Nov 9, 2010
Al-Banna's Islam was an all-encompassing one:
"We believe the provision of Islam and its teachings are all inclusive, encompassing the affairs of the people in this world and the hereafter. And those who think that these teachings are concerning only with the spiritual or ritualistic aspects are mistaken in this believe because Islam is a faith and a ritual, a nation and a nationality, a religion and a state, spirit and deed, holy text and sword...The Glorious Quran...considers [these things] to be the core of Islam and its essence" (Moaddel 197)
Here, al-Banna, reveals how the Brotherhood derives their definition of an ideal Islamic State through their interpretation of the Quran. Previous reformists, such as Mohammed Abduh and his disciple, Abduh Rashid Rida wrote of the philosophies with which al-Banna identified. Rashid Rida committed himself to the salafi movement; a movement committed to "a restoration of an earlier golden age of Islam, the period of the pious ancestors, the 'salaf al-salih'" (Brown 214).
Al-Banna became a disciple of Rida and ardently adopted Rida's interpretation of what comprised an Islamic State. Although al-Banna's Islamic State near directly mimicked the Islamic State proposed by salafiya reformism, his gained more popular support and, thus, became the first mass movement for Islam. Al-Banna believed that the spread and creation of a genuine Islamic State could only occur through the banning of Western ideas and influence on Sharia doctrinal laws. Sharia is the code of law derived from the Quran.
Quran excerpts on Jihad:
"O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.
Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things," (Surah 9:38-39). The Muslim Brotherhood applied the term jahiliyya to all societies not practicing a government ruled by Sharia, Islamic law. Accordingly, only societies governed by Sharia are recognized as true Muslim societies through their recognition of Allah's divine Book (Quran) and their dedicated efforts to create a purified Islam polity. Sayyid Qutb, as an eminent Muslim Brotherhood leader, formulated his interpretation of modern jahiliyya in his book Ma'alim fi'l-Traiq (Milestones), in which he argued Arab countries governed by man-made law cannot be considered Muslim because they do not implement Sharia even though their experience and religion have introduced Sharia to them (Zubaida 60).
In this way, Qutb represents how both external nations and the internal state (which, for the Brotherhood is Egypt) are Islam's enemies because these nations/states live in a state of Jahiliyya, "ignorance," and when applied to Western ideas "barbarism" (Brown 216). The societies who claim to be Muslim and do not follow Sharia law, Qutb labels infidels.
Jahiliyya refers to a pre-Islamic period of idolatry and ignorance, governed by barbaric lawlessness and godlessness, and thus symbolizes one of the world's main evils: rebellion against God's sovereignty on earth (Brown 15). The Brotherhood argued that it is every Muslim's duty to fight for the establishment of a true Islamic State, and in doing so they accept and live by Sharia.
Qutb and his followers carried the idea of jahiliyya to a more extremist level and argued that nations not governed by Sharia are open to attack from Sharia practicing Muslims. Terrorist groups, such as Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda franchise in Iraq justify their attacks on other nations (ex: suicide bombings) by preaching these ideas imbedded in the Brotherhood and Qutb's philosophies.
Outgrowths of the Muslim Brotherhood
Al Takfir wa al hijra, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, are the groups whose founders and leaders broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood because they believed in committing immediate and extreme acts to foster an Islamic State. The Muslim Brotherhood grew to an enormous size, which encompassed many minds who, undoubtedly, had varying viewpoints.
Where al-Banna, for the most part, did not propose violence (at least not as a first choice) as a means of creating an Islamic State, many of his followers in the Muslim Brotherhood did. Though the perception of what comprises the Islamic State fundamentalist Muslims struggle for varies only slightly between group members, the means of spreading Islam throughout Muslim society and the global world have differed tremendously.
Brothers, who broke away from the original organization, usually joined or formed Islamic extremist organizations characterized by the same ultimate goal and different methods. These societies openly recognize and practice their will to use violence against "infidels" in order to promote Islam. Although the Muslim Brotherhood denies involvement with terrorist-labeled off shoot organizations, many people in today's global society consider the Brotherhood a terrorist group. Having said this, however, the United States does not include the Muslim Brotherhood on their list of terrorists as of yet (December 2007). The United States does, however, regard many of the known outgrowth groups as terrorist organizations.
Al takfir wa al hijra and others
The events surrounding the 1976 Egyptian Parliamentary elections lead to the creation of Muslim Brotherhood splinter groups. Because Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat did not recognize the Brotherhood as a political party for the elections the running Brothers were forced to either run as independents or as members of the ruling Arab Socialist Union.
After the elections the Brotherhood had 15 total seats on parliament: six had won on the ruling party's ticket and nine won independently. That Sadat succeeded in co-opting several of the Brotherhood leaders into the political system angered many militant Brothers, who then disbanded from the Brotherhood to establish clandestine radical groups. These groups include Mukfirtiya (denouncers of the Infidel), Jund Allah (Soldiers of God), Munnazamat al Jihad (The Jihad Organization) and Al Takfir wa al Hijra (The Denunciation of Infidels and the Migration).
Shukri Ahmad Mustafa
The Al Tafir wa al Hijra militant group led by Shukri Ahmad Mustafa operated through secret cells, some of which were responsible for the attacked on nightclubs, cinemas and bars during the January 1977 rioting. Mustafa, also, led many of his followers to the caves and mountains of Minia where they could live in a pure community part from the Egyptian society infidel.
Islamic Jihad/Egyptian Islamic Jihad
The Islamic jihad movement developed out of those Muslim Brotherhood members who viewed the elite Brotherhood leaders' responses toward the Israeli occupation as too moderate. Between 1967 and 1970 the Muslim Brotherhood's leaders came to an agreement that the organization would focus on the raising of an "Islamic generation" (Abu-Amr 90).
Consequently, the Brotherhood favored the gradual development of a dominant Islamic State rather than seeking immediate effects through violence in response to the Israeli occupation. This decision did not satisfy each member of the Brotherhood and thus motivated those in disagreement to breakaway. These members, having been exposed to militant Islamic groups, such as the Jihad organization, (also an outgrowth the Muslim Brotherhood), looked to satisfy their opinions in the formation of a new organization they titled the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Abu-Amr 91).
Hamas Sheik Ahmed Yassin
Hamas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, starting in December 1987 when Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Brotherhood spiritual leader, founded Hamas to be the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Palestine following the first intifada. Hamas broke away from the Brotherhood when it published its official charter in 1988. Now, Hamas is the largest Palestinian militant movement whose influence is reflected in Hamas's winning of the January 2006 Palestinian Authority's general legislative elections. Hamas is notorious for suicide bombings and other violent attacks. The group aims to see the end of Israel and implementation of an Islamic state.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Thursday that efforts were underway to improve relations between the Islamist movement and Egypt. Tension between Hamas and the Egyptian regime goes back to the movement's origins as an offshoot of the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's most potent opposition group. Tensions persist due to Mubarak's recognizing Security issues and Cairo's role in maintaining a policy of closure toward Hamas now a recognized terror group holding its own people as ransom in a push to attain an Islamic state for the Palestinians.
Abu Zuhri's own brother, Yousef, died in an Egyptian jail in 2009 after being arrested by security forces for propagating a terror network in support of Hamas from within Egypt. Hamas are openly obstructing a peace deal, a democratic Palestinian state is not on the agenda, and it must be an Islamic State with Shariah, a replica Iran. Hamas continues to undermine and subvert the efforts of the rival Fatah movement; Hamas have full control of the state and oppose direct negotiations with Israel.