Difference Between Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood

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    Al Qaeda vs. Muslim Brotherhood

    Al Qaeda was formed in 1988 when a group of Islamic militants gathered in Peshawar Pakistan and laid foundations of an organization that was backed by Saudi wealth and was influenced deeply by the Islamic concept of Jihad. They were not very well known until they attacked the World trade center on September 11 2001. They have maintained strong hold in most parts of Afghanistan and some parts of north western regions of Pakistan led by Osama Bin Laden until recently when he was killed by US forces in the city of Abottabad, Pakistan last year.

    Muslim Brotherhood was established by Hassan Al Bana in Egypt in March 1928 as an Islamist religious, political and social movement. Unlike Al Qaeda, Muslim brotherhood has existed for over 85 years and has played a major role in shaping the historical course of Egyptian politics. It has been one of the largest and most organized opposition groups within Egypt and despite several government crackdowns during mid 20th century, the group was legalized in 2011 after the Egyptian revolution and also managed to establish a government.

    Although both organizations have a religious agenda based on the idea of establishing a Shariah rule, howver one major contrast between the two groups lies in the scope of their agenda. Muslim brotherhood has historically had a nationalistic agenda focused at Egypt while Al Qaeda has a global agenda and they plan to rise against all the powers of the world that according to their definition are against Muslims.


    Moreover, Muslim Brotherhood aims at promoting an image of Islam that reconciles the Islamic traditional values with the modern culture. In the wake of the 21st century they also participated in democratically held elections and managed to win 20% of the seats in 2005 to form a strong opposition against the Egyptian government. In 2011-12 the party managed to win almost 50% of the 498 seats in the parliament coming out as one of the most powerful groups following the Egyptian revolution of 2011. On the flip side of the coin, Al Qaeda aims at promoting a harsher image of Islam that is very hostile towards non Muslims and modern culture. The organization does not support democratic elections and has never participated in one. The main idea of Al Qaeda is to revive Muslim rule and destroy every power that comes in its way. The organization has been involved in numerous terrorist activities around the world and has taken blame for instigating sectarian violence in countries around the world, especially in Pakistan. The organization has developed training centers for their armed forces in Afghanistan and has openly threatened to participate in terrorist activities worldwide.

    Al Qaeda, unlike, Muslim brotherhood is seen as an intimidating force that has interpreted Islamic laws too strictly and have portrayed a brutal image of Islam. It is disliked by most Muslims and non- Muslims since both have at some point or another been targeted by it. Muslim brotherhood on the other hand has no history of intimidation or open terrorist activities.

    Major differences:

    • Ideological differences
    • Origins/ formation
    • MB has a nationalist agenda and Al Qaeda has a global agenda
    • MB involves in politics , Al Qaeda involves in terrorist activities
    • The Purpose of both organizations is different
    • Al Qaeda is militant group and MB is a political party
    • Al Qaeda is seen by Muslims and non Muslims as threatening while MB is not.

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