The Difference Between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood

On a recent edition of Stakelbeck on Terror, he discusses with Tawfik Hamid the difference between the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  (That discussion starts at about 13:30 into the video below).

Five years ago, I got into an extended email debate with an Indonesian Salafi.  One of the points he tried to make with me was that the Salafi Islam he practised was different from the Sayyid Qutb-inspired version that appeared in places such as al-Qaeda, one which incorporated concepts from Western political ideologies.  That certainly includes the Muslim Brotherhood; Qutb was a leading figure in the Brotherhood in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

To be honest, I was sceptical.  But now the two “versions” of political Islam are on display for everyone to see.  As was the case with my Sudanese imam friend on the difference between Sunni and Shi’a Islam, my Muslim contacts/debaters were more educational than sources on either side of our political divide, all of which look uninformed at times like this.  The difference between the two has practical significance; which one ends up on top in Egypt (and the Brotherhood has the distinct advantage at this stage) will end up driving events in the Middle East for some time.

If you want to learn about Islam, start by asking a Muslim, or better more than one, you’ll get more perspectives.

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