Region | Egypt

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood youth establish non-violence group

Group has temporarily revoked its pledge to the Brotherhood and called for the removal of its head

  • By Ayman Sharaf, ‚Ä®Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 15:28 July 12, 2013
  • Gulf News

Cairo: About 500 young members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) announced on Wednesday the establishment of a movement inside their mother group called Brotherhood Without Violence.

The youth describe themselves as reformist, calling for the withdrawal of confidence from the Supreme Guide Mohammad Badie and electing new Guidance Bureau members, according to the movement’s coordinator Ahmad Yahya.

Brotherhood Without Violence said in a statement that “Badie and Guidance Bureau ignored repeated calls from the young reformists to prevent putting the Brotherhood on the brink of collapse”.

The logo of Brotherhood Without Violence bears much resemblance to the one of the MB, with a slight but significant difference. Both logos have a green background and a picture of the Quran, the logo of Brotherhood Without Violence replaces the Brotherhood’s swords with olive branches and a flying dove with national flag as its wing, and also replaces the phrase “be prepared” with “fear God”.

The idea of the movement came up after the ousted President Mohammad Mursi made his last televised statement, during which he rejected any compromise and repeated that he would pay his life and blood as “price for legitimacy”, said the movement’s coordinator Yahya.

“This attitude put the Brotherhood group on the brink, therefore we refused to take part in the pro-Mursi demonstrations and sit-ins,” said Yahya adding that they decided to officially establish the movement after the bloody incident of Republican Guards House.

“We insist on Badie’s resignation or withdrawing confidence from him after his inciting speech that did not care to preserve the Egyptians’ blood,” Yahya said.

On Monday early morning, an estimated 50 people were killed and hundreds injured in deadly clashes between security forces and pro-Mursi protesters outside the Republican Guards House in Cairo.

The tragedy came two days after Badie delivered a zealous speech to the angry masses at Rabi’ Al Adawiya Square in Cairo, vowing to sacrifice for Mursi’s return and denouncing the military procedures as “a coup”.

“Despite [the fact] the movement has just been established two days ago it’s getting popular,” according to another young member.

“There are 500 youth MB members now in the movement and we are communicating with others. Most of the youth Brotherhood members suffer the same thing. The senior leaders push them toward protests and confrontations while they appear on TV and get high posts,” he continued.

The man affirmed that they are not going to be dissidents from the MB, arguing that if Badie does not resign and give a chance to reformists, “we will announce our dissent from the MB and we will act in our own way as partners in the country”.

“We temporarily revoked our pledge to show ‘blind obedience’ to the group’s leader and we call for a fresh reformist leadership to run the group and rescue its declining popularity,” the statement said.

The new movement proposed to stop violence in exchange for the release of the ousted President Mohammad Mursi and all Brotherhood leaders.

The authorities had ordered the arrest of several leaders affiliated with the Islamist movement, including Badie, on charges of inciting violence against army troops and demonstrators opposing Mursi.

Yahya called for amending the Constitutional Declaration issued by interim President Adly Mansour, insisting that early presidential elections be held before parliamentary elections, military trials of civilians be outlawed, conditions for the committee amending the constitution be set, and all religious channels be reopened, pledging to renounce all forms of violence in exchange.

The new movement called on all political forces, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to engage in a national dialogue and develop guidelines for the transitional period. It also called for an impartial fact-finding committee of independent judges to identify those responsible for the recent acts of violence at the Republican Guard headquarters.

Yahya stressed that his movement seeks a positive change to the image of the Brotherhood that has recently lost a lot of supporters adding that the major flaw of the Brotherhood is its “policy of alienation”.

“The alienation of others, the non-amendment of the group’s 80-year-old internal regulations and the lack of youth leaders were among the flaws that led to Mursi’s quick downfall,” Yahya said.

“If Mursi had responded to opposition calls for a coalition government, an early presidential election or a referendum, he would have spared the country a lot of turmoil,” said Yahya.

Gulf News
News Editor's choice