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Question of the Day
On the secret agreement with Hamas, Egyptian daily Al-Watan published documents in early February purportedly exposing a secret agreement between the government and Hamas. One document stated that Hamas‘ military wing was sending militants to Egypt to defend the current regime from supporters of the ousted Mubarak government.
The Morsi administration has agreed to several construction deals in Gaza, along with security and intelligence-sharing agreements with Hamas.
Many Persian Gulf states are worried about the threat to their regimes posed by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, with the exception of Qatar emerging as a connection point for Brotherhood’s expansion efforts.
In Saudi Arabia, several Islamist Saudi clerics are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood transformation in Egypt, putting them at odds with Riyadh’s opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood government there.
There are concerns that Egypt will create religious police along the lines of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as the Sharia-law enforcement police are called.
Thousands of police in Egypt went on strike to protest the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist efforts earlier this month. Riots broke out March 22 between pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters. The police went back to work after the government said it would bring in contractors, raising fears of further Islamicization.
The Brotherhood announced it planned to form vigilante groups to prevent attacks on Islamists.
An Egyptian military adviser went public with concerns about Muslim Brotherhood activities in Egypt on March 11. Maj. Gen. Abd-al-Munim Katu, an adviser to the Egyptian Armed Forces Morale Affairs Department, told the Dubai news outlet Al Bayan Online that the military is resisting Morsi’s Islamicization efforts.
Asked if Morsi will complete his term as president, Tatu said: “The vision is blurry. Indicators suggest that he may not be able to complete his term. The people have legitimate demands, but the Muslim Brothers are busy seizing control of the joints of the state. The gap between the two parties is widening.”
The Obama administration, whose religious outreach advisers include several Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, is not directly challenging the far-reaching campaign of Islamicization being carried out by the Morsi government in Egypt.
Instead the administration adopted conciliatory policies toward the current government in Egypt. The administration hopes to continue working with Egypt’s government but has not pressured Cairo into making needed democratic reforms, U.S. officials said.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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