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" … we wold like our people to know also that we love them more than ourselves and that we wish to sacrifice our souls for their honour, glory, dignity, religion and their aspirations, we work for people only for God's sake more than we work for ourselves; we are for- our belover brothers- and we will never be against you".

Imam Hassan Al Banna.








A Week of Escalations:

The MB And Al Azhar Demonstrations


Ibrahim El Houdeibi, Daily Star Egypt - Cairo, Egypt

Last week witnessed a dramatic escalation of events between students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the security apparatus in Egypt. The week started with an irresponsible and isolated move by a handful of Al Azhar students affiliated with the MB, who protested to denounce the unjust dismissal of eight of their colleagues.

The group organized a symbolic martial arts performance wearing black uniforms and head masks to express their dismay over university policies. The “show” was intended to scare away the ruthless riot police, which surrounded the university premises.

Widely criticized by leading MB figures including Chairman Mohamed Mahdi Akef, the incident was considered an error of judgment by the students and an unnecessary provocation. MB opponents, however, used it to hurl accusations at the MB of setting up a military wing, alleging that the students belonged to a secret militia.

What worries me, as much as it would worry any Egyptian, is how the incident manifested the tension and confrontation between the students on the one hand and the University administration and security forces on the other.

As an active member of the Ikhwan [MB] for a few years, and someone raised in a household that upholds the ethics and principles of the Ikhwan, I failed to make sense of the actions of these students who supposedly represent the very same principles and goals I believe in.

The goals set forth by founder of the Brotherhood Hassan Al Banna’s, his thoughts and teachings, were more concerned with reforming society peacefully through education and the Islamic upbringing of individuals. So I am confident that this behavior will be addressed seriously within the Ikhwan. Measures must be taken to ensure that such incidents will not be repeated in the future

At the same time, I reject any attempts to justify this irresponsible act as a reaction to the unjust dismissal of some students. Although the regime has banned the MB students from participating in the formal student union elections, and has expelled those who have organized the parallel “free” elections, that should never drag us out of our chosen path of reform.

Justification is unacceptable simply because I believe that one mistake does not justify another. True that the dismissal of the students was an unjustified mistake, the students should not have retaliated the way they did. They could have presented their just cause in a more civilized way. What Al Azhar students did was only damaging their case by presenting themselves in the worst possible light, and giving the tyrannical regime the pretext it needed to crack down on the MB.

Few days after the notorious demonstration, 180 MB students and 17 leaders, including Deputy Chairman Khayrat El-Shater were taken into custody. And to deceive the Egyptian people, the regime launched a media offensive propagating the false notion that the crackdown was a defensive act to prevent the recurrence of similar demonstrations across other campuses.

The regime and its security forces are well aware that most of the MB leaders arrested (including El-Shater) are not involved in any student activities, and publicly condemned them. But thanks to the emergency laws, the incident gave them a carte blanche to violate their civil rights codes and make random arrests without clear charges.

Khayrat El-Shater is a leader known for his balanced opinions, deep insight, and moderate views on issues like the relationship with the West, the succession of power and the MB’s relationship with the regime in general. He was the man who presented the MB’s stance on pressing issues in his famous article published in the Guardian “Don’t be afraid of us”; and to illustrate his moderate stance regarding the relationship between Islamists and the West he published an interview published on IkhwanWeb titled “We do not promote an anti-Western agenda.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is an institutionalized organization, which does not depend on an individual for its survival but rather on its ideology. For decades, the regime has failed to understand the resilient nature of the MB and mistakenly believed that preemptive arrests will undermine its ability to fight for reform and change. What they don’t realize is that the arrest of our leaders will only open the doors for the emergence of new leaders, further empowering the organization.

The crackdowns by the regime will fail to derail us from our chosen reform path. We will continue our peaceful struggle against tyranny, oppression, corruption and authoritarianism, until we achieve our dream of a free, democratic, integral and prosperous Egypt.  

