NBC Highlights Muslim Brotherhood’s Anti-Semitic Views & Growing Power in Egypt

  On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that many thousands of Egyptians are again protesting against the government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he noted that organizers of the original protests fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will have too much influence in the new government, and recounted the Islamist group’s increased power in Egypt since January.

He went on to highlight the "staunchly anti-Israel" views of the Brotherhood and showed a clip of one of the group’s leaders making an anti-Semitic statement accusing Jews of wanting to "live in war," claiming that it is their "history":

RICHARD ENGEL: The Brotherhood says it is not antagonistic to the United States, but it is staunchly anti-Israel.

HASAN AL-ARIAN (SP?): Israel cannot tolerate peace.

ENGEL: Why not?

AL-ARIAN: Because they want to live in war. It is the history of Jewish people.

Engel documented that the Muslim Brotherhood’s power in Egypt has gained substantially since former President Hosni Mubarak’s fall, while the more secular organizers of the original protests have very little money or facilities. Engel:

The revolution here is clearly not over, but now many of the young activists who started this revolution five months ago fear it's being hijacked by the military and Islamic groups. We visited the Cairo headquarters of the secular revolutionaries who toppled Mubarak with their campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. They're nearly out of money - their office, grubby, cheaply furnished with a few old computers and a photocopy machine.

Engel soon continued:

In January, the Muslim Brotherhood's office was a small apartment with a tiny sign outside. Their headquarters now, a palatial six-story villa with gilded furniture, chandeliers, and the group's logo - crossed swords and a Koran. The Brotherhood is rich with donations from around the Arab world.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, July 8, NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: In the Middle East, where Fridays are typically the biggest day for protests following Friday prayers, hundreds of thousands were out on the streets of Syria again today demanding regime change. And, in Egypt, protesters are back in the streets, back in Tahrir Square. It's been five months now since Mubarak was forced out, since we were there to cover it. There was so much hope back then, but there is now growing anger over the slow pace of change and growing concern about who holds the power. Our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel finds himself back in Cairo’s Tahrir Square once again tonight. Richard, good evening.

RICHARD ENGEL: Good evening, Brian. We certainly are back here in Tahrir Square, and so are the demonstrators. Today saw the biggest protests since the ones that brought down then-President Hosni Mubarak. People here haven’t been satisfied at all with the pace of reform, and they say they're going to stay in this square until their demands are met.

The revolution is back on. Over 100,000 people in Tahrir Square today, back with their tents and slogans. Mubarak may be gone, but he and his top officials have not been put on trial - reform is slow or nonexistent. The revolution here is clearly not over, but now many of the young activists who started this revolution five months ago fear it's being hijacked by the military and Islamic groups. We visited the Cairo headquarters of the secular revolutionaries who toppled Mubarak with their campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. They're nearly out of money - their office, grubby, cheaply furnished with a few old computers and a photocopy machine. Amal Sharraf (sp?) says young organizers like her are losing power to groups like the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

AMAL SHARRAF (SP?), EGYPTIAN PROTEST ORGANIZER: They have more money. They’re spreading more among people. They know how to go and play on the religious side with people. We’re not doing the revolution for the Islamists and the military, you know.

ENGEL: Just compare the real estate: In January, the Muslim Brotherhood's office was a small apartment with a tiny sign outside. Their headquarters now, a palatial six-story villa with gilded furniture, chandeliers, and the group's logo - crossed swords and a Koran. The Brotherhood is rich with donations from around the Arab world. It's leaders like Hasan al-Arian (sp?) have been out campaigning at Egyptian universities. The Muslim Brotherhood, poised to become Egypt's most powerful political group, says it wants, quote, "Islamic democracy."

HASAN AL-ARIAN, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: We need to give the West and the whole world a new, a new version of democracy.

ENGEL: The Brotherhood says it is not antagonistic to the United States, but it is staunchly anti-Israel.

AL-ARIAN: Israel cannot tolerate peace.

ENGEL: Why not?

AL-ARIAN: Because they want to live in war. It is the history of Jewish people.

ENGEL: In Tahrir Square today, both groups were out - the secular revolutionaries and the Muslim Brotherhood - each demanding faster change. This is a struggle for Egypt's future. In addition to the protests here, there were also demonstrations in Sharm el-Sheikh in front of the hospital where the Egyptian government says Mubarak is under medical supervision. Brian?

WILLIAMS: Richard, unbelievable turn of events since you and I stood in that spot five months ago. Richard Engel, tonight back in Cairo for us, thanks.