Muslim Brotherhood only a minor player in Egyptian protests

January 31st, 2011 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Cairo, Jan.31 (ANI): The Muslim Brotherhood said to be the oldest and best organized opposition group in Egypt, has said that it is only a minor player in the ongoing protests against the Hosni Mubarak regime in the country.

Mohammed Mahdi Akef, who retired last year as leader of the group at the age of 82, said Sunday: “This is on purpose. We want to be part of the fabric of society.”

According to the Washington Post, the Muslim Brotherhood has been slow to contribute.

It is seen as an organization dedicated to the creation of a more thoroughly Islamic Egyptian state. The 83-year-old group has, however, been weakened by a generational divide and overtaken by the protests that broke out with little warning here last week.

Individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been active in the demonstrations, but like other political groups here, it has refrained from waving its banners or promoting itself during the protests.

Inspired by the YMCA when it was founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has been under a ban since 1948, and its real size is difficult to gauge.

The group was brutally repressed by President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, it has at times been propped up as a foil - especially for Western audiences - with periodic crackdowns that have sent many of its members to prison. (ANI)

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