The vast majority of stories dealing with the Middle East pertain to American involvement or to the Palestine-Israel conflict, and few concern internal Arab disputes. The Muslim Brotherhood(MB) was among the initial nationalist -religious groups which emerged in the region and within years after the successful Gamel Nasser seizure of power in Egypt, it clashed with secular nationalist forces. There have been ongoing crackdowns on the MB in Egypt since President Mubarak fears it will become a powerful force that challenges his control of the nation. The MB has been successful in creating social services to the poor, and, in many cases it is more successful than government agencies.
The current Egyptian crackdown has resulted in arrest of the MB’s leader, Mahmoud Ezzat and several of his deputies. In theory the MB is an unlawful agency, but it has decided to open to the public internal policies and events which has aroused anger on the part of the government. How can an organization be illegal but displaying information about itself and attempting to gain power in the legislature? The MB has promised to enter candidates for parliamentary elections this year which undoubtedly will result in an attempt to destroy the group’s ability to be a political force.
The Egyptian government charges there is a “special outfit” in the MB which adheres to the ideas of radical writer, Sayed Qotb. According to the government there is an official MB which tries coming across as moderate and a secret leadership which is bent on radical changes in the country. The MB exists in a twilight zone of being denied legal status as a political group and a group that does exist and interacts with Egyptians.