A Middle Eastern Internet news portal has reported that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has threatened to copy the Tunisian uprising that recently brought down the country’s President. According to a report posted on the MIdEast News Source:
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, has tacitly threatened to emulate the popular uprising in Tunisia that brought down President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, if its demands for political reform are not met. “If this regime doesn’t fight corruption and cancel the state of emergency, it will face the same situation and difficulty the Tunisian government faced,” Essam Al-Aryan, the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, told The Media Line. In a statement issued Wednesday, the Brotherhood declared that if the government did not quickly take responsibility and initiate a serious reform process, stability in Egypt would not last long. Unlike many other Islamic movements, the Brotherhood has traditionally shunned violence in favor of gradual reform of society along religious lines. But the movement’s success in winning seats in parliament was reversed last November when official rigging of the elections result deprived the Islamic movement of a single seat. Inspired by the success of the Tunisian masses and signs of tension on the Egyptian streets, the Brotherhood seems more ready to act than ever before. A man who set himself on fire in Egypt’s northern port city of Alexandria – mimicking the kind of protest that set off unrest in Tunisia last month – died on Tuesday. Earlier that day, another man set himself on fire in the capital, Cairo. Cairo’s stock index dropped to an 11-week low this week amidst fears the unrest that toppled Tunisia’s president would spread to Egypt. The Brotherhood said in its statement that it was still interested in effecting reform through constitutional change by peaceful means, but that the government of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak preferred to deal with the country’s problems by transferring them to security agencies “which absolve it from thinking and exerting real effort.”
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The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood can be considered to be the “mother” organization of what is referred to in these pages as the Global Muslim Brotherhood which developed as Muslim Brothers fleeing Egypt settled in Europe and the United States, as well as other places, throughout the years. The global network has since eclipsed the Egyptian organization as evidenced by global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s decision to turn down the leadership of the Egyptian organization when it was offered to him in 2004.