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memri
March 14, 2019 No.
7941

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Calls For Anti-Regime Vengeance, Uprising Following Execution Of Its Activists

In February 2019, the Egyptian press reported that 15 members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) had been executed.[1] On February 20, nine young men were executed for the assassination of Egypt's prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat in 2015 – among them Ahmad Taha Wahdan, the son of Muhammad Taha Wahdan, a member of the Office of the MB General Guide. This is the first time the Egyptian regime has executed a son of a prominent MB official.[2] One week earlier, three men were executed for the murder of Egyptian General Nabil Faraj in 2013,[3] and two weeks before that another three were executed for killing the son of Appellate Court judge Mahmoud Al-Sayyid Al-Murli in 2014.[4]

The MB, both its old guard and its young guard, which is considered more militant,[5] responded to the executions with fury. The young guard condemned the executions and promised to continue its efforts to topple the regime and avenge its actions. An especially harsh statement was issued by this faction on February 21, following the execution of the nine convicted in the assassination of the prosecutor general, including the son of MB official Muhammad Taha Wahdan. The statement urged the MB activists to prepare for "a revolution that will not spare any of the oppressors, and [to] avenge the blood of the martyrs," even at the cost of their lives. The old guard issued a statement in which it expressed reservations about the young guard's violent rhetoric, but likewise called to unite for the sake of an uprising against the regime.

This report reviews the responses of the MB factions to the executions of the past month in Egypt.

MB Young Guard: Prepare For "A Revolution That Will Not Spare Any Of The Oppressors"

As stated, the MB young guard harshly condemned the executions and called to take revenge on the Al-Sisi regime and to continue the efforts to topple it until achieving either victory or martyrdom. Following the February 7 execution of the three convicted of killing the son of Judge Al-Murli, the young guard issued a statement expressing pain over "the loss of our brothers" and promising to continue fighting until "we attain victory... or else meet Allah as martyrs." The statement said: "Despite the pain caused by the loss of our brothers and the death of innocent people, [know that] today's execution and everything that preceded it – the death of a detainee due to medical neglect, the wholesale assassinations without trial or justice and the massacres and violations [of human rights] – [all of these] only increase our determination to complete our efforts to depose this criminal regime, restore freedom and justice to this homeland and mete out the appropriate punishment to all those who took part in spilling this pure blood and destroying this land and its resources. This, in order to renew our pact with our brothers who came before us and were martyred for the sake of [our] path, and with those who sacrificed years of their lives, [which they spent] in the oppressive prisons [of the Al-Sisi regime]. We renew our pact with all these prisoners, with the bereaved mothers and with every wife, sister and daughter [of a martyr]. By Allah, this blood and these sacrifices were not sacrificed in vain, and just as we followed in their footsteps, so shall we complete the path and attain victory... or else meet Allah as martyrs for the sake of the [path] for which they died..."[6]

On February 21, following the execution of the nine who were convicted of the assassination of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat, the young guard issued a harsher statement titled "Delayed Condolences and Deserved Revenge," in which it praised the executed "martyrs" and called on Egyptians to avenge their death, while quoting Quranic verses. The statement said: "'And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, "They are dead." Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not' [Quran 2:154].

"Oh you [martyrs] who are alive with Allah, greetings to you in the Eternal World. Oh you who offered up your youth in order to liberate the [Muslim] ummah from the yoke of the criminals, attacking them and not fleeing or fearing them while anticipating the eternal reward of Allah. Oh brothers, your permanent cry was 'death for the sake of Allah is our most noble aspiration,' and your nightly plea to Allah was, 'direct [us] to the path of martyrdom for Your sake.' And lo, your pleas were put to the test and we testify before Allah that we saw [you realize them with] steadfastness, heroism and while risking your lives.

"Oh heroes... Unite for the sake of a revolution that will not spare any of the oppressors, and avenge the blood of the martyrs who followed the straight path and thereby rescue your families and your homeland.

"Oh you fighting rebels in the homeland and elsewhere, the call of the hour is to prepare for the day of rage when Egypt will shake off humiliation, so gird your loins and show Allah your good deeds.

"The office of the Muslim Brotherhood General Guide extends its arm and opens its door to every devout [Muslim] as part of preparation that has never ceased and will end only with a victory that will please the souls of the martyrs and through which Allah will assuage the rage in the hearts of the believers.

