The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it has selected a new head for what is described as the “Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Administrative Office abroad.” According to the announcement:
April 7, 2015 In a tweet, Sunday, Mohamed Montasser, Muslim Brotherhood media spokesman, announced new faces in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Administrative Office abroad, tasked with the management of the affairs and activities of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood abroad. Montasser mentioned that the Office’s new head is Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Rahman.
Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Rahman was born in March 1960, in the province of Fayoum. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in 1985.
He joined the Muslim Brotherhood at an early age, and was involved in student activities. He was president of the Faculty of Medicine’s Students Union while still in the second year of his university studies.
On graduating from university, he became a member of the administrative office of the Muslim Brotherhood in Fayoum, then secretary-general of the northern Upper Egypt sector – which oversees the work of the Muslim Brotherhood in that region.
Then, he became head of the administrative office of the Muslim Brotherhood in Fayoum and a member of the group’s (consultative) General Shura Council.
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The GMBDW is unclear about the exact nature of what the announcement calls “the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood abroad” but the reference is likely to the so-called “International Organization Of The Muslim Brotherhood (IOMB). The IOMB can be viewed as the international leadership of the global Muslim Brotherhood most closely tied to the Egyptian organization. In 2004, a London-based Arabic newspaper identified further members of the International Organization:
The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is an assembly of all national Brotherhood organizations, but its higher leadership is in the hands of the Egyptian organization represented in the guide and the Guidance Bureau. There are other leaders that help run the international organization, such as the Syrian Hasan Huwaydi, who is considered the third deputy of the guide, in addition to Faisal Mawlawi, leader of the Lebanese Brotherhood, Abd-Majid-Dhunaybat, controller-general of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and the Tunisian Rashid al-Ghannushi. The London-based Egyptian, Ibrahim Munir, takes care of coordination among the organization’s members in Europe. The leaders of the international organization have held their meetings with Egypt’s Brotherhood leaders in several European countries, as it is impossible to organize such meetings in Egypt, where the group is banned and targeted by security authorities.
An Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website has also recently referred to Mr. Munir as an Executive Bureau member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organization while an Egyptian news report identifies him as the Secretary-General of the International Organization and one of its founders in 1982 as well as a spokesman for the Brotherhood in London.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has long become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide stating only that
..he had consciously decided not to limit his scope of manoeuvre by tying himself ‘any movement which might constrain my actions, even if this is the Muslim Brotherhood under whose umbrella I grew and which I so defended…Would I, at the age of 77, accept what I turned down when I was 49?’
Since some of the leaders of the IMB are also closely tied to Qaradawi, there may be overlap between the leadership structures of the IMB and Global Muslim Brotherhood but further research is needed to clarify these relationships.
For more background on the IOMB, go here.