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PolicyWatch 1753

The Muslim Brotherhood: On the Record

Also available in العربية

February 4, 2011


"Islam is the solution" -- slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood

The following sampling of comments by Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt explains the group's position in the current crisis and its attitudes toward the United States, Israel, and the rest of the Arab world.

On protests in Egypt:

"Our first demand is that Mubarak goes. Only after that can dialogue start with the military establishment on the details of a peaceful transition of power." -- Mohammed al-Beltagi, former member of Egyptian parliament, member, Muslim Brotherhood, Reuters, February 1, 2011.

On forming a coalition:

"We insist on establishing a coalition among all political powers and civil society, to sit together and lay down an agenda and a method through which we can improve this nation and help it out of this serious deadlock and tyranny that Egypt is currently witnessing." -- Mohamed Mahdy Akef, chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, November 27, 2008.

On Mohamed ElBaradei and the National Association for Change:

"The Muslim Brotherhood is coordinating with Dr. ElBaradei, as well as with the National Association for Change. My personal attitude as an MB member relates to the MB's policies, and if I'm requested in person to participate, I would not hesitate." -- Ibrahim Munir, secretary general, International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, January 12, 2011.

On Mubarak and succession:

"Even after (Mubarak goes), we refuse to deal with Omar Suleiman." -- Essam al-Erian, senior leader, Muslim Brotherhood, Reuters, February 1, 2011.

On the mission and nature of the Muslim Brotherhood:

"We will never concede our principals, and we will not concede our project. It is not a hollow project, it is a project based on Islam and history." -- Mohamed Mahdy Akef, chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, November 27, 2008.

"Concerning the Group's views and stance on the issues of internal reform or any other developments at stake, we quickly evaluate the situation when we observe a certain phenomenon that does not suit our beliefs. You know, Muslim Brothers are reform-oriented. It is our approach and will not change over time. Our stance on the issues of Copts, women, Zionist enemy and all other issues at stake is clear for all." -- Mohamed Mahdy Akef, chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, October 17, 2009.

On the United States:

"The Soviet Union fell dramatically, but the factors that will lead to the collapse of the U.S. are much more powerful than those that led to the collapse of the Soviet empire -- for a nation that does not champion moral and human values cannot lead humanity, and its wealth will not avail it once Allah has had His say, as happened with [powerful] nations in the past. The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading toward its demise." -- Muhammad Badi, statement, IkhwanOnline, September 30, 2010.

On President Obama's Cairo speech:

"Unless one agenda and one objective unite the Arabs, I do not expect anything good to come from the West. But as long as the Arabs remain scattered and torn by internal conflicts, do not expect any outcome from this visit. However, this does not mean that I refuse to enter into a dialogue with the other: if I receive an invitation to enter into a dialogue with the U.S., I will accept the invitation." -- Mohamed Mahdy Akef, chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, October 17, 2009.

On resistance and jihad:

"Jihad must not be likened to terror. Jihad means making sacrifices in order to restore what has been stolen, defend one's property, expel the occupier, and make Allah's word supreme, while terror is occupying someone else's land." -- Muhammad Badi, statement, IkhwanOnline, March 18, 2010.

"We will continue to raise the banner of jihad -- two swords and a Koran -- as long as the Zionists raise their flag, with two blue stripes to represent their so-called state [reaching] from the Nile to the Euphrates. And the [Muslim] brotherhood will continue to view the Jews and Zionists as their first and foremost enemies." -- Muhammad Badi, IkhwanOnline, April 15, 2010.

On negotiations and agreements with Israel:

"It is your obligation to stop the absurd negotiations, whether direct or indirect, and to support all forms of resistance for the sake of liberating every occupied piece of land in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all [other] parts of our Muslim world. The sources of your authority, as all religious scholars have agreed, are the Koran and the Sunna, and not U.N. resolutions or the dictates of the Zionists or Americans. This can be achieved if you declare the Palestine cause and the causes of the [other] occupied Islamic nations your primary concern. You must stand behind your free peoples and their various institutions in their repeated calls for boycotts, an end to normalization, and support for the resistance and its representatives...You must revoke all the agreements of capitulation...especially the Camp David Accords...which go against the Egyptian constitution and U.N. resolutions, and do not therefore obligate Egyptian senior officials." -- Muhammad Badi, statement, United Jerusalem Foundation, September 2010.

"After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel," -- Rashad al-Bayoumi, RiaNovosti, February 3, 2011

On the role of women:

"On our part, we believe that the burden of presidency must not be placed on a woman's shoulders -- any more than supervising and leading the army -- since they contradict her nature and the rest of her social and humanitarian roles." -- Muslim Brotherhood Party Platform, al-Masry al-Youm, Part 1 and Part 2, August 10-11, 2007.

On confronting the "Zionist enemy":

"Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. The peoples know well who is [carrying out] resistance and who has sold out the [Palestinian] cause and bargained over it. We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you." -- Muhammad Badi, IkhwanOnline, September 30, 2010.

On a Palestinian state:

"I speak out that the Palestinian nation including all factions should have a clear agenda and work for liberating their homeland. The Arab and Muslim Worlds are also involved in this agenda, because Palestine isn't owned by the Palestinians alone, Al Aqsa Mosque isn't owned by the Palestinians alone, Jerusalem isn't owned by the Palestinians alone, but they are deemed holy by all Arabs and Muslims. Brothers in Palestine should first prepare an agenda to liberate their country, and then all sincere people of the Arab and Muslim nation will back them." -- Mohamed Mahdy Akef, chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, November 27, 2008.

On Arab reconciliation:

"A comprehensive reconciliation requires Arab countries to possess a free will of action that is independent from the American administration that will allow it to break the siege of division, weakness, and paralysis imposed on it." -- Mohamed Habib, vice chairman, Muslim Brotherhood, IkhwanWeb, February 2, 2009.

Compiled by Washington Institute research assistant Allison LeBlanc and intern Kelli Vanderlee.