Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leader Meets Hamas Leader In Cairo


Egyptian media has reported that the Supreme Guide of the  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has met with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo. According to an Ahram Online report

Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, met Saturday with Hamas leaders, including Khaled Meshal, at the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood said Meshal complimented the electoral process in Egypt, underlining that the Arab world is waiting for Egypt to present a model to follow in unity, freedom and democracy. Badie emphasised the necessity of swift reconciliation between Palestinian political forces, while Hamas leaders expressed appreciation for efforts exerted by Egypt towards this end. Meshal arrived in Egypt Wednesday and is expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who is in Cairo for discussions with President Mohamed Morsi on reconciliation between Palestinian political groups.

A 2009 book on Meshal details his background in the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood. According to a review of the book:

[The author] takes a hundred pages to set the background first, tracing Mishal’s life from his birth on the West Bank in 1956 to his family’s flight after the Six Day War in 1967 and his teenage years as an exile in 1970s Kuwait. Here, as a college student and budding physics teacher, a devout young Mishal (“a nerd before the term was invented”) committed himself to the Muslim Brotherhood. He gathered around him in the early 1980s a coterie of political activists, who rejected as hopelessly corrupt and ineffective the secular version of Palestinian resistance led by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah and the PLO. While Arafat’s forces were cornered by Sharon’s army in Beirut and expelled to Tunis, Mishal and his fellow exiles embraced a new vision. It would rely on Islamic piety and endless networking across the Palestinian diaspora to inspire, and bankroll, a different kind of resistance. The Kuwaiti exiles saw themselves as part of the international jihad, then just starting to pitch the mujahideen against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. As yet non-committal over the use of violence, they set out to build support at the grass roots. Covert support came from US and Israeli sources, keen to back Islamic do-gooders as a softer and more acceptable face of dissent than the PLO. Mishal directed much of his fund-raising activities on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, led by the wheelchair-bound cleric, Sheikh Yassin. When the first Intifada revolt broke out in the Occupied Territories at the end of 1987, Yassin proclaimed the formation of Hamas, to promote an uncompromising guerrilla war against Israel. Months later, Arafat decided to renounce violence and to recognize Israel. Mishal had no difficulty choosing between these two alternatives, and committed the Kuwaiti Brotherhood to Hamas.

The Hamas charter states that it “is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and in July 2011, Egyptian Brotherhood leader Dr. Essam al-Arian acknowledged the relationship between the Brotherhood and Hamas stating “The Muslim Brotherhood Group as a public Islamic organization is the umbrella for many Islamist movements, including Hamas”  In June 2007,  a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons for the organization.The Global Muslim Brotherhood supports Hamas through the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.

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