What Was Their Role in the Uprising? Do They Hope to Move Egypt Toward an Islamic State? How Will They Handle Emerging Democratic Principles?
"The only time we've seen [the Muslim Brotherhood] with masses is by directing how they moved in Tahrir Square. They were very organized, very quiet..."
— Emad El Din Adeeb, Egyptian media mogul
Inside The Muslim Brotherhood premieres Wednesday, April 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The world watched in awe as people power toppled Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak following nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule. Eighteen days of bold, inspirational protests in Tahrir Square, Cairo, forced the young revolutionaries' uncompromising demands to be met. But was this truly a secular, peoples' revolution emboldened by social networking, as seen in news reports? Or was the world's biggest Islamic organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, playing a hidden and influential role in the call for a new government?
Premiering Wednesday, April 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel, Inside the Muslim Brotherhood reveals the covert role of one of Egypt's most powerful political organizations in the Egyptian uprising, including its provocation of protests on the Web — protests that politicized a generation of young Egyptians.
In striking new interviews, leading figures within the 83-year-old Islamist group reveal how it kept popular support and stayed organized despite being officially banned for the last 60 years. We'll see how the Muslim Brotherhood is struggling to reconcile its goal of creating an Islamic state with the hunger for democratic rights at the center of the revolution.
"There was a national state of emergency which made it difficult for young Egyptians to meet. So they resorted to working underground or socializing online by using Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo," said Sherif Abdel-Rahman, a 20-year member of the organization. He claims that 70 percent of the registered members of the Facebook page that helped ignite the protests were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is like a closed box," says Emad El Din Adeeb, an Egyptian media mogul. "The only time we've seen them with masses is by directing how they moved in Tahrir Square ... their presence was there, was very strong, and they had a huge organizational power."
Inside the Muslim Brotherhood also delves into the history of the world's largest Islamic organization. Both a religious and a political group advocating the teachings of the Quran, the secretive organization went underground in the 1950s, and for most of its history, its Egyptian members have faced routine arrest and torture. But even underground, they have maintained a close relationship with the Egyptian populace through humanitarian efforts and other endeavors. We visit a hospital run by the Muslim Brotherhood, offering alternative care for low costs. Will this effort pay off as elections loom?
Inside the Muslim Brotherhood asks the provocative question, Will the Muslim Brotherhood dominate the emerging power structure in Egypt? Elections are due later this year, and already the Muslim Brotherhood are the front-runners. Will they achieve their long-term ambition to turn Egypt into an Islamic state? See how the Muslim Brotherhood maintains daily contact with the voters in addition to their humanitarian efforts, which help them to win hearts and minds.
Finally, we'll learn about the pressures splintering the group into traditionalists and progressives as the buzzwords of freedom and democracy resonate with the influx of empowered youth in their ranks.
For more information visit www.natgeotv.com.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel