Accounts by those who broke ranks with the Muslim Brotherhood offer grim insights into the practices of the organization, ones that violently contradict the good image it tries to project about itself.
These practices include the smear of dissidents and even their assassination.
Last year, for example, there were instances of the Brotherhood cutting off financial support to members who escaped to Sudan and also kicking these members out of the organization. The sacked members’ mistake was to try to think, a crime the Brotherhood never forgives its members for committing.
Sacking and displacement
Brotherhood junior members who had escaped to Sudan from Egypt posted videos in the first quarter of last year in which they complained against being kicked out of the accommodation they were given earlier into the streets. Among those complaining was Mohamed Abbas, a junior Brotherhood member who was sacked from the organization earlier. The kicking of the junior members out of their homes, Abbas said in the video, was not about a temporary expression of anger by senior leaders of the organization.
On April 2, 2017, Abbas wrote on Facebook that the same senior members believe he and his colleagues had turned into enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood, for simply expressing opposition.
They think, he said, we have turned into a danger to the organization, even more serious than the one posed by its rivals.
The sorry thing is that these people [the Brotherhood leaders], Abbas added, could not learn any lesson from the experiences of the past.
Sokkari and the lying sheikh
When Ahmed al-Sokkari turned 19, he confided to two men, Hamed Askaria and Aly Ebeid, that he would found a new religious society in Mahmoudia. In 1920, he called the society “Hasafia Charity”. Sokkari, who was born in 1901, became the charity’s first chief. Political Islam experts view Sokkari as the real founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Sokkari toured villages in all governorates to convince locals to join in the new charity. This was when he met Hassan al-Bana, who was five years younger than Sokkari. Years later, Bana founded a new branch of the charity in Ismailia province. That was in 1928, the very year when the Muslim Brotherhood was promulgated.
Sokkari blamed Bana later for kicking him out of the charity and its various branches for revealing the sexual misconduct of his brother-in-law, Abdel Hakim Abdeen.
Sokkari wrote a series of articles in Sawt al-Umah newspaper, which was owned by al-Wafd Party, in which he divulged the ugly face of the Brotherhood. He spoke about corruption within the organization, its dictatorial system of management and the espionage work it did for other countries. He revealed relations between Bana and a Jewish merchant who contributed funds for the establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is a case of the friends of yesterday becoming the enemies of today. The Brotherhood prepared, meanwhile, a massive campaign to sully Sokkari’s reputation. The Brotherhood ran an article in its newspaper that had the following headline: “Nahas Pasha appoints Sokkari as an editor at Sawt al-Umah newspaper for 60 Egyptian pounds a month”.
Sokkari used to call Bana the “lying sheikh. Bana said Sokkari was sacked for having contacts with church leaders and priests.
Ahmed Hassan al-Baqori, a close associate of Bana and his prospective successor, met the same fate. Baqori gained popularity as an al-Azhar University student for being at the heart of university protests. Following the 1952 revolution, the Brotherhood’s supreme leader’s office recommended three people for taking over ministerial positions in the first cabinet after the revolution. Baqori was not one of these three people. Nevertheless, the late president Abdel Nasser gave him the religious endowments portfolio, which he readily accepted, believing it would help him serve the Brotherhood’s agenda.
“I went to Hassan al-Dudeibi (the Brotherhood leader at the time), but I discovered that he did not know anything about my appointment as the endowments minister,” Baqori wrote in his memoirs. “When Dudeibi and other Brotherhood leaders learned about this, they were about to assault me because they had earlier sent the names of other people to take over the same position.”
He added that Dudeibi asked him to write a letter of resignation from the Brotherhood and all affiliate organizations.
A year later, al-Sayed Fayez, another Brotherhood member, join the list of Brotherhood victims. Fayez was an outstanding member of the group. He was a member of the Brotherhood’s secret militia.
Nevertheless, soon after Dudeibi took over the leadership of the Brotherhood, he convinced Fayez to join a new militia and leave the old one which was led by Abdurrahman al-Sanadi. Fayez agreed and tried to convince other militiamen to leave and join the new secret group.
Sanadi reacted to this by sending a booby-trapped sweets box to Fayez. The box went off immediately after Fayez opened it at home. He died immediately.
The Brotherhood took revenge on all members who broke ranks with it or opposed its ways in almost similar methods.
Members who dare to ask about the sources of Brotherhood funding or criticize the organization are always subjected to brutal treatment that sometimes ends in their killing.
Brotherhood smears, assassinates dissidents