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Dominating New Egyptian Parliament, Muslim Brotherhood Controls that Body’s House Speaker

Hamas (Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood) Soldiers Saluting

COMMENT: Having gained 45 % of the seats in the new Egyptian parliament, the Muslim Brotherhood has now maneuvered the secretary general of its Freedom and Justice Party into the position of house speaker.

Portrayed as “moderate,” the Brotherhood is, of course, nothing of the sort.  Allied with the Axis in World War II, the organization is a doctrinaire fascist organization that has been preserved through the decades because its pro-corporatist, anti-communist stance has made it useful to Western intelligence services during the Cold War and its aftermath.

(To keep up with developments vis a vis the Brotherhood, check the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which feeds along the bottom of this website.)

Disturbing in, and of, itself, the ascension of the Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East in the wake of the “Arab Spring,” this development is all the more alarming because it appears to be an outgrowth of an operation begun by the Bush/GOP faction of the CIA and State Department and carried forward by the Obama administration.

“BREAKING NEWS: Egyptian Political Parties Select Muslim Brotherhood Leader as Egypt’s First Speaker of the Parliament” [AP]; Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report; 1/16/2012.

EXCERPT: Top parties in Egypt’s incoming parliament have agreed to select an Islamist politician as house speaker for the first time in decades, party leaders said Monday. The Muslim Brotherhood, the big winner in the first election since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak last February, said it joined several other parties in backing Saad el-Katatni, the secretary-general of the Brotherhood’s own party.

The main function of the new parliament is to pick a 100-person commission to draw up a new constitution for Egypt, while preparations take place for presidential elections scheduled for June. The selection of el-Katatni showed the power of the Islamists to influence that process. . . .


17 comments for “Dominating New Egyptian Parliament, Muslim Brotherhood Controls that Body’s House Speaker”

  1. …meanwhile in Libya, rumors of Marines on Malta ready to re-invade to establish some minimum order are being hotly denied.

    And a report is out about the epic battle between British special forces and Libyan farmers last year:

    In a report broadcast last night, Mark Urban, Newsnight’s Diplomatic Editor, revealed that British special forces intervention began as early as February 2011. Libyan rebels had set up in Benghazi, and as the conflict became more heated, the British Government decided to send a rescue mission to Southern Libya.

    On February 27, a ‘couple of dozen’ SBS marines carried out three flights to rescue one hundred and fifty foreign oil workers (twenty British) from Zillah, Libya. The special forces team then flew the foreign oil workers to Valletta, Malta.

    By late February the British Government had decided to back the National Transition Council (NTC) and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

    The next stage of British special forces involvement in Libya would involve the highly secretive ‘E-Squadron’. A unit jointly made up of the SAS, SBS with close links with Mi6. By early march six special forces operatives and two Mi6 agents travelled to Benghazi to meet rebel leaders.

    The mission failed. The so-called ‘Diplomatic team’ was contained by Libyan farmers. After this public embarrassment, special forces were not involved in Libya for months.

    Posted by Dwight | January 20, 2012, 1:51 am
  2. Interesting article, but I have to say that a more accurate view of why things went terribly wrong, is not that the Republican faction of the CIA supposedly ‘started’ it; the fact is, Dave, I was watching this event from the very moment it began to develop and the GOP was very, very, opposed to our involvement in Libya and the Arab Spring. It’s quite obvious that they wouldn’t have started a movement(they may be evil, but they’re smart) which very well could have threatened their allies in the Mideast, including the MB(and given that one of these sources came from Wikileaks, I have even more doubts. I strongly suspect this came from the Assange/Jermas faction, probably to try to throw people off from the real story. They have definitely pulled shenanigans like this before)

    That said, however, there are some pretty strong indications that I’ve seen that the movement was instead manipulated and hijacked by these same forces, especially the Muslim Brotherhood(this makes a lot more sense when you really think about it. Mubarak was pretty close to the U.S. right-wing as well as that of the Israelis.)

    The good news, however, is that a few of the protesters have woken up and realized that they’ve been played for fools and are starting to rise up against the criminal M.B. as well. Let’s hope that continues to grow.

