A Saudi writer now living in the US has said that the Muslim Brotherhood is not simply going to disappear. Jamal Khashoggi made his assertion during an interview on Al-Jazeera TV. Despite all the pressure on the movement, he insisted, its ideology will remain influential.
The journalist went on to explain that the movement will not be dissolved. Instead, he said, the talk should focus on the political role of the Brotherhood.
Khashoggi stressed that what the Brotherhood was exposed to during the time of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser from 1956 to 1970 was no more than what it is exposed to today. He pointed out the Nasser’s regime came to an end but the Muslim Brotherhood remained. This was a victory of sorts for the Islamist ideology adopted by the movement since its founding by Hassan Al-Banna in 1928.
“The Brotherhood won without knowing,” he suggested, adding that there was a project for the abolition of the Islamic group by Western liberal forces and by the communists who tried to abolish religion. According to Khashoggi, the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded in confronting this threat with the help of the late Saudi King Faisal Al-Saud, who was assassinated in 1975. In the end, he said, the Islamic ideology was established in Arab societies. “At any time that elections are held,” he claimed, “the Islamic faction — whatever its name is — will win.”
His conclusion is that the Muslim Brotherhood should not be preoccupied about its future, which is assured as long as the religion of Islam remains. However, he called upon the movement to get out of “the narrow scope of the organisation to the openness of the ideology” although he accepted that the organisation was necessary at a certain time.
Earlier, Khashoggi called upon Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to distance himself from what he called “exaggerated” sensitivity towards the Muslim Brotherhood. He was surprised by what he believes is a contradiction between the authorities’ inclusion of the group on the terrorist list in Saudi Arabia and the establishment of strong relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen, or receiving a Brotherhood official from Syria on Saudi territory.