Tag Archives: Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Blasts Islamic Groups!

Ali Abdel Hafeez, who left the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood last year created a new storm of controversy by labeling Islamist movements as “perversions” whose existance only leads to divisons rather than solutions. “Islamist movements, ” he told the Daily Star, “are perversions that stunt creativity and growth.” He argues a basic problem with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood is they consume energy into arguing about which group truly represents the Islmaic faith and spirit instead of actually doing anything to improve the lives of people. Hafeez believe democracy is the solution and when organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood attempt to portray themselves as the only coveyer of the Islamic faith the result is talk rather than action. He poses a simple question: If the Brotherhood has appropriated itself as the sole carrier of the Islamic banner, where did that leave other Muslims?

Hafeez is creating his own group, the Alternative Movement, which most probably will not be accepted by most Muslims and will spend its energy in talk and protest. But, he raises an interesting question, why isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood the Egptian Brotherhood? Hafeez believes a major problem in the Muslim world is spending time attacking the West instead of recognizing the strengths of western government which have gained the allegiance of most people in their society. Instead of “judging them and berating them, we should learn from them,” he says.

Hafeez rasies some serious questions about too many Muslim societies. He notes the Muslim Brotherhood spends a great deal of time worrying how many times a person prays each day instead of worrying how to create a modern vibrant society that meets the economic and political needs of people.

Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt Now Faces Military Court

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been facing continual harrassment by the government of President Mubarak which seeks to crush a group that offers firm opposition to the current administration of the country. Forty members of the Musim Brotherhood after being exonerated by a civilian court, had their cases transfered to a military tribunal on orders of President Mubarak. Abdel Maqsoud, swpeaking for the MB, “the decision to try the 40 members in a military court is an unfair decision and is an indication of how unjust and provocative our political system is.” He believes the case may once again be postponed to ensure none of the men would be able to stand in the upcoming elections. Several human rights activists are coming to Cairo to monitor the trialsand the Egyptian Organizaiton for Human Rights (EOHR) stated “we are completely against civilians being tried in military courts.”

Neither press nor media will be allowed in the court to witness the trial. The 40 men were acquitted of all charges by the Egyptian Administrative Court but Murbarak intends to crush the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is cited by the United States as an ally in the fight for democracy but those who oppose the rule of Mubarak more commonly face court action to silence their voices. This blog may disagree with the views of the Muslim Brotherhood but their right to express opinions must not be stifled because the only other recourse is violence.

US Rips Egypt For Arrests Of Political Opponents

the United States ripped into the Egyptian government for arresting hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood at a time when many are engaged in upcoming elections. “We are concerned,” said the US comment, “by a continuing campaign of arrests in Egypt of individuals who are opponents of the current governing party and are involved in the upcoming local elections.” About 350 members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested in the past few weeks. However, despite harsh words from the White House, Secretry of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this month waived a $1000 million freeze on American aid to Egypt which had been placed due to human rights violations. The Egyptian government responded in anger at interference in their internal affairs.

The Bush administration continues insisting democracy is the path to stability in the Middle East. China retains its authoritarian style government as it slowly moves ahead and it is expected over time the enormous economic development of that nation eventually will result in development of a democratic society. Bush reacted with fury when Hamas won an election and refused to invite them to the Annapolis Conference, but now, he wants the Muslim Brotherhood, whose platform is not that far different from Hamas, to be accorded an opportunity to win an election. If they win, will Bush recognize their victory?

Can Democracy Be Maintained In A Muslim Led Nation?

Mona Eltahawy, writing in the Daily News of Egypt, raises questions concerning the relationship between a democratic society and the rights of Muslim fundamentalists. She discusses her interaction with Khaled Hamz Salam, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhodd and recently was arrested by Egyptian autorities. Ms. Eltahawy emphasizes she completely disagrees with the views of Salam and doubts if she, as modern secular woman, would have any opportunity to express her views in a nation led by the Muslim Brotherhood. However, much to her surprise, Salam has reprinted her views on his web site and insists if the Brotherhood ever took over, the rights of women would be protected. He is now one of 750 members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have been imprisoned.

Mona Eltahawy believes President Mubarak uses scare tactics to maintain power by frightening the West with tales of Islamic oppression if the Brotherhood was allowed to participate in politics and eventually gain power. The spectre of Islamic fundamentalism allows Mubarak to continue his dictatorial rule which, after his death, might be followed by the rule of his son. She believes arresting people like Salam who respect women’s rights represent a threat to the Egyptian government attempt to protray all Brotherhood members as extremists and terrorists.

