Protests against the Muslim Brotherhood continue to rock Egypt
without a word being said from the White House. The Brotherhood and
allied Islamists are taking a cue from their Shiite counterparts in
Tehran and announced they are setting up a civilian force with the power to arrest those they deem to be criminals.
The Muslim Brotherhood first hinted at setting up a militia on
December 16 when Vice Chairman Essam Erian of its Freedom and Justice
Party said it needed defenses in the wake of clashes.
“They would have
defended themselves in front of the presidential palace and killed the
other [anti-Brotherhood] protesters,” he said. At around the same time, Jama’a al-Islamiya threatened to set up a pro-Brotherhood militia to “protect private and public property and counter the aggression on innocent citizens.”
The Brotherhood and Jam’a al-Islamiya have announced their intention
to set up a joint civilian police force with other Islamists.
The Brotherhood and its supporters point to Salafi groups like Jama’a
al-Islamiya as proof that they are comparatively “moderate.” This
Islamist relativism is a defining feature of
the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.
Yet, here we have the
Islamists coming together for their common Sharia cause in recognition
that their differences are nothing compared to those they have with the
Jama’a al-Islamiya says it
will soon submit a draft law to Egypt’s Shura Council for approval and
that the militia will be unarmed and supervised by the Interior
Ministry. Those apprehended are to be transferred to military or
official police custody.
The prosecutor-general signaled the
Brotherhood-led government’s support of a civilian paramilitary force
by bringing attention to a law that permits civilians to arrest those
that are vandalizing property, stopping traffic, preventing government
officials from working, forcing the closure of government buildings and
the vague offense of spreading fear.
The Egyptian security apparatus has
carried out crackdowns on protests in the past citing these crimes. The
The Islamists are looking for alternative law enforcement methods now
that the police cannot be relied upon to stand by President Morsi.
Since December, police officers have refused orders to stamp out
protests and have demonstrated themselves. Thousands are now on strike in at least 10 of the country’s 29 provinces, including gatherings in front of the Interior Ministry.
In Alexandria, police stations were closed with
signs posted stating, “Police and the people are one hand.” At Port
Said, cops cornered their commander in the police station for hours
after he ordered them to crush anti-government demonstrations. Police
assigned to protect the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo picked up and left and some joined the protesters. A group of them even held a sit-in outside President Morsi’s house.
The Interior Ministry told the
police that it’ll purchase 100,000 new 9-mm automatic pistols to
address their complaints that they are overpowered by criminal gangs.
Unfortunately for the Brotherhood, the bulk of the police’s gripes are
over its politicization and this announcement has done nothing to
Already, some police forces feel inferior to Islamist militiamen. The top police official in Assiut Province says Jam’a
al-Islamiya is acting in defiance of the law, but “I don’t know what to
A coordinator for a group called the Muslim Brotherhood Movement says committees
have been formed in Assiut and Minya Provinces and “Islamist movements
are capable of replacing the police.” The Brotherhood denies accusations
it already set up a militia.
The Islamist creation of a civilian paramilitary force follows
widespread rumors that Hamas is helping the Brotherhood to do just that.
It was also reported
that Hamas members and foreign Salafists had been granted citizenship.
Some accounts put the number of imported Hamas terrorists at 7,000.
If the Brotherhood and its Islamist allies move forward with its
plans for a civilian militia, Hamas should be expected to provide
training and expertise.
After all, Hamas is the Palestinian wing of the
Muslim Brotherhood. There is even video of Hamas leaders publicly pledging their allegiance to the Brotherhood and, more specifically, its jihad.
The tension is bound to heat up as the question of parliamentary
elections is answered. President Morsi originally dated them for April
22 but the Administrative Court cancelled them because he didn’t consult
the Prime Minister.
The Higher Administrative Court just delayed its
hearing on the matter. Since Morsi has declared that his decisions
cannot be challenged by the judicial system, he may order them to be
held regardless of what the Court rules.
The White House was almost entirely silent in 2009 when millions of
Iranians protested the regime. Today, thousands of Egyptians are
challenging the Muslim Brotherhood and the similar silence is prompting
the opposition to accuse the U.S. of siding with the Islamists.
The secular democratic opponents of Islamist ideologues should never have to doubt that the U.S. is on their side.
March 22, 2013 – posted at StratRisks
Editor’s Note: Is a baby step towards being a counterbalance to
the Egyptian military? Will they eventually get funding and stockpile
weapons. A dangerous trend…
The Muslim Brotherhood supports the Muslim
Brotherhood only. This will most likely evolve into well armed thugs
cracking down on the enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood.
They have been
in the shadows for years and now they are making their power play. Will
Egypt go silently down the road to oppression and torture again?!?
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