Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?
Two Egyptian men hang out in Alexandria near a poster with a message against Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
February 1st, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

The scenes in Egypt have been dramatic, as thousands turn out onto the streets demanding that President Hosni Mubarak resign after 30 years in power. Few images have been more powerful than those of demonstrators dropping to the ground to pray in the face of security forces. And while some have been inspired by the role of religious faith in the protests, there are definite worries that the banned Muslim Brotherhood is waiting in the wings, hoping for a chance to take over.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been part of the political scene in Egypt for more than 80 years and advocates a move away from secularism and a return to the rules of the Quran. It's the oldest and largest opposition group in Egypt and is illegal under Egyptian law. And while the Brotherhood officially rejects the use of violent means to secure its goals, offshoots of the group have been linked to attacks in the past.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank has met with top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today on "American Morning," he gave his analysis on the Muslim Brotherhood's current role in Egypt. Cruickshank explains to AM's TJ Holmes why many are concerned about their influence and how their role in Egypt affects al Qaeda.

Learn more about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Watch American Morning weekdays 6am to 9am ET. For the latest from American Morning click here.

Filed under: TV-American Morning
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. IzDaMan

    This is the background of the MB:
    Brotherhood Has Grown in Influence

    The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt more than seven decades ago, is among the most powerful political forces in the Islamic world today.

    1928: The Muslim Brotherhood is formed in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna to promote a return to fundamental Islamic beliefs and practices and to fight Western colonialism in the Islamic world.

    Late 1930s: The Brotherhood starts forming affiliated chapters in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.

    1948: The Brotherhood is implicated in the assassination of Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Nuqrashi, who had banned the group. Al-Banna denies involvement.

    1949: The Egyptian government retaliates for Nuqrashi's assassination by killing al-Banna.

    1954: A Brotherhood member tries to assassinate Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and fails. Nasser executes several of the group's leaders and incarcerates thousands of its followers.

    1962: The Cultural Society is created as the first Brotherhood organization in the United States. Society members help establish numerous Islamic organizations, mosques and schools.

    1966: Sayyid Qutb, a Brotherhood ideologue who urged Muslims to take up arms against non-Islamic governments, is executed by Nasser's regime.

    1982: In Hamah, Syria, at least 10,000 people are killed by government troops suppressing an uprising by the Brotherhood.

    1993: The Muslim American Society, initially based in Illinois and now in Virginia, is created to be a more public face of the Brotherhood in the U.S.

    2001: The U.S. names Brotherhood member Youssef Nada and his Swiss-based investment network, allegedly established with backing from the Brotherhood, as terrorist financiers. Nada denies any terrorist links.
    2002: Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters fill the streets of Cairo during a funeral for group leader Mustafa Mashhour on Nov. 15.

    2003: U.S. authorities investigating alleged terrorism funding describe Virginia businessman Soliman Biheiri as the Brotherhood's "financial toehold" in the U.S. Biheiri denies any terrorist links.

    2004: The Egyptian government rounds up dozens of Brotherhood supporters, freezes members' assets and ousts one of its backers from parliament.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ralph

    Thanks for the info! That was the best reporting I have seen!

    February 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dennis

    A terrorist organization-pure and simple-but hey it's all done in the name of love, peace and brotherhood.

    February 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. duke

    Like the panthers,
    We know who will discredit their overall message through propaganda and fear??

    February 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. beezo

    Who is the brotherhood??.......Terrorist in training maybe

    February 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |

    what happens to the frozen assets?

    February 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dennis

    Why would cnn delete my comment? This is an organization that supports terrorism and the establishment of a caliphate in the mideast, n. Africa and europe! They are terrorists! Get over it cnn-i know u love them because although they support bombing and killing innocent people they do it in the name of love, peace and brotherhood

    February 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    What a surprise. I thought that the dictator Hosni Mubarak eliminated this group a long time ago. I still say that anyone can be a good alternative to this cursed Mubarak!

    February 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @Izdaman, great info. Glad to know their true colors. @Cesar*, Hi. Yea, anyone can be a good alternative except for you.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ed bailey

    They are no different than our home grown radicals like the mormons!

