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Top Brotherhood leader chosen unanimously, has backing of senior officials

March 27, 2023 at 12:29 pm

Acting General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr Salah Abdel-Haq who was appointed to the post in February 2023 [Arabi21/Youtube]

MEMO has obtained details of the meeting in which the Muslim Brotherhood membership had the opportunity to discuss the selection of Dr Salah Abdel-Haq as the new leader of the movement. Abdel-Haq succeeds acting guide Ibrahim Mounir.

The movement issued a statement last week, a copy of which was received by MEMO, saying that, “The General Shura [Consultative] Council elected Abdel-Haqq as Acting General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, thus becoming the group’s most senior official.” It added that Abdel-Haq won the unanimous support of the Egyptian and international Shura Council of the Brotherhood.

Informed sources told MEMO that the private meeting was attended by more than 1,500 Brotherhood senior officials and members, including young people and women. The discussion focused on the new guide’s actions regarding the movement’s internal affairs.

A number of the members of the Brotherhood’s high leadership council took part in the meeting, including Muhyi Al-Zait, Muhammad Al-Buhairi, Helmy Al-Jazzar, Ahmed Shusha, Sharif Al-Din Mahmoud, Abdel Moneim Al-Barbari, Muhammad Al-Jazzar, Muhammad Al-Faqi, Al-Sa’dani Ahmad Al-Bari and Suhaib Abdul Maqsud.

The sources added that the council which coordinates relations between the Brotherhood in different countries “pledged allegiance to Abdel-Haq as acting guide.” This was despite the rejection of the appointment by the movement’s former Secretary-General, Mahmoud Hussein, according to whom the selection of Abdel-Haq “goes against the regulations.”

The movement pointed out that Abdel-Haq was chosen because of his organisational background, as he was a member of the historic leadership cohorts that did not participate in political work. His focus was on the Brotherhood’s “educational and organisational” aspects. “Choosing a leader who was not part of the dispute that the movement has witnessed during the past few months contributed to him gaining a lot of legitimacy,” explained the sources.

Many senior Brotherhood officials across Egypt have pledged their allegiance to the new acting guide, they added. This grants him legitimacy, regardless of Hussein’s comment.

The new leader’s priority is to “bring together the inner ranks of the group and refer back to the constants” of the movement. In his speech at the meeting he focused on the group’s internal issues, and presented the stances of the group’s founder, Hassan Al-Banna, while avoiding direct talk about political issues.

In response to a question about the absence of politics in his speech, the sources said, “The goal now is to organise the group from within, and to solve the problems resulting from the group’s repression and persecution [in Egypt].” They noted that the political influence of the new Brotherhood leader will appear with time, after uniting the internal ranks.

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