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- January 4, 2010
- 35 minutes read
Mohamed Badea, A man who unites not divides
His appearance brings to mind the image of historical leaders of the group. A light beard, a thin face, glasses and Malaysian hat.
His temperament is of a pure, patient, pious, modest and humble person. Possessing a beautiful voice he is constantly reciting Quran; while being in the company of his Brothers he chants beautiful songs speaking of resilience and Islamic victory
These are some qualities of Mohamed Badea a potential candidate for the MB eighth chairman. Mohamed Badea Abdel Magid Sami was born in the city of Al-Mahala Al-Kobra 1943. He was the son of a religious man who instilled in him the love of education which encouraged him to join the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Cairo in 1960. After graduating he worked as a teacher’s assistant in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,Assiut University in 1965. During these years a major shift happened in the life of Badea.
The spirit’s return
In 1959, Badea met with Dr Mohamed Soliman Al-Naggar a Syrian member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group.It was Dr. Al-Naggar who encouraged him to become a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. Despite the atmosphere of fear at that time he found the idea appealing. Al-Naggar’s sincerity and dedication for the cause was inspiring and it had a positive impact on Badea. Badea was very fond of the doctor where he asserted that he was the one who taught him and filled gaps.
During the same year he started to memorize the last chapter of Quran and later met with Sayyed Qutb as his mentor gave him the last part of “in the Shadow of Quran”. Badea described that part of his life where he believed that the Quran lifted his spirit like it had never done before.
The most important meeting in the life of Badea was his meeting with Abdel Fattah Ismail, a Grain Merchant from the Damietta governorate who was travelling at the due to his work. Ismail and was introduced to the kind and religious student (Badea) who joined the MB and was about to graduate, Ismail persuaded him to join the network which was later known as the “network of 65”.
Badea quickly responded to Abdel Fattah Ismail and Mahmoud Abdel Fattah Al-Sherif as he was fond of the writings of Qutb and started reading books by Hamida Qutb, Zainab Al-Ghazaly and others. The books were motivating and he felt very enthusiastic for the well-being of Islam where he affirmed his keenness to dedicate his life for Allah, Islam and all that was virtuous.
The Whip and the Tormentor
The Network of 65 was quickly known and Badea was arrested and fell victim to the harsh tortures in the Abdul Nasser’s political prisons; however he stoically endured the hardships faced in prison.
Badea did not forget the bitterness of torture and lashes; he asserted “man can never forget the ordeals he has been through, in the Military Prisons they used to make us wait in line to be tortured. We had a brother who used to always recite loudly ‘if you suffer, they suffer, and ‘days will rotate, do not feel sad or humiliated if you are true believers as you are the higher ones’ and everyone could hear his voice in their cells; we were strengthened by these comforting words.
Badea understood the saying of Qutb “this Quran was revealed intense weather hence will only be understood in the intense weather it was revealed in”.
Although prisons have a negative impact on people transferring them into people who are bitter and full of hate towards the people responsible for their torture, Badea became more spiritual coming closer to Allah where he was with one with the angels as he described the loneliness he suffered in prison.
Back to Education
Badea spent seven years behind prison bars of the prison and was released in 1974 and later received his Masters, in Veterinary Medicine, from Zaqaziq University in 1977. He worked as a Teacher’s assistant and married the daughter of Mr Mohamed Al-Shenawi who was imprisoned with him in the same case. Al-Shenawi, Pilot Officer, was a member of the old special system of the MB and was a companion and colleague of Mostafa Mashhour.
Badea’s activities were indefinite from the late 70’s to the late 80’s. This was the phase in which the MB was being re-structured in Egypt.
It was also the period in which the third MB leader Omar Al-Telmesani was the Chairman. Badea never revealed his thoughts of Al-Telmesani; however people informed us that Badea and most his peers were not satisfied with Al-Telmesani’s performance or his views. It was also said that Badea was close to Mashhour and Al-Shenawi working with them away from Al-Telmesani. Al-Telmesani was not loved by them since he was a member of the committee which tried the members of the Special System after the killing of Al-Khazendar and convicted Mashhour and those with him.
Badea travelled to Yemen during the period of Al-Telmesani’s leadership from 1982-1986, and this made his efforts unheard of in Egypt, however due to his scientific achievements he was listed in the record of the Great Arab Scientists and the MB considered him as one of a handful of the prestigious Arab scientists.
Moving to the South
Badea moved from Zaqaziq governorate where he used to work to Bani Suef governorate in 1987 and was appointed as a professor in Bani Suef University at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine after he completed his PhD in 1977 from Zaqaziq University. The reason for his move remains unknown.
