Mohammed Badie is the official supreme guide (murshid) of the Muslim Brotherhood.Ian Lee, Salma Abdelaziz, and Tim Hume, “Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie receives life sentence,” CNN, May 30, 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/05/30/middleeast/egypt-life-sentence-muslim-brotherhood-leader/index.html. Badie is serving a life sentence in Egypt on multiple charges of planning and inciting violent attacks following the July 2013 coup against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.“Egypt issues life sentence for Muslim Brotherhood chief,” Al Jazeera, May 8, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/egypt-issues-life-sentence-muslim-brotherhood-chief-170508151622974.html.; “Brotherhood leader jailed for 25 years,” Al Jazeera, September 15, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/09/egypt-sentences-mb-leader-25-years-jail-2014915141248871602.html. Mahmoud Ezzat acted as the Brotherhood’s temporary supreme guide from August 2013 until his own arrest in August 2020.“Egypt’s Brotherhood Names New Acting Supreme Guide,” Ahram Online, August 20, 2013, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/79499/Egypt/0/Egypts-Brotherhood-names-new-acting-supreme-guide.aspx; “Egypt: Wanted Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Ezzat arrested,” Gulf News, August 28, 2020, https://gulfnews.com/world/mena/egypt-wanted-brotherhood-leader-mahmoud-ezzat-arrested-1.73483156. Ibrahim Mounir was appointed as the acting general guide after Ezzat’s arrest.“Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Ibrahim Mounir is the new acting general guide,’” Middle East Monitor, last updated September 21, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200916-muslim-brotherhood-ibrahim-mounir-is-the-new-acting-supreme-guide/; George Mikhail, “Muslim Brotherhood appoints acting guide after arrest of leader,” Al-Monitor, September 18, 2020, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/09/egypt-arrest-leader-muslim-brotherhood-successor.html.
Badie earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1965,Steven A. Cook, “Who Are the Muslim Brothers,” Council on Foreign Relations, August 7, 2012, https://www.cfr.org/blog/who-are-muslim-brothers. and joined the Brotherhood in 1975.Eric Trager, Katie Kiraly, Cooper Klose, and Eliot Calhoun, “Who’s Who in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, September 2012, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/whos-who-in-the-muslim-brotherhood. He is considered among the more conservative members of the Brotherhood’s leadership and was reportedly a close associate and supporter of Brotherhood theologian Sayyid Qutb.Shadi Hamid, “A Radical Turn for the Muslim Brotherhood?,” Brookings Institution, January 26, 2010, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2010/01/26/a-radical-turn-for-the-muslim-brotherhood/.
In 2007, Badie became a member of the Brotherhood’s international guidance bureau.“Profile of Dr Badie: a resilient leader,” Ikhwanweb: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English web site, January 17, 2010, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=22669. The Brotherhood’s Shura Council—a 100-member voting body—elected Badie as its supreme guide in January 2010.Maggie Michael, “Judges resign from trial of Muslim Brotherhood officials,” Times of Israel, October 29, 2013, http://www.timesofisrael.com/judges-resign-from-trial-of-muslim-brotherhood-officials. As the murshid, Badie oversaw the 15- to 20-member Guidance Office (Maktab al-Irshad), which is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Brotherhood’s political and administrative agenda.Eric Trager, “The Unbreakable Muslim Brotherhood: Grim Prospects for a Liberal Egypt,” Foreign Affairs, 90 (2011): 114. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/68211/eric-trager/the-unbreakable-muslim-brotherhood. In this position, Badie was responsible for assigning members of the Guidance Office to oversee the Brotherhood’s university recruitment efforts, implement its educational platform, or shape the group’s political strategy.Eric Trager, “The Unbreakable Muslim Brotherhood: Grim Prospects for a Liberal Egypt,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2011, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/68211/eric-trager/the-unbreakable-muslim-brotherhood.
