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|Subject: Muslim Brotherhood Member Denies Group Supports Terrorism Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:08 pm|| |
Muslim Brotherhood Member Denies Group Supports Terrorism
A prominent member of Egypt’s officially-banned Muslim Brotherhood has
denied speculation the growing influence of his group, due to the
ongoing crisis, will create a future haven for terrorists who could
launch attacks on Israel and some Western countries.
Mohammed ElBeltagy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s
Guidance Council, told VOA his organization will honor all of Egypt’s
peace treaties, including that of Israel.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization; it has no
dealings with the terrorists; (it) has no history of violence of a sort
and we are not calling for a monopoly in the government. We are not
running for (the) presidency. All we are calling for is participation
in the parliament,” ElBeltagy said. “The ultimate goal for the Muslim
Brotherhood is that Egypt becomes a civil country that bases its values
on freedom, liberty, equality, social justice and that all of these
will lead to prosperity for all Egyptians.”
This came after the Egyptian government decided to raise the salaries
of government employees by 15 percent, the latest action in government
attempts to quell anger from protesters calling for the ouster of
beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak.
But, ElBeltagy said the increase, in his words, "is meant to sidestep the demands of the protesters."
“These are maneuvers to get around what is going on here because the
economic rights are not the only rights that the people are asking for.
This is not a revolution of hungry people; this is a revolution for
freedom, democracy and civil liberties,” said ElBeltagy.
“These are promises that we are not sure that government can fulfill
because they haven’t fulfilled previous promises until now. What we are
asking for is not just economic prosperity, but civil rights, equality,
freedom, justice and freedom of speech and freedom of election. So,
it’s not just all about economics.”
ElBeltagy also said his group will not break the country’s peace treaties with other nations.
“The Muslim Brotherhood will honor all the peace treaties that Egypt
has signed and we will not change anything. I do emphasize again that
the Muslim Brotherhood will honor and respect all those treaties that
were signed with any country in the world,” ElBeltagy said.
Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptian opposition activists occupied Cairo's
Tahrir square for a 14th day Monday. Some protesters have planted
tents in the square vowing to remain until Mr. Mubarak quits the post
he has held for almost 30 years.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Egypt is "making progress" on the
negotiating path between the government and opposition leaders.
Mr. Obama made the statement in Washington Monday, a day after Egypt's
vice president met with a range of opposition groups in a bid to defuse
two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.