Listening to analysis of the protests in Egypt, one might get the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization similar to Al-Qaida. It is not.
Unlike Al-Qaida, the Brotherhood is not listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State. In fact, the 83-year-old organization officially disavowed violence back in the 1970Â’s, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Statements posted on the group's official English website, Ikhwanweb.com, condemn recent terrorist attacks against Christians in the Middle East.
Many also fear that a Muslim Brotherhood takeover could bring an end to EgyptÂ’s recognition of Israel as a legitimate state. In reality, at least some of its leaders appear willing to embrace their Jewish neighbors. Â“If we come to power, we will recognize Israel and respect all treaties,Â” Dr. Essam El-Erian said in October of 2007. Current group Chairman Dr. Mohamed Badei made El-Erian his auxiliary spokesmen in 2010, suggesting a tolerance for moderate voices.
There is certainly reason to believe that Egypt wonÂ’t be as buddy-buddy with Israel in the post-Mubarak era as it has been since the signing of the Camp David Accords in 1979. Still, there is reason to hope that sane minds will prevail even if the Muslim Brotherhood is to become the new dominant force in Egyptian politics, which is far from definite. Even the group's leaders acknowledge that the Brotherhood is a minor player in the protests, the Washington Post reports.
Photo of the protests in Egypt by Muhammad Ghafari