Problems on hold
The London based International Criminal Law Bureau’s 9 Bedford Row (9BR) has recently released a report on the History of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The 150-page report, commissioned by the Sate Litigation Authority of Egypt, provides an overview on the inception of the MB movement, its structure, organisation and activities. Given what the document reveals, it is inevitable to question the sympathy the international superpowers display towards the MB; why they embrace MB leaders, hold dialogue with them, and allow the MB to operate on their lands. These superpowers insist on defining the MB not as a terrorist organisation but as just another faction among the Egyptian political groups. As such, they claim the MB should be included and allowed to operate in Egyptian politics, and that this would achieve political stability and national harmony.
As I see it, the 9BR report knocks out any possibility of Egyptian conciliation with the MB, and gives the lie to claims of ‘ideological revision’ by a number of Brotherhood members or leaders who allege they have gone back on MB ideology. The MB rose to power in the post-2011 Arab Spring years and were consequently overthrown by the 33-million strong popular revolution of 30 June 2013. Since then they have inflicted brutal terrorism upon the Egyptian people in revenge. The bitter experience during these years and till today has turned Egyptian public opinion against the MB. Egyptians today disbelieve and reject any alleged ‘ideological revision’. The fear, however, is that as time passes and Egypt has the MB crisis behind her back, the national wound would heal and calls of conciliation might play on the sentiments of those who were not directly burned by MB evil. Hence the importance of the 9BR report which proves in no uncertain terms that the MB is the origin of Islamist terrorism. Here is a reading of the report.
• The history of the MB since its inception in the 1920s has been closely linked to its ‘secret apparatus’, the group’s military arm. This remained the inspiration for all terrorist organisations and groups around the world, from al-Qaeda and IS, to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis in Sinai, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and others.
• The outlook and purpose of the founder Hassan al-Banna has remained firmly in place over more than eight decades. These include, besides an unmistakable endorsement of violence, MB monopoly of Islam and belief in the organisation’s singular capacity for reform through a totalitarian doctrine that renders the MB, as al-Banna himself described it, “a Salafiyya message, a Sunni way, a Sufi truth, a political organisation, an athletic group, a cultural-educational union, an economic company, and a social concept.” The MB thus becomes all that is within a community, not just a faction among others.
• The strategy of superiority and MB monopoly over Islam led to the spread of violence and the training of youth on armed violence in organisations and militias that became the inspiring and supportive nuclei of all armed terrorist organisations that later emerged: al-Qaeda, al-Qassam Brigades, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and all through to IS. Early on, in the 1940s Egypt had its fair share of MB violence, terrorism and assassinations; al-Banna tried to disclaim the violence by saying the perpetrators were “neither Muslim nor Brothers”. Yet he did nothing to control the armed apparatus till he was assassinated in 1949.
• The extremist, terrorist groups which originated from the womb of the MB share the MB classification of the world into a ‘community of Jahiliyya (ignorance)’ versus a ‘community of Islam’. This classification is based on the core thought of prominent MB Sayyid Qutb that “the world had a choice: Islam or Jahiliyya. An Islamic society follows Islam in faith and worship, in law and organisation, in morals and manners,” whereas a Jahiliyya society does not endorse Islam.
• When the MB Muhammad Mursi was president of Egypt in 2012 – 2013, a close relation emerged between the authority in Egypt and al-Qaeda. Mursi was in contact with Muhammad al-Zawahiri, brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current al-Qaeda leader who was a MB member in his youth.
• Both Qatar and Turkey support the MB. They provide shelter to MB leaders and fugitives from justice in Egypt. Qatar strives to exploit the MB to achieve its strategic greed of extending its hegemony over the region. Turkey attempts to revive its dream of the Caliphate and Ottoman State.
• The report notes that the Egyptian government declared the MB a terrorist group in the wake of the mass revolution of 30 June 2013. It also notes that the Egyptian government arrested leaders of the MB and presented them to justice after they exposed their true, ugly face of violence and terrorism.
Many MB leaders or members who defected from the organisation have written exposing the secret apparatus and the paramilitary branch of the organisation, the objectives of which are opposed to all national concepts. The 9BR report, however, is especially important since it was issued by the London based International Criminal Law Bureau, and may possibly alert the international powers who still embrace this group.
26 April 2015