    Posted by Steven L. | January 20, 2012, 6:23 am
  3. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/19/us-egypt-radioactive-idUSTRE80I1SW20120119

    Radioactive material said stolen from Egyptian plant
    CAIRO | Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:10pm EST

    (Reuters) – Radioactive material has been stolen from a nuclear power station on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast that was the scene of violent protests last week, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported on Thursday.

    A safe containing radioactive material at the Dabaa nuclear power plant, which is still under construction, was seized while another also containing radioactive material was broken open and part of its contents taken, the newspaper said.

    In Vienna, an official of the U.N. nuclear agency described the items missing as “low-level radioactive sources” which had been taken from a laboratory at the construction site. He could not give any details on the nature of the stolen items.

    “We are in touch with the Egyptian authorities,” the official from the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

    Al-Ahram said the government has alerted security authorities and asked that specialized teams help in the search for the stolen material.

    More than a dozen people were wounded last week when military police tried to disperse hundreds of Egyptian protesters demanding the relocation of the Dabaa plant.

    Plant staff have refused to go to the site because of the deterioration in the security situation there, al-Ahram said.

    Posted by R. Wilson | January 21, 2012, 8:56 pm
  4. With the MB about to take control after the historic protest started by an alliance of liberal youth groups, it’s worth looking back at the Egyptian MB’s state of affairs one year before the January 25th protests that sparked the whole thing. Thing’s weren’t exactly looking up for the MB:

    Is the Brotherhood Pushing the Self-Destruct Button?
    Amr Hamzawy The National, January 18, 2010

    Elections for the movement’s leadership – the 16-member Guidance Office and the position of General Guide – have demonstrated the extent of the Brotherhood’s troubles. The results illustrate the profound impact of Egypt’s closed political environment, deepening internal division and further entrenching the movement’s conservative leadership.

    Since its strong showing in the 2005 parliamentary elections, in which it won 20 per cent representation in the People’s Assembly – the lower chamber of parliament – the Muslim Brotherhood has been subjected to sustained repression by the Mubarak regime. In an attempt to limit the Brotherhood’s political influence, the government has systematically detained its members, condemned the movement’s leaders and those who fund it to long periods of imprisonment imposed by military tribunals, and manipulated electoral procedures and election results.

    The government has also introduced several constitutional and legal changes, which it admits are aimed at shrinking the space available for the Brotherhood’s participation in politics. Most significantly, religious parties and political activities were banned by a 2007 constitutional amendment, and constitutional articles were changed to pave the way for a party-based electoral system. The consequences of these changes have been severe for the Brotherhood; as a movement banned by law, it must either field election candidates as individuals, or join forces with an existing legal party.

    The first major outcome of all this has been a gradual closing off of the formal political sphere for the Muslim Brotherhood. In spite of its significant representation in the People’s Assembly and the solid appearance of its parliamentary bloc, the Brotherhood has become an isolated movement with little influence on Egyptian politics. In fact, almost no one in the Brotherhood’s leadership expects it to secure more than five per cent representation in the new People’s Assembly that will be elected in the autumn.

    The second major outcome has been a growing recognition by many in the Brotherhood’s leadership that the movement is under siege and will remain so indefinitely. The dominant view has come to be that the Brotherhood’s priority should therefore be to sustain the movement’s organisational solidarity in the face of regime repression, rather than invest effort in futile political participation. In other words, the closed environment in which the Brotherhood has been operating since 2005 offers no incentive for political participation, prompting the movement to turn inward.

    Under these conditions, it comes as no surprise that the Brotherhood’s internal dynamics have been shaped by diverging positions on the strategic value of political participation. The inclusionist wing of the Brotherhood’s leadership, which advocates participation, has inevitably lost support and organisational power over the past few years, while the isolationists have grown more influential and now represent a secure majority.

    The results of the internal elections last month reflected this changing balance of power. An influential moderate, and arguably the Brotherhood’s most outspoken defender of political participation, Abdul Munim Abul Futtuh, lost his position in the Guidance Office to opponents whose priority is the movement’s social and proselytising efforts.

    In addition, Muhammad Habib, the former Vice General Guide with a reputation for building consensus between inclusionists and isolationists, failed to keep his seat in the Guidance Office. Among the four newly elected members to the Office, only Issam al Iryan can be identified as an advocate for participation. And very few of the Office’s re-elected members, including the head of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc, Muhammad Saad al Katani, can be considered pro-participation.

    The Egyptian people have been stunned by the Brotherhood’s public display of internal rifts, a division played out mostly in the media. The Brotherhood is no longer the secretive movement it once was, revealing little of its internal affairs to outsiders. Recently, figures such as Muhammad Habib have accused other leaders of manipulating the electoral process for the Guidance Office. Indeed, several voices in the inclusionist group have openly discussed the possibility of the Brotherhood’s break-up.

    Here’s another interesting MB fun-fact related to that the MB’s top leader, Mohammed Madhi Akef, who was stepping down at that time. It turns out that he also played an important role in creating the “Muslim American Society” (MAS) in 1993, an MB-umbrella group for the US. It sounds like the MAS was started in response to internal group divisions over how much the group should operate openly or in secret in the US. There are a number of parallels between the internal debate back in the early 90’s then and the debate in the years leading up to the Arab Spring:

    A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America
    Muslims divided on Brotherhood

    A group aiming to create Islamic states worldwide has established roots here, in large part under the guidance of Egypt-born Ahmed Elkadi

    By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen Tribune staff reporters

    September 19, 2004

    Over the last 40 years, small groups of devout Muslim men have gathered in homes in U.S. cities to pray, memorize the Koran and discuss events of the day.

    But they also addressed their ultimate goal, one so controversial that it is a key reason they have operated in secrecy: to create Muslim states overseas and, they hope, someday in America as well.

    These men are part of an underground U.S. chapter of the international Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group and an organization with a violent past in the Middle East. But fearing persecution, they rarely identify themselves as Brotherhood members and have operated largely behind the scenes, unbeknown even to many Muslims.

    Still, the U.S. Brotherhood has had a significant and ongoing impact on Islam in America, helping establish mosques, Islamic schools, summer youth camps and prominent Muslim organizations. It is a major factor, Islamic scholars say, in why many Muslim institutions in the nation have become more conservative in recent decades.

    Leading the U.S. Brotherhood during much of this period was Ahmed Elkadi, an Egyptian-born surgeon and a former personal physician to Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal. He headed the group from 1984 to 1994 but abruptly lost his leadership position. Now he is discussing his life and the U.S. Brotherhood for the first time.

    His story, combined with details from documents and interviews, offers an unprecedented look at the Brotherhood in America: how the group recruited members, how it cloaked itself in secrecy and how it alienated many moderate Muslims.

    Indeed, because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims.

    Many Muslims believe that the Brotherhood is a noble international movement that supports the true teachings of Islam and unwaveringly defends Muslims who have come under attack around the world, from Chechens to Palestinians to Iraqis. But others view it as an extreme organization that breeds intolerance and militancy.

    When Egypt imprisoned and executed some Muslim Brothers in the 1950s, many members fled the country and helped spread the philosophy throughout the Arab world. The group’s ideological voice became philosopher Sayyid Qutb, who abhorred Western values and believed the Koran justified violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments.

    And while Brotherhood activities vary from country to country, and chapters are officially independent, international leaders in Egypt say that all chapters are united in their beliefs and that the Egyptian office gives them advice.

    In recent months Akef, the international Brotherhood leader, repeatedly has praised Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers, called for the destruction of Israel and asserted that the United States has no proof that Al Qaeda was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Iman Elkadi’s father, Mahmoud Abu Saud, was particularly involved in the Brotherhood’s beginnings in Egypt and remains well-known in the Arab world. An accomplished economist, he is widely regarded as a pioneer in Islamic banking, which requires that interest not be charged for loans.

    He also was jailed repeatedly for his Brotherhood activities.

