Just one day after the Egyptian military overthrew the elected government led by President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood political party, criticism from jihadist groups is beginning to appear. Predictably, the jihadists are arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood has been misguided in attempting to gain power and impose sharia, or Islamic law, by following the democratic process. Jihadists are appealing to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly the “youth,” by saying that jihad, and not political participation, is the answer.
Shabaab weighed in on this very issue today in a series of tweets on its official Twitter account. The tweets are reproduced below. Note Shabaab’s rhetoric: “change comes by the bullet alone; NOT the ballot”; “the only solution for change: Jihad”; and “Islam can never be fully established without a guiding Qur’an and the sword to support it” (this last tweet was directed at the Muslim Brotherhood “youth”).
The effects of the Egyptian coup may not be fully understood for years, but one thing seems clear: the event has provided al Qaeda and other jihadists with plenty of grist for the propaganda mill. It remains to be seen how effective this argument may be, but it is likely that some disaffected Muslim Brotherhood members will be swayed by these arguments.
Tweets from Shabaab on the Muslim Brotherhood:
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