Egypt On the Verge of Bankruptcy

December 31, 2012
Goldman Graph 3
By David P. Goldman, JINSA
“The country is on the verge of bankruptcy,” Egyptian opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei told the newspaper al-ArabiyaDec. 23. Unable to reduce subsidies that account for most of a budget deficit that now exceeds 14 percent of GDP, and unwilling to raises taxes, it seems most likely that the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi will instead take the path of least resistance and allow a steady devaluation of the Egyptian pound. During the past two weeks, central bank intervention to support the pound’s value on the foreign exchange market has stopped and the currency has fallen sharply.

Central bank intervention in support of the pound is shown clearly on the chart of daily values for the Egyptian pound’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar during the year to date. The spikes in the exchange rate reflect central bank activity. The sharp drop in the pound’s exchange rate during the past two weeks reflects an absence of central bank intervention.
In the advent of last week’s referendum on a proposed new Islamist constitution, the Morsi government postponed negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, out of fear that the austerity measures required by the IMF would elicit a wave of political opposition. As Andrew Bowman wrote in the Financial Times:
The loan is conditional on some very unpopular tax increases and fuel subsidy cuts to reduce the deficit to 8.5 per cent during the financial year starting July 2013. The government is loathe to take these on at this moment in time with its authority fragile and new elections looming in 2013. Indeed, when it tried to introduce new taxes on consumer goods a few days before the constitutional referendum, it removed them within a few hours following public outcry. Its loan request has been postponed until January and the delay may entail renegotiation.
The Morsi government’s failure to secure the IMF loan also jeopardizes other expected loans, including a $500 million credit from the African Development Bank. This is a crisis of governance, of the sort I analyzed on this site in September. Morsi cannot get a popular mandate without reneging on essential economic reform measures, but he cannot obtain the financing that Egypt requires to avoid bankruptcy if he reneges on reform.
That leaves Egypt’s central bank with cash reserves of just $7.1 billion (out of total reserves including gold of $15 billion), enough to cover just over two months’ worth of the country’s $36 billion annual trade deficit, equivalent to about 16 percent of Egypt’s GDP. Against this enormous trade deficit, Egypt has
1) Tourism revenues that peaked at $12.5 billion in 2010 before falling to only $9 billion in 2011, and now may be running as low as $6 billion a year, according to one estimate in the Egyptian press;
2) Suez Canal revenues of somewhat less than $5 billion a year; and
3) An indeterminate volume of workers’ remittances, estimated at anywhere between $7.7 billion and $18 billion;
4) Whatever Egypt can borrow, which at the moment is essentially nothing.
Remittances almost certainly have risen since 2009, when the central bank estimated the flow at $9.5 billion, although a major source of those remittances-the 2 million Egyptians working in Libya-dropped sharply after the Libyan civil war. 1.7 million Egyptians work in Saudi Arabia, 500,000 in Kuwait, and 500,000 in Jordan. Their repatriated earnings are in many cases the main support of their families at home.
Egypt’s dependence on remittances, though, makes a devaluation of the Egyptian pound an especially dangerous exercise. As long as Egyptians overseas expect the national currency to keep falling, they are likely to delay sending money home as long as possible. That in turn will worsen the central bank’s foreign exchange position and make devaluation more likely, in a vicious circle. It seems clear from the earlier intervention pattern that the Egyptian central bank hoped to prevent devaluation. Since the collapse of the IMF loan negotiations, though, it may have concluded that it has no other alternative.
