by Kirsten Powers
“When the protests first began in Egypt, I was in constant contact with an Egyptian relative who is a successful businessman, university professor and astute student of world politics.
As my husband and I panicked for our family’s safety, this relative was calm, assuring me that Hosni Mubarak would appoint an interim government and that there would likely be an important role for Omar Suileman, who is a well respected leader in Egypt. Both these things quickly came true.
Day after day he assured me that everything would be fine. He was sure that the Muslim Brotherhood—which he regards as a radical Islamist group – was not organized enough to gain any significant power.
Today, he was not so calm.
Our family in Egypt is shocked and alarmed by what they are hearing from Western voices and even the apparent leading opposition candidate Mohamed ElBaradei—who has partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood — who claim that the Brotherhood is a moderate group that should not be feared.
As Coptic Christians—native Egyptians who comprise the largest religious minority in the Middle East—they are especially attuned to the double-speak of Islamist groups trying to attain power.”