US media is reporting on comments by a State Depart spokesman acknowledging that the Muslim Brotherhood may play a role in Egypt’s transition. According to one report:
WASHINGTON – The United States is acknowledging that the hardline Muslim Brotherhood may play a role in Egypt’s transition from autocracy if it agrees to a peaceful, democratic process. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says the U.S. isn’t dictating Egypt’s shift from President Hosni Mubarak’s three decades in power. He says it is up to Egyptians to determine the process, but he called on the Muslim Brotherhood — which is a banned group — to respect democratic processes. Crowley said U.S. officials haven’t met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood though they’ve spoken to other opposition groups. He acknowledged Wednesday the hardline Islamist movement is “a fact of life in Egypt.” Some fear the group could threaten U.S. interests on issues including Arab-Israeli peace efforts to counterterrorism if they gain power.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide.
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