February 9th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Muslim Brotherhood's role in Egypt's future?


Egyptian anti-government demonstrators and members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement pray in front of Egyptian soldiers at Cairo's Tahrir square. (PHOTO CREDIT: PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the drama in Egypt unfolds - there are growing questions about what role the Muslim Brotherhood should play.

You see, the group has a split image. Some see it as a hostile Islamic group that includes dangerous fundamentalists. Others say it's merely another opposition group in Egypt - that should play a role in whatever comes next.

The Brotherhood has been banned in Egypt for decades, but still has a following. It is the largest and most organized opposition movement. In a 2005 parliamentary election, its candidates - running as Independents - won 20% of the seats.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been part of recent meetings about political reform in Egypt.

Its leaders insist they are not seeking power... saying they want to participate, but not dominate. The group also says it rejects a religious state.

But not everyone believes them - and for good reason. Critics point to proclamations of violence and connect the Brotherhood to terrorist groups like Hamas.

They say the Brotherhood doesn't believe in equality between Muslims and Christians... or between men and women.

The Jerusalem Post reports on a 1995 book called "Jihad is the Way" - written by a former head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The book details the group's goal of a global Islamic conquest. It suggests jihad is not only meant to fend off enemies, but to establish an Islamic state, strengthen the religion and spread it around the world.

It's easy to understand why some aren't so trusting of them.

Here’s my question to you: What role should the Muslim Brotherhood play in Egypt's future?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Richard in Kansas writes:
I suspect the Muslim Brotherhood will play much the same role in their political system that the Christian right plays in ours. All countries have their share of religious extremists who would like to impose their beliefs on everyone else. We can only pray (yes, pray) that there are enough sensible, well- balanced people engaged in the process to keep the zealots at bay.

Joe in Houston writes:
People in other countries reading U.S. journalists' account of the Tea Party Movement could draw the same conclusions you've detailed here. Some say it's a bunch of gun-toting rednecks bent on destroying the country while others say its aim is to save the very same republic. It's none of their business how we conduct our politics and it's none of ours how Egypt conducts its politics.

Joe in Maryland writes:
None. My hope for Egypt is that moderate intellectuals will grab the reins of the country and direct Egypt into a solid, successful and peaceful existence.

Harold in Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Probably about the same as our own fundamentalist groups - a gadfly to progress from out-of-the-past.

Carolyn writes:
The Brotherhood should play their role as advertised: an Islamic voice for reason and moderation in the Middle East. Can you think of a better way to sock it to the West than to actually honor their campaign promises?

Ken in Pinon Hills, California writes:
I don't know, but I can see how religious groups play a role in our country. It seems we are always jumping politically through hoops over gay marriage and abortion. It clouds or downright blinds us emotionally in choosing our leaders. One wonders how that will play out in our future.

Bob in Quebec writes:
They should play any role the Egyptian people think they should play. It's none of our business.

Filed under: Egypt
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Johnnie Cromedy

    Dont worry were next for the same confusion as Eygpt.Jobs,Jobs,Jobs

    February 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  2. John ..........Marlton, nj

    That whole democracy thing in middle east sounded good on paper , didn't it ? ... well here it comes ...

    February 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  3. Scott Stodden

    Well Judging By How Violent The Reports And People Say They Are I Would Say They Shouldn't Play A Role In Goverment Whatsoever! Here's A Great Idea-Hold An Election And Let The People Of Egypt Vote For Who They Want As Their Next President And Maybe Then We'll Start To See A More Democratic Egypt!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  4. Carolyn

    The Brotherhood should play their role as advertised: an Islamic voice for reason and moderation in the Middle East. Can you think of a better way to sock it to the West than to actually honor their campaign promises?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    It dont make a difference what role they play as long as the government keeps the people uneducated the people will never advance and evolve into productive human beings and will kill and steal to provide for there family's and this goes with the whole middle east and America will be dragged right into the middle of the mess .

    February 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  6. Steven

    Do Orthodox Jewish groups in Israel have any influence in Israeli politics ? Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign minister of the Jewish state, wants to give loyalty tests to the Arab citizens of Israel. Few of the founders of Israel were considered Terrorists by the British before 1948.
    And the Muslim Brotherhood should have a role in Egypt's future ? Nah..

