The Islamist publication Middle East Monitor (MEMO) has published yet another endorsement of the Global Muslim Brotherhood concept, originally developed by the GMBDW Editor. According to a recent MEMO article, the Brotherhood “is not an organisation in the real sense of the word so much as an intellectual and political current”:
…the Brotherhood is not an organisation in the real sense of the word so much as an intellectual and political current. This is similar to the Salafi current, for example, which includes within it many different trends that are difficult to reconcile, from Daesh and Al-Qaeda through to reformist movements that believe in political action within the existing framework, as well as groups that advocate obedience to the ruler even if he abuses his people and plunders their wealth.
While the Brotherhood may not include such a wide array of conflicting views as the Salafi trend, the reality is that it is a current and not a group. This is regardless of the fact that, during some periods, groups within this current gathered within the so-called ‘International Organisation’. This gathering did no more than grant legitimacy to the group, and included groups that did not bear the Muslim Brotherhood name, such as Ennahda and the Islamic Group in Lebanon. Each of these organisations acts according to the requirements of its context and the vision of its leadership, sometimes in complete contradiction with the vision held by other Brotherhood branches, including the largest branch in Egypt.
The strongest evidence for this is the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq, whose position on the American occupation of Iraq went directly against the position adopted by all Muslim Brotherhood branches without exception. Despite this, they continue to be seen as part of the Brotherhood.
Over the decades since the rise of the Islamic awakening and the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s (so as not to go too far back in history), the political positions of Muslim Brotherhood groups in different regions have differed greatly, from taking up arms against government – as was the case in Syria in the early eighties – to full recognition of regimes, alongside demands for reform.
Classification becomes even more difficult when groups that were not connected to the ‘International Organisation’ are included in the group – for example, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) (which is opposed domestically by the Turkish Saadet party, which is, in fact, closer to the Muslim Brotherhood than the AKP), the Justice and Development Party in Morocco, and some groups in Asia. This shows that the difficulties of classification are very real and complex.
However, the nation-state (or the divisive state) has imposed itself on the divisive Brotherhood and the latter has dealt with the nation-state as a reality. Each branch came to build its policies based on what it saw as the national interest, which sometimes led to conflicts with other branches. Saddam Hussein hosted the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood while persecuting their Iraqi counterparts. Hamas was hosted by the Syrian regime while the punishment for membership of the Syrian Brotherhood was execution under Syrian law. These are just a few of many examples one could give.
Translated from Al-Arab, 23 April 2017.”
As the GMBDW has long maintained, It should always be noted that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is best conceptualized as a network which, by definition, is not controlled by a single entity or individual. In August 2008, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website famous alleged:
The so called Global Network of the Muslim Brotherhood is merely a Hollywood fiction that only exists in the minds of those who created it as part of their scare tactics to insight fears among the public and instigate government hostilities.
However, only three months earlier in June 2008, the first Deputy chairman of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was asked about the “international Muslim Brotherhood and replied:
There are entities that exist in many countries all over the world. These entities have the same ideology, principle and objectives but they work in different circumstances and different contexts. So, it is reasonable to have decentralization in action so that every entity works according to its circumstances and according to the problems it is facing and in their framework.
For a profile of MEMO, go here.