Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futuh, formerly a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader and now a presidential candidate backed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, has given a TV interview in which he said that if the U.S. cuts off aid to Egypt, “we will cut off its interests in Egypt.”. According to a MEMRI translation, Abu-Futuh also that that he would never recognize Israel:
Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian presidential candidate Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Al-Futuh, which aired on Mihwar TV on March 7, 2012 : Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Al-Futuh : We will not maintain relations with anyone who harms the interests of Egypt. Relations must be to the benefit of Egypt. Of course, if we maintain relations that benefit Egypt, the other side also… Interviewer : What is your position with regard to the US aid? Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Al-Futuh : The US aid is not really aid. The US gives Egypt money in return for its interests in Egypt. If the US wants to cut off its aid to Egypt, we will cut off its interests in Egypt. That’s it – tit for tat. That is an international principle – interests in return for interests. Diplomatic relations are not a charity organization. The US has not opened a charity organization out of sympathy for the Egyptian people, giving us 1.2 billion dollars every year. No, its aid is for the sake of its interests. […] Interviewer : Did you say that you recognize Israel, and that Palestine must recognize it as well? Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Al-Futuh : I have not recognized Israel to this day, and will not recognize Israel. My refusal, as an Egyptian, to recognize it is part of what I believe in. I will not lie to the Egyptian people. But my refusal to recognize Israel does not mean, in any way, that I will impose my view upon the Egyptian parliament or upon the Egyptian people, or that I will impose what I believe in at the expense of Egypt’s interests. […”
In June 2011, global media reported that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood had expelled Abu-Futuh for saying he would run for president in defiance of the group’s decision not to seek the post vacant since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February. Soon thereafter, Qaradawi expressed his support for Abu-Futuh who said that he had consulted Qaradawi before deciding to run for Egyptian president. Egyptian media is reporting today that some members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and their families announced public support for Abul-Fotouh despite threats from the Brotherhood that members could be expelled if they voted for or endorsed a presidential candidate other than the Brotherhood’s official candidate.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here 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. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements