New Best Friends: Iran and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has recently shifted its political position and aligned with Iran. Historically, the MB, as an extremist Sunni movement, had anti-Shiite sentiments. However, this new “unholy alliance” is based on common political interests. Iran, having hegemonic ambitions, launched a cold war against the Arab countries, including Egypt. Hence, the MB, which wants to take over Egypt, is interested in supporting Shiite Iran. However, this new political shift, created a major rift inside the MB.
‘Resistance’ is the key word of this new front of staunch pan-Islamic forces. The leader of these forces, Iran, which may have nuclear weapons in a year or so, is gaining momentum. After controlling Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza it is now ushered inside Egypt’s politics with the help of the Brotherhood. To make things worse, the leadership in the West does not seem to realize the pressing urgency to counter this offensive. Extending hands is, in principle, good. But not when your interlocutor wants to cut them off.
A strong debate was sparked inside the MB, after a prominent MB official Yousef Nada wrote a pro-Shiite article, published on the MB website according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Nada argued that Shiism is not foreign to Islam, but constitutes a fifth religious school alongside the four Sunni schools. He also stated that the conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis is not religious but actually political in nature, and condemned Sunni Muslims who condemn Shiism and its followers.
Nada’s article was received with mixed feeling by MB members. Mahmoud Ghazlan, member of the Supreme Guide's office, wrote that Nada's opinions contravened the standard Sunni doctrine, and did not reflect the position of the Muslim Brotherhood, but only his own personal views. However, the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide himself, Muhammad Mahdi Akef, intervened in the argument, stating that Nada's views are largely consistent with those of the movement, and that the Sunni-Shiite conflict is indeed political rather than religious.
Akef and his colleagues also made other significant declarations. The story is told by the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, which argues that the Brotherhood's new line ends up in some shocking conclusions. Akef said that Hamas should be supported, "By any means necessary." The implication is, as the MB has always favored abrogation of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, that Egypt should go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. A Brotherhood government would probably do just that. Hussein Ibrahim, deputy leader of the Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc, which includes about 20 percent of the legislators in calling for full Egyptian support of Hamas, stated, "Our enemy and Hezbollah 's enemy are the same."
These events take place at a moment when Egypt's government just announced the extension of a major Hezbollah effort to destabilize the country by staging terrorist attacks there. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has openly called for the overthrow of Egypt's regime. He has now acknowledged connections with the arrested terrorists, though he claims their mission was to help Hamas and attack Israel. The Egyptian government has rejected this justification and expressed its worries.
As columnist Tariq Alhomayed put it in an editorial of April 29th on Asharq al-Awsat website: "The dispute is not about the Shia doctrine or the Shia in the Arab world; it is about the spread of Iranian influence in the Arab countries and Iran’s continuous attempts to export its revolution to these countries under the banner of so-called political Shiafication. This is the crux of the matter”.
The Egyptian pro-government press reacted sharply to the new MB’s stance. In an editorial in the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, chief editor Abdallah Kamal stated that Nada’s article indicates a significant shift in the Muslim Brotherhood's attitude towards the Shia. This shift, he argued, stems from the need to sanction a more open political alliance between the movement and Iran. He wrote: "There is no doubt that this article indicates a real shift in the doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members are known to be extremists among the Sunnis. The fact that it was written by an MB leader whose functions are more political than jurisprudential or ideological means that there has been a shift in the political relations between the movement and Iran. This political shift had to be complemented by an ideological shift, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been quick to provide one and give it prominence to impress its significance upon the movement's followers. This indicates that something significant is brewing in secret between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Persian state.”
For the moment Akef and the MB leadership do not make particular efforts to hide their intentions. Akef declared that "There are two agendas in the region...an agenda working to protect and support the resistance against the Zionist enemy, and an agenda that only cares about satisfying the Americans and the Zionists." Any Arab listener must take this to mean that there are the properly struggling forces -Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah - and the vile traitors - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Iraqi government. Under cover of “supporting the Palestinians," then, it can be seen that the Brotherhood's priority is in backing Islamist revolution in Iraq, Lebanon, among the Palestinians, Egypt, and elsewhere.
Reader comments on this item
|Sdf [9 words]||Sayed||Dec 26, 2012 02:55|
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.