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The Muslim Brotherhood and Its Failure in Saudi Arabia
Two beams of blue light are a tribute to New York City's World Trade Center twin towers, destroyed in the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. (Pixabay)

The Muslim Brotherhood and Its Failure in Saudi Arabia

Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 27

The biggest opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood is the Brotherhood itself. After the movement’s failure to rule Egypt in 2012-2013, and the collapse of its security, financial and political system, everyone expected that the Brotherhood would reassess its position, correct its mistakes, and put an end to the moral and political crimes it committed against the Arab and Muslim worlds. But that wasn’t the case. Whoever reviews the literature and writings of the Brotherhood will find that the Brotherhood misled its own followers before misleading others. The Brotherhood made millions of people believe that the Arab world strayed from the footsteps of Islam and that the only way to rectify the situation is by following the Brotherhood. It portrayed itself as the only path to salvation for religious Muslims. It forced its followers to reject any other worldview and portrayed anyone who didn’t abide by the movement’s doctrine as an infidel. The Brotherhood classifies itself as a nation of its own. It has its own jurisprudence and its own financial institutions. It also maintains utter secrecy and treats its members as if they were members of a Masonic society. The Brotherhood made a wrong bet when it sought to overthrow the Saudi government. Just months before the Arab Spring, the Brotherhood funded and launched the Saudi Umma Islamic Party, with the hope of establishing a platform on which a coup would take place. But despite the Brotherhood’s success in overthrowing the Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian and Syrian governments, they were unable to deter the Saudi government. This was one of the movement’s greatest shocks. For years, it believed that the Saudi street was in its hands. Brotherhood leaders were convinced that they could manipulate the Saudi people however they wanted, and that their penetration of state institutions had reached its highest levels. The first real test of this strength took place in the so-called “Haneen Revolution” – an attempt to instigate chaos in the country through widespread protests. But no one took to the streets. Instead, the Brotherhood took to the web and tried launching an electronic revolution. But that, too, failed. In its effort to undermine the kingdom’s stability, the Brotherhood attempted to wreak havoc at almost every level of Saudi life: it sought to create divisions along tribal and sectarian lines, to undermine state symbols and figureheads, to compete with the state’s religious and cultural institutions, and to undercut the Saudi economy. The matter didn’t stop there. The movement engaged in military action in an attempt to force Saudi Arabia to give up its sovereignty. In 1995, it carried out a double bombing of a National Guard base in Riyadh. Then, on Sept. 11, 2001, it completely destroyed Saudi-American relations by perpetrating the attacks on the World Trade Center. Despite the Brotherhood’s sneaky and covert ways, and their attempt to undermine the Saudi government in any way possible, Riyadh succeeded in defeating the movement. This proved to be one of the most successful battles fought by Riyadh – and it managed to defeat the Brotherhood not just with the power of the sword, but also with political wit and perseverance. – Mohammed Al-Saed (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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