Tag Archives: Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood Struggles For Identity

The Muslim Brotherhood is among the oldest Islamic groups in the Middle East and during its existence the MB has spawned several Islamist militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Egypt’s government has cracked down on the Brotherhood in order to continue a divide and conquer approach to a group it deems a threat to the status quo. A policy of repression prevents the Muslim Brotherhood from attaining a powerful position in parliament and results in them being blocked out of any power to influence government policies. MB moderates believe if their organization could freely engage in politics, the end result would be development of a more pragmatic approach, Instead the Brotherhood is consumed with arguments of who is in control and how are leaders to be selected.

Abdelmonem Mahmooud, a journalist, argues, “those in charge aren’t connected with today’s world.” The result is those in power attempt to create a world that is disappearing. Out of this conflict comes economic stagnation, the denigration of women, and an inability to resolve any problems with Israel.

Muslim Brotherhood Not Impressed With Obama

President Barack Obama will be visiting Egypt where he has promised to make an important speech addressed to the Muslim world, but the Muslim Brotherhood made clear at present it does not see evidence the American leader is any different from past presidents. Mohammed Habib, deputy leader of the MB said he was skeptical about Obama’s intentions and the trip would be “useless unless it is preceded by real change in the policies of the US administration toward the Arab and Islamic world.” The issue of Israel continues to be one that Arab leaders regard as critical if they are to accept there is real change in American Middle Eastern policy.

Habib said, “the US administration is attempting to recruit all the Arab states… to implement its permanent agenda that favors the Zionist entity.” The Brotherhood is banned in Egypt but its followers, despite difficulties imposed by the government, have gained at least 88 seats in Parliament and most probably have the support of a good percent of the Egyptian population.

Obama can make speeches addressed to the Muslim world but he will be ignored unless Israel changes its policies and agrees to the concept of a two state solution which includes an independent Palestine whose capital is in east Jerusalem. Can Obama pull it off is the question?

Muslim Hypocrites Attack Pope Benedict XVI

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood blasted the Pope in anticipation of his visit to their nation. They accused Pope Benedict XVI of being anti-Muslim because in a speech in 2006, he quoted from a Medieval text which referred to Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman.” According to the Muslim Brotherhood anyone who quotes negative remarks from Medieval times that cast doubt upon their religious leader is guilty of some sort of crime. At the time, the Pope apologized if his remarks were taken to mean he was anti-Muslim. But, to the Brotherhood, a “clear apology” is required. Frankly, talk about apologies is hypocritical coming from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pick up any newspaper or go to any newstand in a Muslim nation and it only takes a few moments before one sees periodicals which insult Jews and deride their religion. Go to Iran and witness the treatment of members of the Bahai faith. Visit a school in Saudi Arabia where children are taught to despise Christians. Sorry, Muslim Brotherhood, before you insult the Pope, take a look in the mirror at your own hypocrisy.

Egyptian Journalists Brutalized For Backing Protests

The Egyptian government intends to keep things quiet on its side of the border with Gaza and to avoid any opportunity for those opposing Israel’s attack to show support for Gazans. Eleven reporters who worked with the Hisham Mubarak Center for Human Rights said they were brutality attacked and their cameras smashed for daring to report protests against Egyptian policy toward the Gaza situation. According to the reporters, police assaulted them, shoving and hitting anyone in their way and destroying their cameras and any film they had taken of the protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza. According to Rasha Azab of the Al-Fagr newspaper, “police forces wanted everyone to stay home for days” in order to play down the reality of Egyptian opposition to their government’s policies.

According to Alsaied Al Harany, “we were taking pictures of police forces beating and assaulting protestors and once we were spotted by officers, we were immediately surrounded” and then rounded up to be sent to jail.

President Mubarak made a mistake by not taking an active role in opposing Israel’s actions, all he did was allow the Muslim Brotherhood to become the hero of the masses. It makes more sense to lead the mob rather than allow your opponent to assume that position.

Egyptians Denounce Gaza Slaughter

More than 50,000 Egyptians gathered after Friday prayers in order to voice their anger at the refusal of their government to assist the people of Gaza. The demonstration was organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, and undoubtedly it allowed this militant group to gain new adherents to its cause by becoming the focal point for protest against the madness of Gaza. At first, police tried to break up the demonstration but finally realized there were simply too many people. The government of Israel still does not realize by killing civilians and children it is assisting every militant group in the Middle East to gain support from thousands of individuals who may not necessarily support radical beliefs, but are shocked at what is transpiring in Gaza.

Hamas sent a delegation to meet with the Egyptian government and made clear they were not going to support a cease fire unless they are actively involved in designing such a statement. Hamas desperately wants the Israel bombing to continue because every time a child dies, Hamas gets new recruits. The brutality of the Israel invasion meets the goals of Hamas.

Many Israelis who now support the invasion of Gaza forget that in the 1980s, Israel security forces encouraged the creation of Hamas as a way to get back at Arafat whom they viewed as the major enemy of their nation. Which new radical group is being born today which ten years from now will make Israel security regard Hamas as a more pliable group for discussions?

