9 Bedford Row Report on the History of the Muslim Brotherhood


Post by Steven Kay QC 


Today, 9 Bedford Row released its Report on the History of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was commissioned by the State Lawsuit (Litigation) Authority of Egypt to provide an overview of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood looking at its structure, organisation and activities.

In the report, we review the Muslim Brotherhood’s objectives and growth strategy since its inception in 1928, up to the present day. There is analysis of the underlying tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood and its support and the methods employed to achieve its political goals

We have examined the organisational structure of the Muslim Brotherhood – a structure that has been substantially unchanged since its formation in the early 1930s. This has caused us to focus upon the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood’s paramilitary branch, the ‘Secret Apparatus’, and the central role it has held within the movement throughout its history. The key figures in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood are discussed, as is the formation and structure of the ‘international’ Muslim Brotherhood network.

There is also analysis of the underlying ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood from which various militant Islamists groups have originated. Specifically, in Chapter 4, we examine the origins of groups such as Al-Qa’ida, Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qassam Brigades and Sinai Province and their association with the Muslim Brotherhood. This review also includes the Muslim Brotherhood’s continued material support for these groups.

In Chapter 5, the report goes on to examine the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force in Egypt, including how, in the 1980s, it became the main opposition party. The group’s political trajectory and the consequent social effects of its rise in prominence are also discussed.

There is a brief introduction in the concluding Chapter 6 to the current status of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt following the revolution against President Morsi’s government in 2013. The topics discussed in Chapter 6, as well as other related topics, are to be analysed in greater detail in a series of subsequent reports that have been commissioned by the State Lawsuit (Litigation) Authority, namely: The Egyptian Experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Power, 2012-2013; The Egyptian Revolution Against the Muslim Brotherhood, 2013; and The Current Situation in Egypt. All of these are due to be completed in 2015.

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