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THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: EGYPTS LARGEST OPPOSITION FORCE
LIke a lot of people in the world I have been following the events unfolding in Egypt. It appears (as of today) that President Hosni Mubarack will be stepping aside at some point this year so that a new leader can be elected. Why the Egyptian people have been revolting is a long and difficult answer. I would like to focus in this article on a group that could come into power once Mubarack is gone. Could this uprising be an opening for the Islamic group the Muslim Brotherhood?
Before this week I knew very little of the Muslim Brotherhood. I only knew the name because sometimes people would metion the group when talking about the history of Al Qaeda. Some people feel that the Brotherhood is the grandfather of extremist groups Al Qaeda and Hamas. While others insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is a non violent peaceful group that just wants to spread the Islamic way of life across the world. Thus, in the following segments I am going to briefly expalin what the Muslim Brotherhood is and whether or not the United States should be concerned of their role in the future of Egypt.
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
I am going to try an simplify this is much as I can. If anything I hope to inspire someone to continue to research the Muslim Brotherhood and the events happening in Egypt. In this ever changing world I believe learning about world history and current events is very important. Here are five quick facts on The Muslim Brotherhood:
1. The group was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar Hassan al-Banna.
2. The group is the world's oldest and largest Islamic political group.
3. The group is the world's most influential Islamist movement.
4.The group has traditionally opposed violent means to achieve its goals.
5. The group is officially banned in egypt but has a large presence there.
The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community, and state. Basically, the Brotherhood wants to promote the Islamic way of life throughout the world.
Intially the Muslim Brotherhood kept a low profile when the protests in Egypt began. Whether or not they had more to do with sparking the revolt will remain to be seen. On Thursday February 3, 2011 the Brotherhood issued a statement asking for president Hosni Mubarak to step aside.
Walid Phares a terrorism analyst for Fox News, has studied the Brotherhood extensively. He states, "The Muslim Brotherhood is th mothership for the Jihadi ideologies and thinking. And therefore one can say today's Al Qaeda, and today many other jihadists, are off shoots of the Muslim Brotherhood." There is some truth to this. Ayman al-Zawahiri Al Qaeda's number two is from Egypt and involved in the Brotherhood. He was imprisoned for three years on weapons charges following President Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine also have been linked to have past ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. It must be noted that today, the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda do not like each other. Al Qaeda has denounced the Muslim Brotherhood's reform through nonviolence and has accused them of abandoning their "jihad" in favour of forming politial parties and supporting modern sate institutions.
REFERENCE BOOKS TO READ
SHOULD THE UNITED STATES BE CONCERNED
I am reallly tired of the United States feeling that we have to be involved in every problem throughout the world. To me, we definitely haave more than our share of problems. However, I can see where we would be concerned in a situation like this. The Muslim Brotherhood like many orginizations has a consertive side and a not so conservitive side. What version would emerge if the Brotherhood got in power would remain to be seen.
The Muslim Brotherhoods hatred of Israel would be a concern to the United States. However, it must be also noted that the majority of Egypt does not like Israel. This is just not unique to people belonging in this orginization.
The Brotherhood also has a conservative views on the rights of women and does not tolerate religious minorities. These views conflict with many of the policies and values of the United States.
It remains to be seen what will happen in Egypt. I look forward to continue to follow the history that is unfolding in Egypt and urge all my readers to follow as well.