The position of Egypt’s foreign workers, moreover, is fragile. King Abdullah of Jordan warned at a private meeting (cited by the news siteAI-Monitor) that Jordan might use the 500,000 Egyptians now working in in his country as “bargaining chips” against the Muslim Brotherhood, which he denounced as part of a “new extremist alliance” in the Arab world. Jordan’s monarchy has been under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood during the past year, and it seems clear that the Hashemites will not sit on their hands. A major Jordanian complaint is the interruption of piped Egyptian natural gas, at an estimate cost to the Jordanian government of 5 billion Jordanian dinars. The same pipeline through which Egypt supplied Israel also met four-fifths of Jordan’s gas requirements.
According to a Dec. 17 report in Egypt’s Official Gazette, cited by theEgypt Independent, Egypt will import gas from international companies in Qatar at a cost of U.S. $14 per million BTUs. Qatar’s government sells gas at $9 per million BTUs, and Egypt is contractually obligated to sell gas to Jordan at $5.50 per million BTUs. The unfavorable terms suggest that something else is at work: Egypt may be overpaying for Qatari gas to amortize Qatar’s $2 billion emergency loan to the country’s central bank last fall. Qatar has given the Morsi government indispensable support. Announcement of this loan Aug. 12 coincided with President Morsi’s dismissal of the old-line Egyptian military leadership, and the funds have allowed Egypt to maintain wheat stockpiles at adequate levels during the past several months. It appears, though, that Qatar’s aid comes with a price tag, and that Egypt’s import costs will rise as a result.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves, meanwhile, are so squeezed that banks are refusing to provide financing for food imports (other than wheat bought directly by the government) because importers have not had access to hard currency to pay their arrears, the Food Industries Association warned Nov. 27. The importers’ association warns that food imports may drop by 40 percent during coming months as a result.
Morsi’s hold on political power is fragile after the mass protests that preceded this month’s constitutional referendum and the opposition’s unwillingness to concede legitimacy to the government’s narrow victory. Prior to the referendum, Morsi showed himself unable to reduce subsidies or raise taxes in order to control a domestic budget deficit and a trade deficit that are both running at close to a sixth of GDP. If he takes the path of least resistance and allows the Egyptian pound to depreciate severely, as the local market evidently expects, it may be difficult for the hard-pressed Egyptian pound to find a stable bottom, for reasons noted earlier: fears of devaluation will delay remittances and provoke capital flight, worsening the central bank’s already dire cash position.
The danger is that Egypt will descend into banana republic-like inflation, but without the bananas. We have witnessed many cycles of devaluation and inflation in Latin American countries, but all of those cases involved food exporters. Egypt by contrast imports half its food.
The government’s likely response will be to employ state controls in a heavy-handed but haphazard fashion: imposing foreign exchange controls, rationing essential items, raiding alleged speculators, and stirring up have-nots against supposed haves. If the opposition is unable to unseat Morsi, he is likely to lead Egypt to an extreme degree of statism-a sort of North Korea on the Nile.
It is not clear where he can turn. President Morsi is at a stalemate in discussions with the international financial organizations. The Gulf States are even more hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood than before Egypt’s political crisis, and less inclined to help. Even Qatar, it appears, is extracting payment for its previous help on a cash-and-carry basis through the energy market. The most likely outcome will be austerity through devaluation rather than tax increases or subsidy cuts, with deleterious consequences for the already-failing Egyptian economy. On the strength of the available evidence, we would have to answer our question of September-”is Egypt governable?”-in the negative.
David P. Goldman, JINSA Fellow, writes the “Spengler” column for Asia Times Online and the “Spengler” blog at PJ Media. He is also a columnist at Tablet, and contributes frequently to numerous other publications. For more information on the JINSA Fellowship program, click here.


