Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood

Overview
The Society of the Muslim Brothers ( /Ikhwan/el-ekhwan, elʔexˈwæːn, often simply "The Brotherhood" or "MB") is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

 and by the late 1940s had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained its supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its "model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work".
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Muslim Brotherhood'
Start a new discussion about 'Muslim Brotherhood'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Society of the Muslim Brothers ( /Ikhwan/el-ekhwan, elʔexˈwæːn, often simply "The Brotherhood" or "MB") is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

 and by the late 1940s had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained its supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its "model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work". Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is "Islam is the solution."
The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 and Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". Since its inception in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals. The MB's non-violent stance has resulted in breakaway groups from the movement, and been criticized by al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 for its support for democratic elections rather than armed jihad.
The Muslim Brotherhood started off as a religious social organization, preaching Islam, teaching the illiterate, setting up hospitals and even launching commercial enterprises. As it continued to rise in influence, starting in 1936, it began to oppose British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 rule in Egypt. Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the MB of violent killings during this period. After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organisation and arrested its members. It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt's president it was once again banned and repressed
Human rights in Egypt
The state of human rights in Egypt remains poor due to repressive government policies and brutal government crackdowns.-Rights and liberties ratings:...

. The MB has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

.
The MB is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who work in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and other oil-rich countries
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

.

Beliefs



The Brotherhood's credo was and is, "God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

 is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." The Brotherhood's English language website describes the "principles of the Muslim Brotherhood" as including firstly the introduction of the Islamic Shari`ah as "the basis controlling the affairs of state and society;" and secondly work to unify "Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, and liberating them from foreign imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

".

According to a spokesman, the MB believe in reform, democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests...

, press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

, etc.
"We believe that the political reform is the true and natural gateway for all other kinds of reform. We have announced our acceptance of democracy that acknowledges political pluralism, the peaceful rotation of power and the fact that the nation is the source of all powers. As we see it, political reform includes the termination of the state of emergency, restoring public freedoms, including the right to establish political parties, whatever their tendencies may be, and the freedom of the press, freedom of criticism and thought, freedom of peaceful demonstrations, freedom of assembly, etc. It also includes the dismantling of all exceptional courts and the annulment of all exceptional laws, establishing the independence of the judiciary, enabling the judiciary to fully and truly supervise general elections so as to ensure that they authentically express people's will, removing all obstacles that restrict the functioning of civil society organizations, etc."


Its founder, Hassan Al-Banna, was influenced by Islamic reformers Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh was an Egyptian jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism...

 and Rashid Rida
Rashid Rida
Muhammad Rashid Rida is said to have been "one of the most influential scholars and jurists of his generation" and the "most prominent disciple of Muhammad Abduh"...

. In the group's belief, the Quran and Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

 must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

. The Muslim Brotherhood's goal, as stated by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

 was to reclaim Islam's manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 to Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It preaches that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedom to the extent allowed by the laws of Islam. The Brotherhood strongly opposes Western colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, and helped overthrow the pro-western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 monarchies in Egypt and other Muslim countries during the early 20th century.

On the issue of women and gender the Muslim Brotherhood interprets Islam conservatively. Its founder called for "a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior", "segregation of male and female students", a separate curriculum for girls, and "the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes..."

The MB is a movement, not a political party, but members have created political parties in several countries, such as the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the newly created Freedom and Justice Party
Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)
The Freedom and Justice Party , is an Islamist political party in Egypt. The party is nominally independent but has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the largest and best organized political group in Egypt...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. These parties are staffed by Brotherhood members but kept independent from the MB to some degree, unlike Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni. pan-Islamic political organisation but keeps it open for all including shias,some of its beliefs are against sunni school of thought, whose goal is for all Muslim countries to unify as an Islamic state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph...

 which is highly centralized.

The Brotherhood's nonviolent stance has resulted in breakaway groups from the movement, including the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya is an Egyptian Islamist movement, and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and Egyptian governments...

 and Al Takfir Wal Hijra. Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 similarly criticized the Brotherhood, and accused it of betraying jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

 and the ideals of Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s....

, an influential Brother member and author of Milestones.

Organization


The Transcripts the following hierarchical Organisation structure can be derived:
  • The General Organisational Conference is the highest body of the Ikhwan
    Ikhwan
    The Ikhwan was the Islamic religious militia which formed the main military force of the Arabian ruler Ibn Saud and played a key role in establishing him as ruler of most of the Arabian Peninsula, in his new state of Saudi Arabia. The Ikhwan were made up of Bedouin tribes...

    s stemming from the Ikhwan
    Ikhwan
    The Ikhwan was the Islamic religious militia which formed the main military force of the Arabian ruler Ibn Saud and played a key role in establishing him as ruler of most of the Arabian Peninsula, in his new state of Saudi Arabia. The Ikhwan were made up of Bedouin tribes...

    s bases, every Usra elects one or two deputies according to its number.

  • The Shura Council has the duties of planning, charting general policies and programs that achieve the goal of the Group. Its resolutions are binding to the Group and only the General Organisational Conference can modify or annul them and the Shura Office has also the right to modify or annul resolutions of the Executive Office. It follows the implementation of the Group policies and programs. It directs the Executive Office and it forms dedicated branch committees to assist in that.
  • Executive Office (Guidance Office) with its leader the General Masul (General Guide) and its members, both appointed by the Shura Office, has to follow up and guide the activities of the General Organisation. It submits a periodical report to the Shura Council about its work and of the activity of the domestic bodies and the general organisations. It distributes its duties to its members according to the internal bylaws.

It has the following divisions (not complete):
– Executive leadership
– Organisational office
– Secretariat general
– Education office
– Political office
– Sisters office

The Muslim Brotherhood aimed to build a transnational organisation
Transnational organization
Transnational organization is a term used in scholarly literature. It refers to international organizations that "transcend" the idea of a nation-state...

, founding groups in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 (in 1936), Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (1937), and Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 (1946). It also recruited among the foreign students in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 where its headquarters became a center and meeting place for representatives from the whole Muslim world.

