US media is reporting that President Obama has downplayed the role of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in any new government. According to an LA Time report:
WASHINGTON — President Obama described the Muslim Brotherhood as a well-organized group with anti-American rhetoric in an interview on Sunday, but downplayed the group’s size and influence in Egypt and as a potential part of any new governing coalition. Obama stressed that non-religious groups would be important as negotiations in Egypt begin about moving beyond the military regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Educators and civil society groups could be vital players in democratic governance, he suggested. “I think the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt,” Obama said. They are “well-organized,” he said, and “there are strains of the ideology that are anti-U.S.” “It’s important for us not to say our only two options are the Muslim Brotherhood or a suppressed Egyptian people,” Obama added. As has been his practice in the past few days, Obama avoided saying that Mubarak should resign immediately, but he said it is clear that things in Egypt will not go back to the way they were before the protests began. The president made the remarks to Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, conducting a live pre-Super Bowl interview at the White House as Egypt’s officials and protest leaders engaged in their first round of serious talks since the start of unrest 13 days ago.
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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For GMBDW coverage on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, go here.