Egypt's 'Brotherhood' to Electorate: 'No Israel'

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Members of the Islamic party have yet to be seated in Egypt's new parliament and already it is giving the world a hint at how it may govern.

Like Israel's enemy in Gaza -- Hamas -- the Brotherhood says it will never recognize Israel's right to exist.

Rashad Bayoumi, the deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, reportedly said last Sunday that his organization will not recognize Israel "under any circumstances."

He called Israel an "occupying criminal entity."

Bayoumi also said the Brotherhood will take legal steps to cancel the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

However, the U.S. State Department said the Islamist group has told it privately that it won't break Egypt's treaty with Israel.

Bayoumi's statement came just two days before Egyptians began the third round of voting to elect members of the Lower House of Parliament.

The Brotherhood won about 36 percent of the vote in the first two rounds of voting. The extreme Islamist al-Nour party received about 29 percent.

Elections for the Upper House of Parliament will begin Jan. 29 and will run through mid-February. Those elected are expected to be seated by Feb. 28. 

One Egyptian told CBN News he won't be voting for secularists.

"Why don't we try Islamists? We have tried seculars, liberals, and communists before and they ruined the country. We should try Islamists this time and if it does not work well, it is not a problem. We can change them," he reasoned.

However, Middle East analyst Walid Phares said once the Muslim Brotherhood establishes control of a new government, Egyptians may find it difficult to change course.

"Their plan is basically to move into government, into those ministries, into bureaucracies and eventually into the armed forces and seize power as much as they can," he said.

"The Muslim Brotherhood's aim, final goal is to establish an Islamic state like Iran, or like Sudan, or ultimately like the Taliban," Phares added.

Up next -- the struggle over who will draft the new constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood wants the new parliament to appoint the people assigned to write the document.

But the ruling military council says it will decide. It wants the new constitution to be written by non-Islamists and also Christians.

This story originally aired on Friday, January 6, 2012.

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Sr. Correspondent

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