Ibrahim El Houdeibi is member of Ikhwanweb's editorial team in Cairo. He can be contacted at houdaiby@yahoo.com



HRW: Senior Leaders Arrested in Predawn Raids,

Along With More than 140 Students

In simultaneous predawn raids, Egyptian police on Thursday arrested 17 senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood and rounded up at least 140 students on suspicion of being linked to this banned nonviolent organization following a protest at Cairo’s al-Azhar University, Human Rights Watch said today. The Egyptian authorities have arrested at least 1,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a crackdown that began in March. Though most of these detainees are now released, representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood told Human Rights Watch they expect further detentions in the days to come. Members detained on Thursday include Khairat al-Shatir, the deputy supreme guide and chief strategist of the organization.

Human Rights Watch called on the Egyptian government to immediately release, or charge, all members of the Muslim Brotherhood imprisoned in this months-long campaign, as well as students arrested for their suspected links to the group.

“Once again, the government is detaining members of a peaceful group whose only crime is pressing for reform,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa director. “Now the Egyptian authorities are targeting students who are calling for reforms.”

The arrests follow a demonstration by the Free Student Union, a group comprised mostly of students affiliated with the Brotherhood formed in November 2005 to protest alleged government interference in student union elections. On December 10, the students held a sit-in at an apartment building where they have been living since al-Azhar administrators expelled them from dormitories for their political activities. Roughly 35 of them, who wore balaclavas with “samidun” (“the steadfast”) written across them, gave a brief martial arts demonstration and performed military-style exercises. On December 14, police surrounded the dormitory and arrested at least 140 students there, although it is not clear if all participated in the demonstration. Police have not released the names of the detained students.

Photos from the demonstration raised alarm in the press that the Muslim Brotherhood was forming a militia, and police said they were opening an investigation to determine whether this was true. Senior members of the group quickly distanced themselves from the students’ actions, stressing that their organization is peaceful, does not maintain a militia, and that Brotherhood members who participated might face disciplinary action. Mahmud `Izzat, secretary general of the banned organization, told Human Rights Watch that some of the men detained on Thursday morning had personally chastised the students for their actions.  

“We apologize for this skit,” the Free Student Union said in a statement released Wednesday. “This is not our way. It reflected poorly on our school and ourselves by making us look like a militia. This image is absolutely untrue. We are students. We did this skit because we felt that no one was listening … to our requests for justice in the university…. The university administration, in cooperation with the security apparatus, has denied us our rights to participate in student union elections.”  

“These arrests are merely a part of the government’s continuing campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Whitson. “If there is evidence that anyone detained has committed an offence beyond belonging to the Brotherhood, the government should bring charges before an independent court and produce the evidence. If not, the authorities must release the detainees immediately.”

 The most recent arrests took place within a months-long government crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood. Most recently, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Web site, State Security officers in late November detained 21 members of the organization in the Munufiyya governorate, northwest of Cairo. One student caught in this crackdown told Human Rights Watch that police had tortured him with electrical currents, kept him blindfolded while he was in custody, and tried to force him to incriminate himself. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying that he feared for his family.

Article 86(bis) of Egypt’s Penal Code criminalizes membership in an organization that “impairs the national unity or social peace.” Such broad definitions invite abuse. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Egypt has undertaken to uphold the right to freedom of association. Article 22 of the covenant specifies that the only permissible exceptions to this right are those “which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights of others.” These exceptions are narrowly framed, and the burden of demonstrating their needs in specific cases rests with the state. The state cannot justify the banning of an organization unless it can show that this extreme measure is necessary to achieve a specific and legitimate purpose within one of the enumerated exceptions.

The Egyptian government has never convincingly justified its continued categorization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has renounced violence since the 1970s, as an illegal organization. Human Rights Watch called on the categorization to be revoked, and for the authorities to discontinue using its illegality as the pretext for arresting its members.  

