The Muslim Brotherhood’s motto is:
Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
And while the Ikhwan railed against corruption in Mubarak’s regime, it has not only shown its own propensity for corruption through vote buying and an unwillingness to discuss it, but also in half-truths and outright lies.
Meanwhile, however, in the wake of the Salafists’ unexpected romp in the elections, one can say this much: it has made it possible for the Brotherhood to take on the one accurate definition of what are often called “moderates”: those who are believed to be somehow, somewhat less hardcore than the next guy, or at least slower moving and friendlier looking.
Of course, power for either group will result in the imposition of Sharia and the curtailment of human rights and civil liberties, no matter what the spokesman says below, because human rights and civil liberties will be defined and limited by Sharia.
In the end, the next legislature will be dominated by a supermajority of Six of One, and Half a Dozen of the Other. “Egypt Brotherhood says won’t impose Islamic values,” by Aya Batrawy for the Associated Press, December 2:
CAIRO (AP) “” Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, emerging as the biggest winner in the first round of parliamentary elections, sought Saturday to reassure Egyptians that it would not sacrifice personal freedoms in promoting Islamic law.
The deputy head of the Brotherhood’s new political party, Essam el-Erian, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the group is not interested in imposing Islamic values on Egypt, home to a sizable Christian minority and others who object to being subject to strict Islamic codes.
“We represent a moderate and fair party,” el-Erian said of his Freedom and Justice Party. “We want to apply the basics of Shariah law in a fair way that respects human rights and personal rights,” he said, referring to Islamic law.
Human and personal rights as defined and limited by Sharia. It is a circular statement, because Sharia “respects” its own rulings.
The comments were the clearest indication that the Brotherhood was distancing itself from the ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party, which appears to have won the second-largest share of votes in the election’s first phase.
The Nour Party espouses a strict interpretation of Islam similar to that of Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are segregated and women must be veiled and are barred from driving.
Egypt’s election commission has released few official results from the voting on Monday and Tuesday. But preliminary counts have been leaked by judges and individual political groups showing both parties could together control a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament if they did form an alliance.
The Brotherhood recently denied in a statement that it seeks to form an alliance with the Nour Party in parliament, calling it “premature and mere media speculation.”
On Saturday, el-Erian made it clear that the Brotherhood does not share Nour’s more hard-line aspirations to strictly enforce Islamic codes in Egyptians’ daily lives.
“We respect all people in their choice of religion and life,” he said.
Apostates from Islam?
Another major check on such an agenda is the council of generals who have run the country since President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February. The military council, accused by Egypt’s protest movement of stalling a transition to civilian and democratic rule, is seeking to limit the powers of the next parliament and maintain close oversight over the drafting of a new constitution.
Egypt already uses Shariah law as the basis for legislation, however Egyptian laws remain largely secular as Shariah does not cover all aspects of modern life.
Ask some Copts how that’s working out.
On its English-language Twitter account, the Brotherhood said that its priorities were to fix Egypt’s economy and improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians, “not to change (the) face of Egypt into (an) Islamic state.”