"The legacy of the martyrs, the messages of steadfastness, and the cry of defiance of the free [people who are being held] behind bars in all the prisons – they are [all] calling for your help. Do not remain neutral even if the price is high, and follow the advice of the martyr Sayyid Qutb, who said: 'My brother, today I am strong in my resolve and I grind the very rocks of the sturdy mountains. Tomorrow I will direct the axe of redemption at the heads of the serpents until they are destroyed.'

"To the criminals in the terrorist state institutions, we say: 'Today you are drunk on our blood, but tomorrow a victorious revolution will uproot you, with Allah's help. Wait for this; we are anticipating it.

"'And they will say, "When?", say, "Perhaps it will be soon" [Quran 17:51].'" [7]

The MB Old Guard Renounces Young Guard – But Also Calls For Uprising

The MB's old guard too did not spare its criticism and condemnation of the Egyptian regime following the executions. 

MB Old Guard: The Blood Of The Executed Is On Al-Sisi's Neck; We Must Unite To Bring Down The Al-Sisi Coup

Ibrahim Mounir, the MB's deputy general guide and a prominent spokesman of the movement's old guard, said in an interview with the MB-affiliated Arabi21 website that "the blood of the young people that was spilled in vain in these treacherous and cowardly [executions] is on the neck of that failing tyrant [Al-Sisi] and of all those who refrained from telling the truth." He accused Al-Sisi of trying to drag Egypt into civil war and of using the death sentences to distract people from the constitutional amendments he is passing in order to extend his term in office.[8]

Old guard spokesman Tal'at Fahmi told Muqmilin TV that he longed for Allah to accept the martyrs executed by the regime, which he accused of treacherously selling out Egypt to Zionism, and called for the unification of "all the opposition forces for bringing down [Al-Sisi's] military coup and restoring honor and freedom to Egypt." He added: "We are being tested, and the MB is paying for it with the best of its sons."[9]

Old Guard Communiques: The Time Has Come For "An All-Out Uprising That Will Bring Down The Al-Sisi Regime"

After the February 7 execution of three of the men of assassinating the son of Judge Al-Murli, the MB's old guard released an announcement calling the three "martyrs," claiming that they had confessed under torture, and adding: "When will the conscience of the world's free men awaken [and act] against the murdering tyrant and his cruel, fascist regime?" In contrast to the violent rhetoric of the MB young guard, the old guard stated in its announcement that "Egypt will never, with Allah's help, be exposed to civil war because of the insane crimes [of the regime]..." but at the same time said: "The gang of murder and destruction will all be defeated, will flee, and will experience just vengeance, Allah willing."[10]

After the February 13 execution of another three men, the old guard announced: "Tomorrow, the entire oppressed people will throw you [regime members into], and drown you in, your evil behavior against it, and will let you taste the retribution for your oppression and evil while [you are still] in this world." The announcement also called on the UN and international human rights organizations not to remain silent and to bring the criminal regime to account in order to deter it from continuing to carry out executions. It concluded by calling on the Egyptian people to unite all its forces for "an all-out uprising that will bring down this coup [regime]."[11]


Image accompanying MB old guard faction's February 7 and February 13, 2019 announcements on its website: "You will not intimidate us with your executions."

Following the execution of the nine who were convicted in the 2015 assassination of prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat, among whom, as noted, was the son of MB official Muhammad Taha Wahdan, and which had prompted the young guard's militant announcement, the old guard, less militant and more diplomatic, renounced the young guard's announcement, stating: "The MB organization stresses to all that this [young guard] announcement is a complete lie and that the organization has no connection to it." It denied media reports based on the young faction's announcement that the organization had chosen "the jihad option" following the executions. The aim of these false reports, it said, is to foment "a dispute between the Egyptian people and the [MB] organization... and to drag the people into civil war."[12]

Nevertheless, in another announcement, the old guard also called on Egypt to unite and rise up together against the regime. It wrote: "And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds. He will guide them and amend their condition. And admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them [Quran 47:4-6]."

