Muslim Brotherhood and the origins of terrorism

In his weekly column published in Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, Dr. Abdelmonem Saeed said that the origin of terrorist ideology in our Muslim world finds itself in the Brotherhood’s fertile soil.

This is what he stated as he summed up the conclusion he made after reading the Abbottabad documents which reveal details about al-Qaeda’s founder Osama bin Laden.

“What’s interesting in these papers is that the origin of terrorist ideology which dominated the man’s ideas came from studying the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology,” Saeed wrote.

After introducing the Brotherhood’s history and how they misled others particularly to monopolize the Muslim voice in western countries – which is really dangerous – Saeed concluded: “The Brotherhood is the first incubator of terrorist groups and their major and global school. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are not the first men to graduate from the Brotherhood’s school and they are probably not the last.”

There is no doubt about Bin Laden’s Brotherhood ties as he himself spoke about them, whether in the Abbottabad documents or in his secret and public statements.

Case of Bin Laden, Zawahiri 

American author Lawrence Wright provided valuable insight about al-Qaeda in his rich book ‘The Looming Tower’. Wright’s book provided evidence to how Bin Laden was raised based on the Brotherhood’s principles. Wright even noted that Bin Laden’s true relations are linked to the Brotherhood and not the Salafists.

As for Zawahiri, it’s actually clearer. Zawahiri’s ties are linked to the Brotherhood and Qutb. No one can argue about that as he himself addressed this in his famous book ‘The Bitter Harvest’.

The Brotherhood’s pedantic fans have always repeated the same cold excuse that the groups which took up arms, accused others of infidelity and killed them are not part of the Brotherhood as the latter’s members “are preachers not judges.” These are deceiving excuses. Al-Hudaybi, for instance, the second “general guide” of the Brotherhood was actually the secret supporter of all secret murder groups in Egypt.

Mshari Al Thaydi



If you take a look at these figures and groups and look into some incidents, such as Sayyid Qutb’s 1965 organization, the Military Academy Group, Sadat’s murderers, Mustafa Bouyali’s group in Algeria, Marwan Hadid in Syria, Youssef al-Qardawi, Saad al-Faqih, Wajdi Ghoneim, Ali Benhadj, Abdelhakim Belhadj and Ali al-Sallabi, you will realize they are all connected to the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood’s pedantic fans have always repeated the same cold excuse that the groups which took up arms, accused others of infidelity and killed them are not part of the Brotherhood as the latter’s members “are preachers not judges.” These are deceiving excuses. Al-Hudaybi, for instance, the second “general guide” of the Brotherhood was actually the secret supporter of all secret murder groups in Egypt. Researchers are well-aware of that.

The Brotherhood simply provides one with the ability to be like Sayyid Qutb, Shukri Mustafa and Muhammad Abed Al-Salam Faraj. If it hadn’t been for the Brotherhood’s environment, these figures would not have emerged.

Saeed is right. The origins of terrorism go back to the Brotherhood.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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