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Old 02-07-2009   #41
AmericanPride
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bluegreencody,

I chose to include the Syrian faction of the MB because of its insurgency in the 1970s (driven by a combination of religious, ethnic, and political aims) that eventually led to the complete dismantling of radical religious organizations in Syria. Whatever the future prospects of the Syrian faction, the Assad regime has demonstrated success in repressing radical Islamic movements. I think a strong argument could be made that because of Assad's status as an Alwai minority in a Sunni-majority country, that his government is a 'natural' ally in the War on Terrorism, just as it was in the first Gulf War.

As for the different MB factions, I completely agree. My intention is to argue that the Egyptian MB faction is in opposition to US interests because of its anti-Western and revisionist agenda; and because of its status as an underground party that ultimately intends to redraw the political system in Egypt, it is an insurgency faction using subversion as its primary instrument. It draws upon the support of student, labor, and business associations that are not included in Egypt's system of patronage, and recently won through indirect means a number of seats in Egypt's legislature. The threat IMO is the resurgence of anti-Israelism in Egyptian policy in the form of radical Islam -- not because it threatens Israel itself, but because it undermines regional political stability and ultimately American economic security. As for the Iraqi faction, I haven't read much into yet, nor have I read through the predicted effects of the recent election. However, if the trends prove accurate, it seems that democratization is a developing strategy of these organizations to leverage against US interests by exploiting popular resentment of US policy.
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Old 02-07-2009   #42
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One has to be nuanced on the Muslim Brotherhood—many/most of them are, in Islamist terms, relative moderates, and the (largest) Egyptian branch long ago abandoned violence as a means of bringing about regime change (favoring instead social activities peaceful political participation). The same is true of the MB in Jordan, who also participate in the electoral process. Indeed, both the Egyptian MB and the Jordanian MB/IAF continue to play by the constitutional rules, even though both governments take various non-democratic measures against them.

As davidbfpo correctly notes, the UK MB were instrumental in taking over and deradicalizing London's notorious Finsbury Park mosque, in not-so-secret cooperation with the Metropolitan Police.

The MB, however, are no fans of US foreign policy. I think this is the real dilemma: not how Washington deals with small, radical anti-democratic anti-American Islamist groups—the al-Qa'idas of this world, as important as they are—but how it deals with genuinely popular, semi-democratic, less radical groups that oppose US policies or interests.
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Old 02-08-2009   #43
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Rex,

That is why I consider the MB, in general, as a shade of gray of insurgency. Yes -- the Egyptian faction (as well as the Jordanian, Somalian and Tunisian factions) have more or less abdicated violence. But because of the organization's revisionist agenda that aims to redraw the region's political order driven in large part by a (largely accurate) perception of Western interference and a general failure of the Arab states to reach modernity, I think its activities amount to subversion disguised in democracy. I think 'radicalism' is not of particular concern -- most groups of whatever origin or agenda resort to violence or coercion. I think the larger concern is of revisionism and revolution, which we of course oppose in the region, as do the entrenched elites of the conservative/traditionalist/reactionary regimes. Radicalism IMO is partly a product of alienated revisionism and as you correctly point out, it's a serious dilemma (i.e. Hamas). (On a side note, this makes me wonder whether Saddam's Iraq could/should have been 'rehabilitated' into the international community following 9/11 and partly why I think Syria should be; but we'll see how the democratic process plays out in Iraq). "Nothing is settled that is not settled right." The question is not if (again) there will be another Arab 'revolt' against the powers that be -- but when and how. The monarchists of the early 20th century failed. The nationalists and the socialists failed. Are the religionists faring any better? And who will replace them should they also fail? Is there anything more dangerous than the integration of political action and religious belief?
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Old 02-08-2009   #44
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Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
Rex,

That is why I consider the MB, in general, as a shade of gray of insurgency. Yes -- the Egyptian faction (as well as the Jordanian, Somalian and Tunisian factions) have more or less abdicated violence. But because of the organization's revisionist agenda that aims to redraw the region's political order driven in large part by a (largely accurate) perception of Western interference and a general failure of the Arab states to reach modernity, I think its activities amount to subversion disguised in democracy.
I think this may hinge on one's definition of insurgency. The DoD definition is "an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict" (JP 1-02, and FM 3-24) or possibly "An insurgency is an organized, armed political struggle whose goal may be the seizure of power through revolutionary takeover and replacement of the existing government." (FM 100-20). In both definitions, the notion of armed violence is a necessary condition. While that applies to Hamas, it doesn't apply to the contemporary Jordanian and Egyptian MB.

