Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Muslim Brotherhood - A Backgrounder

Updated May 2015

Recent news events have brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to the forefront, particularly the death sentence imposed on former Egyptian President Morsi.  While most readers of the mainstream media are aware of this organization, most of us are somewhat less familiar with its history.  Here is some background information on the Brotherhood, outlining its history from its foundation to the Sadat era.

Founding Years and Motto

The Muslim Brotherhood (or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) was founded in March 1928 by Hassan al-Banna and is considered to be Egypt's oldest and largest Islamic organization.  The Brotherhood's motto is 

"God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur'an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God's cause our supreme objective.".  

Hassan al-Banna was involved in politics at a very early age; when he was 13 years old, he participated in anti-British demonstrations during the 1919 revolution.  He was trained as a teacher, however, as time passed he became increasingly concerned about the secularization of Islam and the rise of Western culture in Egypt and the abandonment of Islam by younger Egyptians as western culture took hold.  He believed that the only way to reverse this trend was to return to a pure form of Islam and, in 1927, took a job as a teacher of Arabic to school children in Isma'iliya, near the Suez Canal Zone.  As well, he taught local adults, instructing them in the objectives of Islam.   

Here are the original pillars of the Brotherhood:

1. Singleness of purpose, 

2. Gathering people around the basic principles of Islam and not worrying about minor differences, 

3. Following the proper Islamic manners in case of disagreement, 

4. Thinking positively of those who disagree with one's idea, 

5. Avoiding despotism, 

6. The possibility of more than one right opinion for a single issue, 

7. Cooperation in what is agreed upon and forgiveness in what is disagreed upon, 

8. Calling all Muslims to face the common enemy, 

9. Encouraging work and productivity, and 

10. Feeling of pity, not malice, for those who have gone astray. 

The original purpose of the Brotherhood was the Islamization of Egyptian society through the promotion of Islamic values, morals and law (i.e. Sharia); these goals were originally accomplished through a combination of social welfare and religion.  Branches were set up throughout Egypt; each was responsible for running a mosque, school and sporting club, a social welfare network and some branches even had factories.   As time passed, the Brotherhood became more politically active, particularly in its actions to rid Egypt of its colonial rulers, Great Britain, while maintaining its original goal of leading a world revolution that would establish Islam as the dominant religion of the entire world, that is, the restoration of the Caliphate.

World War II  

By the beginning of World War II, there were more than half a million Brotherhood members in more than 2000 branches around the Arab world, including Jordan and Palestine.  A paramilitary wing called the Special Apparatus was formed to achieve the goal of ejecting the British; underground cells called usar formed; these groups trained fighters and assassination squads and had supporters in both the armed forces and the police.  During World War II, the Brotherhood had a strong connection with the German Nazi party since their ideology of anti-Jew/anti-Britain was held in common.  Hassan al-Banna used the intelligence network of the Brotherhood to supply Germany with information on the movements of the British armed forces in the region as well as information on the Egyptian ruling regime.

Post-World War II to the Sadat Era

After the end of World War II, underground cells of the Brotherhood began to carry out terrorist attacks against the British occupation and Jewish-owned businesses in Cairo.  On December 18, 1948, Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Nuqrashi issued a military decree dissolving the Brotherhood, however, less than two weeks later, al-Nuqrashi himself was assassinated by a young Brotherhood member.  Despite the attempts of al-Banna to distance himself from the assassination, on February 12, 1949, an unknown gunman gunned down 43 year old al-Banna.   It is widely believed that the assassination was carried out by government agents.

Despite these events, it is estimated that the Brotherhood had more than 2 million followers by the late 1940s.  The Egyptian government legalized the Brotherhood again in 1948 and reversed the move again in 1954 because the Brotherhood insisted that Egypt be governed under Sharia law.  In 1954, Abdul Munim Abdul Rauf, a member of the Brotherhood attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Nasser and was executed for his efforts.  Four thousand members of the Brotherhood were arrested and thousands fled to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.  Nasser granted amnesty to those imprisoned in 1964, a move that was followed by three more assassination attempts.  In 1966, Nasser executed the top leaders of the Brotherhood and imprisoned many others.

When President Anwar-as-Sadat took over as leader of Egypt, he promised that Sharia law would be implemented, largely because he realized that he needed to counter the political strength of the leftist, Nasserite and nationalist groups.  As such, he released many Islamists from prison and encouraged them to take over trade and student union bodies.  The Brotherhood still remained an officially banned group, however, they recovered some of their prominence in Egyptian society and Sadat allowed them to participate in Egypt's Parliament through the political parties that arose from the multi-party system that flourished under his Presidency.  Unfortunately, as a result of the Brotherhood's disagreement with the signing of the peace accord with Israel in 1979, four members of an affiliated group assassinated Sadat on October 6, 1981.  The assassins, four enlisted men in the army, had hatched the plot along with Al Gamaa al'Islamiyya, an offshoot of the Brotherhood that was chiefly responsible for the 1997 terrorist attack on tourists in Luxor that resulted in the deaths of 62 men, women and children.

