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Saudi writer urges separating Muslim Brotherhood Group from politics
BBC Monitoring Middle East
July 07, 2013


Article by Usamah Sa`id al-Qahtani: “Dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood Group Is the First Step Towards Reform”

I believe that the top priority of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in order to rectify its position is to dissolve the old group, and focus its efforts on charity and da`wah [Islamic call to submit to God] work only without interfering in politics.

It is not gallant for man to gloat over what has happened to his brother, whom he always advised, but in order to learn from the past, a rational man ought to look for his mistakes in order to rectify them.

In a previous article, which I wrote here under the title of “The Revolution of Arab Revolutions,” the article focused on the mistakes made by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The article points out that the revolution against that Muslim Brotherhood regime is coming if the group does not rectify what is taking place! I would have liked to republish that article because it is absolutely appropriate for what is taking place now.

I have no doubt that the Islamists will return whatever happens. Political Islam has solid bases that cannot be demolished easily as some people imagine, and as they have started to talk about the collapse of the concept of political Islam! Also I do not believe that the battle now is between the political Islam and others, but it is between the Muslim Brotherhood regime, which failed in managing the affairs, and others. For the sake of general Arab interests, I would like to point out several issues about this subject.

Some 10 years ago, I delivered a lecture in Riyadh entitled “Political Islam Groups: Political Critique.” In the lecture I discussed many of the mistakes made by these groups, starting with the Muslim Brotherhood and [Hizb] ut-Tahrir, and ending up with the political Salafi tendency, which at that time was in the phase of forming. At that time, I faced a great deal of opposition from those attending, because some people confused many of the variable political issues with the absolute religious issues, in addition to the fact that some confuse Islam with the movements affiliated to it.

What is important here is that among the issues I talked about in this lecture is that one of the most prominent problems facing the Muslim Brotherhood is the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, or let us call it the “World Organization.” At that time, the situation was tense especially because of Hamas position, which is considered part of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Group is considered a supreme guide of all the organizations affiliated to the group across the entire Muslim world.

There is no doubt that these organizations are widespread across the countries of the Muslim world. If we look into this organizational hierarchy, we cannot understand it except through the concept of an Emirate within the Emirate, especially after the Muslim Brotherhood has entered politics in a public way!

Unfortunately, some of the brethren sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood do not try to understand the problem here; they escape into saying that Islam has no boundaries, and they point out the Sykes-Picot Agreement and such issues! However, the question is: Will any other Muslim country accept to have a political party affiliated to a group in another country? Does the ascent of a political party to power in some country mean that it has become the Caliph of all Muslims?

This hierarchy cannot be described except as an Emirate within an Emirate! The group has become a huge political burden that has caused the Muslim Brotherhood many political problems with the countries of the world! The discussion of this issue would be extensive.

Therefore, I believe that among the top priorities of the Muslim Brotherhood Group, in order to rectify its position, is to dissolve the old group, and focus its efforts on charity and da`wah [Islamic call to submit to God] work only without interfering in politics, and to separate completely between the group and the party that has been established under it. This means that the political party should have no hierarchical or organizational link to that “religious” da`wah group, and all the affiliated organizations across the world should be left to decide their own destiny. Here, I do not mean that the Muslim Brotherhood has not right to political participation, as it has already formed a political party through which it can participate publicly in politics, provided that there is no confusion between the “religious” da`wah group and the political party!

“The fact is that we cannot expect an idealistic image of what might happen in a country that is not used to real political practice of participation, and then it starts its democratic course without problems. However, at the same time, everybody ought to recognize their mistakes in order to overcome or correct them in the future. Some people have seen a historic opportunity to hijack the revolution rather than sacrificing for the interest of the country! For this reason such people have faced what we have seen lately. It is not logical that some people exploit that historic opportunity to hijack the country at a difficult historic stage, which in fact is a transitional stage, to implement their ideology without establishing the national umbrella or cover that protects all the sons of the country equally!

“These people ought to have taken into consideration the historical conditions, and to talk with their opponents as much as possible! These opponents, even if they are a minority, are sons of that country, and they constitute a large sector that ought to be taken into consideration, and that has rights. Achieving a majority at some period does not mean a mandate to do whatever the majority wants with the seal of the people! `If man in his own house, and within his own property cannot impose all what he wants; if he did this, perhaps his children would disobey and rebel against him, then how about an extensive country in which all spectra and opinions live!`

“I believe that one of the most important issues that ought to be before the eyes of all these political parties is to start developing and revising their political ideas and opinions in order to release them from their narrow limits, and to try to go back to widening the general principles in order to include a largest possible amount of the spectra of the country.”

What I fear is that the Muslim Brotherhood would continue with the same mentality and style of accusing others, and denouncing the coup d`etat and the remnants of the previous regime, rather than revising and rectifying their mistakes! I have no doubt that the first step towards reform is the departure of the old generation of the group, and replacing them with a new generation that understands the stage and its needs.

I beseech God to preserve Egypt strong and proud, and to spare our country sedition and disturbances.

