Brotherhood ‘stealing’ revolution: Kerry

Brotherhood ‘stealing’ revolution: Kerry

Brotherhood ‘stealing’ revolution: Kerry

An Egyption youth stands in front of a barbed wire fence which the soldiers set up following fierce clashes on the previous night. REUTERS photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of “stealing” Egypt’s revolution, in some of his toughest comments yet about the party that took power in the nation’s first democratic election.

Kerry said Nov. 20 the Islamist group had appropriated the revolt against Hosni Mubarak from young people who started the uprising in response to mass protests elsewhere in the Arab world.

“Those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology,” he said. “They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future, and not have a corrupt government that deprived them of all of that and more. [They used social media to talk] to each other, and that’s what drove that revolution. And then it got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the brotherhood.”

Kerry’s comments are likely to raise eyebrows in Egypt where competing claims of credit for Mubarak’s ouster are still a source of major division. Since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July, a year after coming to power, the United States has repeatedly said he failed to live up to calls for an inclusive, transparent government. Kerry in August also defended the army’s action to remove Morsi, saying it had moved as a bid at “restoring democracy.”

In October, however, the U.S. suspended a portion of its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt because the military-led interim government moved only slowly toward new elections.

Kerry vowed earlier this month during a brief, surprise visit to Cairo that the Washington would work with Egypt’s interim leaders and called on them to press ahead with reforms.