In each country there is a Branch committee with a Masul (leader) appointed by the General Executive leadership with essentially the same Branch-divisions as the Executive office has. To the duties of every branch belong fundraising, infiltrating in and overtaking other Muslim organisations for the sake of uniting the Muslims to dedicate them to the general goals of the MB.

Founding


Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

 founded the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Ismailia
Ismaïlia
-Notable natives:*Osman Ahmed Osman, a famous and influential Egyptian engineer, contractor, entrepreneur, and politician, was born in this town on 6 April 1917....

 in March 1928 along with six workers of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 Company, as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

. According to al-Banna, contemporary Islam had lost its social dominance, because most Muslims had been corrupted by Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 influences. Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 law based on the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 and the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 were seen as laws passed down by God that should be applied to all parts of life, including the organization of the government and the handling of everyday problems.

Al-Banna was populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 in his message of protecting workers against the tyranny of foreign and monopolist companies. It founded social institutions such as hospitals, pharmacies, schools, etc. Al-Banna held highly conservative views on issues such as women's rights, opposing equal rights for women.

The Brotherhood grew rapidly going from 800 members in 1936, to 200,000 by 1938, 500,000 in 1948.

Post WWII


In November 1948, following several bombings and assassination attempts, the government arrest 32 leaders of the Brotherhood's "secret apparatus" and banned the Brotherhood. At this time the Brotherhood was estimated to have 2000 branches and 500,000 members or sympathizers. In succeeding months Egypt's prime minister was assassinated by a Brotherhood member, and following that Al-Banna himself was assassinated in what is thought to be a cycle of retaliation. In 1952 members of the Muslim Brotherhood are accused of taking part in the Cairo Fire
Cairo Fire
The Cairo Fire , also known as Black Saturday, was a series of riots that took place on 26 January 1952, marked by the burning and looting of some 750 buildings -- retail shops, cafes, cinemas, hotels, restaurants, theatres, nightclubs and the country's Opera House -- in Downtown Cairo...

 that destroyed some "750 buildings" in downtown Cairo — mainly night clubs, theatres, hotels, and restaurants frequented by British and other foreigners.

In 1952 Egypt's monarchy was overthrown by nationalist military officers supported by the Brotherhood. However the Brotherhood opposed the secularist constitution of the coup leaders and in 1954 another assassination was attempted against Egypt's prime minister (Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

), and blamed on the "secret apparatus" of the Brotherhood (this attempt was unsuccessful). The Brotherhood was again banned and this time thousands of its members were imprisoned, many of them held for years in prisons and concentration camps, and sometimes tortured.

Since the 1970s the Egyptian Brotherhood has disavowed violence and sought to participate in Egyptian politics. Imprisoned Brethren were released and the organization was tolerated to varying degrees with periodic arrests and crackdowns until the 2011 Revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

.

Mubarak era


In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood's candidates, who had to run as independents because of their illegality as a political party, won 88 seats (20% of the total). (The legal opposition won only 14 seats.) This was despite electoral irregularities, including the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood members. The Brotherhood became "in effect, the first opposition party of Egypt’s modern era."

Accounts differ over the Brotherhood's record in parliament. Initially there was widespread skepticism inside and outside Egypt towards the MB's commitment to democracy, along with fears of "severe restrictions on its freedom of opinion and belief" in both religious matters, and "social, political, economic and cultural affairs."

But by 2007 a New York Times journalist wrote: "While many secular critics fear that the brotherhood harbors a hidden Islamist agenda, so far the organization has posed a democratic political challenge to the regime, not a theological one."; and another report praised the MB for an "unmatched record of attendance", forming a coalition to fight the extension of Egypt's emergency law, and generally attempting to transform "the Egyptian parliament into a real legislative body, as well as an institution that represents citizens and a mechanism that keeps government accountable".

However, in December 2006 a campus demonstration by Muslim Brotherhood students in uniforms, demonstrating martial arts drills betrayed "the group's intent to plan for the creation of militia structures, and a return by the group to the era of 'secret cells,'" according to Jameel Theyabi. Another report highlighted the MB's efforts in Parliament to combat what one member called the `current US-led war against Islamic culture and identity`, forcing the Minister of Culture (Farouk Hosny
Farouk Hosny
Farouk Hosny , is an Egyptian abstract painter who was Minister of Culture from 1987 to 2011.-Early life and career:...

) to ban the publication of three novels on the ground they promoted blasphemy and unacceptable sexual practices. In October 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a detailed political platform. Amongst other things it called for a board of Muslim clerics to oversee the government, and limiting the office of the presidency to Muslim men. In the `Issues and Problems` chapter of the platform, it declared that a woman was not suited to be president because the post's religious and military duties `conflict with her nature, social and other humanitarian roles.` While underlining `equality between men and women in terms of their human dignity,` the document warned against `burdening women with duties against their nature or role in the family.`

Since 2005 Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt have also become a significant movement online, with some "cyberactivists" critical of the organization.

Whether or not the Brotherhood would unconditionally or conditionally dissolve Egypt's 32-year peace treaty with Israel is disputed within the Brotherhood. While the deputy leader of the Brotherhood has said the Brotherhood would seek the dissolution of Egypt's 32-year peace treaty with Israel, a Brotherhood spokesman has said that the Brotherhood would respect the treaty as long as "Israel shows real progress on improving the lot of the Palestinians."

The Brotherhood remains the largest opposition group in Egypt, advocating Islamic reform, democratic system and maintaining a vast network of support through Islamic charities working among poor Egyptians.

2011 revolution and after


Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

 and fall of Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011....

, the group was legalized. The Brotherhood supported the constitutional referendum
Egyptian constitutional referendum, 2011
A constitutional referendum was held in Egypt on 19 March 2011, following the 2011 Egyptian revolution. More than 14 million were in favour, while around 4 million opposed the changes; 41% of 45 million eligible voters turned out to vote....

 in March which was also supported by the Egyptian army and opposed by Egyptian liberals. In 30 April 2011 it launched a new party called the Freedom and Justice Party
Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)
The Freedom and Justice Party , is an Islamist political party in Egypt. The party is nominally independent but has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the largest and best organized political group in Egypt...

