A new generation of leaders is rising in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which might lead to changes in this influential Islamist movement, reports Paul Schemm in Middle East International (Jan. 23).
On Jan. 9, Ma’mun al-Hudaybi passed away at the age of 83. He was the last major figure of his generation. While the new leader, Muhammad Mahdi Akef, is nearly as old (75) and is considered “old guard,” his ascent to the leadership might allow the rise of younger leaders in their 40s and 50s with a political experience gained first on campuses in the 70s, according to several Egyptian analysts.
The new leader, who is more comfortable with the media than his predecessor, denies that there is any generational conflict within the Brotherhood. He is indeed reported to have “better relations with the middle aged generations than his predecessor”. But internal divisions within the group, especially the pressure of younger generations for more internal democracy, might become more apparent.
(Middle East International, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE; UK;http://meionline.com)
— By Jean-François Mayer