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Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

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    Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

    I read this in CSMonitor today. See points in bold.
    CAIRO Ė Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazief is explaining to a small group of reporters his government's commitment to democracy. He promises that restrictions on political parties will soon be eased to allow for real political competition.
    But when asked if the regime will legalize the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most popular and best-organized opposition group, a bit of steel creeps into his congenial tone. "Never,'' he says. The Brotherhood "will never be a political party."
    The Brotherhood - which has provided the intellectual seeds for peaceful Islamist political organizations throughout the world as well as Islamist terrorist groups - is at the center of calls for more democracy not just in Egypt, but in much of the Arab world.
    And in this restless Arab spring, the 77-year-old organization, which favors Islamic law and says it's committed to democracy, has been roused from a public slumber. Worried that the proactive steps taken by secular Egyptian reformers like the Kifaya (Enough) Movement could cost the Brotherhood its position as Egypt's leading opposition movement has stirred the organization into action.
    In recent months it has organized demonstrations and in turn been hit hard by the government. Thousands of leaders and activists have been arrested in the past two months and more than 800 remain in government custody. In an interview, senior Brotherhood leader Abdul Moneim Abul Futuh alleges one of the arrested, who has since been released, was "severely" tortured while in custody.
    Brotherhood leaders say democracy isn't possible unless they and their vast constituency are allowed a voice. The Egyptian government is just as forceful in asserting that any system that allows them a route to power will end in a new form of dictatorship.
    A violent past
    In most of the Arab dictatorships, Islamist organizations are the principal opposition, and if they come to power are likely to dramatically reconfigure their societies and their relations with the US.
    That unpredictable potential shift frightens not only entrenched regimes but the US and secular opposition groups. While the US has spoken out against Egyptian attacks on secular demonstrators, the words "Muslim Brotherhood" rarely pass US officials' lips in public. Both Arab regimes and secular opposition groups say the stated support for democracy by Islamists is a chimera.
    The Brotherhood, which has branches in almost every Muslim country, favored assassination of political opponents and violent tactics in its early decades, but abandoned terrorism in the 1950s. It hasn't been involved in political violence in Egypt since, though it does support political violence by Palestinians and by Iraqis, which it views as legitimate resistance.
    Egypt is not alone in outlawing the group. In Syria, where the local Brotherhood is one of the strongest opposition groups, the movement is illegal and membership is punishable by death.
    On a day-to-day basis, the Brotherhood's leaders in Egypt have adopted a discourse of democracy - both practical and ideological, if their leaders are to be believed. "For the Brotherhood, the issue of freedom is at the top of our agenda now,'' says Mahdi Akef, the Muslim Brotherhood's soft-spoken supreme guide. "Freedom is at the heart - it's the principal part - of Islamic law."

    According to Mr. Akef, the Brotherhood has evolved a fairly unusual view of Islamic law. Most Islamic orthodoxy holds that apostasy - leaving Islam - is a punishable crime, and is never to be allowed. But asked if his idea of freedom includes allowing a Muslim to choose another religion, or no religion at all, he says, "of course."
    Yet almost every non-Islamist in Egypt fears them. "I'm not ready to sacrifice my nation to these people,'' says Said al-Kimmi, an author and historian of Islam who says he favors democracy for Egypt, but limits on religious parties.
    "They may say to you they support democracy, but if you look at the history of their beliefs, democracy really doesn't fit with Islam. The sharia is antidemocratic - the rights of women would be attacked and they'd cut people's throats. If my choices are Mubarak's corrupt regime or them, I'll stick with what we have now."
    Brotherhood's quandary
    While the secular democracy activists of Kifaya are a narrow and elite strata in Cairo and a few other large cities, the Brotherhood's roots run deep throughout the country. There are 7,000 official chapters and a network of mosques and charities that run schools, provide medical services, and give aid to the poor.
    No one knows precisely how many members the movement has, but a Brotherhood rally against the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 drew more than 100,000 protesters. Prime Minister Nazief says he thinks that 10 percent of Egyptians support the group, at most.
    Ali Abdel Fatah, the Brotherhood's burly and gregarious chief organizer in Egypt's second city of Alexandria, laughs at the quandary of his organization. He says the Brotherhood is doing everything in its power to convince Egyptians of its commitment to democracy, but concedes that it's difficult to disprove allegations that every democratic promise is part of a conspiracy to trick the people and seize power.
    "The Brotherhood should be the ones who are afraid,'' he says. "We haven't had the trial of power, we aren't the ones who've formed military courts to jail opponents, executed peaceful activists, destroyed Egypt's civil society, or transformed the state into a series of personal fiefdoms. All we want is an open and fair system."
    Mr. Fatah grew up in a secular household, and became religious at college in the 1970s, at first under the influence of the Gamma Isalmiyah, a more radical group that favored political violence. Like many in his generation he was disillusioned with secularism after Egypt's defeat in its 1967 war with Israel.

