The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and its Impact on the Muslim World


Dr. Mohsen El-Guindy

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. Founded in 1921 and is considered to be the nation’s ‘most influential foreign-policy think tank. It publishes a bi-monthly journal Foreign Affairs.

The CFR is the promotional arm of the Ruling Elite in the United States of America. Most influential politicians, academics and media personalities are members, and it uses its influence to infiltrate the New World Order into American life. Its experts write scholarly pieces to be used in decision making, the academics expound on the wisdom of a united world, and the media members disseminate the message.

The Council has been the subject of debate, as shown in the 1969 film The Capitalist Conspiracy by G. Edward Griffin, the 2006 film by Aaron Russo, America: Freedom to Fascism and a 2007 documentary Zeitgeist: The Movie, as well as the book The Naked Capitalist which reviewed Carroll Quigley‘s book Tragedy and Hope from a less supportive standpoint.

This is partly due to the number of high-ranking government officials (along with world business leaders and prominent media figures) in its membership, its secrecy clauses, and the large number of aspects of American foreign policy that its members have been involved with, beginning with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech was the first in which he suggested a worldwide security organization to prevent future world wars.

The John Birch Society believes that the CFR is “Guilty of conspiring with others to build a one world government…”. Conservative Democratic congressman from Georgia Larry McDonald, the second head of the John Birch Society, introduced American Legion National Convention Resolution 773 to the House of Representatives calling for a congressional investigation into the Council on Foreign Relations, but nothing came from it.

Carroll Quigley claimed it “became well known among those who believe that there is an international conspiracy to bring about a one-world government.” In Tragedy and Hope, he based his analysis on his unsourced research in the papers of an Anglo-American elite organization that, he held, secretly controlled the U.S. and UK governments through a series of Round Table Groups. Critics assailed Quigley for his approval of the goals (not the tactics) of the Anglo-American elite while selectively using his information and analysis as evidence for their views. Speaking of Carroll Quigley, Rep. Larry McDonald said, “He says, sure we’ve been working it, sure we’ve been collaborating with communism, yes we’re working with global accommodation, yes, we’re working for world government. But the only thing I object to is that we’ve kept it a secret.” CFR publications discuss multilateralism and global governance as well.

That ruling power elite does indeed control the U.S. government behind the scenes has been attested to by many Americans in a position to know. Felix Frankfurter, Justice of the Supreme Court (1939-1962), said: “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.” In a letter to an associate dated November 21, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote, “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

February 23, 1954, Senator William Jenner warned in a speech: “Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government, bureaucratic elite which believes our Constitution is outmoded.”

Baron M.A. Rothschild wrote, “Give me control over a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws.”

All that is needed to effectively control a government is to have control over the nation’s money: a central bank with a monopoly over the supply of money and credit. This had been done in Western Europe, with the creation of privately owned central banks such as the Bank of England (1).

Georgetown professor Dr. Carroll Quigley (Bill Clinton’s mentor while at Georgetown) wrote about the goals of the investment bankers who control central banks: “… nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole… controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.

The Bank of the United States (1816-36), an early attempt at an American central bank, was abolished by President Andrew Jackson, who believed that it threatened the nation. He wrote: “The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government, the distress it had wantonly produced…are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution…if the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Although called “Federal,” the Federal Reserve system is privately owned by member banks, makes its own policies, and is not subject to oversight by Congress or the President. As the overseer and supplier of reserves, the Fed gave banks access to public funds, which enhanced their lending capacity.

Peter Kershaw, in “Economic Solutions” lists the ten major shareholders of the Federal Reserve Bank System as: Rothschild: London and Berlin; Lazard Bros: Paris; Israel Seiff: Italy; Kuhn- Loeb Company: Germany; Warburg: Hamburg and Amsterdam; Lehman Bros: New York; Goldman and Sachs: New York; Rockefeller: New York. (That most, if not all of these families just happen to be Jewish, you may judge the significance of yourself). The balance of stock is owned by major commercial member banks.

They have all promoted the “New World Order,” controlled by the United Nations. The problem is that “…the present United Nations organization is actually the creation of the CFR and is housed on land in Manhattan donated to it by the family of current CFR chairman David Rockefeller,” as Pat Robertson describes it.

Since that time the CFR and its friends in the mass media (largely controlled by CFR members such as Katherine Graham of the “Washington Post” and Henry Luce of” Time, Life”), foundations, and political groups have lobbied consistently to grant the United Nations more authority and power. Bush and the Gulf War were but one of the latest calls for a “New World Order.”

