Kamal al-Helbawi, a dissident leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and president and founder of the Islamic League in Britain, died on February 28. He was 84.
Who is he?
He is Kamal Tawfiq al-Helbawi. He was born in 1939 and received a bachelor of arts in 1960.
Helbawi also obtained a degree in business administration from the American University in Cairo in 1971.
He served as the former spokesman of the Brotherhood in the West, before his defection from the group.
After the January 2011 revolution in Egypt, he entered into major disagreements with the leaders of the group.
His view was that the group had deviated from its rightful path by turning to violence.
Helbawi joined the Muslim Brotherhood at an early age, specifically during his secondary school years when he was in Menoufia governorate in the Nile Delta at the beginning of the 1950s.
He held several positions within the organization, up to the position of a member of the leadership of the International Organization which includes the Guidance Office and the Consultative Council.
About his beginnings with the group, al-Helbawi said in a previous television interview that he had joined the Brotherhood at an early age.
He added that in the 1990s, after an extended journey, he became a member of the leadership of the International Organization.
Helbawi noted that he had resigned from the leadership in 1997 and that he worked on several advocacy intellectual projects, including one about terrorism in the West.
He returned to Egypt after 23 years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
“After returning, I looked closely at the situation of the Brotherhood in Egypt, and these days revealed everything within the group,” Helbawi said.
He added that at this point he decided to resign from the whole organization in late March 2012, when the Brotherhood thought it was on a political rise, and focused on power more than on advocacy.
Halbawi entered into disagreements with the Brotherhood in 2012, after the group’s decision to field Khairat al-Shater in the presidential elections.
In March of the same year, he officially announced his resignation and came out opposing the group and its positions for many years, where he said then that the Brotherhood deviated from its true project.
Helbawi spoke in a televised interview about the Brotherhood’s betrayal of the January Revolution.
He referred to several instances of this betrayal, including their decision to field a candidate in the presidential elections.
He noted that the group was dreaming of taking over Egypt’s presidency, even as people were dying on the streets.
He also referred to the Brotherhood’s decision to compete in the parliamentary elections, having left the streets and the squares for the true revolutionaries.