Morsi`s sacked adviser: Muslim Brotherhood will destroy Egypt
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Khaled Alam Eldin, left, who was fired Sunday from his post as adviser to the Egyptian president for environmental affairs, consults with the Salafist Al-Nour party spokesman, Nader Bakkar during a televised press conference in Cairo, Egypt Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. Alam Eldin broke down in tears while denying he had abused his office and demanded an apology from President Mohammed Morsi calling the firing "political." It is the latest sign of tension between Morsi`s Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ally ahead of parliamentary elections expected in the coming months. (AP Photo/Mostafa El Shemy)
A leading figure in the Egyptian Salafist Al-Nour Party and former presidential advisor told NOW that `if the Muslim Brotherhood keeps on running the country as it is, “it will eventually destroy Egypt.`
`I shall put President Mohammad Morsi on trial, in person,` Dr. Khaled Alameddine, who was recently removed from his position as a presidential advisor, said in an interview with NOW reporter Salama Abdellatif.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has violently clashed with the Al-Nour Party, which is the political wing of the Salafist group now active in the country, against a backdrop of Alameddine-s removal from office.
This spike in violence also comes amid statements being made by pro-Muslim Brotherhood president`s officials alluding to the involvement of the sacked adviser in an `abuse of power` case.
Alameddine denies these accusations, arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to destroy him politically after he publicly criticized its attempts to gain control of the state.
`As long as they fail to substantiate the accusations they are tossing around, I will (plan to) sue the president personally, as I am more honorable than any of them.`
Alameddine revealed that he has objected more than once to the manner in which state affairs are being run, saying: `The Muslim Brotherhood-s guidance office is the true current ruler of Egypt.`
`We in the Al-Nour Party have always told them that they cannot monopolize the state. I said that to President Morsi in person and asked him to steer (policy) away from the Muslim Brotherhood`s (agenda), but they ignored our advice.`
`When we criticized them in public, they turned these charges against me without even exploring the nature of the claims being made. If Salafists are regarded as their allies, (can you imagine) what (they) they would do to their foes?`
The conflicts between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists rose to prominence following the dissent of Al-Nour Party leaders, including former Al-Nour chairman and assistant to the president Dr. Emad Abdel Ghafour, who established the Al-Watan Party.
Salafists leaders viewed this dissent as an intervention being staged on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood to sow divisions among Salafist ranks prior to the parliamentary elections.
Local media published a document, which is supposedly the minutes of a meeting held by the Muslim Brotherhood-s guidance office, which discussed `the means to block the rise of Salafists in Egypt-s public opinion sphere.`
The conflict between the two parties deepened when the Al-Nour Party proposed an initiative to resolve the political crisis, which came down in favor of the demands of the opposition-s Salvation Front, as it called for the resignation of the cabinet, the prosecutor-s removal from office and a guarantee of the integrity of the upcoming elections.
President Morsi met with Al-Nour leaders and promised to examine their initiative more in depth. However, presidential spokesperson Dr. Yasser Ali later ruled out any removal of PM Hisham Qandi-s government from office, thus sparking anger among the Salafists who threatened to boycott the national dialogue, which the Salvation Front is refusing to join.
The president removed Yasser Ali from office on the day following Al-Nour-s declaration, thus giving the impression that the move was made in an effort to quell anger.
However, Alameddine-s sacking looked like `the straw that broke the camel-s back,` especially given that Salafist leaders view the accusations of the former presidential advisor`s involvement in abuse of power cases as a `libelous attempt at targeting the Salafist movement.”
Al-Nour`s leader and presidential adviser Bassam al-Zarqa resigned yesterday as a sign of solidarity with his colleague Khaled Alameddine who accused the president-s office of having made a `politically-motivated` move.
Still, Muslim Brotherhood leaders have attempted to contain the Salafists- anger. Farid Ismail, a prominent figure in the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the Muslim Brotherhood-s political wing, told NOW that contact is being made in an attempt to bring the conflict under control.
Ismail went on to say that misunderstandings may occur in the political realm, but (that) Islamists have the mechanisms needed to bring their disputes under control.
