What is the Muslim Brotherhood Anyway?

So Egypt is in trouble and the “Muslim Brotherhood” wants to be involved in the future political re-organization. So what is this Muslim Brotherhood? Is it the Mohammedan version of the Knights of Columbus?

Not quite. Here’s a quick Q&A on the “MB”:

What is the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Society of the Muslim Brothers or “The Brotherhood” (الإخوان Al-Ikhwān) is an Islamic international movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. The group is the world’s oldest and most influential Islamic political group.

When and where was if founded?
It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and Sufi schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna.

What is the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Koran and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for…ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community…and state”.

Are they “peaceful Muslims”?
Since its beginning in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals. It is often called “conservative but non-violent.” The Brotherhood did publicly condemn the 9-11 attacks on the USA. However, they are not consistent about non-violence. They supported violence in the Palestinian conflict and again in Syria where secularism made inroads.

What’s the story in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned in Egypt, and members have been arrested for their participation in it. In order to avoid the ban, supporters run for office as independents. With current upheaval, the MB is now pushing for recognition.

What is the current agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood?
One of the movement’s intellectual leaders is Sayyid Qutb. Qutb was the author of the book Milestones, which called for the restoration of Islam by re-establishing the Sharia and by using “physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system, which he believed to include the entire Muslim world.

The book also reveals that Qutb no longer held the Brotherhood’s ideas and that he was closer to the ideas of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is concluded in the introduction and dedication of the book”.

Is the MB connected to any terrorist activity?
Not directly. While studying at university, Osama bin Laden claimed to have been influenced by the religious and political ideas of several professors with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood including both Sayyid Qutb and his brother Muhammad Qutb.

That being said, Al Qaeda has formally denounced the Muslim Brotherhood’s avowed “non-violent” position.

So the Muslim Brotherhood is certainly friendlier than Al-Qaeda, but what does that mean?

I think we need a Catholic Brotherhood. We’re losing our identity in the West. What can we do? How can we influence?

Catholic Brotherhood anyone? Who’s in? 

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