In a confusing post on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s English website, the first deputy to the MB chairman, Muhammed Habib, denies any organizational links to HAMAS. The post maintains the MB’s position of not having official ties with HAMAS, and demonstrates the extent to which the MB will go to avoid trouble with the Mubarak government, but the issue suggests that at least a few members of the two organizations are independently reaching out to each other.
Over the last few days, Egyptian newspapers have published details of the arrest of ‘Abd al-Haii al-Faramawi, a religious professor at al-Azhar who also belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. The reported charges have ranged from trying to buy quantities of gas and fly them across the Egypt-Gaza border [al-Masree al-Youm] to helping HAMAS buy UAVs [al-Ahram].
It is unclear what exactly al-Faramawi was up to, but it is clear that the MB is not accepting responsibility for any attempt to contact HAMAS. Habib is quoted as saying “MB and HAMAS consider Egyptian national security a red line, and the MB are the most concerned with their national security.”
The MB seems to want to present itself as a moderate party, willing to play within the boundaries of Egyptian politics, but the question remains whether or not this is a facade adopted to avoid pressure.