The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) on 20 August 2013 named Mahmoud Ezzat as its new leader after the Egyptian government dealt another blow to the group by arresting its supreme guide Mohamed Badie earlier in the day. Although more Brotherhood members were arrested or going underground, experts said it is unlikely that Badie's removal could make major influence in practical terms as hardliners of the Islamist group might seek further revenge.
Egyptian state television said Muhammad Badie, the top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, is to be held for 15 days on allegations of having incited the murder of demonstrators. The 70-year-old Badie was arrested by security forces early on August 20 in Cairo. He had been in hiding for over a month. Egypt's military-installed authorities accuse him of inciting the killing of protesters outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters before the ouster of President Muhammad Morsi.
The United States criticized Badie's arrest, with White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest saying it was not in line with the military's commitment to an inclusive political process. "This interim Egyptian government has made promises to transition back to a democratically elected civilian government," Earnest said. "The violence that they perpetrated last week and that has continued at least into the weekend and the early parts of this week is contrary to that promise."
Administrative insider and relative unknown Mohammed Badie, 66, was named the Muslim Brotherhood's eighth Supreme Guide on 16 January 2010. Badie's selection represents a generational shift within the group. He is the first Guide not to have known MB-founder Hassan Al-Banna. In his first public statement, Badie attempted to minimize the significance of disagreements among MB leaders that had spilled into public view. Some analysts question his ability to heal the internal rifts that remain after bitter infighting surrounding the election process. Guidance Bureau elections preceding the selection of Badie signaled a shift toward "conservatism" in the group. That shift has largely been viewed as evidence the group will become less politically active. Badie's initial statement signaled continued political engagement (although perhaps more modest than 2005) and sent a message to the regime that the MB is not its enemy.
The public airing of internal conflicts within the MB, something new and unwelcome to parts of the MB leadership especially the "traditionalists" that dominated the Guidance Bureau, was likely to result in a long-term internal review process. Under Badie there may be a preference for increased secrecy and internal control. At stake is the restoration of the MB's public image -- the MB had often been seen as the opposition movement able to rise above internal power plays. In addition, the new leadership may reposition the MB's role in the Egyptian political scene, shifting it out of the public spotlight as a potential competitor to the ruling National Democratic Party in national elections. Badie's own statement affirms that the MB will continue to pursue a parallel strategy that includes political participation and its well-established social and religious work. However, a more "conservative" or "traditionalist" leadership is likely to be more cautious in its approach to upcoming 2010 parliamentary elections. A complete withdrawal from electoral participation is doubtful. Continued pressure from security services and its own internal processes will mean the MB is likely to field fewer candidates than it did in 2005.
Mohammed Badie Abdel Maguid Samy born August 7, 1943 in the Delta city Mahala Al-Kobra, is an associate professor of pathology at the Beni Sweif University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Badie has been a member of the MB Guidance Bureau since 1996 and it's International Shura Council since 2007. After graduating from Cairo University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, he was appointed lecture at the University of Asyut. In 1965 he was arrested along with Sayed Qutb and jailed for nine years for being part of the MB paramilitary unit accused of attempting to assassinate Nasser and overthrow the regime. Badie was released in 1974 by President Anwar Sadat following the MB's decision to renounce violence. After his release, Badie received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Zagazig University (1979) and joined the faculty in 1983. In 1977 Badie was named the head of the MB's administrative office in Mahalla. Badie taught in Yemen from 1982 to 1986 (and served on the MB's education committee while in Sana'a). Since his return to Egypt in 1987 Badie has continued to teach veterinary medicine in Beni Suef.
In 1994 Badie joined the MB's "administrative office" in Beni Suef and the local education committee. Badie was arrested in 1999 and sentenced by a Military Court to a five-year term for syndicate activity. He was released early in 2003 after serving part of his term. According to Embassy contact Rafik Habib, Badie has been acting over the last several years as the head of MB's national education committee. Responsible for the "formation" of new members, including ideological preparation, Badie is well versed in the group's internal procedures and details of its membership. Given the group's continued secretive nature, information on membership is not widely shared, even among members of the Guidance Bureau.
