In mid-December 1992, Mohammad Ali Ibrahim, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in Somalia, visited me in my Jeddah office of al-Hayat newspaper because he had a statement he desired to publish. In the statement, the Brotherhood warned of American intervention in their war-torn country. At the time, Somalia was about to enter its third year of a grinding civil war which did not only destroy the country but also led to a famine which claimed some 300,000 lives with no hope on the horizon that warlords would sit and negotiate to end the crisis.
This synchronized with former American President George Bush’s (senior) desire to improve the U.S.’s reputation following the war of liberating Kuwait, which Bush won alongside his Gulf allies but which angered other Arab and Muslim people. Somalia seemed like an easy task for him. Perhaps he thought if he restored security there, it would count as proof that the Americans do act for humanitarian causes and not simply to profit from oil windfalls. However, the logic of conspiracy theories reigns and trust in the U.S. counts for little. Therefore, the Somalian Brotherhood leader was not enthusiastic about this American campaign. Truth be told, such behavior by the Brotherhood did not surprise anyone as it is a typical Brotherhood stance. Two years before this incident took place, the Brotherhood’s political miscalculations revealed themselves during the phase of building an international alliance to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. The Brotherhood’s stance was doubtful and it served Saddam to a higher degree than it served their traditional allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. It was a fateful phase of which they are still paying the price.
The Brotherhood’s confusion regarding the international alliance against ISIS is a simple example of their political crisisJamal Kashoggi