Wird Politik Tame ägyptischen Muslimbruderschaft?

NEIL MacFarquhar


CAIRO, Dezember. 7 – When stumping through the port city of Alexandria, whose crumbling mansions and rickety tram lines evoke long-faded glory, Sobhe Saleh of the Muslim Brotherhood vowed he had a different vision for Egypt’s future.

If Islam were applied, no one would be hungry,” he roared recently to a crowd of fully veiled women ululating with joy. “Islam is a religion of construction. Islam is a religion of investment. Islam is a religion of development.

Religion, in fact, should profoundly alter both Egypt’s domestic and foreign policy, said Mr. Saleh, a 52-year-old lawyer with a clipped helmet of steel-gray hair.

If Islam were applied, the television would not show us prostitution and people lacking all decency!” he declared. “If Islam were applied, Iraq could not have been invaded, Israel could not occupy Jerusalem, and aggression could not have been used to humiliate Muslims everywhere!”

A long-expected day of reckoning is at hand in Egyptian politics now that the Brotherhood, an illegal organization with a violent past, is entering the corridors of power for the first time in significant numbers.

The outcome of the freest election in more than 50 years could determine whether political Islam will turn Egypt into a repressive, anti-American theocracy or if Islamic parties across the Arab world will themselves be transformed by participating in mainstream politics.

No sudden earthquake is expected. But initial results from the final round of voting on Wednesday showed that the Brotherhood had gained at least 12 more seats to bring its total to 88, with seven races from all three rounds still unsettled, according to a spokesman. That is five times the 17 seats the group won in 2000.

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