, which reportedly plans to "contest up to half the seats" in the Egyptian parliamentary election scheduled for September 2011. The party "rejects the candidacy of women or Copts for Egypt's presidency", but not for cabinet positions. Some splinter groups have appeared in the wake of the revolution.

General leaders



  • Founder & First G. leader: (1928–1949) Hassan al Banna
  • 2nd G.L. : (1949–1972) Hassan al-Hudaybi
  • 3rd G.L. : (1972–1986) Umar al-Tilmisani
    Umar al-Tilmisani
    Umar al-Tilmisani was the third General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers. He headed the Egyptian Islamist organization from 1972 until 1986...

  • 4th G.L. : (1986–1996) Muhammad Hamid Abu al-Nasr
    Muhammad Hamid Abu al-Nasr
    Muhammad Hamid Abu al-Nasr was the fourth General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. A controversial choice to lead the group after the 1986 death of longtime General Guide 'Umar al-Tilmisani, al-Nasr was opposed by a large faction backing other candidates such as Salah Shadi or Husayn...

  • 5th G.L. : (1996–2002) Mustafa Mashhur
    Mustafa Mashhur
    Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide of the Muslim Brothers. He was the official head of the Egyptian Islamist organization from 1996 until 2002, although outside observers have suggested that he informally ran the organization during the ten-year term of his predecessor Muhammad Hamid...

  • 6th G.L. : (2002–2004) Ma'mun al-Hudaybi
    Ma'mun al-Hudaybi
    Ma'mun al-Hudaybi was the sixth General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers. He briefly succeeded Mustafa Mashhur as General Guide in 2002, and headed the Islamist group until his death in 2004. His successor is Mohammed Mahdi Akef. Ma'mun al-Hudaybi was the son of the second General Guide,...

  • 7th G.L. : (2004–2010) Mohammed Mahdi Akef
  • 8th G.L. : (16 January 2010 – present) Mohammed Badie
    Mohammed Badie
    Muhammad Badie is the eighth General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He has headed the Egyptian branch of the international Islamist organization since 2010...

     

Bahrain


In Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, the Muslim Brotherhood is represented by the Al Eslah Society
Al Eslah Society
The Al Eslah Society is an organization in Bahrain that represents the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Its political wing is the Al-Menbar Islamic Society....

 and its political wing, the Al-Menbar Islamic Society
Al-Menbar Islamic Society
Al Menbar National Islamic Society is the political wing of the Al Eslah Society in Bahrain, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A Sunni Islamist party, it is well organised through a network of mosques and seek to promote a conservative social agenda while not directly challenging the...

. Following parliamentary elections in 2002, Al Menbar
Al-Menbar Islamic Society
Al Menbar National Islamic Society is the political wing of the Al Eslah Society in Bahrain, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A Sunni Islamist party, it is well organised through a network of mosques and seek to promote a conservative social agenda while not directly challenging the...

 became the joint largest party with eight seats in the forty seat Chamber of Deputies. Prominent members of Al Menbar include Dr Salah Abdulrahman, Dr Salah Al Jowder, and outspoken MP Mohammed Khalid
Mohammed Khalid
One of Bahrain’s most outspoken Islamist MPs is Sheikh Mohammed Khalid, the Al-Menbar Islamic Society representative from the Northern Governorate...

. The party has generally backed government sponsored legislation on economic issues, but has sought a clampdown on pop concerts, sorcery and soothsayers. It has strongly opposed the government's accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976...

 on the grounds that this w ould give Muslim citizens the right to change religion, when in the party's view they should be "beheaded".

In March 2009, the Shi'a group The Islamic Enlightenment Society held its annual conference with the announced aim of diffusing tension between Muslim branches. The society invited national Sunni and Shi'a scholars to participate. Bahraini independent Salafi (Sunni) religious scholars Sheikh Salah Al-Jowder and Sheikh Rashid Al Muraikhi, and Shi'a clerics Sheikh Isa Qasim and Abdulla Al Ghoraifi spoke about the importance of sectarian cooperation. Additional seminars were held throughout the year.

In 2010, the U.S. government sponsored the visit of Al-Jowder, described as a prominent Sunni cleric, to the United States for a three-week interfaith dialogue program in several cities."

Syria


Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was founded in the 1930s (according to lexicorient.com) or in 1945, a year before independence from France, (according to journalist Robin Wright (author)
Robin Wright (author)
Robin B. Wright is an American foreign affairs analyst, and an award-winning journalist and author.A graduate of the University of Michigan, she lives in Washington D.C.-Career:...

). In the first decade or so of independence it was part of the legal opposition, and in the 1961 parliamentary elections
Syrian parliamentary election, 1961
The Syrian parliamentary elections of 1961 were the first free democratic elections held in Syria after seceding from the United Arab Republic. The election was held on 1—2 December 1961.-Preparations:...

 it won ten seats (5.8% of the house). But after the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

 to power it was banned. It played a major role in the mainly Sunni-based terrorist movement that opposed the secularist
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

, pan-Arabist
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

 Baath party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

. This conflict developed into an armed struggle that continued until culminating in the Hama uprising
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

 of 1982, when the rebellion was crushed by the military.

Membership in the Syrian Brotherhood became a capital offence
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 in Syria in 1980 (under Emergency Law 49, which was revoked in 2011), but the headquarters of the MB-linked Palestinian group, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, is located in the Syria's capital Damascus, where it is given Syrian government support. This is seen by some as an example of the lack of international centralisation or even coordination of the MB.

Jordan


The Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in 1942, and is a strong factor in Jordanian politics
Politics of Jordan
Politics of Jordan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Jordan is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952...

. While most political parties and movements were banned for a long time in Jordan such as Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni. pan-Islamic political organisation but keeps it open for all including shias,some of its beliefs are against sunni school of thought, whose goal is for all Muslim countries to unify as an Islamic state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph...

, the Brotherhood was exempted and allowed to operate by the Jordanian monarchy. The Jordanian Brotherhood has formed its own political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

, the Islamic Action Front
Islamic Action Front
The Islamic Action Front is a political party in Jordan. It is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan....

