Assorted media have reported on comments by returned Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef in which he explained that the Brotherhood has deliberately taken a backset in the Egyptian crisis in order to “give us space for the movement.” According to one report:
Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the group’s retired leader, explained, “This is on purpose. We want to be part of the fabric of society. If we had led, they would have massacred us. All we want is freedom for all the people. Freedom would give us space for movement.”
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.
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