The Muslim Brotherhood torture chambers

December 11, 2012

From Al Masry al-Youm, translated by Al Monitor (via Daily Caller)

Al-Masry Al-Youm spent three hours in total in the torture chambers established by the Muslim Brotherhood at the gates of the Ittihadiya Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis. The central torture chamber, which is located in front of the gate facing the Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz Mosque on al-Merghany Street, is secured with a cordon and iron barriers, where the Central Security Forces (CSF) prevent the access of any persons without the authorization of the Brotherhood.
We entered the chamber with a great difficulty, after a fellow journalist from the Misr 25 TV channel facilitated. The channel is owned by the Brotherhood. There are brigades and police officers in military uniforms, as well as others in civilian clothes from al-Nozha police station, who oversee the beatings, whippings and torture. Fifteen others from the group, distinguished by their strong bodies, are supervised by three bearded and well-dressed men who decide who will be in the chamber and who may leave, even if the person is a member of the Brotherhood.
The torture process starts once a demonstrator who opposes President Mohammed Morsi is arrested in the clashes or is suspected after the clashes end, and the CSF separate Morsi’s supporters from his opponents. Then, the group members trade off punching, kicking and beating him with a stick on the face and all over his body. They tear off his clothes and take him to the nearest secondary torture chamber, from which CSF personnel, members of the Interior Ministry and the State Security Investigations Services (SSIS) are absent.
It is hard to determine how many locations there are, given that the torture chambers are established as near as possible to where a person is arrested. Before the interrogation process starts, they search him, seize his funds, cellphones or ID, all the while punching and slapping his face in order to get him to confess to being a thug and working for money.
They ask him why he took to the street, whether he got paid to take part in the protest and whether he supports Mohamed ElBaradei, founder of the Constitution Party, or Hamdeen Sabahi, founder of the Egyptian Popular Current or the dissolved Egyptian Nationalist movement. As long as this person denies the allegations, they beat him and insult his parents. After that, a person will videotape the interrogation and contact the Misr 25 TV channel to tell them about the interrogation and arrest.
After a while, the detainee is transported from the secondary torture chamber to the central one. On his way, the beatings and insults continue. Every time the prisoner encounters a member of the Brotherhood, that person gets in his share of the insults and beatings.
The health conditions of some of the prisoners was very bad and they were unable to answer questions. Some of them were bleeding all over their bodies, severely exhausted and not receiving any medical aid. However, some got a bottle of water to drink or something to use to stop their bleeding.

Any further questions about Egypt’s new, moderate, moral Islamist leadership?
Yes? You in the back? Freedom of the press? OK:
From Egypt Independent:

The presidential office filed a complaint on Monday accusing privately-owned Youm7’s editor-in-chief Khaled Salah and journalist Ola al-Shafie of slandering President Mohamed Morsy.
The complaint was based on an op-ed in the paper about the clashes at the presidential palace, when supporters of Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood descended on an opposition sit-in against the constitutional declaration and the referendum on the draft constitution.
Shafie alleges in her article that the Muslim Brotherhood was responsible for killing six people and torturing various political activists. The president’s office claims the article defames the president.
The Muslim Brotherhood denies the allegations, claiming that all those killed or injured in the clashes were in fact Brotherhood members, despite video footage and protester testimony demonstrating that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were involved in torturing protesters before handing them over to the police.
Media and human rights watchdogs have expressed concern over the increasing intimidation of journalists who have critiqued the ruling regime.
Media presenter Mohamed Saad was released on bail last week after being interrogated on allegations of insulting the president. Also last week, the broadcast of presenter Hala Fahmy’s show was cut when she criticized the president on air, and she was later referred to the public prosecution.

Nothing to see here.


Egyptian presidency sends messages of ‘compromise’ as thousands surround palace.

December 7, 2012

Egypt Live Updates: Egyptian presidency sends messages of ‘compromise’ as thousands surround palace.(AO).

20:30 Leader of the opposition National Salvation Front Mohamed ElBaradei calls on President Morsi to withdraw the constitutional declaration “tonight” and to postpone the referendum until national consensus is achieved.
I ask President Morsi in the name of the Egyptian conscience to heed these two demands tonight. I am betting on president Morsi’s patriotism,” ElBaradei said in a live speech on private satellite channel ONTV.
21:12 Member of the National Salvation Front and ex-MP Amr Hamzawy says in a phone interview with private satellite channel CBC that members of the front will meet to discuss their stance after the announcement made by Mahmoud Mekki about Morsi’s readiness to hold off the referendum, describing the decision as a “positive step.”
21:10 Ahram Online’s Bel Trew describes the scene at the presidential palace right after President Morsi’s announced he is conditionally willing to postpone the referendum on the draft constitution.
“Protesters are celebrating the postponement of the referendum on the constitution,” she said.
“Meanwhile, some of them are discussing fortifying the area surrounding the presidential palace with barriers, out of fear that the Muslim Brotherhood’s rally in Naser City’s Raba El-Adawiya Mosque [three miles away from the presidential palace] will head towards them soon.”
21:08 Egypt’s vice-president Mahmoud Mekki read a presidential statement on Friday evening stating that President Mohamed Morsi is ready to postpone the constitution referendum.
However, “the political forces who demand the delay of the referendum must provide guarantees that there will not be appeals [against the delay] in courts,” the statement said.
Last year’s constitutional declaration, which was issued by then-ruling military council in March 2011 after a similar referendum, stipulates that a referendum on draft constitution must be held within 15 days of the date at which the president receives the draft from a constituent assembly.
The controversial draft constitution was handed to president Morsi by the outgoing constituent assembly on 1 December and the president set a referendum on the draft for 15 December.
20:42 Rights lawyer Ragia Omran confirms on Twitter that the 139 protesters captured on Wednesday during clashes at the presidential palace have been ordered to be released.
20:40 Ismail Fathy, head of Mahalla’s city council, denies that protesters have attempted to create a “revolutionary council” and rule the industrial city, located in western Delta governorate of Gharbiya.
“The demonstrations, which attracted around 3,000 people, were peaceful. Nothing of this sort happened,” he said in a phone interview with private satellite TV channel CBC.
20:30 Head of the Supreme Electoral Commission Samir Abu El-Maati officially confirms that the expatriate voting on the constitution referendum has been postponed from Saturday to Wednesday 12 December, according to Al-Ahram Arabic website.
19:55 In a fresh swipe at opponents, the Muslim Brotherhood said they would not let opposition “detail the path to democracy.”
“The Egyptian people will defend their democratic choice and will not let opposition to derail path to full democracy through intimidation and violence,” the group said on its English Twitter feed.
“If opposition is seeking change, the only way to do it through ballot box and earning people’s trust in upcoming elections. So far they have failed miserably.”More updates here.

