The Wall Street Journal is confirming an earlier BBC report that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has backed Mohamed El-Baradei as the lead spokesman for the country’s opposition groups. The Journal report also cited a Brotherhood spokesperson who ways “their religious goals need to be put on the back burner.” According to the report
CAIRO—The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s venerable and controversial Islamic organization, says it has backed Mohamed ElBaradei as the lead spokesman for the country’s opposition groups to negotiate further political reforms with the shaky Egyptian government. The development marks the latest step by the Brotherhood to subordinate its religious goals to what opposition groups are describing as a battle for democracy, in a country run under a state of emergency by President Hosni Mubarak for more than 30 years. …
Egypt’s opposition groups have had a checkered past, with ideological divides and personal animosities sapping their strength against the might of the Mubarak regime. For now, their solidarity appears to be sticking. The umbrella organization, called the National Association for Change, on Sunday formed a steering committee, with Mr. ElBaradei at the helm, to strategize further movements and pressure Mr. Mubarak and his military leaders for more political concessions, according to senior Brotherhood leaders. That reflects the organization’s strategy that their religious goals need to be put on the back burner to achieve democracy, said Helmi Gazzar, the head of the Brotherhood’s district party office in northern Cairo. “What we want is what the people want.; right now we should have a completely different regime. We should have freedom and free elections,” he said. “We respect Mr. Baradei. He has the most potential” to achieve this…..
“I have some fears about the Muslim Brotherhood and their [future]intentions. But the situation is bigger than all of us now. You need them in the streets,” said Ziad el-Alami, a senior aide for Mr. ElBaradei and a human-rights lawyer.
Previous posts have discussed cooperation between El-Baradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and now opposition politician, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Baradei’s defense of the Muslim Brotherhood and his inclusion of the organization in a national opposition front which he inaugurated.
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