Opinions on Muslim Brotherhood

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The Society of the Muslim Brothers (Arabic: جماعة الإخوان المسلمين‎), shortened to the Muslim Brotherhood (الإخوان المسلمون al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn), is a transnational Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928. The organisation gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its "model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work", and in 2012 sponsored the first democratically elected political party in Egypt. However, it suffered from periodic government crackdowns for alleged terrorist activities, and as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state." Its mottos include "Believers are but Brothers", "Islam is the Solution", and "Allah is our objective; the Qur'an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish." It is financed by members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement, and was for many years financed by Saudi Arabia, with whom it shared some enemies and some points of doctrine.

As a Pan-Islamic, religious, and social movement, it preached Islam, taught the illiterate, set up hospitals and business enterprises. The group spread to other Muslim countries but has its largest, or one of its largest, organizations in Egypt despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965, and 2013 after plots, or alleged plots, of assassination and overthrow were uncovered. Over the years it also developed branches in other Muslim countries.

The Arab Spring brought it legalisation and substantial political power at first, but as of 2013 it has suffered severe reversals. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was legalized in 2011 and won several elections, including the 2012 presidential election when its candidate Mohamed Morsi became Egypt's first democratically elected president. One year later, however, following massive demonstrations, Morsi was overthrown by the military and arrested. As of 2014, the organization has been declared a terrorist group both in Egypt and by its erstwhile ally Saudi Arabia, and is once again suffering a severe crackdown in Egypt as well as pressure in other Arab countries.

The Brotherhood itself insists it is a peaceful, democratic organization, and its' leader "condemns violence and violent acts".


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