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Brotherhood hits back at Kerry over 'stolen' revolution comment

Senior Brotherhood figure responds scathingly to US foreign policy chief's statement that the Brotherhood 'stole' the Egyptian revolution

Ahram Online , Friday 22 Nov 2013
Egypt
Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he speaks at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, Monday, (Photo: AP).
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A senior Muslim Brotherhood figure has described recent comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry criticising the group as "strange and bizarre."

On Thursday ago, Kerry said the Egyptian 2011 revolution was "stolen" by the Brotherhood, who were the "single-most organised entity in the state."

In a press statement released on Friday, Brotherhood Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussein said Kerry's comments "bend reality and intentionally disregard facts."

He urged Kerry to ask one of his assistants to read him Egyptian newspapers from the time of the uprising, and ask them to translate television interviews he claimed showed liberals praising the role of the Brotherhood in the Tahrir Square sit-in.

"They [Egyptian liberals] agreed then that without the Brotherhood's courage and perseverance at the Battle of the Camel the revolution would have failed," the statement said, referring to the night of 1-2 February 2011 when supporters of ousted president Hosni Mubarak attacked protesters in Tahrir but failed to disperse them.

Hussein also urged Kerry to ask his assistants to "explain to him that the Brotherhood made it to the upper and lower houses of parliament and the presidency through free and fair elections," citing a Carter Center report which attested to the polls' transparency.

"The US administration's secretary of state should correct his wrongful position of supporting a military coup and overlooking the massacres and arbitrary practices the coup-government is carrying out in Egypt," he said.

Former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army on 3 July after mass protests demanding he leave office.

The Brotherhood has remained defiant and insists Morsi is the legitimate president, a claim Morsi himself made in a public appearance at his own trial on charges of inciting violence against peaceful protesters.

Despite the US halting some weapons deliveries and cash aid – part of its annual $1.3 billion military aid to Egypt – pending progress in Egypt's democratic transition, in a recent visit Kerry urged reform and pledged to cooperate with Egypt during its transition.

This week's comments by Kerry were the strongest criticism of the Brotherhood by the US so far and were expected to further anger the Brotherhood, who regularly describe the military's removal of Morsi as a US-backed coup, after the US recognised the new government.

"The US should live up to what it proclaims about its support of freedom and democracy…In our countries it is the largest supporter of dictatorships and repression of freedoms," Hussein said.

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