Resistance no longer united

The language of these groups demonstrates their close connection to the Brotherhood and their relative distance from other purely jihadist groups. The activity of the People′s Committees declined when the Hassm organisation became predominant. Hassm has shown themselves more dedicated to a Pan-Islamist position, with their leadership sending congratulatory messages to the mujahidin following the conquest of Aleppo in Syria and blessing the emergence of the new militant Egyptian group Li′wa el Thawra – the Revolution Brigade – with a message celebrating ″the onset of the movement,″ which the group considered ″an addition to the ranks of the blessed resistance.″

Counterviolence inevitable: "the mass killings of protestors at Rabaa al Adawiyya Square and al-Nahda in August 2013, with one thousand confirmed casualties, became a watershed moment. In the aftermath of the Rabaa Massacre, young Egyptians and cadres of Islamist groups – from the Brothers to Salafi jihadists – joined to create a new movement of Islamist militancy," writes Paolo Gonzaga
Egypt′s Christians a militant Islamist target: following the suicide attack by a 22 year-old during a service in St. Peter and Paul′s Church in Cairo in December 2016, the Egyptian Minister of the Interior blamed representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood for the attack. The Islamists had financed and trained the suicide bomber and his assistants from their exile in Qatar, claimed a ministry statement. The attack was intended to ″trigger a massive conflict between the religions″

On 21 August of last year, a policeman and a soldier were killed. The Li′wa el Thawra movement claimed the attacks in a public letter which stated, ″This operation comes in response to the massacres of this criminal government, massacres that we live in the memory these days, in the Adawiyya Rabaa and Al Nahda,″ demonstrating a clear link between the group and the Brotherhood.

Two months later, Li′wa el Thawra claimed the execution of a major general in Cairo, Adil Rijai, in order to avenge the killing of a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Kamal. In January 2015 the site Ikhwanonline – controlled by the extremist wing of the Egyptian youth referred to as the Front Mohammad Kamal or Front of Mohammad Montasser – posted an article openly discussing a return to jihad (holy war): ″the Imam al-Banna prepared the brigades of jihad, and sent them to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers, and the second guide [Supreme] Hassan al-Hudaybi rebuilt the secret organisation to shed the blood of the British occupiers.″

The new call to jihad from the Brotherhood came after current Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi increased repressive measures against the group, jailing many of its supporters. The most radical strains and discourses have found space for their messaging in new online TV platforms established in Turkey after 2013.

Graffiti in Cairo showing the arrested former president Mohammed Morsi (photo: Reuters)
Clear signal against Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brothers: since the toppling of former President Morsi, the Egyptian state has commissioned a total of 16 new prisons. The death sentence brought against Mohammed Morsi was quashed by Egypt′s Supreme Court last November. Morsi faces retrial by judges in Cairo regarding a prison breakout which he is accused of having organised in co-operation with the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah during the Arabellion in 2011

An eye for an eye

Partly controlled by the Ulema in Turkey, these programmes include two of the most radical lines, Mukammiliin (We go on) and Al Sharq (the East). After National Security forces assassinated Mohammad Kamal, a leader of the Brotherhood, the influential Ulemas Essam al Talima and Mohammad al Saghir – both reference scholars of the Brotherhood, the latter a former member of the Parliament – commented on "the martyrdom" of the Islamist leader in Al Sharq and Al Jazeera and demonstrated their approval of the qisas, vengeance killings based on the principle of ″an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.″

Their statements leave no doubt that the slogan of the old leadership, salmiyyetna aqwa men al Rusas (our pacifism is more powerful than bullets), and its related political practices are now in deep crisis. The belief in nonviolence was challenged over time by a young population increasingly radicalised by state-sponsored repression.

While the prevailing attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood seemed to allow for limited violence rather than total violence that would lead to a situation like the one in Syria, the aftermath of the party′s dissolution led to great diversification in the opinions of its younger followers.

The rhetoric of Egypt′s Islamic activists compares the sufferings of today′s Muslims to those in the era of Nasser. More and more young people are becoming inspired by Sayyid Qutb, the father of contemporary jihadism executed by the Nasser regime. Currently, any ideological progression is limited by the leadership′s blind repressive tactics, all while Egypt sinks further and further into a sea of violence.

Paolo Gonzaga

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Comments for this article: Egypt′s Muslim Brotherhood: The seed of violence

A good analysis which is based on bitter but true facts.If moderation is crushed only extremism will benefit.At Rabaa Sq the protesters didn't carry arms.They were slaughtered .Even HRW wrote that it was a horrendous and almost unprecedented massacre.
The new extremist movements will not behave like lambs.The way out is to seek some form of reconciliation with the Brotherhood(perhaps with regional or international mediation) and isolate the new movements .

Khalid AlMubarak19.09.2017 | 12:18 Uhr