EGYPT’s Military Says Brotherhood Not A Threat

EGYPT’s Military Says Brotherhood Not A Threat

The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t pose a threat to democratic reform, a top military official said this week. Major General Said el-Assar, in an attempt to quell international worries of the growing Brotherhood popularity in the country, said fears of the Islamic group are unfounded.

He said the Brotherhood had a right to participate in the political life and future of Egypt as does any other group in the country.

“They are not seeking to have a religious country,” said Assar, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that took control when ousted President Hosni Mubarak relinquished power.

“They have to have the same rights as all Egyptians.”

Assar assured an audience on Sunday at the United States Institute of Peace, a government-funded organization, that the military council is eager to hand over authority to civilian parliament and president to be elected later this year.

Elections are scheduled for November, after having been pushed back from an initial September date. Ongoing protests here in Cairo are continuing to call for the end of military rule, despite the timetable established by the ruling junta.

The general continued to say that the 1979 Camp David Accords with Israel will not be amended and the military remains committed to international treaties.

However, he was reported to say that newly elected officials must respond to public sentiment in Egypt.