In a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Global Muslim Brotherhood leadership, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm published an Arabic language article last week, prior to the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, that reported on an ongoing discussions taking place within the Global Brotherhood about how to deal with the crisis in the country. The report, based on an unnamed source from within the MB, highlighted the centrality of the movement in Egypt in the Muslim Brotherhood’s so-called “International Organization”, as well as its position as the ‘mother’ of all branches in other countries. The GMBDW has obtained a translation of the article as follows:
The unnamed source reported that two main camps have emerged. The first, led by Rachid Ghannouchi, the Tunisian leader of the MB’s Ennahda, spearheaded the view which supported Mohammed Mursi’s request to:1. Comply with the demands of millions,2. Make concessions on transforming the structure of state administration at all levels,3. Hold early presidential elections, in order to avoid the possibility of a civil war.Rachid Ghannouchi tried to persuade the other camp to accept Mohammed Mursi’s request to step aside from the Presidency, so that Arab and foreign governments do not crush the International Organisation of the MB following the downfall of the MB in Egypt.The second camp, led by (the London based) Ibrahim Monir, Secretary General of the MB’s International Organisation — insisted that Mursi continues to hold his position as President, and that his rule “should not be abandoned at any cost”. Furthermore, Ibrahim Monir maintained that the MB should stick to power, in order to avoid the 1954 scenario during Nasser’s presidency being repeated — with the Brothers returning to prison.
Kemal Helbawy, the former Muslim Brotherhood’s spokesman in the West, was also interviewed — confirming the ongoing connection and coordination between the leaders of the MB’s International Organisation and the Egyptian leadership as represented by General Guide Mohammed Badie, and adding that these are ‘natural’. Kemal Helbawy emphasised the importance of the MB in Egypt to the International Organisation, due to its position as the ‘foster mother’ of all Islamist trends worldwide.
According to Kemal Helbawy, the International Organisation is divided between the ‘hawks’, who are extremists in their views and constantly seek out friction; while the second group, led by Rachid Ghannouchi, favours the use of logic and dialogue to overcome crisis.
Rachid Ghannouchi, Ibrahim Munir, and Kemal Helbawy are all important leaders of the Global Muslim Brotherhood that at one time resided in the UK.