(Description of Source: Beirut NOW Lebanon in English -- A privately-funded pro-14 March coalition, anti-Syria news website; URL: www.nowlebanon.com)
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Muslim Brotherhood “Drowning”: Ex-presidential Adviser
By Ahmed Imbabi
Asharq Al-Awsat (English Edition)
February 19, 2013
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat-Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday, former Egyptian presidential adviser Dr. Khaled Alam El-Din revealed that the “Muslim Brotherhood are drowning” in terms of their administration of the state. The ultra-conservative Alam El-Din, who is a member of the Salafi Nour Party, was fired from his position as presidential adviser on environmental affairs by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi amid allegations of abuse of office.
Speaking following his controversial dismissal, Dr. Alam El-Din said, “We tried to help them (the Brotherhood) but they refused, we then proposed that they form a government by themselves so that they solely bear responsibility and they also refused this.”
The ruling Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, responded strongly to Dr. Alam El-Din`s accusations, with Freedom and Justice Party spokesman, Dr. Murad Ali, saying “We are focusing on the parliamentary elections. Our difference of opinion is natural and not surprising.”
This contentious division amongst Egypt`s Islamists is reportedly over the Supreme Constitutional court`s rejected of an election law presented by the Islamist-dominated parliament. The court has called for a number of amendments to the law in a move that could delay the forthcoming elections and prolong the tense political atmosphere taking root in the country.
Egypt`s political scene is concerned over the unprecedented violence seen in the country since the January 25 revolution, as well as the divisions within the ranks of the country`s Islamist political forces, particularly the Salafi Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood and presidency. Alam El-Din`s dismissal became even more contentions after presidential adviser Bassem Zarka-also a member of the Nour Party-resigned in solidarity with his fellow presidential aide. Alam El-Din appeared alongside Zarka in a televised press conference on Monday during which he denied abusing office and broke down in tears, demanding an apology from the Egyptian president. The former presidential adviser characterized his dismissal as “political.”
Responding to a question put to him by Asharq Al-Awsat at this press conference, Dr. Alam El-Din said, “The Muslim Brotherhood are drowning, they cannot deal with the challenges facing the country.”
He asserted that the Nour Party “is extending a helping hand to the Brotherhood in order to rescue the country and save them (the Brotherhood) at the same time, until they grasp the danger of their practices which are only serving to increase the political crisis in the Egyptian street” adding “however they (the Brotherhood) do not accept this.”
He also revealed that the Nour Party had proposed to withdraw from government so that the Muslim Brotherhood would be solely responsible for decision-making and resolving the current situation, however the Freedom and Justice Party rejected this.
Dr. Alam El-Din emphasized that he and Bassem Zarka had agreed to resign from their posts as presidential advisers more than two weeks in protest to the manner in which the presidential advisory body was being utilized. He said, “We were not being consulted in any way, while whatever actions we took were criticized.” He also clarified that Zarka had requested that they postpone this measure until they could present it to the Nour Party presidential council for approval.
Responding to a question regarding whether this Nour Party-Muslim Brotherhood dispute is over the Salafists position towards dialogue with the opposition National Salvation Front, Alam El-Din stressed that the national dialogue initiative was being welcomed by all national political forces. He added that the Nour Party had cooperated and coordinated with the Brotherhood over the constitution and constitutional referendum, confirming that “we are driven by legitimate interests and the interests of the country as a whole, and they (the Brotherhood) are well aware of this.”
Freedom and Justice Party spokesman, Dr. Murad Ali, told Asharq Al-Awsat that any tension or division among the country`s Islamist forces does not involve the Muslim Brotherhood`s political wing. He confirmed that the major parties involved in this are the presidency and the presidential advisory body. He also clarified that the Freedom and Justice Party is only concerned with ensuring that innocent people are not falsely condemned and that corruption-if uncovered-is not swept under the carpet.
Commenting on the escalating divisions between the Freedom and Justice Party and the Nour Party, Dr. Ali said that such differences of opinion are natural and not surprising. He added that the Nour Party previously competed against the Muslim Brotherhood in the previous parliamentary and presidential elections which did not hinder future cooperation and coordination between the two parties.
As for the reservations expressed by the Freedom and Justice Party towards the Nour Party`s meeting with opposition National Salvation Front and whether this is a reason for the recent division, Murad said, “We do not judge anybody else`s intentions.”
