Associated Foreign Press…
White House officials held talks with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington this week, as the Islamist group threw itself into the fray in Egypt’s presidential election.
The meeting on Tuesday with low-level National Security Council staff was part of a series of US efforts to broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties following Egypt’s revolution last year, a US official said.
Khairat el-Shater of the Muslim Brotherhood waves as he arrives to al-Galaa court in Cairo on Dec. 10, 2007. El-Shater is a leader in the Brotherhood’s Guidance Council, its main decision-making body. Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian military judges dropped convictions against Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat el-Shater, clearing the nominee of the nation’s dominant political party to run in the election, the group’s lawyer said.
“We have taken administrative, legal and judicial measures before the military judiciary and based on this, all convictions have been dropped,” Abdel Monem Abdel Maqsoud said in a phone interview in Cairo yesterday. “All legal obstacles have been removed, and el-Shater now has the right to fully exercise all his political rights,” he said.
Tahrir Square, Egypt 2011
New York Times…
CAIRO — The Islamist party that leads the new Egyptian Parliament is threatening to review the 1979 peace treaty with Israel if the United States cuts off aid to the country over a crackdown on American-backed nonprofit groups here.
The pact is considered a linchpin of regional stability, and the statements, from at least two senior leaders of the party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, represent the first time that Egyptians have explicitly raised it during an escalating standoff over the crackdown.
During a trip through Colorado in December of last year, President Obama spoke of his intention to implement his economic policies with or without the approval of Congress. Said Obama, “And where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves.” It now appears that such a mindset applies not only to economic matters but to the distribution of foreign aid as well–in particular, foreign military aid for the Muslim Brotherhood, who now hold the reigns in Egypt.
Newly elected speaker of the Egyptian parliament Mohamed Saad al-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood speaks during the first session of the newly-elected assembly in Cairo January 23, 2012 (Reuters / Khaled Elfiqi / Pool)
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, an influential group holding half of the seats in the new parliament, may field a candidate for the May presidential election. The move would break an earlier promise not to seek presidential power.
The movement said it would not contend for Egypt’s highest office as part of power-sharing agreements among the country’s leading powers. It was meant to alleviate fears among domestic liberals and the military, as well as Western allies, that the country would fall too much under Islamist control.
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
From CBN News…
WASHINGTON — Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been called the most influential Islamic cleric in the world.
During the past year, he’s used his clout to promote the so-called Arab Spring.
For al-Qaradawi, the rise of radical Islamic governments across the Middle East and North Africa means a giant step towards his vision of a united Islamic super-state — or caliphate — governed by Sharia law.