Global media is reporting that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood intends to form a political party. According to an AFP report:
AFP Published: 07.20.12, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, a key opponent of President Bashar Assad’s regime, announced plans Friday to launch an Islamist political party, saying it was ready for the post-Assad era. ‘The decision has been taken to create an Islamic party,’ the head of the Brotherhood’s political wing, Ali Beyanouni, told journalists after the group completed a four-day conference in Istanbul. Related articels: Syria denies Assad ready to step down Rebels: Assad will be next Blast kills members of Assad’s inner circle The new party would be ‘open to all Syrians’ and will promote a ‘democratic and pluralist’ vision of the state based on the equality of all citizens, Beyanouni said. ‘We are ready for the post-Assad era, we have plans for the economy, the courts, politics,’ said Mulhem al-Droubi, the Brotherhood’s spokesman. The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist political movement founded in Egypt in 1928 and has branches and affiliates around the world. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was banned there in 1963. Many of its members fled Syria following a revolt that was violently suppressed in 1982, leaving nearly 20,000 people dead according to estimates. Spokesman al-Droubi acknowledged the group’s current reach was limited. ‘My opinion is that in case of free elections the Muslim Brothers wouldn’t have more than 25% of the votes,’ he said. But the group’s leader, Mohammad Riad al-Shakfa, said the Brotherhood was still ‘present everywhere in Syria’. The Brotherhood plays a key role in the Syrian National Council, the opposition coalition opposing Assad.
A post from last week reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood had begun a two-day meeting near Istanbul to discuss how to support the Syrian uprising against the Assad government. A post from late June reported that CIA officers were operating inside Turkey using a network that includes the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to funnel arms to the opposition. In May, a Lebanese newspaper traced the dominant role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the opposition to the Assad regime. Also in May, writer and analyst John Rosenthal’s summarized the cooperation between the Obama Administration and the Syrian opposition focusing on the role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Previous posts have noted that the SNC includes at least two known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted.
In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported on moves by the U.S. Government to reach closer relations with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
For a comprehensive account of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in 2006, go here.