Rudd – International Community Should Engage with Muslim Brotherhood

Rudd – International Community Should Engage with Muslim Brotherhood



Kevin Rudd believes the international community must engage with the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt prepares for democratic elections.

He added that the current form of the organization is still evolving and therefore largely unknown. Rudd sees that it is vital that the Brotherhood does not see itself as shunned by the West, and that the Brotherhood as well as any other political force in Egypt should be engaged with and fully understood.

At the same time, Rudd believes the West should proceed cautiously – as some parts of the Brotherhood’s history are seen as disturbing.

The Brotherhood has changed and developed over the years and should be evaluated in its modern-day context. The Brotherhood has shown it is genuinely capable of pluralism as it has worked hand in hand with Egyptians from all walks of life and religions in their joint determination to achieve democracy.

Western leaders, says Rudd, should engage the full spectrum of opinion in Egypt, both from the secularist and the religious traditions.

Rudd sees that there are similarities between Indonesian and Egyptian politics and that Australia engages with Indonesian secularist and religious parties across the full spectrum, and should do the same for Egypt.

Rudd believes ex-president Mubarak used the Muslim Brotherhood as a bogy to scare the West which still depends on the Brotherhood’s militancy in the past and fails to see its peaceful, democratic role in relation to other militant organisations across the Middle East.

What remains to be seen is how the Brotherhood will behave as a legal political platform functioning in a Muslim democratic system.

Australia fears a break-down in the Middle East peace process and the large-scale people movements throughout the Middle East that mean regional unrest and disturbance in the international economy. Such disorder, Rudd fears, would open the way for terrorist organizations and Iran to make foot prints in the region, therefore dialog with the Brotherhood is essential.