RECOMMENDED READING: “The Gulf States And The Muslim Brotherhood: Affinity And Repulsion”


A Saudi publication has posted a short but useful summary of the history of relations between Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood titled “The Gulf States And The Muslim Brotherhood: Affinity And Repulsion.” The article begins:

The Muslim Brothers in Egypt have been on the scene for more than 80 years most of which time they spent organizing themselves, arranging their matters and accumulating political experience. During these years their relationship with the Arab regimes fluctuated between closeness and antipathy. Whoever follows the history of relations between the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab rulers will discover that it has been full of ups and downs like sea tides which rise and recede. This is largely due to the political pragmatism of the Muslim Brothers themselves, who took advantage of any opportunity to extend their presence in Arab countries especially in the Arab Gulf region. From the time the Muslim Brotherhood surfaced as a political and religious organization in Egypt, it had the Gulf region in mind. It tried hard to strike up a friendship with the Gulf states who were more inclined to religion in their policies, particularly Saudi Arabia. We do not have many historical studies written on the nature of the political relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Gulf states. We do, however, have some studies which have been conducted on the religious activities of the Muslim Brotherhood which had no great impact on political relations between the two sides. Certainly the Egyptian Muslim Brothers had some  influence on the internal affairs of Gulf citizens but this influence was more religious than political in nature. In Saudi Arabia the relationship was good at the beginning of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. This encouraged the founder of the movement Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna to ask King Abdulaziz for permissions to open a branch of the movement in the Kingdom. The King diplomatically rejected the request and said: ‘We are all Muslims and we are all brothers’.

Read the rest here.

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