The Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership challenge a “milestone”

The Muslim Brotherhood's leadership challenge a "milestone"
Courtney C. Radsch (Pasadena, CA)
- The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, has decided to step down at the end of his first term in January 2010 in what blogger and activist Ibrahim al-Houdaiby calls "an important milestone for the largest opposition group in Egypt."

In his article Brotherhood Faces Leadership Challenge for the Arab Reform Bulletin Houdaiby explains why it's unlikely a reformist will be chosen as a successor and why the MB might just wait until the 2010 parliamentary and 2011 presidential elections since that is seen as a potential turning time for several key leaders who have been jailed following what many human rights observers called sham trials at secret military tribunals. Houdaiby gives two explanations for why this decision marks a milestone:

"First, whoever the successor is, he will not enjoy the same historical legitimacy as Akef, who joined the Brotherhood at an early stage and worked with its founder, Hassan al-Banna. All of the potential replacements belong to another generation and lack the gravitas of Akef and his predecessors, which helped them resolve or at least postpone some organizational disputes.

The second reason is that Akef, who presided over a major political openi... [Read More]

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About Cortney C.Radsch

Courtney C. Radsch is a scholar and freelance journalist who focuses on the Arab media and politics. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Radsch is writing her dissertation on the Arab media's influence on foreign policy and has done fieldwork in Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. Her research has also looked at the ideology and politics behind Islamist extremism. Ms. Radsch is an internationally published journalist and previously worked at the New York Times and the Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon. She holds an M.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

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