PA speaker in Egypt, Dr Fathi Sorour, and senior NDP member on Friday confirmed that any pressure by the US on Cairo for reforms may very well backfire and result in the founding of a religious state.
In recent weeks, Washington has become vocal about its Middle East ally, witnessing a fierce crack down with more than 1,300 MB supporters arrested in the run-up to the parliamentary poll, and has urged Egypt to allow international monitors for the vote.
Sorour noted that he had made similar comments to a group of visiting US foreign policy experts earlier this month, including Robert Satloff, a member of the Working Group on Egypt. The group is comprised of foreign policy experts who have met with US President Obama's administration to discuss Egyptian political reforms. Satloff maintains that the US wants the political process be free and fair.
According to analysts, Cairo, one of the top beneficiaries of US foreign aid, has consistently used the threat of the MB rising to power in an effort to ward off pressure by the NDP to lift political restrictions in the NDP-dominated country.
Dr Essam El-Erian, from the group’s executive bureau, criticized Sorour’s statements stressing that in Islam there is no such thing as an 'Islamic State'. He asserted that the MB was calling for a civil state based on Islamic Law which respects all citizens regardless of religion, colour or creed.
El-Erian stressed that it is imperative that the regime respects the will of Egyptian citizens without any pressure from abroad, emphasizing that it is vital that the elections are free, fair reflecting the will of citizens at home without any outside interference.
MB leader, Dr Amir Bassam, added that the US knew very well that the regime was using the MB as a scapegoat to continue in its repression and that the US understood well that the MB is a non-violent organization which only struggles peacefully against oppression advocating tolerance.
Michele Dunne, a member of the Working Group on Egypt, asserts that US officials are increasingly disposed to view the possibility of the MB sweeping to power in Egypt as a hollow threat. She added that this issue has been discussed in meetings when Mubarak meets with members of Congress and the idea of the Brotherhood sweeping to power is a straw man and the Obama administration have come to realize that.
On the eve of the polls, over a dozen MB candidates have already been eliminated from the election.
The NDP has requested the disqualification of even more members of the MB, alleging they are misrepresenting themselves as independent.