Her column raises the issue if a new generation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders is emerging who are more in tune with the modern world. Certainly, the example of Turkey shows a fundamentalist government still respects secularism. Perhaps, a major problem of the current Bush administration is being blinded by words like “terrorism” or “religious fundamentalism” which leads them to support dictatorship who rule in the name of being better than fundamentalism.

The real question is whether a third road is beginning to be created in the Muslim world which allows both fundamentalist and modern man and woman to walk alongside one another into the future.

Muslim Brotherhood- To Trust Or Not To Trust?

The government of President Mubarak has long been hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood which it claims seeks to overthrow democracy in Egypt and substitute a fundamentalist religious government that would be hostile to secular voices and those of women. MOhammad Habib, in an interview with the Daily News of Cairo rejected those complaints and reaffirmed his organization wanted to maintain democracy. “We have declared from pinciple that we accept democracy that allows political pluralism, the peaceful transition of power and the right of people lto choose who rules them.” Habib emphasized the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood was creation of a civil state with an islamic refrence, but a state that has executive, judicial and legislative branches that are separate from religion.

There are models in the Middle East for Muslim led governments. In Turkey the Justice and Development Party has maintained secular rights and respected those who oppose their government. On the other hand, the Iran model is a religious theocracy. Which path will the Muslim Brotherhood pursue?

Egyptian Government Arrests College Students

More than two thousand students at Al-Azahar University in Cairo protested the arrest of eleven students who are member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Students complained of interference in their rights by security guards and urged the end of students being searched when they entered university grounds.Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, a student complained; “This escalation in the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has worrying implications for anyone who peacefully campaigns for change.” University authorities insisted the government was merely trying to protect students from those who preach violence.

There are several issues entailed in the efforts by students to ensure their rights against government actions. The Muslim Brotherhood has been condemned as a violent organization without due process proceedings. Egyptian university students wish to be accorded their rights to belong to organizations in order to fight for democracy in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood in the past has engaged in violence, but these students are attempting to create a sense of freedom on college campuses which allows students to engage in intellectual discussions. If any student commits an act of violence there are sufficient laws which would result in punishment. The Western world condemns actions by the Iranian government to suppress free speech on university campuses, certainly the same principle should be protected in Egypt.

An Egyptian Middle Road?

Four of the largest secular parties have begun exploring the idea of a coalition which might constitute a third force in Egyptian politics. At present, the ruling National Democratic Party of President Mubarak represents corruption and inefficiency while at the other end of the continuum is the Muslim Brotherhood which recently shocked many people by announcing their desire for an Iranian style government dominated by clerics. Mubarak is growing old and there are rumors he is grooming his son to take over once he either dies or leaves office. His government has failed to develop a vibrant economy and is riddled with corruption. Thousands of young Egyptians migrate elsewhere in search of jobs that match their education or talents. Osama El Ghazeli Harb, an editor of al-Ahram, posed: “I think the coalition should attempt to answer the question: what should Egypt look like after Mubarak?”

George Bush has emphasized his anger at the clerical dominated Iranian government, but less attention has been focused on the corrupt and increasingly anti-democratic government of Mubarak. One result of the corruption is continued growth of a fanatical Muslim Brotherhood which has abandoned earlier statements about their desire for a non-clerical controlled government. It is now clear they desire a clerical group which will oversee legislation as is done in Iran. Egypt desperately needs a third force of secular democrats who can offer people an alternative between extremes.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Urges Iranian Style State

Egyptian’s moderate secular parties have been hoping the Muslim Brotherhood would cooperate in efforts to establish a democratic Egyptian nation. Their hopes were dashed with publication by the Muslim Brotherhood of its platform for change in Egypt. The document would bar women and Christians from holding the office of president and allow a board of clerics to oversee Parliament and decide which laws could be passed. A hard line group within the Brotherhood, the “Daaw,” which in Arabic translates as “preaching” over-rode objections by moderates in pushing through their fundamentalist ideas which appear to resemble the Iranian government in form and substance. Abdel Moneim Sud of the Al-Ahram Center said “it establishes a religious state. It’s an assassination for the public state.” The document argues women should not be allowed to hold high office because it would lead to “burdening women with duties against their nature or role in the family.”

The Mubarak government has failed to create a dynamic economy, it has failed to establish the basis for democracy in Egypt, and it is riddled with corruption and favoritism. rumors continue circulating President Murbarak is grooming his son to take over the office of president when he leaves. The Muslim Brotherhood platform would set back Egyptian women fifty years and make impossible any coalition that could successfully challenge Mubarak. Perhaps, it indicates the Brotherhood is considering use of violence to attain power even though it continues denying any such intention.