Egypt detains Brotherhood members

Egyptian security forces have detained five members of the Muslim Brotherhood, security sources said, in the latest round-up of Islamist critics of the government.

Egypt detains Brotherhood members
The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition movement in Egypt, has thrown the ball in the regime's court by announcing plans to soon table the political program of its proposed party, an Egyptian expert in Islamic movements believes.

"It is a very smart, timely move from the Muslim Brotherhood," Diaa Rashwan told

"They are throwing the ball back in the court of the regime, which has been faulting them for lacking a clear program and a partisan vision."

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef told the independent daily Al-Masri Al-Yom on Saturday, January 13, that his group would make public within a few weeks a platform of a party consisting of different conservative trends, including Copts.

Rashwan said the group, which has 88 seats in the 454-seat parliament, is sending a clear message to the regime, political groups and the international community.

"They want to say that the problem is not theirs but rather the current political atmosphere in Egypt that denies any nascent party the right to be recognized."

The Parties Committee of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, had decline license for 13 new parties, including the Islamic-oriented Al-Wasat.

The controversial decision was endorsed by a court ruling last week.

"The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to have a foothold on the political landscape and prove that it can be an integral part of it before an expected parliamentary approval of constitutional amendments proposed by President Hosni Mubarak," Rashwan said.

Mubarak submitted last month to parliament a set of amendments to 34 articles in the Constitution.

Chief among the amendments is a draft law banning the establishment of faith-based parties.

Slim Chance 

The Egyptian expert believes the proposed party stands a very slim chance of seeing the light in view of the regime's position on the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The regime is firm on this issue," Rashwan said, citing a recent and rare diatribe on the group by President Mubarak.

"The president has entered the fray, which dashes any Muslim Brotherhood hope to be officially recognized," he added.

Mubarak said in an interview to be published by the weekly el-Osbu on Monday, January 15, that the Muslim Brotherhood posed a threat to Egypt's security and would isolate the heavyweight country if assuming power.

As part of a continued crackdown on the opposition group, Egyptian security forces detained Sunday five Muslim Brotherhood members on charges of belonging to an illegal organization.

The Brotherhood said those arrested included Mohamed Ali Bashar, a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Office which acts as its executive, as well as Essam Hashish, an engineering professor at Cairo University.

A symbolic show of force by Brotherhood university students in paramilitary uniforms on December 10 prompted a massive swoop against the banned movement.

Up to 184 members, including prominent leaders like the group's deputy leader Khairat el-Shatir, have been arrested so far.

Although officially banned, the Muslim Brotherhood remains the most powerful opposition force in the country.

Despite widely reported electoral fraud in favor of the ruling party, it managed to secure a fifth of the seats in parliament by fielding independent candidates in 2005 elections.

On the other hand, MB leader Dr. Abdel Moneim Abo el Fotoh said in response to the news of arresting Dr. Mohamed Ali Bishr, that the ongoing detentions are desarate attempt by the rulling party to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition from taking any real or popular actions to express their rejection of the upcoming constitutional amendments proposed by President Mubrarak and which will only serve the NDP and the special interests groups close to the regime. 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16