The Four Fingers Holding Up the Muslim Brotherhood

By Rachel Ehrenfeld, Laura Thompson, James M. Dorsey
Saturday, October 26th, 2013 @ 3:59AM

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The Muslim Brotherhood reign over Egypt was abruptly ended on July 3. While the streets of Cairo are quieter now, the four-finger sign, known as the “R4bia” salute, is used by the Brotherhhod supporters in Egypt and beyond. Moreover the Brothers declared the Sinai Peninsula as its principal battleground against the Egyptian military: “Sinai will be the graveyard of those who carried out the coup.”

Brotherhood support for Hamas and the jihadis streaming from all over into the peninsula is putting substantial pressure on Al-Sisi’s military. This, however, didn’t stop the ObamaAdministration from cutting its substantial military aid to Egypt. General al-Sisi’s control is further threatened by a strong political force in Egypt, the soccer clubs known as Ultras. Their growing unrest might, as it did previously, set the stage for a Brotherhood comeback.

The Brotherhood government in Tunisia, while under fire from the opposition, holds on and has made the country a principal outside supplier of jihadis to the opposition in Syria. Pressured to dissolve Ansar al-Sharia and to pretend to prevent jihadis from going off to Syria to fight, the government is hardly scrupulous in practice about such things. The far northern city of Bizerte has become the capitalof “mujahedeen in Syria”

Al-Monitor says that “Throughout the first Ennahda government, led by Hamadi al-Jabali from December 2011 until February 2013, jihad in Syria resembled more closely a national sport played by young men from Salafist mosques right under the noses of Ennahda. Turkish Airlines flights from Tunis to Istanbul transported Salafists embarking on jihad in the same way it might with a sports team. During the flights, they sang their anthems and gave sermons. Mohammed al-Jalassi, who took a flight to Istanbul during that period, said that jihadists refrained during the flight from proudly sharing the story of their trip. This trend did not stop with the inauguration of the second Ennahda-led government under Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, who had been the interior minister in Jabali’s government.”

The Moroccan Muslim Brotherhood government hangs on despite ruining the country’s economy in much the same way Morsi did in Egypt. Morocco’s cities often see protests similar to the October 6 demonstration in Rabat where thousands protested, demanding work and lower prices of food and fuel.

Perhaps most worrisome of all is the relationship between the Brotherhood and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who appears to be after the leadership of the global Brotherhood movement.  Apparently, he sees the Brotherhood as a means to his end of extending Turkish leadership in the entire region.  Al-Arabiya claims that Turkey aspires to be the hub of the Brotherhood internationally, and that

“Although the Turkish leadership still considers that the alliance with the Brotherhood isn’t as harmful, at the national level, as ties with any other sort of Egyptian government, it still sees the rise to power of (Sunni) Islamic movements as an opportunity for the Justice and Development party to rise as a leader of modern Turkey and the post-revolutionary Arab region. This would allow Turkey to play a dominant role in regional politics by hosting the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization as long as the Justice and Development party, under the leadership of Erdogan, remains in power.”

Please find below two articles showing that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ubiquity and influence are on an uptick, in Egypt and in other Muslim countries, including Ghana. Beware the four-fingered salute!

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Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Latest News, Middle East Conflicts, Muslim Brotherhood

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