Mus­lim Brother­hood in Egypt Pic­ture

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Saadula Aqrawi

Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Morsi, and Egypt Mus­lim Brother­hood , has been ousted by the mil­i­tary, se­nior lead­ers have been de­tained, and its head­quar­ters have been burned. .The move­ment is the coun­try's old­est and largest Is­lamist or­ga­ni­za­tion, mean­ing its ide­ol­ogy is based on the teach­ings of the Is­lam.

United States and west have fre­quently fol­lowed a strat­egy of en­gag­ing non-vi­o­lent Is­lamists such as the MB. Their ra­tio­nale is that by em­pow­er­ing Is­lamists of this kind, one would weaken the ji­hadists. But in the end both groups have the same goal, even if their tac­tics dif­fer. When en­gag­ing the Mus­lim Brother­hood,

EU ac­tors should know who their in­ter­locu­tors are, where they are com­ing from

ide­o­log­i­cally and what they re­ally think of the West. One should not take ev­ery­thing at face value.

The move­ment ini­tially aimed sim­ply to spread Is­lamic morals and good works, but soon be­came in­volved in pol­i­tics, par­tic­u­larly the fight to rid Egypt of Bri­tish colo­nial con­trol and cleanse it of all Western in­flu­ence.

While the Mus­lim Brother­hood say that they sup­port demo­cratic prin­ci­ples, one of the group's stated aims is to cre­ate a state ruled by Is­lamic law, or Sharia. Its most fa­mous slo­gan, used world­wide, is: "Is­lam is the so­lu­tion

The Mus­lim Brother­hood was founded in Is­mailia, Egypt by Has­san al-Banna in March 1928 as an Is­lamist re­li­gious, po­lit­i­cal, and so­cial move­ment. The group spread to other Mus­lim coun­tries but has its largest, or one of its largest, or­ga­ni­za­tions in Egypt, where for many years it has been the largest, best-or­ga­nized, and most dis­ci­plined po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion force, de­spite a suc­ces­sion of gov­ern­ment crack­downs in 1948, 1954, 1965 af­ter plots, or al­leged plots, of as­sas­si­na­tion and over­throw were uncovered. Fol­low­ing the 2011 Rev­o­lu­tion the group was le­gal­ized, and in April 2011 it launched a civic po­lit­i­cal party called the Free­dom and Jus­tice Party (Egypt) to con­test elec­tions.

Af­ter the dis­so­lu­tion of the move­ment in 1954, the harsh re­pres­sion by the Nasser regime and the ex­ile pe­riod, it took awhile for the Egyp­tian branch to re­bound. In­ter­est­ingly, it was the An­war al-Sa­dat regime that helped the MB re­turn in the mid

1970s. Sa­dat wanted to use the Mus­lim Brother­hood to counter left­ist forces. He viewed the MB fa­vor­ably, tol­er­at­ing its re­lent­less ex­pan­sion through re­cruit­ment and pen­e­tra­tion of Egyp­tian so­ci­ety. But it was not un­til the mid-1980s that the Mus­lim Brother­hood de­cided to run in elec­tions, a de­ci­sion that is still to­day hotly de­bated within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Three op­tions have been en­vis­aged: first, cre­at­ing a po­lit­i­cal party sep­a­rate from the MB’s dawa ac­tiv­ity; sec­ond, trans­form­ing the Mus­lim Brother­hood solely into a po­lit­i­cal party; and third, main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo.

the Mus­lim Brother­hood were blamed, banned, and thou­sands of mem­bers im­pris­oned and tor­tured. The group con­tin­ued, how­ever, to grow un­der­ground.

This clash with the au­thor­i­ties prompted an im­por­tant shift in the ide­ol­ogy of the Ikhwan, ev­i­dent in the writ­ing of one prom­i­nent mem­ber, Sayyid Qutb.

Qutb's work ad­vo­cated the use of ji­had (strug­gle) against (ig­no­rant) so­ci­eties, both Western and so-called Is­lamic ones, which he ar­gued were in need of rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion.

In 1965, the gov­ern­ment again cracked down on the Mus­lim Brother­hood , ex­e­cut­ing Qutb in 1966 - trans­form­ing him into a mar­tyr for many peo­ple across the re­gion.

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