Badie was largely responsible for making decisions concerning political maneuvers and strategies for the Brotherhood’s short-lived Freedom and Justice political party, on whose ticket Morsi ran for president of Egypt in 2012.Matthias Gebauer, Daniel Steinvorth, and Volkhard Windfuhr, “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood: Who Really Holds the Reigns in Egypt?” Spiegel Online, December 12, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/president-mohammed-morsi-and-his-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood-a-872214.html. Egyptian national television showed meetings in which Morsi greeted Badie by kissing his hand, a gesture in the Arab world commonly meant to show obedience to a higher leader.Matthias Gebauer, Daniel Steinvorth, and Volkhard Windfuhr, “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood: Who Really Holds the Reigns in Egypt?” Spiegel Online, December 12, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/president-mohammed-morsi-and-his-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood-a-872214.html. Some media reports have suggested that Badie wielded the true decision-making power during Morsi’s presidency.Matthias Gebauer, Daniel Steinvorth, and Volkhard Windfuhr, “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood: Who Really Holds the Reigns in Egypt?” Spiegel Online, December 12, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/president-mohammed-morsi-and-his-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood-a-872214.html.
In early July 2013, the Egyptian military overthrew Morsi’s government and dissolved the constitution in response to escalating protests against the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. A week later, protesters gathered at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in response to Morsi’s overthrow. On July 4, Egyptian prosecutors charged Badie with inciting violence against peaceful protesters after eight people were killed during protests outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters. Nonetheless, Badie remained free and continued to speak during protests.Martin Chulov and Patrick Kingsley, “Egypt’s military arrest Muslim Brotherhood supreme leader,” Guardian (London), July 4, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/04/egypt-military-arrest-warrants-muslim-brotherhood; “Egypt Brotherhood leader Badie appears at protest rally,” Reuters, July 5, 2013, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-protests-brotherhood-badie/egypt-brotherhood-leader-badie-appears-at-protest-rally-idUSBRE9640NK20130705; “Egypt prosecutor orders arrest of top Brotherhood leader,” Reuters, July 4, 2013, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-protests-warrants/egypt-prosecutor-orders-arrest-of-top-brotherhood-leader-idUSBRE96309Q20130704; “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says leaders not arrested,” Reuters, July 10, 2013, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-protests-haddad/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-says-leaders-not-arrested-idUSBRE9690B320130710. That August, the military forcibly dispersed and killed more than 800 Muslim Brotherhood protesters gathered near Rabaa al-Adawiya.Shadi Hamid, “The Massacre that Ended the Arab Spring,” Atlantic, August 14, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/arab-spring-rabaa-massacre/536847/. Badie and several other Brotherhood leaders were arrested on August 20 and charged with inciting violence.Matthias Gebauer, “Battling the Islamists: Egypt Risks Further Radicalization,” Spiegel Online, August 20, 2013, accessed May 30, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/muslim-brotherhood-leader-mohammed-badie-arrested-in-egypt-a-917597.html; Jeffrey Fleishman, “Egypt arrests Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/20/world/la-fg-wn-egypt-muslim-brotherhoods-spiritual-leader-arrested-20130820; “Egypt Brotherhood’s Badie Among Mass Death Sentences,” BBC News, April 28, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27186339.
The Egyptian government accuses Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders of incitement to violence during the summer 2013 protests.“Egyptian Brotherhood leader handed sixth life sentence: judicial sources,” Reuters, August 22, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-verdict/egyptian-brotherhood-leader-handed-sixth-life-prison-sentence-judicial-sources-idUSKCN0QR09Y20150822. According to Badie’s lawyers, the former Brotherhood leader has been prosecuted in more than 35 trials and has received three death sentences, all of which were eventually dismissed.“Egypt court quashes life sentence against Brotherhood leader,” Middle East Eye, May 9, 2017, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypts-high-court-overturns-life-sentence-against-brotherhood-leader-1059716918.
On March 16, 2015, an Egyptian court sentenced Badie and 13 other Brotherhood members to death after they were found guilty of planning attacks against Egypt. The court found that the men had set up an “operations room” to plot attacks against the state in the wake of Morsi’s July 2013 ouster.“Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie sentenced to death in Egypt,” BBC News, March 16, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31914964. In August 2014, Egypt’s grand mufti, who has veto power over capital punishment rulings, commuted Badie’s death sentence to life in prison.“Badie death sentence reduced to life in prison,” Al Jazeera, August 30, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/death-sentence-badie-reduced-life-20148305040329928.html. In December 2015, another court reaffirmed the mufti’s ruling, overturning the death sentence and ordering a retrial.“Egypt court cancels death sentence of Muslim brotherhood head,” Business Standard (New Delhi), December 3, 2015, http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/egypt-court-cancels-death-sentence-of-muslim-brotherhood-head-115120300813_1.html.
