|March 22, 2013
Protests against the Muslim Brotherhood continue to rock Egypt without a word being said from the White House. Now, the Brotherhood and allied Islamists are taking a cue from their Shiite counterparts in Tehran and have announced they are setting up a civilian force with the power to arrest those they deem to be criminals.
The Muslim Brotherhood first hinted at setting up a militia on December 16 when Vice Chairman Essam Erian of its Freedom and Justice Party said it needed defenses in the wake of clashes. “They would have defended themselves in front of the presidential palace and killed the other [anti-Brotherhood] protesters,” he said. At around the same time, Jama’a al-Islamiya threatened to set up a pro-Brotherhood militia to “protect private and public property and counter the aggression on innocent citizens.”
The Brotherhood and Jam’a al-Islamiya have announced their intention to set up a joint civilian police force with other Islamists.
The Brotherhood and its supporters point to Salafi groups like Jama’a al-Islamiya as proof that they are comparatively “moderate.” This Islamist relativism is a defining feature of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. Yet, here we have the Islamists coming together for their common Sharia cause in recognition that their differences are nothing compared to those they have with the secularists.
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