Jan
10

RECOMENDED READING: “Iraq Protests Present Muslim Brotherhood With Opportunity”

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Al-Monitor has posted an articled titled “Iraq Protests Present Muslim Brotherhood With Opportunity ” that looks at the prospects for the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq. The article begins:

By: Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse. posted on January 9. From 2010 until now, the Iraqi scene has grappled with a paradox that does not align with the Arab Spring protest movements. The Muslim Brotherhood, which rose to power in countries swept by the Arab Spring, found itself left out of the political game in Iraq since then. They lost the 2010 elections as their popular bases swept the al-Iraqiya list, which is led by a secular Shiite. Some of the leaders of this coalition are former members who withdrew from the Islamic Party, which represents the Brotherhood in Iraq.   Not only does this scene reveal the state of frustration plaguing the Brotherhood in Iraq after they dimmed while their counterparts rose in the Middle East, but it also largely explains why the party is clinging to the demonstrations that recently broke out in the Sunni cities. These protests started to demand specific rights, but they soon started to include slogans and ideas that took on a sectarian dimension. Tribesmen and politicians stopped addressing the protesters, and cleared the way for clerics who, for the most part, belong to the Iraqi Brotherhood. The year 2009 was a turning point in the political fate of the Islamic Party. That year brought signs of the end of the party’s influence in Sunni cities, which the party used to represent in local governments and parliament.

Read the rest here

The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) has always been known to be strongly tied to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. According to a profile posted on globalsecurity.org:  

The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), established in 1960, is the major Sunni political organization in the country …The party was suppressed during the regime of former President Saddam Hussein. Many of its members were forced to flee the country. The party returned to public life after coalition forces occupied Iraq. The IIP seeks to preserve the leading role Sunnis have had in running the country starting with the establishment of the modern Iraqi state in the beginning of the 20th century. The Iraqi Islamic Party was formed as an Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood organization, and conducted underground work during the Baathist period. Thee party does not considers itself a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Group, established in Egypt in 1994, nor a political front for it in Iraq. The Iraqi Islamic Party acknowledges strong ties to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood through political and intellectual alliances.

A post from last September reported that  a delegation openly identifying itself as the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood visited the party headquarters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood political party where they met with its leaders. A post from August reported on the election of Ayad Al-Samarra’i as the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP). As discussed in a post from May 2009, Usama al-Tikriti had previously been chosen to head the IIP. Knowledgable sources report that Usama Al-Tikriti has also been serving as the General Guide (leader) for the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq and is likely to retain that position. Usama al-Tikriti is also the father of Anas al-Tikriti, the former leader of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and now a leader in the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), both part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood.

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