February 6, 2011

JOHNNY COME EARLIES:

Muslim Brotherhood Long Voiced Dissent in Egypt: Organized Opposition Group Despised by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Expects to Play Role in Nation's Future after Protest (Mark Strassmann , 2/05/11, CBS News)

Long before the clamor of Tahrir Square, Hosni Mubarak heard one group's dissent and despised them for it.

They're the Muslim Brotherhood, religious conservatives, often secretive and poorly understood. What is clear: They want an Egyptian Islamic state. This week, they stepped out of the shadows and joined the protesters demanding Mubarak to step down.

"For so long we have voiced our rejection of these criminal policies which have spoiled all aspects of life in Egypt and all those who sought to express their opinion," the Muslim Brotherhood's deputy director, Dr. Rashad Albayomi, said.

The brotherhood, formed in 1928, is the world's oldest and most influential Islamic movement and Hosni Mubarak's sworn enemy.

Illegal in Egypt but tolerated -- to a point -- its members are frequently harassed and arrested by Mubarak's state police.

As a social charity, the brotherhood's won over many Egyptians, and in 2005 they startled Mubarak by winning 88 legislative seats, about one-fifth of Egypt's parliament. But last year, they boycotted and lost every seat in Mubarak's rigged elections.

The brotherhood rejects violence with certain exceptions, and for that groups like Hamas and al Qaeda have denounced them.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2011 5:08 AM
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