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Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

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  • Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Due probably being the biggest organized opposition currently in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood will play a major role in the events which are unfolding, and most certainly is deserving its own thread. Here a some background information to form a start (though keep in mind that I am in no way an expert on the MB or Egypt):

    The Muslim Brotherhood was founded about 85 years ago in Egypt and has become one of the biggest and most influetal political Islam groups and has spread far beyond the borders of Egypt.

    Its stated goals are to create a society based on the laws of the Qu'ran and the Sunnah (the deeds and habits of the Prophet Mohammed), free of corruption and poverty, united in a Caliphate that transcends national borders and reaches from North Africa to South East Asia.

    Abridged Timeline of the Muslim Brotherhood:

    1928: Schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna starts the group together with six suez-canal workers.
    Allah is our objective, the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death in the name of Allah is our highest aspirations.
    1936: Group grows to 800. Expands to Lebanon and Syria.

    1938: rapid increase in numbers, 200.000 numbers.

    1946: Expands to Transjordan

    1948: After the Egypt Government seizes a large amount of documents, containing informations about the secret militant wing of the Brotherhood, the group is outlawed. Shortly after Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi is killed by a member of the Brotherhood.

    About a Month after his death the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood got assassinated.

    1954: After a decade of being silently tolerated by the Government (while still being official outlawed) the group gets accused of trying to kill Gamal Abdel Nasser. A new wave of arrests follows.

    1956: Nasser becomes President of Egypt. Thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood are to be believed to have been killed and/or tortured under his rule.

    1966: Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential and popular member of the Brotherhood gets sentenced to death.

    After his death, the group distanced themselve publicly from violence and calls for revolution in favour of a more reformist strategy.

    1970: Anwar Sadat becomes President. While the Muslim Brotherhood remains outlawed, many members are released from prison and Sadat uses the Brotherhood's help against other oppositional factions.

    1979: Due the signing of the Peace Treaty with Israel, the loose alliance between Sadat and the Muslim Brotherhood shatters. Other Islamic factions have grown powerful in the meantime.
    1981: Sadat is murdered by the group Tanzim al-Jihad. Mubarak becomes the new President. In the following decade the Brotherhood is able to greatly increase its influences on the universities and sets up a large number of social services in cities and rural areas, contributing to their increased popularity.

    1993: Wary of their growing power, new restrictions and mass arrests are ordered by the Government, but are not able to hurt the Group by a great amount.

    2005: Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are able to win 88 seats (20%) in the Parliament and become the largest bloc after the Government party.

    2010: In the last election, amid cries of fraud, the Government wins 97% of the seat in the Parliament. Mohammed Badie becomes leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.