, which has the largest number of seats of any party in the Jordanian parliament
Parliament of Jordan
The Parliament of Jordan is the bicameral Jordanian National Assembly: "Majlis al-Umma". Established by the 1952 Constitution, the legislature consists of two houses: the Assembly of Senators and the Chamber of Deputies .The Assembly of Senators has 60 members, all of whom are directly appointed...

.

The Muslim Brotherhood is playing an active role in the unrest in several Arab countries in January 2011. For example, at a rally held outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman on Saturday, 29 January 2011 with some 100 participants, Hammam Saeed, head of the Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan and a close ally of the Hamas's Damascus-based leader, Khaled Meshaal, said: "Egypt's unrest will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States." However, he did not specifically name Jordanian King Abdullah II. The Muslim brotherhood is rightfully or wrongfully feared by several commentators in the west, however it is not known how many seats in a democratic government the brotherhood will gain in any of the aforementioned countries.

Iran


Although Iran is a predominately Shia Muslim country and the Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni in doctrine, Olga Davidson and Mohammad Mahallati claim the Brotherhood has had influence among Shia in Iran. Navab Safavi, who founded Fadaian Islam, (also Fedayeen of Islam, or Fadayan-e Islam), an Iranian Islamic organization active in Iran in the 1940s and 1950s, "was highly impressed by the Muslim Brotherhood. From 1945 to 1951 the Fadain assassinated several high level Iranian personalities and officials who they believed to be un-Islamic. They included anti-clerical writer Ahmad Kasravi, Premier Haj-Ali Razm-Ara, former Premier Abdul-Hussein Hazhir, and Education and Culture Minister Ahmad Zangeneh.

At that time Navab Safavi was an associate and ally of Ayatollah Khomeini who went on to become a figure in the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 of 1979. Khomeini and other religious figures in Iran worked to establish Islamic unity and downplay Shia-Sunni differences.

Iraq


The Iraqi Islamic Party
Iraqi Islamic Party
The Iraqi Islamic Party is currently the largest Sunni Islamist political party in Iraq as well as the most prominent member of the Iraqi Accord Front political coalition. It is currently part of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki...

 was formed in 1960 as the Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i branch of the Brotherhood, but was banned from 1961 during the nationalist rule of Abd al-Karim Qasim. As government repression hardened under the Baath Party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

 from February 1963, the group was forced to continue underground. After the fall
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 of the Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 regime in 2003, the Islamic Party has reemerged as one of the main advocates of the country's Sunni community. The Islamic Party has been sharply critical of the U.S.-led occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 of Iraq, but participates in the political process. Its leader is Iraqi Vice-President Tariq Al-Hashimi
Tariq Al-Hashimi
Tariq al-Hashimi is an Iraqi politician and was general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party until May 2009. Along with Adil Abdul Mahdi, he is a Vice President of Iraq in the government formed after the December 2005 elections...

.

Also, in the north of Iraq there are several Islamic movements inspired by or part of the Muslim Brotherhood network. The Kurdistan Islamic Union
Kurdistan Islamic Union
Kurdistan Islamic Union is an Islamist party in Iraqi Kurdistan is in principle independent and is directly responsible for policy matters. The party has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.-Events:...

 (KIU) holds seats in the Kurdish parliament, and is the main political force outside the dominance of the two main secularist parties, the PUK
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is a Kurdish political party in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan was founded on June 1, 1975, by coordinations between Jalal Talabani and Nawshirwan Mustafa...

 and KDP.

Palestine


'Abd al-Rahman al-Banna, the brother of the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, went to the British Mandate for Palestine and established the Muslim Brotherhood there in 1935. Al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

, eventually appointed by the British as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in hopes of accommodating him, was the leader of the group in Palestine. Another important leader associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine was 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam, an inspiration to Islamists because he had been the first to lead an armed resistance in the name of Palestine against the British in 1935. In 1945, the group established a branch in Jerusalem, and by 1947 twenty-five more branches had sprung up, in towns such as Jaffa, Lod
Lod
Lod is a city located on the Sharon Plain southeast of Tel Aviv in the Center District of Israel. At the end of 2010, it had a population of 70,000, roughly 75 percent Jewish and 25 percent Arab.The name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod...

, Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, and Tulkarm
Tulkarm
Tulkarem or Tulkarm is a Palestinian city in the northern Samarian mountain range in the Tulkarm Governorate in the extreme northwestern West Bank adjacent to the Netanya and Haifa districts to the west, the Nablus and Jenin Districts to the east...

, which total membership between 12,000 to 20,000.

Brotherhood members fought alongside the Arab armies during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, and, after Israel's creation, the ensuing Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 crisis encouraged more Palestinian Muslims to join the group. After the war, in the West Bank, the group's activity was mainly social and religious, not political, so it had relatively good relations with Jordan, which was in control of the West Bank after 1950. In contrast, the group frequently clashed with the Egyptian regime that controlled the Gaza Strip until 1967.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Brotherhood's goal was "the upbringing of an Islamic generation" through the restructuring of society and religious education, rather than Palestine's liberation from Israel, and so it lost popularity to national resistance movements and the presence of Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni. pan-Islamic political organisation but keeps it open for all including shias,some of its beliefs are against sunni school of thought, whose goal is for all Muslim countries to unify as an Islamic state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph...

. Eventually, however, the Brotherhood was strengthened by several factors:
  1. The creation of al-Mujamma' al-Islami, the Islamic Center in 1973 by Shaykh Ahmad Yasin had a centralizing effect that encapsulated all religious organizations.
  2. The Muslim Brotherhood Society in Jordan and Palestine was created from a merger of the branches in the West Bank and Gaza and Jordan.
  3. Palestinian disillusion with the liberation front caused them to become more open to alternatives.
  4. The Islamic Revolution in Iran offered inspiration to Palestinians. The Brotherhood was able to increase its efforts in Palestine and avoid being dismantled like national resistance groups because it did not focus on the occupation. While national resistance groups were being dismantled, the Brotherhood filled the void.


