By Jim Kouri
Egypt’s first elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak so far resulted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s party receiving 37 percent of ballots cast, followed by the radical Islamist Salafists who won 24 percent of the votes,
The secular Egyptian Bloc took only 13 percent of ballots in the vote. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party is widely predicted to secure the largest share of seats in parliament followed by their fellow Islamists known as the Salafists.
But President Barack Obama and his administration continue to portray Egypt’s oldest radical Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, as being more akin to the Rotary Club than to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, while many counterterrorism experts believe he and his administration are making a big mistake.
In a June report by the Law Enforcement Examiner, experts back then said they believed that proponents of radical Islam were capable of creating an Egyptian caliphate or worse, and that giving them billions of U.S. dollars will only hasten the creation of another Iran in the Middle East. It appears that Law Enforcement Examiner article was correct as were the predictions of experts.
Taking a page from the American leftists’ handbook, the Muslim Brotherhood changed its name to the more benign Party of Peace and Freedom. It’s the same tactic used by the American group ACORN which now uses several different names but has the same principles pulling the strings. For example, one new name being used by ACORN is New York Communities for Change. And the head of NYCC’s national organization is former ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis.
The Muslim Brotherhood, a/k/a al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, was founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928 and since then grew to become Egypt’s largest Islamist group. The Brotherhood has influenced — and continues to influence – Islamist movements throughout the globe with its modus operandi of Islamic charity work concealing its more sinister advocacy of Islamic jihad.
The group’s leadership claims its goal is to spread Islamic morals and good works, but it appears to be more involved in politics. When first created, the Brotherhood’s leader al-Banna’s first operation was to release Egypt from British occupation and control and cleanse Egypt of the infidels’ so-called stranglehold on the Arab world.
While the Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, claim they support democratic principles, one of their stated aims is to create a state ruled by Islamic law, or Sharia. Their most famous slogan, used worldwide, is: “Islam is the solution”.
The initial friction with Egyptian authorities caused a change in their ideology. One of their new leaders, Sayyid Qutb, advocated the use of jihad (struggle) against the jahili (ignorant). While he wished to start with Islamic nations, he also wished to cause radical transformation in Western countries.
While many members of the Muslim Brotherhood joined the anti-Mubarak protests, they kept their presence as secret as possible. The group avoided putting their traditional slogans on placards and signs during the demonstrations.
However, once Mubarak stepped down and the interim government took control, the Muslim Brotherhood openly sought a more active role in forming a new government.
The Salafist jihadists are extremist Sunnis who believe they are the only true interpreters of the Koran. They are beginning to concern counterterrorism experts since Salafists are gaining more and more power in Egypt following the ouster of President Mubarak.
While Obama’s White House and his national security team accept the view of a more moderate Brotherhood, counterterrorism experts such as Steve Emerson and Walid Phares point to a political platform published by the Muslim Brotherhood in 2007. The platform called for a council of religious scholars to be set up to approve all laws passed by Egypt’s civilian institutions. The platform also stated that Christians or women could not become president or prime minister.
Sadly, Sharia law has tremendous popularity among Egypt’s so-called moderates within the Muslim Brotherhood. They claim they want only an Islamic frame of reference for legislation, while conservatives noted that Article 2 of the constitution states: “Islam is the religion of the state and the principles of the Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation.”