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Report #3 in a New Series: The Muslim Brotherhood 2002 - 2011 Part 1: October 2002 - January 2004 June 2011
Report #3 in a New NEFA Series: “The Muslim Brotherhood” By NEFA Director of Analysis and Research Ronald Sandee June 2011 In this report, the NEFA Foundation will focus on the developments within the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood over the past 10 years. As the Brotherhood is often described in the Western media as a “moderate force” within Egypt, the report will investigate this notion and endeavor to indentify trends within the Brotherhood, while allowing the leadership of the Brotherhood to speak for themselves. On October 29, 2002, Mustafa Mashhur, the 5th General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, was taken to a hospital after suffering a stroke. It was soon reported that Mashhur was in a coma and could die at any moment. 1 While Mashhur was in this state, the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt began to prepare for the election of a new General Guide, and at this point, it was all but certain the most serious candidate would be Deputy General Guide Ma’mun al-Hudaybi. Hudaybi was not only the Deputy General Guide, he also served as the official spokesman for the movement and had become the de facto leader following Mashhur’s stroke which resulted in his slipping into a coma.
While the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood was quick to state they had completely ruled out the idea of nominating a General Guide from the outside, Egyptian voices within the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood had quite a different view. In the London-based Arab language newspaper, al-Sharq alAwsat, a former leader of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood said: “…that the Egypt leadership prefers to speed up a decision on the new guide so as to cut off opposition by the international organization outside Egypt.” 2 According to the anonymous leader, the international organization had objected to its being completely excluded in the all important decision to choose a new General Guide. According to this leader, this decision directly contradicted MB guidelines that addressed this situation: “the internal regulations of the international organization,
which call for electing a guide from among the leaders of the international
Al-Sharq al-Awsat, November 5, 2002 Al-Sharq al-Awsat, November 5, 2002
To that end. to resign. In this interview.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. he forced Kamal Helbawi.org – info@nefafoundation. “The leader expected that appointing Al-Hudaybi as guide would detonate the dispute Hudaybi and Mashhur The Muslim Brotherhood had made its decision and was only awaiting the death of Mustafa Mashhur to announce the new General Guide. November 5.nefafoundation. 2002 www.nefafoundation.” 3 The former leader indicated that the names that were circulating were those of Egyptian Yusuf alQaradawi and Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Faisal Malawi. Ma’mun alHudaybi. 2002.org . There have been recurrent and violent disputes between Al-Hudaybi and the international organization. which comprises the national leaders of the groups in various parts or the world – this not being a position restricted to Egypt only. 2002 7 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. 2002 5 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. to guarantee the quorum required for meetings in the event that other members are prevented from travelling. While Mustafa Mashhur was known for being one of the founders of the international organization in the 1980s. 2002 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. his deputy. 2002. the frontrunner to succeed Mashhur as General Guide. As acting General Guide.org organization. Ma’mun al-Hudaybi granted a lengthy interview to As-Sharq al-Awsat on November 14. While alHudaybi served as Deputy General Guide and Official Spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood. was not a strong supporter of the international organization to say the least. November 5. The regulations provide for choosing at least eight of the Guidance Bureau members from the guide’s country. a member of the Consultative Council of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was clear when he said: “the general guide position will never be taken out of Egypt and that there was no likelihood at all of this. he discussed a wide range of subjects and his responses articulated an air of authority leading the newspaper to conclude he would indeed assume the role of the new General Guide: 3 4 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. November 5.” 7 It is not surprising that the members of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood were concerned about the succession of Mustafa Mashhur. he did not tolerate a second spokesman operating within the organization. the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in the West. November 15. Al-Sharq al-Awsat. 4 between the leaderships of the Egyptian and international organizations. a few hours before Mashhur died. November 5. November 5.” 5 In response. Choosing a guide from outside Egypt would require transferring the group’s leadership to the country to which that guide belongs.” 6 The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader also explained: “…official regulations were something and the actual conditions something else. 2002 6 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. This would be practically impossible because of the regional and international changes that have resulted in the group being under siege.