    February 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Let them take over Egypt, who really gives damn, I put them in the same class as Iran, Iraq, Saudi and the rest of the middle east

    February 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  8. lou

    They should play whatever role the people of Egypt decide they play through their votes in a fair election. That's what a democracy is. The U.S. can worry all they want about, are they or aren't they agents of evil, but we don't get a vote.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  9. Patricia / Chilliwack, British Columbia

    Like elephants and 600-pound gorillas in rooms, they'll play whatever role they want to.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  10. William

    The Muslims should realize that us Americans are reading their Koran and catching on, just as I hope the Egyptians do as well. They are trying to dominate the world, from the Philippines to Egypt.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  11. Renee Peoria,Ill

    According to my aunt who vacationed in Egypt last year, they've got the secular thing down. From what I've seen on the news most of the anti-Mubarak protesters are interested in a secular transition not a religious one. For their own sake, even the Brotherhood should consider taking a back seat. Look at all the lost tourism income just since the protests began. Egypt is economically very dependent on tourism. If the next govt. is controlled by an Islamic hostile sect, they can kiss their entire tourism industry goodbye, and all the money that goes with it.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  12. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    Why not? They live in Egypt and it would make their government more represenative of it's people. A far cry from Americans and especially conservative GOP's and the tea party, who think they know what's best for everybody while they destroy democracy in America. Just think, they want to repeal the 14th amendment on citizenship but tell the Egyptians who not to deal with.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  13. rex in portland

    Given a free and independent honest vote the Moslems in Egypt, as have the Moslems everywhere, will select a theocracy over a democracy. The Brotherhood in Egypt is not QUITE as radical as the taliban, but the democratic process, which allows for the powerful to dominate for a myriad of reasons, will give the Broltherhood a lot of power. It will happen. It is what the majority of people in Egypt will be sold.

    I don't believe that our brand of hegemony, which is quite attuned to the avariciousness of Mubarak, will be attractive to the new leadership in Egypt, and we will have ourselve a new enemy in the Near East. An elected one. In all likelihood an honest one which disagrees with our foreign policies completely.

    Oh, well, Hillary hasn't been busy enough lately anyhow.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  14. Janet, American in Canada

    The people of Egypt should be given a chance, have they say. Islam, Christianity, Jewish, Hindu, and all else; has their pro and con scenarios.
    Do not underestimate the people of Egypt.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  15. calaurore9

    Democracy is great. Unless it isn't. Hamas ring a bell? Walking a regional tightrope with no net. Yikes! Hang on.

    Carol Colitti Levine Northampton, MA

    February 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  16. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    In a democracy, it should play an equal part.

    Hey, everyone has their own Tea Party.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  17. George Samuels

    Our experts and specialists are amateurs and generalists. Were they in charge of our forests, our country would have no trees. Our government seems to lack experts in commmon sense in reality. Bring back Benjamin Franklin.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  18. Mitchell Iowa

    the Muslim brotherhood should play whatever role the people of Egypt want it to play. the Muslim faith is the largest in there society, and we should not decide what role the popular religion plays in someone else country. Although if we're speculating, the role it will probably end up playing will most likely be no different from the role the extremely conservative christian party's do in America (the tea party) it'll have a little support but the sane masses wont let it get any real power out of select regions. especially after this young "revolution 2.0"

    February 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  19. Ralph Nelson

    Don't know enough about the group to have an opinion.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  20. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Hopefully, no role at all.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  21. Tim in Plantation

    As much as I would like Egypt to simply ignor the Brotherhood, in reality they can not marginalize a group that has a large amount of support. The Brotherhood will have some influence on the process, they may not openly push for an Islamic state now, but they will try to get a foothold to pave the way for their long term plans.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  22. Cee..... La.

    Once again jack it depends who you listen too, Some who have been there and have some forst hand knowledge of Egypt, say the the Brotherhood is made up of different factions, left... right and in the middle..... and are 15 to 20% of population........ while Sarah Palin and her ilk say they are absolutely boogie bears, and we should do everything to see that they dont obtain power.......is she suggesting we get pyhsical?

