- Akef seemed to be chiefly interested in two things during the interview: a)Save face after the disclosure of his infamous interview, by reiterating "I respect Egyptians" every second of the interview; and b)Continue the MB's suspicious non-positions, vague, attitude.
- The MB is acutely aware that their strength lies more in the perceived than in the real. Meaning: if we keep repeating that we are strong, people will think we're strong, so they'll either join us or fear us. Examples of what he said: "all the world is afraid from us", "we could have contested more than the 120 seats we ran for in parliament, but didn't want to embarrass the regime"
- As I mentioned earlier, Akef seems to be confused about the relation between the MB and Egypt (or more accurately, I am). He kept referring to Egyptians through out the interview in third persons, as in "I respect Egyptians...", "I deal with Egyptians...", etc... Which is kindda confusing to somebody like me: do the ikhwan see themselves as Egyptians, or should the Egyptians be ikhwans (i.e. which is the bigger group? who is your loyalty to?)
- Financing. Ooops! A mine field right there. The interviewer (Mahmoud Saad) aptly asked him about the sources of the MB financing, to which Akef answered the jaw-droopingly brazen answer "our sources are secretive and will remain this way"!!!! (at a later point of the interview he said that our financing is from our pockets, but given that the MB spans 70 countries as he claimed, this could mean that the money is coming from anywhere really)
- Vague answers. He said that one of the goals of the MB is to spread culture. When asked what kind of culture, he just kept repeating "high culture, good culture..." It is either he didn't want to say Islamic culture upfront, which is unlikely, or, as I suspect, he is just babbling. He also didn't answer clearly about what they mean by having khilafa (a completely religiously unsupported historical concept, which essentially boils down to an individual man's rule). He said that it is not just the dream of the MB, but of everybody! And then when he was asked about the nature of that rule, he just didn't answer. When Saad asked him whether it is something like the EU but with each country having its autonomy, he said "but they have one foreign minister, don't they?" "yes!" "then we're in agreement"!!!!
- He kept denying that the MB is involved in any sort of violent activities, and kept evading questions about the MB's historic involvement in violence.
- Stupid government moment. Farouk Hosny, Egypt's culture minister, called at the middle of the interview to respond to something the first guest (Ibrahim Eissa) said. He seemed to be interested in saving face. The strange part is that he didn't take aim at Akef at all. The last time I checked, the MB was a forbidden political group, and are in clear opposition to the government, so why not act as a political person and use the air time to counter their views, dismiss it, or even ridicule it?? It is either he didn't get the talking points memo, or, as an artist, he was too afraid to get his feelings hurt by Akef (my suspicion: both!)
I tried to have an open mind while watching the interview, but my feelings about the MB didn't change much after it: They should have a clear agenda for what they're trying to do (i.e. policies, and projects, not just theories, and banner-speak). The "we're good people, aiming for good things" attitude I believe is embarrassingly inadequate.