The Muslim Brotherhood and the riots

I was away for a few days and came home to the breaking news about Egypt and Libya.  This morning there are reports of demonstrations in Sydney, Australia – not exactly the Middle East.  Then you have the Romney statement issued before all the facts and timeline were known.  I’ve listened to the various news reports and have gleaned that most of these are relatively small.  Richard Engle of NBC showed a wide-shot of the demonstrations in Cairo and only a small corner of Tahrir Square was occupied by the demonstrators.  This was not like what happened in the Arab Spring. 

I wish Mitt Romney would read this letter to the New York Times that appeared yesterday.  Then maybe he wouldn’t have advisors like Richard Williamson say that if Romney were President there wouldn’t be an demonstrations in one breath and then that a President Romney would have stepped up security at embassies on September 11.  So which is it?  No demonstrations or preparation for attacks?  Anyway, here is the letter. 

Today’s world is a global village; nations are closer than ever before. In such a world, respect for values and figures — religious or otherwise — that nations hold dear is a necessary requirement to build sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships.

Despite our resentment of the continued appearance of productions like the anti-Muslim film that led to the current violence, we do not hold the American government or its citizens responsible for acts of the few that abuse the laws protecting freedom of expression.

In a new democratic Egypt, Egyptians earned the right to voice their anger over such issues, and they expect their government to uphold and protect their right to do so. However, they should do so peacefully and within the bounds of the law.

The breach of the United States Embassy premises by Egyptian protesters is illegal under international law. The failure of the protecting police force has to be investigated.

We are relieved that no embassy staff in Cairo were harmed. Egypt is going through a state of revolutionary fluidity, and public anger needs to be dealt with responsibly and with caution. Our condolences to the American people for the loss of their ambassador and three members of the embassy staff in Libya.

We hope that the relationships that both Americans and Egyptians worked to build in the past couple of months can sustain the turbulence of this week’s events. Our nations have much to learn from each other as we embark on building the new Egypt.

KHAIRAT EL-SHATER
Deputy President, Muslim Brotherhood
Cairo, Sept. 13, 2012

And then there is the other side in Libya.

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