Fear the Brotherhood? Read and Comment.

Posted: January 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

Why we shouldn’t fear the Muslim Brotherhood

Why we shouldn't fear the Muslim Brotherhood

If you were watching Fox on Monday, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Egypt was on the verge of being taken over by a pack of terrorists. Anchor Steve Doocy characterized the Muslim Brotherhood this morning as “the godfather of al-Qaida.”

 And several potential Republican presidential hopefuls have cited worries about the Muslim Brotherhood as a reason for the United States to continue to support the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

To get some hard facts and context about the controversial Islamic movement, we spoke with Nathan Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University and director of its Institute for Middle East Studies, who has written extensively on the Muslim Brotherhood. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.

Can you give a rundown of the history of the group and where it came from?

The group was founded in 1928. It was a broad movement aiming at increasing religious knowledge among Egyptians, doing good works, and making society more Islamic. It gradually got more and more into politics. It was suppressed in the late 1940s and it never really fully regained legal status after that. In the 1940s, they did form sort of a paramilitary wing to combat the British troops who were still in Egypt and volunteer for the war over the creation of Israel in 1948.

Then in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Gamal Nasser regime tried to crush them, some members of the Brotherhood developed ideas that essentially legitimated armed rebellion against the government. Some leaders were executed and so on. In the 1970s, they were allowed to reemerge, but they were never given legal status. Since that time they’ve disavowed violence. They’ve said that they’re willing to work within the rules of the game, that they’re a reform movement, not a revolutionary one. They have found a variety of ways to run candidates for parliament and to take an active role in Egyptian public life.

What role do they play day-to-day?

Their formal title is “the Society of Muslim Brothers”; it is not “the Muslim Brotherhood political party” or anything like that. They claim they have got a broad reform agenda — social, religious, political, educational and so on. Over the past decade they made real strides in the political realm. In the 2005 elections, they got one-fifth of the seats in parliament. After that point, the regime came down on them hard — arrested some top leaders, tried to close down businesses that were associated with Brotherhood supporters, arrested an awful lot of the foot soldiers in the movement, and so on. The organization reacted by saying, “We have to take care of our organization first. We’re in this for the long haul, we think in terms of decades and generations, not in terms of political maneuvering for the next elections.”

So they basically scaled back a little bit of their political movement, and the architects of their political campaign found themselves less influential within the movement. What that means is, the movement right now is led by people who are very cautious and are really trying to preserve the organization. They are probably less skilled in politics like making alliances and speaking to the press. When the current strikes started, therefore, they really reacted in a little bit of a hesitating manner.

I’ve seen several people describe the Brotherhood and their agenda as “radical” — referring to the religious aspects. Would you describe them as radical?

Well, they certainly take their Islam seriously. But in many ways this is a very conservative movement. The current general guide is a professor of veterinary medicine. He’s a shy guy. These are not fire-breathing radicals at the top of the organization. And whenever somebody talks a little bit too violently and impatiently, they are told either to calm down or to leave the movement.

Their agenda is to make Egypt better. And their conception of what’s good and bad has a religious basis. So that means increasing religious observance, religious knowledge. It also means probably drawing more heavily on the Islamic legal heritage for Egypt’s laws. They don’t want to necessarily completely convert Egypt into a traditional Islamic legal system. But if the parliaments going to pass a law, they want it to be consistent with Islamic law.

A lot of their program is just standard reform stuff — independence of the judiciary, the end of corruption, protecting the environment. Especially when they got more political over the last 10 years or so, what they really began to push was a very general reform language that takes Islamic coloration in some areas. But an awful lot of it is consistent with other reform programs coming from reformists all over the political spectrum.

Somebody said on Fox News today that the Muslim Brotherhood is the “godfather of al-Qaida.” Is there any relationship there, historically or in the present?