Mustafa Mashhur died. Al-Sharq al-Awsat. 2002.org “But from the interview with him. called the “caliphate”. The guide does not have any power if the vote is against him. 11 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. 2002. al-Hayat: “…the idea behind the international organization is to symbolize Arab and Islamic unity. We in Egypt or anywhere in Islam do not have anyone who speaks in the name of Allah. the Muslim Brotherhood should be able to establish a political party. November 15. November 25. according to him. the international organization has not fulfilled its objectives: “But the international circumstances have On November 14.” “The mission of the International Organization of the Brotherhood is represented by the attempt to unify the views on various issues like the issue of women. al-Hudaybi stated that the Brothers call the way they run the movement an ‘Islamic democracy’ in which Shura is one of the important fundaments.org . al-Hudaybi discussed issues such as the necessity to form a political party within the framework of ‘applicable law. On the role of the General Guide: “Matters must be left to run their course. it is a symbol that has value and importance.nefafoundation. 2002. According to him. al-Hudaybi said to another Arabic newspaper. The Islamic faith has room for many interpretations and many policies. and on November 24.” 10 Concerning the guiding principles for the Muslim Brotherhood.’ He highlighted a court ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court in Egypt in which the court writes that “…article eight of the constitution says that the Islamic shari’ah is the fundamental source of legislation” in Egypt. for example.” 9 He also was attentive to the opinion of the Egyptian government as he stated: “…we do not want to do anything that infringes upon the authority in Egypt or make it feel that we are getting high and mighty or want to upset it.” Al-Hudaybi also comments in this interview on the International created restrictions on the movement. which is the unity of the Arab nation. 13 Al-Hayat. November 15.org – info@nefafoundation. 2003 10 Al-Sharq al-Awsat.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. but “not a religious party. November 15. it can be confirmed that he will actually be the next guide. 2002 12 Al-Hayat.nefafoundation. June 22. The International Organization of the Brotherhood is not something that is trivial.” 8 In the interview. 2002. the Muslim Brotherhood announced that Ma’mun al-Hudaybi had succeeded Mashhur as General Guide. Al-Zaman. 13 The day before. www. November 15. but one whose authority is Islam. Consequently. it is a down payment for what we are aiming for. 2002. We want a regular political party. November 25. However. 2002. 2002. We reject that terminology because it has come from the West and it means that the religious party speaks in the Ma’mun al-Hudaybi name of our Lord.” 11 A few days following that interview.” 12 Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. al-Hudaybi had received an official Qatari delegation 8 9 Al-Sharq al-Awsat.
Friday.” 20 In the days following. June 22. and that the U. it is the Consultative Council that is to choose the new General Guide from the members of the Executive Bureau.” 15 In a later Palestine.. evil and darkness with all the legitimate means. 2003. 2003 17 Al-Hayat. directed several blows at the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. 2003. However. November 25. it was two thirds of the members of the Executive Bureau present at a meeting who chose the new General Guide.org .S. in this case. the members of the Executive Bureau had spoken over a period of time with individual members of the Shura Council to discuss their opinions concerning the issue of naming the new General Guide. According to the bylaws of the Muslim Brotherhood. February 13.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. “The MB’s Shura Council’s latest meeting was closely watched interview. February 15. They were referred to a military court and prison terms ranging from three to five years were passed against most of them. in the months prior to the February protests. and even what some countries are proud to call a crusade against Muslims…” 19 The General Guide added “The time has come for us to work seriously before we are eliminated from this world. Al-Hayat.nefafoundation. he called “on Muslims to unite in order to confront a crusade against them. there were doubts about how the new General Guide was to be chosen. what happened previously in Afghanistan. 22 Al-Hayat.org – info@nefafoundation. al-Hudaybi explained to al-Hayat that the Shura Council had not met since 1995. plans in the region were in place before the 9/11 attacks. www. In response to the situation. 14 In the press. 2003 20 Al-Hayat. November 23. Many MB leaders and 14 15 Al-Hayat. February 14 and Saturday.” 21 The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood released a statement that called on the Islamic nations and all peace lovers “to stand in one rank against the forces of war. 17 In the months following al-Hudaybi’s appointment. 2002. al-Hudaybi said that 91 leaders had been arrested. Al-Hudaybi was the first General Guide who started his period in leadership with an attack on the U. 2002. February 13. 2003 19 Al-Hayat.” 22 The Egyptian authorities had. and more than 83 MB figures were arrested that year simply because they attended meeting.” 18 “What is happening now in beloved by the security agencies. stating that the war against terrorism had turned into a campaign against Islam.org that came to offer their condolences on the death of Mashhur. February 11. he became more outspoken on this subject. 16 In this case. February 11. and in February 2003.S. November 25. 16 Al-Zaman.nefafoundation. what happened and what is about to happen in beloved Iraq and its brotherly Muslim people. or before we are as those who live as dishonorable slaves. were designated as “two days of anger and protests against the US build-up to the invasion. February 11. 2003 21 Al-Hayat. as well as a delegation representing the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood. 2002 18 Al-Hayat.
