A video gone viral on social networks allegedly depicting Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie performing the hajj inside a cordon of young Brothers has angered activists and stirred disagreement within the group.
The video shows a man appearing to be Badie surrounded by a ring of Brotherhood members holding each other’s hands to protect him.
The video has sparked mixed reactions among young Brothers on the Internet. Some opined that he should be secured since he is the group's leader. Others criticized the act, saying it was not permitted during the hajj and that there was no threat of assassination or murder during the ritual.
"Is not the supreme guide worth [the protection]?" asked Brotherhood member Osama al-Beshbeeshy.
He criticized other Brotherhood members who were against the cordon. "It is just that you do not know the position of the supreme guide in the world. I hope pilgrims tell us when they return what they did when they saw him. The Saudi Brotherhood members formed a human cordon around him so he could perform the hajj, in light of the overcrowding of pilgrims around him to kiss him, hug him and shake hands [with him]."
"The scene is already provocative,” retorted Osama Abul Magd, a young Brotherhood member. “The supreme guide may need to be protected in Egypt, for example if there is a crowd, but it's the hajj! I cannot imagine a Muslim performing hajj rituals in a security cordon, unless he is a targeted political figure like a president, for example."
"If we asked 99 percent of pilgrims about the supreme guide, they would not recognize him, except for Egyptians and Brothers,” Abul Magd added.
Abul Magd pointed out that during the hajj all Muslims wear simple white clothes to hide any sort of societal distinctions.
"This scene probably does not translate this equality, which God ordered," he added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm