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Fears of Muslim Brotherhood Takeover of Egyptian Military

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COMMENT: We’ve reported on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s move to establish civilian parallel police to supplement the security forces, cooperating in this with the al-Qaeda-infiltrated Gama’a-al-Islamiya.

Observers now report fears that the Brotherhood may be trying to infiltrate the Egyptian military, traditionally an non-ideological force in Egyptian society.

IF the Brotherhood can successfully co-opt the military, their domination of the military and parallel police may cement the organization’s control of Egyptian society and the resulting implementation of Islamism.

“Egypt Fears ‘Ikhwanization’ of Military” by Mohamed Abdu Hassanein; Asharq Al-Awsat.net; 3/20/2013.

EXCERPT: Fears of the “Ikhwanization” of the Egyptian army have been raised after Egyptian Military Academy Director Major General Esmat Murad revealed that students with links to the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafist political factions have been accepted into the academy, including President Mohamed Mursi’s own nephew.

An Egyptian soldier, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, revealed that “for the first time, students whose families or relatives are involved in political activism, whether for the Muslim Brotherhood or anybody else, are being accepted into the Egyptian armed forces which had traditionally investigated the [political] background of recruits, rejecting those with any such connection.”

Until the January 25 revolution both Egypt’s military and police academies routinely rejected students who held political views or were members of political movements the authorities judged to be subversive, even going so far as rejecting recruits if members of their family had any such views or ties to Islamist organizations.

However since the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi came to power in late June 2012, and particularly after he forced out Field Marshal Tantawi, there have been escalating fears of the “Ikhwanization” of the military, although this is something that senior military figures have repeatedly denied.

However, Major General Esmat Murad, director of Egypt’s prestigious Military Academy, held a press conference yesterday during which he revealed that the academy’s graduating class number 109 includes students who have a Muslim Brotherhood background. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “Fears of Muslim Brotherhood Takeover of Egyptian Military”

  1. Morsi just made a new decree: You can criticize him, just not in ways that undermine his credibility as a democratically elected leader. And if the opposition continues to be too critical of him he’ll issue a crackdown utilizing unspecified measures. It raises the question of whether or not criticism of Morsi’s understanding of what constitutes a “free and democratic society” is fair game or will that bring on the unspecified ‘pro-democracy’ crackdowns?

    Egyptian Prez Warns Opposition of Crackdown, ‘Harsh Decision’
    HAMZA HENDAWI March 24, 2013, 12:19 PM

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president delivered a stern warning to his opponents on Friday, saying he may be close to taking unspecified measures to “protect this nation” two days after supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood and opposition protesters fought street battles in the worst bout of political violence in three months.

    At least 200 people were injured in Friday’s violence, some seriously, outside the headquarters of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant political group.

    “If I have to do what is necessary to protect this nation I will, and I am afraid that I may be close to doing so,” a visibly angry Morsi said in an animated speech to the opening session of a conference on women’s rights.

    “I will do so very, very soon. Sooner than those trying to shake the image of this nation think,” said the Islamist leader who took office in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president.

    “Let us not be dragged into an area where I will take a harsh decision,” he warned.

    Morsi’s comments were initially released in a series of tweets on his account but state television later aired extensive excerpts from the address.

    He also warned that “appropriate measures” would be taken against politicians found to be behind Friday’s violence, regardless of their seniority. Anyone found to be using the media to “incite violence” will also be held accountable, he added. His comments came just hours after dozens of Islamists staged a protest outside studios belonging to independent TV networks that are critical of the Egyptian leader.

    The Islamists are protesting what they see as the biased coverage of Friday’s clashes. The Brotherhood says it does not support the protest, but some of the protesters were chanting slogans in support of Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie.

    Friday’s clashes followed an assault a week earlier by Brotherhood supporters on protesters painting derogatory graffiti outside the group’s headquarters. The protesters chanted hostile slogans and taunted Brotherhood supporters when some of them tried to stop demonstrators from posting flyers on the headquarters’ outside walls.

    The Brotherhood supporters also assaulted reporters at the scene. The group later said its supporters were provoked by the protesters who scribbled profanities on the headquarters’ outside walls and that the reporters were part of the protest.

    Morsi’s comments made no direct mention of the clashes but appeared to be a possible prelude to measures against the mostly liberal and secular opposition.

    “I call on all political forces not to provide a political cover for violence, rioting and attacks on private and public property,” Morsi said. “I will not be happy if investigations find some politicians guilty.”

    He also sought to debunk an often repeated charge that he places the interests of the Brotherhood ahead of those of the nation and that he is only the president of the “Brothers.”

    “I never was and I never will be,” he said in response to those charges. Ruthlessly ridiculed in the independent media, Morsi said he did not mind the criticism. “But I will not allow it when criticizing the president of the republic is designed to undermine the nation.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2013, 9:12 am

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