Egypt: From Pharaoh to Pharaoh + Eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood
Egypt’s latest pharaoh is Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He orchestrated a coup toppling the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013. The U.S. refused to call it a coup, rather it lauded the action as “restoring democracy.” About a year later Sisi became president in a farcical election where he got 97% of the vote. Ever since Anwar Sadat, another military dictator, signed the Camp David agreement with Israel in 1979, Egypt has been a key part of U.S. policy in the Middle East. For playing ball, the generals in Cairo have been amply rewarded with billions. In August 2014, Human Rights Watch officials were denied entry into Egypt after issuing a report documenting a series of mass killings carried out under Sisi. Politics makes strange bedfellows for Washington but this one really stinks up the boudoir. Interviewed by David Barsamian.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in March 1928 as an Islamist religious, political, and social movement. The group spread to other Muslim countries but its largest organization was in Egypt, where for many years it was the best-organized and most disciplined opposition force. As a social welfare group it offered many services to the poor. Following the overthrow of Mubarak in February 2011 the group was formally legalized and launched the Freedom and Justice Party. The Brotherhood’s candidate for president, Mohamed Morsi was elected in 2012. A year later we was overthrown in a military coup. He and many of his associates and supporters are in prison. Others have been tortured and killed. The new regime of Gen. Sisi has conducted a massive campaign of repression of the Brotherhood, declaring it illegal and a terrorist organization.
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