List of prominent Muslim Brotherhood members arrested on December 14:

 1. Khairat al-Shatir, second deputy to the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood  
2. Mahmud Abu Zaid, professor of surgery at al-Qasr al-`Aini Medical Faculty,
Cairo University  
3. Muhammad Baligh, professor at the Conjunctivitis Institute in
4. Amin `Abd al-Ghani, engineer  
5. Ahmad `Izz al-Din, journalist, press secretary to the supreme guide  
6. Mustafa Salim, accountant  
7. Mamduh al-Husaini, engineer  
8. Yasir `Abdu, secretary general for the Giza Merchants Syndicate  
9. `Isam `Abd al-Muhsin, professor of biochemistry at al-Azhar Medical College and head of the Giza Medical Syndicate  
10. Farid Jalabat, professor in the
Shari`a and Law College at al-Azhar University  
11. Sadiq al-Sharqawi, businessman  
12. Mahmud Mursi, engineer  
13. Fathi Baghdadi, director of al-Masa`i schools  
14. Sayyid Ma`ruf, manager at `Umar Affandi Co.  
15. Salah al-Dusuqi, assistant professor of anatomy at al-Azhar Medical College  
16. Jamal Sha`ban, accountant  
17. Sahib Shawkat al-Malt, secretary general of the Free Students Union at
al-Azhar University



Who Is

Mohammed Khairat Saad Al- Shatter

Born in Dakahleya on May 4th 1950   

Academic Qualifications    
- B.Sc. of Civil Engineering, Alexandria University,1974

- Master Degree in Construction Management, Mansoura University,1980

- B.A from  Anthropology Department, Faculty of Arts,  Ain  Shams University,2002

- Islamic Studies diploma, Islamic Studies Institute, 1999

- Diploma in Social Work and NGOs, Faculty of Economics and

- Political Science, Cairo University, 2000

- Diploma in Business Administration, Faculty of Commerce, Ain Shams University, 1998

-Diploma in International Marketing, Faculty of Commerce, Helwan University, 2000

Professional Career

- Worked as an administrator in the Faculty of Engineering, Mansoura University from 1974 until 1981
- In 1981, late president Sadat suspended him from working in the university

- In 1981 onwards he established his own business in different areas and companies

- He currently runs his private group of companies, in addition to being a board member in some major banks and companies


Political and Islamic activities

- Khairat Al-Shatter started his political activities as early as 1966 When he was a secondary school student
- He was a founding  member of the general Islamic action in 1967 especially in Alexandria where he played pivotal role in establishing the general Islamic awakening (Sahwa) starting early seventies
- He has been a  Muslim Brotherhood member since 1974

- He took the lead in many Muslim Brotherhoodaffairs, inter alia, Education, Human Development and Management

- He was elected member of Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau in 1995

- Al- Shatter has been to prison several times during Nasser and Mubarak eras

- In 1968 after participation in the famous students demonstrations that followed the 1967 War, he was kept in prison for four months then dismissed from university .Right after he was released, he was drafted into the Army in the Red Sea town, a far –off area from Cairo and Alexandria

- In 1992 he was imprisoned for one year in the famous Salsabeel case

- In 1995 he was sentenced to five years, along with 54 members of Muslim Brotherhood who were sentenced from three to five years; he was released in July 2000

- In 2001 he was imprisoned for almost one year in what was known as Imbaba group, a Muslim Brotherhood meeting

- Eng. Al –Shatter has been to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and UK. He has also been to Arab, Asian and European countries



Al Masri Al Youm Journalist Regrets Parade Photos

“I hope that those reading this message will know to what extent I am emotionally suffering after publishing those pictures [MB students' parade]" "Since, Monday, when Al Masri Al Youm Newspaper published the news of Al-Azhar militias, I have felt sad about what will happen after; there was fear inside me but I did not know that all this would happen.”

This is  part of the testimony of Amr Abdullah, journalist who took the photos of Al-Azhar University students' parade.

