الثلاثاء، فبراير ١٤، ٢٠٠٦

The Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian People’s Assembly

The above article (click on title to read), written by Magdy Khalil and initially published in Arabic on www.elaph.com late last year, provides an insight on the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda in Egypt. Upon reading it last year, after the election results indicated support for the Brotherhood is on the rise, I wanted to translate parts of it and discuss it here on the blog. Unfortunately it just sat on my "to do" list and got relegated to that-day-when-I'd-have-time-and-a-quiet-house to do so.

However, thanks to my good friend Peter(Egypeter) for bringing this English version published in Watany to my attention, I no longer have to worry about translating it! (Pete you're a champion)

You can read the full article from the link, but here are some important parts that warrant more attention, and my humble opinion on them. Please feel free to discuss and offer your views too. This is an extremely important aspect of Egyptian politics that would alter the future of all Egyptians dramatically...and perhaps also the future of the whole region.

A brief introduction
The Muslim Brotherhood have been around for many decades. After Sadat took over as president, he gave them considerable slack and allowed them to grow in number and influence. At that time (late 70's, early 80's) they were involved in many violent attacks on Christians in Egypt (al zawya al hamra for example). Ironically, Sadat was assassinated by members of the MB. Now in Mubarak's days it is not allowed to form a political party that is also a religious party in Egypt. So the Muslim brotherhood have been kept out of mainstream politics. To get around this, members of the Brotherhood have been nominating themselves in elections as independents. Not that they made it secret where their loyalties lie. The symbol for those members is the famous Quran with two swords

(Image from website: www.ikhwanonline.com feel free to visit it for yourself if you can read Arabic)

and their slogan is "Islam is the Solution" (although they never specify what the problem is)

The latest elections revealed that support for the MB would guarantee them considerable influence in the political arena, if the elections were permitted to take place unhindered by the ruling party of course.

So let's see what Mr Khalil has to say:
*"Talking to “Al Arabiya” channel, on 18 November 2005, the Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam Al Erian confirmed this fact when he said: “our goals and values remain the same, (unchanged) since 1928 and till the present time.”"

Given the violent acts they've already carried out against Copts, that statement by Mr Al Erian is unsettling to say the least. More unsettling is what they have demonstrated through theindependentdant" members over the past 5 years. Mr Khalil listed some of their demands in the Egyptparliamentment, which illustrate what their real agenda is for Egypt should they gain more power. I'll only list here those I found most disturbing, the rest you may have a look at in the original article.

1) Several members presented a request for information asking the government to remove the ban imposed on the newspaper Al-Shaab, which was known for its extremist attitude and support of terrorism, they also wanted the Egyptian Labor party to resume its activities (Asharq Al-Awsat, 1 Jan 2001).

Egyptians have been through many hundreds of years of occupation. I believe the average Egyptian person probably forgot what it is to be free, hindependentdant thought and form an opinion for themselves. Even after the revolution, there came the age of the Secret Police rounding people up in the middle of the night for merely daring to criticise or question. It honors me to say my own grandfather was one of those taken away for being an ctive member of an opposition party back then. Newspapers play an important role in forming and shaping public opinion everywhere in the world, but especially in countries like Egypt. Extremist newspapers can incite riots with one news item (The Alexandria riots of Oct 2005 were a result of a news item in a seedy newspaper)

2) A request for information questioning the Minister of Justice regarding the charges against Ragab Rizk el-Swirki – known as Egypt’s Shahriar – for having married more than 4 wives simultaneously, and marrying 21 women over the years. Swirki is the owner of a chain of well known Islamic stores “el-nour wa el-tawhid”, and the Muslim Brotherhood accused the government of framing him (Asharq Al-Awsat, 15 May 2001).

Islam permits a man 4 wives, but it also permits a man to keep as many women as he can "afford". You can imagine what letting Egyptian men keep as many wives as they can "afford" will do both to women's rights, and to the population explosion in a country where the resources are already over stretched.

3) They led a campaign against the US economic aid to Egypt, and presented a request for information to the USAID assistance, and substitute it with a number of agreements with Arab and Islamic funds (Asharq Al-Awsat, 15 May 2002).

AHA!! That's an interesting one! If you recall the International Coptic Conference held in Washington in November 2005, you may also recall the uproar of the Egyptian media over claims that disapora Copts are pressuring the US to stop the aid program. In all fairness, the conference participants never requested the aid program be terminated. They did however request the US oversee how the money is being spent, to prevent the use of this money from being used to fund terrorism against Copts and/or Western targets. Egyptian media accused diaspora Copts of working to deprive their fellow Egyptians (Copts and Muslims) from much needed aid money. Thus succeeding in turning a great majority of Muslims, and a considerable portion of the Coptic community to boot, against the diaspora Copts. We were accused of being Zionist agents!!

