RECOMMENDED READING: “The Muslim Brotherhood And Saudi Arabia”


Ahram Online has published a very useful history of the tumultuous and sometimes difficult to understand relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The article begins:

15 May 2013 Although the new Egyptian regime immediately displayed its willingness to continue the alliance forged between Cairo and Riyadh in the Mubarak era, Saudi leaders, despite the economic aid offered and the diplomatic formulas used, remain at least cautious vis-à-vis the new masters of Egypt.

The Egyptian head of state reserved his first foreign visit for Saudi Arabia, in July. He used the occasion to emphasise that his country is not seeking to ‘export’ its revolution beyond its borders. The message was twofold: Egypt will not attempt to encourage opposition in neighbouring countries to overthrow political regimes, or provide support for the installation of Islamist regimes, from the Muslim Brotherhood. These assurances were clearly not enough to allay the concerns of the Saudi royal family, however, about the intentions of the Brotherhood, nor on the political situation in Egypt. 

The position of Riyadh was somewhat surprising, given the support offered by the ruling Al-Saud family to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Arab Islamist movements in general, since the time of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 60s, where Nasser tried through an active foreign policy to export socialism and Arab nationalism — hostile to the West — to the Arab world. The assistance of Saudi Arabia to the Brotherhood took various forms, including political asylum granted to members of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt and other nationalities, such as Syrians and Jordanians, as well as funding the creation of Islamic charities in which the Muslim Brotherhood played a major role, as with the Muslim World League, founded in Mecca in 1962, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, created in Jeddah in 1972. Both organisations were used to proselytise in favor of Wahhabism, the religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, but at the same time served the propaganda of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Read the rest here.

Muslim Brothers were instrumental in the founding of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the organization continues to enjoy close relations with the global Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. government agencies and officials have argued that WAMY has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. 

The Muslim World League was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and, to date, the League has been strongly associated with the Brotherhood.

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