When former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was removed from power by popular demand and by means of the Egyptian military, many of the accoutrements of the Muslim Brotherhood which had only recently come out of the closet in Egypt were summarily shoved back in.
One example of the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood forced back into hiding was a Muslim Brotherhood radio channel, after the interim government ordered the closure of all Brotherhood media outlets.
But its energy is back on, just a bit further north.
The Rabaa radio channel, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated channel, went on-air in Turkey on Friday, Dec. 21. The channel is named for Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyyah Square, where hundreds of Egyptians died in August during protests against Morsi’s ouster. The four-fingered “Rabaa” hand signal has become the symbol of those opposing the overthrow of Morsi.
One of the first to publicize the four-fingered pro-Morsi salute was Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, just a week after the violent protests.
Another Muslim Brotherhood icon in Egypt turned out his Egyptian lights in response to the ouster of Morsi. Egyptian Imam Yusuf al-Qarawadi,widely regarded as one of the Brotherhood’s spiritual and intellectual inspirations, resigned his position at Al-Azhar University in early December.
The Egyptian-born Qaradawi had been living in Qatar for more than 30 years, having fled the country after tangling with former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. But this past summer, Qatar stripped Qaradawi of his citizenship at the same time that it booted Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal out of the country.
Al-Qaradawi returned to Egypt in 2011, as the Muslim Brotherhood star was rising. He famously led mass prayers in Tahrir Square after former President Mubarak was ousted. Qaradawi is a strong advocate of homicide bombings in Israel. He said that it is “evidence of God’s justice” when “believers use their bodies as bombs.”
Qaradawi has praised Hitler for managing to put Jews “in their place,” calling the Holocaust “divine justice.” He also prayed that “the next time” a Holocaust will be at the “hand of the believers.”
The first program aired on the Rabaa channel featured Qaradawi.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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