An Egyptian Catholic priest and spokesman highlights how freely the Muslim Brotherhood has issued contradictory statements to suit the group’s needs at a given moment. The message depends on the audience, but the Ikhwan’s agenda remains the same. “The thousand faces of the Muslim Brotherhood,” from AsiaNews, December 13:
Cairo (AsiaNews) — “The Muslim Brotherhood is not credible. We want facts, not words,” said Fr Rafik Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, as he commented a statement made by Mohammed Badie, head of the Islamist organisation, in the defence of Christians. Despite positive criticism from the Anglican and Orthodox Churches, the statement by the Muslim Brotherhood has been met with doubts among Catholics, who stress that the group has not been sufficiently transparent in recent months.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is always issuing statements. In the beginning, they were very harsh against non-Muslims,” Fr Greiche said. However, “If a pro-democracy or Christian leader protested, they would quickly change their tune to avoid being labelled extremist.”
Time after time, this type of attitude manifested itself during the Jasmine Revolution, which the Brotherhood first resisted but eventually accepted for electoral reasons.
“In the past few days, one of the most important spiritual leaders (Mourshed) of the Muslim Brotherhood said that anyone who is opposed to Sharia should be expelled from the country, a clear reference to Christians. Yesterday, Mohammed Badie said instead that all citizens should be equal.”
On 10 October, the day when Copts were slaughtered in front of the headquarters of state television, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement justifying the military”s reaction, on the grounds “that this is not the time for Christians to make demands.” Two days later, Badie retracted what the group’s spokesman had said. Instead, he noted, “the violence in Maspero were provoked by diehard members of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.”
For Fr Greiche, contradictions also characterise relations with Salafists, the hard face of radical Islam, whom the Brotherhood used in the campaign to scare moderate Muslims and religious minorities. Yet, in some ridings [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists ran on the same list….