Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Muslim Brotherhood speaks

MEMRI has just published a translation of an online interview with Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef, the Supreme Guide of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the highlights:

-- Copts (Christians who have lived in Egypt for 2,000 years) are entitled to full citizenship, but no Copt may rule Egypt, because Egypt has 'Islamic values and principles that must be respected.' Nor can a woman take that or other leadership positions: 'a woman is under the man's guardianship, and he does not want her to degrade herself.'

-- There is Western democracy, which allows people to act as they please; then there is true democracy that honors sharia. He brushed aside a question asking if the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was only participating in elections in order to exploit them, later revealing its 'true authoritarian face'.

-- He also dismissed allegations that Brotherhood militias are receiving semi-military training in Egypt, and military training in Iraq and Palestine. He did, however, praise sending fighters to Iraq and Palestine 'if we are allowed'.

-- 'Akef's fulsome praise of Osama Bin Laden's jihad actually got him in hot water with other clerics and politicians, both inside and outside Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood, I would remind you, long ago renounced violence. If this seems inconsistent with the above, just try to think it harder.

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