The authorities accused the arrested members of the Muslim Brotherhood of using regional and international issues such as the upcoming Iraq war and the occupation of Palestine to rouse public support and urge them to revolt against the Egyptian regime.org – firstname.lastname@example.org members were arrested and some were placed in preventive custody. 27 Al-Hayat. al-Hudaybi said: “The deployment of US forces in the region is a frustration that the Muslim Brotherhood was not able to mobilize their foot soldiers in multiple countries in an effort to go to the streets and voice their anger about the expected invasion of Iraq. which also commemorated the death of Hasan al-Banna on February 12. harbinger of great harm and brutal aggression. the price of which only the fraternal Iraqi people will pay.” 27 A week later on February 23. www. 25 Al-Hayat.” 24 Although most of this can be characterized as typical pan-Islamic “The Palestinian intifada is a legitimate jihad in the cause of Allah. Others were referred to military courts. 2003. the General Guide voiced his On February 15. city.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. 23 During the protests. 2003). In the weeks before the invasion of Iraq (March 20. Only jihad will work with the aggressive. including the International Organization. February 15. 2003. February 15.S.: “The USA regards the enemy’s brutal aggression as self-defense.nefafoundation. February 15. Al-Hayat.” 25 Al-Hudaybi went on to lash out at the U. February 15. and carries out massacres in every village.” 26 This authoritative stand articulates al-Hudaybi’s view of himself as the official spokesman for the entire Muslim Brotherhood. The MB members rhetoric. it is important to understand the mindset. usurpist enemy. street and neighborhood. “He criticized those who order the security bodies to oppress the people. Islam dictates that the entire Islamic nation should stand behind Hamas and all mujahidin to support the intifada and ensure its continuation.org . 2003. kills innocent and defenseless people with all types of weapons of mass destruction. al-Hudaybi expressed his opposition to the Iraq war more than once in the international Arab media. Such aggression will also cause harm to the Palestinian issue and all states in the region. troops coming to the region declaring that “Jihad has become a duty for every individual. February 15. now call on the nation’s peoples and leaders to reorganize the Arab house and unite their ranks. The Muslim Brotherhood grew exponentially in the 1930s when the Brothers rallied around their fellow Brothers in Palestine and joined the Arab Revolt. who are prevented from voicing their rejection and anger…the Arab 23 24 Al-Hayat. Their anti-Jewish platform was an effective means to build unity on the Egyptian streets and they never abandoned their anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist agenda. defenseless victims as violence and terrorism.S. 2003. Martyrdom operations are one of the weapons of jihad against an enemy who occupies the cities and villages of Palestine. 1949. 26 Al-Hayat. but sees the cries of the innocent. 2003. the General Guide spoke and warned of U.