Muslim Brotherhood Seeks To Emulate Turkey AKP

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood(MB) which is feared and oppressed by the Mubarak government is trying to create an image akin to that of the Turkish Justice and Development Party(AKP) which currently governs its nation. Muhammad Habib, a key leader in the Brotherhood emphasized his party is concerned with social justice and conducts health services as well as aiding people to obtain jobs and education. “We do not extend help to the people for political reasons or considerations.” He argues his party wants a democratic Egypt just as the AKP works for democracy in Turkey. He was clear the Muslim Brotherhood had no connection with Muslim terrorist organizations and bluntly stated, “Al Qaeda does not represent Islam and their actions are not reconcilable with Islam.”

When asked why the MB does not denounce the use of suicide bombing in the Israel-Palestine conflict he replied, “sometimes there is no remedy left but suicide bombing in Palestine.” He also made clear the MB accepts the right of Israel to exist if it would retreat to the 1948 borders.

Among the tragedies of the current Israel-Palestine conflict is Muslim nations are now ready to accept the 1948 border. Had they displayed this attitude in 1948, the conflict never would have arisen. The other tragedy is failure on the part of Israel leaders to work with all Muslim groups in the quest for peace.

Egypt Arrests Muslim Brotherhood Members

Egypt remains a key American ally in the struggle to establish democratic societies in the Middle East, but unfortunately, the Egyptian government has stifled free speech and made free elections an unusual event. The major opponent of President Mubarak is the Muslim Brotherhood which enjoys considerable popularity among many sectors of Egyptian society. On Monday, security forces arrested 39 members of the Muslim Brotherhood while its leaders were on vacation in the Nile Delta. An official stated: “Thirty-nine Muslim Brothers were arrested while on holiday in Kafr Al-Sheikh. The website of the Muslim Brotherhood indicated three of those arrested held positions of local power in the organization. The men are accused of propogating Muslim Brotherhood ideas and being found in possession of Islamist literature which is banned in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 and officially banned while President Nasser led the nation. The Brotherhood currently holds about one fifth of seats in Parliament although these representatives must run as independents.

The Muslim Brotherhood can play a vital role in furthering the development of democracy in Egypt. The Egyptian government needs an opposition in order to curb nepotism and corruption which are widespread in Egypt.

Is Muslim Brotherhood Mubarak’s Real Fear

The recent elections in Egypt were marked by pressure exerted upon candidates who ran as members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, Brotherhood candidates who ran as independents were able to secure about 20% of the votes. The organization is barred and more than 800 of its members were arrested prior to the April 8 election. According to the Brotherhood’s Deputy Chairman, Momhammed Habib, “it looks like the ruling National Democratic Party is not able to compete fairly with the Muslim Brotherhood” and they panicked when they saw the results of the 2005 election. Originally, the MB hoped to field 10,000 candidates in the elections that were held two weeks ago, but only 21 made it onto the ballot papers.

Mubarak is making the same mistakes that were made by the Shah of Iran before he was overthown by Islamic clerics. Mubarak is relying on force, intimidation, and terror rather than focucing on creating a vibrant economy that offers jobs and security to the population. Thousands of well educated Egyptians leave their nation each year in search of decent jobs, this results in robbing the economy of the talents of those who might be able to stimulate economic develoment.

Where does the United States stand in regard to the disastrous policies of President Mubarak? America supplies him with money, but the money rarely results in economic development or the creation of first class education that could allow Egyptians opportunities to rise from poverty. The end result is always the same– a revolution that brings forth radical elements into power.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Lies Low

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhod has recently displayed rather cautious behavior such as refusing to participate in strikes against the government. There apparently is considerable fear among its leaders that President Mubarak is seeking an incident of violence which would allow him to use the full power of government in order to completely disband the Muslim Brotherhood. As Kaili Al Anani points out in the Daily News, “it is completely aware that the regime is waiting for any opportunity to finish it off at any price and arrest its leading figures.” Brotherhood leadership is trapped in a quandry, do they urge the masses to rise up in protest and seek to make changes, an action that might result in slaughter of thousands or do they lie low and wait for a better opporunity to take a stand?

The April 6th strikes did impact Egyptian society although it certainly did not force the Mubarak government to initiate any dramatic reforms. Egyptian is a time bomb waiting to explode but the Bush administration is so focused on Iraq it does not grasp the possibility of an even greater danger to the west of Iraq.

Rigged Egypt Election Reduces Turnout

The Egyptian government has been denying members of the Muslim Brotherhood their rightto engage freely in local elections which proved a major factor in reducing the number of people who actually decided to vote. Some human rights groups estimated only about two perent of those eligible to vote actually got around to casting a ballot. Mahdi Akef, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned actions by the Mubarak government which denied members of his organization from even being able to register to vote, let alone cast a ballot. It was estimated about 90% of seats up for election were held by members of the Mubarak National Democratic Party who were running unoppsed.

The Mubarak government each year becomes ever more distant from the needs and aspirations of the Egyptian population. By denying the democratic process his party gains a temporary victory, but, in the end, the only winner will be forces of violence and terrorism. Rising prices, lack of job opportunities and denial of democratic rights are bound to eventually turn most Egyptians to cast their eyes in the direction of those who promise to improve their lives.