As we watch events unfold in the Middle East, more information is coming to light about events leading up to the Revolution in Egypt. While there are many factors to consider, including the obvious that Mubarak was not too concerned with the economic welfare of his country or the Egyptian people, there has been a constant throughout the history of Egypt for over 80 years now. One thing that Mubarak was concerned about was the growing power of an outlaw group which has always had the Egyptian government in its sights.
In 1928 the formation of Al Ikhwan Al Muslimun, or “The Muslim Brotherhood” (MB) began a slow, diligent, and determined move by fundamentalist Muslims to influence governments around the world beginning at its birthplace, Egypt. It’s objective, to revive Islam and call Muslims from Jahiliya, “the condition of ignorance”, and re-assert global power and re-establish the Khalifa, that global Caliphate, which was the high point of Islamic civilization from the 7th Century until the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.
There has been a lot of arguing about what the Ikhwan is and what it is not. I prefer to allow it to identify itself. The creed of the Muslim Brotherhood pretty much says it all: “Allah is our goal; the Messenger is our guide; the Koran is our law; Jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our inspiration.” Anything we add to that mission statement is supplemental.
Another point of clarification could be those who are currently and have been involved in the MB. Besides Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of MB, the chief narrative has come from Seyyid Qutb, author of Milestones, which was intended to be the vanguard document for global Islamic Revival, returning Muslims to a fundamental adherence to the “one true religion of Allah”. Qutb was very disappointed in his fellow Muslims and declared that they had fallen into a state of ignorance not matched since Muhammad himself had pulled the pagan, idolatrous, Arabs out of “jahili” and into the true place of Islam, “Submission” to Allah.
Qutb repeatedly scolds them for succumbing to Western influences of prosperity, nationalism, and capitalism, and reminds them that the collective, that is the “Ummah”, is priority. It is the Muslim’s duty to bring all governments under Islamic control, as one Islamic Nation of Muslims, and in 1965, Seyyid Qutb was executed for sedition against the government of the United Arab Republic of Egypt.
The interesting thing about Egypt is its own Constitution declares in Article Two that Islam is the official religion of the land, and that all laws must be in compliance with Islamic Jurisprudence, i.e. Sharia Law. Ever since Egypt gained its independence from Great Britain, the Islamists have struggled to gain power and hold the government in compliance with their own Constitution.
President Gamal Nassar (1954-1970) allied himself with the Soviets during the Cold War in exchange for military aid and power guarantee. He was brutal to the MB and those not executed were jailed indefinitely. Anwar Sadat succeeded Nassar in 1970 after Nassar died, and began moving away from Soviet allegiance and courted the United States, instituting Western style capitalist economic policy, encouraging foreign and private investment.
In 1973 Sadat tried to recover the Sinai, which Nassar lost in the ’67 war, but was again defeated by Israel. Finally, Anwar Sadat was successful politically in regaining Sinai in exchange for a formal peace treaty with Israel in March 1979. This made him famous in the world scene, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but also got Egypt ejected from the Arab League of Nations.
The MB had been severely held in check by Sadat, but this treaty with Israel would cost Sadat his life. A MB operative within the Egyptian Army gunned down Sadat and several other Egyptians along with foreign dignitaries from many countries, including the US, during a military review in 1981. Wounded in that attack by MB was one Hosni Mubarak.
In spite of Mubarak’s persecution of the Ikhwan, they have steadily gained power politically and socially across Egypt, making hay with Mubarak’s poor economical policies, until currently at least 20% of the population identify themselves directly with the MB. That’s over 16 million people…
In a short recount of current events concerning MB, recent facts reported by Florida Security Council show that changes within MB’s leadership may have accelerated the events unfolding in Egypt.
Muhammad Badie, a lifelong associate and leader within MB was actually imprisoned with Seyyid Qutb in 1965, and served 9 years of a 15 year sentence before being released. Badie married the daughter of a Brotherhood pioneer named Mohamed Ali Alshenawy, who also served life in prison, avoiding a death sentence given in 1954.
On 10/10/2010 Dr. Muhammad Badie issued a declaration of jihad on the US and Israel. In December the uprising in Tunisia began. January 8th, 2011, Al Ahzar University at Cairo’s Dr. Imad Mustafa issues a statement legalizing “offensive jihad” against all governments which resist Islamic rule, visa vi Sharia law. On 1/16/2011Badie was selected as MB Supreme Spiritual Guide. Within days the first protests began in Cairo. There have been repeated calls by the MB to eliminate Sadat’s treaty and attack Israel.
As we continue to monitor events in the region, Tunisia and Egypt are being joined by Yemen, Jordan, and Bahrain, with Saudi Arabia becoming very concerned. Just today, Friday February 18th, a new face not seen in Egypt for 40 years has emerged from Qatar. MB’s own Yussaf al-Qaradawi makes his return appearance as a new spiritual leader, dubbed Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, in Egypt. He is much more charismatic than Badie (not replacing Badie as “Supreme Spiritual Guide”) and has the potential of emulating the very charismatic Ayathollah Khomeni of Iran in 1979.
As I have reported last year, Turkey is currently being Islamized, dropping its long standing alliance with Israel, and has been entering talks with Muslim Brotherhood representatives as well.
A new day is indeed dawning in the Islamic world. In a matter of just a few weeks we shall see where all this is leading. Western media is still euphoric; spouting “democracy for everyone!” while misunderstanding that democracy in other Islamic revolutions has led to places like Iran, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein regime.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what they are going to enjoy for dinner…One other thing. Keep your eye on Turkey.