Yallatalaba web site interviewed the journalist through telephone and requested his testimony about the incidents, in which he said also:

When I arrived at the university dormitory, I noticed that all the university gates were heavy gaurded by police and appeared like military barracks. Then I went to the university dormitory and noticed that its gate was fully open and fully besieged by the security.

I also noticed a group of students were standing in lines wearing masks showing only their eyes, and chanting  condemning the intervention of the security in the university affairs.

Then, the performance of karate and kung fu started; in fact, I was surprised with what I saw, given that this was not the first time to hold such performances which I heard about before and were part of sketches about the resistance and Israel. This time it was different [was not about Israel]. While I was taking photos; no one was troubled or objected since is not a secretive but a public performance and the media was expected to report it.

These sportive performances were not that strong; they were just a show-off; also, the young men did not use any kind of bladed weapons in addition to their fully avoiding any skirmishes with the security forces.

Then I reported the apology vigil and the regret that the students expressed about this performance which was overblown out of proportion.

This was everything that happened during that day; I hope that anyone i offended to forgive me; this is because I –I swear by Allah- did not mean to offende any body. I was just doing my job honestly and I didn’t support one side against the other.

Amr Abdullah- Al Masri Al Youm



Egyptian Security Beat Journalist Mohammed Abdul Quddus

In a continuous violation 0f rights of journalists in Egypt, Mohamed Abdul Quddus, the secretary general of the freedoms committee in the Press Syndicate yesterday was beaten by ten security agents because he insisted on breaking the security siege around the syndicate, and standing amid Abdul Khalek Tharwat street and chant slogans against the regime through a loudspeaker.

The syndicate’s freedoms committee considered arresting Ezzuddin as unjust measure that came under the emergency law that controls the country. It demanded Attorney General, counselor Abdul Magid Mahmoud to intervene to end the crisis, urging the journalists in all institutions to participate in a complete sit-in protest at the unjustified detentions against journalists specially that Ezzuddin isn’t related to Al-Azhar incidents or the students’ military parade for which the security services launched a crackdown on the leaders of Muslim Brotherhood and university students.



Cairo Univ. teaching club demands

Azhar professors released

The Cairo University teaching club expressed its deep concern over the latest security crackdown against six teaching staff members in Egyptian universities, on charge of inciting students in Al-Azhar University to perform a showoff of muscles- wrongly believed to be aiming at intimidating university students and professors- in protest at dismissing students elected in the free students union.

The statement said that:” Whatever injustice laid on the students, they shouldn’t have been driven to such actions that cause ambiguity over their peaceful expression, something that may affect the rightness of their cause", pointing out- at the same time- that the security services and some biased media seized this opportunity and exaggerated the mistake for which the students apologized in front of the university administration.

The teaching staff members rejected arresting some university professors with claims or without any claim, " although they are well-known for their efficiency and respect in various local, regional and international arenas”, considering this " an episode in a series which has been adopted during more than two years, without any indication these unjust policies will end".

The statement denounced accusing professors of violence or terrorism " in a way that disagrees with the what these colleagues are known for, including good manners, self-restraint and an interest in keeping the stability of the university life and keeping away from any thing that may distort its image and derail it from its sublime message of preparing a generation of young men who can be shouldered with the responsibilities of improving this nation and saving it from the abyss of backwardness and subordination".

The statement cited Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid " who is known among all of his sincerity and dedication to serve his faculty and university: in addition to his being a remarkable professor in his field, he supervises for a long time a number of programs in the Faculty of Medicine, that aim at improving the quality of education inside it, and adopting its academic programs in the various arenas".

The board of directors of the Cairo University teaching club declared its rejecting such a futile method in dealing with Egyptian well-reputed figures: it demanded immediately releasing the university professors as there is no excuse for the provisional detention because they are public academic and societal figures whose jobs and addresses are known, and they aren’t feared to flee appearing in front of investigators in the times that the prosecution defines; thus, it is useless to restrict their freedom and deprive their students from their knowledge and directions, specially while the university is approaching the first term exams.