    A change of face

    In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.

    Some wanted the Brotherhood to remain underground, while others thought a more public face would make the group more influential. Members from across the country drove to regional meeting sites to discuss the issue.

    Former member Mustafa Saied recalls how he gathered with 40 others at a Days Inn on the Alabama-Tennessee border. Many members, he says, preferred secrecy, particularly in case U.S. authorities cracked down on Hamas supporters, including many Brotherhood members.

    “They were looking at doomsday scenarios,” he says.

    When the leaders voted, it was decided that Brotherhood members would call themselves the Muslim American Society, or MAS, according to documents and interviews.

    They agreed not to refer to themselves as the Brotherhood but to be more publicly active. They eventually created a Web site and for the first time invited the public to some conferences, which also were used to raise money. The incorporation papers would list Elkadi–just months away from his ouster–as a director.

    Elkadi and Mohammed Mahdi Akef, a Brotherhood leader in Egypt and now the international head, had pushed for more openness. In fact, Akef says he helped found MAS by lobbying for the change during trips to the U.S.

    “We have a religion, message, morals and principals that we want to carry to the people as God ordered us,” he says. “So why should we work in secrecy?”

    But U.S. members would remain guarded about their identity and beliefs.

    An undated internal memo instructed MAS leaders on how to deal with inquiries about the new organization. If asked, “Are you the Muslim Brothers?” leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society. “It is a self-explanatory name that does not need further explanation.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2012, 10:01 pm
  5. “Atlanta Jewish Times Editor Apologizes For Obama Assassination-By-Mossad” by JTA 1/20/12

    ‘The owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times apologized for an opinion column in which he counted President Obama’s assassination as among Israel’s options in heading off a nuclear Iran….
    …reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.’

    Posted by NewsHawk | January 21, 2012, 10:07 pm
  6. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed Israel Police on Tuesday to open a criminal investigation against a top Muslim cleric for incitement to violence and racism.

    Weinstein’s request came a few weeks after Jerusalem’s Mufti Mohammed Hussein quoted a religious text that includes passages about killing Jews during a speech at the 47th anniversary celebration of the Fatah movement in East Jerusalem.

    Weinstein stated that the investigation will also look into other statements the mufti has made about Jews in the past.

    Excerpts from the cleric’s speech were posted on YouTube last week by Palestine Media Watch, an Israeli watchdog group that tracks incitement. The comments drew angry reactions from Israelis Sunday.

    “The hour of resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews,” Hussein told the gathering, citing a hadith, or saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. “The Jews will hide behind stones and trees. But the trees and the stones will call: Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me, so come and kill him.”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Mufti’s speech, calling it a “heinous offense that all nations of the world must condemn.”

    Hussein, who is based in Jerusalem, said his comments were taken out of context. “I was speaking about the final signs of the day of resurrection,” Hussein said. “I did not incite, and I did not call for killing. We are not, at present, at the end of days.”

    This story is by:
    Tomer Zarchin

    Posted by Shark | January 24, 2012, 11:05 am
  7. Considering that the US NGOs probably helped propel the MB into power by working with the youth movements to help start the “Arab Spring”, there’s a bit a of irony in this turn of events:

    Egypt’s Brotherhood backs military in US dispute
    2:46 p.m. Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    The Associated Press

    CAIRO — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday threw its weight behind the country’s military-backed government in an escalating dispute with the U.S. over the funding of pro-democracy groups.

    Cairo claims that the groups are fomenting protests against the country’s military rulers, and has referred 16 Americans and 27 others to criminal court. Six Americans are barred from leaving the country.

    The dispute has shaken relations between the two countries, with U.S. officials and legislators threatening to cut aid to Egypt — $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in economic assistance — if the issue is not resolved.

    On Wednesday, the Brotherhood — whose political arm controls the largest bloc of seats in Egypt’s parliament — praised officials carrying out the crackdown and said it supported their “nationalist position.”

    The Brotherhood said it “rejects all forms of pressure the U.S. is exerting,” the statement published on the group’s website said.

