Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Shia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Controversy within the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] is never-ending; as one storm dies down, another begins. The most recent of these odd disputes between leading figures of the Egyptian Brotherhood movement, internally and externally, politically or financially, is related to the [MB] position towards the Shia.

Those who read the comments made by MB General Guide Mahdi Akef published in our paper on Tuesday might have been given the impression that the Supreme Guide is a tolerant man whilst the rest of the people in the Arab world are fanatic followers of sectarianism. But that is not the case at all.

The dispute is not about the Shia doctrine or the Shia in the Arab world; it is about the spread of Iranian influence in the Arab countries and Iran’s continuous attempts to export its revolution to these countries under the banner of so-called political Shiafication. This is the crux of the matter.

Shia Arab citizens are our brothers and it is wrong to regard them as treacherous and it is wrong that there is even debate on such an issue. This is not sweet talk; this is the truth. What distinguishes the people within one country is the magnitude of their affiliation to the homeland and giving precedence to the interest of their country. In the case of the Hezbollah cell for example, some members of the MB posed more of a threat to Egypt than others.

In Iran itself there are those who oppose the Mullah regime and the Wilayat al Faqih system. They are oppressed and taken to prison. Their newspapers and offices are shut down in a systematic manner. Even people who took part in the Iranian revolution have become reformists standing against the regime that they once helped establish. Today we see candidates of the presidential elections in Iran, reformists and even conservatives, attacking some of the country’s policies, stating that these policies have isolated Iran from the world and Ahmadinejad’s actions have exposed them to danger. Yet after all of that the Muslim Brotherhood comes out to say that the issue is all about the Shia and Sunnis.

It is no secret that there are Sunnis who pose a threat to us; in Saudi Arabia for example there is the Al Qaeda organization, which poses a real danger, and in Egypt some leading figures of the Muslim Brotherhood themselves are considered a threat to Egyptian national security. Because of their disdain for the regime there, they receive the blessings of Hassan Bin Nasrallah and Hezbollah – the party that represents nothing but a catastrophe for Lebanon and its security and stability.

What is unacceptable, and that from which the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to detract attention, is the endeavor to upset stability in the name of resistance and supporting the Palestinian Cause. The issue is not about the Sunnis and the Shia as the General Guide sees it; it is about tampering with our security. Mr. Akef is saying that Hezbollah came to Egypt to help those under siege in Gaza; let us remind him that it was Hezbollah that took up arms and occupied Beirut. That’s not all; in an interview published by Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday, the Syrian President said that Hamas and Hezbollah did not attack Israel from Syria – let us point out that Damascus is an ally of Iran and Hezbollah. What does the General Guide have to say about that? Is it (resistance) permitted religiously in Egypt and Lebanon but prohibited religiously in Damascus? This is wrong as Israel does not occupy any Egyptian territories; it is occupying the Golan Heights in Syria.

Instead of the General Guide seeking to present himself as a tolerant person when it comes to sectarianism and an extremist when it comes to politics, let him tell us what he has to say about Israel’s praising of Hamas for securing the borders?