Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Muslim Brothers protesting in Egypt
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood is a serious threat to his country.
In an interview with the Egyptian weekly al-Osboa, Mubarak warned against the establishment of a religious Islamic state in Egypt, and against the ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood to power. The president added that if they Muslim Brotherhood come to power, the world will likely isolate them, just as they have done with Hamas in the Palestinian Authority.
Mubarak added, "In such a situation, many will take their money and leave the country. Investments will stop. Unemployment will grow, and Egypt will be isolated from the world."
According to him, "There are varied, and even opposing, opinions about a secular country or a religious country in Egypt. I can say that the Muslim Brotherhood is a danger to the security of Egypt because it is walking in a religious path… We support a secular country in which citizens can enjoy civil rights."
Conflict far from being overThese statements come on the backdrop of an ongoing struggle between the Egyptian regime and the Muslim Brothers in recent weeks. Muslim Brothers in al-Azhar University in Cairo decided to protest the decision not to allow people identified with the movement to run for student union elections.
Their protest was carried out in a rather unusual way. Protesting students arrived on campus dressed in black, and they showcased karate and kung-fu moves in their demonstration. In order to protect their identity, the protestors wore black masks with black headbands around their foreheads on which the Arabic word "samidun" (those who stand with them) on it.
The Egyptian regime responded with a heavy hand to the protest, arresting about 200 Muslim Brothers, including about 20 senior members along with the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Muhammad Hirat al-Shatr. In addition, computers, documents, and cash were confiscated from the movement.
Ever since, the wave of arrests and virulent statements made by Mubarak's regime against the Muslim Brotherhood haven't stopped. It seems as though this conflict is far from being over.