Currently, it is estimated that the Brotherhood in Egypt has more than 300,000 members.


In 1947, al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood sent a lengthy letter to King Faruq of Egypt and the leaders of other Islamic nations around the world.  Here is a link to the letter in its entirety and I will close with this extract:

"In concluding this discussion, we assert that the Western civilisation, which was for a long time, brilliant by virtue of its scientific perfection subjugating the whole world with the products of this science, is now in ruin, Its foundations are crumbling, and its institution and guiding principles are being torn down. Its political foundations are being destroyed by dictatorships, while its economy is in crisis. The millions of wretched, unemployed and hungry people will bear witness to this. Strange ideologies and widespread revolutions are undermining its social foundations. Its people are at a loss as to the cure and have strayed far of the path . Their conferences are all failures, their treaties have not lasted and their covenants are torn to pieces: The League of Nations is an empty shell, possessing neither spirit nor influence. On one hand they are signing un-Islamic treaties and taking comfort therein, while on the other hand they are receiving violent blows, so that the world, thanks to these tyrannical and self seeking policies, has become like a ship in the midst of the sea, with its captain distraught while blustering gales assault it on all sides. All of humanity is tormented, wretched, worried and confused, having been scorched by the fires of greed and materialism. They are in dire need of the sweetness of True Islam to wash from them the filth of misery and to lead them to happiness.

The leadership of the world was at one time entirely in the hands of the East, then it fell to the West after the rise of the Greeks and Romans. After that, the Prophetic eras of Moses, Christ , and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) brought it back to the East for a second time, but then the East fell into its long sleep, and the West enjoyed a new rebirth. It was Allah"s Sunnah which does not fail to manifest itself and the West inherited leadership of the world. But lo and behold! It was tyrannical and unjust, insolent, misguided, and stumbling blindly, all it requires is a strong Eastern power to exert itself under the shadow of Allah"s banner, with the standard of the Qur"an fluttering at its head, and backed up by the strong soldiers of unyielding faith; then you will see the World living under the tranquillity of Islam, and on the lips of everyone will be the following slogan:

‘Praise be unto Allah who guided us to this. for truly we would not have been guided if Allah had not guided us.’


Ikwanweb (the official English website of the Muslim Brotherhood)


  1. More humans have died because of religion than any other cause. When will humanity understand that religions of any kind are just another way of imposing control by the more powerful clans of the times? We are Spiritual beings, borne out of this Earth. There is an Intelligence to the Universe. That's all there is to it.

  2. Unfortunately by the time West really understands what is going on it may be too late to combat. Most European countries already have large Muslim minorities. It is not a secret the end game of Islam is world domination. Already 1/6th of the world is Muslim. I fear what will happen if/when it creeps into China and South America.

  3. Those who are not well-educated join organized religions to obtain a sense of belonging, a sense of strength, a sense of purpose, and a sense of understanding that which they don't understand. America's 'Born-Again Christians' are among the worst for hatred of others and bigotry. I can't believe that all Muslims wish to kill all others, any more than I can believe that all Christians wish to kill all others---despite the Crusades.

  4. Islam isn't a violence religion , The Prophet (PBUH) said : " A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe " .
    there isn't a single word in Quran or Sunnah ordring or even mentioning killing any one who's not Muslim .

    Islam has no thing to do with Muslim Brotherhood way of thinking infact its pretty much the opposite .

    Hassan al-Banna's idea was shifted 180 degree while he was still alive infact he left the MB shortly before he died and he called them in an interview and i quote " niether Brothers nor Muslims " . and its said that they where behind his assasination not the government .

  5. World Domination doesn't have to happen through violence, in fact it won't. There will be violence in some areas think Africa & South Eastern Asia. In Europe Islam will spread through converts and having a higher birth rate and migration rates higher than the Europeans. Enlightened Europeans will not create civil war and will over a few hundred years just become a majority Muslim place. The secular governments will slowly erode and become more religious. Think of it the same as US slowly becoming a majority latino country. There is nothing wrong with that but its the same with Islam. I would tend to think anyone ready this will be long dead by the time the whole world following Islam. But for anyone who reads this here is my bet, there are 1.6 billion Muslims at present making up about 23% of the worlds population. Check out the number in 5 years then 10 then 20 after 25 years. My guess is after 25 years Muslims will make up 27-28% of the worlds population. So say a 3% gain since it growth rate must slow down over the next 25-100 years. After 100 years it will be about 30% Another 100 years 40% and on and on....

  6. islam IS SATAN worship. PERIOD!