    February 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  23. Kevin (Navy Veteran) in Illinois

    We have been conditioned to mistrust anything Muslim. I think there is a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The majority of Egypt's society is Mulism. As much as we are taught it, the U.S. does not determine the course of people's lives in other nations. If we were really exception, we could work with anyone.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  24. Angela Savage Austin Owings Mills, Maryland

    Ask the Eygptian people Jack?

    February 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  25. chris brown fl.

    I say none. It is probably going to have some impact but I believe until they start cleaning their own ranks then they should be kept out. They preach that they aren't violent but every where they are has problems. They also don't seem to be big on apologies when something catastrophic happens. I say keep them bay.I have also been sent emails that show their desire to take over and dominate. They seem to believe they should be the only religion. I was born in Iowa and i like pork.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  26. Jason

    The Muslim Brotherhood should play whatever part the Egyptian people elect them to do. We are all about democracy right? The people's will should prevail. They don't need another US supported puppet.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  27. janice

    None of our business! Only the Egyptians have the right to decide.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  28. Stace

    The desire to spread the Muslim relegion worldwide is no different than the desire of Catholics, Baptists, etc. to spread their religion worldwide. Whether the Muslim Brotherbood is part of the new Egyptian government is up to the Egyptian people. We may want a lot of things for the Egyptian people but the choice is ultimately up to them. I don't see American's standing in front of tanks and holding signs in Tahir Square.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  29. David

    Why do we even keep asking questions like this? It's not for us to decide. The role that the Muslim Brotherhood should and will play in this situation will be, rightfully, decided by the Egyptian people.

    Marietta, GA

    February 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  30. Gman

    The Brotherhood worries me. It's all to convenient....If the Brotherhood
    becomes a factor, it will be to late once we find out who they really are....

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  31. Karl in Mich

    If Egypt is going to be a democracy, then they should participate at whatever level the population lets them. Muslim is the religion of the entire region. Those countries were not founded on “Christian Principals” like the US and we have no right to convert or pervert them. The Brotherhood actually sounds like our Republicans. They have that strong Muslim morality and our Republicans have that strong Christian morality. Hopefully, their Muslim morality isn’t a morality of convenience like the Republicans’.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  32. Edward

    It should be able to play however big of a role Egyptian citizens want it to to. Christian groups play major roles in America (CPAC for example), so what's the big deal if a Muslim group plays a major role in Egypt? The only reason there's controversy is because the world "Muslim" is in the title.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  33. rh

    Jack they should stay out off the way simple

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  34. Hal Schwartz

    It is not for us to determine the role of any faction in Egypt's future.
    As that great philosopher of democracy,Donald Rumsfeld, once said-Democracy is messy. The Egyptian people have to struggle with the forces in their midst to determine who it is they will trust to lead them.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  35. Ken from Boston

    The Muslim Brotherhood should play whatever role the Egyptian people want them to play. Isn't that point of democracy and free choice?

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  36. Magdy Ghobrial

    Jack; It is called Fear Mongering Propaganda, in the same class as those bogus and illusive WMD

    February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  37. Don R

    Jack – Many Republicans in the U.S. don't respect the rights of women or gays and would prefer a religious state. Should they be excluded from our democratic government? Unless it's clear that the Muslim Brotherhood espouses terrorism or desires an Islamic state, they should be allowed to participate in the new government

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  38. Todd

    The Muslim Brotherhood represents about 20% of Egyptian people. Don't those 20% deserve to be represented in a democracy? America claims to support democracy so let's prove it. If we're against a group being allowed to represent its constituents simply because of their religon, what does that say about us?

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  39. Tom

    If the Muslim Brotherhood should be banned in Egypt due to the threat against peace then would it be fair to expect Republicans to be banned from in the US since they're a threat to peace too? "Red [state] scare" takes on a whole new meaning. Just sayin'.

    Northern California

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  40. shane

    The role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's future is none of our business. We are disliked internationally because of our constant efforts to interfere in other countries internal politics. we need to learn to mind our own business!