After the 1967 Six Day War, as Israel's occupation started, Israel may have looked to cultivate political Islam as a counterweight to Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

, the main secular Palestinian nationalist political organization. Between 1967 and 1987, the year Hamas was founded, the number of mosques in Gaza tripled from 200 to 600, and the Muslim Brotherhood named the period between 1975 and 1987 a phase of 'social institution building.' During that time, the Brotherhood established associations, used zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

 (alms giving) for aid to poor Palestinians, promoted schools, provided students with loans, used waqf (religious endowments) to lease property and employ people, and established mosques. Likewise, antagonistic and sometimes violent opposition to Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

, the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 and other secular nationalist groups increased dramatically in the streets and on university campuses.

The Brotherhood's downfall was its failure to fight the Israeli occupation, but the Intifada changed the Brotherhood's position and Hamas was established. The Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, founded in 1987 in Gaza, is a wing of the Brotherhood, formed out of Brotherhood-affiliated charities and social institutions that had gained a strong foothold among the local population. During the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

 (1987–93), Hamas militarized and transformed into one of the strongest Palestinian militant groups.

The Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007 was the first time since the Sudanese coup of 1989 that brought Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 to power, that a Muslim Brotherhood group ruled a significant geographic territory.

Saudi Arabia


The Muslim Brotherhood's brand of Islam and Islamic politics differs from the strict Salafi creed, Wahhabiyya, officially held by the state of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. Despite this, the Brotherhood has been tolerated by the Saudi government, and maintains a presence in the country. Aside from tolerating the Brotherhood organization, and according to Washington Post report, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef has denounced the Brotherhood, saying it is guilty of "betrayal of pledges and ingratitude" and is "the source of all problems in the Islamic world".

Yemen


The Muslim Brotherhood is the political arm of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform, commonly known as Islah. President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of a post-unification Yemen. He is the...

 accused them of being in league with Al Qaida and stirring up the 2011 Yemen protests against his rule.

Oman


Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 obtained support from the uneducated people.

Algeria


The Muslim Brotherhood reached Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 during the later years of the French colonial presence in the country (1830–1962). Sheikh Ahmad Sahnoun led the organization in Algeria between 1953 and 1954 during the French colonialism. Brotherhood members and sympathizers took part in the uprising against France in 1954–1962, but the movement was marginalized during the largely secular FLN one-party rule which was installed at independence in 1962. It remained unofficially active, sometimes protesting the government and calling for increased Islamization and Arabization of the country's politics.

When a multi-party system was introduced in Algeria in the early 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood formed the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP, previously known as Hamas), led by Mahfoud Nahnah
Mahfoud Nahnah
Mahfoud Nahnah was the leader of the Islamist political party Movement of Society for Peace in Algeria....

 until his death in 2003 (he was succeeded by present party leader Boudjerra Soltani). The Muslim Brotherhood in Algeria did not join the Front islamique du salut (FIS), which emerged as the leading Islamist group, winning the 1991 elections and which was banned in 1992 following a military coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, although some Brotherhood sympathizers did. The Brotherhood subsequently also refused to join the violent post-coup uprising by FIS sympathizers and the Armed Islamic Groups (GIA) against the Algerian state and military which followed, and urged a peaceful resolution to the conflict and a return to democracy. It has thus remained a legal political organization and enjoyed parliamentary and government representation. In 1995, Sheikh Nahnah ran for President of Algeria
President of Algeria
The President of Algeria is the head of state and chief executive of Algeria, as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the Algerian armed forces.-History of the office:...

 finishing second with 25.38% of the popular vote. During the 2000s, the party—led by Nahnah's successor Boudjerra Soltani—has been a member of a three-party coalition backing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the ninth President of Algeria. He has been in office since 1999. He continued emergency rule until 24 February 2011, and presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002...

.

Sudan


Until the election of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 was the one country were the Brotherhood was most successful in gaining power, its members making up a large part of the government officialdom following the 1989 coup d'état by General Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Always close to Egyptian politics, Sudan has had a Muslim Brotherhood presence since 1949. In 1945, a delegation from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt visited Sudan and held various meetings inside the country advocating and explaining their ideology. Sudan has a long and deep history with the Muslim Brotherhood compared to many other countries. By April 1949, the first branch of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood organization emerged. However, simultaneously, many Sudanese students studying in Egypt were introduced to the ideology of the Brotherhood. The Muslim student groups also began organizing in the universities during the 1940s, and the Brotherhood's main support base has remained to be college educated. In order to unite them, in 1954, a conference was held, attended by various representatives from different groups that appeared to have the same ideology. The conference voted to establish a Unified Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood Organization based on the teachings of Imam Hassan Al-banna.

An offshoot of the Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Charter Front grew during the 1960, with Islamic scholar Hasan al-Turabi becoming its Secretary general in 1964. The Islamic Charter Front (ICM) was renamed several times most recently being called the National Islamic Front
National Islamic Front
The National Islamic Front is the Islamist political organization founded and led by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi that has influenced the Sudanese government since 1979, and dominated it since 1989...

 (NIF). Turabi has been the prime architect of the NIF as a modern Islamist party. He worked within the Institutions of the government, which led to a prominent position of his organization in the country. NIF supported women's right to vote and ran women candidates. The Muslim Brotherhood/NIF's main objective in Sudan was to Islamize the society "from above" and to institutionalize the Islamic law throughout the country where they succeeded.

The Brotherhood penetrated into the ruling political organizations, the state army and security personal, the national and regional assemblies of Sudan. They also launched their own mass organizations among the youth and women such as the shabab al-binna, and raidat al-nahda, and launched educational campaigns to Islamize the communities throughout the country. At the same time, they gained control of several newly founded Islamic missionary and relief organizations to spread their ideology. The Brotherhood members took control of the newly established Islamic Banks as directors, administrators, employees and legal advisors, which became a source of power for the Brotherhood.

