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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Akef's Non-Positions

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

Stayed up late to watch an interview of Mahdi Akef, the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide on MBC. Here are my remarks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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"
  3. 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?)
  4. 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)
  5. 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"!!!!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Moved on!


MB "policies" are defined very well in Wikipedia:

"The Muslim Brotherhood advocates the creation of Islamic government, believing that God has set out a perfect way of life and social organization in the Quran (as seen in the slogan, "The Quran is our constitution"). It expresses its interpretation of Islam through a strict conservative approach to social issues such as the role of women, but also believes that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedoms as defined by the Islamic state. It is strongly hostile to colonialism, and was an important actor in the struggle against Western domination in Egypt and other Muslim countries during the early 20th century."

But they like to put a softer face (or no face) on their "Movement" when caught out or in the media.

Being politically active in every Mulsim country and influential in every aspect of Arab life, their goals are being worked toward publicly by peaceful means, but what they do in private is well hidden except for their involvement in Hamas.

But you knew all that.

Papa Ray
West Texas

By Blogger Papa Ray, at April 29, 2006 5:38 PM  

Thanks for your visit to the blog, and thanks for you comment. I even replyed your comment.
"I respect Egyptians...", "I deal with Egyptians...".......this is the part mostly expresses how this man thinks and looks upon Egypt and Egyptians. I feel sorry that such a point of view towards egypt is gaining this powerful popularity.

By Blogger The Eyewitness, at April 30, 2006 12:38 PM  

the MB have a plan, their only plan which is to seize power & that's simply it.
I do not think that the stage is being set up for Gamal by cracking down on pro democracy supporters. I think the whole Gamal becoming president is something journalists revel in to raise their credentials as political writers & analysts but with little proof or facts.
I myself, would not mind having Gamal as pres, he is well educated, well spoken & seems responsible enough for the job, compared to other party leaders who failed, or that joke ayman nour or the MB with their " we want to change the Egyptian person" rubbish, i would go for gamal over that lot any day.

p.s: who the hell compared ayman nour to che guevara?????

By Anonymous Alienkain, at April 30, 2006 1:28 PM  

firstly, I guess you commented on the wrong post, but anyhows, here goes...
why are you taking the ayman nour-guevara thing personaly? it was a figure of speech, because american media seems to be a bit obsessed by nour, and they're trying to portray him as some sort of savior which he isn't....
also, what you're saying about Gamal is besides the point. I said it b4, if Gamal ran in a free elections, I can see myself voting for him..the problem is that any person who comes to office through any other means have no accountability whatsoever. So he might be good as you're saying for the first 10, or 15 years , but then he might do whatever he wants for the other 20 (mind you, he is still young!) and nobody would be able to question him.
So, please enough with this defeated-we-should-accept-the-best-of-two-evils speak!..please!!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at April 30, 2006 1:47 PM  

www.ikhwanweb.com the muslim brotherhood official English website. Have fun

By Anonymous Ikhwanweb, at May 04, 2006 5:34 AM  

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