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Monday, December 21, 2020
Finally Al Azhar Succumbs To Egypt's President Al-Sisi's Pressure and Declares Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organisation
New Age Islam Special Correspondent
21 December 2020
The Al Azhar Fatwa Global Center has declared Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. According to the fatwa, joining Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups was forbidden by Shariah.
The fatwa said that these terrorist groups including Muslim Brotherhood have distorted some texts and have presented them out of context to achieve political goals. This way they have corrupted the land.
In the last few months, the Egyptian media had increased pressure on Al Azhar to declare Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The Egyptian government had declared the MB a terrorist organisation in 2013. The Saudi Arabia and the UAE had declared MB a terrorist organisation in 2014. But the Al Azhar was reluctant to issue a fatwa against it on the ground that Al Azhar did not want to be part of any political conflict. Some analysts feel that a dominant section of Al Azhar's professors and scholars subscribe to the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood.
In November this year, the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia and UAE classified Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation. And in November some important personalities of the UAE had contacted Al Azhar's Mohammad Al Tayyeb and asked him to declare MB a terrorist organisation but the Grand Imam of Al Azhar had reportedly told them that he did not want to jeopardise the image of Al Azhar by dragging it into a political conflict.
Therefore, Al Tayyeb sees the efforts to get MB declared a terrorist organisation as a political issue.
The reason behind the Saudi Arabia and the UAE or the Egyptian media upping the ante against the MB is that after coming to power the US President Joe Biden had expressed sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and the latter had congratulated him. Joe Biden's position on MB is in line with that of Obama who had said that cracking down on MB was against the approach of Islam.
The fatwa has been issued by the Al Azhar Fatwa Global Centre but the individual statement of the Grand Mufti of Al Azhar Mohammad Ahmad Al Tayyeb endorsing the fatwa has not come giving rise to the speculation that there is a sharp disagreement among the senior scholars of Al Azhar on the issue and the fatwa has been issued under the pressure of the government.
The reason for this speculation is that in November and December this year about a dozen imams and preachers of mosques were dismissed due to their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. On December 1, 2020, the Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammad Mokhtar Gomaa issued the letter dismissing Abdul Rahman Ahmad Qandil from service. According to the letter, he will not be allowed to lead prayers, mount the pulpit or give lessons in any mosque in the country.
Earlier in July, two imams were dismissed.
Similar letters have also been issued against other imams and preachers according to the order of the Supreme Court.
In November 2019, an advocate Samir Sabry had filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt against imams and preachers serving in mosques having links with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In November 2020 the Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Allam had presented quotations from books of the scholars of Al Azhar as their testimony to the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has a deviant ideology that led to the killing of innocent people, assassinations, acts of destruction and sedition.
It speaks of the difference of opinion between Sheikh of Al Azhar Al Tayyeb and Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam.
It has been the policy of the US to support and strengthen extremist Islamic groups in Muslim countries for its own political gains. It remains to be seen what policy Biden adopts on Muslim Brotherhood.