The Sudanese government has come under considerable criticism for its human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 policies, links to terrorist groups, and war in southern Sudan and Darfur.
The conservatism of at least some elements of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood was highlighted in an August 3, 2007 Al-Jazeera television interview of Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Sadeq Abdallah bin Al-Majed. As translated by the Israeli-based MEMRI
Middle East Media Research Institute
The Middle East Media Research Institute is a Middle Eastern not for profit press monitoring organization with headquarters located in Washington, DC. MEMRI was co-founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, a former colonel in the Israeli military intelligence and Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli-born, American...

, Bin Al-Majed told his interviewer that "the West, and the Americans in particular … are behind all the tragedies that are taking place in Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

", as they "realized that it Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 is full of treasures"; that "Islam does not permit a non-Muslim to rule over Muslims;" and that he had issued a fatwa prohibiting the vaccination of children, on the grounds that the vaccinations were "a conspiracy of the Jews and Freemasons".

Somalia


Somalia's wing of the Muslim Brotherhood is known by the name Harakat Al-Islah or "Reform Movement". Nonetheless, the Brotherhood, as mentioned earlier, has inspired many Islamist organizations in Somalia. Muslim Brotherhood ideology reached Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 in the early 1960s, but Al-Islah movement was formed in 1978 and slowly grew in the 1980s. Al-Islah has been described as "a generally nonviolent and modernizing Islamic movement that emphasizes the reformation and revival of Islam to meet the challenges of the modern world", whose "goal is the establishment of an Islamic state
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

" and which "operates primarily in Mogadishu".

The founders of the Islah Movement are: Sh. Mohamed Ahmed Nur, Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed
Ali Sheikh Ahmed
Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed is the founder and president of Mogadishu University, and a noted Islamic scholar.-Education:Ahmed studied abroad in Saudi Arabia, earning a Bachelor of Arts from the Islamic University in Medina in 1977. He followed that three years later with a Master's degree in Arts from...

, Dr. Mohamed Yusuf Abdi, Sh. Ahmed Rashid Hanafi, and Sh. Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah. The organization structured itself loosely and was not openly visible on the political scene of Somali society.

They chose to remain a secret movement fearing the repressive regime of Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

 but are considered the first ever opposition to the dictatorship. However, they emerged from secrecy when the regime collapsed in 1991 and started working openly thereafter. Most Somalis were surprised to see the new group they had never heard of, which was in the country since the 1970s in secrecy.

According to the Islah by-law, every five years the organization has to elect its Consultative (Shura) Council which elects the Chairman and the two Vice-chairman. During the last 30 years, four chairmen were elected. These are Sheikh Mohamed Geryare (1978–1990), Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim (1990–1999), Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed (1999–2008) and Dr. Ali Bashi Omar Roraye (2008–2013).

Dr. Ali Bashi is a medical doctor, a former university professor and a member of the transitional parliament (2000–2008). During the 1990s, Al-Islah devoted much effort to humanitarian efforts and providing free basic social services.

The leaders of Al-Islah played a key role in the educational network and establishing Mogadishu University. Through their network, they educate more than 120,000 students in the city of Mogadishu. Many other secondary schools such as the University of East Africa in Bosasso, Puntland, are externally funded and administered through organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic organization Al-Islah. In Somalia, they are known to be a peaceful organization that does not participate in any factional fighting and rejects the use of violence.

Today the group's membership includes urban professionals and students. According to a Crisis Group Report, Somalia's Islamists, "Al-Islah organization is dominated by a highly educated urban elite whose professional, middle class status and extensive expatriate experiences are alien to most Somalis."

Although Al-Islah have been criticized by some hardcore Islamists who considered them to be influenced by imperialist western values, Al-Islah speaks of democratic peaceful Somalia. They promote women's rights, human rights, and other ideas, which they argue that these concepts originate from Islamic concepts. Al-Islah is gaining momentum in the Somali societies for their humanitarian work and moderate view of Islam, which is compatible to modernisation and respect of human rights. Currently, Islah initiated to establish political party under the name of Justice and Unity Party which is open for all citizens of Somalia.

Tunisia


Like their counterparts elsewhere in the Islamic world in general, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has influenced the Tunisia's Islamists. One of the notable organization that was influenced and inspired by the Brotherhood is Ennahda (The Revival or Renaissance Party), which is Tunisia's major Islamist political grouping. An Islamist named Rashid Ghannouchi founded the organization in 1981. While studying in Damascus and Paris, Rashid Ghannouchi embraced the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he disseminated on his return to Tunisia.

Russian Federation


The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 as a terrorist organisation.

As affirmed on 14 February, 2003 by the decision of the Supreme Court of Russia, the Muslim Brotherhood coordinated the creation of an Islamic organisation called The Supreme Military Majlis ul-Shura of the United Forces of Caucasian Mujahedeen ' onMouseout='HidePop("1187")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ibn_al-Khattab">Ibn Al-Khattab
Ibn al-Khattab
Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem , more commonly known as Emir Khattab meaning Commander Khattab, or Leader Khattab, and also known as Habib Abdul Rahman, was a Muslim guerilla fighter and financier working with Chechen Mujahideen in the First Chechen War...

 and Basaev; an organisation that committed multiple attacks acts in Russia and was allegedly financed by drug trafficking, counterfeiting of coins and racketeering.

According to the above-mention decision of the Supreme Court:

United States of America


The MB's organisations in the USA were started by activists involved with the Muslim Brotherhood and included the Muslim Students Association in 1963, North American Islamic Trust
North American Islamic Trust
The North American Islamic Trust is a Saudi-backed organization based in Plainfield, Indiana, that owns Islamic properties and promotes waqf in North America...

 in 1971, the Islamic Society of North America
Islamic Society of North America
The Islamic Society of North America , based in Plainfield, Indiana, USA, is a Muslim umbrella group. It has been described in the media as the largest Muslim organization in North America.-History:...

 in 1981, the American Muslim Council
American Muslim Council
The American Muslim Council is an Islamic organization and registered charity in the United States. Its headquarters is located in Chicago, Illinois....

 in 1990, the Muslim American Society
Muslim American Society
The Muslim American Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an Islamic revival and reform movement....

 in 1992 and the International Institute of Islamic Thought
International Institute of Islamic Thought
The International Institute of Islamic Thought is a privately held non-profit organization.The Institution is concerned with issues of Islamic thought...

 in the 1980s. According to the Washington Post, Muslim activists say the MSA's members represent "all schools of Islam and political leanings – many are moderate
Moderate
In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical. In recent years, political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword....

s, while others express anti-U.S. views or support resistance against Israelis."

