Recent events force us to return once again to the primary global issue: Terrorism. In 48 hours, extremists committed attacks targeting people in the streets of Sweden and in churches in Egypt.
Two incidents in Egypt in one day demonstrated that violence is not confined strictly to the Sinai desert, nor is it merely a battle between army and state — rather, it targeted Egyptian society and the Copts on their religious holiday.
The attack in Sweden further demonstrated the dangers of new weapons that are beyond the control and monitoring of security services, as terrorists stole a truck and mowed down passersby in the street.
It is no coincidence that violence in Egypt continues given the ongoing incitement for such attacks. The Egyptian government has voiced its objection to such incitement campaigns, equating them as equally harmful and destructive as the actual acts of murder and killing.
Global resentment and anger is also accumulating. Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood must realize that they have become a target, not only by governments they are in conflict with, but also by a large number of states and civil institutions.
For long periods of time the Brotherhood operated behind misleading claims that terrorist extremist ideology is from other schools, such as the Salafis with whom they have been at odds.
These justifications are falling apart today. Political differences do not give justification for proselytizing, killing, inciting, and celebrating violence. Accusations of religious extremism linked to political positions within other groups or schools of thought are being ultimately exposed.
The group is on the verge of becoming an international target over its attempt to stir regional conflict.
Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
The Brotherhood is passing through a great crisis, as it believes that the chaos will allow it to resurface once again, as was the case following the Arab Spring. After seeing this is in fact unlikely, the group is seeking to put everyone in a corner and create conflicts so as to convince the world that it is in fact the key to stability.
This blackmail is no longer acceptable, especially with the end of the Barack Obama era and the arrival of a new US administration that has declared an enemy in Islamist extremist organizations.
On the other hand, the Brotherhood wants to exploit Gulf conflicts and ride the wave to fund its activities and market its campaign. This brings it to a sensitive and dangerous stage, however, because terrorism has become a global issue and all those involved, directly or indirectly, will be held accountable.
This is the fate the Brotherhood has created for itself by wanting to hold the region as its hostage. Yet a number of years have passed and the Brotherhood has not succeeded in changing the region by force nor through propaganda.
After the repeated bombings in Egypt, conflict with countries in the region, and warnings against the Brotherhood’s ideological programs, it appears the Brotherhood’s initiative is only harming itself, its followers, and governments that have stuck by it. It is on the verge of becoming an international target.
• Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is a veteran columnist. He is the former general manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, where this article was originally published.