On Saturday, Egyptian Grand Mufti, Head of the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide (GSFOW), Shawki Allam, distributed an important and documented English report to all members of the British House of Commons and Lords. The report uncovers the roots of violence of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its bloody history.
This came on the sidelines of his historic speech delivered in front of members of the British House of Representatives.
The report exposes the MB’s extremist approach since its inception and its association with terrorist organizations, led by “ISIS”, “Hasm” and others, adding that it is considered the parent of modern-day terror groups which plagued the minds of half-educated and ill-hearted religious extremists.
Foremost among the militant organizations was the Muslim Brotherhood. Initially, it centered itself on promoting the principles of love and brotherhood among the people but eventually deviated from its professed principles and became involved in politics.
According to Hasan al-Banna, the group’s first supreme guide, a Muslim is not a true Muslim unless he demonstrates a far-sighted political interest in the affairs of his Ummah and that every Islamic group must put the political affairs of its country as its top priority or else it stands in need for understanding the meaning of Islam.
The group continued to be active agents in their violent actions. In 1939, violence broke out, involving members from the Muslim Brotherhood and Young Egypt Society who attacked and destroyed a number of shops and pubs. In a bid to justify the violence, Hasan al-Banna penned an article in the Muslim Brotherhood’s magazine al-Nadhir titled “About the incidents of destroying the bars” in which he explained his view on personal freedom and the state’s responsibility toward protecting society.
According to al-Banna, alcohol drinkers, compulsive gamblers, playboys, and drinkshop frequenters, bars and beer halls, all must be socially sequestered against by law because they spread corruption and immorality among the Egyptian people by taking advantage of their individual and societal freedoms.
While there is no doubt that measures concerning corruption and immorality should not be neglected, a situation of this nature needs to be addressed with wisdom, careful guidance and gentle exhortation, never with violence and destruction. Islam does not call for aggression, violence, or destruction and these people lacked any spiritual premises for setting themselves up as guardians of society.
Those extremists with twisted logic and deviant ideologies established the brutal platform of shedding the blood of both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, torturing the captives and the hostages, enslaving women, looping money, destroying places of worship and sanctuaries, usurping authority, and gaining power among many other atrocious acts falsely under the name of Islam.
The close association between the Muslim Brotherhood and militant groups such as al- Qa’ida, Islamic State, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab goes beyond a superficial regional link. These actors all share the same fundamental ideological values of hate and violence that have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
As a result, irrespective of the variant tools used, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to provide the ideological and in most cases material support to these militant groups. In doing so, the Muslim Brotherhood aims to edge closer to its own ultimate purpose – the creation of a pan-caliphate via the promotion and use of violent means.
Political Islam was created out of the prevailing political context and rising anti-colonial sentiments. Its first prominent expression was the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that followed a very different trajectory from orthodox anti-colonial resistance and rhetoric. They pursued an approach that instrumentalized Islam and turned it into a tool against society and a vehicle for political and societal objectives instead of deploying it for the service of the Ummah.
This discrepancy demonstrates the apparent difference between these two approaches. While the nationalist resistance worked within an institutionalized Sunni framework founded on transparency and straightforward da’wah, the Muslim Brotherhood embraced a language of opposition, described the entire society as degenerate and rooted in jahiliyyah (ignorance), and incited to bloodshed.
In the early 20’s of the twentieth century, Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood. Its prominent ideologue, however, was Sayyid Qutb who was the main inspiration behind various other militant and terrorist organizations and groups.
The Muslim Brotherhood adopted a terrorist ideology and approach since its inception. Its fifth supreme guide, Mustafa Mashhour, acknowledged the group’s terrorist nature and set its militant vision and fundamental concepts in one of his lectures saying, “We will not gain victory except through terrorism and intimidation and we must not succumb to psychological defeat from being accused of terrorism— yes, we are terrorists!” Mashhour goes on to make use of Islam as an opposition tool against society and government, designating the group as separate and superior to the rest of society.
The group, in their view was society’s theological elite whose knowledge must not be revealed to the public. He said, “You must know that this knowledge is for the elite—we are the elite. We must not reveal it to the public lest they recoil from our group.”
Since Hasan al-Banna rejected plurality as non-Islamic, and therefore rejected the party system by declaring, “We are not a political party,” it begs the question of how can they gain access to governance. In such a case, there would be no other way except to subscribe to Ibn Khaldun’s conception of authority which can only be assumed in Islamic societies through religious da’wah and asabiyyah or tribal partisanship. Since asabiyyah does not exist in Egyptian society in this sense, the Muslim Brotherhood’s daw’ah must therefore be supported by a secret armed wing.
The Muslim brotherhood morphed into a two-tiered movement. The first, its public face, profited from addressing the masses under the guise of expressing their concerns and presented itself as an opposition force. The second, a separate unit known as “the secret apparatus” was responsible for the execution of terrorist operations, disseminating fear, and for forcibly taking over the rule of the country at the earliest opportunity.