You shouldn’t be watching Fox to learn about the Muslim Brotherhood is the lesson from that. Here’s what I would say: The concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship to political violence is not based on hallucinations — it is there. In the 1950s and ’60s the Brotherhood did develop this strain of thought that said, the existing government is not Islamic and therefore some kind of armed clash is inevitable. That strain has basically been repudiated by the Brotherhood. In fact, al-Qaida openly and consistently attacks the Brotherhood as having sold out.

What happened was that the sort of ideas that were gestating in the more radical streams of the Brotherhood, those ideas essentially spawned some more radical groups. And they began attacking Arab governments, like the Egyptian government and Algeria, in the 1970s and 1980s. The Brotherhood wanted nothing to do with them. But in a sense you could see there is a common genealogy there.

When those attempts failed in the 1980s and 1990s to overthrow existing Arab governments, the current leaders of al-Qaida — people like Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is Egyptian, and Osama bin Laden, who is Saudi — said: “We’re making a mistake. We’re attacking the Egyptian government, the Saudi government, and the Algerian government. But let’s go to the source, the government that is really backing them, and that’s the United States.”

But in its present form, the Brotherhood is not advocating political violence?

They specifically and repeatedly repudiate it. They have in the last couple days thrown in their lot with this uprising. But as far as they’re concerned, it’s a peaceful uprising, not a violent one.

Is it known how big the Brotherhood is?

Not really, because it’s not a legal organization. The do have some firm sense of membership. If you join the Brotherhood, you are expected to attend regular meetings, go to discussion groups, that sort of thing. My guess is that it’s probably much smaller than people think. But it does have a little bit of the cachet of being people who are seen as public-spirited and good, moral and upstanding. They would appeal to a much wider spectrum of Egyptian public opinion than their narrow membership base would suggest. In a total free election, they might get between 20 and 40 percent of the vote.

Is it an all male organization?

No, they do have female groups within the organization. The leadership is pretty much all male.

Let’s say at some point there’s a new government in Egypt in which the Brotherhood has a voice. How would they change the foreign policy of Egypt on Israel or relations with the U.S.?

They’re clearly suspicious of the United States, and you’ll hear some anti-American slogans from them — but no more so than from any other place in the Egyptian political spectrum. They don’t stand out there, and there are probably more anti-American people in the committee of opposition leaders.

With regard to Israel it’s a little bit different. Israel is unpopular in Egypt. And the Brotherhood since the 1930s has a very strong history of backing the Palestinian cause. They are critics of the Camp David accords and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Those are all popular stands. That said, no one in Egypt wants a war with Israel right now. So the Brotherhood tries to finesse this by saying, ‘This treaty really needs to be put up for a referendum.” If they were in the government, I think they would be in an embarrassing position. This is an international treaty that was ratified — are you willing to abide by the state of Egypt’s international treaty obligations or not?

If it was a broad-based coalition government in which the majority clearly favored maintaining the current peace treaty, I think the Brotherhood would say: “We don’t like this, we’re not in favor it. But we’re willing to accept the results of a legitimate political process.” That’s my guess.

Is the Brotherhood something that should be a source of fear in the way it’s being talked about by many people?

We’ve got a big headache in Egypt. The regime in its current form is toast. Our regional policy has been based on a very close working relationship with the Egyptian government since 1974, so we’ve got fundamental rethinking to do. The Brotherhood is part of that headache. It’s not the biggest part. Is there cause for concern? Yes. Is there cause for fearful reaction? Absolutely not.

  1. Juliana Kaldany says:

    The Muslim Brotherhood, in my opinion, isn’t to be feared of. It isn’t very powerful at the moment and it isn’t a large organization. Many people of this region aren’t in agreement with the laws the Muslim Brotherhood may force them to abide. Their impact at the moment is rather small

  2. Marah Tarawneh says:

    Throughout the reading about Hasan Albanna’s ideology I kept in my mind the constitution that the prophet created when he arrived to Al-Madineh (Wathiqat al madineh), because at that time the prophet was able to balance and not separate religion and politics, and was fair to everyone regardless of their religion. However, I couldn’t find that balance in Hasan’s rules, especially in terms of not taking into consideration that there are non-Muslims in the state. Therefore, something I would fear from the Brotherhood is that ruling Egypt with Hasan’s rules might not be fair to everyone in Egypt.
    I understand, the Muslim Brotherhood are not ISIS or AlQaidah, they are not extremists. However, they are conservative enough to make me concerned about having them in power.

