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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Courting U.S Policy Makers!

Interesting Article: "Brotherhood courts the West" by Ramadan Al Sherbini / Cairo published Thursday, April 5th, 2012.

An interesting article mentioned that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political group, has intensified contacts with the West in an obvious bid to promote its controversial decision to nominate its deputy leader Khairat Al Shater for president, say observers. US Republican Party delegation led by Congressman David Dreier met this week in Cairo with Al Shater, a billionaire and a key Brotherhood strategist, amid criticism of the group's breaking of a promise not to field a candidate for the presidential polls due next month. Would you like to know more?

Al Shater assured the US visitors about his commitments to human rights, women's rights and a peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979, according to sources inside the group. Trying to unite divided Islamists behind him, the presidential hopeful of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has promised to give religious clerics power to review legislation to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, a group of ultraconservative Muslim clerics said Wednesday. Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater is trying to avert a split in the votes of religious conservatives in next month’s presidential election. The Brotherhood is Egypt’s strongest fundamentalist group, but several other Islamists are running in the vote — particularly Hazem Abu Ismail, who has strong support among Salafis, the most hard-line religious movement in Egypt. 

The group, called the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reform, said in a posting on its Facebook page that el-Shater promised that, if elected, he would form a council of clerics to review legislation to ensure it adheres to Islamic Shariah law. The commission is an umbrella group set up after last year’s uprising against President Hosni Mubarak to represent Islamic factions, mostly Salafis, though the Brotherhood also has a representative in the commission.

Until the Egyptian uprising in 2011, the Brotherhood was officially banned by Mubarak's government. Its members were routinely imprisoned. But it was given limited room to operate in the country and became one of the largest dissident organizations.

Many Western pundits and politicians have long denounced the group as a quasi-terrorist organization and the ancestor of al Qaeda. While some al Qaeda leaders -- notably Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is Egyptian -- have roots in the Brotherhood, al Qaeda largely dismisses it for renouncing violence and engaging politically.

One sure thing though is that the make-up of the assembly writing Egypt's new constitution may be bitterly contested, but the body's economists are likely to agree on putting business interests and growth ahead of social justice. Five economists will be in charge of drafting the economic chapters in Egypt's new constitution and providing the country with answers to some vital questions.



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