Le Monde: Akef is a Modernizing Leader

The French Le Monde labeled the Muslim Brotherhood’s Leader, Muhammad Akef, ’a guide of modernization’ of the group. In its reportage, the daily reviewed Akef’s biography along with the group’s gains under his presidency.

Since leadership is the motivated factor behind the success or failure of any organization, Le Monde depicted the role of Akef in leading the group to its recent political and media victory. Although the report is short, its content is significant. The following is a translation of the report.

Muhammad Akef…the Guide of Modernization

No one denies that the present Supreme Guide of the historical group of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Akef, its seventh leader, is a symbol of modernization.

Mr. Akef was born in 1928, the same year in which the group has been founded. He worked a sports teacher. Enjoying a charismatic personality, Mr. Akef is able to steer reform and modernization process in the Muslim Brotherhood, especially via adopting the policy of openness.

Akef spent most of his lifetime in jails. He has been sentenced to death at the heels of an attempt on the late president Nasser’s life. The capital sentence has been reduced to lifetime imprisonment. But he was released in the presidential term of Anour el-Sadat. Akef, then, was dispatched to Munich to join the world organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. Upon his return to Egypt in 1996, he was sentenced to 3-year imprisonment.

Comparing to previous leaders of the group, Akef is middle-of-the-road. He, in addition, is appreciated by the new generation of the group. Thanks to Akef’s moderate but effective political campaign, the Muslim Brotherhood picked up 88 seats in the parliament during the parliamentary elections of last year’s Nov. and Dec.