6 32 Al-Hayat. 2003.’ 30 Azhar University is recognized as the leading Islamic religious institute in the Muslim world today.6 34 Al-Hayat.6 31 Al-Hayat. al-Hudaybi called for jihad by the members of the Muslim Brotherhood to defend Iraq. In May. “It’s time for Jihad. 2003. and condemned “the forces of evil in the United States and the EU. Al-Hayat. 2003. no empowerment. 2003. humiliation and disgrace.org – info@nefafoundation. p. p. policies in Iraq and those concerning the Palestinians: “it is the old new policy. March 14. Make yourselves and your houses ready. backbiting. also stating: “no victory can be achieved without sacrifice. and is blatantly declaring its bias 28 29 That next week. because it is weakness. al-Hudaybi spoke about U. is exerting pressure.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. the General Guide escalated his choice of wording when he spoke on June 20 in front of the al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. 2003.” 28 A week before the invasion of Iraq began. without jihad.” 32 According to the London-based Arab language newspaper al-Hayat. March 14. First establish the state of Islam in your hearts so that it can be established on your land. p. May 17. 2003 33 Al-Hayat.6 30 Al-Hayat. June 14.org masses are awaiting their role to confront the vicious war itself and battle the bloodshed. the Muslim Brotherhood continued to escalate the rhetoric repeatedly flaming the same arguments. nation and homelands above all others and let them beware disunity. June 21. 2003.” 34 is using its armies to overrun Arab and Muslim lands. and Israel “the forces of evil. is devoting all its efforts. the General Guide said.” 31 In mid-June.7 www. February 23.S. al-Hudaybi went a step further in his messages to the Muslim Brothers around the world when he “urged jihad against the US forces that occupy Iraq and Afghanistan”. Al-Hudaybi said that the Muslim Brotherhood rejects all peaceful solutions with Israel and called the U. the invasion of a Muslim country ‘makes jihad an ordained duty for all Muslims. and no dignity except that which comes through obedience to Allah. p. occupation of homes. the policy of machination. In the months after the operation in Iraq began. idolatry and atheism” 33 He described the Western countries as anti-Muslim forces and called them “the party of Satan”. the General Guide said: “the only solution for the Palestinian issue is the adoption of jihad as the means for liberating the Palestinian territories. p. Al-Hayat. 29 The call by the General Guide came two days after Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy called on all Muslims to undertake Jihad against the ‘Crusader invaders’ should an invasion of Iraq take place. backed by the EU.nefafoundation.” 35 “The US administration. and fragmentation of homelands. Allah will be with you and will not abandon you”. p.S. It is the policy that the Jews pursued during the life of the Prophet (…) it is the same policy that the imperialists pursued in the Muslim east and in all their colonies over the past two centuries.nefafoundation.org . According to al-Azhar. June 21. 2003. igniting sedition and the splitting of ranks.6 35 Al-Hayat. Let the leaders in Iraq and Palestine put the interest of their creed. June 28.