    • Xu Zhaoying says:

      I can definitely see how Muslim Brotherhood under Albanna might be proposing a society that only applies to Muslims. One of the ideas I found interesting was that everyone should “memorize the Qur’an in all the free elementary schools”, which basically sets people up from childhood to believe in, or know well about Islamic principles. This might not work for other religious groups in the country such as Christianity and Judaism. I think the problem here is less of “whether religion and politics can be separated” (for me the answer always is no), but to what extend does religion rule in the society as a form of politics. May I ask you to elaborate moreon how theprophet created balance between religion and politics?

    • What I thought throughout this article was that ‘Oh, so the contemporary Brotherhood is different from the original one under Hasan al-Banna?’ The article seemed to suggest that over the decades since its creation in the early 20th century until now, they have evolved to be more on the moderate side that wishes the laws to be ‘compliant with Sharia’ and not ‘identical to Sharia’, that repudiates all violent and radical sides that it may have had in the past. If this IS really the case, then I see no reason to react so excessively to the rising power of the Brotherhood in Egypt.
      Am I misinterpreting it here, or is this somewhat true?

      • I agree with you; if the Muslim Brotherhood’s constitution has altered since Hasan Al-Banna, then I think they should be treated just as any other political or social movement. As it says in the article, “but an awful lot of it is consistent with other reform programs coming from reformists all over the political spectrum,” and that doesn’t sound bad at all. But while the Brotherhood as a whole may be more moderate in its ideology, what about those few radicals he mentioned? Could they somehow have some kind of influence either within the Brotherhood or outside?

      • Aziz Sbeih says:

        Yes you are right, as the article suggested, the Muslim Brotherhood has became more peaceful with time and have resorted to legal and political methods to advocate for its existence instead of violence. However, when you say that they wish laws to be ‘complaint with Sharia’ and not ‘identical to Sharia’ you make it seem like Sharia law is itself not applicable because of its violent side. I get what you’re saying, that the Muslim Brotherhood is willing to be more lenient towards embracing laws that are somewhat Islamic but not completely Islamic, however the wording is a bit off because it makes it seem like Sharia law is bad, and in many cases it actually is due to the way extremists have interpreted it, however that doesn’t mean that Islamic teachings itself is violent.

  3. salehqadi says:

    I agree with Marah, the question of ‘can Islam separate politics and religion apart?’ kept rising up when I read this. The answer is unclear, because in Islam everything in one’s everyday life is perfectly described in Quran and Sunnah. In Quran there’s an Aya that says: “Islam is found for every period of time and for every nation” so that would tell that Islam is basically a way of living that works for any period of time, it only needs the right people to convert its laws so they would go along with our modernized life.

    • Daniel Leal says:

      If it is written in the Quran that “Islam is found for every period of time and for every nation,” is the Muslim Brotherhood then ideologically justified in Islam in its desire to bring about a more Islamic society?

      • Having a constitution based on Islamic teachings is one thing, what the likes Hasan Al Banna are suggesting is something completely different. Having read through the constitution set by Al Banna, a lot of it just doesn’t make sense to me. And this is isn’t because I’m a more liberal person than him, but because a lot of the things he says just don’t agree with Islam and Islamic history. As Marah said, the Constitution of Medina, set by the prophet PBUH at the time treated the non-Muslim population in Medina very fairly; we don’t see that in Al Banna’s constitution so much. And in some cases, his ideas don’t even seem to have any religious basis, such as the idea of not speaking foreign languages at home. I mean, what happens in one’s home is that person’s business; you can’t have someone telling you how to live your personal life.
        So while Islam may be, from a Muslim’s point of view, appropriate for every time and for every nation, that doesn’t justify all that the Brotherhood is arguing.

