Muslim Brotherhood defectors announce new group

Egyptian activists who claim to have defected from the Muslim Brotherhood have set up a new group called “Egyptian Brotherhood”

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Egyptian activists who say they have broken away from the Muslim Brotherhood announced on Monday the formation of the Egyptian Brotherhood.

The new organization held a meeting on Sunday in Alexandria, and discussed electing a new general guide, Amr Amara, who says he has broken away from the Muslim Brotherhood, told Al Arabiya News.

The new group is expected to name Mohammad Abdel Wahab, a member of the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood, as its general guide before Jan. 8, when former President Mohammad Mursi’s trial will resume.

The group, made up of “defected Brotherhood youth,” said in a statement that it sought to separate the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood from the international organization.

Amara said the Egyptian Brotherhood has met with interim President Adly Mansour, and is speaking on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We want to return to working within state institutions and breaking ties with the old leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Amara said.

He added that the Egyptian Brotherhood is a coalition of splinter groups, mostly consisting of Islamist youth, which abandoned the Rabaa al-Adawya sit-in where Mursi supporters gathered to demand his return to power.

Amara said a new political party will be established to replace the existing Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The new Egypt National Democratic Party will abandon the idea of a shariah-based Islamic state, and will support civilian governance, he added.

However, a Cairo-based journalist and political commentator told Al Arabiya News that news of a breakaway from the Muslim Brotherhood is an “illusion” by the military-backed security services to undermine the Islamist movement.

“Who are these people? Can they provide background details about their activism within the Muslim Brotherhood?” Alaa al-Bahar asked.

“This is like the so-called terrorist group Ansar al-Maqdis, which they say is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood when it only exists in the minds of those who promote it,” he added.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Tareq al-Morsi told Al Arabiya News that the so-called defectors “are no more than a production of the morale affairs department of the army and security force to show that the Muslim Brotherhood is divided and has several wings.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is a “strong movement that is deeply rooted in Egyptian society, and has existed for more than 80 years, and has always remained unified and solid,” Morsi added.

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