Muslim Brotherhood youth break away

2011-06-23 12:20

kalahari.com

Cairo - Several young members from the Muslim Brotherhood have launched their own political party, exposing cracks in the influential Islamist organisation that is expected to be the most formidable contender in Egypt's upcoming elections.

Banned from politics for half a century, the Brotherhood nonetheless maintained an effective organisation based on a network of social services, successfully running candidates as independents in past parliamentary elections.

Now that a popular revolution has deposed President Hosni Mubarak and removed restrictions, the Brotherhood was expected to jump in and possibly even dominate a new parliament. Some liberal and secular parties are so concerned that they have called for delaying the election to allow more time for them to organise and campaign.

But the movement also faces new challenges: The openness in Egypt is taking its toll on the venerable Islamist group, with younger, more pragmatic activists chafing under the doctrinaire leadership of the old guard.

The Brotherhood's political party is called Freedom and Justice, required under the new regulations to admit women and Christians but guided by the group's Islamic ideology. The Brotherhood is worried enough to threaten to expel members who join competing parties and threw out a leading member who decided to run for president on his own.

Broken away

Other Islamist groups also have announced plans to register new political parties - including some from the ultraconservative Salafi brand of Islam, which was previously averse to participating in political life.

Attention is going to Brotherhood members who have broken away and formed their own parties, like Egyptian Trend.

"This is not a Brotherhood party or a party of the Brotherhood youth," said Islam Lotfy, a Brotherhood member and a founding member of the new party.

The Brotherhood leadership said the decision of Lotfy, and as many as 20 others from the group will be penalised, because their actions violate a ban on its members to join any other by the newly formed Freedom and Justice Party.

"They will be referred to internal investigation and will be expelled if they don't quit" the new party, said Mahmoud Hussein, Secretary general of the Brotherhood. "They will have different loyalty."

Lotfy sees no contradiction between being a member in the Brotherhood as an advocacy group and joining a new political party.

"I have set my priorities. Working with the [Egyptian Trend] party is a choice and a priority," he said.

Lotfy was active in a youth coalition that formed during the early days of revolution that began on January 25 and forced Mubarak to step down 18 days later.

Ideologies

He said the new party wants to capture the experience he gained during those tumultuous days working with other political groups and activists who espouse different ideologies.

"We have an extended experience from working with the January 25 group toward specific goals. We were able to put our ideological differences aside," he said. "We want a new party that overcomes politics."

This is a veiled criticism of his original organisation, which formally joined the protests days after they began. Younger members are growing critical of the decision-making process in the Brotherhood, controlled by a senior leadership, which is extending its reach to its Freedom and Justice party.

Lotfy said his new party is not an "Islamic" party, but one that devises its own programmes and priorities from the public, which he called the mainstream.

Its members are from different ideological backgrounds, including leftists, and liberals who aim to drastically improve Egypt's social indicators and international standing by 2030.

"We believe that the audience we are targeting no one has reached out to yet," he said. "I have gained a lot of experience from the Brotherhood which is known for its great ability to organise... I hope I can gain from that, and this would be reflected in our performance."

Brotherhood leaders say the party will run for only half of the parliament's seats in elections expected in September, and they are working to form coalitions with other parties, including liberals.

Another leading member of the Brotherhood had earlier announced his plans to run for the upcoming presidential elections, in violating of the Brotherhood's decision not to field candidates.

Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fottouh, a leading member of the Brotherhood known for his moderate views and appeal among the youth, was expelled on Saturday for violating the group's rules.

- SAPA

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid 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

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...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.