The Holy Land Foundation trial has led to the release, as evidence, of several documents on the Muslim Brotherhood. One of these documents, dated in 1991, explains that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is "settlement," defined by the brotherhood as a form of jihad aimed at destroying Western civilisation from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions. In another one of these documents, "Ikhwan in America", the author alleges that the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US include going to camps to do weapons training (referred to as Special work by the Muslim Brotherhood), as well as engaging in counter-espionage
Counter-Espionage
-Cast:* Warren William as Michael Lanyard* Eric Blore as Jamison* Hillary Brooke as Pamela Hart* Thurston Hall as Insp. Crane* Fred Kelsey as Detective Wesley Dickens* Forrest Tucker as Anton Schugg* Matthew Boulton as Inspector J...

 against US government agencies such as the FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 and CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (referred to as Securing the Group).

United Kingdom


The Muslim Brotherhood has formally been active in the U.K since 1996 and now holds a significant but widely unknown presence within the U.K's Muslim population.

In 1996, the first representative of the MB in Britain, Kamal el-Helbawy, an Egyptian, was able to say that "there are not many members here, but many Muslims in Britain intellectually support the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood." He added that at that time, the object of the MB in Britain was only to disseminate information on Islam, Islamic issues and movements, and to rectify the distortions and misunderstandings created by "different forces against Islam".

In September 1999, the MB opened a "global information centre" in London. A press notice published in Muslim News stated that it would "specialize in promoting the perspectives and stances of the Muslim Brotherhood, and [communicate] between Islamic movements and the global mass media."

One of the notable mosques which has affiliations with the Brotherhood is the East London Mosque
East London Mosque
The East London Mosque, situated in the inner London Borough of Tower Hamlets between Whitechapel and Aldgate, serves one of the UK's largest Muslim communities. It lies near the edge of the City of London, the capital's busy business area, and just a couple of miles from the fast-expanding London...

.

Motives


Numerous officials and reporters question the sincerity of the MB's pronouncements. These critics include, but are not limited to:
  • According to FrontPage Magazine, a conservative publication, former U.S. White House
    White House
    The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

     counterterrorism chief Juan Zarate
    Juan Zarate
    Juan Zarate was a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism during the George W. Bush administration...

     said: "The Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians."
  • Raymond Ibrahim
    Raymond Ibrahim
    Raymond Ibrahim is an American research librarian, translator, author and columnist. His focus is Arabic history and language, and current events.-Biography:...

    , editor of The Al Qaeda Reader, who notes that Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

     himself described war as "deceit" and that Muslim Brotherhood disciples, past and present, merely duplicate the "everlasting words of Allah", as iterated in the Qur'an.
  • Miles Axe Copeland, Jr. -a prominent U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
    Central Intelligence Agency
    The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

     (CIA) operative who was one of the founding members of the Office of Strategic Services
    Office of Strategic Services
    The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

     (OSS) under William Donovan
    William Joseph Donovan
    William Joseph Donovan was a United States soldier, lawyer and intelligence officer, best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services...

    - divulges the confessions of numerous members of the Muslim brotherhood that resulted from the harsh interrogations done against them by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser
    Gamal Abdel Nasser
    Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

    , for their alleged involvement in the assassination attempt made against Nasser (an assassination attempt that many believe was staged by Nasser himself), which revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood was merely a "guild" that fulfilled the goals of western interests: "Nor was that all. Sound beatings of the Moslem Brotherhood organizers who had been arrested revealed that the organization had been thoroughly penetrated, at the top, by the British, American, French and Soviet intelligence services, any one of which could either make active use of it or blow it up, whichever best suited its purposes. Important lesson: fanaticism is no insurance against corruption; indeed, the two are highly compatible."
  • Former U.S. Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross, who told Asharq Alawsat
    Asharq Alawsat
    Asharq Al-Awsat is an Arabic international newspaper headquartered in London. A pioneer of the "off-shore" model in the Arabic press, the paper is often noted for its distinctive green-tinted pages....

    newspaper that the Muslim Brotherhood is a global, not a local organization, governed by a Shura (Consultative) Council, which rejects cessation of violence in Israel, and supports violence to achieve its political objectives elsewhere too.
  • The Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz has stated that the Muslim Brotherhood organization was the cause of most problems in the Arab world. 'The Brotherhood has done great damage to Saudi Arabia,' he said. Prince Naif accused the foremost Islamist group in the Arab world of harming the interests of Muslims. 'All our problems come from the Muslim Brotherhood. We have given too much support to this group..." "The Muslim Brotherhood has destroyed the Arab world,' he said. 'Whenever they got into difficulty or found their freedom restricted in their own countries, Brotherhood activists found refuge in the Kingdom which protected their lives... But they later turned against the Kingdom...' The Muslim Brotherhood has links to groups across the Arab world, including Jordan's main parliamentary opposition, the 'Islamic Action Front,' and the 'Palestinian resistance movement, 'Hamas." The Interior Minister's outburst against the Brotherhood came amid mounting criticism in the United States of Saudi Arabia's longstanding support for Islamist groups around the world..."

Links to violence

  • Caryle Murphy believes that the organization has had a "secret apparatus" responsible for attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha
    Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha
    Mahmoud Fahmi an-Nukrashi Pasha was an Egyptian political figure. He served as the prime minister of Egypt between 1945 and 1946 and again from 1946 and 1948. He was assassinated by a 21 year-old student and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, disguised as a police official, while in office....

