A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Saudis Designate the MB as Terrorists

It's been a busy day and I'm late in blogging, but I should at least note the latest round in the feuding among the GCC states: the Saudis have designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, along with Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) ordering Saudis fighting with those groups in Syria to return home. They join with Egypt and the UAE in their hostility to the Brotherhood, and do so days after pulling their Ambassador out of Qatar, the Brotherhood's main Gulf cheerleader.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat
The Brotherhood was already illegal in the Kingdom. Even when Muhammad Morsi was President of Egypt and made an official visit to the Kingdom, the Saudi paper Al-Sharq al-Awsat ran an article on the history of relations between the Kingdom and the Brotherhood  (link in Arabic) and, as I noted at the time, chose to illustrate it not with a picture of Morsi but with a 1936 photo of the Brotherhood's founder, Hasan al-Banna, bowing and kissing the hand of the Kingdom's founder, King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud (right).

I'm not sure Morsi got the message, but I suspect it was basically a put-down to these johnny-come-lately upstarts as to who gets to define Islam.

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