On Saturday 16 January 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood named Mohammed Badie (Badee) as its eighth Supreme Guide. A relative unknown, Badie's name had been circulating in the media for several days after reports were leaked that he had received the highest number of votes from the approximately 100-member MB Shura Council. Badie has been a member of the Guidance Bureau since 1996 and has held several administrative positions in the group (see Bio Note in Para 11). Most commentators see his selection as a sign the MB will now turn its attention inward, focusing on getting its own house in order following a series of publically aired internal disputes over internal election procedures. In comments to independent daily Al Masry Al Youm, new member of the Guidance Bureau (and the only known "reformer" among its ranks) Essam El Eryan said the new Guide's primary task will be "internal reform".
Badie as an MB "moderate" known for his affable personality and ability to "communicate well," making him well-suited to help heal the apparent rift between MB "reformers" and "conservatives." As the first Guide not to have derived his legitimacy from a personal relationship with MB founder Hassan Al Banna, Badie is not only potentially less legitimate but also lacks the "gravitas" needed to handle internal disputes. Badie's leadership may benefit from internal MB fatigue -- a result of GOE pressure on the group and the public airing of its internal dirty laundry. In his first speech as Supreme Guide, Badie rejected any rift or "disunity" in the group and underscored that the MB is a dynamic institution that "operates according to rules" which remain under "constant review." Until naming a new Secretary General (Dr. Mahmoud Hussein), Badie had been described as a proxy for the more influential "conservative" leader former Secretary General Mahmoud Ezzat Badie and Ezzat share a common experience as part of the group detained with Sayed El Qutb in 1965. While Ezzat appears to have had a strong behind the scenes role as the power behind the "conservative" shift, the impact of his removal from the administrative post of Secretary General was unclear.
The verdict was still out on what recent internal elections mean for continued political participation by the MB. The result will likely be an MB more focused on religious activity (or "dawa") and social services and a decrease in the level of MB participation in the upcoming elections. While Badie and other members of the Guidance Bureau have long-term experience with managing the administration of the group, none are known for their efforts at organizing political participation. But "conservative" leaders, particularly Ezzat, may reject the need for an MB-affiliated political party advocated by reformers like Abdel Moneim Fotouh, and remain firmly committed to MB participation in the elections. What may change is the number of candidates the group will run in the 2010 parliamentary elections. In this view, the final number will depend primarily on signals from the Government.
In a speech delivered following his "swearing in" ceremony on Saturday 16 January 2010, Badie did not signal a change in strategy and said political participation would continue go hand in hand with the MB's "community work." Badie called "democracy" (also referred to in the speech as the process of "consultation") fundamental to the MB's own practices. He emphasized the MB's commitment to majority rule and its acceptance of "the plurality of parties and the freedom for the parties to be established without restrictions" as defined in the constitution and the transfer of power among these parties through "free and fair elections." In an effort perhaps to reach out to the regime, Badie said in his speech that the MB is not an "opponent" of the current regime. However, he vowed to remain critical of "corrupted policies." Badie affirmed the MB's rejection of violence and stated the MB seeks "gradual reform through a peaceful and constitutional struggle."
On 22 August 2015 a Cairo court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and 18 other prominent Brotherhood figures to life in prison over an attack on a police station in 2013. At least five people were killed in the attack on the police station in the coastal city of Port Said, following a deadly crackdown by security forces on two Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo in 2013. The assault was part of a wave of violence that rocked the country after the army removed elected president Mohamed Morsi from power following mass protests against his rule in June 2013. Badie had already been sentenced to several death and life sentences.
On 23 September 2018, a court sentenced MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, along with 64 defendants out of 682 others, to life imprisonment in a retrial over charges of inciting violence in a 2013 case charged with attacking a police station and killing two police officers in Minya. Dozens of others tried in the same case received sentences ranging from two to 15 years, while authorities acquitted 463 others. On July 29, the Minya Criminal Court issued a death sentence to one defendant in the retrial. In 2015 the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial after the Minya Criminal Court issued provisional death sentences in 2014 to 683 defendants.
On September 30, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered a retrial of MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and other senior figures in the MB, related to a 2015 case in which Badie and 13 others received life sentences “over violence between MB supporters and opponents near the group’s headquarters.” The retrial started October 15 and included additional charges of beating protesters, but the law allows modification of charges if new evidence arises. Some local and international rights groups questioned the impartiality of proceedings.
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