Signs of growing radicalization within the Muslim Brotherhood, What's next for the Muslim Brotherhood? (AlAhram).
It has been speculated, but this week it went from the assumed into the effectively announced: small factions of younger members of the Muslim Brotherhood are finding their way to join the most recent and harshest version of political Islamic militant groups: Islamic State (IS).
The frontpage story of the Cairo daily Al-Shorouk by Muslim Brotherhood expert-journalist Mohamed Khayyal quoted informed sources within the oldest political Islam group of a limited but significant split of a small group of younger Muslim Brotherhood members from the mother organisation after having lost hope that their organisation would be spared the 'systematic security persecution' that has been unabated since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood from power on 3 July 2013, following 30 June nationwide demonstrations calling for President Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the group, to step down one year after having assumed his position.
On several Twitter and Facebook accounts, members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are now settling away from Egypt in several Arab, Middle Eastern and African states, lamented the development and blamed it fully on what they qualified as harsh oppression by the security forces in Egypt of its members, irrespective of the degree of their political activism or lack thereof.
“It was coming round the corner for a few months,” said a source close to the Brotherhood group. “There has been recently voices within the group suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood is being treated from state and society as a terrorist group when it is not, and that if the members of the group know they are designated militant anyway, then they might as well pursue the militant path,” he added.
Researcher in the affairs of political Islamic groups Ahmed Ban concurs that the aggressive security approach, which has been targeting members of the Muslim Brotherhood, “has been only a catalyst for this recent wave of radicalisation.”
However, Ban insists that “it is only a catalyst and not the prime mover there — the prime locomotive for this transformation is the very base of the Muslim Brotherhood religious-political creed, that is not at all opposed to the accommodation of militant choices.”
“In fact, this is the prime choice of the Muslim Brotherhood and it was only put aside when the group felt it was either too costly from the security perspective, or un-needed from the political perspective; but this is what they believe in anyway,” Ban argued.
“Historically speaking, the Muslim Brotherhood had shown tendencies to fully embrace violence and instead of taking them away from that path, the state painted them exactly into this corner,” Kandil said.Informed legal sources with direct inroads into the Muslim Brotherhood speak of a mass exodus of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt to many countries.
There is much speculation about what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Iskandar fears further radicalisation across the Islamist camp that could prompt violence "against all those perceived by the angry youth as having been party, one way or another, to their current plight."
"And this might include the Christians, but it might also include members of the liberal camp and key figures of the 30 June Revolution.”
“I am afraid we are to relive the 1990s. I am actually concerned that things might be much worse than that,” Iskandar said. Read the full story here.