Brotherhood shelves Egypt's Islamisation

2012-06-29 11:52
Mohamed Morsi. (AP)

Mohamed Morsi. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - The Muslim Brotherhood has stopped talking about its long-time dream of an Islamic Egypt and expelling Israel's ambassador to Cairo. Instead, President-elect Mohammed Morsi is hurriedly building a diverse alliance with leftists, liberals and Christians to bolster his battle to end military rule.

Those familiar with the group's inner workings say, however, that this may only be a short-term strategy that will give way later to a push for the stricter imposition of Islamic law. That could partly explain why the secular generals who took over from ousted President Hosni Mubarak 16 months ago will not relinquish their hold on most levers of power.

Less than a week after he was declared winner of a hotly contested runoff, Morsi has promised to name a woman and a Christian as vice presidents, held talks with liberal intellectuals, indirectly assured Israel that it has nothing to fear from him and told Washington that maintaining close relations with the US is a priority.

Since qualifying for the 16 – 17 June presidential runoff, Morsi has made no mention of the Muslim Brotherhood's traditional positions, such as banning alcohol, forcing women to cover up in public or prohibiting bank interest as usury.

"The Brotherhood wants to take on the generals, but it cannot do that alone," said Khalil el-Anani, an expert on Islamic groups from Britain's Durham University. "It is a necessity for the Brotherhood to offer concessions to different groups."

But no one is taking Morsi's promises at face value. Some Christian and liberal groups have set up teams to monitor whether he keeps his promises.

"They will just have to work with him and the Brotherhood for now and hopefully try to organise a secular leftist front that will pressure the new government and new parliament to make sure the demands of the street are taken into account in the public policymaking process," said Azzedine Layachi, a Middle East expert at St John's University in New York.

Lack of experience


The "new" Brotherhood as embodied by Morsi has left many debating whether the group has had a genuine, long-term shift of ideology dictated by the demands of politics or was simply making the right noises to win allies and would shift back to its longstanding goals at the next opportunity.

Some analysts see Morsi, a 60-year-old, American-trained engineer, as a conservative Islamist who subscribes to a school of thought within the Brotherhood that advocated "Taqiyah", or secrecy, about one's true intentions until the most opportune moment comes for their implementation.

Others, however, see Morsi's outreach as the group's response to a dramatic drop in its popularity after it failed to turn its domination of parliament earlier this year into real political power. They also cite the group's lack of experience in governance to explain its need for allies.

Genuine or not, some of the group's actions in recent weeks appeared designed to allay fears of what many see as the Brotherhood's lust for power and readiness to make secret deals to secure it.

Having spent most of the 84 years since its inception as an outlawed group targeted by successive governments, the Brotherhood's keen interest in power — some call it an obsession — may be understandable.

But it may have over-reached, unleashing the fury of the generals.

It won just under half of parliament seats in elections held some six months ago even though it had earlier pledged to contest only 30 percent of them. It also reneged on a decision not to field a presidential candidate, and packed with Islamists a 100-member panel tasked with drafting a new constitution.

At the time, Brotherhood lawmakers gave the military and many Egyptians something to worry about. They sharply criticized the judiciary and the police force, demanded the expulsion of Israel's ambassador in Cairo and called for a national referendum on the 1978 Camp David accords, which provided the basis for Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel. But it was its suspected desire to dominate every vestige of authority that provoked the military.

- AP
Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Catering Manager

Cape Town
Origin Foodservice Management
R10 000 - R15 000 Per Month

PS911 PROPERTY ASSISTANT & SALES ADMIN

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Anchor Executive Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R8 999 - R9 000 Per Month

Business Analyst

Claremont
Recruit Digital
R14 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.