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Muslim Brotherhood and violence in parliament

Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi

Published: Updated:

Last week, Tunisian deputy Abir Moussi, head of the Free Constitutional Party (PDL), was the subject of offensive insults that soon turned to physical violence and battery at the hands of two deputies affiliated with Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood, the so-called Ennahda Movement. Ironically, this disgraceful assault took place under the dome of parliament, which is headed by Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi.

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The Muslim Brotherhood and its figures and members endorse an environment rife with violence and terrorism, which they justify both religiously and politically. All their talk of tolerance is merely a tactical response to their fragile present situation. Violence and extremism are at the core of the group, and Sayyid Qutb’s bloodthirsty and terrorist rhetoric is always present in their minds and behaviors.

Today, Ghannouchi, the leader of violence, subversion, and chaos in Tunisia, is unconscionably manipulating the fate of the Tunisian state and people. Remarkably, this is the same person that the “cultivated” elite presented a few decades as a symbol of political moderation, centrism, and tolerance. However, he was quick to bare his teeth as soon as he acquired the slightest bit of power. Investigations are still afoot into his and his group’s ties to terrorist organizations and the assassinations and corruption that took place in Tunisia after the so-called Arab Spring.

During that radical Spring, Egyptian deputy Mamdouh Ismail performed the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) in Egypt’s parliament, another trick that the Political Islam movement pulled out of the hat, as though the Parliament is a mosque where adhan and prayers are performed. This was a blatant instance of mixing religion and politics and employing religion in political, partisan conflicts with which Islam has nothing to do.

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi speaks at a press conference following a plenary session at the parliament in the capital Tunis . (File photo: AFP)
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi speaks at a press conference following a plenary session at the parliament in the capital Tunis . (File photo: AFP)

Deputy Sahbi Samara’s zealous attack on Abir Moussi inside the parliament goes to show just how much control his ideology has over him and how it reflects his intolerance of political disagreement in a place that is supposedly designed for political and legal debates. The slap he inflicted on his colleague is almost professional, providing a peep into the physical assault, violence, and terrorism that Muslim Brotherhood members get trained on since childhood in the “jawwalah” (scouts), or “military education” as Hassan al-Banna liked to call it.

From a humanitarian and international perspective, all kinds of attacks on women are forbidden. From an Arab perspective, attacking a woman is repugnant to a gentleman and considered one of the unforgivable conducts that violate one’s sense of honor. However, these groups are the farthest that can be from law or humanity, let alone the chivalry and honor of Arab men. It only takes one ridiculous fatwa or organizational order issued by one of their leaders for them to commit sins and immoralities without hesitation. This is their history and nature. This is a mere factual description of what they are with no satire or slander intended. Some people you can best describe by telling their stories and exposing their behaviors just as they are, and the clip of the assault on Moussi is currently making the rounds on social media around the world.

Our purpose here is to show that violence is a fixed approach and established ideology for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Political Islam groups. The difference between them lies in the degree of violence, not the type thereof, be it the butchering acts by ISIS or a slapping by a deputy inside the parliament.

This clarification is intended for all the voices that will rise to downplay what happened, using the empty excuse that punches and altercations are common in all parliaments, and that the incident does not warrant such indignation and denunciation.

In Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood strikes alliances with the far-right in the Knesset, while in Tunisia, the same group cannot stand a political disagreement with a colleague in the parliament and resorts to beating her up. This is the Muslim Brotherhood: political chameleons who contradict themselves, knowing that their followers eat up whatever they are fed without thinking.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, UAE daily newspaper al-Ittihad.

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