Politics, Middle East

Rifts widen within Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood has recently been plagued by growing division between older and younger members

Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed   | 16.12.2015
Rifts widen within Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood



 Rifts have widened within Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement ahead of the 5th anniversary of the popular revolution that ousted autocrat President Hosni Mubarak.

Once considered one of Egypt’s largest and best organized political movements, the Brotherhood has recently been plagued by a growing division between older and younger members.

While the group’s older members call for pursuing “peaceful” means in opposing the military-backed regime in Egypt, younger members are pressing for escalation.

The rift picked up steam on Monday when the Brotherhood’s London office sacked group spokesman Mohamed Montaser, in a decision that was rejected by 11 administrative offices.

The offices, for their part, described Montaser’s sacking as an attempt to undermine efforts to mark the anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolution.

In a statement, the Central Office for Brotherhood Students -- one of the group’s administrative offices -- said it will follow the “revolutionary approach” until “exacting revenge for the martyrs.”

The Brotherhood’s administrative offices in Cairo and Alexandria also said in separate statements that they will “only abide by decisions that were taken collectively and that represent the Brotherhood in the field of the revolution.”

‘No rift’

Muslim Brotherhood leader Gamal Heshmat, for his part, denied reports about a rift inside the movement.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Heshmat described the Brotherhood as a “group ruled by ethical values, behavioral rules and a reference management.”

He said that whoever “rebels against the group’s internal leadership is not from us.”

Since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader -- was ousted in a military coup, the group has been the target of a harsh crackdown by the Egyptian authorities.

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