      • Aziz Sbeih says:

        Yes, their motive is justified, but their implementation of that motive is far off from the true meaning of the Islamic teachings due to Brotherhood’s interpretation. During the prophet’s time, Islam was worked perfectly as a system of rule because it covered all aspects of life, be it political through the Shura principle, economic through Al Zakat, or social through tolerance and equality. Nonetheless, with the progression of time, states have become more complex, political system have become more complex, new economic systems have emerged to replace the older stagnant ones, and new social challenges have emerged. As such, Islam no longer covers every aspect of modern life, which is the reason why Islam has Fatwas to fill in such voids. However, Sheikhs and Muslim scholars in many ‘Islamic’ countries or groups, such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or the Brotherhood, have used radical interpretations to come up with new Fatwas using Qiyas; an analogy where current issues are compared and contrasted with older issues during the prophet’s time. This exactly where the problem lies, because if you have radical Islamic scholars, then they they will institute Fatwas that are radical with no relation to Islam, and in a time where scholars are appointed by the state or by groups to establish Fatwas for their personal interests (especially by governments to subordinate the people to their authority using Fatwas), then scholars have lost all their legitimacy. This is why it is tough to create an Islamic society in modern times, because you need scholars who are properly educated and unbiased towards their authority or their interests to recapture the essence of and establish proper laws in the face of new challenges.

    • Aziz Sbeih says:

      Even though I agree with most of what you wrote, and that Islam covers vast aspects of a modern state, we as Muslims have to accept the fact that in this modern age Islam doesn’t give us the answers for everything. For example, Islam didn’t create a form of economy that the state can use, like capitalism or communism or socialism, and it is, therefore, up to humans to set such complex economic systems based on what they see as the best fit for their state. Furthermore, although Islam preaches the use of Shura in Islam (what many Muslims consider as Islamic democracy) whereby the opinions of all the people are taken into consideration in voting for important matters, it doesn’t tell us how to set up a democratic government nor how a voting process should be like. This where we as humans should intervene and fill in those gaps, and this where the Fatwa part kicks in, but for the most part, Islam does a great job in covering the essential parts of people’s lives just like you said.

  4. I also agree with Marah in that the tolerance of other religions is evident in both the actions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and within the pages of the Quran. Therefore the extreme and radical thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood is one that should not be feared or considered too “dangerous” because of 1) their lack of moderation and 2) they’re impractical goals. When referring back to Hasan Banna’s principles, I found greater problems in that of the political aspects. For instance, “Distrust and contempt for the non-Muslim bodies, especially western colonial powers”. This is something that the Prophet, and Islam in general, tends to avoid. Being a religion that condemns violence and encourages peace, tolerance of other religions is an aspect held by Islam, contrary to the quote above.

    Another political aspect of Banna’s principles I found contradictory was “Establishing peace and justice in the whole world according to the principles of Islam”, because the imposition of Islam on all parts of the world is something that demonstrates a lack of tolerance and unjust thought/action, something that does not seem parallel to “establishing peace and justice in the whole world”.

    Because of these contradictory and hypocritical criterion, I find that they are not a group to be feared. This is because as many Muslims as there may be involved in the movement, there are tens of thousands others who are never willing to conform to such radical thought. I don’t believe they can be big enough to influence the entire world, or even a fraction of it, to their ideologies.

    • Zaid Khalaf says:

      I believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is not something that we should be afraid of, although many people are scared of it and fear it in an unimaginable way. I don’t believe that they can be big enough to influence the entire world.

