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Muslim Brotherhood: 'We are not seeking power'

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM
  • 16 Replies

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Keeping with the low-profile it has adopted in Egypt's uprising, the Muslim Brotherhood said Wednesday it wants to promote democracy but does not intend to field a candidate for president.

"The Muslim Brotherhood are not seeking power," Mohammed Morsi, a member of the group's media office, said at a Cairo news conference. "We want to participate, not to dominate. We will not have a presidential candidate, we want to participate and help, we are not seeking power."

What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Islamist umbrella group also sought to dispel fears that it would push for an Islamic state in a post-Hosni Mubarak era.

"We reject the religious state," said Mohammed Katatny, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc.

But fears that the Muslim Brotherhood could hijack Egypt's pro-democracy movement is real. It has been expressed by foes of President Mubarak like businessman Naguib Sawiris, part of the self-proclaimed Council of the Wise, as well as Mubarak's allies abroad, including the United States.

The concerns were perhaps compounded by last week's remarks from Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameni, who referred to the revolts in Egypt and other regional nations as the "Islamic awakening."

But Katatny said the Brotherhood was not responsible for statements made by others.

"The regime have been using the Muslim Brotherhood scarecrow to tell the world that the regime is the only one who can safeguard the country, but this is wrong and it is their way to try to ignore the people's demands."

Formed in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, the revivalist Muslim Brotherhood, or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, is the largest and most organized opposition movement in Egypt.

It is officially banned on grounds that Egypt does not recognize parties with a religious agenda and members were barred from making a bid for the presidency. But Brotherhood candidates ran as independents in the 2005 election and won 88 of 444 parliamentary seats.

Those victories prompted Mubarak to amend the Egyptian constitution to further restrict candidates outside the ruling National Democratic Party to vie for parliamentary seats, a move that lent credence to the strongman's critics who have accused him of using the Brotherhood's growing influence as an excuse to crack down.

Many of the Brotherhood's members have been part of the demonstrations that erupted last month -- Morsi estimated that 15 to 20 percent of the protesters were Brotherhood followers. But the group has been careful not to promote its agenda.

Khaled Fahmy, the chairman of the history department at the American University in Cairo, said in an article for CNN that some of the skepticism about the group is "well-founded but much of it exaggerated."

Detractors of the Brotherhood point to proclamations about using violence and that the organization does not believe in equality between Muslims and Coptic Christians or between men and women. They also connect the Brotherhood to extremist groups such as the Palestinian Hamas.

Some have even suggested that militants from other nations are among the crowds in Tahrir Square.

The group's spokesmen at the Wednesday news conference chuckled at the notion.

"These are silly jokes," said spokesman Mohammed Beltagy.

Morsi added that the idea was "an insult to all Egyptians."

"This is all rubbish talk and very insulting to say that Hamas, who is locked down in Gaza, can be behind organizing the uprising in Egypt."

Morsi also gave assurances that the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel will remain intact, though he said the Brotherhood questioned why the Palestinians have yet to gain a sovereign homeland.

"Where are all these promises?" he asked. "Whether we agree or not, we need to ask what the Israelis have delivered so far.

"We don't want to force our beliefs on the parliament," he said. "If the parliament approved the treaty that (former President Anwar) Sadat signed, it is still valid and will still be."

Khalemy said Egyptian society must allow a place for the Brotherhood.

"A group with some hundreds of thousands of members and one that controlled some 20% of the 2005 parliament cannot be excised from the Egyptian political equation," Khalemy wrote. "Doing so would only lead to its increased radicalization and militancy."

But if change takes root in Egypt, many will question whether the Brotherhood will continue to practice restraint.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM
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Replies (1-10):
HeatUSA-Tunisia
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Seriously no comments? Where are all the paranoid people?

sineado39
by Silver Member on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:53 PM

 I honestly do not know enough about them to make a comment. Most of the info out there is skewed in either direction so I have been trying to wade through all the bs.

To treat every human being as a shrine of God is to fulfill all religion.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

AmmuJSE
by Ammu on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:59 PM

BUMP!

-LucyInTheSky-
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:27 PM

 BUMP!

Friday
by HRH of MJ on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:48 PM

 

Quoting sineado39:

 I honestly do not know enough about them to make a comment. Most of the info out there is skewed in either direction so I have been trying to wade through all the bs.

 Me too.

I do hope they are true to their word.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

parrishsky
by Maxfield on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:52 PM

They never made me paranoid and I'm glad they want to help...

This is my only concern:

Morsi also gave assurances that the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel will remain intact, though he said the Brotherhood questioned why the Palestinians have yet to gain a sovereign homeland.

HeatUSA-Tunisia
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM


Quoting parrishsky:

They never made me paranoid and I'm glad they want to help...

This is my only concern:

Morsi also gave assurances that the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel will remain intact, though he said the Brotherhood questioned why the Palestinians have yet to gain a sovereign homeland.


What is so concerning about that? I wonder it myself... why aren't the Palestinians recognized as a sovereign nation?

Ednarooni
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I'm here..paranoid person speaking up..lol  I don't trust any group and/or politician..no matter what religion..nonreligion they are.. Leaders in most countries do NOT think for the people (imo)...so even though they say they wont run...who knows..

-LucyInTheSky-
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM

 

Quoting HeatUSA-Tunisia:

 

Quoting parrishsky:

They never made me paranoid and I'm glad they want to help...

This is my only concern:

Morsi also gave assurances that the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel will remain intact, though he said the Brotherhood questioned why the Palestinians have yet to gain a sovereign homeland.


What is so concerning about that? I wonder it myself... why aren't the Palestinians recognized as a sovereign nation?

 I do too

~Is it, then, possible, to reach the heart of the Qur’an merely by reading its words, without ever stepping upon the battlefield of faith and disbelief, of Islam and ignorance, without passing through any stage of the struggle? No, you can understand the Qur’an only when you take it up, begin to act upon it, and call mankind to God, and when every step you take is in obedience to its guidance.~ Syed al-Maududi


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One Love, Many Paths Admin - Bully-free zone for women of all faiths!

parrishsky
by Maxfield on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM


Quoting HeatUSA-Tunisia:


Quoting parrishsky:

They never made me paranoid and I'm glad they want to help...

This is my only concern:

Morsi also gave assurances that the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel will remain intact, though he said the Brotherhood questioned why the Palestinians have yet to gain a sovereign homeland.


What is so concerning about that? I wonder it myself... why aren't the Palestinians recognized as a sovereign nation?

My concern is with the peace treaty not with MB. I simply want peace. I also want the Palestinians to live as a sovereign nation.

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