The Muslim Brotherhood is considered the largest and most powerful opposition group in Egypt. The Brotherhood was founded by teacher and Islamic scholar Hassan El Banna in 1928 as a social and political group.
The group advocates the return to Islam represented in the Quran and Sunnah as a solution to all the problems plaguing the Muslim Nation.
The group believes that Islam should be implemented in all fields of life including politics, translated in their slogan “Islam is the solution.”
The group’s main objectives are the introduction of the Islamic Shariah as the basis controlling the affairs of state and society and achieving unity among the Islamic countries and states.
By the early 1950s, the Brotherhood had expanded to the Arab world and established branches in Syria, Sudan, and Jordan. Soon, its influence was felt in places as far away as the Gulf and non-Arab countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The group is known for its charitable work in the community including education, health and job-training programs.
The Brotherhood in Egypt rejects violence and adopts a peaceful approach aimed at the Islamic reform of society, except in the late 40s and 50s when assassinations were executed by members of the Brotherhood secret service including the assassination of former Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud El-Noqrashy and Judge Ahmed El-Khazendar in 1948.
The Brotherhood’s secret service was established between 1938 and 1940 and, according to the Brotherhood, their main objective was to fight the Israeli invasion of Palestine and the British occupation of Egypt, but the government viewed it as a violent organization aiming to topple the government.
The group has been banned in Egypt since 1954, when one of its members was convicted the attempt to assassinate late president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The group had denied involvement in the incident and accused the government of staging it to use it an excuse to prosecute the Brotherhood.
Although it is considered a “banned group” by the Egyptian government, its members are allowed to run in the parliamentary elections as independent candidates and they perform political and social activities somewhat freely, while being regularly subjected to government crackdowns which usually escalate prior to elections.
The 2009 internal elections of the MB Guidance Office highlighted wide ideological divisions among the group’s younger generation and the older, more conservative one, which dominated the polls.
On Oct 9, The Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei announced the group’s participation in the elections based on the vote of 98 percent of the Brotherhood Shoura Council members, further dividing the group and sparking a public feud among the “conservative” group and the younger generation, which the media described as “the MB Opposition Front.”
The Brotherhood launched several websites in 2000, topped by its official website. In 2005, Ikhwanweb was launched as the only official MB English website targeted to the group’s foreign audiences.
The group is fielding 130 candidates to contest 30 percent of the seats in the 2010 PA elections including 13 women running under the quota system that allocated 64 seats to women this year.
2005 – 88 seats (representing the largest opposition group in the PA)
2000 – 17 seats
1995 – 1 seat
1990 – Didn’t participate
1987 – 37 seats (in alliance with the Labor and Liberal Parties)
1984 – 10 seats (in alliance with Al Wafd Party)
Mohamed Badei – Supreme Guide
Mahmoud Ezzat – Deputy Supreme Guide
Essam Al Erian – Prominent MB leader
Saad Al Katatni – Head of the MB Parliamentary bloc