Egghead an Iranian agent?

November 9, 2011
(Israel Matzav) Israeli officials are accusing former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner, of being an Iranian agent all along. (OVER EASY)

Western darling ElBaradei says he’d go to war if Israel attacks Gaza

April 5, 2011
Mohammed El Baradei

Dr. Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei:


Egypt’s Masrawy and other Arabic media outlets are quoting Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei as saying that Egypt may go to war if Israel attacks Gaza.

He is quoted as saying that if he becomes President, in the event of any future attack on Gaza he would discuss ways to implement the joint Arab defense agreement, for all Arab atates to respond “in the face of Israeli aggression.”
ElBaradei is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
He also is revealed in a new Wikileaks document as saying that if he becomes president he would restore Egyptian relations with Tehran that were severed after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

image via snydertalk.com

Maybe we can get  the Muslim Brotherhood  to kill him…
it would seem like…Muammar Qaddaffi that this guy is just as bad! …and we should of known
when he was…covering Iran’s try at
Nuclear genocide.

Do you think ElBaradei sees stones the way he sees WMDs?:






do you think ElBaradei sees stones the way he sees WMDs?:

March 22, 2011


RT @ElBaradei Went 2 vote w family attacked by organized thugs. Car smashed w rocks. Holding referendum in absence of law & order is an irresponsible act

For @ElBaradei the turnaround happened almost overnight. He was the Brotherhood’s front man but…broke with them over the referendum. And now they want to break him.

So is the mass media going to start saying: Hey, we were wrong! These people are strong, organized, and radical? Or, rather, is the Obama Administration going to sink deeper into the al-Qaida bad; all other Islamists good mantra? To put it another way, are they willing to lose face for exaggerating the power of Facebook?

I guess there are some people in Egypt who don’t like former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei. On Saturday, he went to vote in a referendum and watch what happened….
 Hmmm.

Posted via email from noahdavidsimon’s posterous

At this point–to show how bad the situation is in practice–Amr Moussa, veteran radical Arab nationalist, Israel-baiter, and anti-American is quickly becoming the best one can hope for in terms of the new regime.

The only thing surprising to me is that the Islamists have been emboldened so fast. I thought they would be cautious a while longer in their pretense at being moderate and pro-democracy.  But revolutionary Islamists quickly become arrogant when people make concessions to them and they conclude that they are strong and victorious.  
via rubinreports.blogspot.com


The Muslim Brotherhood in America: Part I: Understanding the Threat

March 20, 2011

It is now March of 2011. That jihadi attack on the United States is over nine years behind us. The declaration of a global jihad from Iran in 1979 is over 30 years in our rear view mirror. The national security apparatus of the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to “make America safer,” yet we still have not defined our enemy – or even tried. There is no place in the national security structure which has objectively evaluated the threat doctrine of our enemy, and then created a strategic plan for victory for the United States – per U.S. warfighting doctrine. This lack of strategic understanding of the nature of the threat we face is not only costing us lives on the battlefield in wars with no realistically stated objectives, but so long as we drift aimlessly, we cannot win and we allow the enemy to move our boat as he sees fit. That, is the enemy’s strategy. And he is executing with great success.

