Organizational Split and Radicalization Within Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Source: Washington Institute

Author(s): Annette Ranko and Mohammad Yaghi

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Internal structural changes and ideological rifts have given rise to new strategies for legitimizing violence.

On February 20, Egypt executed nine Muslim Brotherhood members convicted of taking part in the 2015 assassination of Hisham Barakat, the country’s top prosecutor. Although the MB’s traditional leadership denied involvement in the crime, they do not enjoy the rigid control they once had over the membership. Amid ongoing repression since the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi’s MB-led government, the group has split into two camps that maintain separate organizational structures and follow antipodal views on how to deal with the current situation. One camp believes the MB should confront Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s government peacefully. Yet the other camp advocates a revolutionary path that legitimizes violence while distinguishing it from the jihadist bloodshed Egypt has been plagued with in recent years—a message that may resonate more strongly within the country’s Islamist mainstream. 

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