Lawmakers worry about Egyptian leadership

Feb. 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Republican and Democratic U.S. congressional members warned the Obama administration it must prevent an Islamic group from taking over Egypt.

Lawmakers said Thursday they feared if an organization such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which favors a government based on religious law, rose to power, a U.S. ally in the volatile region would be lost, The Hill reported Friday.

On Friday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned his position and designated the military council to run the republic. Demonstrators have been calling for Mubarak's ouster since protests began Jan.25.

While demonstrations against Mubarak have mainly secular, fears within the international community have been that the Muslim Brotherhood could gain power after Mubarak left.

"Engaging the Muslim Brotherhood should not be on the table," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said.

"Why would you load a virus into the system?" asked Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y. "Nothing good will come of it."

Ackerman said he thought the Brotherhood "would destroy the government."

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and other opposition groups met with Vice President Omar Suleiman Sunday.

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