Does anyone wonder how it is the U.S. military is crushing the enemy on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) daily, yet not winning the strategic war? The United States continues to view the wars (the establishment sees this as several conflicts, not as one global conflict) as kinetic engagements where guns, air power, drones, bombs, and other weapon of war are brought to bear on “Al Qaeda terrorists” and others with whom we are engaged on the many battlefields around the world. At the FBI, the focus is on preventing the next attack. While this is important, “attacks” are not the main focus of effort for this enemy. Local and State Police are also focused on preventing attacks, the physical security of office buildings, critical infrastructure, and the safety of important public figures. When the subject of an investigation is found NOT to be involved in a plot to cause “violence” that case is closed and the investigator goes on to the next one in the stack. This is where we are losing the war. While preventing a school bus bombing or the take-over of a bank by Jihadis should be taken seriously by our law enforcement officers, from the enemy’s perspective, these are tactical engagements, not strategic.

Every brand new intelligence officer in the United States military knows that when the United States evaluates a threat, our doctrine drives us to begin our process with WHO the enemy says he is and with WHAT the enemy says are HIS reasons for acting. That is where the U.S. analytical process begins – per our own doctrine. If we had done this after 9/11, we would not have so much confusion about the enemy we are engaging.
One hundred percent of the enemy we are fighting states he is fighting “Jihad” in the “Cause of Allah” in order to implement Islamic Law (Shariah). Therefore, U.S. analysts must begin here. Does Islamic Law exist? If so, what does it say about “Jihad” and the requirements for Jihad? In fact, authoritative Islamic Law does exist. There are not “a thousand interpretations” as the Muslim Brotherhood advisors tell our leadership. Islamic Law does define “Jihad” and the requirements for Jihad. Islamic Law as defined by those using it to kill us and overthrow our government necessarily becomes the “Stated Enemy Threat Doctrine.” As a 4-star general told me a few months ago when I asked him what he thought about the fact that when Al Qaeda quotes Islamic Law they are always accurately quoting Islamic Law: “Well, if that’s true, it completely changes the nature of the way we are fighting this war.” Exactly.

Our entire national security apparatus is focused (fixed) on the threat of the violent Jihadis – Al Qaeda and the hundreds of other jihadi groups throughout the world engaging U.S and allied troops on the ground around the world.

Our enemy has no intention of defeating us on the battlefield. The kinetic war being waged by organizations like Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the many other jihadi groups is meant to bleed us, fix us in place, and create a strategic distraction while the real war they are fighting is won in the information battlespace. While AQ fixes us in place, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) presses the U.S. – and the West at large – into a corner with a stated foreign policy mirroring that of Al Qaeda. Who is the OIC? The OIC is the umbrella organization for every Muslim nation in the world – 57 states (they count Palestine as a state). At the Head of State and King level the OIC seeks to re-establish the global Islamic State (Caliphate) and implement Islamic Law. They have a 10-Year Plan in English on their website that may begin shedding light on who they are and what they intend for the West. In 1993, the OIC served an official treaty to the United Nations called the “Cairo Declaration” stating the OIC defines “Human Rights” as Shariah (Islamic Law) – this is significantly different from the International Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, the reason the International Muslim Brotherhood is calling for the death of Qaddafi is because he is “killing Muslims without right,” a capital crime under Islamic Law, and an act defined as “terrorism” by the OIC – that means the Head of State and King of every Muslim nation in the world has a parallel foreign policy from the one they are discussing with our State Department, and our State Department does not have clue one about it.