December 17. 43 When asked this same question. there was contact with groups of Muslim clerics linked to Yusuf al-Qaradawi. p. victims in the Lockerbie case.7 38 Al-Hayat. the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat published an article about possible dialogue taking place between Americans and the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf state of Qatar. deserve millions of dollars in reparation while it believe no price should be paid for the blood of Muslims in Palestine.S. however. government. al-Hudaybi explained to a journalist why he did not want to meet with a representative of the U. October 10. from 2004-1010.S. it might not have been leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that were in contact with U.S. should be led by the Egyptian Foreign Minister. so a dialogue with the U. government officials.org – info@nefafoundation. according to him it was “pure fabrication and false allegations that are totally baseless”.S. 2003 41 Al-Sharq al-Awsat. 2003.nefafoundation. p. 2003 42 Al-Zaman. 38 In late August. resisting foreign occupation is legitimate jihad that is imposed as a duty on a Muslim and that it is the duty of other Muslims to back this resistance by all available means. the Muslim Brotherhood organized demonstrations at multiple Egyptian Universities. 2003. and 7th General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. 36 37 subsequent messages. 40 In late November 2003.S.S. the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood again escalated the war of words with the U. November 26.org . but a movement. who served as the next.7 www. Mahdi Akef. 2003. but that said.S. June 28. June 28. does not want to understand that.nefafoundation. and its hostility toward Islam and Muslims. always provided the same answer: that he was not against a dialogue with the U. he contended that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a state. officials would be highly unlikely. His rationale was that a meeting with U.” 36 The General Guide “expressed the belief that the United States does not understand. The General Guide called for the activation of jihad to achieve victory over the Jewish state.7 43 Al-Zaman. July 6.NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www.S. the General Guide went on to explain that the issue was a very sensitive one to the authorities in Egypt. December 17. 2003 40 Al-Hayat. al-Hudaybi continued to criticize the U. The General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood was swift in his response when he denied any contact between leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and U.” 39 In early October. For at least three consecutive days.7 Al-Hayat. 42 In December 2003. as was later admitted by al-Hudaybi in a later interview. p. government. 2003.” 37 In his racist state for it believes that the US nationals. officials. demonstrators burned Israeli and U.S. The United States has no sense of shame and declares that the Palestinian people’s resistance against those who occupy their homeland constitutes violence and terrorism. flags and chanted slogans against President Bush. to the Arab and Muslim mind. Iraq and Afghanistan. p. or rather. 41 Although technically.org to the Zionist entity as it continues its aggression and crimes. August 28. 2003 39 Al-Jazeera. when he “…described the United States as a Al-Hayat.
Arab land. honor. policies in particular. The Executive Bureau selected member Muhammad Halal as acting General Guide until a successor could be appointed.S. He was buried in his hometown in the governorate of Qalyubiya. 2004 www. maintaining the Brotherhood’s position on the Jews in Palestine in the mid 1930s. the General Guide was clear about his opinion that there would never be peace with Israel as the land they have claimed as theirs was Muslim land. al-Hudaybi appealed to the Christians to stand alongside the Muslims against Western policies in general. piety. January 8. in reality the Egyptian authorities maintain a “Cold Peace” with the Jewish State. 2004 46 MENA news agency. and was quite successful in that goal.nefafoundation. racism and decadence. 46 Concluding remarks Ma’mun al-Hudaybi served as the 6th General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for just over one year. and therefore the Jewish people had no rights to their land. In that role. 2004.” 44 On New Year’s Eve 2003. On behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. How far is all this from what humankind is suffering in terms of tragedies and wars? It is strange this suffering is caused by groups who claim affiliation to Christ and his religion in Europe and the United States and who have built a culture of violence. chastity.nefafoundation. Al-Hudaybi was extremely careful not to provoke Egyptian authorities. 2003 MENA news agency. Thousands of people attended to pay their last respects to the late General Guide. modesty. and U. thereby silencing the International Organization of the Brothers. The General Guide said: “Christ called for morality. On January 8. His time as the leader of the Egyptian Brothers showed al-Hudaybi was not to be known as the ‘internationalist’ his predecessor Mashhur was. As the invasion of Iraq was becoming an imminent reality in early 2003. Although the Egyptian government appears to be at peace with Israel. Al-Hudaybi was more the ‘spokesman-in-chief’ he had been while serving as Deputy General Guide under Mashhur. mercy. he hoped to strip them of their voice. Ma’mun al-Hudaybi died of colon cancer at the age of 83. and the West in general. and in that vein. the General Guide began to lash out against the U.S. January 9.org forgiveness and atonement.org – email@example.com .NEFA Foundation – ©2011 http://www. virtue. 44 45 Al-Hayat. December 31. Egyptians using anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic rhetoric are almost never prohibited from doing so and appear to have a free hand in spreading their vitriolic propaganda. but his favorite target remained Israel. 45 The following day a funeral service was held in the Raba al-Adwiya Mosque in an eastern Cairo suburb. he could allow other Muslim Brothers abroad to carry a different message to the world.
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