“The stark discourse of The Jurisprudence of the Popular Resistance to the Coup is the result of an ongoing fundamental reorientation in Egyptian Islamism and specifically the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the consequence of the Muslim Brotherhood witnessing significant and dizzying changes, extreme repression, and both internal and outside pressure to articulate an Islamist methodology that can be relevant to its base.”
“Yet, as explained, not every Brother is completely on board with the new vision laid out by the new guard of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although they may agree with the premises of some of the arguments, they fundamentally disagree on the utility of violence in the current Egyptian context. Others who do so on personal and religious grounds may find some acts of violence allowed, but murder to be strictly prohibited unless in cases such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
"Although it is important to highlight that the views expressed in the book, and other radical documents, are not representative of the entire Muslim Brotherhood. It is also important not to dismiss that they are representative of at least one major legitimate faction of the group. This faction, to a considerable extent, is represented in the Muslim Brotherhood’s new guard, which as of December 2016, has claimed total leadership over the organization. The detractors of this wing dismiss these arguments, the book, the Sharia Committee, and deny any relationship to violence. Despite this, violence has nonetheless been committed by actors who appear to be clearly inspired by this Brotherhood faction and it remains to be seen which faction has more supporters inside Egypt."
“Moreover, as the book’s own language shows, the radical arguments made within it are not confined to Egypt. There is today a new generation of Muslim Brothers, both young and old, who see the utility in violence, support it, and even engage in it. The Egyptians among them are scattered outside Egypt in Turkey, Sudan, and beyond. Other Brothers and fellow travelers in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and the Gulf, have also been involved in either supporting or carrying out violence in recent years—even if this takes the form of rebel militias. The risk to Egypt is further radicalization and adoption of violence in the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood that could prove destabilizing if it is not checked by authorities. The risk to the region, and perhaps beyond, is that Salafi-Jihadi groups may no longer be the only Islamists with a monopoly over the use of violence to bring about the sought-after Islamist change.”
Regardless of any bias by the author, the article raises key questions around how the Ikhwan will evolve in Egypt and elsewhere. The insurgency in the Sinai and challenges the Egyptian military and police are having (plus the role of MB groups in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, etc.) underscore the importance of the questions posed by the author.
What impact will the retrenchment of military rule in Egypt supported by Gulf Arab money have on the long term fortunes of the Brotherhood, and how will Ikhwan groups elsewhere look to shape the political (and security) landscape outside of Egypt? The Virginian