Egyptian Dissident Warns of Brotherhood's Rise

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WASHINGTON -- The recent arrest of 19 American aid workers has raised fears that the Egyptian revolution has gone horribly wrong.

The arrests follow sweeping victories by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the country's parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, talk of breaking Egypt's 31-year peace treaty with Israel grows by the day. The prospects for democracy look grim.

Bargaining with the Devil?

Egyptian native Majed El Shafie, president of the Canadian-based humanitarian organization One Free World International, told CBN News the Obama administration has miscalculated the Muslim Brotherhood's true intentions.

"The political vacuum is being used by the Muslim extremists. And that is what we are seeing today. And we warned about it a long time ago. But the Obama administration did not listen. They were excited, they were happy," El Shafie said.

"This administration keeps saying, 'We can deal with the Muslim Brotherhood. We can have a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood,'" he continued.

But according to El Shafie, the "Muslim Brotherhood is the terrorist mother ship for Hamas, for al Qaeda, and for many other Islamic terror groups in the Middle East."

El Shafie said Brotherhood leaders held a strategy meeting in Cairo just a few days before their recent legislative victories.

"They didn't discuss health care, education, economics, finance -- any of the important issues to the people," he told CBN News. "They discussed how they could get rid of Israel. And this is the sad reality."

The so-called Arab Spring, which has seen radical Islamists rise to power in Egypt and across the region has left Israel increasingly isolated as talk of impending war with Iran heats up.

"In any conflict between Israel and Iran...the Muslim Sunni and the Muslim Shia, even if there is a division among them, they will agree on one thing: destroy Israel," El Shafie said.

Christian Persecution Spikes

El Shafie, who travels widely throughout the Middle East, said Muslim persecution of Christians is increasing at an alarming rate.

"When you ask why they do this to the Christians, they say, 'They are the same religion as the West. They are the same religion as the Americans,'" he told CBN News.

El Shafie knows persecution firsthand. Raised as a Muslim in Egypt, he became a Christian at 18 years old and established a thriving ministry.

He was jailed, beaten, and sentenced to death by Egyptian authorities, but he refused to renounce Christ.

"The god of Islam, he sends our children to die for him," El Shafie said. "But the God of Christianity sent His Son to die for us. The message in Christianity of forgiveness, of sacrifice, made me wonder, 'Wow, there's the Lord we should worship.'"

El Shafie eventually escaped from Egypt and made his way to Canada as a political refugee. His organization, One Free World International, is dedicated to helping persecuted Christians around the world.

El Shafie said while there's talk of Christianity disappearing in the Middle East, he believes the message of Jesus will eventually grow and prosper there.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.