Egypt has released three videos of Muslim Brotherhood television networks in Turkey advocating violence against the Egyptian police, foreigners, embassies and interests in the region connected to countries that support President El-Sisi.
On Thursday, the Brotherhood's English-language website announced a decision for revolution "with all its means and mechanisms" against the Egyptian government. The announcement references a declaration signed by 150 Islamic scholars that is less ambiguous in calling for jihad, also published in English.
The first video is from the Muslim Brotherhood's Rabaa TV network launched in Turkey in 2013. The Egyptian government says the host in the video is a member of the Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya terrorist group.
The host is seen reading a statement from the "Revolutionary Youth Coalition;" a group that is almost certainly a Brotherhood front established to give itself plausible deniability while inciting and orchestrating terrorism. The vague terminology is an attempt to give its cause greater legitimacy by appearing more inclusive and broad-based.
The Brotherhood station reads the statement that demands the departure of all foreign Arabs, foreign Africans, embassy personnel, foreign companies and tourists by the end of (last) February. All governments must end their support for the Egyptian government "or else all of their interests in countries of the Middle East will be exposed to severe assaults or will be put in situations that nobody wants."
The threat warns that henceforth there will be "no concessions or mercy."
The second video is dated February 24 and is from a satellite network named Misr Alaan that the Egyptian government says was founded by the Brotherhood last year. The Arab press says it was launched from Turkey with Brotherhood sponsorship. The network's staff said its purpose is to reach a broader audience than the other Islamist channels in Turkey.
The video comes with an English translation that shows the host of a show explicitly urging the murder of Egyptian police and unspecified revolutionaries to rout the Egyptian soldiers who aid the police in the confrontation. His instructions are clear: "Kill them."
"I say to the wives of all officers and the sons of all officers: Please be aware, your husbands will be dead. Your children will be orphans," the host says while adding the sons of police officers may be kidnapped and claiming that the revolutionaries have the home addresses of the police.
The third video, also from Misr Alaan, shows a statement being read by a spokesman calling in from the "Revolutionary Punishment Movement," continuing the pattern of using new, non-descriptive titles.
The speaker is asked about his group and he only says that it is a youth movement involved in the revolutions since the beginning, referring to the ousting of Egyptian President Mubarak. He condemns the arrests of female members of the group and declares there will be "reciprocal treatment."
The speaker calls for the kidnapping and killing of Egyptian security personnel by the "lions" of this revolution. He then gives out the names of specific police officers to target without any interruption from the host.
On Thursday, May 28, the Brotherhood's English-language website carried a statement by spokesperson Mohamed Montaser announcing "a final decision, after consulting its popular base, that the revolutionary option with all its means and mechanisms is its strategic choice from which there will be no retreat."
The announcement appears to be a response to a reported rift within the Brotherhood between the older and more pragmatic leadership and the more militant youth advocating violence and disruption to society. It reiterates the legitimacy of the Brotherhood leadership and claims that it is inclusive of the youth.
The statement does not explicitly discuss the topic of violence but it certainly does not make the case for non-violence. It gives every reason for an Islamist to believe that violent jihad against the Egyptian government is now permissible.
The intention to inspire violence is detectable in how the Brotherhood references a declaration signed by 150 scholars that declares the Egyptian government to be an "enemy of Allah" waging "war against Islam." The listed offenses qualify it as a target for violent jihad.
"It is an Islamic duty of the whole Muslim Ummah, rulers and peoples alike, to resist this regime and to seek to break it using all legitimate means in order to safeguard the fundamentals of the Ummah and to maintain the higher objectives of Islam," it says.
The declaration most clearly instigates violence in points 4 and 6 regarding retribution for acts against the Brotherhood and for forcibly freeing prisoners:
"4. Rulers, judges, officers, soldiers, muftis, media persons, politicians and any other party proven beyond any doubt to be involved in the crimes of violating honor, bloodshed and illegal killing, even if through inciting such acts, are considered, from Islamic perspective, murderers to whom all rulings related to the crime of murder are applicable. They must receive qisas (retribution punishment) within the Islamic Law limits."
"6. The nation must do its best to free any person, especially women, detained as a result of opposing the coup and demanding respect of the nation’s will and freedom. No effort should be spared to release them using the means approved by Islam."
The Brotherhood is aware of what it's calling for. If it didn't want violent jihad, it would add a disclaimer about the declaration only authorizing non-violence. Instead, there's only a mention of civil disobedience as a tactic without any kind of rejection of violence in point 13:
"13. We demand all forces opposing the coup and all free people, inside and outside Egypt, to combine efforts in resistance of this criminal regimes and to use all appropriate means such as civil disobedience and any other tool to purge the country of the coup’s tyranny and crimes and to stand up for the martyrs’ cause."
The declaration is especially significant because brings the Brotherhood a step closer towards officially supporting violence in Egypt; a direction it's been moving towards in its Arabic content.
In January, the Brotherhood announced a "new phase…where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom."
Any doubt as to whether the Brotherhood meant violence is put to rest by what follows:
"Imam al-Banna [the founder of the Brotherhood] prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the 'secret apparatus' to bleed the British occupiers."
The call to violence in Arabic was shortly followed by one in English titled, "Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence." The contradiction is reflective of a long-standing pattern where the Brotherhood speaks more diplomatically in English and more “jihadist” in Arabic. Contrary to assertions that the Brotherhood officially abandoned violence, the group has consistently endorsed and engaged in violent jihad since its supposed "moderation."
The newly-released videos are just a sample of the proof that the Brotherhood's "moderate" persona is a contrived mirage.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.