The first reactions are comming in from elements of the global Muslim Brotherhood reactintg to the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President. Reuters is citing the following comments by Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef:
We congratulate (Obama) on the confidence of the American people in him and we hope that he will change the policy of the United States toward the Middle East and toward the crimes which are happening in Afghanistan and Somalia, in other words that he adopts a just policy that restores to America its natural position of respect for humankind and democracy.
An internet news portal reports that the Jordanian Brotherhood considers the election an “apology” from the American people:
The Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan’s largest political party, on Wednesday expressed guarded optimism over the election of Barak Obama as the next US president and said they considered his win an “apology” from the American people to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. “We welcome Obama’s election and believe that his win represents a clear message inside as well as outside America,” IAF Secretary General Zaki Bani Ershaid told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. “Obama’s victory is also tantamount to an apology from the American people for the crimes committed by the outgoing Republican administration in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere,” he added. Bani Ershaid said that his party, the political arm of the influential Muslim Brotherhood movement, was “cautiously optimistic” over the change promised by Obama and believed that the “starting- point for this change should find expression in a correction of the US foreign policy on Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.” “A real change in the US policies cannot materialize without rectifying the erroneous attitude considering Israel an ally, withdrawing troops from Iraq,” he said.
According to an Israeli newspaper, Hamas officials had said on Tuesday that “No matter who wins Tuesday’s US presidential election, US policy in the Middle East will remain the same, reporting that a Hamas spokesman described both John McCain and Barack Obama as “terrible.” In April, a Hamas political adviser had expressed his hope that Obama would win the election, comparing him to John F. Kennedy.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website has also reported on the opinion of Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi who interestingly had endorsed John McCain:
Personally speaking, I hope the Republican candidate McCain wins, because I prefer a clear and frank enemy who does not play the hypocrite in his enmity and who accordingly does not make you play the hypocrite with him too. I prefer this to the enemy in disguise”…the frank enemy will make you clearly determine your attitudes and he will even uncover hypocrites in your camp because any one backing him with such a flagrant enmity is undoubtedly hypocrite. The frank enemy makes you always on alert while the enemy in disguise makes you become inactive and lax and feel safe….Those thinking that the Democrats have less enmity than the Republicans, should know that the number of Iraqis killed by the Democratic president Bill Clinton during the siege on Iraq are more than doubles of those killed by the Republican president Bush…The Democrats kill you slowly without making you feel this. They are like the adder that injects its venom and you feel this venom only after it enters your body. For this, I hope that McCain assumes office .
An earlier post discussed an Obama endorsement by Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Brotherhood and important leader in today’s global Brotherhood.
(note: The link for the Qaradawi remarks now points to another page but his remarks were cited by a blogger. Google searches for the text confirm that they had at one time been a part of a webpage pointed to by the link)