05/05/2011, 00.00
EGYPT
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Muslim Brotherhood, a greater danger than Bin Laden

The fundamentalist group is gaining ground in the media and is threatening Christians and moderate Muslims, who back a secular state. Fear of an Islamist regime is pushing many Muslims to emigrate to the West.
Cairo (AsiaNews) – “Reactions in Egypt to Bin Laden’s killing have been mixed. Moderate Muslims are happy about it but the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis and Jihadist groups have called him a hero and a martyr for Islam. His death will not reduce the dangers Christians and secular-minded Muslims face since the fall of Mubarak,” said Fr Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Catholic Church of Egypt and spokesman for the country’s seven Catholic denominations. Speaking to AsiaNews, the Catholic clergyman went further, saying that many Muslims are emigrating for fear of Muslim fundamentalists who are gaining ground in newspapers, TV programmes and on the internet.

Many extremist Muslim groups came in from the cold after the Egyptian revolution and the collapse of the Mubarak regime. At present, they are hard at work across the country. For months, radical Muslim leaders have been engaged in anti-Christian propaganda, monopolising some TV stations, newspapers and websites, Fr Greiche said.

“Muslim leaders are calling Christians infidels who have no right to representation in parliament,” the clergyman said. “An atmosphere of psychological terrorism is causing fear in people who want democracy, driving many out of the country.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is the best-organised Muslim group in the country. It has created four political parties for elections in September. Each party is clearly fundamentalist, but in order to get around the law that bans confessional parties from running in elections, they have eliminated all references to Islam.

Sources have told AsiaNews that thanks to its great propaganda work, the Muslim Brotherhood will make a breakthrough in the upcoming elections.

For now, the young people of Tahrir Square are the only secular-oriented alternative. However, after the revolution, they have split into 16 groups, which are now trying to organise themselves as political parties.

In addition, many of them are still affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and could be influenced by their old leaders, Fr Greiche noted.

In his view, “it will take a year to understand the full implications of the revolution, good or bad.” (S.C.)

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