Radical Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.
The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned on Sunday that the direction of Egyptian politics was anti-Israeli. He told diplomats last week that Egyptian officials – including Nabil al-Arabi, the foreign minister – were pandering to political militants by branding Israel as the « enemy ».
Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, last week predicted the group’s candidates would win 75 per cent of the seats it contested.