Final Research Report

Zac Kellogg

Final Research Report

CUlF 3331

December 2nd 2014

Muslim Brotherhood

The topic that I have chosen to both investigate and write about on my blog this semester is the Muslim Brotherhood. Throughout the course of the semester I have broken down the Muslim Brotherhood and wrote about the specifications and characteristics that make up this political and religious group. More specifically, I have focused on the Muslim Brotherhood in the context of the Arab Spring and how it has been reshaped to fit a modern mold during this past decade of revolution and change. In my first few blogs I touched on the topic of ‘influence’ from the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S and on the Obama Administration. As I continued my research on the Brotherhood my focus became more and more narrow as I began to develop a better understand of the Brotherhood and its role in the modern world.

As a way of developing a good analysis of my research on the Muslim Brotherhood, I will first start with the groundwork for which it has built its ideology. The Muslim Brotherhood is not simply a religion but rather a political group. Not only does it see Islam as its foundation for belief, it sees it as its foundation for life. At its core, it rejects secularism and advocates a return to the days of the prophet Muhammad and the Quran. According to the Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Chairman Mohammad Ma’mun El Hudaibi, “the Muslim Brotherhood is based on two “key pillars”: “reintroducing the Islamic Sharia as the basis for the way of life,” and “working to achieve unification among Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, and liberating them from foreign imperialism.” For the sake of brevity and this paper, I do not need to go into the great detail of the history of the Brotherhood. That being said, it is important to understand why they are so important in Egypt and in the context of the Arab Spring. For one, they are the largest opposition group ever in Egypt. Not only that, over the past decades leading up to the revolutions in Cairo and across Egypt, it has been heavily supported by the middle class and its members are in control of many of the country’s biggest organizations. Although it is illegal under Egyptian law for any religious organization to hold a political party, in 2011, the Brotherhood took control of the elections, which led to the democratically elected president Mohamed Morsy in 2012.

Now that I have laid the groundwork for the Brotherhood and its ideology, I will now break down the specific issues that revolve around the Brotherhood and how it is seen on a political and globalized level.

The first important issue to identify is the Muslim Brotherhood being not only the biggest opposition group in Egypt, but also acting as a terrorist organization. This was one of the main points of focus in my research this semester because of how relevant it is on a global scale. As I outlined in my blog, although the Brotherhood was targeted as a terrorist group as far back as last December, it wasn’t until recently that they are really being globally recognized as such. This decision falls under the power of the United Arab emirates, along with Saudi Arabia and the kingdom of Bahrain who see the Brotherhood as meddling in other country’s affairs and causing chaos in the regions through acts of both extreme violence and terror. It was for this reason that Mohamed Morsy, who usurped Hosni Mubarak did not stay in office very long. Egypt, Saudi Arabia are not the only countries who see the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,  Syria and Russia also see the Brotherhood as a serious threat to their nations. However, despite allegations of being a terrorist organization, the Brotherhood insists that it is a peaceful organisation. The Brotherhood points to its democratic elections and spoken renouncement against violence to prove these nations otherwise. Although, the persistent history of violence from the Brotherhood proves otherwise.

Another important research question that I have chosen to investigate in my research is the question of ‘identity’. Especially that of religious identity. It has been made apparent through my research that for many decades, especially in recent years, that the Muslim Brotherhood has seen some sort of division. Many would argue that they have completely lost their religious identity ever since they turned to violence as an outlet for change. According to my research, the Brotherhood has expressed itself as an active political opposition by portraying itself as the religious option. A political realist would say that they are using religion to justify their military violence and political maneuvers. On the flip side to this, some argue that during the Egyptian elections that took place in the midst of the Arab Spring, the Brotherhood shifted its stance on conservative radicalism into a force that is more suitable to democratic governance. However, history shows us that this was not how the Arab Spring unfolded. During the Arab Spring, time and time again the Brotherhood acted with violent force throughout the streets of Cairo. Even the Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy was charged with several heinous crimes. I would argue that this division that ensued both during and after the Arab Spring in an issue of ‘pragmatism’. I would also argue that the division was not simply cut right down the middle. After extended research of the Brotherhood I would argue that there was a lot of unrest in the hearts of the members of the Brotherhood because they were torn on what to do. As a class we saw many personal accounts of this unrest and uneasiness through one on one interviews of members. Although there are many global perspectives to view this internal transition within the membership of the brotherhood, I feel many of the members of the brotherhood themselves had mix feelings and perspectives on what to do and how to act in this time of complete bedlam in Egypt. Of course there were those that felt that in order to meet the end goal of going back to the times of Muhammad, the best move was cowboyism and brute force through military action. This would be the political realists perspective. Without a doubt this is clearly the perspective that the majority of Brotherhood members held. However, I also feel that along with the political realist perspective, the radicalist perspective is somewhat integral to the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and belief. Radicalists believe not only in national self reliance, but also in protecting themselves and their beliefs from total imperialism. Some would argue that these two perspectives fly in the face of one another.

The last point that needs to be examined and made clear is the way in which the Muslim Brotherhood and just the Middle East is portrayed and framed in the Media; especially, in the West. This was one of my main points of focus in my blog post. It is well known that the Western media both skews and warps the ways in which the Middle East, certain individuals and parties are portrayed in the media. Although, more interesting than the way the West portrays certain bodies is the way in which certain parties and groups respond to the West’s interpretations. According to an article Islamism beyond the Muslim Brotherhood, both the West and the East are shaping and changing the ways in which certain people are seen. However, what is even more interesting is the way in which the Muslim Brotherhood is not being portrayed. Through my research I have found almost all of the sources I found with regards to media are labeling the Muslim Brotherhood as a corrupt threat to the rest of the world. Even if that threat is not a direct one.