The International Muslim Brotherhood, the “vanguard” of the global Islamic Movement, is the leading edge of the enemy’s assault on the United States and the West. The Muslim Brotherhood, like the OIC and Al Qaeda, seeks to re-establish the global Islamic State (Caliphate) and implement Islamic Law (Shariah). You do not need a SCIF or a “secure space” to pull this information up on a classified government system. All of the enemy doctrine can be found on the worldwide web, in books, in speeches, in their training curricula, and coming out of their mouths on a daily basis. We just need to listen. The Muslim Brotherhood’s creed includes the the phrase “…Jihad is our Way, and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.” The MB assassinated the Egyptian Prime Minister in 1948, and the Egyptian security service killed MB founder Hassan al Banna on the streets of Cairo in 1949. Violence is inherent to MB operations, manifested in the “Special Section.” The “Special work” of the MB is “Military work” – violence and warfare. Hamas was created out of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood as the result of international MB meetings. Hamas is a designated terrorist organization. Recordings obtained by the FBI of MB meetings in the U.S. reveal they have had weapons training camps here as early as the mid-1980’s. When the MB says they have “renounced violence” they are – hold onto your hats – lying.

From several major terrorism trials in the United States, and other information, we now know nearly every major Muslim organization in North America is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or a derivative group. We know many are support entities for Hamas, and all of the Islamic organizations working with the U.S. government are controlled by the MB. These include: the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Hamas support entity; the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas organization; the Muslim Students Associations (MSA); the Muslim American Society (MAS); the Interntional Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a Hamas support entity; and many other. We also know that the objectives of the MB mirror those of Al Qaeda.

The MB’s doctrine is crystal clear on their objectives. The means for achieving these objectives is to wage a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” – a “grand jihad” – to destroy us from within. They seek to co-opt our leadership in all areas of our society – political, military, intelligence/law enforcement, media, religious. Civilization jihad by our hands. When we see that the Islamic advisor to President Clinton was a Muslim Brother and an Al Qaeda operative currently in federal prison, or that the MB runs the Shariah Compliant Financial programs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, or that senior policy advisors to Secretary Napolitano are Muslim Brothers, or that the Assistant Director for the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate is an Iranian-born

Muslim, we see that there are catastrophic security issues within the U.S. government and that – just maybe – the MB means what they say.

During this series, we will go into painful detail to identify and describe the primary Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the United States, especially those working with U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, and national security organizations. We will also detail some of the individual within the U.S. system who are aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood, or at least unwittingly assisting them. The utter and complete catastrophic failure of the very agencies charged with protecting us will be detailed over the next several weeks. If facts are upsetting to you, please don’t read.

Mr. Guandolo is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former active duty Infantry/Reconnaissance Officer in the United States Marine Corps, and a former Special Agent of the FBI in Washington, D.C. for over 12 years. He currently advises the government on a variety of issues.
The Muslim Brotherhood in America: Part II: MB History & Their Arrival in America

The Muslim Brotherhood in America: Part III–‘The Settlement Process’

 

Sadat and Mubarak were against the Muslim Brotherhood
BENTLEY [American journalist]: What, in your opinion, do these people hope to gain from this war [World War One]?

LAWRENCE: They hope to gain their freedom.
BENTLEY: They hope to gain their freedom? There’s one [sucker] born every minute!


LAWRENCE: They’re going to get it, Mr Bentley. I’m going to give it to them.
–From “Lawrence of Arabia”

