Monday, January 26, 2004

Mohammed Mehdi Akef

Mohammed Mehdi Akef, the "new spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood" is calling for Arab countries to "oppose the United States."

The new spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called on Arabs and others in the Muslim world Thursday to oppose the United States, which he said was threatening Syria and Iran after having occupied Iraq.

Mohammed Mehdi Akef, 76, and a member of the authoritarian old guard, was appointed last week following the death of Maamoun al-Hodeibi, who died a week earlier at the age of 83.

Akef said the "American project in the region is clear: they have established permanent military bases, occupied Afghanistan and Iraq and control the most important oil reserves in the world.

"They are threatening to strike Syria and Iran now that Libya has surrendered," a reference to Tripoli's renunciation last month of its program of weapons of mass destruction after nine months of talks with the United States and Britain.

"Arab and Islamic regimes are looking on powerless at all this, as if they were not concerned," he said. "Hope lies with the people, but if they do not rise up at the opportune moment, catastrophe will result, and other capitals could fall after Baghdad."

Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said it is "shameful to remain silent" in the face of the drama faced by "our brothers in Palestine."

"Both as governments and as peoples we would stand at their side and provide them with all the material and moral support" they need. he added, saying the least that could be done would be to "boycott the products of the Zionist enemy and those who support it."

I wonder if Mohammed Mehdi Akef "opposes" the 2 billion in aid the US gives Egypt every year.


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