Egyptian media is reporting that according to local experts, Mohamed Selim al-Awa is actually the “undeclared nominee” of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for the presidency of the country. According a report by Al-Masry Al-Youm:
Experts in Islamist movements have said they believe Islamic thinker Mohamed Selim al-Awa, an Egypt presidential hopeful, is the undeclared nominee for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist group. The Brotherhood had declared it will not name a candidate for the country’s presidential race expected by the end of 2011. The experts interviewed by Al-Masry Al-Youm voiced doubts about Awa’s denial of the suggestion. They mentioned his strong links to the Brotherhood and state agencies, and pointed to the group’s decision to abstain from punishing its younger members who supported his campaign. “There is a high possibility that Awa is the Brotherhood’s secret nominee, and he may even be backed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF),” said Ammar Ali Hassan, an expert on Islamist groups. “Awa has never been known to have any political aspirations and never joined any political groups, being content with his role as an Islamic thinker and judicial expert.” Hassan believes that Awa is not campaigning on his own and is coordinating with certain forces. Awa ranked second in a Facebook poll on presidency candidates made by the ruling military council on its Facebook page, that was only two days after he had declared he would run for president. “Those forces are either the Brotherhood or the SCAF, and maybe both,” Hassan said. According to Hassan, Awa played a key role in the 2005 political deal struck between the Muslim Brotherhood and the regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak, by which the group obtained 88 parliament seats in return for bowing out of the presidential race the same year.
A previous post reported on Al-Awa’s announcement of his presidential candidacy.
Mohamed Selim al-Awa is a close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who is a director of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The IUMS board of directors is comprised of many leaders of the global Brotherhood and is headed by Qaradawi.
A previous post discussed an interview with Al-Awa in which he accused Egyptian Coptic churches of storing weapons in their monasteries to be used against Muslims.