In this paper I have not only summed up my research and analysis from this semester, but I have also made clear my main points of focus using Controversies in Globalization and other sources.

Cracking Down on the Brotherhood

This week I chose to focus on the the new claims and regulations that are bing put into play regarding the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organizations. Although Egypt labeled the Brotherhood a terrorist group last December, it wasn’t until recently that they are being recognized as such. The first article I read this week talks about The United Arab Emirates decision to group multiple groups as being extremists organizations . The article talked about how the Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia and the kingdom of Bahrain see the Brotherhood as meddling in other nation’s affairs and shaking up the regions. The second article I read focuses more specifically on the laws that are now being enforced. It is interesting to see how it has taken so long for Egypt to allow millitary coups to try civilians who have damages facilities like the al-Azhar University in Cairo.

Up up and hopefully away

Thirty-three security personnel were recently killed during a attack on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and many are pointing fingers at the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood however have made several remarks, denying such allegations. Ever since Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood was ousted in July 2013, the government has been bringing the hammer down on Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement (Muslim Brotherhood). In light of all of these allegations, it seems that the Brotherhood finds itself on a downward slope. However, it is unlikely that the Brotherhood will just up and vanish. Many people have proposed which direction the Brotherhood will go at the end of all this madness. I believe that the Muslim Brotherhood has a lot to prove to the world before it will ever find its footing again.

Removal vs. Exile

This week I am focusing on how recent events in Egypt have led to the removal and permanent exile of many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Qatar, the wealthy gulf state was recently forced to heed to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates agreement to permanently remove any exiled leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Despite the constant denial from the Brotherhood, many parties see the Brotherhood as the source of the bedlam taking place in and around Egypt. Many also see the Brotherhood as being directly related to the dangerous Islamist militant parties. In May a retired Libyan general proposed a “cleanse” of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt. According to the renegade general the Muslim Brotherhood should be blamed for the lawlessness that has infested the country.

From Eyes to Lens

For this post I am focusing on the ways in which Western media both skews and warps the ways in which we view the events taking place in the Middle East, along with the individuals involved. According to the Muftah article, many individuals are be underrepresented in the media. Media sources either fail to provide diverse viewpoints, or they gloss over important details and facts. Muftah is devoted to taking back the media from the West in order to show whats really going on in the Middle East with the revolutions. Although, the west is not the only ones to blame. According to the article Islamism beyond the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian media outlets are also responsible. Egyptian media and other media outlets in the Middle East are constantly shaping and reshaping the ways in which different individuals and parties are portrayed. 

History and Demise of the Muslim Brotherhood

For this post I am focusing on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. Andy Warner’s article is interesting because it talks about the Brotherhood’s rise to victory over the government that it struggled with for so many years. The Lin Noueihd article about Egypt banning the Muslim Brotherhood seems to piggy back off the previous article. It is interesting to see how the Brotherhood took so long to rise up on both a governmental and ideological level, and then suddenly be eradicated. It is also interesting to see how the younger generation took up the Muslim Brotherhood ideals and tried to assimilate them in the Noueidh article.

Muslim Brotherhood and Terrorism

This week I focused on the Muslim Brotherhood in relation to terrorism. The first article I found discusses the Prince of Wales’ visit to Saudi Arabia and the issues that were discussed. During the conversation between the Prince of Wales and the Saudi hosts, the Saudi’s questioned and articulated London’s discussion to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to operate freely. The reason that Saudi Arabia is up in arms about Britian’s unwillingness to claim the Brotherhood as terrorists is because the U.K is allies with Saudi Arabia. According to deep investigations, there is no reason to believe that the group is tied to terrorism, however by claiming this Saudi Arabia would be infuriated.

The second article I looked at hits on many allegations related to the Muslim Brotherhood and their involvement in extreme military acts of violence. It is not always easy to say if the Muslim Brotherhood is related to terrorism because there are many factors involved, such as agreements between countries.

Egyptian Presidency


This week I chose to investigate two articles that touch on the Egyptian Presidency. The first article about former President Mohammad Morsi is a very important one. Morsi’s election set the stage for future presidents in Egypt because he was the first democratically elected President. Although Morsi was elected democratically, he was seen by many Egyptians as doing very little about restore the economy and fix the social problems in the country.

Just over a year ago, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was elected president with a 97% majority vote. Although, many Egyptians are now questioning Sisi’s plan’s to fix Egypt’s economy and social problems. Many Egyptians claim that the reason he was elected was to over through President Morsi. Although President Sisi has expressed his concern for changing the way things are done, his political views are beginning to scare the Egyptian people. During his campaign, President Sisi said that democracy in Egypt would not be attainable for at least 25 years. Naturally this statement cause uneasiness in many Egyptians who were at one time at the mercy of Morsi. This new information helps me understand the direction in which democracy is headed in Egypt. It also helps me better understand democracy on a globalization level.

Cairo’s New Social Network

Ever since a revolution broke out as a result of the Arab Spring, the young generation have made a point to not forget the events taking place. They record these events using the modern tool of spray paint. This young generation have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the voice of the revolution continues to echo through the streets of Cairo, by way of graffiti. For the oppressed people of Cairo, the graffiti evokes both hope and rage. The graffiti art is a double edged
sword, perpetuating hope in protesters, and anger in the government.

Muslim Brotherhood

For many years, experts in national security and other members of Congress have suspected influence on the United States by the Muslim Brotherhood. What they mean by influence is the Muslim Brotherhood is disseminating propoganda in the U.S. Many members of Congress have called for investigations into the Muslim Brotherhood and it’s influence on the Obama Administration.

The reason that Qatar asked his fellow Brotherhood members to leave the country was for protection. Following the Arab uprisings in 2011, many Brotherhood leaders have been killed.