"By means of his treacherous coup, the murderer [Al-Sisi] continues to perpetrate his crimes against humanity, to excessively kill [Muslims] whose killing is forbidden in Islam and innocent [men] from among the best of Egypt's sons... The [nine] young men were convicted on fabricated charges and after being subjected to horrible torture in order to make them confess to a crime they did not commit. This barbaric targeting of innocent young Egyptians by the junta [that carried out] the coup is the epitome of terrorism, and is aimed at dragging the homeland into civil war and pitching it into a bitter reality of ruin and destruction, while realizing the hopes and wishes of the enemy forces that are lying in wait at home and abroad. But, with Allah's help, this will not happen as long as blood continues to flow in the veins of the free people of the homeland.

"This pure and protected blood that the tyrannical coup authorities desecrated in order to terrify the people and realize their plans of holding onto power, which they usurped using deception and aggression, [this blood] will not be [spilled] in vain. It will neither dry nor cool until it is avenged by [holding the regime to account in] fair trials...

 "The [MB] organization calls upon all free people everywhere to pray for the souls of these pure-hearted martyrs and for all the martyrs after Friday prayers this week.

"The time is ripe for the oppressed Egyptian people [living] under this tyrannical regime to take action to rescue [our] beloved Egypt from this junta that has taken over of the homeland's resources and allowed them [to be plundered] by the enemies at home and abroad. In light of this unrestrained oppression, it is time for an all-out uprising that will unite everyone, oppose this tyrannical coup and save the region and the world from its harmful effects.

"We call on all free and honorable people in the region and the free world, [both] individuals and regional and international judicial bodies, to do their duty and save this people from the corruption and tyranny of the military junta and return Egypt to its people..."[13]  

MB supporters also took to Twitter to express their rage towards the regime under the hashtag "no to the executions."[14] A pro-MB Facebook page called "Stop the Executions" posted photos of the nine executed men with the "Verse of the Martyrs" (Quran 3:169): "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision."[15]

 


Photos of the nine executed men on the "Stop the Executions" Facebook page. Across the top: Quran 3:169, "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision."

The website of the MB's Justice and Freedom party posted an article stressing the condemnations of the executions by international human rights organizations, while also castigating the "hypocritical" West for its silence over the executions and Western leaders for attending the Sharm Al-Sheikh conference held by Al-Sisi in late February. The article also included a cartoon of Al-Sisi in Nazi uniform.[16]


Fj-p.net, February 24, 2019

The website also published op-eds condemning the Al-Sisi regime and the executions. They stated that Al-Sisi was carrying out the executions in order to deter the opposition and break its spirit. They called on the Egyptian opposition to unite against the regime, and on the West to act to stop the executions.[17]

 

[1] The Muslim Brotherhood websites and the Qatari press called them innocent regime opponents whose confessions had been extracted under torture. See e.g., Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), February 20, 2019; aljazira.net, February 13, 2019. International human rights organizations, including the U.N. Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International, also condemned the executions, due to allegations of torture and unfair trials.  ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24204&LangID=E, February 25, 2019; Amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/02/egypt-halt-imminent-execution-of-nine-prisoners-on-death-row/, February 19, 2019.

For responses by the Egyptian regime to the criticism over the executions, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No.7937, Egyptian Regime Rebuffs Criticism In The West About Executions And Human Rights Violations: These Are Hypocritical Assertions That Show A Lack Of Understanding Of The Situation In Egypt, March 12, 2019.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 21, 2019, Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), February 20, 2019.

[3] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 14, 2019.

[4] Fj-p.net, February 7, 2019, Al-Dustour (Egypt), February 10, 2019.

[5] The MB in Egypt has two main factions – the old guard leadership, headed by Mahmoud 'Izzat, with whom MB Deputy General Guide Ibrahim Mounir is also affiliated, and the younger faction, considered more militant, that is at odds with the former in various areas.

[6] Ikhwanonline.info, February 7, 2019.

[7] Ikhwanonline.com, February 22, 2019.

[8] Arabi21.com, Feb 20, 2019.

[9] Ikhwanonline.com, February 20, 2019.

[10] Ikhwanonline.com, February 7, 2019.

[11] Ikhwanonline.com, February 13, 2019.

[12] Ikhwanonline.com, February 25, 2019.

[13] Ikhwanonline.com, February 22, 2019.

[14] Fj-p.net, February 20, 25, 2019.

[15] Facebook.com/www.Google.ashrafalarbiaa, February 21, 2019.

[16] Fj-p.net, February 24, 2019.

[17] Fj-p.net, February 24, 25, 2019.