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  41. Billie P.

    As a Catholic, I would certainly not request that Opus Dei be involved in any democratic regime. Why would Muslim Brotherhood be any different? Stupid question!

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  42. Steve

    It would depend on who their leader was...Say, if they could get, for example a "Glen Beck" type or something like that it wouldn't work out...Maybe you should deal with your own fringers/extremists before you get all wound up about ones on the other side of the world

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  43. Mike Dunbar

    You want a democracy, then yes they should be able to vote, do the Tea Party members have the right to vote in a democracy????????? Enough said

    February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  44. NancyV

    Unfortunately, the protesters don't seem to understand that you need organization with leadership to build a democracy. So by default, the organized Muslim Brotherhood will have power whether we like it or not.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  45. Tom

    If the Muslim Brotherhood should be banned in Egypt due to the threat against peace then would it be fair to expect Republicans to be banned in the US since they're a threat to peace too? "Red [state] scare" takes on a whole new meaning. Just sayin'.

    Northern California

    February 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  46. Sam

    Jack, the US and the world have been convinced by the Mobarak regime that the Muslim brotherhood will turn Egypt into an islamic country. Guess what this is wrong, you need to dig in further. It is easy to blame the brotherhood to keep opressing the people of Egypt and maintain the status quo. Wake up America and stand for your values

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  47. Joe Koechler

    Whatever the people of Egypt want. Imagine if we asked the people in Arab countries what role should the Tea Party play in America's future.

    Ormond Beach, Florida

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  48. Dabsy Baba

    America has more problems to worry about, home grown terrorits,tea party, national debt,health care,education,jobs.Leave Egyptians with muslim brotherhood,it's none of our business.Afterall,Saudi have promised Egypt $5B,should US withdraw aids.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  49. Dan Leahy

    Whatever role the Egyptian people want it to play. Dig a little deeper, Jack, and you'll find that the Brotherhood and al Qaeda are actually bitter enemies. It's the right wing crazies in this country that want to make all Muslims, Arabs and damned near anyone in that neighborhood into a bogeyman that all Americans should fear. I'm not afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Are you?
    Dan Leahy
    Santa Barbara

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  50. Linda

    None. Sadly, it's
    unlikely The Muslim Brotherhood will pass up this opportunity to live up to its mission.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  51. Mike, North Port, FL

    The Muslim Brotherhood should play whatever role the Egyptian people want them to play! The Egyptian people though must realize that the Israeli and US governments will hold the Muslim Brotherhood accountable for its future actions, especially if it acts upon it violent rhetoric. If the people of Egypt give control to this radical and thuggish group of bigots that is their choice as long as they understand the consequences!

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  52. David Wilson

    Religious organzations, or those with a religuous agenda, playing a part in politics of a Nation? That is an offensive proposition. It raises the arrogance of one set of beliefs over those of another. It has a pervasivly negative effect on governing. Wait, I am sorry. I thought we were talking about the United States.

    Note to Christians – judge not. I was moved by the CNN coverage of the muslim Egyptian mother, whose ONLY concern was how to feed and care for her children, and to get a job, Turns out all the wealth in the country is in the hands of a few. The similarities between Egypt and the United States are mounting!

    February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  53. Craig

    Ironic isn't it that so many people want the Muslim Brotherhood to participate when they were responsible for Mubarek in the first place. It was, after all, an "offshoot" of the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Sadat. Hey Jack, as a representative of the news media, can you explain why no one, including yourself has mentioned that? Talk about short memories ...

    February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  54. Joan cares

    Mean what you say and say what you mean.
    The Muslim Brotherhood means what it says.
    America please wake up.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  55. Nelson

    If a definitive separation of religion and state is written into the Constitution along with checks and balances and term limits for the President and Parliament then I honestly see no problem with the Muslim Brotherhood taking part in the Egyptian gov't. If that is the case, then they will not be able to oppress Christians and women. If there are no constitutional boundaries then there IS a danger

    Falls Church, Virginia

    February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  56. Hanaah

    As an egyption who moved to canada 8 years ago. It will be a disaster if muslim brotherhood be in power. Democracy is against their beleives. Also christians and jews are their enemy. They will destroy the whole world. I hope US, Canada and the west know this before it's too late.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  57. Sharon

    This should be up to the people of Egypt to decide if Muslim Brotherhood is involved. The protestors want a democratic government, and as such they may decide to include this group.

