” Myers quoted.
The Quran outlines jihad and the need for it. Myers said for a Muslim to deny the doctrine of jihad is to turn against Islam, which is punishable by death.
“Islamic Jihad is war to establish Islam ... it is the highest moral endeavor in Islam, such that to die a martyr brings immediate reward in heaven,” Myers said.
He said all jihad groups seek to re-establish centralized Islamic rule, reclaim land that formerly belonged to Islamic leaders and institute Islamic law worldwide.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is the progenitor of almost every major Islamic terrorist organization,” Myers said.
The retired Army officer said human rights as defined by the United States and as defined by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are not the same. The OIC bases its determination of rights and laws on the laws outlined in Islam. Myers said the 10-year law for the organization seeks to have speaking against Islam be a punishable crime in every country.
In an effort to not promote a negative view of Muslims, many training guides used by the Department of Defense and the FBI have been rewritten, Myers said. He said the guides now state having a person merely associate with those known to belong to a violent organization should not create the assumption that person is trying to promote the group’s agenda.
Myers said a lack of knowledge of Islamic jihad is hurting the U.S. in its fight against terrorism.