Expert comments on new book revealing Brotherhood recruitment tactics

Mohammed Saad , Sunday 7 Apr 2013

Brotherhood history expert, Namanam, prizes the book 'Brotherhood Paradise' saying instead of the typical story from a leader that defected, author Al-Tanweer gives his on-the-ground view

Helmi Namnam (Right), Sameh Fayez (Middle). (Photo: Ayman Hafez)

Al-Tanweer publishing house hosted writer, Sameh Fayez, a defected member of the Muslim Brotherhood, to discuss his newly-released book Jannat Al-Ikhwan (The Brotherhood Paradise: The Story of My Exit) with writer and expert in Brotherhood history, Helmi Namanam, commenting.

The author, Sameh Fayez, tells how he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood at the age of 10 while attending a religious circle in a countryside mosque.

Fayez began to doubt the Brotherhood's intentions, since they refused to answer his repeated questions regarding their goals and because his notions about women, love and children were totally different. Thus, Fayez "defected" from the Brotherhood in 2005, although he did not release his book until 2013.

Writer, Helmi Namanam, said that the book is different from the other books that reveal the secrets of the Brotherhood in that all the other defectors who wrote on their experience were from leadership ranks. Al-Tanweer’s book gives readers a look from the lower ranks, so Namanam says the author can tell a totally different story.

Specifically, Namanam points to the very details of Brotherhood and Islamic groups' recruitment process. According to Fayez’s book, the Brotherhood focuses on poor villages in Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta, where there are no sources of knowledge and the only learning facilities are mosques.

Fayez said that they "hunt" young kids and lodge their ideas in their brains, usurping their ability to choose freely.

"During the 10 years I spent as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, they used to fill my mind with their ideas. They convince you that Islam is the Muslim Brotherhood. I used to view everyone outside of the Brotherhood as an atheist. It was a surprise for me to find leftists and liberals defending Gaza when I went to a protest at the age of 14. At that moment I was taken by the fact that people outside of the Muslim Brotherhood can be good," Fayez explained.

Namanam said that the Brotherhood insulates their members in Masonic-style: it commits members to deal with Brotherhood shops, doctors and, in the end, the brother must marry a sister (from the female counterpart to the Brotherhood).

Brotherhood defections did not just start lately after some were disappointed with their behaviour as they rose to power in Egyptian politics, but rather Namanam says it seems that people began to defect only a few years after the Brotherhood was formed in 1928.

The first defector was Ahmed El-Sokary, who was the deputy of the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sokary defected in the early '30s because Brotherhood founder, Imam Hassan El-Banna, ignored the scandals of his brother-in-law, Abdel-Hakim Abdeen, whom is said to have had sex with a woman and her daughter at the same time.

El-Sokary then pushed to expel Abdeen from the Brotherhood, according to Namanam, but El-Banna refused and also disregarded the results of the two Brotherhood-established investigation committees that found Abdeen guilty.

"El-Banna has always seen himself in a position that is equivalent to the Prophet Mohamed. The Brotherhood has a book that describes El-Banna as 'the founder of the Islamic rules' and, as we know, the only person that has this title is the Prophet Mohamed," said Namanam.

"The Brotherhood does not separate between itself and religion; they see themselves as the religion. Anyone outside the Brotherhood is considered an infidel, even if he is a Muslim. I do believe that the Brotherhood is founded by the British occupation, which sought to establish a new religion in every country they occupied to divide its people," Namanam posited.

The reason that the Brotherhood did not turn into a new religion is because Al-Azhar (the Sunni Muslim world's authority) defended the moderate Islam all throughout the past decades. Namanam, furthermore, does not see any reforming projects in the Brotherhood, but rather sees them as a group of people whom are clinging on to power in the narrow sense.

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