The teaching club demanded also the security services to stop such repressive practices " that keeps our beloved homeland in within a circle of cultural backwardness, while all the world is witnessing increasing freedoms and human rights".


MB Bloc Calls For Parliament

To Investigate Al Azhar Events

The Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc denounced the regime’s latest security crackdown that led to arresting 140 students and professors of Al-Azhar University in one day; the bloc demanded forming a parliamentary fact-finding committee to study this case from all aspects.

“ This serious escalation against the Muslim Brotherhood over a sport performance that the MB students organized at all-Azhar University was overblown in the media. This escalation shouldn’t have been carried out and there should be an official apology to the MB students” the MB bloc said in a statement released today.

The statement added that what took place in Al-Azhar University shed light on many negative situations that the student community is suffering from; this is due to the regime’s repression and violation of the students and the citizens’ political rights which are guaranteed by the law and constitution. These violations, and singling out student based on thier political affiliation and preventing them from running for students' body elections; forced the students to form the "Free Union" that led hideous bullying exercises against the students as is the case in the incidents of Ain Shams University and the detentions in Al-Azhar.

The bloc’s statement praised the attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood group that sought to contain the crisis and declared its rejection to any situation that may lead to causing fear and worry among people, and showing MB’s care for the security and the stability of the country and showing the group’s reformist approach and peaceful method.


IIFSO condemns

Al-Azhar student detentions

The International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO) denounced the latest arrest campaign that the Egyptian security services launched against Muslim Brotherhood students from Al-Azhar University within a series of measures of persecution and harassment that the regime adopts against the student movement in Egypt;

The IIFSO praised the Egyptian student movement and the Muslim Brotherhood students, who struggle to restore their political rights and their public role, calling for immediately releasing the detainees of the last campaign.

The IIFSO said in a statement- a copy of which was obtained by Ikhwanweb:" We have followed up- with severe concern- the violations of freedom of Egyptian students and harassments of the Egyptian security services against the student movement in universities, including intervening in the university affairs, striking off candidates from student union elections, flagrant interventions in the election process itself, excluding some students from living in university dormitories, unjustified dismissals, to reach its peak with arresting about 200 student leaders in Al-Azhar University, topped by the secretary general of the Free Student Union".

The IIFSO confirmed that the students have the full right to exercise their peaceful activates inside the university campus, away from any security intervention, and it considers establishing freely and democratically elected Free Student Unions away from the government vented unions " as a bold cry and a practical and legitimate method of protesting at the violations committed in the student arena by the regime’s bodies that persecute the nation’s best youth while it gives hollow promises of democratization and freedoms".

Within framework of a series of measures that IIFSO called for due to latest arrests on Al-Azhar MB students, it urged the Egyptian students to file lawsuits to confront the current circumstances.

The Federation expressed its full solidarity with the detained students, and called on its institutions all over the world to send messages of protest to Egyptian embassies in their countries and to Human Rights Organizations as well, to protest and to exercise pressures on the Egyptian government to make it release the detained students.


Dr. Nafeaa: Regime Rejects

 All Effective Parties Not Only MB

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Muslim Brotherhood cannot be eradicated


Dr. Hassan Nafeaa, head of the Political Sciences Department, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University, wrote an article in which he reviewed the yearlong conflict of successive regimes in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, citing the recent arrests which reached out to sixteen Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including MB second deputy Chairman, Eng. Khairat el Shater as well as a host of Azhar University students, professors, syndicate leaders and civil society activists.


Dr. Nafeaa quoted part of the statement released by the Interior Ministry to the effect that these arrests were made at arrest warrants by the State Security Prosecution after the police were tipped off that those leaders were implicated in riots staged in Azhar University on December 10, 2006. The professor also quoted the said statement as saying that these MB leaders formed deterrence committees, armed them with sticks and iron chains, and ordered them to stage sit-ins and demonstrations and riots in the university, and carry out acts of sabotage against public and private properties. The statement also said that the detained students" tried to do such acts and some of them smashed the university's main gate and assaulted some professors and students. According to the statement, these incidents were established and referred to the Prosecution immediately".


