Friday, April 22, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood calls for Sharia law, 'punishments' in Egypt - similar to that found in Saudi Arabia

Egyptian anti-government protesters belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood movement and their children sit in Cairo's Tahrir square on February 12, 2011

"The implementation of the Islamic Sharia punishments comes after taking over the territory," Brotherhood deputy general guide Mahmoud Izzat said. "The punishments have to be implemented after Islam enters the lives, ethics, and dealings of the people."

"During this period, we would like to lead the society to achieve its Islamic identity in preparation for the Islamic rule," Saad Al Husseini, a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau, said.

Oh dear ~ what does it all mean!


CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood has gone public with its stance on Islamic rule in Egypt.

Leading Brotherhood members have called for Egypt to come under Islamic law similar to that in Saudi Arabia. The appeal came during interviews as well as rallies by the Brotherhood just months after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

"The implementation of the Islamic Sharia punishments comes after taking over the territory," Brotherhood deputy general guide Mahmoud Izzat said. "The punishments have to be implemented after Islam enters the lives, ethics, and dealings of the people."

As practiced in Saudi Arabia, Sharia mandates such punishment as cutting off arms for stealing as well as beheading for a range of non-violent offenses.

Brotherhood spokespeople have disputed the latest statements and said the movement continued to oppose the imposition of Islamic law in Egypt.

"During this period, we would like to lead the society to achieve its Islamic identity in preparation for the Islamic rule," Saad Al Husseini, a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau, said.

The pro-Sharia statements by the Brotherhood leaders have alarmed other members of the opposition that helped topple the Mubarak regime. In response, Izzat has denied that he supports Sharia in Egypt.

"The implementation of the punishments is considered the crowning and the completion of fundamental issues, the most important of which is the fulfillment of the needs and requirements of the people," Izzat said. "These issues require work, effort and a long time, and cannot be that simple."

But Izzat's clarifications have not assuaged non-Islamist elements of the opposition movement. Organizers said the statements highlight the Brotherhood departure from the pro-democracy agenda of the rest of the opposition.

"Every time we try to reassure the public opinion about the desire of the Muslim Brotherhood to join a civil movement, we are shocked by statements from this one or that one," George Ishaq, a leading member of the opposition National Society for Change, said.

The pro-Sharia statements were said to have divided the Brotherhood leadership itself. Members of the Brotherhood's young guard said they were concerned over the statements, stressing that this did not reflect any formal consultation.

"We stress that such statements have come at an inappropriate time," Mohammed Qassas, representative of the Brotherhood's youth wing, said. "We ought to read the statements carefully, and ensure their truth, and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Group ought to be more careful at this critical stage."

World Tribune

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