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Indian Muslims Spar over Muslim Brotherhood: Fundamentalist Muslim Groups Support Brotherhood, Condemn Saudi Arabia for Declaring It a Terrorist Outfit, Sufi Group Opposes

By New Age Islam News Bureau

June 12, 2015

As Morsi faces 20 years jail term for abetting the killing of hundreds of protesters during his presidency in 2013 and Muslim Brotherhood leaders and cadres facing death for rape and murder of protesters, Indian Muslims are divided over whether they should support or oppose Muslim Brotherhood which has been declared by the UNO, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and some other countries as a terrorist organisation.

The rift between two Salafi-Wahhabi groups, the Saudi state and the Muslim Brotherhood, former democratically-elected ruling party of Egypt, has created quite an ironic situation for Indian Muslims. While mainstream Muslim organisations, that happen to be traditionally pro-Saudi Arabia and are Wahhabi-Salafi-oriented, are opposing Saudi Arabia, Sufi-oriented organisations that always oppose Saudi Salafism-Wahhabism are on the same page as Saudi Arabia. There is no sure way of knowing where common Muslims stand on the issue of Muslim Brotherhood, but the government of India has traditionally treated the pro-Brotherhood fundamentalist Salafi-Wahhabi organisations as representative of Indian Muslims. It is these pro-Brotherhood organisations whose voice is represented in the Muslim Urdu Press as well.

While representative Indian Muslim organisations like Nadwatul Ulema, Jama’at-e-Islami, Markazi Jamiat ul Ulema, Deeni Madaris Board have expressed their support to Muslim Brotherhood saying the Brotherhood was a reformative Islamic organisation that had bridged the gap between Muslim countries, and condemned Saudi Arabia for declaring the organisation a terrorist organisation, a Sufi-oriented Barailwi group of Muslims has opposed this view and supported Saudi Arabia declaring it a terrorist organisation.

Last year, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, which has had close relations with Saudi Arabia, even cancelled the visit of a Saudi delegation to the madrasa protesting against Saudi Arabia’s decision to declare Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The organisations and Muslim personalities like Maulana Salman Nadwi, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri. Maulana Yaqub Bulandshahri, among others, demanded that the Saudi government review their decision regarding Muslim Brotherhood.

On the contrary, the Sufi-oriented organisations of India, that have traditionally opposed Saudi-Wahhabi opposition to Sufi shrines and protested against destruction of Islamic heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, are of the view that Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist and radical Islamic organisation that stifled the voice of democracy and tolerance in Egypt during its one year rule and so Saudi Arabia is right in declaring it a terrorist outfit. The Muslim Brotherhood Ulema issued fatwa justifying rape or Muslim and non-Muslim women protesting against MB’s undemocratic ways. They even issued fatwa justifying the killing of Christians and Jews. They had adopted the policy to eliminate any dissenting voice which is against Islamic principles of democratic polity.

None of these groups see the hypocrisy  of a crude, xenophobic, intolerant Wahhabi dictatorship in Saudi Arabia speaking on behalf of the liberal and democratic Muslims and Christians of Egypt who had been suppressed by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt the same way as such elements are suppressed in Saudi Arabia.

A relatively new Sufi-oriented group comprising of heads of Sufi shrines, All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board, has strongly reacted to the statements of mainstream fundamentalist  organisations and individuals in which it has been said that the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys the support of a majority of Indian Muslims. The founding president of the Board, Maulana Ashraf Kichochwi, in a press release said that the declared stance of the Board is that the Indian Muslims cannot support extremism being practiced anywhere in the world and it is also the stance of the present government as a matter of coincidence. The Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the President of India have iterated that the patriotism of Indian Muslims was beyond doubt.

Maulana Kichochwi said that the Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist outfit by the US, the UNO, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and some other countries. In this situation, the announcement of the support to Muslim Brotherhood on behalf of Indian Muslims is very misleading. He said that not only an organisation recently supported the Brotherhood but a certain individual had already said in 2013 that the Brotherhood enjoyed the support of 23 Crore Indian Muslims.

