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Analysts say Badie’s arrest won’t change Brotherhood plans

Published: Updated:

The arrest of Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide Mohammad Badie will not change strategic plans of the organization but is likely to give rise to a fresh wave of violence, analysts say.

Badie was arrested in an apartment close to Rabaa al-Adawiya square, where supporters of deposed President Mohammad Mursi held a vigil before the square was cleared in a bloody crackdown by security forces last week.

The general guide is likely to face charges of inciting violence against security forces and state institutions.

Speaking on the future of the organization after Badie’s arrest, Brotherhood media spokesperson Ahmed Aref said on his Facebook account that “the general guide is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and that any arrest among the leaders of the organization will not affect it, as the Brotherhood is a member of the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy that rejects the coup.”

“We reiterate that the issue is neither political nor related to a party but a national one that was orchestrated and planned,” he added.

Targeting Brotherhood’s morale

Kamal Habib, a researcher who specializes in Islamic movements, said the general guide’s arrest intends to affect the morale of the Muslim Brotherhood, leaders and lower ranks.

“The violence is present and the organization will not be able to do more than what they have already done so far, as the increase of violence is linked to the strategy of the organization,” he added.

Habib said Badie’s arrest would not affect the plans of the Brotherhood in terms of either street protests or political inclusion. He expressed concerns over possible violent responses from Salafists and Jihadist groups allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

A shock for any organization

Kamal al-Halbawi, a former Brotherhood leader, said that Badie’s arrest and subsequence absence from the organization’s activities will have an effect.

He also added that the appointment of Mahmoud Ezzat as the general guide is temporary and that he will be the second leader of the group while Khairat al-Shater will take decisions.

Al-Halbawi stated that the Brotherhood’s main problem is that certain members, including Interim General Guide Mahmoud Ezzat, put the organization in internal conflict while many of its members seek reconciliation with Egypt’s political scene.

Dr. Abdel Sattar el-Meligy, a former member of the Brotherhood, said that Badie’s arrest is a significant blow to global terrorist organizations and the Brotherhood, also stating that the only way for the group to retain its standing is for its members to engage in state institutions and public works.

Not the first detention

Badie’s arrest is not the first detention for the Muslim Brotherhood’s general guide, as the group’s history shows.

The second Brotherhood general guide was Hassan el-Houdaiby, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the era of President Gamal Abdel Nasser but later released.

Under the presidency of Anwar el-Sadat, General Guide Omar Talmassani was also arrested.

However, the conditions of Badie’s arrest differ from the previous leaders because of present-day Egypt’s drastically different political situation.