The website of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has posted an articled titled “The Muslim Brotherhood seeks unity between Muslims calling for justice, civil society and a free and fair political arena” in which it somewhat tortuously explains why it is “loosely affiliated” with Iran for reasons it calls “democratic goals.” The article begins:
The Muslim Brotherhood seeks unity between Muslims calling for justice, civil society and a free and fair political arena. As part of its strategy it engages with nations –like Iran – and groups – like Hamas – that would otherwise perhaps be ostracized, a move that would only isolate and inflate division and conflict. In this context, the Muslim Brotherhood has maintained informal ties with Iran for many years. Under the influence of the tolerant Brotherhood, Egyptians are more comfortable with Shiite Islam than other Sunnis in other Arab countries. The West fears Iran – along with its anti-Israel and anti-West policies – developing close relations with the Brotherhood, thereby indicating the West’s distrust in the Brotherhood’s identity and commitment to its political positions. During the fighting in Gaza , Iran was vocal in their support of Hamas, while it blasted the Mubarak regime for its inaction. At the same time, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal thanked Iran for its support of his organization, adding that he sees Iran as a partner in their victory. This response could be taken as a political struggle to achieve self-determination, rather than a religious alliance; however, the West is firm in its belief that Hamas and Iran are a united force on every level.
Read the rest here
Previous posts have discussed the complex relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran as well as the the Brotherhoods support for the Iranian nuclear program. As that posted noted, in 2008 the then head of the Egyptian Brotherhood said he supported Iran’s nuclear program, “even if it were aimed at producing a nuclear bomb.” Previous posts have also discussed Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s support for the Iranian nuclear program.
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.