The true face of the Muslim Brotherhood

Said Shehata , Wednesday 21 Aug 2013

Despite the barefaced use of violence by pro-Morsi supporters, the West chooses to perceive them as the victimized turtledoves of peace and democracy

Despite the atrocities committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against Christians and their churches following the dispersal of their protest camps by security forces, the Brotherhood and its supporters are still being portrayed in the Western media and among Western politicians as peaceful victims of violence.

Among the blatant evidence of the Brotherhood's violent ideology are the weapons found in both of their protest camps in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda, in addition to the corpses discovered in Al-Nour Mosque where they had attempted to set up another camp. Mohamed Morsi supporters torched cars, attacked government offices and police stations. More than 40 policemen were killed over the past week and scores more injured. Furthermore, Brotherhood supporters attacked dozens of churches and burned some of them down as revenge against Copts who supported ousting Morsi from office on the 3rd of July. Is there any justification to torching the places of worship, homes and businesses of Egyptians Christians?

While the Ministry of Interior mentioned that seven churches were attacked, the Maspero Youth Organisation declared that over 50 churches and Christian businesses were targeted by Morsi supporters in different Egyptian provinces, some of them set ablaze. For example, in Minya three churches were burned, while in Suez a church and a Christian school met the same fate.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said ‘evidence does point to some of the violent provocation coming from some of the protesters themselves,’ while Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said that the Brotherhood was unable to control the anger of its members and supporters. Still innocent?

It is a shame that the Western media continues to ignore the suffering inflicted by Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Egyptians Christians, who constitute about 10% of the 85 million-strong population. The Western media closed their eyes and turned deaf ears towards the violence and the true face of the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters of the Jamma’a Islamiyya who justify using violence as an expression of anger. It can be argued that there is an interest in Western countries, especially the United States, to maintain Egypt a weak state. The failures and confusion of Morsi’s year in office served the interests of the US, especially with regard to Israel's security.

Principles justifying the use of violence constitute an essential component of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology. This can be observed through the message of Jihad by Hassan Al-Banna, who founded the organisation in 1928. Al-Banna also established the militant arm of the Brotherhood, labeled the ‘special apparatus’. The assassination of Al-Khazandar, a judge, and El-Noqrashi, then prime minister of Egypt, are two examples of their violent actions when things do not go their way. Sayyed Qutb, notorious ideologue of the MB, is considered the spiritual father of the Jihadist groups through his books and thoughts that were spread amongst Islamists all over the world. Even they did not condemn the attacks by Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiya or Jihad groups during 1980s and 1990s and when, on few occasions, they did condemn them, they gave justifications and reasons for those attacks.

If the Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters believe in peaceful protests and peaceful means of achieving goals, why did they burn churches down? Why did they incite hatred and violence through speeches in their camps in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda? Why did their spokesperson say that the Muslim Brotherhood cannot control the anger of its members and supporters?  Why did they use weapons against police stations and during their protests in different parts of the country over the last few days? There are images and videos explicitly showing some pro-Morsi supporters using weapons. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay confirmed that, and added that Egyptians need to be reminded that they should prioritize Egypt, rather than their differing positions.

The West should wake up and look seriously at the dangerous situation in Egypt and the true face of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians should establish ‘popular committees’ to protect their areas, as they did during the 25 January Revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood should denounce violence and accept that ousted president Morsi damaged both the country and democracy. Some presidents and prime ministers in other countries, such as former US president Nixon, did not complete their terms in office because they put their countries into disrepute. The Muslim Brotherhood should put Egypt first and not the ‘Islamic project’. Egypt needs all of its people, including pro-Morsi supporters, to build Egypt for the benefit of Egyptians as well as the rest of the world.

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