Within the CFR there exists a “much smaller group but more powerful…made up of Wall Street international bankers and their key agents. Primarily, they want the world banking monopoly from whatever power ends up in control of the global government …This CFR faction is headed by the Rockefeller brothers,” according to Ward.

What must be remembered is that this is not some lunatic- fringe group…these are members of one of the most powerful private organizations in the world: the people who determine and control American economic, social, political, and military policy. Members’ influence and control extends to “leaders in academia, public service, business, and the media,” according to the CFR 1993 “Annual Report.”

The CFR states that it is “host to many views, advocate of none,” and it “has no affiliation with the U.S. government.” No, no affiliation at all, if you don’t count: “A Council member was elected president of the United States…Dozens of other Council colleagues were called to serve in cabinet and sub-cabinet positions,” as they describe it in “Foreign Affairs,” along with many members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs, the Federal Reserve, and many other Federal bureaucrats.

They are not AFFILIATED with government, they ARE the government, in effect.

CFR Members in the mass media, education, and entertainment push their propaganda of “humanism” and world brotherhood. We should all live in peace under a world government, and forget about such selfish things as nationalities and patriotism. We can solve our own problems. We don’t need God, or morals, or values: it’s all relative, anyway, right?…Because if we actually had some moral character and values, we might be able to discern that these people are actually EVIL.

The Bible says that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). These people are evil because they love money and power, and greed drives them to do anything to achieve their goals. They have lost all morality and conscience, and believe such concepts, as well as our Constitution, “outdated”.

 If one group is effectively in control of national governments and multinational corporations; promotes world government through control of media, foundation grants, and education; and controls and guides the issues of the day; then they control most options available. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the financial powers behind it, has done all these things, and promote the “New World Order”, as they have for over seventy years.

Definition of Globalization

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.

Globalization is also defined as the acceleration and intensification of economic interaction among the people, companies, and governments of different nations. Most studies of globalization tend to focus on changes occurring in the economic and political spheres.

The theorists of globalization are in disarray. For a decade they argued that the world economy had changed fundamentally. They described a system integrated by the market and driven by capitalist energies which would deliver growth and unprecedented prosperity. A ‘global era’ of free flowing capital was to open up new opportunities for humanity as a whole, affecting economic structures and political, social and cultural life. The globalisers predicted rapid development of Africa, Asia and Latin America, even arguing that divisions between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations, ‘First’ and ‘Third’ worlds, would become less significant and eventually meaningless.

The Economist, house magazine of the global free marketeers, maintains that the world system now delivers ‘more for all’ and that vigorous growth in the Third World means ‘it is the world’s poor who will benefit most’. Every index of economic and social advance, however, suggests otherwise. Among most of the 4.4 billion people living in Africa, Asia and Latin America life has become a more desperate struggle for survival. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that 840 million people are malnourished; the great mass of them living in countries of the Third World. There is no evidence to suggest that the global era has brought prosperity, or even an alleviation of human suffering.

The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter famously characterized capitalism as a process of “creative destruction.”

While this phenomenon may help propel economic development, many people around the world are coming to question the impact that the worldwide expansion of the capitalist model is having on the most precious aspects of their identity. In fact, the globalization thesis as a whole is suspect. Investigation of the world economy today reveals a situation plainly at odds with the globalizers’ main principles. Although some areas of the world economy show evidence of more fluid capital movement, some do not. Although, in one sense, there has been integration–nowhere is immune from the market economy–some regions formerly central to world capitalism have been driven to its margins. Some states are weak–but only in relation to very strong states which continue to dominate world affairs. The picture is one of unevenness and of contradiction. It is evident that that globalization prolonged mass misery and social conflict.

The Harm of Globalization

Billions of people are being forced to the very margins of the world system where notions of taste, choice and assertion of status must be measured against the imperative of survival. Over the past 30 years there has been a very rapid increase in global inequality. This is crudely estimated by the United Nations, based on differences between homogenized ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations. As we shall see, this is an inappropriate means of understanding world inequality but it does give ‘headline’ figures that stand starkly against the globalisers’ account. Between 1960 and 1994 the gap in per capita income between the richest fifth of the world’s people (most in developed countries) and the poorest fifth (most in developing countries) more than doubled–from 30:1 to 78:1. By the mid-1990s this trend was becoming more marked: by 1995 the ratio was 82:1.33