    US should not tell Egypt how they decide to pursue their goals for a democratic process. We would not want Egypot to tell us how to run our government. If protestors fail in the goal for democracy, Us must continue to walk the tightrope, and approach issues as needed to remain on friendly terms in Middle East.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  58. Janet

    The Muslim Brotherhood should have the roll in government the people of Egypt give them, through a fair election process. We might not like the eventual makeup of their government, but that's how Democracy works.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  59. James

    You are asking why Muslims in a Muslim country should not have a part in in THEIR democracy? Would t be a democracy if they did not?

    That is an absurd question.

    Would you ask if Catholics or Episcopalians should have a part in OUR government?

    We need to let Egypt become the Egypt IT needs to be. This is NOT the time to interfere.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  60. Adil


    Was that a loaded question or what ? The MB has never had a chance to participate in democracy and with such a magnifying glass on them due to the uprising (funny how NO western media cared about Egypt politics or people until 2 weeks ago...) Its not likely they will transform their 20 percent popularity to a majority govt.... Give muslims a bit more credit bigot.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  61. Ed

    I believe we have enough troubles in this country, so its none of our bussiness, clean up this country first

    February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  62. Mark

    What role? Whatever role the Egyptian people want them to play. It's also important to note that Our friends Israel tried to use Terrorism and frame the Muslim Brotherhood, remember Operation Susannah? Bomb American and British interests and blame it on the Muslim Brotherhood.

    It was a failed False Flag operation at the time, but it seemed to of worked, look how scared everyone is of the Muslim Brotherhood, ah forget it, just let Israel pick the next Egyptian Pharaoh.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  63. George

    Your question is just as relevant and important as the need for a two sate solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The role of the MBH and other groups demanding change in their respective countries in the middle east have many agendas and motives. These motives by and large hinge upon piece in the wast bank.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  64. Daniel

    Daniel from London-Ontario

    Any group of society or the world who tries to shove an idea to other people's throat such as religion like Islam, or political ideology like Democracy oversights the right of people to make their own choice and destiny. The USA may want to use this opportunity to advance their own agenda on the people of Egypt but leave the choice of their leaders to the Egyptian people. They can elect the devil to rule over them if they want to. The sooner we realize this the better we will have better allies over the world. Lets not make other people's future but our own.

    You guys may wish to learn some important lesson from countries like Canada.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  65. Lois

    NO. The Muslim Brotherhood is a seditionist group and should be treated as such. Their long-term goals are take-over of the secular state of Egypt, the birthplace of the Brotherhood, followed by the world. As you pointed out, their own leader articulated this in a book in 1996.

    St. Helena, CA

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  66. Joshua

    The reality is, that if democracy is to take hold in the middle east, all elements of Egypt must be present. Even here in the USA we have extremest anti-government groups, like the Tea Party, who still have a say in American Politics.

    Joshua, MN

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  67. Linda

    None. Sadly, it's unlikely the Muslim Brotherhood will pass up this opportunity to live up to its mission.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  68. chuck barnard

    Like this was any of our business! In a democracy, ANYBODY who can raise a voice should be allowed to do so. Our "preferences" are fine but we would consider any Egyptian suggestion that the Tea Party should not be allowed in American politics as a joke. Ditto the other way around.

    Stockton, CA

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  69. Shurman - Toronto

    That is the decision that Egyption people should make. "We the People" of freedom and democracy must realize that a civilized future for all people rests in our determination of how open minded we want to become.
    United States of America is at the cross-road of history. It can choose the path or leadership or watch its destiny drift away in isolation and darkness. For some reason I strongly believe it will choose leadership!

