Brotherhood takes steps to expel dissidents, assert members

The memberships of around 4000 Muslim Brotherhood youths who joined Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh’s presidential election campaign, have been frozen, according to several Brotherhood youths. Meanwhile, Brotherhood members of the 25 January Revolutionary Youth Coalition who joined the recently announced “Egyptian Current Party” have asserted that the Brotherhood has begun taking steps to expel them from the group. The party was created by young Brothers in defiance of the Muslim Brotherhood's senior leadership.

“Our membership in the group has been frozen, and I’ve started not attending weekly meetings. All the Brotherhood youth who joined the campaign, about 4000 in all, have also had their memberships frozen. Of those, several have been expelled from the group,” said Bassam Qutb, a Brotherhood youth official responsible for managing Abouel Fotouh’s campaign in Beheira Governorate’s Kaffar village.

“A number of Brothers, like Ahmed Salam, were founding members of the Freedom and Justice Party, but Ahmed, who is now an official for Abouel Fotouh’s campaign, left the party in order to join the campaign,” said Qutb.

He said that a large number of Brothers stand behind the campaign to elect Mohamed Salim al-Awa, in response to the Abouel Fotouh campaign. A number of them also initiated Facebook pages supporting Awa, and the group did not investigate them or freeze their memberships, he contended.

“I know of our expulsion, even though there was never any investigation. However, we haven’t been informed of the decision as of yet. We are devoted to the group and our work in it, and we have an Islamic and brotherly idea like Sheikh Yosef al-Qaradawi," said Maaz Abdel Karim, another Brotherhood member in the 25 January Revolutionary Coalition.

"The Brotherhood doesn’t represent all Muslims.”

Islam Lotfi, a young Brotherhood member and co-founder of the Egyptian Current Party, said, “Many Brothers support the party’s platform, and the party includes youth from different [Islamic] orientations and currents.”

He told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the group “has no right to interfere in the matter” of whether Brothers join the Egyptian Current Party. If the group wants to expel members, that is its prerogative, he said, adding that his colleagues’ current focus is on forming the new party.

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