      • miralobaidi says:

        You will be surprised to know how many extremists think like them, and I believe if they were to rise to power that many people would try to seek some sort of direction and join them. What is to fear is that they are not really applying the same laws that the Prophet Mohammad PBUH applied during the time he was alive. They are creating new rules that are absurd and that is what’s fearful.

    • Aziz Sbeih says:

      You’re not entirely correct in your assumption that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t “influence the entire world, or even a fraction of it, to their ideologies”, because they have been a prominent political party in most of the Arab World. The Muslim Brotherhood definitely had entrenched roots in Egypt since Hasan Al Banna founded it during Jamal Abdel Nasser’s reign, and the Egyptian government did use the excuse of the attempted assassination to crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood by imprisoning thousands out of fear that they may have began to gain foothold in Egypt. Recently, the election of the ousted president Morsi is indicative of the widespread support for the party. Another example would be the growing power of the Muslim Brotherhood during Hafaz Al Assad’s reign in Syria, whereby he killed 40,000 to 80,000 thousands Muslim Brotherhood members and their families in Hama in 1982 because they demanded reforms. Yet another example would be Jordan, and as you know, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is quite gigantic, and possesses substantial power in the parliament. Furthermore, Hamas, the legitimate government of Palestine, is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Tunsia, the Muslim Brotherhood also possess some power in the parliament. Therefore, I beg to differ that the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t an influencing body. It is, in fact, one of the most influencing bodies, especially in Arab countries.

  5. We’ve heard and read quite a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood and I believe that the brotherhood is misunderstood greatly. Here’s how I understand the brotherhood and my understanding comes primarily from the raw material that I read (from the brotherood’s founders).

    Based on my understanding of Islam, the Brotherhood’ s proposal and Banna’s vision of an Islamic state is totally in alignment with Islamic principles and Islamic spirit…

    As far as memorizing Qura’an is concerned, he (Banna) wasn’t saying it should be mandatory for a Jewish kid, and christian kid, and a Buddhist kid, and Hindu kid,… to memorize Quran. It is only for the followers of this religion.
    Brotherhood’s law is that of Islam’s and Islam doesn’t make religion compulsory on people or make life harsh on people. It makes life rather easier and clearer and offers a set of regulations that allows for multiple religions to coexist with Islam in a society… So, it is big misunderstanding to say that Muslim Brotherhood has little to offer to a society that is not all Muslim.

    Oh and contrary to the common misconception, the brotherhood isn’t limited to just a bunch of “political islamists” in Egypt. They are all over the PLANET from Asia to Africa and America and Australia…

    If someone is afraid of Brotherhood, they clearly don’t know what brotherood is all about or for that matter they have misunderstood Islam.

  6. Jude Hadadeen says:

    I don’t believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is terrifying – it is merely a conservative group. Many people around the world tend to fear it because of the media. An example would be when Fox called it the “godfather of Al-Qaeda” which is a phrase that undoubtedly scared many. Other than that, I don’t think the members of the Muslim Brotherhood will have a big effect on society since they are a minority.

    • miralobaidi says:

      I don’t think that you see them as a terrifying group because if they were to come to power it would have nothing to do with you and it wouldn’t affect you in any way. However, the way in which they are talking about reforming the Islamic society and imposing rules and laws that weren’t even applied back during the Prophet’s time is what is repelling people.

      • Aziz Sbeih says:

        Yes you are right in saying that many of the interpretations are radical and sometimes not even remotely close to the prophet’s teachings, but at the same time, you have to take into consideration their leniency towards embracing “semi-Islamic law” in the state, and how they are willing to go through the legal action to gain a political role through meritocracy. Every party has some radical and revolutionary ideas, why should this party be feared of if they worked their way towards their positions and implemented an idea that people agreed to vote on? There is a phobia of the Muslim Brotherhood, and in my perspective, the reason behind that is people’s lack of education and knowledge on this group, in which they are linked directly to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. In fact, according to classifications, this group is considered conservative on the political spectrum.