I'm extremely wary about expanding "insurgency" to embrace non-violent movements for political change—which I prefer to call, well, "politics". There's nothing to be gained, in my view, in trying to shoe-horn it into a COINdinista frame of reference.
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Old 02-08-2009   #45
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Rex,

It's not so much that the MB is ostenibly pursuing peaceful political change in Egypt, but that its agenda is revisionist in nature insofar it desires to completely reshape the current political order according to its own definition of politics and justice. Its moderation in Egypt can probably be attributed to the general moderation of Mubarak's regime. And since conflict is political in origin, and the ojectives to change the political character of the target regimes have not fundamentally changed, I question the use of violence as a "necessary condition" for insurgency. The definition IMO would better read as 'subversion or armed struggle'. Note that the second definition you provided identifies "revolutionary takeover and replacement of the existing government" as the final political aim. In a democratic country, this is theoretically possible by largely legal means (i.e. Weimar Germany).
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Old 02-08-2009   #46
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Default Excellent point. Given the propensity for many Americans to play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
...I'm extremely wary about expanding "insurgency" to embrace non-violent movements for political change—which I prefer to call, well, "politics". There's nothing to be gained, in my view, in trying to shoe-horn it into a COINdinista frame of reference.
the old 'Ugly American' bit -- albeit in many cases simply unthinkingly instead of maliciously, it is IMO far better to err on the side of caution in public utterances and writing. What's done in other and professional venues is another matter but a little public discretion goes a long way.

We've suffered slings and arrows from all over the world due to the failures of our media for years and they've not improved. Now we also get the unthinking things said in the blogosphere. This in some cases from folks who tend to complain that we're 'losing the information war...'
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Old 03-24-2010   #47
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Default The Muslim Brotherhood in the Wider Horn of Africa

NIBR, 23 Dec 09: The Muslim Brotherhood in the Wider Horn of Africa
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This report explores whether the Muslim Brotherhood can act as partners in the quest for development and peacemaking in the wider Horn of Africa (including Yemen). It explores the history of the various Brotherhoods in the wider Horn and finds that the Brotherhood has had most impact in Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The report suggests that positive engagement, while taking the ideological foundation of the Brotherhood as well as the structure of various sub-groups into considerations, could benefit both the Brothers, the Western partners and the local population, and enhance development efforts.
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Old 02-25-2011   #48
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International IDEA, 22 Mar 10: Islamist Mass Movements, External Actors and Political Change in the Arab World
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Contents:
  • Hitting the glass ceiling: The trajectory of the Moroccan Party of Justice and Development
  • The Muslim Brotherhood and political change in Egypt
  • Anatomy of a political party: Hezbollah – sectarian upshot or actor of change?
  • Palestinian Islamism: Conflating national liberation and socio-political change
  • Principled or stubborn? Western policy towards Hamas
  • Learning by doing: US policies towards the Islamist movements in Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon
  • EU policy and Islamist movements: Constructive ambiguities or alibis?
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Old 02-27-2011   #49
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Has the current incarnation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt repudiated Hassan al Banna's ideology?
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Old 04-20-2011   #50
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Default Book Review: The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition

Book Review: The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition

Entry Excerpt:

Book Review: The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition
by Alison Pargeter.
Published by Saqi Books, London. 300 pages, 2010.
Reviewed by Commander Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN

Alison Pargeter is a researcher on Islamist radicalism at the University of Cambridge. Her first book is a refreshingly complex and nuanced examination of the Muslim Brotherhood. The book starts with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, by a schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, and its evolution from social organization to a political organization based on an interpretation of Islamic ideals.

Commander Aboul-Enein is author of “Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat,” (Naval Institute Press, 2010). He is Adjunct Islamic Studies Chair at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and is a Senior Defense Department counter-terrorism advisor.



--------
Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-20-2011 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Duplication of text in paragrpah
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Old 12-29-2011   #51
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Default Reference works

Two reference works by an Israeli think tank, the first is rather large and the second is an update: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/mal...f/ipc_e174.pdf and http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/mal...ml/ipc_252.htm
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Old 01-25-2012   #52
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CEIP, 10 January 2012: When Victory Becomes an Option: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Confronts Success
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....it is not clear how much the Brotherhood’s past decisions and behavior can continue to guide its future actions. Over the past few years, it has released a blizzard of very detailed policy proposals and platforms. If it is to be successful in government, however, the Brotherhood must start setting its foreign policy, economic, and cultural priorities. While the movement’s appeal has always been strongly cultural, moral, and religious, there are few areas where it sets off fears more quickly than in this realm. As a result, the cultural agenda has been sidelined. But with the ultraconservative Salafis entering the political arena for the first time, the Freedom and Justice Party may be forced to choose between competing with them for the Islamist base and reassuring non-Islamist political forces at home and abroad.
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Old 02-09-2012   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
for more news and question about muslim brotherhood please visit www.ikhwanweb.com the only offical web site
It would be great if somebody who is good with arabic looks through this sitehttp://ikhwanonline.com/new/Default.aspx# and compares a content.

