Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Vows Resistance

Sunday, 07 Jul 2013 01:51 PM

By Greg Richter

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With the Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman vowing to fight to the death, Egypt's ambassador to the United States Mohamed Tawfik says the group needs to acknowledge mistakes and "join the process" for a new government.

"There is room for everyone in Egypt, but there is no room for violence," Tawfik said. "There is no room for incitement to hatred and incitement to commit acts of violence."

ABC's "This Week" interviewed Tawfik and Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad on Sunday, with each pointing to sharply different views on how to proceed.

El-Haddad, a wanted man as the military rounds up members of his pro-Islamist group and shuts down its television stations, was interviewed on tape sitting on steps outside with the noise of a city in the background.

El-Haddad said his group has no plans to compromise. "We either return our president back to his rightful place, or they're just going to have to shoot us in the street," he said. "I will stand in front of that tank even if it rolls on our dead bodies."

The Egyptian military says the ouster of the country's first democratically elected president, Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi, was not a coup. Tawfik told ABC that the military is not running the country, but only enforcing the will of the people.

Though Tawfik supported Morsi's candidacy and was appointed by him to his current ambassadorship, he said that Morsi did not seek to be a leader for all Egyptians. "He only looked at his own clique. You cannot be a democratically elected president and act that way."

Twenty-two million people petitioned Morsi for early elections though he had been in office less than a year, but he refused to hear their concerns, Tawfik said.

The Egyptian constitution allows for peaceful protests, but the Muslim Brotherhood, along with Morsi, have been using religious fervor to whip up supporters into acts of violence, he said, and that is against Egyptian law.

A new president and parliament will be elected as soon as possible, Tawfik said, though he would not provide a timetable. This time, he said, "We will not repeat President Morsi's mistakes. We want an inclusive process."

There is room for everyone, he said, including, presumably, the Muslim Brotherhood. "We want a truly democratic, pluralistic society," he said.

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