But note that they’re playing down their influence and have accepted a secular public face for the Syrian National Council. In other words, this is playing out much the same way as the “Arab Spring” did in Egypt and Tunisia: pro-democracy liberals were out front at first, while the Islamic supremacists worked behind the scenes.
“Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes,” by Khaled Yacoub Oweis for Reuters, May 6:
(Reuters) – At a meeting of Syria’s opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists [sic] colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar al-Assad.
With many living in the West, and some ditching their trademark beards, it is hard to differentiate Brotherhood from leftists. But there is little dispute about who calls the shots.
From annihilation at home 30 years ago when they challenged the iron-fisted rule of Hafez al-Assad, the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar.
Careful not to undermine the council’s disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun.
“We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don’t want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council’s head,” former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni told supporters in a video….