Responding to the Nour Party`s proposal to withdraw from government, leaving government responsibility solely on the Muslim Brotherhood`s shoulders, Dr. Ali told Asharq Al-Awsat: “How can we form a government, then change it 40 days after the parliamentary elections?” He added that Egyptian society and the international community would view continuous changes in Egypt`s government a as a sign of instability. He also clarified that the Freedom and Justice Party is focused on preparing for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, adding that this is something that all national political parties should be doing.
© Copyright 2013. Asharq Al-Awsat. All Rights Reserved.
Egyptian police brutality continues under Morsi
February 20, 2013
An Egyptian protester wounded during overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi attends a protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. The Egyptian army deployed tanks and gave both supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi a deadline to leave the area outside the presidential palace Thursday following fierce street battles that left several people dead and hundreds injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader`s election.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The Egyptian police has continued to torture and beat people under President Mohammed Morsi. Human rights activists now doubt that he has any interest in reforming the police.
It is well-known that Egyptian security forces do not wear kid-gloves when it comes to dealing with regime critics. But even by Egyptian standards, the number of reports of torture, humiliation, and other types of police violence has been worryingly high in the past few weeks.
Egyptian police methods have barely changed in the two years since the end of the Mubarak regime. “That means that torture still happens in police stations, that excessive violence is still used against demonstrators, and that everything is decided according to a security mentality,” said Farida Makar of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.
Hamada Saber found out what that means in practise, when he was brutally beaten during an anti-Morsi demonstration in front of the presidential palace. The 48-year-old was stripped beforehand, and subsequently dragged naked across asphalt and bundled into a police van - and the entire scene was broadcast live on TV. Makar says such incidents are not unusual. “Stripping and beating someone and then dragging them into the next room was standard police interrogation procedure under Mubarak,” she said.
Terrifying suspects into submission
The only thing that was unique in Hamada Saber`s case was that the abuse did not take place in a police station, but was visible to anyone on the street. The episode became horrifyingly absurd when the victim then appeared on TV to justify the police`s attack on him, absolving them of all blame. Makar has no doubt that the authorities forced or bribed him into making the statement.
Makar added that victims of police violence who sue the authorities are often pressured by police. “Normally they just threaten to put you or your children in jail, or to invent something - for example, that they will find drugs in your car,” she said. “They know how to scare someone so much that they give up.”
But Hamada Saber is no isolated case. According to a report from Egyptian human rights activists, some 200 demonstrators have been arrested since January 25, 2013. Some of them were minors, but subjected to the same beatings and torture as adults. In fact, poor, orphaned young people are often most vulnerable to police abuse. One 14-year-old boy named Mahmud Abel, a bone cancer sufferer, was denied chemotherapy while in prison, and was only released once his case came to the media`s attention.
The 26-year-old Ibrahim also became a torture victim a year ago. He has his own theory why the Egyptian police continually abuses human rights - the violence originates in police training, where new recruits are brutally beaten and humiliated by the higher ranks, and blind obedience to superiors is the rule. This, according to Ibrahim, means that violence becomes legitimate and normal. “When I was arrested, the man who tortured me had verses from the Koran as ringtones on his cell phone,” he said. “He did not feel that he is doing anything wrong. They see it as part of their job.”
That is why reforming the police system and the Interior Ministry itself is so important, he said - the police must be re-positioned as the protectors of the people. But up until now, the police has regarded itself merely as the strong hand of the ruling president. Though that is only true to an extent in Morsi`s case, as the police has spent the last few decades violently suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood from which he emerged. Many senior Interior Ministry officials therefore still oppose Morsi.
Will to reform?
But even if the Muslim Brotherhood is able to get the Interior Ministry completely under its control, Makar is under no illusion that they intend to reform it for the good of the people.
Morsi`s policies so far have convinced her that the Muslim Brothers are not interested in democracy. In November, he released a decree giving himself dictatorial powers, while the constitution he drove through parliament curtails many civil freedoms. Meanwhile, the new draft assembly law limits the freedom to demonstrate, and the new bill for non-governmental organizations is even more restrictive than under Mubarak. “I can`t look at these developments and then say, `yes, but maybe they will reform the police so that it will better protect the people.`”
Makar is convinced that the Muslim Brotherhood is only interested in gaining control of the police to use as an instrument with which to consolidate its own power.
© 2013. Deutsche Welle.