Egyptians tend not to believe Interior Ministry’s statements:

Commenting on the context of the statement, Dr. Nafeaa said that no neutral, unbiased observer can confirm or dismiss what came in the statement, adding that there is a tendency among Egyptians to dismiss statements made by the Ministry of Interior" especially that the arrests of the MB leaderships have been in full swing for years either there are reasons for the arrests or not", he said, citing the recent release of two senior MB leaders, Dr. Essam Al Arian and Dr. Mohammed Mursi, who were detained for seven months without charges and were released without clear reasons.

Nafeaa briefly traced the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hassan el Banna in 1928, saying that the group sustained a lot of ordeals at the hands of all successive regimes since it started to call for establishing a model society. The professor attributed this collision to ideologies adopted by these regimes, mainly the pro-West liberalism at the king's reign, pro USSR socialism at Nasser's era, and pro US- Israel policy at Sadat's era based on the normalization of relations with Israel and further political and economic relations with the US. However, the writer said that while Mubarak's regime has been and still is keen to steer clear of any direct confrontation with the group, the current escalation of tension between the two parties could lead to an inevitable, all out confrontation.

Reviewing the outcome of the confrontation of the group with the successive regimes throughout more than sixty years, the writer said that it is time to learn lessons from these yearlong confrontations, which he summed up as follows: 

First: The Muslim Brotherhood is here to stay and no one can eradicate it, now that the group has taken root within the political and social life in Egypt.

Second: The unabated crackdowns on the group only invigorated power into the group; incriminating its activities made it less communicative with others, which made it continue its activities even away from the eyes of the law.                                                                                       

Third: Imposing restrictions on the other political parties outside power eventually works in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood only, making the group the only alternative for the incumbent regime, especially when the latter lacks a national vision or project to rally the public around it, as is the case of Egypt nowadays.


The writer reinforced his assertion by inviting readers to have a look at the recent parliamentary election, when only 23% of the eligible electorate participated.  He pointed out that this led to a political polarization on the part of the two parties, with the writer warning that this could lead to an appalling political vacuum, as both parties is not a party in the full sense of the word. To hammer home this viewpoint, the writer said that the ruling party doesn’t take its power from the public support inasmuch as the awe and aura of its security agencies. Likewise, he added, the Muslim Brotherhood power doesn’t reflect the public support inasmuch as the influence of religion on the Egyptian society.

According to the writer, exchanged accusations between the ruling party and the Muslim Brotherhood make the silent majority uncertain of both parties. " The ruling National Party relentlessly uses the media to exaggerate the threat of Muslim Brotherhood, to lead the people off its responsibility for the deteriorating situation and to consolidate its monopoly of power and wealth." he said, adding that "the ongoing persecution of the MB members will turn them into victims who deserve to be the only alternative especially in the light of the political vacuum, taking the country to an untold chaos and unrest, " to which the incumbent regime seems to take us "the writer warned. Concerning his outlook for the future of the political life in Egypt, the writer advised that no genuine political reform will materialize without the participation of the Islamic trend in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular.


Who is to blame for this political standoff?

After several meetings and talks with MB leaderships, the writer said he concluded that the problem doesn’t lie with the Muslim Brotherhood inasmuch as the incumbent regime. He lashed out at the regime for its refusal to make room for any party enjoying public support, citing the Al Wasat (centrist) and Karama (dignity) parties which have for ten years struggled to get an official license allowing them to exercise their activities. "If that is the case, why do we call on the group to go the same way while all of us know its result?," he wondered.
However, he concluded by holding the civil society organizations responsible to seek a formula to dispel the doubts between the MB group and all political forces having a desire for reform" If we fail to eliminate the exchanged accusations between the Muslim Brotherhood and other political powers seeking change, there will be no hope for an alternative, genuine and democratic system, and in this way we, unaware, sit awaiting the coming disaster, which will inevitably come" he concluded.