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February 7, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10468

Hamas Leader Abroad Khaled Mash'al: The Muslim Brotherhood Founded The Hamas Movement, Helped Plan The Al-Aqsa Intifada, Funded The Palestinian Resistance Factions

February 7, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10468

Ibrahim Munir, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) who served in the recent years as the movement's acting general guide and who was the head of the movement's London faction, died in London on November 4, 2022. In the eulogy he delivered for Munir, Khaled Mash'al, the leader of the Hamas movement abroad, emphasized the close relations between the MB and Hamas, the MB's significant contribution to the establishment of Hamas, and the support it has extended to this movement over the years. Mash'al noted, for example, that when the Al-Aqsa intifada broke out, the MB leadership formed a support apparatus for the Palestinians, headed by Ibrahim Munir, which assisted Hamas and all the Palestinian resistance factions, helped with the planning of the intifada, and provided financial, political and media support to Hamas, which continued after Munir became the MB's acting general guide. Mash'al urged the members of the MB and of Hamas to follow in Munir's footsteps in order to achieve the important objectives, chiefly exalting Islam, the Islamic nation and the Palestinian cause.

Born in 1937 in Mansoura, Egypt, Ibrahim Munir joined the MB in 1952 after being deeply influenced by the writings of the organization's founder, Hassan Al-Banna. During the Nasserist era he was jailed for 10 years for membership in the MB. After his release in 1975 he spent five years in Kuwait before being granted political asylum in Britain, where he lived until his death and was involved in the establishment of Islamic centers.  Munir served many prominent roles in the MB movement. He was appointed to the Guidance Office in 1995 and was subsequently appointed secretary of the international MB and the organization's spokesperson in Europe. In 2009 he became one of the deputies of MB general guide. From September 2020 he served as the movement's acting general guide, standing in for General Guide Muhammad Badie, who is serving a life sentence in Egypt, after the former acting general guide, Mahmoud 'Izzat,  was arrested as well. Since the MB split into two factions nine years ago, Munir was head of the faction based in London, opposing the rival faction, based in Istanbul, which did not recognize his authority. Under the Mubarak and Al-Sisi regimes he was tried in absentia for membership in a terror organization.


Left to right: Hamas symbol, Muslim Brotherhood symbol (Source: Fatehmedia.eu, April 18, 2016)

The following are excerpts from Khaled Mash'al's eulogy for Ibrahim Munir, as posted on the Hamas website:[1]

"Dear brothers, the loved ones of the esteemed deceased, his brothers, partners, students and family members, peace unto you and the mercy of Allah and his blessing. May Allah increase your recompense, reward you for your labors, and have mercy on the departed one [who belongs to] you, to us, to the Islamic nation, Egypt, the MB, Palestine, and Hamas. May Allah grant him mercy and forgiveness [and seat him] at the highest levels [of Paradise] and reward him with the best reward in exchange for [his efforts]… He passed away after a long journey of study, accomplishments, da'wa [inviting to Islam], jihad and sacrifice, and Allah rewarded him with the best of things…

"I address all the current leaders of the MB, the deputy general guide [of the MB] and all the distinguished men to whom I offered my condolences today: [Muhammad] Al-Bukheiri [a senior MB member], [Muhyi Al-Din] Al-Zayat [who is currently serving as the acting general guide on a temporary basis] and all the beloved and the esteemed people on whom our hopes rest to complete the journey of Abu Ahmad [Ibrahim Munir] so that the da'wa will reach its apex and so that this journey will continue without pause on its way to its tremendous goals: the exalting of the Islamic nation, of Egypt, of Islam and the Muslims, and of the causes of the Islamic nation, first and foremost the Palestinian cause.