    • I agree with you. If the Muslim Brotherhood is merely a rather conservative group that is not even entirely political. then there is no reason to fear it. I feel that there is such media hype in the West when it comes to religion and politics coming together. What is the difference between the Muslim Brotherhood that is a conservative (and yes, religious) society, and a conservative political group in other nations, such as the National Front in France? In reality, the one that should be feared or criticized is the National Front in France for its increasing dominance in France and its xenophobic tendencies regarding immigration. Seriously, why should one be feared while the other not, simply because one mentions ‘God’ and the other doesn’t?

  7. farah sinokrot says:

    The original way the Muslim brotherhood started I think shouldn’t be feared. However, the Muslim brotherhood has changed and progressed into becoming more extremest and more aggressive. In my opinion it is because it’s starting to threaten and take over the politics of Egypt and Egypt is considered the most important Arab nation which threatens the west hence the west starts to depict the Muslim Brotherhood on the media as an extremist organization that threatens the west ideologies, and then comes in the “fear of the other”. Thus, making us now want to fear the Muslim brotherhood.

    • miralobaidi says:

      I agree with Farah, that they have changed and progressed into becoming more extreme. Islam is not an extremist religion, but they are extremist people that follow that religion. “Their conception of what’s good and bad has a religious basis” was written in the analysis above, and I completely disagree. One of the things that Al-Banna wanted to change was that female and male students are to be separated. Nowhere is that mentioned in our religion. God wants us to learn and he didn’t say anything about separating genders when it comes to education. He also mentioned that there would be a punishment of all who are proved to have infringed any Islamic doctrine or attacked it such as breaking the fast of ramadan. The Prophet didn’t punish people for not fasting or any of what was mentioned above. The prophet’s neighbour who was a jew would always throw his trash at the Prophets door and our prophet never did anything about it. Actually when his neighbour got sick, our Prophet PBUH had went to see if he was doing well. Who are they to punish those who don’t fast ramadan? God is forgiving, and he is the one who will decide what their fate will be. This is what is to be feared. This absurd extremism that didn’t even exist before they showed up. I just think that many of their rules and interpretations are just wrong.

  8. Lilia Smyth says:

    “And their conception of what’s good and bad has a religious basis. So that means increasing religious observance, religious knowledge. It also means probably drawing more heavily on the Islamic legal heritage for Egypt’s laws. They don’t want to necessarily completely convert Egypt into a traditional Islamic legal system. But if the parliaments going to pass a law, they want it to be consistent with Islamic law.”

    When I read this, I wondered if this meant that the Brotherhood would encourage a law that is modeled after/influenced by Islam. This is not unlike conservatives in the US, many of whom campaign to impose their particular religious values onto the public, but even though these similarities exist in my home country and with the Muslim Brotherhood, I still don’t see how the imposition of a religious beliefs and values of one group, no matter if they are a majority or minority, on the the whole population can be justified.

    For me, it is difficult to understand why religion and politics are seen as two inseparable entities. I of course understand that your religious beliefs influence your values, and therefore impact your political views, but what I can’t wrap my head around is writing one group’s religious values into law. I guess it comes from the “room for everybody,” “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it,” “Live free or die” (yup, that’s a real thing) mentality that’s been ingrained in me growing up in definition of super-liberal America, but for me the *freedom* to chose what you want and don’t want to practice, believe, and do is essential. If a law is secular, it gives you the ability to choose for yourself what you want to do based on your own morals, not a state-mandated ethical standard that you may not personally agree with. This is where I run into trouble with my view of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not because I fear them as dangerous, but because of their conservative and uninclusive beliefs.

