The Propaganda Narrative of a Peaceful Muslim Brotherhood

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Three years after the Syrian destabilization began in earnest, it appears that the propaganda narrative surrounding the nature of the so-called “Syrian rebels” is wearing away as more and more Americans realize that the “rebels” are actually nothing more than Western-backed fundamentalists and mercenaries. However, while the propaganda revolving around Syria seems to be failing, it appears to be much more successful in regards to current events taking shape in Egypt.

Indeed, the narrative constantly played throughout the mainstream and, unfortunately, alternative media largely constructs the Muslim Brotherhood “opposition” as peaceful protesters who are merely fighting for democracy, free elections, and self-determination. However, as I have written on numerous occasions, the fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than a conglomeration of religious fanatics, dupes, and corrupt individuals of varying societal status. In addition, the Muslim Brotherhood is tied at the hip to Western intelligence, most notably that of the British and Americans.

Nevertheless, the tired propaganda of the corporate media which has been used in Egypt, Libya, and Syria is being used once again in Egypt and, unfortunately, is continuing unabated even by much of the alternative media.

Yet nowhere is the intentional obfuscation more obvious than in the mainstream outlets which clearly seek to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as the “good guys” of the confrontation between the Brotherhood and the government. Indeed, in an article written by Michael Georgy and Tom Perry entitled “Special Report: As Egypt’s Brotherhood retreats, risk of extremism rises,” a clear attempt is made to portray the Brotherhood as being “committed to peaceful protest” an eschewing violence while also attempting to paint a more human face on the organization.


Perhaps unintentionally, the Reuters article manages to shed some light on the manner in which the Brotherhood operates inside Egypt when it explained the nature and operations of the usra – a small grouping of members headed by a religious leader that advises and guides the members in every aspect of their lives. Even more so, while the article attempts to portray to the Brotherhood as the victim of violence, upon more careful and informed reading, it actually depicts the violent nature of the organization and the methods used to inflict such terror upon the Egyptian government.

First, mention should be made of the usra groups. While the article largely portrays the groups as mere social gatherings, support groups, and “Bible-study” style meetings, the fact is that these small enclaves are actually individual brainwashing and control operations designed to fill the minds of the participants with fundamentalist drivel and direct them in destabilization tactics and violent terroristic behavior.

Yet, even the Reuters article is forced to admit that the usras are more than mere social clubs for Brotherhood fanatics when it states that “The usra was devised by Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, to indoctrinate and mobilize followers. Usras typically used to meet once a week for at least three hours, usually at the home of a member. The usra leader could be so pivotal that members sought their permission to travel to Cairo.” [emphasis added]

The fact that indoctrination and mobilization are admittedly the main purposes of the usra is telling indeed, as it demonstrates that the usras are nothing more than miniature fundamentalist training camps that also function as low-level sleeper cells.

Still, the article projects a strange and illogical propaganda narrative surrounding the violence of the Brotherhood when it suggests that, because of the recent Egyptian government crackdown on both the organization and its usras, the “risk of extremism” is growing. In other words, the argument is that, by dismantling organizations that guided and facilitated terror, fundamentalists, and their perpetrators, the Egyptian government is causing the fundamentalists to become more prone to physical violence.

For instance, Georgy and Perry write that

some outside experts fear the severity of the crackdown could backfire. “The weekly usra meeting is a very important tool in shaping the mindset and behavior of Brotherhood members. The alternative might be an extreme path,” said Khalil al-Anani, senior fellow at The Middle East Institute in Washington. 

This might replicate the 1950s and 1960s when the state cut links between the leadership and grassroots, leading in the end to the deviation of youth and creation of groups that started insurgencies. [emphasis added]

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The two also include quotes from an interview from a Muslim Brotherhood member going by the name of Ahmed Nabil when they write,

In Nabil’s eyes, the usras, which provide everything from Koran studies to marriage counseling, are crumbling. That raises the risk the organization will fracture, and that some members will abandon peaceful activism to take up arms. 

[…] 

All these military actions against us, including killing and torture and arrests, push us to respond with force. One prays that God ends the crisis before we reach the situation in Syria,” he said, referring to civil war in that country. “As our grand guide (top leader) said, ‘Our peaceful ways are stronger than a bullet.

Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood is only peaceful when events are proceeding according to their plan. The moment their fundamentalist authoritarian goals start to derail is the moment that violence begins. Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood is on track toward bringing Egypt to the situation in Syria if allowed to continue staging uprisings and violent attacks against the government, Christians, and the rest of the Egyptian population.

It is important to remember that the Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Egypt have themselves been caught in numerous violent acts, such as firing weapons at Egyptian police after the ouster of Morsi and even throwing political opponents off rooftops, and firing rocket-propelled grenades at a state satellite facility. The Brotherhood detonated a car bomb outside of a building which housed some Egyptian intelligence officers in Ismailia. This is in addition the targeting of Christian churches for destruction, regardless of the fact that these churches, nor those who worship in them, had anything to do with the perceived wrongs done to the Muslim Brotherhood. Clearly, this is fanaticism in all its glory.

These type of violent acts and unmitigated fanaticism is why the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people despise the Brotherhood. During the initial campaign of violence surrounding the Brotherhood’s expulsion from a massive protest camp and the subsequent clashes between the Brotherhood and the Egyptian security forces, many Egyptian citizens formed their own organic security brigades to prevent the Brotherhood members from entering their neighborhood and engaging in violence and other forms of disturbance. Many of these brigades actually armed themselves with machetes and stood guard over their neighborhoods all throughout the day and night.

Although the Reuters article portrays these people as “thugs,” even this mainstream write-up was forced to admit that the Brotherhood is widely hated amongst the Egyptian people. It states,

Pro-government activists called baltagiya, or thugs, usually attack the processions from behind, using everything from rocks to swords and guns, demonstrators say. Nabil pointed to Egyptian flags held by Brotherhood members and said: “Actually those flags have another purpose. When we are attacked, people holding them flip them around and use the wooden poles to defend protesters.” 

He cannot count, as the Brotherhood once did, on popular support. During one demonstration, Nabil and a friend looked up at the balconies of surrounding buildings to find people insulting them and hurling water. “Every week we count the numbers of people who are against us,” he said.

The article also tells of a joke circulating around Egypt regarding just how hated the Muslim Brotherhood is by the general populace. “A boy who wants to have his father killed leaves their fifth floor apartment, goes to the ground floor and posts a sign at the entrance, ‘Muslim Brotherhood headquarters is located on the fifth floor, apartment three.’”

With this in mind, any talk of supporting democracy and the will of the Egyptian people by the Muslim Brotherhood, Western governments, or mainstream media outlets should be dismissed out of hand as the Brotherhood clearly does not have the support of the Egyptian people. If these sources truly value “democracy” and the respect of the will of the people, then the fact that the overwhelming majority of Egyptians have spoken against the Muslim Brotherhood should end the debate.

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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 275 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 


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