Muslim Brotherhood in Senegal: What Do We Know About the Jamaat Ibad Rahman Group?

The Senegalese presidency announced last week that Dakar would host the first round of presidential elections on March 24th, amidst the crisis surrounding the postponement of the presidential elections, led by the Ibad Rahman Brotherhood.

The country witnessed an unprecedented political crisis, prompting President Macky Sall to declare it would end on schedule, following political anger and protests led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Constitutional Council’s announcement last week that postponing the elections from February 25th to December 15th was unconstitutional, according to Agence France-Presse.

Recent events in Senegal have led several media outlets to shed light on the Senegalese Muslim Brotherhood, the Ibad Rahman group, considered one of the most important actors in the Islamic arena. The group, influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, seeks to establish an Islamic society in the country. The group was founded in 1978 by a group of Senegalese youth who separated from the Islamic Cultural Union, which represented the prevailing Sufi approach in Senegal, according to Al-Bawaba.

Like the Brotherhood, the group is characterized by its public political work and opposition to the government, which it considers contrary to Islam. It advocates for the implementation of Islamic Sharia law and recognition of Islam as the country’s official religion, organizing various missionary, cultural, and service activities for Muslims.

The Ibad Rahman group emerged as a result of internal dissent within the Islamic Cultural Union in the seventies, following a dispute between some of the Union’s leaders and the elite, who later became the nucleus of the Ibad Rahman group.

The group is headquartered in the city of Thies, about 50 kilometers from the capital Dakar, and has adopted a motto that says: “Islam is our religion, the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our role model, Jihad is our path, and dying in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration,” which is the same motto as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Ibad Rahman group considers Islam as the only solution to humanity’s problems and believes that Senegal needs to rediscover its Islamic and Arab identity, which was obliterated by French colonization.

The project of the Ibad Rahman group is an Islamic project aimed at establishing an Islamic society in Senegal. However, this project contradicts the Senegalese constitution, which stipulates that the country is secular, democratic, and socialist, ensuring equality before the law for all citizens without discrimination, and respecting all believers.

Therefore, the group faces difficulties and obstacles in achieving its goals, as it opposes the government and accuses it of being hostile to the group’s ideology.

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