Sunday, August 7, 2011

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood changes its mind on a civil state, Reuters shocked

Since the February revolution in Egypt, Reuters has spent reams of paper carefully sanitizing the history, dogma, and objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Just last May for example, the agency was assuring us that the Brotherhood had no interest in a parliamentary majority in Egypt and was not seeking to impose Islamic law (Sharia).

Things seem to have changed:
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's liberal Wafd party said on Sunday it may quit an electoral deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, highlighting growing tensions between liberals and Islamists over their vision for Muslim-majority Egypt.
The pact's aim was to allay fears that Islamists would seek to dominate debate about a new constitution, due to be re-written after parliament is elected. Some liberals fear Islamists want the constitution to create an Islamic state [...]
"It seems that the Brotherhood has retracted its position from the document that all members of the alliance have signed setting general rules that the new constitution must have," Yassin Tageldin, Wafd's deputy chairman, told Reuters.
He said Wafd understood that the agreement laid down principles to ensure that when re-written would establish a civil state.
The Brotherhood, which insists it wants a constitution that respects Muslims and non-Muslims alike, have said the pact was not a statement of principles about any constitutional debate but covered how groups would behave before elections [...]
Another Wafd leader, Essam Sheha, told Egypt's al-Mal newspaper that his party wanted to leave the pact after "the Brotherhood ... raised slogans calling for a religious state."

It was a reference to a demonstration on July 29, that was dominated by Salafists with a very strict view of Islam, whose slogans included saying said Islam came before any constitution.
We await the return of former Reuters Cairo Bureau Chief Jonathan Wright who will undoubtedly assure us all is well because the Brotherhood's leadership consists of engineers, doctors, lawyers, and academics.

Nothing to see here; move on.

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