SEENews interviewed the French writer and filmmaker Michaël Prazan. He wrote a book that describes the Muslim Brotherhood (MB): An Inquiry into the Last Holistic Ideology.
And his latest book on the Muslim Brotherhood came about the history and establishment of the group and the most important stages of its political development, reaching the stage when the group assumed power in Egypt.
The interview came as follows:
1- After “The United States House of Representative Judiciary Committee Calls on Administration to List Muslim Brotherhood (MB)as a Terrorist Organization” … How do you see the Future of the group as an international organization, its money it, the freedom of its individuals to travel and their activities in the western countries?
Of course, after the fall of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, following the campaign of terror conducted in the country, the Western countries, including the United States and Great Britain, which had nevertheless supported the Muslim Brotherhood in power, started to become aware of the threat that this movement and its ideology could represent, and they put the “official” organization of the Brotherhood in their respective countries under surveillance.
This is a healthy reaction and at the same time too late. Somehow, the Muslim Brotherhood in the West had anticipated such incidents by ceasing to openly claim affiliation with the Brotherhood in recent years.
In France, for example, the UOIF (l’Union des organisations islamiques de France) denies being part of the movement for five or six years. No one is fooled, but the Muslim Brotherhood was so unfamiliar to authorities that they are permanently implanted in the French associative landscape, during the last thirty years.
We are witnessing a bloated, sprawling community network that combines dozens or even hundreds of humanitarian and religious associations. So it has become very difficult to see clearly in this nebula that has managed to make themselves almost essential to the government to whom they always appeared as moderate.
This is undoubtedly true concerning the current offensive of more radical organizations such as Daesh who seduces a significant proportion of youth in Western countries, but the governments of these countries have largely failed by ignorance and naivety at the point the training of our imams is given to these organizations directly linked with the Muslim Brotherhood!
It is paradoxical since the brothers have created a religious-political matrix in which all Islamic radical organizations claim the same way they do!
2- If there was a reconciliation ..will it be for the benefit and the good of the Egyptian people?
I would like to see Egypt is developing itself more efficiently, participate more actively in the modernization of the region and mentalities, regain its leadership, become a powerful force in the world that delivers a message of peace, strength, and stability. In this context, the Muslim Brotherhood represents the opposite: archaism, warmongering, intolerance, incompetence. This is a force that pulls the country and the entire region down, and it is one of the causes of chaos.
3- Do you think the youth of the Muslim Brotherhood have different points of view towards violence and if they could lead a change inside the Organization?
Frankly, it is not new, and sometimes it seems that history stutters. Remember: there is not so long, Khairat al-Shater, Mohammed Morsi and some others were considered as the “young” against Mohammed Mehdi Akef generation.
It was only a few years ago! A new generation has emerged, and those who were young, nowadays they are old! It’s just a battle for leadership between the so-called modern (who still advocate the armed struggle and violence …) and elders (who want to keep hold of the office for the guidance and breath more easily within Egyptian society).
There are differences in tactics, but the corpus, the overall strategy, the vision of the world and long-term goals are the same. On the merits, there is no evolution, no renovation, no questioning, quite the contrary! Nothing new, so, alas. There is no one side of the conservatives and the other moderate, only a political struggle to gain power internally.
4- Do you think the organization will collapse after the rumors about many splits between its members and the separation from other branches in the Arab world like Jordan?
These frictions and this internal battle do not guarantee the health of the movement. After having said that the Muslim Brotherhood will not disappear overnight, we must add that they are in a situation quite critical and alarming in Egypt and wider, in the Arab world.
These dissensions add to the crisis experienced by MB and its collapse in Egypt. Against all odds, it is the western branches of the movement that ensures greater visibility and greater stability today. This is undoubtedly a paradox that did not anticipate the leadership of the Brotherhood, but it’s a reality.
5- How will the organization continue in spite of freezing their money in Egypt?
They do not worry too much about the finances of the MB. I think that members continue to donate part of their salary in the organization, and with wealthy partners like Qatar and other major international capital, with a presence in 80 countries, an associative network that covers the entire world and garnered numerous domestic and foreign funding, I do not think the Brotherhood is actually on the verge of bankruptcy!
6- What is your analysis of the situation of the organization nowadays? Why do you think Qatar and Turkey support the Muslim Brotherhood and host many of their leaders?
For ideological reasons, first is that the “Islamic” vision of Qatar is very close to the MB, making it a rich partner, reliable, unwavering. Ditto for Turkey, Milli Gurus, which resulted in Erdogan and the AKP, is the Turkish subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood. Then, for strategic reasons, ranging from financial interests in the battle for gas supply in the area until the search for a leadership turned against the Shiite world, mainly Iran.
7- How could you describe Sheikh Qaradawi and if he does have a role in the future of the Organization?
It is difficult to imagine what could be the role in the future of a 90-years-old man! Qaradawi is the unanimous star of the MB. He is the undisputed emir of the Muslim Brotherhood, among all political tendencies. His surface and his influence, have no equivalent in the Islamic world.
At that point, remember, he was asked by both parties (old vs young) to act as mediator and conciliator, what he did with mixed success. But his influence and his teaching remains unchanged and no one can now seek a title, he has no challenger.
Qaradawi is the head of all international Muslim Brotherhood organizations, he is a media star who broadcasts a hateful and deeply archaic vision of Islam that influence even beyond the single circle of the Muslim Brothers. I consider his work as a major and deeply harmful.
Since the death of Turabi, who was another legend of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi is the only incontestable and undisputed leader of the organization in its international dimension. But you have to listen, read and reread his statements on global Caliphate, his calls for killings of Shiites, Jews, homosexuals, the relegation of women, etc.
This is not true; it is the bellicose and obscurantist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the worst way possible. I think we do not measure the extent to which its role was important in the opposition and misunderstanding that continues to widen between the Muslim world and the Western world. His role was dramatic and long yet we pay the price for his actions and statements. This is not the kind of leader with whom one can rely on to repair today’s world.