By Track Persia
March 13, 2021
Since its establishment in the early 20th century, the Muslim Brotherhood has not changed its major goal, the return of the Islamic caliphate which does not recognise borders between countries or sovereignty of the states. That said, over the past century, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt managed to infiltrated predominately Muslim countries in the region. Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood was the first local version of the Brotherhood in this country. It was formally established in 1960 under the name Iraqi the ‘Islamic Party’. Later new versions of the Brotherhood were born in other countries in the region, though, under different names, such as ‘Al-Nahdha’ in Tunisia and ‘Justice and Development’ in Turkey. Most surprisingly, the Muslim brotherhood also attracted radical Shiite Islamists as the case in Iran and Iraq.
Some may wonder, how the pro-Iran Islamic Dawa Party takes the Muslim Brotherhood as its role models while it is aligned with Iran whose political ideology is based on wilayat al-faqih. The answer is simply because if the Da’wa cannot abolish the mutual goal, establishing an Islamic caliphate which cannot be universalistic if it constrains itself within Iraq.
The Shiite Islamic Dawa was established in Iraq after the 1958 military coup that overthrew the monarchy as a response to the growing rise of the communist movement. Nowadays, Dawa leadership alleges that the party was in 1957 to reject the narrative that the party was founded to face the growing influence of the leftists, secularists and liberalists because of the decline of religion in the country.
Most of the conferences of the Da’wa were not in Iraq but Iran. The early publications of the Islamic Dawa Party stressed that its members did not recognise Iraq as a sovereign state, rather an Islamic emirate. This is to reflect the ideology that the Da’wa adopts that is the core of radical Sunni Islamic parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood and notorious Jihadi groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). The ideology of the caliphate stresses that Islam does not recognise borders among countries because it is universalistic religion.
In a public speech in 1989, a prominent Islamic Dawa Party’s ideologue the Lebanese born Shiite cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, who died in 2010, called upon all members of the Islamic Dawa to not only focus on Iraq but also on what he described as the universalistic goal of the party because, in his view, the party should not be constraint within Iraqi borders.
In a letter loaded with commandments to his followers, the Dawa co-founder late Shiite cleric Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr regarded the authority of Iran’s late Supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhullah Khomeini as an embodiment of the hopes of Islam in Iran. He called upon his followers to be devoted to Khomeini’s leadership. Inspired by these words, Dawa leaders later have adopted the slogan: “Melt in Khomeini as Khomeini melted in Islam.” Dawa members are still carrying this slogan to this day to their support campaign to the Iranian regime.
It is worth noting that, early Dawa Islamic Party leaders were inspired by the caliphate ideology of the well-known radical Sunni Islamist Abu Al-Ala al-Mawdudi who died in 1979. They still also consider the famous Egyptian Islamic extremist Sayyid Qutb who was executed by the regime in Egypt in 1966, as their role model, in particular, for his view on what he viewed as a non-Islamic era. Qutb considered the ancient civilisations such as Babylonians, Assyrians and contemporary non-Islamic states as ‘Jahiliyya’ or ignorance.
During the eight-year war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, Dawa members fought with the Iranians against their fellows, the Iraqis. In their writings, they considered their fight as jihad (holy war) and those pro-Iran comrades who did not go for jihad against the Iraq army as believers in God, while the Iraqi soldiers who fight against Iran as non-believers in God.
The literature of the Islamic Dawa Party also reveals that the ultimate goal of the party is the establishment of an Islamic state based on the Shiite ideology of wilayat al-faqih (the rule of a cleric) alongside the Islamic Republic of Iran. In his book ‘The Islamic Dawa Party’, Hasan Shubbar, one of the oldest senior member of the Islamic Dawa stresses that the Dawa has founded itself in many countries including Afghanistan. He claims that the Dawa branch in Afghanistan that is called ‘Sadr Farces’ has opened cooperation channels with the jihad Salafi groups operating in this country. Experts in the Islamic parties see that the Da’wa Islamic Party’s literature reflects though this party the Muslim Brothers infiltrated the Shia in Iraq.
The Iranian theocratic regime which is based on wilayat al-faqih welcomed the Brothers reaching power in Egypt during the presidency of the Muslim Brother Mohammed Muris after the fall of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, although this meant the difference between the ideology of caliphate which the Sunni Brothers resemble and the Shiite ideology if wilayat al-faqih which is applied as the form of rule in Iran after the success of the Islamic Revolution brought by Grand Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.
Both the theocratic Shiite regime in Iran and the universal Brotherhood are more than happy to see the return of the Islamic world divided by Sunni and Shiite Islamists such as the Fatimids and the Abbasids or the Safavids and the Ottomans. In another word, the wilayat al-faqih and the Muslim Brotherhood, and their allies, are obsoletely supporting each other to achieve their goals.