The Muslim Brotherhood are spreading lies through systematic campaigns that aim to turn global public opinion and human rights organisations against Egypt, Dar Al-Ifta – the state Islamic authority charged with issuing religious edicts – said in a Friday statement.
Dar Al-Ifta’s statement is in response to an op-ed written by Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad and published by The New York Times 22 February under the title, “I am a member in the Muslim Brotherhood, not a terrorist.”
El-Haddad, who is currently imprisoned on terror-related charges in Egypt since 2013, wrote in his piece that he wrote it because there is an inquiry in the United States that could result in the Brotherhood being designated a terrorist organisation.
“We are not terrorists. The Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is inspired by an understanding of Islam that emphasises the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law,” El-Haddad wrote.
El-Haddad’s piece added that the Muslim Brotherhood had flaws in ruling the country in 2013, under Mohamed Morsi, and that the “flaws are many, but violence is not one.”
“In hindsight, I regret that political manoeuvring created distance between us and the people we have long lived to serve,” El-Haddad wrote, concluding his op-ed.
Dar Al-Ifta’s statement, meanwhile, said the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to hide its terrorist nature by disowning and blaming those who resorted to violence among its ranks.
In December 2013, the Egyptian government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation as the government blamed the group for a number of deadly attacks on security forces in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist president Morsi in July of that year.
In the last three years, many Brotherhood members have received various prison sentences on charges that range from breaking the protest law to incitement against the government and carrying out terrorist attacks.