After the people’s revolution by masses of Egyptians from all walks of life on 30 June, supported by the Armed Forces, against religious fascism in the form of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) rule, the leaders of the terrorist group and their followers carried out a series of violent attacks. But at the same time they raised the banner of “peaceful means”. They interpret the violence they practice, whether through sabotage at universities or demonstrators shooting at security forces or blowing up power lines which hurts millions of citizens, as “peaceful” protest in response to the overthrow of the MB dictatorship and deposing President Mohamed Morsi.
Violence has been a hot topic for sociologists for decades, most prominently a book by renowned German philosopher Hannah Arendt. It was also a subject of theorising by leaders of various popular revolutions, especially when trying to justify what they call “revolutionary violence” to explain abuses they could commit against certain classes of exploiters.
We do not need to delve into these abstract theories because when discussing the terrorist MB group, we will use the history approach to find out how the group was founded in 1928 by Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna. In a famous quote, Al-Banna described the group with appealing words to attract people from across the political and social spectrums. In his view – as stated in his message to the fifth Congress in February 1939 – it is “a Salafist call, a Sunni way, a Sufi reality, a political body, a sporting group, a scientific-cultural association, an business firm, and a social idea.”
However, Sheikh Al-Banna deliberately avoided saying that it is primarily an armed group that adopts violence as a fundamental means to overthrow the civil state and transform it into an “Islamic” state. And thus, carry out the MB plot of becoming – according to their published literature – “Masters of the world”.
Overlooking this point was a natural move because MB founder Al-Banna did not want to reveal his scheme that mainly relies on violence. He also established the “Secret apparatus which is similar to a military militia assigned to assassinate MB rivals.
It is important to state here that very few MB leaders knew of the secret apparatus, and that the majority of MB members had no idea this covert branch existed.
The secret militia was uncovered after it assassinated MB rivals upon orders from their Guide Al-Banna. They killed Mahmoud Fahmy Al-Noqrachi Pacha, Egypt’s prime minister in the 1940s and Justice Ahmed Al-Khazindar who had previously issued harsh sentences against several MB terrorists who were arrested and prosecuted.
Thus, according to documented MB history, we can describe it is a terrorist group since its inception. The assassinations it carried out against prominent politicians and revered justices led to the assassination of Al-Banna himself under suspicious circumstances.
Although MB general guides who succeeded Al-Banna – including Hassan Al-Hodeibi who issued a famous declaration titled ‘Preachers not Judges’ meaning they promote Islam and do not judge – assert they are “peaceful”. However, the actual history of the group proves otherwise and that the MB never abandoned violence as a fundamental strategy.
After the MB pounced on power after the 25 January revolution in Egypt, it took a number of suspicious democratic steps to exclude all political parties from the process in order to monopolise decision making. It used brutal force against peaceful demonstrators protesting dictatorship measures, as witnessed at Itihadiya Palace where MB militias beat, tortured and killed peaceful opposing protestors and were captured on video and audio footage.
If this is the bloodthirsty and violent history of the MB, they are now using new and unprecedented means of violence in their hysterical response to the masses removing them from power in Egypt. As well as assassinating police officers, judges and most recently Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, they have systematically blown up power lines across the country in order to stir the anger of the masses against the state after 30 June.
I have paid close attention to statements by MB leaders who fled overseas on their theories of peaceful and violent means. Former Dean of the Faculty of Law at Menoufiya University Mohamed Mahsoub made a statement worth pondering. He attempted to formulate a general theory that “there are degrees of peaceful means, and degrees of violent means.”
He claimed that terrorist attacks by MB followers in Egypt since 30 June are “peaceful” acts that express the group’s rejection of the “coup” that took place. Despite being a law professor, he continued to assert that blowing up power lines is peaceful. Why? Because it punishes the Egyptian people who supported the coup.
How can this be the logic of a law professor? And so the MB has decided to punish the Egyptian masses because they rejected dictatorship. They persevered to protect their national identity from being lost and took back the state from the clutches of religious fascism.
If this is the MB’s theory on “peaceful and violent means”, how can there still be dubious calls either from Egyptian MBs or liberal circles promoting “conciliation” with the MB and integrating them into political life? Integrating the MB in order for it to continue its former activities and plot another coup against the democratic civil state?
This is the impaired logic promoted by supposedly liberal circles, and US and European circles who are furious that their plot to make Egypt fall into the clutches of the MB was foiled by the historical initiative of the Egyptian people, supported by their Armed Forces – the nation’s shield and sword despite all haters.