Do clerics like the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mahdi Akef die?

Few days ago, the Muslim Brotherhood’s iron man Mohammad Mahdi Akef died at a hospital. He was almost 90 years old and was in prison awaiting trial.

Such a ripe age usually marks the end of one’s life – except of course God extends it. Akef was already sick as well.

The Brotherhood used his death in order to further its propaganda against the Egyptian state and said in a statement that it “will avenge for Akef and for those who died in prison.”

It added that its former guide “was martyred while battling disease in the state’s prison at the age of 90,” and held the Egyptian government responsible for his death.

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Meanwhile, the official Egyptian version is that Akef has been receiving treatment for six months until he died in the famous Qasr El-Eyni Hospital.

Akef, may God have mercy on us and on him, was one of the Brotherhood’s hawks or of the Qutubist movement in particular. He was a comrade of Mohammed Badie and guide Mustafa Mashhur, who are well-known as the men of the Brotherhood’s “special order.”

Sayyid Qutb, the symbol of armed takfirist tendencies within the group, was the godfather of Tanzim 1965 that planned assassinations and explosions that year. Many Brotherhood officials acknowledged this role, such as Ali Ashmawy who mentioned that in his famous memoirs.

Qutb spent his prison sentence in the Tura Hospital where he received special medical care – as acknowledged by Brotherhood memoirs. Qutb even managed Tanzim 65 while imprisoned. He was later released and he resumed commanding his gangs but only for a short time as the Brotherhood was exposed and he was imprisoned again, tried and executed.

Mohammad Mahdi Akef, and his comrades, made their decision to be in a state of war and “jihad,” so why the complaints?

Mashari Althaydi

Journey with Brotherhood

Akef was accused of the case called “the events of the guidance office” but this was not the first case he got accused of during his journey with the Brotherhood. He joined the Brotherhood in 1940 where he held several posts until he headed the students’ department in 1954 before the group was dissolved, and he was arrested that same year.

Akef was imprisoned until 1974 until he was released during Anwar al-Sadat’s presidential term. In 1987, he became a member of the group’s guidance bureau. Then in 1996, he faced a military trial after being charged of heading the Brotherhood’s International Organization and he was sentenced to three years in prison, until 1999.

OPINION: Have they ever read the history of the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Brotherhood’s fake narratives and exploitation of pain is nothing new. When we recall how the Brotherhood’s “lady” Zainab al-Ghazali lied in her memoirs about prison by narrating fictitious horrific tales, we would not be surprised that this approach lasted until this day.

Akef and his comrades have made their decision to be in a state of war and “jihad,” so why the complaints? As for Brotherhood’s media, it does not need all this motivation for imagination and creativity.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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.

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.