Saturday 30 September 2023

From the archive of Abdelrahim Ali

ISIS, Brotherhood, US and double standards

Abdelrehim Aly

The Americans recently rose up in the face of ISIS, with the US State Department beginning a frantic activity within the region, in an attempt to form a broad Arab-American alliance in the face of this troubling phenomenon. 

Some people think this is a timed uprising. However, this uprising is not a permanent one. It is about the achievement of clear and specific American goals, including curbing ISIS’ ambitions to remain within Washington's plan to intimidate the leaders and peoples of the region.

The Americans also want to enter into understandings that ultimately require accepting reconciliation with the moderate organization, according to the American vision, called the Muslim Brotherhood. 

But it should be known that this is the organization that wreaks havoc and commits murders in Egypt, Libya and Syria. The Americans also want this organization to be an alternative to the brutality of ISIS which plans to attack Arab countries from the ocean to the Gulf.

The question that arises is: is there a big difference between ISIS and the terrorist group falsely called the Muslim Brotherhood?

The answer, with which we begin to explain our vision, revolves around the ultimate goal that the two parties seek to achieve, and the extent to which the methods of reaching this goal are identical between them.

If the goal of ISIS as a terrorist organization is considered a natural extension and a true seed of al-Qaeda, it coincides with the Brotherhood's goal of realizing the dream of an Islamic religious state that paves the way for the caliphate. 

Why do we seek reconciliation with the latter and stand against the hardness and violence of the first?

In our attempt to clarify our vision, we will be guided by three main determinants which are the intellectual reference, the kinetic and organizational reference, and the position on violence.

Of course, we will not dwell on a detailed historical discussion about the emergence, development and reality of the two organizations, but we will directly enter into the topic.

First, conceptual framework

Obsession with gaining power to realize the dream of the Islamic state, as a bridge through which the Islamic trend crosses to the supreme and greater goal of the lost caliphate represents the distinguishing feature and trademark - so to speak - of the two organizations. 

The Brotherhood is the largest and oldest Islamist movements. Since its inception in 1928, the group is known as a natural reaction to the fall of the Islamic Caliphate in 1924. 

The same caliphate is also, of course, on the list of ISIS priorities.

So the idea of ​​the return of the caliphate to both the Brotherhood and ISIS is the dominant and directing obsession of movement and action, in both organizations, all the time.

The two movements cannot bear to talk about democracy or pluralism. The two ideas have an abomination from the work of Satan that must be avoided. If it is necessary to talk about them at some point, it is to ridicule them and undermine their reputation as two daughters of the distorted and materialistic Western civilization. The generation of the 1970s, in the Brotherhood in particular, allowed the use of democratic procedures represented in the ballot box, as a bridge to reach power. And this bridge to power will be used once only and then will be totally destroyed so that nobody else can reach this power. 

This vision is clearly manifested in the position of the Muslim Brotherhood towards the democratic system, as embodied in the writings of the group's founder, Hassan al-Banna, especially the famous book 'Letters', which reveals a genuine and deep hostility to the idea of ​​democracy, in exchange for a clear victory, for the ideas of totalitarianism, tyranny and individual rule.

The Islamic Caliphate is the desired system that al-Banna always sought. He clearly says: The Brotherhood believes that the Caliphate is a symbol of Islamic unity, and the manifestation of the connection between the nations of Islam, and it is an Islamic ritual that Muslims must think about and pay attention to. In an attempt to move from theory to practice, he returns to say: The Muslim Brotherhood makes the idea of ​​the caliphate and work to restore it at the top of its methods.

Devil's Cave ... ISIS and Brotherhood are on path to illusive Islamic State

The question that arises or is posed by some people is: Is the use of force to achieve the Brotherhood's goal of establishing a major Islamic state on the table?

The founder of the group answers clearly in the message of the Fifth Conference of his group in 1938 by saying: The Muslim Brotherhood must be strong and work with force to achieve its goals.

It is the same meaning confirmed by Mustafa Mashhour, the fifth general guide of the group, more than four decades after the death of al-Banna, specifically in September 1991, when Abu Hani (Mashhour's codename), made a proposal to the International Organization Guidance Office regarding the means of change that came in its third item. We can note that Imam al-Banna chose a specific method in the liberal atmosphere that surrounded him, which is the constitutional struggle, but he did not close the door to other options that the movement might need for final change. He adds: Imam al-Banna has done the following:

1- Studying the surrounding reality and determining the problem to be treated

2 - Determining the strategic goals of the movement

3- Determining the means of change in the following:

A- Direct: the constitutional struggle ... military coup ... revolution

Indirect: mass action and spreading the idea

4- Building the movement's appropriate apparatus for change: special organisation, military organisation, the people, educational apparatus, media apparatus, and economic institutions.

Of course, the caliphate that al-Banna wants does not include the idea of ​​democracy or the right to disagree, because the caliph is the ruler who embodies the teachings of Islam and expresses its principles. How can we then disagree with him without getting involved in a conflict with religion? 

The Brotherhood, in turn, does not allow disagreement with it because its programme is Islam, and opposing it by association is nothing but opposition to this religion. 

We saw after the people's revolution against it on June 30 how it dealt with its rejection as a rejection of religion and a rejection of the arbitration of God's law.

Political theory of the Brotherhood

We will cross to the group's mufti, Sheikh Mohamed Abdullah al-Khatib, to learn about the political theory of the Brotherhood and the position of democracy in it.

In issue No. 53 of al-Dawa magazine – the mouthpiece of the group – Sheikh al-Khatib mentions ​​the Brotherhood's concept of the characteristics of the Islamic government, through ten clauses. 

In the clauses presented by the man, which allow contemplation of the broad lines of the Brotherhood's theory in the field of politics, the published answer is like the programme that the group proposes and promises to implement as soon as it reaches power.