    By the late 1970s, he'd grown closer to the Brotherhood because of what he said was its more humane and open approach. "For instance, if someone was drunk in public, the Gamma would want to have him whipped. The Brotherhood, instead, would want to talk to him and explain [that] what he's doing is wrong."
    Fatah and other Brotherhood leaders point to their management of Egypt's professional syndicates as evidence that they're committed to democracy. The syndicates - quasiofficial professional groups that are a cross between unions and licensing organizations - hold periodic elections. Members pay fees to the syndicates, which run both charities and pension plans for their members.
    'An Islamic democratic model'
    In the 1980s, the Brotherhood began organizing to take control of the syndicates at the ballot box under the tutelage of Mr. Futuh, a member of the Brotherhood's organizing board and a probable successor to Akef, who is 83, as the organization's supreme guide.
    Futuh, who once ran the doctor's syndicate and remains a senior official there, points out that when the Brotherhood has lost syndicate elections it peacefully ceded control. In recent doctors and lawyers syndicate elections, the Brotherhood ran fewer candidates than it could have, essentially inviting representation from both pro-government factions and secular opposition groups onto the boards.
    "We changed from wanting to dominate the syndicates to allowing more plural boards because, even though we know we could win control easily with total Brotherhood slates we'd be excluding a lot of people,'' he says. "What we want out of our involvement in the syndicate is to give an Islamic democratic model, to show that it works in practice."
    Brotherhood leadership of these organizations has generally reduced mismanagement and improved their financial condition, but has also provided the Brotherhood with a source of funds to advance its own agenda. In recent years, the doctor's syndicate, for instance, has sent a large amount of aid to Palestinians, winning goodwill for the Brotherhood in the process.
    And while the doctor's syndicate board may have fewer Muslim Brotherhood members than it used to, the organization's downtown offices remain a bastion for the brothers. The hallways are covered with panoramic photos of the Brotherhood's 2003 protest against the Iraq war and pictures of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the assassinated leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
    The pace of change
    Futuh says Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is so deeply opposed to his organization because of America, which he claims largely controls the Egyptian regime. He says the US knows the Brotherhood would change Egypt's policy toward Israel and probably overturn the two countries 20-year peace deal if it won power.
    But while he and other Brotherhood members express frustration at the slow pace of change, they also say they remain committed to the organization's long-term strategy in Egypt, which has put preservation of the movement's core above risking an all-out conflict with the government that could see them destroyed. Fatah says the organization expects it to take decades to rise to power, but it's willing to wait.
    Ibrahim al-Hudaiby, a Brotherhood member whose grandfather and great-grandfather ran the organization until their deaths, is a student at American University in Cairo. The movement's democracy rhetoric is no trick, he says, and that the Brotherhood is unlikely to push for more open conflict with the government.
    "Revolutions don't really lead to democracies, just look at Iran,'' he says. "The Brotherhood really wants a democracy in Egypt, and it's willing to wait to make that happen peacefully."
    Last edited by Verizon; Jun 7, 2005, 06:06 AM.
    Can you Hear me Now!! Good

    Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

    ^^ Chimera
    1: Fire Breathing monster in greek mythology.
    2: Something totally unrealistic or impractical.
    3: An organism with genetically different tissues.
    The author chose a strong word, however looking up the meaning, it actually fits Muslim Brotherhood (MB).
    Al-Qaeeda Leadership is derived out of MB (satisfies 1).
    Democracy and Sharia are totally incompatible (satisfies 2)
    It definetely is infused with other more violent organizations so in a way it is definition 1 re-visited (satisfies 3).

    Any Naysayers?
    Can you Hear me Now!! Good


      Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

      too much time on ur hands - me thinx
      Mill ke sab matam-e-shabbir karo..


        Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

        Ironic isn't it that the Muslim Brotherhood was one of the most moderate voices in teh past and in the 1930s was the backbone of all resistance movements across the arab world. Now they are "evil". Propoganda and lies.
        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


          Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

          Nothing new, just added few new words in an old rhetoric. Islam and Islamists or what ever you call them are an emerging political power in any given democratic setup in Muslim world. This is what happened in Algeria 1991, and this is what is going on right now, Hizballah, has already won more than its usual seats from Southern Lebanon, and the elections are not over yet. Fearing Hamas victory the elections in West Bank and Gaza are postponed. For years Hizb Al Amel (Egyptian Labout Party) an offshoot of MB were not allowed to run for any elections. In Jordan the MB is just waiting for Free and Fair elections. But I am sure no Freedom loving western democracy would ever "Volunteer" to monitor those elections. In Kuwait the parliament is driven by the Salafi movement. Not to mention Pakistan and Egypt, and the Jewel Iraq with its "secular" elections.
          I think itís a fair game if Muslim can protect their interest through democratically elected representatives, but its all fair when itís the Islamists who are running for elections. What can you do about the Islamphobes, they are Islamphobes after all.
          بِن دانا پانی میں جی لواں
          بِن انَک میں جی نہ سکاں


            Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

            Thank you brother Verizon for sharing. This is a slap in the face of terrorists. People should ask them, what the hell has their religion to do with politics and governance? How can you be a smart politician and a devout Muslim at the same time? The two are mutually exclusive and have no relation to one another. When you mix the two, you see what happens. It happened in Afghanistan, it is happening in Iran, in Saudi Arabia, in Sudan, in many other enclaves. Your faith is your business, donít try to make it everyone elseís.

            Thank you again brother Verizon. Very eye opening article. Extremely solid and rock-hard and trustworthy.


              Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

              Originally posted by Madhanee
              People should ask them, what the hell has their religion to do with politics and governance?
              So the prophet did not do that?

              How can you be a smart politician and a devout Muslim at the same time? The two are mutually exclusive and have no relation to one another. When you mix the two, you see what happens.
              So you are saying that the holy prophet was not a good muslim or not a good politcian? Are you saying that you can not have religion and govt mixed together when the Islamic Empire did so easily for 300 to 600 years?
              You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


                Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                CM, are you saying today's politicians are comparable to the prophet?

                Religion and government were mixed together in other religions in the past as well. But that's the past. Islam is just slow in the evolution compared to other religions, but it is a relatively young religion. Enlightenment and reformation did not come right away to other religions either.


                  Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                  CM, Where did I say prophet was a poltician or not? and what exactly did he govern? How many square miles? How many tribes?


                    Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                    Can Islam rule a city of 100 million? Because rumour has it there will be over 20 of those supermegacities in the next 50 years.


                      Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                      LOL you are so ignorant Sem. Go back to the link and see what US GOVT agency provided me with those stats? You are such a sad state. Your own govt says there 48 mega cities now.

                      NYA he governed two cities, many of his sayings and teachings are now consider shariah law. Additionally he undertook actions of justice, goverance, fiscal and trade policies. Is that not how a govt functions?

                      300 years of Islamic rule in the world were governed efficiently and expanded as well. All undertaken by men more religious than anyone today. So it is very possible. The Holy Prophet was a politican, a ruler, a Khalifa.
                      You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


                        Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                        Do you really believe what you type? Can you be that dense?!!

                        A megacity is defined as a city with population of 10 million or more. NOT 100 MILLION. Do you have a problem reading zeroes or what?

                        So the best and greatest prophet in the history of the universe ruled 2 camel villages 1400 years ago. Can the same system rule over your mythical supermegahuge city of 100 million?


                          Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                          Sem if you want to continue this in the right thread go ahead. I showed you using a US govt website that there are 48 mega cities to date. 100 million is not that far a stretch if you consider the fact that 2/3s of the world will be living in cities. Secondly who are you to tell an institution who has professionals doing their job for 10 to 20 years that they are wrong?

                          Now on to the fact. The Islamic Empire into the fourth Khalifat was larger than the Roman Empire at its peak and it governed life for people under Islamic law and goverance established by the prophet.

                          And yes it can apply.
                          You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


                            Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab

                            You didn't show squat, you rarely do. Please provide ONE link that shows predictions of even ONE city reaching a population of 100 million in the next 50 years.

                            The Islamic Empire crumbled for a reason. There has been nothing in the past 100 years to show that it has adapted to be able to once again become a form of governance. In fact, quite the opposite.


                              Re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood- Arab vs Arab


                              That is the meeting. All documents are available there. The speech by UNHABITAT is the one you want to read.

                              Now shall we get back on subject? Last 100 years? In the last 100 years your nation has shown that it can nuke 100s of thousands of people. Attack 20 plus countries and support the genocide of people.

                              The Islamic empire ruled for 1400 years at that an Islamic empire governed by Shariah law. 1400 is long than the British ruled the world.
                              You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!