Violence, whether from the state or from armed militias, has become the dominant political language in the nations that experienced Arab Spring revolutions, with the possible exception of Tunisia (which itself has not been spared from increasing terrorist threats).Even so, I argue here that the likelihood of the Muslim Brotherhood resorting to violence in Egypt is less then what many observers believe.
The authorities soon designated it as a terrorist organization, and banned around 1,200 of the civil institutions affiliated with the group or its members, to say nothing of the thousands of people killed and imprisoned.
The Brotherhood was left with no other option but to protest in a climate characterized by exclusion and Mc Carthyism.
In one of his speeches in that parliament itself he said, “The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. It develops after the law of its own growth assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant…. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian.
Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.” Essentially, he advocated the right to follow one’s unique nature and disapproved imposing changes on anyone.
‘Tolerance’ is a state of mind that implies non-judgmental acceptance of different lifestyles or beliefs.
Swamiji further said in that speech, “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.The first internal bylaws of the Brotherhood, issued in Ismailia in 1930, states that the group is not involved in politics.Article 2 states that “this group shall not become involved in political affairs, whatever they may be.” Article 15 emphasized non-engagement in political affairs during the group’s meetings.Even more notable is the fact that Article 42, which sets the mechanism for amending the bylaws, completely forbids changing some of the articles, including the aforementioned Article 2, which prohibits the group from engaging in political work.With these regulations in mind, the goals of the organization are limited to the social and moral sphere.Much of this has to do with the current structure of the organization, and the model of thought and culture that has governed it for decades.This, however, is not inconsistent with the increased possibilities that a not-insignificant segment of members and supporters will resort to responding to the state’s violence with violence, whether on an individual, decentralized level, or by joining more violent groups such as “Sinai Province” or “Al-Murabiteen,” or even by joining the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq.We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.” This idea of acceptance and inclusive had set him and his speech apart.During the course of his stay in the West, he further elaborated this idea.Islamists will have the opportunity to disagree (or agree) and challenge the assumptions and arguments of some of the leading scholars of political Islam, in the spirit of constructive dialogue.The military coup of July 2013 forced the Muslim Brotherhood to retreat to a climate of secrecy after the group had spent just a year working openly and in power.