CFR FELLOW IN FT SAYS EGYPT CAN HAVE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD GOVERNMENT
The FT has published a comment from a senior fellow at the CFR in which the author suggests that Egypt can have a Muslim Brotherhood government.
And he should know because he used to be a member!
According to Ed Husain, the MB have mellowed just enough that they will be acceptable to govern Egypt.
Egypt is ablaze. Hundreds of thousands protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday, but for fear of an Islamist regime the US now risks being remembered as a democracy that abandons democrats. After generations in opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood now wants to play a part in Egypt’s future, giving a rare chance to strike a deal for their compromises and democratic involvement.
To this day we are paying the price for ignoring ordinary Iranians and siding with the Shah in 1979. Then, secular democrats triggered a revolution only to be brushed aside by fundamentalists. Today, ordinary Egyptians lead demonstrations but the Brotherhood waits in the background; an indispensable force in national life.
With a network running through trade unions, mosques, businesses and universities, the organisation is hugely influential. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has already formed a loose alliance, and for sound reasons. Last September, of the million signatures petitioning for change under Mr ElBaradei’s leadership, the Brotherhood collected 800,000.
I know all too well the power the Brotherhood can wield, having spent my student days in London as a member of its global organisation. Disillusioned by their conspiracy theories, distance from spiritual Islam and implausible answers to world problems, I eventually left. And after the 2005 bombings of London’s Underground, I wrote a book exposing what I now saw as their bankrupt agenda. I have since spent three years warning Europeans of the destructive influence of Islamist ideologies.
...To its credit, the Brotherhood also often calls for improved human rights. Pressing for them to clarify their views – on gender equality, rights for religious minorities and abandonment of killing, stoning and whipping as punishments – could become one condition for its intent to enter government in coalition. Perhaps the most important issue remains the Brotherhood’s stance on Israel. Israel remains a regional superpower, with little to fear from Egypt’s shabby military. Even Mr ElHelbawi, often an apologist for suicide bombers, does not dismiss existing agreements between Israel and Egypt. Even if a post-Mubarak Egypt turned belligerent, Israel could protect itself. Preventing an unlikely future conflict is no reason to suppress Egyptians’ democratic aspirations.
[source : Egypt can bring in the Brotherhood, FT, 2/2/2011]