Islamist groups say Bush is not welcome in Egypt

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
5 Min Read

CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and other Islamist groups in Egypt have branded US President George Bush a murderer, saying that he is not welcome, just days ahead of his first visit to the country.

Bush is due in Egypt tomorrow to wrap up a two-week tour of the region where he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to push the peace process forward, but the MB believe his past weighs heavily against him.

MB General Secretary Mahmoud Ezzat told Daily News Egypt, “Does anyone believe that [the peace drive] after all that has happened and the reality on the ground where the US has intervened? Unfortunately, with this [US] administration, one considers Bush a president who failed in all his duties. When he waged war he failed, and when he tried to save face later he failed.

“He has failed to restore the US image; he has wronged the US in addition to the wrongs he has committed against us. And he is garnering more hatred for his country. The US does not solely consist of Bush and the neo-cons, he has no respect for his own people and he thinks they are naïve, Ezzat added.

In a statement entitled “No welcome for the murderers, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef said, “We say to Bush Junior – whose hands are not just bloodstained but soaked in our blood – that neither you nor your American administration assistants are welcome in our land or under our skies.

The statement continued: “You support corrupt and tyrannical regimes in our Arab world and support them against the wishes of their people, adding that, “all these crimes develop a limitless hatred among Arabs and Muslims towards the American administration.

Akef held Bush personally responsible for the occupation of Iraq and its current chaotic condition as well as the destruction of Afghanistan.

Additionally, Akef accused Bush of inciting Ethiopia to invade Somalia, supporting Israel against the Arabs and playing the different political factions in Lebanon against each other to create disarray.

While in the King David hotel in Jerusalem last Thursday, Bush told reporters that occupation of Palestinian land must stop and a “contiguous state be created.

“There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people, he said.

“These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent, Bush added.

Earlier that day, he declared that the Palestinians deserved better than a “Swiss cheese state created around Israeli settlements.

However, Ezzat doubted Bush’s intentions and considered his latest peace drive an attempt to shore up ailing domestic support for the Republican Party.

“What he is offering a child wouldn’t believe, let alone politicians, Ezzat said. “He does this for internal reasons for the Republicans and it will end with failure and he will leave office as a failure.

Other Islamist groups also made their positions clear concerning Bush’s visit, they too indicating that he was not welcome, and a sit-in has been organized in front of the Islamist-controlled Lawyers’ Syndicate tomorrow to protest the visit.

Lawyer for Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya (The Islamist Group) Montasser Al-Zayyat told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “if Egyptian diplomacy has been compelled to allow this inauspicious visit, the entire population is against it.

Islamic Jihad lawyer Saad Hasaballah echoed these sentiments, saying “we do not welcome this visit and we consider Bush a war criminal and an enemy of Islam.

“We also think that his presence in Egypt is ill-boding, as his actions make him a target for terrorists.

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