Iranian and Brotherhood propaganda tactics

The propaganda machines of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood both rely on intimidation by presenting critics as insane or delusional

Mashari Althaydi

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The propaganda machines of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood resort to the same techniques and methods of persuasion. They both rely on intimidation by presenting critics as insane or delusional.

Both groups rely on intimidating people with what is called the “phobia” effect. This is done by painting anyone who criticises Iran or the Muslim brotherhood as an insane person, obsessed with the existence of an imaginary enemy.

The source of their illusion would either be a mental sickness or an exaggeration of a delusional enemy all done to divert the attention from the weaknesses of those obessesed. In this context, the phobias of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood become simultaneously: an “Iran phobia” and “Brotherhood phobia.”

The term “phobia” has a global affect. The origin of the word is Greek, then adopted by the English until it subsequently reached universal standards.

Scientifically, “Phobia” is widely defined as an extreme or irrational fear that can lead to obsession; there are different kinds of phobias that can affect individuals, such as the fear of enclosed spaces, the dark, the sea, or elevators.

Another manifestation of the tactic can be seen in spreading xenophobia. It is defined as the fear of that which is perceived to be different or foreign. It is manifested by the fear of a certain race, religion, or ethnicity. Individuals suffering from phobia can seek medical help.


Before the Arab Spring, leftists, pan-Arab intellectuals and some supporters of Iran - all under one political alliance called the “axis of resistance” - criticized those warning of the danger posed by the Brotherhood by accusing them of impeding its access to power.

Members of this alliance pretended to believe in democracy and civil dialogue in order to achieve its goal of controlling others. However, they later realized they were fooling themselves. Some admitted to being naive after the Brotherhood revealed its real intentions.

The propaganda machines of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood both rely on intimidation by presenting critics as insane or delusional.

Mshari Al Thaydi

Similarly, Iran’s propaganda strategy aims to curb any criticism of its expansionist policies. It is a tried and tested trick that garners a certain level of support.

The Iranian propaganda used the same manoeuvres, by intimidating those who do not follow and making them look like fools or afflicted by phobias. The following is a title that appeared in the Iranian newspaper “Kayhan,” which reads: “For these reasons Saudi Arabia Lives.” Clear example here of Iran furthering its agenda by spreading phobia.

In doing so, Iran’s propaganda strategy aims at curbing any criticism to its current policies of expansion.

Mental health is a value that should be maintained. Both Iran and the Muslim brotherhood tend to target this value as an attempt to deter any criticism and confrontations, but is there anyone in the world who would accept to be designated as insane or obsessed?!

It is a trick, always in use, that constantly finds its supporters, at least until now.

This article was first published by Asharq al-Awsat on July 28, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi 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. Al Thaydi 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.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.