Saudi media is reporting that former Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have defected from the group are planning to establish a new Dawa organization. According to an Asharq Alawsat report:
London, Asharq Al-Awsat – A number of former Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, who have defected from the group, have announced the beginning of procedures to establish a new Dawa organization to compensate for the Brotherhood’s neglect of Islamic advocacy due to their involvement in politics. In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday, Sheikh Dr. Kamal Helbawy, a former spokesman for the ‘Muslim Brotherhood in the West’ and Secretary General of the Islamic Unity Forum, said that a number of dissident leaders have held intensive meetings to agree on the establishment of the group, and have settled on the name ‘Rehabilitation, Construction and Development’. He pointed out that among the leaders of the new organization is Dr. Mohammed Habib, a former Deputy General Guide, along with the dissident Brotherhood leader Mukhtar Noah and the UN war crimes expert Mahmoud Bassiouni. Dr. Helbawy denied that Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh had been listed as a member of the new organization in order to give it weight on the Egyptian street in the face of what he called ‘political conflicts with the Brotherhood’, because he is too busy heading the ‘Strong Egypt Party’. Dr. Helbawy confirmed that the new organization will be financed through membership subscriptions and contributions from those enthusiastic about the idea, and that it would be public and accessible to all. Dr. Helbawy confirmed that the trend of Islamist groups and movements heading in the direction of politics, and his and other Brotherhood leaders’ concern for Dawa work, were the reasons behind the establishment of this organization, seeking to restore the Dawa role to prominence. Dr. Helbawy said that the Muslim Brotherhood has been preoccupied with politics and forgotten its commitment to Dawa, pointing out that the new organization ‘will be tasked with Dawa, Islam and education, and will not interfere in politics’. He called on President Mohammed Mursi to be the president of all Egyptians, not just one group. He clarified that the new organization ‘will not be parallel to the Brotherhood and will be concerned only with Dawa affairs and religious issues that have been neglected at the expense of politics’. He added that the organization will not be limited to a single approach; rather it will adopt its methods based on a variety of Islamic sources, whilst maintaining that each member of the new organization has the right to join any party. Dr. Helbawy concluded by saying that the ‘Rehabilitation, Construction and Development’ publicity drive will end soon, so that real work can begin.”
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 an anti-terror think-tank.
Egyptian media reported inn August that Helbawi had blamed the recent Islamist attack on Egyptian border policemen on a “Zionist and U.S. plan to destabilize Egypt.” He also said “America plans to control the future of the world and is interested in Egypt because it is a pivotal state and the most important country in the Arab region.” In late July, a post reported on Helbawi’s call for the U.S. to be “brought to its knees” and calling for the release of Omar Abd Al-Rahman. A post from April 2011 reported that Helbawi had returned to Egypt after 23 years of “voluntary exile” in the UK. Other previous posts have discussed some of Helbawi’s more incendiary statements including that the “Zionist Movement” obeys the orders of a single official and praising Osama Bin Laden as a “leader of Jihad.” Although a post from April reported that Helbawi had resigned from the Egyptian Brotherhood, he is known to have been a supporter of Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, the favored Egyptian presidential candidate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and is likely still involved with Global Brotherhood networks.
The Investigative Project has published an article titled “Ex Brotherhood Official Showcases Islamist Doublespeak” that examines the contradictory and deceptive statements of Kemal Helbawi (aka Helbawy), the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West.
For a profile of Helbawi, go here.