It was assumed that Badea was sent to Bani Suef by Mostafa Mashhour and his men, because it had a person who was not under their influence namely Hasan Gouda, the person in charge of the MB in Bani Suef at that time. Badea was there to achieve two goals: to set an administrative office there under the control of a follower of Mashhour and the to make Badea a representative of Bani Suef in the Executive Bureau of theMuslim Brotherhood group in order to strengthen the group of Mashhour and his men as this was not going to be achieved as long as Badea stayed in Mahalla, Zaqaziq.
This was then achieved as he became representative of Bani Suef in the Executive Bureau and was in charge of the whole Upper Egypt region. This contradicted the MB practice which prefers to appoint those in charge to be from the province so that they may be familiar with the families and their traditions.
The Prison Once Again
Badea almost forgot the bitterness of the prison after remaining clear from the systems close eye. However it seems that the minister was monitoring him and the Egyptian authorities once again arrested him in the so-called case of the “Association of Islamic Society” which was founded by Hasan Gouda where Badea head its Board of Directors. This was his first arrest since 1965 and he remained detained for 75 days.
The most serious arrest for Badea was in the case of “the Unionists” in 1999 where he was tried in a Military Tribunal and was sentenced to five years imprisonment where he served 3 years and 9 months and was released in 2003.
On October 14, 1999, in the Engineers Syndicate premises in the Maadi area, the Egyptian authorities arrested a group of MB unionists including Mokhtar Noah, Khaled Badawy and Mohamed Badea and referred them to a military tribunal. Mokhtar Noah had succeeded in forcing the government to hold elections for lawyers after filing many cases against it; this was not welcome by the government as he passed on his influences and experiences to other unions.
During the trial, Badea found himself amid a generation he never knew before but he loved them and they loved him and the relation between them grew. They described him as a pure and spiritual person and one of his new colleagues described him saying “he is a man you like once you get to know him”.
During our inquiries on Badea we asked one of the prisoners from the middle generation about him and he told us that Badea put up with some MB members because of the relationship he had with that generation but he was very patient and people like Mokhtar Noah, whose membership in the group is frozen, always publishing his books with a dedication to Mohamed Badea and saying “I like this man”. It was also said that if any problems appeared in the group he solves it because he is a man that unites people not divide them.
A Man of a Cause, not Politics
Badea always cites verses from the Quran and Hadith in his speeches and the interviews we collected about him. He answers all political questions or questions with regards to the problems of the group by quoting verses from the Quran and Hadith then he simplifies it and applies it to the realm as he believes that all answers are available in the Quran.
When asked about the media campaign of the MB or even football he quotes verses from the Quran or Sunnah. When he was asked about the team he is a fan of he said “I do not have a preference between clubs, I search for the best club in manors and behaviors to like and support and I see that the players of Al-Ahli club are the best generally. I also support Al-Mahalla team to go to the league, in addition to the national team of my country and he concluded saying “my country, even if it was unfair to me, it is still dear, and my people, even if they didn’t give me, they are still generous”.
Badea and general work
On the intellectual and political level, Badea doesn’t differ much from his generation; however some have assured us that he is more tolerant than his generation allowing and encouraging new ideas and initiatives.
Perhaps some of his articles and the few interviews with him on the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood illustrates some of his qualities as he believes in an Islamic state not a religious one, he sees that the leader should have both religious and leadership duties parallel to that of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) as he was the leader of the state, the one who implements the rulings of the judiciary while also leading the army.
When he speaks about democracy he says “if people chose something illegal that cannot be implied and was contrary to the Sharia, then it cannot be applied.
He also stressed that the MB will accept the outcome of the elections even if it came in favour of Gamal Mubarak as long as elections are run fairly, freely and with transparency as Gamal has the right to run for the presidency elections like anyone else, only on one condition which is opening the door for all Egyptians equally in free and fair elections, but if he became the President through non-transparent elections or bequeathing then he will not be accepted legally and democratically.
Badea refuses to leave political work and be free for the cause, because he sees that this is compatible with the regimes plan to freeze the MB and abolish it completely. He also believes that neither women nor Coptics may lead according to a religious view.
Badea refuses the principle of dealing with the government, but he doesn’t refuse negotiations and he stresses that “there are no deals at the expense of any principles, values or goals of each party and to preserve the state, we do not only seek dialogue with the government which represents one party, but we seek a dialogue with all forces which shape the political map of Egypt and this is what the country needs”.
He proves to be one of the most sincere people to the movement. He considers the organization an educational host of the MB group which guarantees its continuity all this time. He has proved that his public speech is embedded for the cause as he says “we worship Allah by adhering to the Shura, the group’s regulations, believing in the leadership with the required advice to the imams of Muslims and the public and its legitimacy and ethics and with the unity and purity of hearts we will achieve victory and will get rewarded Insha’Allah”.