In 1997 the richest fifth of the world’s people obtained 86 percent of world income; the poorest fifth received just 1.3 percent. Some 1.3 billion people subsisted on less than $1 per day–a life threatening decline in living standards since the 1960s. The trend was also accelerating: by 1996 no less than 30 countries showed an annual decline in the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures literacy, life expectancy, and access to health services, safe water and adequate food. Among 147 countries defined as within the ‘developing’ world, 100 had experienced ‘serious economic decline’ over the past 30 years.34

Most countries of sub-Saharan Africa are far behind the base growth level of 3 percent over a generation which is identified as necessary to reverse current trends to greater mass poverty. By 2030, the UNDP estimates, world GDP will more than double but Africa will experience a further sharp decline in its share of the world total: from 1.2 percent in 1997 to 0.4 percent.36 The majority of Africans–some 500 million people–will be further marginalized within an increasingly productive world system.

All available evidence suggests that inequality is becoming much more pronounced. During the 1960s the poorest 50 percent of people in Brazil received some 18 percent of national income; by the mid-1990s the figure had fallen to 11.6 percent.47 In Egypt, where the regime has been a Third World pioneer of neo-liberal economic strategies, 23 percent of the population was estimated to be below the poverty line in the late 1970s; by the early 1990s the figure had risen to over 40 percent.48

The human experience, far from being universalized by market forces, is more differentiated than ever. For billions of people the idea of choice, consumerism and ‘value commitment’ brought by a global era is fantasy. In fact, the recent phase of supposed global advance has brought increased suffering and uncertainty for far longer than the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.

Uneven development today: Throughout the 20th century, change in Africa, Asia and Latin Africa has been marked by a similar pattern of combined and uneven development. No region is untouched by market relations but these have not propelled societies steadily towards growth. Rather there are patterns of extreme unevenness.

Islamic Fundamentalism surfaced in Iran as a counterweight to the influence of what was perceived to be a foreign culture, but which was in fact the process of globalization. It was “the people’s” answer to what they considered to be the increasing “westernization” of their society, especially in the upper middle classes. It wasn’t so much that the Iranian people were any more religious than their peers had been some twenty years earlier, a time when the mosques of Iran were rarely full, as it was that the “people” had returned to the foundation of their culture – their religion, their mosques – in defense of that culture. It wasn’t a sudden impulse to “find God” that drove the people back to their religion, as it was that their culture, which was under siege, gathered them back to her “ancient fountains” and “primeval groves” in her defense. So long as the culture was not threatened, the mosques could remain relatively empty, the religious trappings left to decay; but once the “people” perceived that their culture was in danger of collapse because of the impress of a foreign one, than the people returned to the mosque, and Islam resurfaced with a vengeance. The revolution didn’t happen overnight. It was a process which took some twenty years; but the force of that process became inexorable as “westernization” pressed itself ever more onto the middle and upper middle class.

These “norms” and values are now being challenged by a multiculturalism which has emerged largely as the result of the accelerating process of economic globalization and the growth of multi-national corporations. While it is true that multiculturalism, in reality, does not represent so much the impress of a foreign culture as it does an effort to neutralize the “distinguishing” and “exclusionary” features of individual cultures – thereby extending their parameters and boundaries – in the end this process inevitably has the effect of emasculating them. This is precisely what was happening in Iran prior to 1978. It wasn’t so much that anyone was trying to impose Christianity or “western civilization” – or any other foreign religion or culture as such on Iran – as it was that the phenomenon of globalization was having the effect of diluting Iran’s native culture. Add to this whole process the tendency of each culture’s champions to blame multiculturalism for ills that it is not necessarily to blame for, such as the rise of alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, etc., and one has the ingredients for an explosive and even revolutionary situation. The resurgence of Christian Fundamentalism – as indicated by the results of the 1994 elections, where, according to People for the American Way, 60 percent of the candidates the so-called “Religious Right” backed won6 – and its entrance into the political arena may indicate that the nation’s globalist elites have been blundering badly when they have assumed that most Middle Americans share their globalist ethic. It appears they’ve been talking to themselves and pushing their “world view” on people who do not share their global and multicultural enthusiasm. In doing so, it seems they’ve been making a serious mistake – one that is coming back to haunt them as they continue to push their agenda in the political market place. Obviously, it has not been selling quite as well as they’ve been advertising to themselves in the media.

