The Intellectual Similarities between the Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadi Organizations.. (Insights From "The Mirage")

The Intellectual Similarities between the Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadi Organizations.. (Insights From “The Mirage”)

  • 3 February 2016

A number of ideas that have been accumulated over time and affect our everyday lives are rooted in the teachings of the Quran and traditions of the Prophet. These ideas represent a rich source of Islamic knowledge that has shaped Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), discourse and philosophy; and are characterized by the upholding of pluralism based on a depth of understanding and openness to alternative viewpoints. However, as independent reasoning (ijtihad) has become increasingly more constrained this valuable source of knowledge has to a large extent diminished.

With the advent of the so-called Islamic revival movement, a number of disjointed ideas have been expressed—all of which lack sincerity and reject the concept of pluralism. These ideas run contrary to the interests of Muslim communities and the advocates of such ideas fail to acknowledge the realities that people face, their level of suffering and the great lengths they go to in an attempt to change their own individual circumstances.

In The Mirage Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi offers a detailed examination of the thoughts and actions of a number of Islamic organizations and traces the pertinent similarities and differences between them, starting with the Muslim Brotherhood and ending with Da’esh.  Dr. Al-Suwaidi also highlights various other groups, organizations and movements that view Islam as an ideological springboard that subsequently enables them to achieve their own aspirations for political power, wealth and social status.

A number of key points shall be covered over the course of this lecture; the first of which concerns the relevant similarities and differences between the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadi organizations that are present in the Muslim world. The second concerns the outlook of political religious groups and their objectives. The third key point relates to the shared concepts that the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadi organizations all agree upon, such as those related to divine sovereignty (hakimiyya), the vanguard of true believers and mastership of the world (Ustatheyat Al-‘Alam).

The Muslim Brotherhood has sought to present itself as being wholly independent of and dissimilar to other political and religious groups that lean towards Salafism, are prone to violence and seek to distinguish themselves from broader society. However, the Brotherhood cannot conceal the similarities it shares with jihadi organizations given the attempts it has made to ensure that the philosophy of Sayyid Qutb prevails and the presence of the Secret Apparatus (the Brotherhood’s military wing). The Muslim Brotherhood’s links to Salafism and violent practices further serve to underline the fact that it should not be viewed in an altogether different light than that of jihadi organizations that advocate terrorism.



Wednesday 3 February 2016


Wednesday 3 February 2016