Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, said that he did not offend the leadership of the Egyptian army in his weekly message.
Badie’s last message, released as a written statement on Thursday, titled, “the people of Egypt speak for themselves,” stirred up some controversy.
The lines that caused a stir part read: “… and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) describes the people of Egypt in his precious will as the best forces on earth, which means that they are obedient soldiers who need leadership. When there were corrupt leaders, these soldiers followed… .”
Yousry Al-Azabawy, strategic expert in Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) said that the text is directed towards the army. “The esoteric meaning expresses what the Brotherhood and its leadership feel about the army,” he said.
Badie released an explanation on Friday saying that there are people who are trying to reproduce the old regime and they are twisting the meaning of words to serve their own purposes. They “will not fool the generous Egyptian people, in the heart of them, is the Egyptian army, which we appreciate and cherish…” Badie’s Friday statement said.
Amr Farouk, spokesperson of Al-Wasat Party agreed with Badie’s explanation. “I do not think the text refers to the army. I think it is referring to the people,” Farouk said.
Al-Azabawy believed that the position of the army is very odd. “The editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhuria was investigated and dismissed and the supreme guide says this and nothing happens,” he said.
“This something they [the Muslim Brotherhood] should be envied for. If you or I say something about the army, we can be tried by the military,” he said.
The contentious lines came under a section in the statement called, “the Holy Quran immortalises Egypt.” Badie quoted verses in the Quran, in which Egypt is mentioned, followed by the prophet’s mention of Egypt’s soldiers.
Badie called on the media to be accurate, objective, honest and professional. He added that the media should not seek to sensationalise or cause strife between Egyptians.