An Egyptian Christian (Coptic) group has put up a superb six-minute video of a speech by the late (more on why he’s dead in a moment) President Anwar al-Sadat about the Muslim Brotherhood. It is very timely.
Sadat makes clear why this group is so radical, dangerous, and inevitably at some point violent. He ought to know.
Some ironies: Of course, Sadat was the leader who let the Brotherhood operate again after two decades of being banned. Even then, in the 1970s and until just about today, it has remained illegal but the group still operated and even ran candidates in elections albeit not under its own name. (Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Syrian, and Iranian dictatorships didn’t let their opponents run under any name, which tells something about the comparative harshness of dictatorships.) I haven’t seen a single mention in the Western media as to the reason given by Egyptian governments for keeping the Brotherhood from running candidates in the past. It was this: no party should be allowed to claim a monopoly on “proper” Islam. Remember that point because it is going to be important in future, although the Brotherhood’s new party–to make itself less scary–doesn’t have the word “Islam” in its name either.The second irony is that Sadat was assassinated by Islamists. It is important to correct an error many have made recently. The terrorists were not Brotherhood people. But many of those terrorists who killed Sadat, joined al-Qaida, or carried out massive terrorism in Egypt in the 1990s (people now being released from prison to renew their activities) are former Brotherhood members. Radicalized and learning Islamist ideology in the Brotherhood they then went on to form or join separate radical Islamist groups.
The Brotherhood has not committed terrorism within Egypt directly (though it has, at times, endorsed terrorist murders of those deemed to be too secular) but it has been the cradle of terrorism in Egypt and even (al-Qaida; Hamas) abroad.
Finally, if you watch the brief film, keep in mind one poor piece of translation. At just before the two-minute mark, Sadat refers to the Brotherhood as viewing governments and societies as pre-Islamic. The significance of this–not explained–is that “pre-Islamic” societies are viewed by Islam as pagan and evil.
While that standpoint is definitely mainstream Islam, political Islamism’s has also produced a dangerous concept of its own at variance with traditional Islam: It claims the right to declare pious Muslims as heretics and then kill them. That is precisely what it did to Sadat, who was a very pious Muslim personally, and is the basis for their overthrowing every government (including that of Saudi Arabia) that doesn’t meet their interpretation of Islam.
Part of the problem with the Islamists is that even when they deviate from mainstream Islam, their positions may become popular and change Islam as it is practiced by many or most people. Thus, twenty years ago if you had told a mainstream Muslim cleric in the Middle East that suicide bombing was martyrdom he would have thrown you out of his office saying that such an idea was obviously heretical. Today, many mainstream clerics endorse this standpoint.
A legalized, large, and active Muslim Brotherhood (especially if it gains control of the key religious posts in Egypt, Jordan or–through Hamas–among the Palestinians) redefines mainstream Islam in a more extremist and radical direction. Sadat knew that also.
[PS: Note that the Enlightenment and Renaissance began in Europe precisely because very pious Christians there were ready to incorporate pre-Christian Classic Greek and Roman culture and philosophy into their societies. ]

Let us not forget the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Egyptian Islamic Jihad


The Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring have long been rearranging the deck chairs on the Middle East Titanic. Unfortunately they are trying to sink the rest of the world with them. [Mooserider]
Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Egyptian Islamic Jihad – Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Arabic: الجهاد الإسلامي المصري ý; also formerly called simply Islamic Jihad, الجهاد الإسلامي , “al-Jihad,” a”the Jihad Group”, “the Jihad Organization,” (“tanzeem al Jihad) is a violent Islamist terrorist group dedicated to world Jihad and to overthrow of the Egyptian government, establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt and eventually world domination by Islam in a renewed Caliphate. It was closely allied to, part of, or father to, the Gamaa al Islamiya and shared with it for many years basic ideology, leadership and participation in various terrorist activities. (see here for a detailed account of some of the interrelationships)
The Egyptian Islamic Jihad was founded in 1979 or 1980 by a merger of a group founded by Mohammed Abd al-Salam Farraj in Cairo and a Saidi (Upper Egypt) branch under Karam Zuhdi. In the 80s, the groups may have split apart again, with one branch becoming theGama’a al Islamiya (see here). Ayman Zawahiri is a member or leader of both groups .
The charter or founding manifesto of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad was written by the group’s founder Mohammed Abd al-Salam Farraj. It is called “al-Faridah al-Gha’ibah.” – the neglected duty. Farraj begins by stating that “Jihad for God’s cause…has been neglected by the Ulema of this age.” He goes on to expound the interpretation of Jihad as violent struggle (Jihad by the sword) – a duty incumbent on all Muslims. This theology is familiar from the writings of Sayyed Qutb and Hassan al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Islamic Jihad can be viewed as nothing more than the continuation of the original Muslim Brotherhood ideology, after the Ikhwan Muslim brotherhood in Egypt had renounced violence.

