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After the massacre in Homs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The massacre in Homs; with its horrors, atrocities, and the hundreds of resultant martyrs, was supposed to be the final straw that would result in isolating the stances of Iran and its allies in the region. This is not only with regards to governments, but also influential movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood, where confused questions continue to be raised about its stances towards Iran and its plans for our region. The Brotherhood’s stances are ambiguous and concealed in diplomatic language when it comes to the bloody crimes of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The stances are characterized by a sense of neglect for the victims of the grieving Syrian people. The latest developments in Syria – and the involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in these events – mean that the Brotherhood must now form a clear position towards Iran; the only supporter of Syria and its horrific crimes in the entire Islamic world.

Here I am not saying that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and other countries should instigate a dispute with Iran and the Shiite Crescent just because they are Shiites, otherwise this would be pure sectarianism. Rather, the Brotherhood should adopt a firm, explicit stance because Iran carries out its political strategies and international relations with blatant sectarianism, something that could have longstanding, harmful implications for a number of Arab countries. This sectarian strategy was exposed for all to see after the “Arab Spring” revolutions, when Iran supported the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, then refrained from supporting the Syrian people’s revolution against the fiercest Arab dictatorship of all. It is important to state that the Shia nature of a state would never be a source of antagonism; Azerbaijan is a peaceful Shiite state, but because it is reserved within itself and has no ambitions or strategies to extend its influence, hence it has gained the recognition and respect it deserves.

The Brotherhood must take a clear stance towards Iran and its Shiite Crescent, which only claims to support the principle of resistance against Israel as a means to disseminate the Shia doctrine in the 100 percent Sunni Muslim countries like Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Iran has long preached to the Sunni countries without exception, and although it is the right of every sect to promote its doctrine when and where it wants, I take exception to Iran in particular because it endlessly beats the drum of Islamic unity, but at the same time it is the one sowing the seeds of discord in a number of countries in the Muslim world. Its inflammatory Shia discourse is a dirty attempt to reverse the harmonious ideological fabric of the region.

This matter requires that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in particular show, by virtue of the fact that they are Islamists, greater interest in maintaining their doctrinal heritage. This is exactly what Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi told me personally when Iranian missionaries had infiltrated Tunisian society, by taking advantage of the close relationship between the two countries, influencing even some belonging to the Ennahda movement. Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi said to them: “Shame on you, you have crossed our ideological red line. However keen we are for Islamic unity, this cannot come at the expense of our doctrinal historical legacy, which is the product of our pure and sound Sheikhs and scholars”. Unfortunately, the stance of the Muslim Brotherhood towards Iran’s Shia preaching is lackluster at best. Its position has certainly not been as explicit as that adopted by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and supported by Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, which has caused a headache for Iran and its radical elements.

The atrocities and crimes committed by the Syrian regime against its own people, and likewise Iran’s despicable stances towards these crimes, along with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard recently developing a taste for Syrian blood, all represent an opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to change the strategy of its relations with Iran, and strengthen its relations with the Arab states along their natural extension, led by Saudi Arabia, as opposed to the Arab states that lie on the influential Iranian axis. It should block the roads to Iran so that the Iranian parasite cannot devour it in the new Arab governments.