    The statement said the group “declares that it, and the Egyptian people, will not tolerate any officials if they decide to succumb to the pressure or cover up the accusations or interfere in the business of the judiciary.”

    Egypt’s ruling military council has repeatedly alluded to plots by foreign powers throughout the last year. Critics see the allegations as an attempt by the army to deflect attention from what they regard as a botched transition to democracy. The strongly-worded statement by the Brothers appears to be an attempt to outbid the military position.

    The statement comes a day after the state media published the four-month old testimony of the Cabinet minister in charge of international cooperation in which she lashed out at the mainly U.S. groups.

    Minister Faiza Aboul Naga, a leftover from deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, accused them of using the foreign funds to foment pro-democracy protests against the country’s military rulers, who took over after Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising a year ago.

    The foreign funding affair has also been interpreted by many among Egypt’s pro-democracy groups as part of a larger plan to neutralize rights groups and other civil society organization, who have long challenged Mubarak and continue to challenge what they say are grave rights violations by the military rulers.

    Investigative judges have said a second phase of the probe is looking into Egyptian groups receiving foreign funds.

    The Brotherhood, itself an unregistered group, had previously backed the military’s investigation of pro-democracy and human rights groups.

    “Civil groups are as much a thorn in the side of any religious group,” as they are of an authoritarian regime, said Negad Borai, a human rights lawyer.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 15, 2012, 12:37 pm
  8. @Pterrafractyl: Well, as I’ve said before, it looks like the Arab Spring was actually initially mid-wived, as it were, by the ENEMIES of the Underground Reich & their allies, and that article you posted is actually one more piece of the puzzle.

    However, though, this does not, of course, discredit the research done by Dave, yourself, and others including myself, that does indicate that the Arab Spring movement was indeed co-opted and hijacked by some of the very same forces that the creators(and their allies) were fighting against.

    Frankly, though, I think the elite, the Underground Reich included, are getting very desperate and will soon run out of movements to corrupt and hijack, as indicated by their miserable failure at attempting to hijack OWS not long ago.

    We are still winning, guys. It may be an uphill battle still but it’s thanks to Dave and others that we CAN win this fight. =)
    @Mike: Sad stuff…..I wonder if Stanton may have possibly been involved with some rightist occult groups…….thanks for the info.

    Posted by Steven L. | February 16, 2012, 12:00 pm
  9. I found a video of Nasser, with French subtitles. In this extract, he tells to the crowd the highlights of a meeting with the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood for that era. Basically, he says, “why should I impose the islamic veil on every women if, yourself, can’t impose it on your own daughter (who doesn’t wear it)? The crowd laughed and cheered.

    But what I find really interesting with this extract is the non-verbal and psychological aspects of it. Look at the man. He seems relaxed, happy, with a sense of humour, at ease, etc. It is in total contradiction with the leaders of Arab countries of today. Look at the differential in behavior, attitude, etc. What we would give to have leaders like that in the Middle East, today!

    I am afraid that we won’t see leaders like that for a while in that part of the world. I wanted to share it with you to illustrate the shift and transformation that have occured since a couple of decades, and that we could label as a descent into fascism or a return to barbarism. It is another case of an image worth a thousand words.


    Posted by Claude | February 16, 2012, 3:26 pm
  10. @Dave: I think you will appreciate the interesting developments presented in this article. The Egyptian revolution: A Masonic-American-Zionist conspiracy?


    Posted by Claude | February 23, 2012, 8:52 pm
  11. @Claude: The content of that link is pretty sobering. Note too the vague nature of the language used by one of the MB spokesmen regarding the nature of opposition parties in Egypt:

    The MB spokesman emphasized that the people follow all the facts and know about conspiracies being hatched against the revolution, adding that “The people are only too aware of the widespread corruption brought about and institutionalized by the former regime. I believe our good Egyptian public will always take the side of dignity, freedom and independence – of the loyal men and women working for the interests of this homeland”. In his TV program, Howeidi said he had substantial information indicating the existence in Egypt of a dubious group preparing to form a new party that will cast itself as the true representative of the national forces that can rescue the country. Moreover, the Egyptian writer asserted that this party is currently distributing its membership forms, adding that it is supported by certain Arab and Western countries, and that its meetings are already underway, and also preparation of a plot in which that party’s collaborators will come out to demand the ousting of the Brotherhood. Howeidi said that the MB has broad experience and considerable expertise that allow them to uncover the heinous plot and foil the saboteurs’ scheme, adding that the Brothers’ role is not confined to partaking in the elections, “The Brothers are bearers of a universal message that must spread on as wide a scale as possible. They have a lot to contribute towards the advancement and revitalization of Egypt, and the restoration of its dignity and rights that had been violated for centuries”.

    Translation: Assume any non-fundamentalist Egyptian political parties that emerge in opposition to the MB are part of a Western Zionist plot.

    The MB’s embrace of democracy is already becoming a sleeper hold and they’re just getting started. :-/

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 27, 2012, 11:59 pm
  12. @Pterrafractyl: Let’s hope things turn around. The Egyptian people deserve it. =(

    Posted by Steven L. | February 28, 2012, 7:55 pm
  13. @Steven L.: Yeah, it’s like watching a family member that was unjustly thrown into a prison decades ago finally get released. You’re thrilled that they’re free, but their first decision is to go join the Scientologists (whom they met in prison). There isn’t a lot you can do other than point them in the direction of “Operation Clambake” and just wait it out until they realize they’re getting scammed by con men. It’s not a particularly surprising turn of events given all the unjust abuse in their past, but it’s still painful to watch because you know they’re about to get seriously fleeced and the Scientologists don’t let anyone leave without a fight. :-(

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 29, 2012, 6:25 pm
  14. @Pterrafractyl: So true, and I fear the same could end up being true in Syria as well. At least there may be some hope for Iran, though, at least they know what it’s like to live in a fascist Islamist-run hellhole, and may be far less likely to fall for any tricks should the mullahs be overthrown(we can only hope!).

    Posted by Steven L. | February 29, 2012, 8:12 pm
  15. Seemed sort of inevitable the way things are going…:

    In U-turn, Egypt’s Brotherhood names presidential candidate

    By Marwa Awad and Sherine El Madany

    CAIRO | Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:26pm EDT

    (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, in a policy U-turn, said on Saturday it would back its deputy leader for president, an endorsement that guarantees Khairat al-Shater a place among the frontrunners after the group initially said it would not field a candidate.

    The Brotherhood said it changed tack after reviewing other candidates in the race and after parliament, where its Freedom and Justice Party controls the biggest bloc, was unable to meet “the demands of the revolution”, a reference to its mounting criticism of the ruling army’s handling of the transition.

    Given the Brotherhood’s strong showing in the parliamentary election and its broad grass-roots network, the group’s backing for a candidate could prove a decisive factor. However, analysts say name recognition may also play a role in the race that could help others such as former Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

    Analysts said the move suggested the Brotherhood, on the brink of power for the first time in its 84-year history, was worried it could have that power snatched away after decades of repression at the hands Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted last year.

    Shater, 61, one of the group’s three deputy leaders and a businessman who runs a computer firm, will be competing against several other Islamists who have declared their plans to run.

    He has played a key role in the Brotherhood’s economic policy and met the International Monetary Fund team which is negotiating a $3.2 billion loan facility with the government. The IMF has said it wants broad political backing for the deal.


    Shater’s nomination could further split the Islamist vote, as at least three other Islamists are campaigning, including one who was expelled from the Brotherhood when he defied their earlier decision not to field a candidate.

    But the Brotherhood, the oldest and most well-established Islamist group, could use its political clout to encourage Islamist politicians and voters to unite around Shater.

    Like many members of the Brotherhood that was banned under Mubarak, Shater spent years in and out of jail. He was most recently freed shortly after Mubarak was toppled.

    The Brotherhood had met twice before Saturday’s gathering to debate a change in policy but did not reach a decision, highlighting divisions about whether to change course on fielding a candidate and about who to back.

