Egypt’s young Brotherhoods break away from old leadership

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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood suddenly appears to have begun a phase of disintegration, or renewal as some would argue.

More than 500 young Brotherhoods have decided to break away from the group, holding its senior hawkish leaders responsible for what they see as its failure.

The young members of the group have established a movement they called “Brotherhood without Violence,” seeking to steer the group back onto a course drawn for it by its founder Hassan al-Banna.

The young Brotherhoods also seek to withdraw confidence from the group’s leadership, primarily its Supreme Guide Mohammad Badei and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater.

Ahmad Yehia, the movement’s coordinator, told Al Arabiya on Thursday that they “deeply grieve” the situation of the Muslim Brotherhood today.

“The Brotherhood’s leadership is dragging the movement into abyss [after] a long history of struggle for more than 80 years,” Yehia said.

The people “embraced” the Brotherhood throughout history, he added, referring to the social role the group has played since it was established in 1928.

“The current leaders violated the Brotherhood’s principles and the teachings of Imam Hassan al-Banna ,” Yehia said.

Using a technique similar to the one used by the Tamarod campaign that called for Mursi’s ouster, the movement said it aims to collect signatures from members to restructure the group’s governing body.

“The Brotherhood is now dying,” Yehia said. “We won’t accept this.”

The movement said it will call protesters at Rabaa Adawiya mosque, a venue where pro-Mursi supports have gathered since his ouster demanding his recall, to sign the petition and leave the sit-in. Tens have started leaving, Yehia said.

“We will continue our efforts to return the Brotherhood to the moderate, balanced and forgiving principles Islam has called for,” he added.

Yehia said not all those participating in the sit-in are from the Brotherhood. Some belong to Jihadist groups, he explained, who feel insecure after the overthrow of the Islamist president.

In a remarkable difference, the logo of the “Brotherhood without Violence” movement tends to reflect the group’s new views. Although it still resembles the Muslim Brotherhood’s initial symbol with its green background and a Quran in the center, it replaced the swords in the old logo to olive branches and a flying dove with national flag as its wing. It also changed the phrase “be prepared” with “fear God.”

He blamed the current unrest in Egypt on the Islamist group, saying: “If Mursi called for early presidential elections in his last speech or a referendum he would have remained the country’s president and avoided violence.”