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  70. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Few people in Egypt or the rest of the world believe anything the Muslim Brotherhood or President Marbarack promise. In truth, it is all about power and even more power. Neither they nor he give two hoots about the people of Egypt, and everyone there knows they might be about to trade one evil for another. We are so blessed that we in America have leaders that actually care about the prosperity of the citizens....oops....I guess we can all dream.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  71. David from Louisville

    As long as we want others to be free to make their own decisions, we can’t expect them to get it right the first time out the gate when they try. (And we also can’t expect Israel not to make them into a “Glass Factory” if the Muslim Brotherhood takes them down the wrong path.)

    February 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  72. Dan

    The Brotherhood should have whatever role the people of Egypt wants. That is how democracy works. America doesn't believe in democracy with conditions, it believes in a free democracy. So whatever role the people decide is the role America should back.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  73. Jerry Sawick San Andreas, Ca

    Let me see Jack, we took out the leaders of Vietnam, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, Phillipines, etc and installed tyrants who claimed to be enemies of our enemies, who in fact terrorized their people and we wonder why they revolt. We wring our hands at the thought that we have lost control while failing to create a positive image. Let the Egyptians determine their own future even if it includes the Muslim Brotherhood, isn't that Democracy? We are hypocites.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  74. Robert Willliams

    In a free society it is supposed that all political parties are welcome giving the public the opportnity to choose from a wide variety of choices. The United Stataes does believe in choices doesn't it...Ur,
    Except for those on the West Bank.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  75. Harlan Cohen

    What role should the Muslim Brotherhood play in Egypt's government? Why the same role that the religious right plays in the role of American Government of course. Although both are totally radical in their beliefs, and they would love to infuse those radical religious beliefs into the government, we believe in our democracy that all citizens have a place. Hopefully though, Egypt will make an exception in their new democracy and actually follow the dogma of separation of church and state.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  76. steve groulx

    Jack, I think The Brotherhood should play whatever role Egyptians wish it to. What they don't need is us (the west) dictating what sort of Democracy should emerge from their brave demonstrations.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  77. MG from Michigan

    Read what Sayyed Qutb, the modern intellectual brain behind the MB movement, wrote or what has been written about him. John Calvert Book entitled "Sayyed Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islam" says it all. Be very weary of that group and their current peace loving epithets.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  78. charles gallo

    What ever role the people of Egypt decide it should play. It is not for us to decide.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  79. Michael in Florida

    The Muslim Brotherhood should play a 20% role or less Mr. Cafferty. As the Power of Nightmares teaches us, acting on our greatest fears sometimes results in our own demise. A modicum of common sense and reason in these types of revolutions will go a long way in preserving our own republic.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  80. John from New Jersey

    Jack: A fitting role for the Muslim Brotherhood would be serving life
    sentences in a super max prison. President Mubarak is getting
    a terrible rap from people in the U.S. who are clueless about
    Egypt and the wise role he has played in keeping the fanatics
    in check and peace in the Middle East.
    The brutal combination of arrogance and ignorance from the
    administration is dismaying. Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich
    aren't two of my favorites, but they are totally on point.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  81. Mark Ruthenberg

    What right does America have to impose any sense of democracy and religious tolerance & freedom on another country? We have 200 5 years of democratic traditions, and a constitution separating church & state, and WE can't keep fundamentlist Christians out of American politics. People get the government they deserve. I'll leave it to the Egyptians to figure out their own system government. And maybe they'll get it right.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  82. Michael Weinstein

    The question itself is arrogant – as if we had earned a say. I mean, so far the U.S. has supported Mubarak's continued leadership - at a climbing cost of deaths among of the patriotic young who are sure to be the future of Egypt.