Moreover, all this indicates just how insulated and cutoff they have become, just as the globalist elites became in Iran. And it is worth noting, that those who constituted these elites in Iran in 1978 were not stupid people – on the contrary, they were the best and the brightest that Iranian society had to offer. But for some strange reason which defies adequate explanation, there appears to be a blindness which inevitably accompanies almost all secular elites – regardless of the culture they come to dominate, usually by stint of very hard work – which obscures their ability to see the consequences of what they are doing by trampling, often without realizing it, the cultural values of ordinary people.

And it’s not just appearances that we’re talking about here – indeed, there is a great deal of very solid evidence to suggest that the only people the secular elites are kidding are themselves when they ignore the power of religion and advertise the popularity of multiculturalism. Contrary to what is being pushed in the media, there is mounting evidence which suggests that many of the older, more traditional Christian positions on certain social and cultural issues – especially when presented under the guise of moderation – are much more popular, even in the face of intense opposition, than most multiculturalists care to admit. The secular elites have been ignoring this evidence at their own peril, just as they did in Iran.

For many people, their own cultural values are too important to put a price tag on, and no destruction can be considered “creative.”

However, the dramatic changes wrought by globalization have forced policymakers to respond to public pressures in many new areas. Observers of globalization are increasingly recognizing that globalization is having a significant impact on matters such as local cultures, matters which are less tangible and hard to quantify, but often fraught with intense emotion and controversy.

Now the issues of culture sphere as presented by the environment, species preservation, rural life, health, food and cuisine, religion, human rights, the family, women’s issues, ethnic heritage, the arts and other quality-of-life issues are pounding on the doors at world economic and political forums and demanding a place at the table. They represent the birth of a new “civil-society politics” and an antidote to the forces pushing for globalization.”

The relationship between Islam and globalization has been open to much interpretation and acrimonious debate. At the crux of the current debate is the idea that Islam is somehow opposed to the process of globalization. Islam is not against the process of globalization per se, but rather that the tension is due to the process of Westernization.

Globalization or Westernization?

Globalization is considered a reflection of the classical economic theory’s principle of comparative advantage, which promotes an open economic system and free trade in order to achieve and realize the best chances of life.

Globalization is supposed to narrow the gaps separating different communities. This is done by exchanging benefits in all aspects of life — economic, social, scientific, and political governance. That is, they exchange information, understand each other’s values and codes of ethics and build a common ground. In contrast, Westernization does not consider such an understanding or building of such common ground to be worthwhile enterprises. Globalization is a process in which the whole world becomes like a small village, where the less advanced communities can develop their capacities and that tends to be a two-way street process, which makes it possible for each community to take as well as to give. Westernization, on the other hand, tends to be a one-way street, meaning that one region attempts to dominate and control other regions in the name of globalization. Moreover, while globalization occurs through the free will of different communities, Westernization is characteristically imposed upon other regions.

Islam and Globalization

Having clarified the difference between globalization and Westernization, the Islam-globalization debate can be assessed more accurately. Islam is not anti-globalization; however, Muslims do have a problem with Westernization. Although Westernization of society is condemned, modernization as such is not. Science and technology are accepted, but they are to be subordinated to Islamic belief and values in order to guard against the Westernization and secularization of Muslim society. Based upon historical precedence and contemporary evidence, Islam clearly embraces globalization in its original form, which is based upon free-will and not upon the aggressive imposition of the West upon the East (3).

 Islam orders people to cooperate, to be helpful to one another according to goodness and piety, and not to be helpful in evil and malice (Qur’an 5:2). This principle is fully endorsed by Prophet Muhammad on the local level, regardless if your neighbor is a Muslim or not. Surely this principle can be extended into the international level, where a neighboring country can be defined as any country that has normal economic and political relations with the Islamic world.

Other factors illustrate Islam’s acceptance and predominant role in the process of globalization. For several centuries, Arabic was the world’s leading language in sciences. Muslims made important advances in mathematics, astronomy and medicine — a legacy from which European scholars derived great benefit, and which led to the Renaissance. Globalization is not only a Western phenomenon, for the agents of globalization are neither European nor exclusively Western, nor are they necessarily linked to Western dominance. Indeed, Europe would have been a lot poorer — economically, culturally, and scientifically — had it resisted the globalization of mathematics, science, and technology.

We have to differentiate between the gifts of globalization and the products of Westernization. More specifically, the Islam-globalization debate in itself is built upon a number of mistaken diagnoses that misconstrue Islam’s place in the globalized world — one that has been quite productive in the past and has the potential to be productive in the future. The misguided assumption that Islam opposes globalization and modernization is dangerous, because it could potentially result in the loss of Islam’s significant contributions to the rest of the world (3).

