Additional details are beginning to emerge on the relationship between Mohammed Badie, officially confirmed today as the new Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, and Sayyid Qutb, one of the most important and most radical ideologues in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to an Al-Jazeera report:
Born in 1943 in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla el-Kubra, Badie was jailed for nine years in the 1960s after being accused of membership of a Brotherhood paramilitary cell that allegedly planned the overthrow of the government. He later became responsible for ideological education in the group. In the case for which Badie was jailed, thousands of Islamists were convicted and imprisoned while influential radical Islamist thinker Sayid Qutb was executed. Although disowned by some Brotherhood members for his radical views, Badie and others in the movement continued to embrace Qutb, who advocated armed struggle to impose Islamic law.
An earlier post had cited a Mideast news report stating that Dr. Badie was “considered to be one of the most loyal leaders to the organization of Sayyid Qutb.”
According to an AFP report, Dr. Badie told reporters at the press conference announcing his selection that “We reject violence…We believe in incremental reform and that takes place in a peaceful and constitutional way.” However, according to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website, Dr. Badie also called for cooperation ” between Arab and Islamic countries to resist the projects of colonialism, western and Zionist hegemony”:
The MB prioritizes the Palestinian case and considers it as the most important case for the nation, which measures the standard of loyalty to Islam, and Arabism and they do not spare any efforts to make this cause the first interest of ruling systems and nations until Palestine is free, God willing. *The MB unwaveringly supports the Arab and Islamic nation and supports its fair stances and important issues. They do not hesitate to offer advice to all bodies and Islamic or Arab associations both at the official and public levels and they never stopped sacrificing for the sake of the nation whenever needed. They transfer the call for unity and cooperation between Arab and Islamic countries to resist the projects of colonialism, western and Zionist hegemony as they call for the unity of the nation and solving the problems within and between Arab and Islamic countries through advocating dialogue and not arms. Here we should remind our brothers in Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan that the only way to ensure the safety and security of their people would only come by committing to dialogue and agreeing on the best of these dear nations. *Our stance to the global system led by USA and the west is more than clear. We hold no animosity to the western countries, however we are against this global system, which accepts freedom and democracy for its people and denies our people the same. Its use of its economic power to assert its control over our countries and decisions.
In the letter, Dr. Badie also criticized Israel claiming that it “seeks the abolition and cancellation of our values, cultures and Islamic identity”:
The Zionist state seeks the abolition and cancellation of our values, cultures and Islamic identity for its western values, which seeks the destruction of our faith and morals in our countries. We call on the nation to unite in the face of the Zionist and western project and to overcome above all ideological differences, to end racism and to completely refuse and prohibit any assault on or occupation of an Arab or Islamic country league
The Al-Jazeera report states that Dr. Badie’s election is a victory for the “conservative” wing of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood:
Conservative consolidation Badie’s election came after a bitter dispute between conservatives in the group, who place emphasis on strengthening the organisation and ideological outreach, and reformists advocating a more active public role. Akef resigned in protest last year before the end of his term in office after conservative members of the Brotherhood politburo opposed a promotion for Essam Erian, who is associated with the group’s reformist wing. The conservative wing has been seen to consolidate its control in subsequent politburo elections, in which the group’s deputy chief Muhammad Habib and reformist leader Abdel Moneim Abul-Futuh lost their seats. Analysts say the new leadership team and a campaign of arrests by police are likely to encourage a shift away from public life.
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.