    The Hungarians have an epithet "It is insufficient to be wrong, you must also be insulting." And in this case add poor strategies and toxic relationships.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  83. James Braun

    The Muslim Brotherhood should be allowed to attend if only to provide a more diverse perspective. The opinions of one former head do not represent the opinions of an entire organization. As the people of Egypt desire a democratic government it is only fair that a democratic process determine the establishment of that government. There is definitely a large minority of the population whose views coincide their ideals as shown by the 20% of seats won in 2005. Finally the alienation from the Egyptian government of the Brotherhood will merely cause Islamic sections of Egypt to become more jaded and will cause certain people to tend towards radicalism as a solution, as they can no longer see a route through the more traditional accepted paths.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  84. Jeff Hannon

    I was
    born in Sacramento 59 years ago and i have had about all i can take.The simple fact is dog eat dog,,.It has alwawys been that way and will never change, You guys sit up there and and expect a chance for somthing to change. For get about it.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  85. Laith F. Gulli

    Hi Jack:

    The role is up to the Egyptian people. Lets hope President Mubarak does not purposely promote and place a radical autocratic sect of the Brotherhood in the next Government.

    Laith F. Gulli, Columbus, Indiana

    February 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  86. Vivian Fishbone

    Don't trust the Muslim Brotherhood. Their objective is a country – even region – similar to Iran. The key is a new constitution that assures the separation of church and state, and a permanent bill of human rights for both men and women. Also an independent judiciary.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  87. Robert Willliams, Arkansas

    In a free society it is supposed that all parties are welcome to participate. This gives the public the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of choices. The United States does believe in free democratic elections doesn't it. .... Except for those on the West Bank !

    February 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  88. Dolly

    When you have any type of organized structure, may it be politicians to religion, you will find extremist. As far as this statement “ The book details the group's goal of a global Islamic conquest. It suggests jihad is not only meant to fend off enemies, but to establish an Islamic state, strengthen the religion and spread it around the world.” Is that not also the same mission statement as the Jewish and Christians around the world? To spread the word of God and to help others. I mean we have extremist that are Catholics here in the USA that bomb abortion clinics. And why was the Brotherhood in Egypt banned in the first place? Maybe because they were mostly people that are religious and seen the injustice in Egypt, and the Egyptian government saw them as a threat?

    February 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  89. Ethan Buckman

    The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypts politics will be nothing different that Mumbarack. The only difference will be that they are anti U.S.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  90. Carmelo, Brooklyn, NY

    Jack, what we say and what we want means squat to the Egyptians people who want an end from the Mubarack tyranny. I believe
    the Muslim Brotherhood will be a minor player in Egypt politics and will have some influance in Egypt foreign policy which will be have an effect regarding the current relation with Israel.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  91. Concerned Copt

    Jack, unfortunately the muslim majority as it is has a very large stronghold in Egypt. The Copts, which may be a minority, but that is because they have been persecuted for centuries and when the Arabs took over forced them to convert by taxing non-muslims (gizya), are the indigenous people of Egypt. If an Islamic regime comes into play, they are in trouble. Being Christian would be against the law. Practicing our religion would be punishable under Shareya law which is a fear that if the Muslim Brotherhood, who feel that Islam is the only true religion, should take any power. We are not afraid that they are the majority, because they are not. We are afraid that they are the strong opposition party and as we see in many Middle East countries, it is the strong who take control. The fear then extends to the fact that the Muslim leaders, whether part of the Brotherhood or not, have been feeding anti-Christian and anti-American ideals to their followers for years. A majority of people may want democracy and a secular government now. They may get a democracy, if we all are lucky. However, to the Coptic dismay, it may still be based in Islam and with a Muslim majority, it may be inevitable that the Coptic indigenous people of Egypt may become the sacrificial lambs.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  92. lynnej in north carolina

    Whether we like it or not, they will have to be dealt with like a political party.

    It is Egypt. Not the US. We can't dictate the political whims of others.

    We've already made a big mistake of not dealing with Hamas after it was democratically elected in Gaza.

    Just let the Egyptian people choose what they want and we just respect it. We're in no positioin to stop it anyway.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  93. Cathy G

    It would depend on how much influence they actually had in the government. The reason we've had a democracy in this country for over 2 centuries is because our founders created a separation between church and state so no one religion was able to rule everyone. Although many folks would like the US to be ruled by Christian theology, our laws and traditions don't allow one religion to overtake all else. It's a tightrope, but so far we've stayed on it. If we were creating a new government, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a group called The Christian Brotherhood having too much power so, in the same vein, I would limit the influence of The Muslim Brotherhood (or any other faith based organization).

    February 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm |