Algerian novelist Amin Al-Zaoui said in a July 31, 2023 show on Sky News Arabia (UAE) that the Muslim Brotherhood has obstructed progress in Algeria and North Africa and has shattered families and society. He criticized the prominence of political Islam in Arab universities and schools, and he said that were it not for the Muslim Brotherhood, Algeria could have been like Germany, Spain, and many other European countries. Al-Zaoui also said that the leaders of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Al-Shabab had all emerged from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, and he argued that Arab society is rife with extreme racism, misogyny, and antisemitism. He also criticized the sexual objectification of young girls by making them wear hijabs.
Amin Al-Zaoui: "Political religiosity has transformed religion from a spiritual power into a political identity card, and an affiliation with a certain political party.
"I have noticed a kind of deterioration and regression. When we see these phenomena at schools and universities, and the presence of the Islamic religion in these institutions, which are supposed to be educational and scientific institutions that provide knowledge, I believe that the fear is in place. Some people remind us of the 1990s. We hear this in the media, on the streets, in mosques, at schools, and at universities.
"The history of the Muslim Brotherhood, until recent years, until the rise of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shabab in Somalia, and Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb... All the leaders of these terrorist organizations emerged from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"I believe it was the Muslim Brotherhood that dragged Algeria... Algeria could have been like Germany, Spain, and many European countries, but I believe that the Islamic movement, which came from Egypt – especially when Al-Ghazali, Al-Qaradawi, and others came to Algeria... They instituted and bolstered the Muslim Brotherhood presence in Algeria, and Algerian society is still suffering from this.
"I believe that the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Algeria – and in North Africa in general – obstructs progress. They believe in democracy when they are running in the elections, but once they reach decision-making positions, they transform into a monster.
"I have never seen in the Arab world a black woman married to a blonde man, or vice versa. In Europe you see this, but in the Arab world, it is very rare. This results from the sentiment that black-skinned people are inferior.
"My second point has to do with women. Women are demonized in Arab Islamic societies. Whenever an Arab or Islamic society experiences disasters or failures, women are accused of being responsible for all this – because of what they wear, because of what they say, because of anything they do. Women are accused of being the cause of defeat, failure, ignorance, anything...
"The third point has to do with the Jews. I challenge anyone to wear a Jewish kippah, and walk down any street in any Arab city, from Tangier to Kuwait, and say to people, for example: 'I want to pray, is there a synagogue here?' I am certain that this person would be stoned to death.
"I have seven sisters, and my late father was an imam. He would treat the boys and girls the same way. This was true also of my cousins on both sides. Our society used to live in harmony, but along came political Islam and shattered the family and society."
Interviewer: "Do you support the call to ban the hijab at school?"
Al-Zaoui: "I believe that girls aged four, five, six, seven, or eight, are innocent and have nothing to do with sexual objectification and ideology. They go to school to acquire knowledge and culture and to be happy with their friends. I believe that it is a disgrace that we objectify these girls, and cause them to have a sexual complex. From the age of four, girls believe that they are sexual objects. This is absolutely unacceptable."