Yet here is the MB requesting the aid program terminated and there wasn't the slightest bit of objection to this demand in the media.

And here is the most disturbing request by far...

4) The Muslim Brotherhood deputies have opposed Egypt’s decision to abide by the UN Declaration of “The Rights of the Child” that forbids the selling and the exploitation of children and sanctions adoption (Asharq Al-Awsat, 27 May 2002).

What, I beg anyone to explain to me, is the benefit or purpose behind this outrageous request??? Do they intend Egypt be a route for the Darfur children to be transported to Saudi masters, so they can become camel trainers, slaves..or worse yet sex slaves for the vile Saudi elite??
Do they want to exploit our own Egyptian children??? How in God's name is this meant to inspire any faith in these people to run the country?

What do they want to do to our children???

You can see from the above points, and those listed in the main article, that the day MB gain enough power would be a black day for all Egyptians.

Egypt, the cradle of civilisation...the land of the great Nile and the mighty pyramids...the history that still fascinates and captivates hundreds of thousands...the land that the Lord Jesus Christ came to for refuge as a small child...all that history, all that wonder and all that beauty would be suffocated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt would become just another Iran or Afghanistan.

Curse democracy if that's what it will bring to Egypt.


Blogger Egypeter said...

It's really a dark dark vision of wha't ahead for Egypt if the MB come to power. A society living under Sharia law is not what Copts or moderate Muslims have in mind. A society based on secular law and a strict enforcement of separation of religion and state is what Egypt needs.
Fortunately, there are a lot of Egyptians like that but they must be courageous and speak out.

Thanks for posting and informing ya bent al neel. Take care.

فبراير ١٥, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Marcguyver said...

What a bunch of pukes! Truly, let unto themselves they will destroy your culture and country altogether.

فبراير ١٧, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Iustus said...

Well, I am fascinated by your site. You raise a lot of questions and problems with the potential Islamic government, ones that I had never realised existed. It's gunna have to be something I look into.



فبراير ١٨, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

thanx iustus and welcome to this blog. Likewise, I'll be dropping in to see you at your blog too :)

People who live in the west like yourself need to know the effects of Islamists gaining power before it's too late.

فبراير ١٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Just to bring up another point:

I hope this doesn't sound terrible, but the world will get a chance to see what happens when a terrorist organization comes to power, all we have to do is look at Palestine. I think that's a disaster waiting to happen. Palestinians who were led by the secular Fatah couldn't come to peace with the Israelis. And now they've elected a bunch of radical fundementalist, who vow for the destruction of Israel, to negotiate on their behalf?? Good luck.

So my point is is that the world (and Egyptians) will get a chance to see the failure of a Terrorist Organization running their government. And that's exactly what Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are. Many Palestinians are just as worried about the rise of Islamists in their country as well. I guess, in a way, the Palestinians are sort of the guinea pigs in this situation, sorry to say.

No matter how "pc" Islamists may seem in interviews or dialogue, and I've heard them try, they hold a dark and medieval mentality for the future of their respective countries. Their views are usually more consistent with Saudi Arabia and their Wahabi version of Islam...you know, the one where you live as a 7th century Arab Bedouin off in some remote desert camp. Are you gettin' the picture?

Once incident I found especially appalling was when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt called for allowing Copts the freedom to build and repair their churches. Huh? I cannot understand this. This is something that is completely contrary to everything they stand for so there was definitely some ulterior motive there. It's sort of like a Nazi party member calling for the building of more synogogues in 1939 Germany. Needless to say, I don't trust a single word that comes out of their mouths.

Let's hope and pray for a secular movement to take hold in Egypt and Palestine.

فبراير ١٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Iustus said...

Well I think i might just link to your blog on the side - it's quite an important thing for people to know. Just make sure you keep it factual, impartial and decent and I'll be happy to spread the word!


فبراير ١٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I'm very happy to see such a brave and high-cultured female Copt. Not that it's a rarity, but everytime I hear about people like you I become increasingly proud of being a Copt, and Egyptian, a Remenkimi :)

فبراير ٢٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hi Andrew
Welcome and thank you for your extremely kind sentiment.
We, the Copts, have so much to be proud of with God's grace and we should all work to give our oppressed brothers and sisters a voice.

Bless you and hope to see again here soon

فبراير ٢٢, ٢٠٠٦  

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