Egypt's Brotherhood gets new leader

Choice of supreme guide seen as victory for conservatives in largest opposition group.

    Muhammad Badie becomes the eighth leader of the Muslim Brotherhood since the party's creation [EPA]

    "We believe in incremental reform, and that takes places in a peaceful and constitutional way. We reject violence and denounce it in all its forms," the new leader said.

    Radical past

    Badie is the group's eighth supreme guide since it was founded in 1928.

    Born in 1943 in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla el-Kubra, Badie was jailed for nine years in the 1960s after being accused of membership of a Brotherhood paramilitary cell that allegedly planned the overthrow of the government.

    He later became responsible for ideological education in the group.

    In the case for which Badie was jailed, thousands of Islamists were convicted and imprisoned while influential radical Islamist thinker Sayid Qutb was executed.

    Although disowned by some Brotherhood members for his radical views, Badie and others in the movement continued to embrace Qutb, who advocated armed struggle to impose Islamic law.

    Conservative consolidation

    Badie's election came after a bitter dispute between conservatives in the group, who place emphasis on strengthening the organisation and ideological outreach, and reformists advocating a more active public role.

    Akef resigned in protest last year before the end of his term in office after conservative members of the Brotherhood politburo opposed a promotion for Essam Erian, who is associated with the group's reformist wing.

    The conservative wing has been seen to consolidate its control in subsequent politburo elections, in which the group's deputy chief Muhammad Habib and reformist leader Abdel Moneim Abul-Futuh lost  their seats.

    Analysts say the new leadership team and a campaign of arrests by police are likely to encourage a shift away from public life. The government has also passed laws that make it harder to contest the 2011 parliament elections.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.