    February 2, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. IzDaMan

    If you want to know more about the MB look up the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas. You will see multiple unindictied co-consipirators who are now working directly for this administration. We must ask our selves why any administration would ever decide to put people who were part of the MB which is directly linked to Hamas and other terrorist organizations on their staff. But if you rerally want to know what the MB is up to look at this link http://www.oic-oci.org/ the Organnization of the Islamic Conference. In my estimation one of the most dangerous organizations toward the western world today. Also, research what the UN considers Human rights, you will find that the OIC has dictated these directly to be pro Muslim and anything that is against Muslim's according to the UN is now a violation of Human rights, it does not metion, any other religous, ethnic, or socio-economic, groups.

    February 2, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. duke

    And so the whitemans propaganda campaign begins!!
    According to the whites in america only their dictators will do!

    February 2, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Person

    Israel is becoming a nation. http://nopolicestate.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt_29.html

    February 3, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Middle East

    Muslims Brotherhood goal is NOT to win this election, but once they get their freedom they have the resources to jump from 30% to 85%.

    I am for the freedom of religion, and for the separation of state and religion, but when I am faced with a religion that is set to kill/terrorize me, my family, my neighbor and my country I have a problem with that. This kind of religion mentality should be exposed and we should stop protecting them under the umbrella of "freedom of religion".

    We shouldn't be fooled, They are not a political parties, they are a religious parties that believes that who is not a Muslim is actually an infidel "infidels should be killed and terrorized". MB want to use politics to take government and power. Once they are in power THEY WILL force their believes/agenda/shariaa.

    Muslims Brotherhood, Hammas, Alqaeda, Hezb Allah and many other islamic radical organization are about 2 things (that can not be separated):
    1- Submission to Quran
    2- To bring the whole world under iIslamic Sharia (law) by using whatever force necessary.

    Its beyond me why Westerners are not asking radicals Muslims: What makes Muslims "the only Nations on earth" that ask its youth to wear an explosive belt and kill civilian -old and young. those killing are happening everyday in around the world, All in the name of 'Allah"? Is it The Quran teaching ???

    Someone may say; Islam is "peace" that's what is stand for. 🙂
    Really? So how come the daily killing of civilians in the name of Allah? How come no one protesting that??

    Muslims believes that if you don't terrorize your "infidel" neighbor , then you're not a true Muslim.

    Here are few verses that will expose the "Quran" that incite murder:

    – Slay the unbelievers whenever you find them ( 2:191)
    – Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood (9:123)
    – When opportunity arises, Kill the infidels whenever you catch them (9:5)
    – Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)
    – Any religion other than islam is not acceptable (3:85)
    – The Jews and Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
    – Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam (5:30)
    – The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)
    – Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods boiling water; melt their skin and bellies (22:19)
    – Do not hanker for peace with the infidels behead them when you catch them (47:4)
    – The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
    – Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
    – Terrorized and behead those who believe in scripture other than the Quran (8:12)
    – Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels (8:60)

    Unfortunately, when dealing with Muslims, one must keep in mind that Muslims can communicate something with apparent sincerity, when in reality they may have just the opposite agenda in their hearts. Bluntly stated, Islam permits Muslims to lie anytime that they perceive that their own well-being, or that of Islam, is threatened.
    In the sphere of international politics, the question is: Can Muslim countries be trusted to keep their end of the agreements that they sign with non-Muslim nations? It is a known Islamic practice, that when Muslims are weak they can agree with most anything. Once they become strong, then they negate what they formerly vowed.

    An example of Islamic deception is that Muslim activists always quote the passages of the Quran from the early part of Mohammed's ministry while living in Mecca. These texts are peaceful and exemplify tolerance towards those that are not followers of Islam. All the while, they are fully aware that most of these passages were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by passages that came after he migrated to Medina. The replacement verses reflect prejudice, intolerance, and endorse violence upon unbelievers.

    In conclusion, it is imperative to understand, that Muslim leaders can use this loop-hole in their religion, to absolve them from any permanent commitment. It is also important to know that what Muslim activists say to spread Islam may not always be the whole truth. When dealing with Muslims, what they say is not the issue. The real issue is, what they actually mean in their hearts.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |