July 1, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1638

Warnings in the Egyptian Press: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Is Going the Way of Hamas in Gaza

July 1, 2007
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 1638

In the wake of Hamas' takeover of Gaza, some in the Egyptian press have expressed fears that the Muslim Brotherhood may seize power in Egypt. They expressed concern at the similarities between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and said that lessons should be learned from the Palestinian experience in Gaza.

The following are excerpts of articles from the Egyptian press:

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is Trying to Reproduce Hamas' Experience in Gaza

Tariq Hasan, a columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, wrote: "In Egypt there are those who are trying to reproduce what Hamas did in Gaza… For anyone who has the slightest doubt about this and wants proof, it is sufficient to consider statements by Brotherhood representatives in parliament… They said that Egypt waved the Zionist flag, despite the people's opposition to this. This means that Egypt, like the Palestinian Authority, deserves that a revolution should take place in it.

"The Brotherhood, like Hamas, does not recognize the legitimacy of the parliament that ratified the peace treaty with Israel, nor the legitimacy of the state that ratified these agreements, since [in its view] it is a traitorous state that works for foreign interests and that does not represent its people. From these statements we understand that the Hamas problem is not [limited to] just Gaza, but it is also in Egypt, and that the Brotherhood holds the same positions and uses the same ideas and statements with which Hamas conducted a putsch against the [legitimate] government, and through which it declared Gaza a rebel region under its rule.

"Here in Egypt the Brotherhood brought out the masked militias in Al-Azhar University, and there in Gaza Hamas put them to use. Here they changed the Egyptian flag and removed the eagle of the Republic from it, and there they took down the Palestinian flag and waved the green flag of Hamas. What can we expect?...

"In light of this severe threat, it is not enough for us to say to people 'look at what Hamas did in Gaza' in order to warn them about the Brotherhood in Egypt. We must learn the lessons without delay.

"Hamas won the game it was playing, and the Brotherhood is doing the [same] thing. There, there was a government that allowed them to take part in elections without their recognizing the legitimacy of that Authority [i.e. the PA] and without their being made to accept the state's constitution and its laws. Hamas used the elections and democracy as an instrument [in order to take power], and then they turned the matter over to the armed militias in order to conduct a putsch against everyone.

"Here, there are [Muslim] Brothers who do not recognize the legitimacy of the state and oppose the constitution and the law, and despite this, we find people who say that [the Brotherhood] represents them and speaks in their name in parliament… Whoever ignores this [matter] will bring us into the gates of hell that we saw in Gaza…"[1]

The Egyptian People Feel There is a Danger From Within

Chairman of the executive council of the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, Karam Gabar, wrote in his column: "Hamas is the Brotherhood of Palestine – the Palestine branch [of the Brotherhood]. They hold a place at the top of the list of members of the international organization of the banned group [i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood]. This means that this is a worldwide movement that does not recognize national identity, the flag, or the anthem. They do not recognize a homeland that must be defended and for which one must give one's life. The homeland for them includes any plot of land on Earth on which the flag of the Brotherhood may be flown… Hamas is the same thing. Whoever does not share their faith is [considered] outside of Islam, and he is treated like one of the infidels…

"For Hamas and the Brotherhood, democracy is just dancing with Satan. The people who harbor the most enmity for democracy are those same groups who think that they have a divine mandate to rule and to implement the shari'a they see fit, and not Allah's shari'a. Democracy for them is just a means to take power; afterwards, they whip democracy with lashes and behead it with the sword… No one can raise their head and speak up without becoming an infidel who must be punished. Their democracy is worse than dictatorship…

"In the history of Hamas and the banned [Muslim Brotherhood] there are incidents that are blacker than black: murders, torture… Hamas and the banned [Muslim Brotherhood] have no written law, [and both movements] do not recognize the this-worldly judicial system or secular judges.

"Their judicial system is speedy, and it has a special law [taken] from the worst exegetical texts from the days of the ridda,[2] separatism, and darkness. The end of [their trials] – which last no longer than a few minutes – is swords, or a traitorous bullet, without fair trial. The banned [Muslim Brotherhood] recognizes the law of the country in cases where it serves their interests, and afterwards it rebels against the law, casts aspersion on the judicial system, and does not honor the legitimate [government] or the constitution…

"For the first time, the Egyptians felt dread when they saw the students of Al-Azhar University conducting combat displays with the same methods as Hamas, and in the same clothing, with the same slogans and tools. The public felt the danger growing under [its] skin, flowing in [its] blood, and touching on [its] nerves – a real danger flowing from the depths, and not something imported from abroad…"[3]

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are Dragging the Entire People to Suicide

In his daily column, the editor of the Egyptian daily Al-Gomhouriya Muhammad 'Ali Ibrahim wrote: "Hamas is the Palestinian side of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has become the heart and the brain of the world organization of the Brotherhood, and whose Supreme Guide has become the one who motivates, advises, and guides all of the Islamist currents in the world…

"I imagine myself a Palestinian living in Gaza, or an Egyptian living here [in Egypt] if, God forbid, the Brotherhood had a majority in parliament. First, if what Hamas did against Fatah were to happen anywhere in the Arab homeland… the result would be, quite simply, that people would not receive salaries, schooling, [medical] treatment, or services…

"I imagine that when Hamas considers murdering Mahmoud Abbas, it will in no way ask the people, since it [already] received a mandate at the ballot box… It is possible that Hamas will receive orders from Iran and will carry them out, and then it will drag the region into a destructive total war. It is also possible that Tehran will convince the Hamas leaders to repeat Hizbullah's experience…

"In short, the victory of Hamas and the Brotherhood at the ballot box does not mean that they are politicians and that they are capable of running the state, with all of the political [implications] and the responsibility that this entails. All that Hamas is capable of doing is to be crack troops of suicide. Unfortunately, however, they are not committing suicide alone. They are forcing the entire people to commit suicide, and I fear that this is the same tactic and path that the Brotherhood in Egypt is taking…"[4]

[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), June 23, 2007.

[2] In Muslim tradition, the ridda (apostasy) wars were fought between the Muslims and Arabs who renounced Islam following Muhammad's death.

[3] Roz Al-Yousef (Egypt), June 23, 2007.

[4] Al-Gomhouriya (Egypt), June 23, 2007.

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