With the death of Muhammad ‘Akif, its former murshid (chairman), al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun have lost another leading light. Dr. ‘Akif died in hospital on September 21; he was 89. He was transferred from prison where he had languished, like most other Ikhwan leaders under the US-Zionist puppet regime of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, since 2013.
Prison took its toll on his already frail health. In 2013, Dr. ‘Akif was among thousands of Ikhwan rounded up in the wake of the military coup that overthrew the first democratically elected government in Egypt — that of President Muhammad Mursi. Popular peaceful protests in public squares were forcibly put down by regime brutes in uniform. Hundreds of people were mercilessly butchered. The arch-Zionist el-Sisi felt so threatened that he even killed women and girls.
Dr. ‘Akif joined the Ikhwan when its founder, Hasan al-Banna, established it in 1928. During his lifelong association with the movement, he suffered many bouts of imprisonment starting with his first incarceration for a 20-year term in 1954. Under the Husni Mubarak dictatorship, he was again sent to prison in 1996.
Dr. ‘Akif served as murshid of the Ikhwan from 2004–2010. He dedicated his life to struggling against authoritarianism and for the empowerment of the people. This made him a bane of the long line of dictators in Egypt.
The Ikhwan, and indeed the Muslim world, have lost another struggler for justice.