Islamic Jihad’s initial terrorist operation was the murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Sadat was ostensibly murdered because he had reneged on his promise to institute Sha’aria law, because he had made peace with Israel and because of his ties with the United States. In fact however, the assassination was to have been the prelude to an Islamic takeover of Egypt, just as previous attempts on the life of Gamal Abdel Nasser had attempted to achieve. The Egyptian police rounded up a great many leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Gamaa al Islamiya including Ayman Zawahiri, Farraj, Colonel al Zuhour who apparently had plotted the takeover of the government, Khaled Istambouli who carried out the assassination and roughly 300 others. They were tried in civil and military courts. Farraj, al-Islambouli and his fellow assassins were executed in April 1982, while al-Zumor,

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Ayman al-Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahiri and others were given lengthy prison sentences. However, al-Zawahiri won an appeal, and was released and subsequently traveled first to Saudi Arabia, and then to Peshawar Pakistan where he and Osama Bin Laden formed a dilletantish group of Arabs who more or less vicariously participated in the struggle against the Soviet backed government in Afghanistan. Zawahiri became actual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (or “al Jihad”) about 1991.
The Egyptian Islamic Jihad had a blind-cell structure, like that of the Leninist Communist party. Members in one cell did not know the identities or activities of those in another, so that if one member were captured they would not be able to endanger more than a few people. However, Egyptian police captured the membership director of EIJ. The database in his computer listed every member’s address, aliases, and potential hideouts. Al-Jihad leader al-Zawahiri bitterly lamented “the government newspapers” elation over “the arrest of 800 members of the al-Jihad group without a single shot being fired.”
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Islamic Jihad Terrorist Ayman Al-Zawahiri

In 1980, al-Zawahiri returned to Cairo where he began work as a recruiter for jihad. After Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by a radical group in 1981, al-Zawahiri and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested. [4]. While in prison, he and his fellow jihad friends faced frequent torture under Egypt’s inquisition, Intelligence Unit 75. Through interrogation and torture, al-Zawahiri gave information which led to the arrest of other members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In one instance, he was forced to call a suspected terrorist, who Zawari know closely, to tell him to meet him at a location, Egypt’s security officials arrested the suspect at the location and placed him in the same prison cell as al-Zawahiri[5]. Essam al-Qamari, the suspected terrorist and friend of al-Zawahiri, was sentenced to ten years in prison and later shot dead in an attempted escape.
After three years, al-Zawahiri was released from prison and traveled to Saudi Arabia and later to Jeddah, where he claims he first met Osama Bin Laden.[6] In 1998, the two Jihad leaders announced the joining of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda to form the World Islamic Front for the Jihand Against Jews and Crusaders[7]. In 1998, the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzaria were destroyed by suicide bombers; the United States later indicted both Ben Laden and al-Zawahiri for the attacks which killed 224 people. In retaliation, the United States lunched cruise missiles, however, both terrorist leaders escaped.
Occasionally appearing on tapes claiming responsibility for attacks on the United States, al-Zawahiri has become the main spokesperson for the terrorist network. al-Zawahiri was sentenced to death by an Egyptian court in 1999 for his role in organizing variety terrorist attacks, and the United States State Department has offered a $25 million award for information leading to his apprehension after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon[8]. Although information on his location is not well known, al-Zawahiri, who is fluent in English, is suspected of being located in Afghanistan after traveling around Europe looking for refugeCite error: Closing missing for tag.
On November 19, 2008, Al-Zawahiri released a video referring to President-elect Barack Obama as a ‘house negro,’ and stating that Obama was “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans.”[9]

Muslim Brotherhood ready to use Egyptian army to attack Israel

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muslimbrotherhood.gifMohammed Ghanem one of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt called on his country to stop pumping gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army to wage war against Israel.In an interview on the Iranian television station al-Alam, Ghanem blamed Israel for supporting President Hosni Mubarak’s regime but warned that neither the Egyptian police or army will be able to stop the Muslim Brotherhood.The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest opposition group in the country and criticized Mubarak in the latest parliamentary elections of rigging the votes. While they have not come out vocally in the recent wave of anti-government protests, many believe they are purposely maintain a low profile until the time is right to attempt to take over the government.

For ElBaradei the turnaround happened almost overnight. He was the Brotherhood’s front man but…broke with them over the referendum. And now they want to break him.

The only thing surprising to me is that the Islamists have been emboldened so fast. I thought they would be cautious a while longer in their pretense at being moderate and pro-democracy. But revolutionary Islamists quickly become arrogant when people make concessions to them and they conclude that they are strong and victorious. 

and via mooserider123.blogspot.com
image via
weaselzippers.us and via ns1763.ca
and via
blogs.e-rockford.com