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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Muslim Brotherhood helping military suppress unrest in Egypt
Muslim Brotherhood operatives have been recruited to attack pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt.
Egyptian opposition sources said the Brotherhood, the largest Islamist movement, has been working with Egypt's new military regime to quell unrest. "Brotherhood operatives were seen working with security forces to quell the recent spate of pro-democracy demonstrations around Cairo".
"We have collected testimony that Brotherhood members, including those that were seen in Tahrir Square, are now helping the police and security forces break up demonstrations," an opposition source, referring to the leading protest site in Cairo".
FormerPresident Hosni Mubarak
The Brotherhood, with which the United States plans to begin a formal dialogue, has been divided over whether to participate in demonstrations in wake of the ouster of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The sources said the division has pitted the Brotherhood leadership, comprised of members close to the new military rulers, and the younger rank-and-file.
So far the Brotherhood has ordered its members not to participate in the pro-democracy protests against the military regime. At the same time, the reorganized police and security forces have attacked protests with what the opposition charged was both live and rubber bullets. The Interior Ministry responded that security forces were limited to the use of tear gas.
"We call on all those that supported the revolution to avoid political differences during this critical phase in Egypt," a coalition of five human rights groups said Sunday.
The secular opposition has accused the military regime of failing to implement its promises to introduce political reforms. The opposition also said the regime was refusing to prosecute former Mubarak aides accused of human rights violations.
"We call on all elements to focus on the leadership phase of the democratic process to preserve the purity of the revolution and save Egyptian society from collapse," the opposition said.
Rifat Al Said
Some opposition figures expressed concern that the U.S. decision for a dialogue would only bolster the Brotherhood's alliance with the military regime. They said the Brotherhood has relayed conditions for such a dialogue, which already included meetings between the U.S. embassy and Islamic members of the Egyptian parliament.
"Every time the Muslim Brotherhood has tried to engage in an alliance with tyranny under the pretext that necessity knows no law, its fingers were burned," Rifat Al Said, head of the National Progressive Union Association said.