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Friday, October 19, 2012

[] Muslim Brotherhood And Monarchies In The Middle East

Muslim Brotherhood And Monarchies In The Middle East

Muslim Brotherhood is now at the center of political debate in the Middle East and in important capitals of the world. The organization, it is reported in media, is going through changes, from organizational to political postures. A section of political actors feel easy with its MB alliance while another is in uncertain position. Concerned capitals play role in the alliances. Contradictions of different sorts are there. The contradictions within status quo are different from contradictions with opposite class interests.

RT in a report[1] headlined "Arab monarchies: Muslim Brotherhood 'source of all problems in Islamic world'" said:

The rulers of several major Arab nations have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of ambitions to seize power illegitimately. Several governments branded the organization a major threat to stability as the party's influence grows steadily.

After the Muslim Brotherhood legally took power in Egypt's elections, with Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi becoming President, several Arab Gulf states expressed concern. Monarchies that narrowly escaped the Arab Spring were taken aback when a popular Islamist party suddenly became a key player in the region.

United Arab Emirate Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah urged Gulf states to deal with an alleged Muslim Brotherhood plot to undermine regional governments. "The Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in the nation-state. It does not believe in the sovereignty of the state," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said at a press conference.

The Brotherhood is banned in the United Arab Emirates, and Abdullah claimed his country's security forces had arrested some 60 people this year belonging to the local group Al Islah ('Reform and Social Guidance Association'), a nonviolent political association advocating greater adherence to Islamic precepts.

The Sheikh claimed that Islamists – some of whom are connected with the Muslim Brotherhood – were planning to stage a coup in the UAE.

Al Islah shares a similar ideology with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, though it does not have direct links to the organization. The group claimed that it only supports nonviolent reform.

The accusation came the same day Kuwaiti lawmaker Saleh al-Mulla said that the Muslim Brotherhood is putting pressure on his country's rulers by taking part in demonstrations "after losing their typical alliance with the government."

Earlier, Saudi Arabian Interior Minister Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz denounced the Brotherhood, saying the organization is guilty of "betrayal of pledges and ingratitude" and is "the source of all problems in the Islamic world," the Washington Post reported.

That followed Dubai's outspoken police chief Dhahi Khalfan's claim in July that the Brotherhood was carting out an "international plot" against Gulf Arab states.

The UAE Foreign Minister's statement came one day after thousands took to the streets of Jordan's capital of Amman over King Abdullah II's decision to dissolve the country's parliament. The move was seen as an attempt to compromise with the country's Muslim Brotherhood branch, Jordan's main opposition party.

The Jordanian wing of the Brotherhood urged the country's leadership to undertake reforms that would result in the monarchy losing political power. Abdullah II conceded, allowing changes to the procedure by which the country forms a government, with more privileges granted to the electoral winners. The Brotherhood criticized the move as insufficient, and called on their supporters to protest.

Egypt – where the Muslim Brotherhood took power after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year – sought to reassure Gulf Arab states that it will not push for political change outside of the country. President Morsi said that the country has no desire to "export the revolution."

"The Muslim Brotherhood's primary goals have been expressed through welfare programs, and it's a reason for its continuing popularity in places like Egypt, Jordan, Syria," author and journalist Eric Margolis told RT.

"Certainly the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt has made people nervous there," Margolis said. In his opinion, the Brotherhood is little threat to the status quo in the Gulf, since the organization became very conservative over its long history.

The bloody civil war in Libya and overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi served as an example to the Gulf monarchies that sponsored the uprising, who now see that "terrorist activity has drastically increased after the Gaddafi regime was removed by terrorist groups," Ekaterina Kuznetsova of the Center for Post-Industrial Studies told RT.

"This is often the case with totalitarian regimes and the vacuum that remains after they've been eliminated," Kuznetsova said.

However, the current draft does not meet basic human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The key problem areas mentioned by the New York-based group are the lack of full bans on torture, the trafficking of women and children and discrimination on the grounds of sex.

Controversies related to Muslim Brotherhood are coming out in Egypt.

Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel- Meguid Mahmoud has ordered an investigation into allegations two top Muslim Brotherhood officials incited attacks on women during a Cairo protest[2].

The investigation of Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian stemmed from Oct. 12 clashes between secular groups and members of the Brotherhood's political party that left over 140 injured. The incident underscored the tensions that have built up between Islamists backing president Mohamed Mursi and secularists who have grown increasingly worried about the Islamists' hold on government.

Mahmoud's order comes days after he defied Mursi's attempt to remove him from office, a move criticized by the judiciary as an attempt by the president to encroach on their independence and authority. Mursi later said Mahmoud would remain in his post instead of being sent off as Egypt's ambassador to the Vatican.

Calls placed to Beltagy and El-Erian on their mobile phones were not immediately answered.

The complaints were filed with Mahmoud's office by at least one female activist who alleged the Brotherhood supporters attacked women at the demonstration.

However, Muslim Brotherhood said 'thugs' and not members of its political party were behind clashes with secular activists[3].


[1] Oct. 10, 2012,

[2] Bloomberg, Salma El Wardany and Ahmed El-Sayed, " Egypt Brotherhood Officials Investigated Over Protest Clashes", Oct 15, 2012,

[3] Bloomberg, Salma El Wardany, "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Says 'Thugs' Attacked Protesters", Oct 14, 2012,


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