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The Muslim Brotherhood - In Its Own Words - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
Mustafa Mashhur was the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 to 2002.
In his book, Jihad Is the Way, Mashhur explains the Muslim
Brotherhood's goal of establishing an Islamic state, world domination under Islam, the public
and personal religious duty of military jihad, and the warning not to rush to jihad until it is
prepared and timed for maximum benefit.
See also Muslim Brotherhood Text Reveals Scope of Radical Creed - Oren Kessler (Jerusalem Post)
See also The Brotherhood Amongst Us - Nonie Darwish (FrontPageMagazine)
Westerners should not have any illusions about a secular government in Egypt or in any other Muslim nation.
There are two kinds of governments in the Muslim world: those which pretend to be secular when they are not and openly proclaimed theocracies.
We will not see a bearded sheikh installed as the Egyptian ayatollah. What is more likely to happen is the Islamists will back a sympathizer like ElBaradei to be the front-man posing as a democracy-loving moderate while his actual policy and rule will conform to the Islamists - or he won't survive.
See also The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt -
Yehudit Barsky (American Jewish Committee)
The Muslim Brotherhood's goal is to eliminate all Western influence and
create an Islamist state in Egypt and, ultimately, the world.
Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna prescribed a long-term course of indoctrinating the Muslim
masses in the ideology of his movement, which would ultimately bring the establishment
of an Islamist state, and it became a template for the Brotherhood's activities throughout
its history. Today the Brotherhood claims branches in over 80 countries.
The current General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Badi, declared in
April 2010, "Muslim leaders, Islam, to which you belong, advocates jihad as
the only means for setting the Ummah's [nation's] situation aright."
Badi further proclaimed that it is the "obligation"
of Muslims to stop all negotiations with Israel and to "support all forms of resistance for
the sake of liberating every occupied piece of land in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all
parts of our Muslim world."
The writer is director of AJC's Division on Middle East and International Terrorism.
See also Goodbye, Hosni. Hello, Hamas - George Jonas (National Post-Canada)
Rashad al-Bayoumi, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, told the German news magazine Spiegel Online: "the Muslim Brotherhood has not called for violence and we will not do that."
He was easy to believe. Why should the Muslim Brotherhood preach violence when diplomats and politicians, beginning with Mohamed ElBaradei, were tripping over each other in their eagerness to have theocrats sit at the table and participate in governing Egypt?
In an interview with the German journalist Erich Follath, ElBaradei said, "The Israelis need to grasp that it's impossible to make peace with a single man. At the moment, they have a peace treaty with Mubarak, but not one with the Egyptian people."
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- British Foreign Secretary Hague Tells Israelis to Soften "Belligerent" Line (Times-UK)
See also Shared Challenges: Israel-UK Defense Ties Save British Lives
UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the Herzliya Conference in Israel on Feb. 6: "Israel is a key partner in the fight against international terrorism, alongside our allies and friends in the region, and we should assist each other to further develop intelligence and counter-terrorism capabilities."
"We enjoy a strong bilateral defense relationship with Israel. This is a relationship that thankfully is growing and maturing.
It is a relationship that enables our operations and in some cases keeps British troops alive in Afghanistan.
And this is a relationship that is greatly valued in the UK and I want to thank you all very much for it." (British Embassy-Israel)
See also With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies? - Melanie Phillips
With the Arab world convulsed by the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt and with the acute danger that such instability will result in the region lurching even further into Islamic theocratic tyranny, the British Foreign Secretary's response is - to bash Israel. Never mind that the uproar in Egypt and Tunisia, along with the nervousness in Jordan and Saudi Arabia that their regimes may also be swept away by rising extremism, demonstrates the utter absurdity of the claim that regional tranquility depends on resolving the issue of "Palestine."
As the Times reports: "Mr. Hague responded to increasingly militaristic pronouncements by Mr. Netanyahu, who has been urging his nation to prepare for 'any outcome' and vowing to 'reinforce the might of the State of Israel.' The Foreign Secretary said: 'This should not be a time for belligerent language. It's a time to inject greater urgency into the Middle East peace process.'"