Muslim attitudes toward Westernization

The Muslim world’s reaction to Westernization, and the West’s emergence as the dominant force transforming the world, must be assessed. It is similar to the emergence of the Arab Muslims as a major world power in the seventh and eighth centuries. It is important to note that the Muslim weakness at the end of the eighteenth century coincided with the rise of an entirely different type of civilization in the West, and this time the Muslim world would find it far more difficult to meet the challenge. In the past, Muslim communities were able to revitalize Islam’s role and power in the world. However, the impact of Westernization was an unprecedented experience that significantly challenged Islam and created a bi-polar dichotomy that separated the West from the rest — and specifically from Islam.

From a historical perspective, Westernization minimized Islam’s role and made it dependent upon the Western way of doing things. “The Islamic world has been convulsed by the modernization process. Instead of being one of the leaders of world civilization, Islamdom was quickly and permanently reduced to a dependent bloc by European powers. As a result, resentment toward the West emerged. Muslims questioned whether they would have to accept Western-style modernization or be deemed as being anti-globalization. From this point, a growing number of Muslims would wrestle with these questions, and their attempts to put Muslim history back on the straight path would sometimes appear desperate and even despairing.

The emergence and rise of extremism can be directly attributed to the resulting resentment toward the Western style of globalization — a one-way process that does not strive to create a common ground between the West and other regions, and hence the desire and perceived need to pursue religious revivalism. However, we should realize that violence and extremism are not exclusively Islamic phenomena. “The Western media often gives the impression that the embattled and occasionally violent form of religiosity known as fundamentalism is a purely Islamic phenomenon. This is not the case. Fundamentalism is a global fact and has surfaced in every major faith in response to the problems of our modernity.

For Islamic society, the underlying concerns regarding globalization are: how to protect a unique heritage in the face of global pressure; to uphold religious traditions; to preserve linguistic purity; to defend social institutions; and ultimately, to maintain a viable identity in the midst of a rapidly changing global environment. According to Islam, complete submission to God is the first and foremost priority for all Muslims. Anything that undermines Islamic principles is considered a threat to Islam’s longevity and power in the world. More importantly, we should be aware of the fact that despite the Islam-West bi-polarization, Islam is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon that transcends the boundaries that once separated the West from the rest.

Global Islam: The growing phenomenon and implications for the future.

Islam is the second largest religion and the fastest growing religion in the world. Islam began to spread in Arabia around the year 610 A.D. when Prophet Muhammad began receiving revelations from God through Archangel Gabriel, sharing with others what he had been told. Today, Islam is a global phenomenon represented by Muslims across the world. “Fifteen million Muslims reside in Europe, and seven to eight million in the United States. There are now about a thousand mosques each in Germany and France, and five hundred in the United Kingdom.” One factor that may explain the rapid spread of Islam is the process of globalization itself.

Islam’s future depends upon its ability to wed Western-style modernism with Islamic principles, or, in other words, whether it can develop an Islamic-style modernism. The challenge is to engage in modernity without sacrificing Muslim values or undermining Islamic principles. “As we are only slowly realizing, Islam is truly a world religion, increasingly visible in Europe and the United States as well as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Given that Islam has become a global phenomenon, it is increasingly important that its principles are respected and not made irrelevant in the modern world. Rather than separating Islamic values from Western values, the goal of globalization is to develop an understanding of each other’s values and codes of ethics and to establish a common ground. Establishing a common ground is vital for ensuring the progress of globalization and allowing the world to reach its full potential. Modernization and globalization need to respect the identities of all regions and respect religion as a natural necessity for humanity.

The struggle for religion to remain relevant in the world is common to all religions at some point in history. Much of the literature surrounding the current Islam-globalization debate provides an inadequate and fragmented view of religion’s role in the process of globalization. Secularization, which is promoted in the current forms of globalization, is a new concept. In fact, based upon historical precedence, religion has played a key role in contributing to globalization and, more specifically, Islam has had a predominant role. The challenge for the future of a globalized world, and not just for Islam, is to be helpful to one another according to goodness and piety, and not to be helpful in evil and malice.


1-   William Blase: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the New World Order.

2-   Globalization and the Third World
By: Phil Marfleet.

3-    Islam and Globolization. By Mona Maisami.
www. The Fountain Magazine.