Senator Mark Kirk’s statement on Egypt

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“As the world watches these historic events unfolding in Egypt, the United States should support an orderly transition to democracy that prevents the radical Muslim Brotherhood from grabbing power.  In his testimony to Congress earlier today, the Director of National Intelligence characterized the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a secular group.  I am concerned that the DNI’s assessment does not agree with recent public statements by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood nor does it agree with the organization’s publicly stated goals.”


The following is an excerpt from Senator Kirk’s remarks on the Senate floor on February 2, 2011:


Mohammed Badi was elected the Eighth General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in January 2010.  As noted by the U.S. Government’s Open Source Center, Badi is “influenced by the writings of famous MB ideologue Sayyid Qutb… known for his conservative views.”

In an interview on April 14, 2010, Mr. Badi said “we will continue to raise the banner of Jihad and the Koran in our confrontation with the enemy of Islam.”  He went on to say, “The Muslim Brotherhood still considers the Zionists to be its main and only enemy.  The Jews who occupy Palestine have their eyes set on Egypt.”

Two days ago, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Ghannem, reportedly told the Al-Alam Iranian news network that he “would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel” adding that the world should understand that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”  He went on to say that the Suez Canal should be “closed immediately,” and that the flow of gas from Egypt to Israel should cease “in order to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime.”

In 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood released a political platform, which contained a number of indications on how this organization would govern Egypt if it came to power.  

According to the Congressional Research Service, the platform “called for the establishment of a board of religious scholars with whom the president and the legislature would have to consult before passing laws.”

As noted by Mohamed Elmenshawy – the editor in chief of Taqrir Washington and Arab Insight: “Reminiscent of Iran’s Guardian Council, this undemocratically selected body could have the power vested by the state to veto any and all legislation passed by the Egyptian parliament and approved by the president that is not compatible with Islamic Sharia law.”

The same document raises the important question of the Muslim Brotherhood’s commitment to a pluralistic society.  Despite pledges to treat minorities and women as equals, the platform allows neither to hold high public office.  As stated in the platform, “non-Muslims are excused from holding this mission.”  For women, the post of the Presidency or Prime Minister would “contradict with her nature, social and other humanitarian roles.”  The draft also cautions against “burdening women with duties against their nature or role in the family.”

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