Belligerent? Israel is currently petrified that, if Islamists come to power in Egypt and tear up its 30-year-old peace treaty as the Muslim Brothers have said they will do, it will face the nightmare of a renewed threat of war from the south as well as from Iran/Hizbullah in the north and Iran/Hamas in Gaza. It will be thus encircled by truly "belligerent" enemies.
For William Hague to represent the warnings by Israel's prime minister that his country must now prepare itself for this terrifying eventuality as "belligerency" is simply obscene.
- Ranks of Protesters Swell in Cairo - Leila Fadel
Egyptian demonstrators made clear Tuesday that their quest to oust President Hosni Mubarak is far from over, flooding into a downtown Cairo square in what appeared to be the largest turnout since the popular revolt began two weeks ago.
The protesters drew energy from Wael Ghonim, 30, an Egyptian Google executive who helped organize the first street protests in Cairo on Jan. 25, who was detained for 12 days by Egyptian security officials and then released and interviewed on Egyptian TV.
See also White House Walks Fine Line on Muslim Brotherhood - Anne E. Kornblut and Peter Wallsten
Multiple reports suggest that the U.S. has been in quiet contact with the banned Muslim Brotherhood for years and that the Obama White House is growing more open to the Brotherhood having a role in a new government, once Egyptian President Mubarak steps aside.
See also Days of Rage in Alexandria - Alexander Smoltczyk
Unlike in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood has come to assume a leading role in the protests in Alexandria. (Der Spiegel-Germany)
See also Free, Fair Elections Still Distant Prospect for Egypt - Craig Whitlock and Mary Beth Sheridan (Washington Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu: We Are Sympathetic to Reform, But Cautious
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Friends of Israel on Feb. 7:
India, China and Israel are three of the oldest civilizations. There are more than 1.2 billion Chinese in the world and more than 1 billion Indians.
There are about 13 million Jews in the world.
That's odd because we numbered about 10% of the population of the Roman Empire, so by extrapolation we should have had about a quarter of a billion Jews today. So what happened? The Chinese kept China - they had a diaspora, but they kept China. The Indians kept India.
We Jews lost our homeland and were scattered to the far corners of the earth and subjected to a horrific campaign of persecution, pogroms, displacement, murder, until the last and worst pogrom, the Holocaust.
For the last two thousand years we've been trying to get back to our ancestral homeland and reestablish a sovereign existence for our people so we can continue our national life with our heritage and our values of freedom.
We are sympathetic to all those who are working to reform their own societies and to bring them into the modern world. Yet history also argues for caution when it comes to revolutions. We know of many examples of anti-democratic forces that co-opted a people's genuine desire for liberty and instead established brutal regimes that snuffed out liberty. In the case of Egypt, there are many possible outcomes beyond the liberal, democratic models that we take for granted in our own countries.
In our pursuit of peace, we have to ensure that there are rock-solid security arrangements, both to protect the peace, to reflect the reality on the ground today, but also to reflect the fact that that reality can change tomorrow. (Prime Minister's Office)
- Border Fence Leads to Sharp Drop in Infiltrators from Egypt - Yaakov Katz
The number of illegal infiltrators into Israel from Egypt dropped in January to 400 from a monthly average of 1,000 throughout 2010, defense officials said on Tuesday. Israel is erecting a fence along 200 km of the 240 km-long border. "There are currently six different contractors working simultaneously on six different sections of the border that are the most problematic," one official explained. Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the Defense Ministry to speed up work on the border fence in light of the political upheaval in Egypt.
- Egypt Protesters Want Mubarak's Head More than They Want Reform - Zvi Bar'el
It seems that Washington has now realized that any change that can be effected in Egypt's political system should be supervised by the existing regime under Mubarak. Washington originally took the side of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Right now there is no alternative to the president or the mechanisms which he controls. The lack of an alternative leadership is apparent.
Meanwhile the wind has gone out of the sails of the protest movement. Following Mubarak's announcement that he would not run for reelection and his decision to pull his son out of the political arena, the movement has not been left with a great deal of content to its platform. The result is that any concessions, changes and reform are coming from above. Whatever Mubarak is prepared to give is what the public is getting.