"I lived with Abu Ahmad in Kuwait from the '80s. I knew him closely for four decades and I can summarize his personality in three statements:

"First, this man was a paragon of kindness, loyalty, warmth, decency, humility, amiability and friendship… Second, he adhered to his principles. [For] 85 years he did not alter or replace [his principles]… How difficult it is for a person to remain steadfast when he is uprooted from his home and must wander, suffering and tormented, all over the world, far from his homeland … However, Abu Ahmad always maintained a level head because, like the rest of the [MB] leaders, he absorbed da'wa from the great [general] guides [Hassan] Al-Banna[2] and his successors, and from the giant of [Islamic] thought, Sayyid Qutb,[3] who lived during his time, and how often he told us about him and about the days he spent with him in prison and in the hospital… Third, Abu Ahmad, Ibrahim Munir, was moderate in his thinking and temperament… He never held a grudge against anyone and never took revenge on anyone, not even on his opponents in the region… He created a compassionate, fatherly leadership which treats others with compassion. He expressed this moderate temperament at every stage of his life, [in his attitude] toward Egypt, his magnificent country and homeland, and toward the da'wa and the Islamic nation and the region. He had courage… to say no and to say yes when necessary, and to sacrifice for his opinions, out of a commitment to his country, his nation and their security…        

"This extraordinary figure who poured his goodness into his da'wa and [showered his goodness on] his brothers, his homeland, and his nation had tremendous capability when it came to Palestine, the resistance, the [Palestinian] cause and Hamas. I recall four stages of his life:

"The first stage was in Kuwait, when he was the deputy of the former MB general guide, the late Mustafa Mashhur,[4] and Hamas was in its preliminary stages of consolidation and sought leadership to grant it sponsorship, to nurture it and to remove the difficulties that stood in its path. Mustafa Mashhur and people around him, including his right hand man Ibrahim Munir, provided what was needed. Oh the MB in Egypt and our brothers in Egypt, you can be proud that you have… [played] a part in the establishment of Hamas in its preliminary stages, and may Allah reward you for that…

"The second stage was when he moved to London and was the MB secretary abroad. He was concerned about the issue of Palestine and always placed it at the top of his agenda…

"The third station was 20 years ago. When the Al-Aqsa intifada broke out the brothers in the office of the MB leadership initiated the establishment of a support apparatus [for the Palestinians] and placed Ibrahim Munir at its head, because they believed in his abilities, his decency, his loyalty, and the important place that Palestine had in his heart and in his conscience. The era of this support mechanism was one of the most glorious periods [in the history] of the MB, and Ibrahim Munir did not only support Hamas but [all] the factions of the [Palestinian] resistance and the cause of the entire Palestinian people. He always met with the people and assembled all the distinguished members of the Islamic nation, its clerics, leaders, and the representatives of the various institutions, for regular meetings in order to plan how to support the intifada and the resistance, the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, and provide financial, political, and media assistance to Hamas.

The fourth stage was when Ibrahim Munir became the deputy general guide [of the MB] and later the acting general guide, and had the first [and last] word [in the organization]. He devoted all his energy and authority to Palestine and to Hamas. He stood by our side as we repelled the  aggression of the occupation and fought campaigns in Gaza to break the siege; [and he stood by us] in the matter of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, in supporting the resistance and whenever we needed support and assistance…

"His life was eight and a half decades of obedience to Allah, entrenching da'wa, and serving his Islamic nation, the jewel in whose crown is Palestine. Oh our brothers, the men of da'wa in Egypt and everywhere, may Allah bestow upon you a great reward and compensate you and us at this painful juncture when great men are dying and we must fill the void they leave behind and grant them pleasure in their graves, by [making sure that] their successors, their loved ones and their followers continue to raise the banner and uphold the unity of the ranks and the word."[5]  

 

 

[1] Fatehmedia.eu, November 18, 2022.

[2] Hassan Al-Banna (1906-1949) was the founder and first leader of MB in Egypt.

[3] Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was a senior activist and ideologue of the MB in Egypt.

[4] Mustafa Mashhur (1921-2002) was the general guide of the MB between 1996 and 2002.

[5] Hamas.ps, November 7, 2022.

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