Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood Win In Egypt’s Elections
The Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest winner in the first round of Egypt’s elections, has threatened to take to the streets if there is any attempt to manipulate results. The group, a moderate Islamist movement banned for decades under the rule of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak, gained 36.6 percent of votes cast on November 28-29 for parties in a new lower house of parliament. “We will take to the streets if there is any cheating in the elections or manipulation of the constitution,” its leader Mohammed Badei told Egyptian television in comments reported by the press on Tuesday. A new constitution is to be drawn up next year once a lower and upper house of parliament have been elected by March. Obama And The Muslim Brotherhood Cairo 2009
The new civilian powers are set to face a fierce struggle with the army, which has already indicated it wants to retain many of the privileges of the Mubarak era, including oversight over military-related legislation. Barack Obama has declared that all opposition groups should have representation in the next Egyptian government, which essentially ensures that the Muslim Brotherhood will be part of that government. Obama first reached out to the Brotherhood when he chose the leader of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group that had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case to give a prayer during his inauguration ceremonies. Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), offered this prayer at the National Cathedral on Obama’s Inauguration Day—despite the fact that the ISNA has admitted its ties to the Brotherhood. The previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from the ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status.
In April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhank, the duputy mayor of Los Angeles, as assistant secretary for policy develepoment at the Department of Homeland Security. Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hezbollah a “liberation movement”) participated in a fund-raiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Like the ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brothers “The Brotherhood” or “MB” is the world’s oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained its supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work”. Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is “Islam is the solution.” The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for …ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state”. Since its inception in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals. The MB’s non-violent stance has resulted in breakaway groups from the movement, and been criticized by al-Qaeda for its support for democratic elections rather than armed jihad. The Muslim Brotherhood started off as a religious social organization, preaching Islam, teaching the illiterate, setting up hospitals and even launching commercial enterprises. As it continued to rise in influence, starting in 1936, it began to oppose British rule in Egypt. Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the MB of violent killings during this period. After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organisation and arrested its members. It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt’s president it was once again banned and repressed. The MB has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre.
Badei stressed “the Muslim Brotherhood does not want a monopoly on power,” repeating its stated position that it favours participation of other parties in a coalition. The first round of voting in the multi-stage election wraps up on Tuesday, with Islamist parties including the Brotherhood and hardline Salafist groups winning about two-thirds of votes. There have been various problems with the election, the first since Mubarak was toppled in February. On Monday, the election commission dramatically revised down the turnout level from 62 percent to 52 percent and said results from several polling stations would be withheld because of violations.
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