    A Brotherhood member told Reuters that 56 of 108 members of the Brotherhood’s shura, or advisory, council voted to pick Shater as the group’s candidate and 52 voted against it.

    “Those who went against the candidacy of Shater at first changed their minds and supported him afterwards,” said Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s leader.

    The group previously said it did not want one of its members in the top office, so it did not appear to be hogging power and alienating those who did not back the group in post-Mubarak Egypt. “We do not have the desire to monopolize power,” the FJP’s Morsy said after Shater’s candidacy was announced.

    Only 56 out of 108? And Romney thinks he has it hard.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 1, 2012, 1:27 am
  16. @Pterrafractyl: And the criminality continues(in Egypt, that is.). Thanks for the information, my friend. Hopefully, more people will wake up and realize they’ve been tricked, and boot these fascists out of office.

    Posted by Steven L. | April 1, 2012, 1:44 pm
  17. @Steven L.: The MB’s choice of an IMF pointman is particularly ominous for the Egptian public given the indications in the article that the IMF wants broad political support for a new $3.2 billion aide package. And based on this article, it looks like Egypt is about to get Greeced:

    IMF, FJP say Egypt govt yet to provide loan details

    Reuters, Monday March 19 2012

    * Egypt seeking $3.2 bln, 18-month financing package
    * IMF wants reform plan with broad political support
    * Says any agreement still at least weeks away
    * Austerity measures certain to prove unpopular (Recasts, adding quotes, details and background)
    By Patrick Werr and Marwa Awad
    CAIRO, March 19 (Reuters) – Egypt’s government has been reluctant to share details of a reform plan it has drawn up with the International Monetary Fund, making it hard for parliament to support any accord, the Muslim Brotherhood’s party and the IMF said on Monday.
    The IMF says that before it agrees to a $3.2 billion loan Egypt needs to prevent a fiscal crisis, the government must first sell the plan to the country’s political forces, especially the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which won nearly half the seats in the new parliament.
    The reform plan contains a series of austerity measures and new taxes, according to a draft obtained by Reuters, steps that are certain to be unpopular in a country hammered by a year of economic hardship after its popular uprising.
    “We do not find there is enough detail available for us to determine what the real financial circumstances are of the budget and the government,” Ahmed Alnaggar, a member of the FJP’s economic committee, told Reuters after a meeting with the IMF on Monday.
    “Therefore the FJP can neither agree to nor reject the loan unless the government gives us the necessary details to study and then decide.”
    Egypt formally requested the 18-month IMF financing package earlier this year and the government has said it hoped to seal an agreement this month. But the IMF says a signing is several weeks away at least.
    “Our technical team, if all goes well, will be here for the next couple of weeks,” IMF regional director Ahmed Masood told Reuters after talks with FJP members. “This process will take a few weeks rather than something we will resolve in days.”
    The FJP has said it supports Egypt’s request for an IMF loan but first wants the government to produce a coherent plan to battle corruption and get costs under control.
    Egypt has spent more than $20 billion in foreign reserves since last year’s uprising to prop up its currency. Reserves now stand at a worryingly low $15.7 billion, including $4 billion in gold bullion the government would be reluctant to draw down.

    According to the few details released by the government, the reform plan contains an increase in the prices that heavy industries must pay for their energy, and the expansion of Egypt’s current sales tax into a fully fledged value-added tax.
    The draft reform plan, drawn up in December but not released publicly, contains 25 urgent measures to reduce Egypt’s budget deficit, which the government has put at 144 billion Egyptian pounds ($23.9 billion) in the fiscal year that ends this June.
    “The government has promised a detailed program, but what we received instead was general data without any details on how the loan will be spent and the means by which the loan will be repaid,” Alnaggar said.
    “The IMF stressed the necessity of getting support from the main political parties and the FJP so that the loan (bill) is passed in parliament.” ($1 = 6.0342 Egyptian pounds) (Writing by Patrick Werr and Marwa Awad; editing by Ron Askew)

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 1, 2012, 4:47 pm

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