RECOMMENDED READING: “Gulf Islamists Irked As Monarchs Back Egypt’s Generals”


 Reuters has published an article titled “Gulf Islamists Irked As Monarchs Back Egypt’s Generals” which looks at reactions by Gulf Islamists to their governments support of the Egyptian military in their actions against the Muslim Brotherhood. The article begins:

August 26, 2013 11:02 PM  Favorite       A scuffle broke the reflective atmosphere of Friday prayers in Riyadh’s al-Ferdous mosque after the imam deplored the recent bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters by the military in nearby Egypt.

The fight between members of the congregation, recorded on a widely circulated Youtube clip and reported by the daily al-Hayat newspaper, demonstrated how high feelings are running in the devoutly Muslim kingdom.

While they have been careful to express only muted dissent in public, Islamists and some other conservative Gulf Muslims are quietly seething at Saudi Arabia’s whole-hearted backing of Egyptian army chief General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

After Sisi’s military seized power last month, a group of clerics in the kingdom signed a letter calling on King Abdullah to reverse his position, and since the violence began two weeks ago, many Saudis have spoken out on social media.

‘For Riyadh to be in the frontline of a confrontation like what is taking place in Egypt is unprecedented. It is making ripples inside Saudi Arabia,’ said a Saudi journalist.

Saudi King Abdullah and the rulers of the United Arab Emirates, and to a lesser extent of Kuwait, have long distrusted the Muslim Brotherhood, which they feared would use its power in Egypt to agitate for political change across the Middle East.

When Sisi ousted Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood as president, the three monarchies promptly gave Egypt’s secular new government $12 billion in aid. When, with much bloodshed, security forces moved to clear Brotherhood protest camps, they all spoke strongly in support.

Though Islamist anger is unlikely to erupt in a significant public way at the moment, or to change Gulf support for Sisi, analysts say, it is something the region’s states are watching.

The al-Saud family has always regarded Islamist groups as the biggest threat to its rule over a country where appeals to religious sentiment can never be lightly dismissed and where Muslim militants have previously targeted the state.

Read the rest here

In one indication of the increased pressure faced by the Muslim Brotherhood within the Gulf countries, the GMBDW reported recently that Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Al-Suwaidan had been removed as head of the Al-Resalah TV channel by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who said Al-Suwaidan had admitted being a leader in the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood.

Comments are closed.