Source: Al-Watan website, Abha, in Arabic 0000 gmt 6 Jul 13

© 2013 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Chief Editor Atwan Decries Military `Coup` in Egypt, Silence of `Hypocritical` West
Al-Quds al-Arabi Online
July 7, 2013

Article by Chief Editor Abd-al-Bari Atwan: “The Islamists in Egypt Will Be Back, and the Magic of the Coup Turns Into Chaos”

General Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi, commander in chief of the Armed Forces, along with all the leaders of the opposition Salvation Front, misestimated the power of the Islamic current, led by the Muslim Brotherhood group, when he led a military coup that removed elected President Muhammad Mursi and placed him under arrest. The problem is that Egypt is the one that will pay the price of this miscalculation out of its stability, the blood of its sons, and national unity. This is a disaster by all standards.

President Mursi made mistakes during his short rule (one year only), but these mistakes, no matter how big, are small if compared with the mistakes of the military establishment and its coup, which could lead the country to a bloodbath that might claim the lives of hundreds, if not thousands.

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of the supporters of the Islamic current were out in the squares in the governorates of Egypt, demanding the return of their president and threatening to resort to violence if their demand was not met. They, or some of them, say and do things. We have seen this clearly in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Yes, the army forces have guns, tanks, and helicopters, but what can they do in the face of these angry crowds? Are they going to kill 100, 200, 2,000, 10,000? Why? Is it because they are demonstrating to regain the authority that they assumed through the ballot boxes and in free and fair elections?

Why is the hypocritical West, which has for 100 years been lecturing us about democracy and its values and singing the praises of Israeli democracy, silent on this coup against democracy and the rule of ballot boxes? Is it because the winner in this democracy is from the supporters of the Islamic current? Are they with democracy in our countries that brings parties that fit their measurements and that apply their policies and projects of dominating the region?

America has fallen, the EU has fallen, and all the liberal arguments that claim adherence to democracy and peaceful rotation of power have fallen. It is now clear that the liberal person, according to the West, is the one who abandons his creed, values, and principles and adopts Western principles that Washington and its neoconservatives outline.

I was surprised that Dr Muhammad ElBaradei, one of the products of this Western liberalism and its advocates, revealed in an interview with The New York Times that he had called US Secretary of State John Kerry and Catherine Ashton, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs, in order to support the military coup as he was one of the chief conspirators in preparing for it. I was surprised more to learn that this liberal supports the closure of six TV stations that are sympathetic with the Islamic trend.

The supporters of democracy and the rule of the ballot boxes, and not the supporters of the Islamic trend, are pouring, in the thousands, into the squares of cities, villages, and hamlets to demand the return of the elected president and express their readiness to be martyred for this goal.

We had expected the Egyptian Army to intervene to champion democratic legitimacy, and not to crush it and arrest its symbols, and to side by the ballot boxes and not to support those who want to overthrow this legitimacy through demonstrations and TV screens.

The military coup will certainly lead to serving the extremist groups within the Islamic current, specifically within the Muslim Brotherhood, and will confirm the argument of Al-Qa`ida and other groups, which reject democracy and consider it a “Western invention” and demand resorting to weapons, and not to the ballot boxes to set up an Islamic state that serves as the nucleus for a caliphate state.

The moderates in the Islamic trend and the Muslim Brotherhood movement will be the victim because their voice will not be heeded among the grassroots as their moderation and adoption of the peaceful option and renouncing violence has proven to be ineffective after the current military coup. We have started to see the results of this coup by installing a president who is not elected, dissolving the Shura Council, declaring martial law, and launching an arrest campaign without any legal grounds and under flimsy accusations. What is the charge based on which President Muhammad Mursi is going to be tried? And what is the crime that he committed so be arrested like any other criminal? The man has not killed a mosquito and has not stolen one pound and has not appointed any of his relatives to any post. The majority of the victims of clashes in front of the Al-Ittihadiyah Palace and in Rabi`ah al-Adawiyah Square are from his supporters.

I personally met the man for more than three quarters of an hour and I heard nothing from him except the language of tolerance toward the other, concern about preventing bloodshed, and focusing on how to restore dignity to Egypt and its people, revive its national heavy industries, and resuscitate its agricultural sector by siding with the simple peasants, the salt of the earth.

Who is going to believe the military rule, which is currently running affairs in Egypt, when it talks about democracy and about presidential and parliamentary elections after insulting the elected president and dissolving the elected Shura Council? Who will go to the ballot boxes after this cardinal sin?

We disagree with the Muslim Brotherhood over many of its arguments and we had hoped to see it side by the central cause of the Arabs and inaugurate its term in power by expelling the Israeli ambassador and closing his embassy in Cairo, but this can never make us stand against it or cast doubt on the legitimacy of its elected president. We have said and repeated that he has to complete his term in office and that the one who wants to remove him has to go to the ballot boxes.

We fear for Egypt and its good people of civil war; we fear for the poor, who are the overwhelming majority, of hunger, deprivation, and not finding a source of livelihood to feed their children, but we are confident that those will never accept a false and deceptive liberalism that leads, and paves the way for, a military coup that deepens the division and pushes the country to civil war to get to power onboard tanks, and not through the ballot boxes.

(Description of Source: London Al-Quds al-Arabi Online in Arabic -- London Al-Quds al-Arabi Online in Arabic -- Website of London-based independent Arab nationalist daily with strong anti-US bias; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

`Pharaoh` Morsi had to go to avert civil war: ElBaradei
Press Trust of India
July 07, 2013

Cairo, Jul 7 (PTI) Amid doubts over Mohamed ElBaradei`s appointment as Egypt`s new Prime Minister, the pro-reform leader has defended the ouster of Mohammed Morsi by the army, saying it was necessary to avert a civil war as the Islamist leader had declared himself a “pharaoh” and messed up matters.

ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is the favourite to lead a transitional government in Egypt after Morsi, the country`s first democratically elected President, was removed from office by the powerful military last week.

ElBaradei, 71, is coordinator of the main alliance of liberal and left-wing parties and youth groups, known as the National Salvation Front, formed late last year after Morsi granted himself sweeping powers in a constitutional declaration.

Defending the army`s intervention, ElBaradei said, “Either we risk a civil war or ... take extra constitutional measures to ensure that we keep the country together.”

“This is a recall, and it is nothing novel,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate told CNN.

“It is a painful measure, nobody wanted that,” he said. “But Mr Morsi unfortunately undermined his own legitimacy by declaring himself a few months ago as a pharaoh and then we got into a fist fight, and not a democratic process.”

“The other option was civil war,” he said. “We were between a rock and a hard place,” he told the BBC.

He described the manner of Morsi`s removal as “a hiccup”.

“Unfortunately we had to go though this hiccup, but I am very determined that hopefully we`ll get it right,” he said.

“We cannot afford Egypt to fail,” ElBaradei said. “Nobody can afford Egypt to fail.”

The fact that Egypt is in this situation, the former diplomat said, is difficult, especially given the high hopes many in the North African nation had following Mubarak`s exit.

The election that Morsi won in 2012 was “fairly free,” ElBaradei acknowledged.

“Then, unfortunately, the president messed up,” he said. “When you end up with 20 million people in the street, of the state of mind that he needs to go and he needs to go now, it`s a sad state.”

He was of the view that Morsi`s departure will serve as a “reset,” so Egypt can start over in forming a constitution and putting together an inclusive government.

That government should include members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organisation that was banned under Mubarak but has become Egypt`s most powerful political force, according to ElBaradei.

Meanwhile, Egypt`s new president says Elbaradei has not yet been appointed as interim prime minister despite earlier reports.

A spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour said consultations were continuing. Officials had earlier named ElBaradei for the post.

© Copyright 2013. The Press Trust of India Limited.

Kerry rejects claim that US supports Muslim Brotherhood
From Lalit K Jha
Press Trust of India
July 07, 2013

Washington, Jul 7 (PTI) Secretary of State John Kerry has rejected the claims in certain section of media that the US supports Muslim Brotherhood, saying Washington is deeply troubled by the violence across Egypt and it remains committed to democratic process in the most populous Arab country.

“The United States is deeply troubled by the violence across Egypt. We strongly condemn any and all incitement to violence or attempts to divide and provoke, rather than unite, all Egyptians. The United States strongly condemns the violence by all parties and urges calm,” Kerry said.

“At the same time, we firmly reject the unfounded and false claims by some in Egypt that the United States supports the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood or any specific Egyptian political party or movement. The United States has always been and remains committed to the democratic process, not to any party or personality,” he said.

“We want Egyptians to make their democracy work for the good of all Egyptians. At this sensitive moment, we call on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and prevent further violence among their supporters and we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully,” he said.

Over the days since the unrest in Egypt intensified, Kerry has been in constant contact with the national security team, regional partners, and his counterparts.

Besides being in hourly touch with the US Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, in the last two days he has also spoken with the new interim prime minister, Mohamed ElBaradei, foreign ministers of Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

During the talks with his counterparts, Kerry reiterated the call for the violence in Egypt to cease and for all parties - the Muslim Brotherhood, opposition, and military - to ensure that those expressing their views do so peacefully.

He also reaffirmed US support for democracy and the protection of universal human rights for all Egyptians, reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people, and respect for the rule of law.

Kerry said the US wants to see Egypt`s ongoing transition succeed for the benefit of the Egyptian people.

“The Egyptians themselves must come together and make the tough decisions necessary for that to happen,” he said, adding the only solution to the current impasse is for all parties to work together peacefully to address the many legitimate concerns and needs of the people.

“Lasting stability in Egypt will only be achieved through a transparent and inclusive democratic process with participation from all sides and all political parties. This process must also ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts,” he said.

The Egyptian people seek and deserve an honest, capable and representative democratic government, he said.

© Copyright 2013. The Press Trust of India Limited.




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