Muslim Brotherhood: Egypt revolution not Islamist

By Jennifer Lipman, February 8, 2011
Omar Suleiman with Benjamin Netanyahu

Omar Suleiman with Benjamin Netanyahu

The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the suggestion that there is an Islamist agenda to Egypt’s uprising.

A statement posted online by Khaled Hamza, editor of the Egyptian Islamist group’s English-language website, said: “The current uprising in Egypt is a revolution of the Egyptian people.

“It is by no means linked to any Islamic tendencies, despite allegations, nor can it be described as Islamic.”

It has now been two weeks since the anti-government protests began in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and around 300 people are estimated to have been killed in the riots, but President Hosni Mubarak remains in power.

Though he promised a move towards free elections he claimed that if he stepped down, the country would become unstable.

There are also worries that the Muslim Brotherhood, suppressed under his rule, would consolidate power if Mr Mubarak were overthrown.

It is a situation Israel desperately fears. On Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned that peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbours were not necessarily permanent.

Egypt became the first Arab state to recognise Israel in 1979, but Mr Netanyahu said: “It can be unravelled from without; it can be unravelled from within.”

According to a leaked US diplomatic cable from 2008, Israel would like to see Mr Mubarak replaced by Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s vice president.

The document, released by WikiLeaks, quoted a diplomat who said: “There is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of” Mr Suleiman.

Last updated: 9:54am, February 9 2011