- Israel Roots for Real Egyptian Democracy - Fania Oz-Salzberger
No one, save the Egyptians themselves, would like to see a truly democratic Egypt more than Israel.
A real democracy in the greatest Arab nation would be a dream come true. A real Egyptian democracy would never scrap peace with Israel in favor of renewed war.
But no one should be more concerned than the Israelis if a less-than-democratic Egypt emerges from the present turbulence.
There is a gut feeling in Israel that the protesters are enviably brave, and that their outrage is just. Then why are many Israelis, from pundits to taxi drivers, so concerned about the situation?
Because, tragically, the call for freedom might turn into a regional disaster. Already Iran's spiritual leader is hailing Egypt's fervor as an Islamic revolution and telling the Egyptian Army to turn its guns toward Israel. Anti-Mubarak posters show a Star of David on the president's face.
If Egypt's revolution is usurped by the Muslim Brotherhood, the emergence of an autocratic strongman far worse than Mubarak will be only a matter of time.
The writer is professor at the University of Haifa and Leon Liberman chair in Modern Israel Studies at Monash University.
- The Future of Jordan - Khaled Abu Toameh
Jordan's King Abdullah II has good reason to be worried about the future of the monarchy in the Hashemite Kingdom.
Many of the kingdom's tribes, which make up nearly 40% of the population, do not see the appointment of the new prime minister as a step in the right direction. It is hard to see how the king would be able to survive without the support of these tribes, which have long been supportive of the royal family in Amman. "The Tunisian and Egyptian hurricane will come to Jordan, sooner or later," said a statement signed by 36 tribe leaders. "We express regret over the fact that the regime has surrounded itself with a group of corrupt commercial partners. Jordan is suffering from a regime and government crisis, as well as a crisis of corruption."
The statement is seen as a huge challenge to King Abdullah II. Some Jordanians fear that radical Muslims have managed to "infiltrate" many tribes, inciting them against the monarch and turning them into a tool in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But the tribes' discontent with the monarchy is not the only challenge.
Poverty and deprivation have driven many of the Palestinians living in the kingdom into the open arms of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood - two groups that would like to see an Islamic "caliphate" replace the royal family.
If the Palestinians revolt and bring down the monarchy, Jordan could become a Palestinian state. The Palestinians, under such circumstances, would end up with three states: one in the West Bank, a second in Gaza and a third in Jordan.
(Hudson Institute-New York)
See also Jordan Tribes Threaten Revolution over Country's Palestinian Queen Rania
Jordanian tribal figures have issued a petition urging King Abdullah to end his Palestinian wife's role in politics. "She is building power centers for her interest that go against what Jordanians and Hashemites have agreed on in governing and is a danger to the nation," the petition said.
Chronicle of a Doomed Uprising - Y. Carmon, T. Kuper and H. Migron (MEMRI)
In January 2011, the peoples of the Middle East began their march towards seizing a share in the leadership and resources of their countries, following centuries in which they were deprived of this share by various ruling oligarchies. However, just like the European peoples' struggle for a share in power, this campaign against the total hegemony of the ruling elite is bound to be a drawn out, multi-phased historical process, with numerous setbacks.
- This first round - the present uprising in Egypt - will not be without some achievements, but it is ultimately doomed to failure, in that the Egyptian military establishment will retain its grip over power and resources in the country.
- The Egyptian protests are less a cry for democracy and freedom than they are a bid for power by a disenfranchised middle class, and the failure of the uprising is inevitable.
- The masses are up against a well-entrenched, united and all-powerful military establishment which reigns supreme. Most of the youth does not even realize that the army is, in fact, the real adversary, which has shrewdly placed the police in the front lines in the confrontations with the protestors, allowing itself to retain an image of being at one with the people.
- The protestors also lack a leadership. True, existing political oppositionists are trying to jump on the bandwagon. These, however, do not represent the protesters, and are in fact sabotaging the revolution by their willingness to negotiate with the regime. This is especially true of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is seeking the legitimization that has been denied it for decades.
- The Egyptian uprising is also doomed to failure for economic and practical reasons, because it is impossible for a population of 80 million to maintain a revolution that brings life to a standstill for any substantial period of time.
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