A Crack in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

A Crack in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Watan, Egypt, March 3

Successive strikes against the Muslim Brotherhood in both the East and West have escalated in recent weeks. Uruguay has officially classified the Brotherhood as a banned terror group while Egypt and Turkey’s relations have improved following the visit of the Egyptian foreign minister to Ankara.  Additionally, Austria has taken action against the Brotherhood, and senior Brotherhood figures have been arrested in Tunisia. Comoros has also recently declared 69 entities around the world as terrorist groups and organizations, including the Brotherhood. These developments have caused cracks in the walls of the organization to widen, resulting in an exacerbation of existing crises. Recently, prominent Egyptian political activist and opposition figure Mamdouh Hamza returned to Egypt after more than three years abroad, a few days after his name was removed from the arrival watchlist. Officials welcomed him at Cairo airport and proclaimed that Egypt welcomes its loyal sons within the country, not outside of it. Within the Muslim Brotherhood, the internal struggle between the London and Istanbul factions has reached levels unprecedented since the movement’s founding. This conflict has had a detrimental effect on the organization, culminating in discord and destruction. All branches of the Brotherhood are suffering, including the Egyptian branch, due to the efforts of the Egyptian security forces to weaken the organization and a lack of signs of any imminent breakthrough. The Brotherhood of Egypt is historically, organizationally, and psychologically closer to the Istanbul Front. Within the Brotherhood of Egypt, there are voices calling out the Istanbul Front’s inadequate management of the group. Some newspapers reported on the appointment of Salah Abdel-Haq of the London Front as the next general guide of the Brotherhood. Consequently, the Istanbul Front is attempting to acquire full support from the Egyptian Brotherhood to counterbalance that decision. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s position appears to be one of fragmentation, confusion, and personal loyalties. This is likely to remain the case unless a decision is issued by the imprisoned leaders of the group, legitimizing and strengthening the position of one of the parties. However, this possibility is difficult to realize, as the Egyptian state apparatus is preventing communication between the imprisoned Brotherhood members and the outside world. This siege on the organization has led to a vision of chaos and division, with the two fronts exchanging moral and material accusations openly. It is not out of the question that some members may even go so far as to terminate their membership. –Hussein Al-Qadi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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