The Muslim Brotherhood: The Many Faces of Their Majesty’s Service

by Ramtanu Maitra

July 17—The July 3 removal of Egyptian President Dr. Mohamed Morsi, by a combination of forces that included public opposition by a large section of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian military, has brought into focus the historical role of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, or MB). Morsi, a leading member of the MB, was the chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) when it was founded by the Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi won the June 2012 presidential election as the FJP candidate, and was in power for a year.

Morsi’s removal was openly welcomed in Saudi Arabia, one of the major funders of Muslim Brotherhood activities throughout the world, but condemned strongly by Qatar, which had been the most generous financier trying to keep the Morsi government afloat. Morsi’s downfall is also lamented by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his pro-Brotherhood AKP party. It is evident that Erdogan had developed a close ideological relationship with Morsi and the Brotherhood in Egypt.

Does this mean a split occurred within the Brotherhood over the Morsi regime’s rule, or misrule, in Egypt? That is highly unlikely. Since its inception in Egypt in 1928, this international outfit has had many faces:

  • In 1928, Egypt was under British control, although not a British colony, and the Brotherhood built links with British intelligence and worked to help the British.
  • It formed an alliance with the Nazis during World War II.
  • It then returned to serve British interests once more, trying oust the nationalist regime of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
  • It was a key player in the rise of the Islamic jihadist groups that helped the West to push Soviet troops out of Afghanistan.
  • It allowed its followers to attack the West’s assets, culminating in the 9/11 attack on American soil.
  • It is now back again serving the West by providing manpower for “regime change” in the Arab world and North Africa, and undermining Russian interests in Central Asia.

This circuitous route has hidden the Brotherhood’s real objective from many, while enabling it to secure help from various international intelligence agencies, particularly British, and thus to spread its wings further in the Arab world, North Africa, Central Asia, and Europe.

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