Al-Hayah Online, the website of a Saudi-owned London pan-Arab daily, is reporting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has selected Dr Muhammad Badi, as its eighth general guide (Supreme Guide). According to the translated report:
Al-Hayah has learned that the Muslim Brotherhood Group has pledged allegiance officially to the professor of biology, Dr Muhammad Badi, as its eighth general guide, and the official announcement of his election will be made next Thursday 14 January 2010 in a press conference called by the current General Guide Mahdi Akif, and thus put an end to a state of ambiguity that has continued for two weeks. A Muslim Brotherhood leadership source has revealed to Al-Hayah that the group “has named Dr Muhammad Badi as a general guide after he was able to obtain the majority of votes in the elections that took place at the beginning of this month,” and in which three candidates competed from the conservative wing, which was able to spread its control over the Guidance Bureau at the elections that took place in the middle of last month. The three candidates were Badi; the official in charge of the students department in the group, Dr Rashad al-Bayyumi; and the official historian of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr Jum’ah Amin. Disputes erupted between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the leaders of the branches of the group abroad over the identity of the new guide. While the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt insisted on naming Badi, who obtained 66 votes out of 100 votes of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council in Egypt who were able to vote, the Muslim Brotherhood abroad were more in favor of selecting Al-Bayyumi, because he is older (75 years old), and also because of his strong organizational relations with the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood leadership source has said that pressure exerted by Akif “tipped the scales in favor of Badi.” The source said to Al-Hayah: “Badi will assume his duties next Thursday…..It is expected that the new general guide will convene a meeting, which will be the first of its kind, with the entire new Guidance Bureau on Wednesday after next.” The source explained: “During the meeting, the posts will be distributed to the members of the Guidance Bureau, and also the deputies of the general guide will be selected.” The source considers it probable that Engineer Khayrat al-Shatir, who is in prison for a five-year imprisonment sentence in the famous case of the “Al-Azhar militias,” would keep his post as second deputy of the general guide; it also is probable that Badi will choose Dr Rashad al-Bayyumi as his first deputy, because he was in the second place in the voting on the post of general guide, and that a third deputy would be chosen from the Muslim Brotherhood abroad.
The meeting to announce the new Supreme Guide has since been moved to Saturday.
The Al-Hayah report also provides some biographical detail about Dr, Badi:
Muhammad Badi (67 years old) has been able to keep his membership of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau for 17 years as he is considered to be one of the most loyal leaders to the organization of Sayyid Qutb. According to the Arab Scientific Encyclopedia issued by the Egyptian State Information Service in 1999, Badi is one of “the greatest 100 Arab scientists.” Badi is the founder of the High Veterinary Institute in the Arab Republic of Yemen. Badi was born on 7 August 1943 in Al-Mahallah al-Kubra (in the Nile Delta), attended the Veterinary Medicine College in Cairo in 1960, graduated in 1965, and was appointed a lecturer at the Veterinary Medicine College in Asyut University in the same year. In 1959 Badi met Dr Muhammad Sulayman al-Najjar, member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, who invited Badi to join the Muslim Brotherhood, and Badi agreed. The new general guide was sentenced in a number of cases, the most famous of which was a 15-year imprisonment in 1965 in the military case that included among the sentenced the fundamentalist leader Sayyid Qutb; Badi spent 9 years in prison on the basis of that sentence, and then he returned to his post at Asyut University, after which he was transferred to Al-Zaqaziq University, and then he traveled to Yemen, and from there he returned to Bani-Suwayf University.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide.
(Source: London Al-Hayah Online in Arabic — Website of influential Saudi-owned London pan-Arab daily. URL: http://www.daralhayat.com)