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1950s Redux: The Continuing Allure of the Muslim Brotherhood for U.S. Policymakers

Hudson Institute’s Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World held a discussion with Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the new book, A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Houghton Mifflin, 2010).

While most people are familiar with how alliances made in the 1980s with Islamist radicals operating in Afghanistan have come back to haunt the United States, Ian Johnson argues that courting Islamists goes back to the 1950s, when the United States was looking for allies during the Cold War. By examining the history of a key mosque in Munich, he shows how the CIA and West German agencies funded a group of Muslims, paving the way for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The lessons from that period are especially instructive today, when Western countries are once again debating the courting of Muslim Brotherhood activists as potential allies in the ongoing struggle with al-Qaeda and connected terrorist movements.


Hillel Fradkin, Moderator

Hudson Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World

Ian Johnson, Featured Speaker

Author and journalist

Hudson Experts

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