On May 7, 2017, the Giza Criminal Court sentenced Badie to life imprisonment for his alleged role in inciting protests that preceded the August 2013 Rabaa massacre.“Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie sentenced to life in prison,” Al Arabiya, May 8, 2017, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/05/08/Muslims-Brotherhood-leader-Mohammed-Badie-sentenced-to-life-in-prison.html. The following day, Egypt’s Court of Cassation, the country’s highest judicial body, heard a separate appeal by Badie regarding his alleged involvement in inciting violent attacks that left five dead when Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked a Port Said police station in August 2013, for which Badie had received a life sentence.“Egyptian Brotherhood leader handed sixth life sentence: judicial sources,” Reuters, August 22, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-verdict/egyptian-brotherhood-leader-handed-sixth-life-prison-sentence-judicial-sources-idUSKCN0QR09Y20150822. The judiciary overturned Badie’s life sentence.“Egypt: The Judiciary Overturns the life sentences of the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide and others in the case of the events of Port Said,” France24, May 9, 2017, http://www.france24.com/ar/20170509-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%85%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%82%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%B9-%D8%B7%D8%B9%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%A4%D8%A8%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AB-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%AF.
Badie remains in prison. On September 28, 2017, Badie received a life sentence on charges that included inciting terrorism, leading an outlawed group, and raiding and vandalizing government facilities.“Egyptian court hands fresh life sentence to Muslim Brotherhood leader,” Reuters, September 28, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-court-badie/egyptian-court-hands-fresh-life-sentence-to-muslim-brotherhood-leader-idUSKCN1C327H. In November 2017, Badie lost an appeal against a life sentence for his role in the 2013 clashes.“Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood leader loses appeal against life sentence,” Reuters, November 15, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-court/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-leader-loses-appeal-against-life-sentence-idUSKBN1DF21O. On September 7, 2019, Badie and 10 other Brotherhood members were sentenced to life in prison for aiding in a mass prison break during Egypt’s 2011 revolution. On September 11, Badie and 10 other Brotherhood members were sentenced to life in prison on charges of spying in conjunction with Hamas.“Egypt sentences 11 Islamist leaders to life for spying,” Associated Press, September 11, 2011, https://apnews.com/2c101b12aefe4e0e992e396180da85f6; Samy Magdy, “Egypt court sentences 11 Islamists to life for prison breaks,” Associated Press, September 7, 2019, https://apnews.com/05c4bdc6153d4931a2d25f9755dcf9ee. On July 9, 2020, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld Badie’s life sentence on charges of violence and murder.“Egypt: 138 years in jail for Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide,” Middle East Monitor, July 16, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200716-egypt-138-years-in-jail-for-muslim-brotherhood-supreme-guide/; “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Egypt,” U.S. Department of State, March 30, 2021, https://eg.usembassy.gov/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices-egypt/.
Assets frozen by Egyptian government on July 16, 2013.“Asset Freeze for Islamist Leaders Goes into Action,” Egypt Independent, July 16, 2013, <a href="http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/asset-freeze-islamist-leaders-goes-action>http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/asset-freeze-islamist-leaders-goes-action</a></span>.</p> <p>Designated a terrorist by Egypt’s public prosecutor on March 29, 2015.<span class=" footnote"="">“Egypt lists top Brotherhood leader, 17 others as terrorists: state media,” Reuters, March 29, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-brotherhood/egypt-lists-top-brotherhood-leader-17-others-as-terrorists-state-media-idUSKBN0MP0T620150329.
Designated a terrorist by Egypt’s public prosecutor on March 29, 2015.“Egypt lists top Brotherhood leader, 17 others as terrorists: state media,” Reuters, March 29, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-brotherhood/egypt-lists-top-brotherhood-leader-17-others-as-terrorists-state-media-idUSKBN0MP0T620150329.