    , the Egyptian Prime Minister in 1948.
  • Newsweek
    Newsweek
    Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

     journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff reported connections between al-Qaeda
    Al-Qaeda
    Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

     and Brotherhood figures Mamoun Darkazanli
    Mamoun Darkazanli
    Mamoun Darkazanli is a citizen of Germany and Syria who is wanted in Spain on terrorism charges....

     and Youssef Nada
    Youssef Nada
    Youssef Moustafa Nada is a noted businessman and Muslim Brotherhood financial strategist, having recently served as chairman of al Taqwa Bank, the multinational financial services outfit accused by the US Treasury Department during the Bush administration of financing al Qaeda...

    .
  • A similar article in the Financial Times
    Financial Times
    The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

     reported financial links between 74-year-old Swiss Muslim convert, and businessman Ahmed Huber
    Ahmed Huber
    Ahmed Huber was a Swiss German journalist, and a convert to Islam, who was active in both Islamist and Far Right politics...

    , and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, notably Youssef Nada
    Youssef Nada
    Youssef Moustafa Nada is a noted businessman and Muslim Brotherhood financial strategist, having recently served as chairman of al Taqwa Bank, the multinational financial services outfit accused by the US Treasury Department during the Bush administration of financing al Qaeda...

    , Ali Ghaleb Himmat. According to the U.S. government, Al Taqwa "has long acted as financial advisers to al-Qaeda." He is reported to have "confirmed" having "had contact with associates of Osama bin Laden at an Islamic conference in Beirut", whom he called "very discreet, well-educated, very intelligent people".

Status of non-Muslims

  • In 1997 Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mustafa Mashhur
    Mustafa Mashhur
    Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide of the Muslim Brothers. He was the official head of the Egyptian Islamist organization from 1996 until 2002, although outside observers have suggested that he informally ran the organization during the ten-year term of his predecessor Muhammad Hamid...

     told journalist Khalid Daoud that he thought Egypt's Coptic Christians and Orthodox Jews should pay the long-abandoned jizya
    Jizya
    Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

     poll tax, levied on non-Muslims in exchange for protection from the state, rationalized by the fact that non-Muslims are exempt from military service while it is compulsory for Muslims. He went on to say, "we do not mind having Christians members in the People's Assembly
    People's Assembly of Egypt
    The People's Assembly is the lower house of Egypt's bicameral parliament. In spite of its lower status, however, it plays a more important role in drafting legislation and day-to-day legislative duties than the Shura Council, the upper house....

    ...the top officials, especially in the army, should be Muslims since we are a Muslim country...This is necessary because when a Christian country attacks the Muslim country and the army has Christian elements, they can facilitate our defeat by the enemy." According to The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

     newspaper, the proposal caused an "uproar" among Egypt's six million Coptic Christians and "the movement later backtracked."

Response to criticism


According to authors writing in the Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs: "At various times in its history, the group has used or supported violence and has been repeatedly banned in Egypt for attempting to overthrow Cairo's secular government. Since the 1970s, however, the Egyptian Brotherhood has disavowed violence and sought to participate in Egyptian politics." Jeremy Bowen, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 editor
Editor
The term editor may refer to:As a person who does editing:* Editor in chief, having final responsibility for a publication's operations and policies* Copy editing, making formatting changes and other improvements to text...

, calls it "conservative and non-violent". The Brotherhood has condemned terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 and the 9/11 attacks.

The Brotherhood itself denounces the "catchy and effective terms and phrases" like "fundamentalist" and "political Islam" which it claims are used by "Western Media" to pigeonhole the group, and points to its "15 Principles" for an Egyptian National Charter, including "freedom of personal conviction... opinion... forming political parties... public gatherings... free and fair elections..."

Similarly, some analysts maintain that whatever the source of modern Jihadi terrorism and the actions and words of some rogue members, the Brotherhood now has little in common with radical Islamists and modern jihadists who often condemn the Brotherhood as too moderate. They also deny the existence of any centralized and secretive global MB leadership. Some claim that the origins of modern Muslim terrorism are found in Wahhabi ideology, not that of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to anthropologist Scott Atran
Scott Atran
Scott Atran is an American and French anthropologist.-Education and early career:Atran was born in New York City in 1952 and he received his PhD in anthropology from Columbia University. While a student at Columbia, he became assistant to anthropologist Margaret Mead at the American Museum of...

, the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood even in Egypt has been overstated by Western commentators. He estimates that it can count on only 100,000 militants (out of some 600,000 dues paying members) in a population of more than 80 million, and that such support as it does have among Egyptians—an often cited figure is 20 percent to 30 percent—is less a matter of true attachment than an accident of circumstance: secular opposition groups that might have countered it were suppressed for many decades, but in driving the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, a more youthful constellation of secular movements has emerged to threaten the Muslim Brotherhood's dominance of the political opposition.

Foreign Relations


On 29 June 2011, as the Brotherhood's political power became more apparent and solidified following the 2011 Egyptian revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 announced that it would reopen formal diplomatic channels with the group, with whom it had suspended communication as a result of suspected terrorist activity. The next day, the Brotherhood's leadership announced that they welcomed the diplomatic overture.

See also


  • Islamism
    Islamism
    Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

  • Pacifism in Islam
    Pacifism in Islam
    -Quran:In the Islamic telling of Cain and Abel, Abel tells his murderous brother that "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah"...

  • Islamic terrorism
  • The Muslim Brotherhood and the CPSU: Architecture and Functions


External links




Egypt
  • Profile: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Al Jazeera English, February 6, 2011
  • The Muslim Brotherhood Uncovered, Jack Shenker and Brian Whitaker
    Brian Whitaker
    Brian Whitaker has been a journalist for the British newspaper The Guardian since 1987 and its Middle East editor from 2000-2007. He is currently an editor on the paper's "Comment Is Free". He also writes articles for Guardian Unlimited, the internet edition of the paper...

    , The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , February 8, 2011
  • Profile: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 9 February 2011. Hamid is director of research at the Doha Center
    Brookings Doha Center
    Brookings Doha Center is a project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy within the Brookings Institution, started in 2007. In its own words, it conducts "research on the socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing Muslim-majority states and communities, and encourages increased dialogue...

    , part of the Brookings Institution
    Brookings Institution
    The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

    .
  • "Egyptian democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood", EU Institute for Security Studies, Report No.10

Other branches