The Muslim Brotherhood and the Future of Egypt
|By: Dillon Burroughs; ©2011|
|Should the West be concerned at the Muslim Brotherhood’s heightened role in the protests and reformed government of Egypt? Based on past actions, the answer is a resounding yes.|
Should the West be concerned at the Muslim Brotherhood’s heightened role in the protests and reformed government of Egypt? Based on past actions, the answer is a resounding yes.
According to The Jerusalem Post, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel.
Dore Gold of the Jerusalem Center for Public affairs notes the following concerns in his recent report:
- Since January 28, the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement has become more prominent, with its support of Mohamed El Baradei to lead the opposition forces against the government. In the streets of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators disdainfully call people like El Baradei “donkeys of the revolution” (hamir al-thawra) – to be used and then pushed away – a scenario that sees the Muslim Brotherhood exploit El Baradei in order to hijack the Egyptian revolution at a later stage.
- There has been a great deal of confusion about the Muslim Brotherhood. In the years after it was founded in 1928, it developed a “secret apparatus” that engaged in political terrorism against Egyptian Copts as well as government officials. In December 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Nuqrashi Pasha. It also sought to kill Egyptian leader Abdul Nasser in October 1954.
- Former Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Akef declared in 2004 his “complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America.” In 2001, the Muslim Brotherhood’s publication in London, Risalat al-Ikhwan, featured at the top of its cover page the slogan: “Our Mission: World Domination.” This header was changed after 9/11.
- The current Supreme Guide, Muhammad Badi’, gave a sermon in September 2010 stating that “the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life.”
But just who is the Muslim Brotherhood? Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood was, “founded in 1928 by the Egyptian schoolteacher/activist Hasan al-Banna (a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis), the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)—a Sunni entity—is one of the oldest, largest and most influential Islamist organizations in the world.”
Throughout its history, the Muslim Brotherhood has been involved in various acts of violent jihad. For example, in December 1948, a Brotherhood member assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi. In 1954, Muslim Brotherhood member Abdul Munim Abdul Rauf tried to assassinate President Nasser. The Brotherhood’s mission statement, which is permanently posted on its official Arabic-language website, defines the Brotherhood as a Muslim community (jama’ah) that preaches for and demands the rule of Allah’s law (tahkim shar’ allah).
Many others have noted this as well. This week, Epicenter author Joel Rosenberg appeared on FOX News with Neil Cavuto to explain how the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be co-opting the non-violent protest of demonstrators in Cairo. Though originally not highly involved, the Muslim Brotherhood now seems to see an opportunity to emerge as a major player as Egypt’s national leadership changes. As Rosenberg notes, the current American presidential administration will be put to the test to decide how to negotiate with the new potential leaders of Egypt’s government with the Muslim Brotherhood in the mix.
Simply put, if the Muslim Brotherhood is now claiming to be a non-violent participant in the reform government of Egypt, it will be a major break from its past tradition of jihadic acts of violence. Of significance to Western supporters of the Egyptian protest, it is important to note that democratic, free elections and religious freedom would not necessarily both follow from a change in Egyptian national leadership.
As many have learned from the War in Iraq, democratic elections in prominently Muslim nations can even lead to increased religious persecution among Christians or other non-Muslim religious groups. While we as Christians may support democracy in Egypt, we must be careful not to equate democracy with Christian liberty. In fact, if the Muslim Brotherhood takes a leadership role, some form of sharia law (law based on the teachings of the Qur’an) will be expected. Unfortunately, sharia law is the standard in eight of the top ten nations where Christians are most persecuted.
Let us pray for freedom in Egypt. In doing so, may we show caution regarding those who attempt to step to provide leadership, particularly those from the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, let us pray for those in Egypt who follow Christ to have the freedom to do so.
-Dillon Burroughs, staff writer for the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute
- Yaakov Lappin, “Muslim Brotherhood: Prepare Egyptians for War with Israel,” The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2011. Accessed at http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130.
- Dore Gold, “The Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Crisis,” The Jerusalem Center for Public Affaira, Feb. 2, 2011. Accessed at: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=5953.
- From http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6386.
- Israel Elad-Altman, “The Crisis of the Arab Brotherhood, Current Trends, Nov. 29, 2007. Accessed at http://www.currenttrends.org/research/detail/the-crisis-of-the-arab-brotherhood.
- Video available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwpzr__u8V4.
- See http://www.persecutionblog.com/2010/12/the-persecuted-church-global-report-2011.html.