The President of the Board said that it was necessary to announce that not a single Indian Muslim will extend support to Muslim Brotherhood because extremism does not conform to the line of thought of Indian Muslims. The President of the Board further said that such announcements of support to Muslim Brotherhood were part of efforts to woo such forces that are eager to enter South Asia.

The Muslim personalities and organisations supporting and vouching for Muslim Brotherhood ignore or try to suppress the truth that after they came to power, they unleashed a reign of terror not only among the minorities but also among Muslims who opposed Muslim Brotherhood on political grounds.

Muslim Brotherhood was an Islamic political party with radical leanings, but it had a large number of supporters among the Egyptian masses. Soon after it came to power, it faced opposition from a secular section of Muslims as well as Christians who had come under fire in the Morsi regime. Brotherhood adopted an intolerant stance against the protestors, killing or incarcerating them.

Some Ulema made the matter worse for Muslim Brotherhood. For example, Abu Islam who owned a TV channel called Al Ummah started issuing objectionable Fatwas, objectionable from his TV station. When the blasphemous film “Innocence of Muslims” was released, in protest he tore off the pages of Bible saying he did not recognise Bible as a holy book as the word Bible was not mentioned either in the Quran or in the holy sayings of the prophet (pbuh). For that he was charged with blasphemy and jailed. Before that, he had called for the rape of women protesters who were protesting against Morsi government along with men. On the second anniversary of the revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood men sexually assaulted or raped more than 19 women and girls to deter them from demonstrating against Muslim Brotherhood government. The statement of Abu Islam highly un-Islamic and showed his disregard for women. The statement said:

“They tell you women are a red line. They tell you that naked women -- who are going to Tahrir Square because they want to be raped -- are a red line! And they ask Mursi and the Brotherhood to leave power!,” he said.“They have no shame, no fear and not even feminism. Practice your feminism, Sheikha! It is a legitimate right for you to be a woman,” “And by the way, 90 percent of them are crusaders and the remaining 10 percent are widows who have no one to control them. You see women talking like monsters.”

During the protests, the Morsi government used the army to crush the protestors killing many people. The upper house of Egyptian Parliament had passed a government proposed legislation gave sweeping powers to the army to arrest any civilian that reminded Egyptians of the emergency during Hosni Mubarak.

Before their coming to power, when the referendum for the new constitution was to be conducted, the Muslim Brotherhood had made it clear to the voters that opposing Muslim Brotherhood was synonymous with opposing Islam. (And opposers of Islam were apostates worthy to be killed).

There were also incidents of kidnapping Christian girls by Islamic mullahs and forcing them to convert to Islam. Many Christian girls were reported missing. This created an atmosphere of fear among the minorities.

The anti-Morsi protests were so enormous and wide that people were clashing with the army in eleven cities including Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. They had surrounded government buildings and clashed with the forces. This shows that a liberal section of Muslims was against the Morsi led Muslim Brotherhood government because of their undemocratic, dictatorial, anti-minority and anti-women behaviour and policies.

The unrest among the secular, democratic forces gave the military the opportunity to overthrow the government. Muslim Brotherhood invited its own downfall due to its over ambitiousness and radicalisation efforts. After the coup d'etat, the Morsi government was meted out the same treatment by the army, Morsi had himself meted out to the protestors and the general Muslims of Egypt. The oppressors became the victims overnight.

When supporting and presenting Muslim Brotherhood members as martyrs in the path of God, the mainstream fundamentalist Indian Muslim organisations ignore and suppress these facts. The fact is that before being overthrown by the Egyptian army, the Muslim Brotherhood government paved its own way by antagonising the vocal liberal section of Muslims and Christians through their extremist and radical policies. The rape and sexual harassment of women by Muslim Brotherhood cadre put the final nail in the coffin of the MB government.