    • Aziz Sbeih says:

      I understand what you’re talking about, but in regards to most of the Islamic law, especially the heritage law, it is inclusive to all non-Muslims even if some parties and followers prove otherwise. First of all, Islam doesn’t force religion on non-Muslims and allows them to practice their religion freely, but if their views conflict with Islam, such as drinking or eating pork, non-Muslims are asked not do such acts in public, and they are given the full right to do that in private. Moreover, Islam taxes all religions equally using percentages according to the money they possess, with non-Muslims ordered to give Al Jizayah, and Muslims ordered to give Al Zakat, therefore, even in taxation, there exists equality among the public. In return, the state is required to provide all its citizens who pay their Jizayah and Zakat with protection, meaning for example that a Muslim would die in protecting Christians in war to protect Christians in his country because he is obligated to do so. As for democracy, Islam brings in a similar governing system called Al Shura, whereby people are asked to give their opinions on important matters and vote on them, and then the leader will take in consideration all their views and deem what is the most appropriate thing to do. In wars and even in public matters, the prophet has consulted his friends and disciples constantly to gain more insights on their matters. Moreover, Islam allows other non-Islamic groups to discuss their conflicting views about Islam and personal matters with Muslims, urging Muslims to discuss those matters with those groups with peace -(وجادلهم بالتي هي احسن)- (look it up) and come to agreement with them. You could therefore assume that in an ideal Islamic society, political parties with conflicting views to Islam might run for office, even if that’s not applicable to real life examples. Finally, in terms of heritage laws, Islam gives women tons of benefits and ensures that they get their full economic rights, just like America focuses on feminism in so many ways. What I’m trying to persuade you with is that Islam is not that different from your American liberal democracy, in fact, it is very similar to it in a lot of aspects in terms of equality, respect of others belief, and personal freedom. Unfortunately, however, many states and groups that wish to implement Sharia law or already implemented it in their political systems often misinterpret Islam and create vicious and radical versions of a peaceful Islamic teaching, much like Qutub did with the term Jihad.

  9. Rashed Abdulhak says:

    I do not fear the Muslim brotherhood nor find anything to fear in their ideology. Yes they are devout, yes they believe in Sharia Law, yes many of them sport beards, but so what? Devout does not mean radical, Sharia Law is strict but they are willing to compromise by mixing Sharia with normal law, and they also do not discriminate between Sunni and Shia, which would be a good step towards improving relations with Iran and between Sunnis and Shia after seeing an example of the two groups getting along. There are branches of the Muslim brotherhood in many places. The main political party of Yemen is Muslim Brotherhood and is called ISLAH, which translates into reform, it is also the only political party that actually contributes something to the people, mosques, schools, hospitals, and etc. What I am trying to say is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not some terrorist organization, or some radical group, they are devout people who would like their country ruled by majorly Islamic values and teachings, not influenced by other religions. Not everybody agrees with that but that doesn’t mean they should be feared.

  10. Bridghid Sheffield says:

    Even though both in England and Dubai I was given the idea that Muslim Brotherhood was in fact to be feared, I realize this isn’t actually true. I think that they are just taking their beliefs more seriously than some other people. If they become more aggressive about their ideologies that is when they will be feared.

  11. eunsoljun15 says:

    I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood is to be feared because their ideas aren’t agreed upon in the society. They are a conservative group of believers, and what’s the point of living by Islam if they become another aggressive group of people?

    • Many people who paint the brotherhood as a bad organization do not truly understand what makes up the organization. As always those who know the least speak the loudest and that shouting has been the source of many people’s knowledge of the Brotherhood. While some radical organizations’ roots can be traced to the Brotherhood there is a reason that they are not affiliated anymore. I do believe that the hatred of the Brotherhood is misplaced because it is based in fear that is instilled by some who do not completely understand the organization. That is not to say I do but it is easier to join the bandwagon of opposition then try to find out the whole truth.

    • Mallak Al Husban says:

      what if these conservative group of people obtained power later on? shouldn’t we fear them? or at least concerned about the idea that they would implement their extremist ideologies everywhere and in every mind? I don’t really think that they’re terrifying; however, i don’t believe that underestimating them is a good thing too.

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