Five MB myths explained

Five MB myths explained

A recent article in the Washington Post by Lorenzo Vidino, a visiting fellow at the Rand Corporation, and the author of “The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West” outlines his  views regarding myths surrounding the popular Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

A less discriminate outlook has been contemplated by Western capitals as they discuss what role the MB would play in a new Egypt and a changing Middle East following the deposed dictator tyrant Mubarak.

According to the article the beliefs and history is clouded by misperceptions including:

The Muslim Brotherhood is a global organization

“Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood saw its ideas quickly spread throughout the Arab world and beyond. Today, groups in more than 80 countries trace their ideologies to the Brotherhood, but these entities do not form a cohesive unit. Globally, the Brotherhood is more a school of thought than an official organization of card-carrying members”.

The Brotherhood will dominate the new Egypt.

“This is not far-fetched, yet there are reasons to believe that the group will hardly dominate post-Mubarak Egypt. When I interviewed members of the Brotherhood’s Shura Council in 2009, they estimated that about 60 percent of Egyptians supported the group – seeing it as the only viable opposition to Mubarak – but that only 20 percent or so would support it in a hypothetical free election”.

The Brotherhood seeks to impose a draconian version of sharia law.

The group has consistently called for a civil state based on Islamic references with equal opportunities for all regardless of religion, colour and creed.
The Muslim Brotherhood has close ties to al-Qaeda.

The group denounces violence and reiterates it is after reform only through peaceful methods.

Washington can’t work with the Brotherhood.

“Washington and the MB occasionally put distrust aside to establish limited cooperation. Early in the Eisenhower administration, parts of the U.S. government have reached out to the group, seeing its religious message as a potential bulwark against communism”.