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Muslim Brotherhood and Extremism

Tuesday 25-04-2017 - 12:20 AM

Response to Ibrahim Mounir’s defense of Sayyid Qutb

Sayyid Qutb is considered the most important leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and most influential in its history. This is true, especially during the past four decades starting from their release from prison in 1973, and the re-establishment of the group by former Supreme Guide, Omar Al Telmesani, until their overthrow from power in Egypt in 2013 after their one-year experience in ruling the country. Despite Telmesani’s desire of creating openness in the Egyptian society, through the formation of a political party working transparently, his plans were undermined by the group of members loyal to Qutb’s ideas, including: Mustafa Mashohor, Ahmed Hassanin, Hosni Abdel Baqi and Kamal Al Sananiry, in addition to other members of the group.

Qutb’s group controlled the most important committee of the Muslim Brotherhood which is the educational committee that works to prepare group members on both ideological and intellectual levels. Qutb’s writings, including,  'In the Shadow of Holy Quran,'  and 'This Religion,' and other writings, represented the major references that played a chief role in creating the rules of the Muslim Brotherhood. The members of the group suffered from a state of isolation, introduced to them as the proper behavior to confront what they described as 'pre-Islamic ideas.' “We suffer currently from ideas similar to these pre-Islamic ideas. We are surrounded by these ideas in the framework of the people’s visions, ideologies, habits, traditions, culture, arts, and poems. Even what we considered as Islamic culture, philosophy or reference is related to this pre-Islamic ideas.”

From Qutb's viewpoint, to confront those ideas, there is a need for a front working to empower their own ideologies.  He is quoted as saying, “There is a need for a front to confront and eliminate the pre-Islam ideas dominating the earth. This force should work partly in secret while, at the same time, communicate with those people who adopt these ideas."

It is precisely this isolation which controls the minds of MB members to gradually root out their communication with their societies. The group’s members turn to isolate themselves from their communities, as they do not share the aspirations or feelings of non-member individuals. When the Egyptian citizen expresses his love to his national state and interacts with its national anthem, members of the MB aspire for another state with no anthem or flag; a state that exists only in their minds and hearts.

Qutb had said, “The first step is to deal with this pre-Islamic community arrogantly, with its values and perceptions, without reforming our own values and visions. We are on the crossroads. If we decide to abandon any of our values, we would lose our way. We could face increasing challenges and make heavy sacrifices. We have no choice if we decide to confront the pre-Islamic ideas dominating the society.”

This approach also played a major role by supporting the isolation of the group members from their community, which they aspire to rule. Both parties do not share any feelings or dreams. The leadership of Qutb’s group, embracing these ideas, was keen to rule Egypt seeing it as the only way to dominate the Egyptian community and to direct their way of thinking.

He is quoted in his book, entitled, “Why Did They Sentence Me to Death?” as saying: “We agreed before not to use force as a mean to change the ruling regime or to establish an Islamic regime, but we did decide to use force if members of the group faced any attacks. Due to the difficulty of training members of the group, we turned to creating homemade bombs. We managed to make a number of bombs, and we need to improve our efficiency in this regard, so we will resume the task. In response to the decision to arrest group members, we turned to attack them and to target senior officials of the country, including the president, prime minister, head of Intelligence, and director of the military police. We also bombed facilities to suspend transportation in Cairo and prevent the authorities from arresting the rest of the members in the group."

What ISIS extremist militants do, in both Syria and Iraq, and the graffiti written by them on buildings and walls, as well as their contents on their social media accounts, have been documented before in the books of Sayyid Qutb. These writings revealed Qutb’s early sponsorship of these extremist groups, including El-Qaeda and ISIS. The Emir of Nasra Front, Abu Mohamed Al Jolani, acknowledged during an interview with a TV satellite channel in June 2015 that they teach their students from the books of  the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the writings of the group’s former leader Sayyid Qutb, who supported the Jihadist ideas based on the killing of infidels. He described the Muslim Brotherhood as a Jihadist movement, saying that the Nasra Front is based on the ideas adopted by the group’s founder, Hassan Al Bana.

In October 2014, preacher from the Muslim Brotherhood, Youssef Al Qaradawy, acknowledged that ISIS leader Abu Baker Al Baghdadi was a member of the MB saying, “This young man was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the beginning of his life, while he was aspiring to leadership.”

During an interview with 'New York Times' in November 2014, ISIS member Kabeer Ahmed, who committed a suicide attack near the Baiji refinery, in the northern area of Baghdad, said, “I studied Koran and realized the suffering of Muslims around the world. The major intellectuals who inspired me are Sayyid Qutb, Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. I love and respect all of them."

Among other ISIS releases, is what was written by ISIS member Ahmed Taha, when he wrote an article entitled 'ISIS Victories… Landmarks in the Way'.  On a social media account with the name, 'We Are Coming', terminology, ideas, and quotations by Sayyid Qutb were used on the account's posts, such as:  “A generation cultivated by the hands of God will not be eliminated by the hands of people.”

Also, the account of Jallab Al Shamri used another quote, “Pre-Islamic ideas could not be defeated without organized Islam.” Abu-Azam said, on his account, “Those Arab armies are not defending Islam and Muslims but will kill all of you.”

'Hakimeya' and 'Jahiliya' are sources of extremist groups. The writings of Qutb were the major references of the different extremist groups. They inspired the founders of a large number of these groups, including ISIS and Qaeda. The leaders of the extremist groups, including Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri, were inspired by these ideas, as al-Zawahri joined the Muslim Brotherhood when he was only 15 years old.

Zawahri, in a video published in a number of jihadi websites in January 2015, acknowledges that Osama Bin Laden was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, adding that he was obeying the orders of the group’s leaders when he travelled to Pakistan. He added, “He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the group sent him to Pakistan after the Soviet invasion, to express his support for the Islamic group existing there. However, he violated the orders of the group’s leaders when he turned to Afghanistan.”

For his role, Abdullah Azam, spiritual leader of Arab Afghani, wrote in his book entitled, 'Twenty Years of Sayyid Qutob’s Martyrdom', said, "Those people who follow the change of communities realize the clear markings of Sayyid Qutb’s writings. Those people who entered Afghanistan realize the deep influence of Qutb’s ideas on the generation as whole.”

Mohamed Al Maqdessi, one of the Arab Afghani extremists known for his extremist positions on a variety of matters, said, in his book entitled, 'Balance of Moderation, “I spent long years in studying the ideas of  the Muslim Brotherhood who were keen to teach us.”

Qaradawy: Qutb Accused Islamic Communities of Infidelity

The Islamic visions adopted by Qutb turned to become the rules adopted by the extremist groups to accuse the Islamic communities of being infidels. In his book, 'In the Shadow of the Quran' he said, “There is no Muslim state or community without adopting the Islamic Sharia.”

He said, in the same book, “Muslims do not exercise jihad. Muslims do not exist. The issue of Islam’s existence or Muslims’ existence needs serious treatment. This pre-Islamic community in which we live is not the Muslim community.”

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