Asharq Al-Awsat has published yet another interview with Muslim Brotherhood leader Kemal El-Helbawy (aka Helbawi) who recently departed his long-time home in the U.K. in order to return to his native Egypt. Highlights of the interview include:
- An allegation that the “Zionist Movement” obeys the orders of a single official
- That he will be attending a conference in Tehran about an “alliance against world terrorism”
- That the Islamic Society of Britain was established by the Muslim Brotherhood
Helbawy also delivered some rambling and somewhat incoherent remarks about the non-existence of an “international Muslim Brotherhood.” The introduction to the interview begins:
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Having spent the last 23 years outside Egypt in a period of “voluntary exile”, Dr. Kamal al-Hilbawi, the popular Muslim Brotherhood member, has returned to his native country to stay. He previously held positions in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Nigeria, yet his primary residence was in the United Kingdom, where he worked for a substantial period as the spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, and also as an adviser to the International Civilizations Studies Center in London. He is also credited as being a founding member of the Muslim Council of Britain, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Indeed, al-Hilbawi hopes that some of the centers he has helped to establish in Britain and beyond can be transferred to Cairo. Dr. al-Hilbawi (72 years old) hails from Munufiyah, the northern Egyptian governorate which was also the birthplace of former President Hosni Mubarak. In fact, both Mubarak and al-Hilbawi studied at the same secondary school, “Al-Masa’i al-Mashkurah”, and despite being ideologically opposed, al-Hilbawi insists that there is no animosity between the two Munifiyah natives. Asharq al-Awsat recently met with Dr. al-Hilbawi in Cairo, to discuss his views on the recent political changes in his country, and what the future holds for his political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. During the interview al-Hilbawi touched upon the Brotherhood’s regional and international status, as well as its internal positions, especially with regards to Copts and women. Dr. al-Hilbawi also elaborated on his recent activities since returning to his homeland, and offered his assessment of the current transitional phase in Egypt.
The following is the complete text from the interview:
Read the interview here.
According to his resume, Helbawi is the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, one of the founders of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, a U.K. umbrella organization comprised largely of Muslim Brotherhood organizations. He is currently the director of the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (CFSOT) which purports to be a think-tank describing itself as follows:
…an independent research and consultancy organisation, dedicated to the in-depth study of Islamic resurgence, democratisation and extremism in the Muslim world. Working with high-quality primary sources, CFSOT delivers unique information and analysis to its clients. The centre publishes a monthly journal and provides training and courses on terrorism-related issues as well as bespoke consultancy services.