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Q: Some Copts in Egypt were so alarmed by the recent rise of the Muslim Brotherhood that some of them declared that they would leave Egypt as a result! What is the nature of the Brotherhood’s relations with Copts?
A: We consider our Coptic brothers as citizens enjoying all rights associated with citizenship and as part of the fabric of the Egyptian society. We consider them as partners in the country, in decision-making and in determining our future. Consequently, the basis for filling public posts shall be efficiency, ability and experience, not religion or beliefs.
Copts are suffering, that's true, but why, oh why noboby asked this guy about atheists? His answer could be enlightening, I bet.
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Old 04-04-2014   #54
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Default The Brotherhood debate reappears

SWC have debated here the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), although I expect the threads on Egypt, Syria and the Gulf states recently have touched upon the subject.

Of late there has been a serious political dispute within the Gulf states over the support given by Qatar to some rebel factions in Syria; Qatar is no friend of the MB, rather more 'radical' militant factions. Plus the military government in Egypt banning the MB and engaging in a robust, if not brutal "crack down" on the opposition, which is mainly not exclusively MB.

Now the UK is undertaking a review of whether the MB is a terrorist organisation, citing in particular reports that MB leaders in exile in London have plotted against the Egyptian military government. Well reviewed here:http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourking...national-secur

The MB debate found an unlikely Conservative MP ally:
Quote:
The worst possible thing would be a fit-up job that listed the Muslim Brotherhood on the terrorist list with little or no evidence. It would be a betrayal of our values and make the problem worse.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-al-Qaeda.html
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Old 04-07-2014   #55
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Default The Foreign Policy Essay: Saudi Arabia Dumps the Brotherhood

Will McCants, of Brookings, is always readable and in his article looks at the Muslim Brotherhood's position inside Saudi Arabia:http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/04/t...e-brotherhood/
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Old 05-27-2014   #56
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A short article 'The Brotherhood Will Be Back' by Shadi Hamid, of Brookings, which ends:
Quote:
The lesson of the Arab Spring isn’t that Islamist parties are inimical to democracy, but that democracy, or even a semblance of it, is impossible without them. When there are democratic openings — whether that’s in 5, 10 or 15 years — Islamists might look different and talk differently, but they will still be there, waiting and ready to return to political prominence, and perhaps even power.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/24/op...eral.html?_r=1
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Old 05-27-2014   #57
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Default New Canadian Report on MB

My colleague at CCISS and collaborator in the Broken Mirrors podacts has a new report out on the MB's infiltration and "civilizational jihad" in Canada and the US. It's availableat http://tsecnetwork.blogspot.ca/

Cheers,

Marc
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Old 07-31-2014   #58
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Default Gloomy prospects in Egypt

The always reliable IMHO Omar Ashour, from Exeter University, has a short gloomy commentary 'Will Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood return to political violence?' on the BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28524510

He concludes:
Quote:
The Brotherhood leadership so far stress that non-violent civil resistance tactics are their means for toppling the military-dominated government.

But organisational fractures under heavy repression, offshoots, disaffected members, and mutiny against the leadership have happened in earlier crises and have happened in a limited way during the current one, the worst in modern Egyptian history.

And in a regional context - where bullets keep proving that they are much more effective than ballots and where eradication is more legitimate than compromise - the prospects of sustaining non-violence become gloomier
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Old 08-29-2014   #59
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Default The Muslim Brotherhood in the UK

A thirteen page document from the Quilliam Foundation, prepared for the current UK government review of the Muslim Brotherhood's status here:http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp...in-the-uk2.pdf
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Old 09-15-2014   #60
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Default The Muslim Brotherhood in the UK: rolling along

Based on "leaks" and some briefing from opponents The Daily Telegraph has a story today, sub-titled:
Quote:
Exclusive: Britain set to curtail Muslim Brotherhood activities and block activists coming to London after report finds ties with armed groups and extremists in Middle East and elsewhere

(It ends, citing a UK diplomat) The report is thorough in pointing out the pitfalls of the Muslim Brotherhood but also its mainstream appeal and continuing role in the region.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...in-London.html

One wonders whether the apparent disagreements between the diplomats and Home Office officials have been resolved. Plus whether the current furore and focus on ISIS will lead to any change, the story suggest no decisions till December.
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