Egypt Preparing for Mega Protests, ElBaradei Dispels Myth of An Anti-American Muslim Brotherhood

On the seventh day of protest in Egypt, organizers planned for a 'mega-march' in Cairo tomorrow, which would involve rolling general strikes and over a million people marching in the streets, reports Al-Jazeera. President Hosni Mubarak swore in his new cabinet today; it includes three senior officials from the last cabinet. Protesters all over Egypt have declared they will not stop until Mubarak steps down or is forced out.

The White House apparently believes regime change is imminent, and is taking steps to prepare for the next phase. Hillary Clinton has called for 'an orderly transition,' and an anonymous government source spoke to the LA Times about the delicate diplomatic nature of the situation:

"They don't want to push Mubarak over the cliff, but they understand that the Mubarak era is over and that the only way Mubarak could be saved now is by a ruthless suppression of the population, which would probably set the stage for a much more radical revolution down the road.''

Of the $2 billion America sends to Egypt annually, a majority goes to the military. Marwan Mossad, an architecture student with dual Egypt-American citizenship, told the New York Times, “I brought my American passport today in case I die today. I want the American people to know that they are supporting one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and Americans are also dying for it.”

Meanwhile, Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader, dispelled the myth that a new regime in Egypt would consist of anti-American sentiment in an interview with Fareed Zakaria. He also clarified the intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood, about which American uber-conservatives like John Bolton have been spreading fear:

ELBARADEI: This is a myth that was sold by the Mubarak regime, that it’s either us — the ruthless dictators — or a Muslim al-Qaeda type. The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with the Iranian movement, has nothing to do with extremism as we have seen it in Afghanistan and other places. The Muslim Brotherhood is a religiously conservative group. They are a minority in Egypt. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people, but they have a lot of credibility because of liberal parties have been a struggle for thirty years. They are in favor of a secular state. they are of –they are in favor of an institution that have bread lines, they are in favor that every Egyptian have the same rights, that the state is in no way a state based on religion. And I have been reaching out to them. We need to include them. They are as much a part of society as the markets that started here. I think this is a myth that has been perpetuated and sold by the regime and has no iota of reality. You know Fareed, I worked with Iranians, I’ve worked here. It’s 100 percent difference between the two societies.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 31, 2011, 3:36am

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018