- Middle East/North Africa
The Military Academy has accepted Muslim Brotherhood members among its new recruits this year, ending a years-old ban, academy director Major General Esmat Mourad said on Monday.
“They meet the scientific and physical criteria,” he said. “Should we reject a student because his father or uncle belongs to the Brotherhood?”
“If they indulge in politics after they graduate, the military law would be applied to them,” he added. “And if while still at the academy, they are dismissed.”
The academy checks the families of the applicants up to the fourth degree only in regards to criminal records, not political orientation, Mourad explained.
President Mohamed Morsy’s nephew was accepted into the academy because he excelled in the physical fitness tests, the general asserted, claiming, “I deal with him as a student and not the president’s nephew."
In response to the announcement, a number of party leaders spoke out against what they call the “brotherhoodization” of the military institution, claiming that the enrollment of Morsy's nephew and other Brotherhood members was a disaster.
“Military college rules and regulations state that allegiance is only to the homeland, and not to some partisan or political institution,” said Fouad Badrawy, secretary general of the Wafd Party. “This applies to everyone, even the president’s nephew, for the revolution has eliminated favoritism.”
“The army is the nation’s protective shield, and must remain independent from politics,” Badrawy continued. “This is an attempt to convert the army from a defender of the country into a defender of the regime.”
Nabil Zaki, spokesperson for the Tagammu Party, said Brotherhood members vow blind obedience to the group and its leader. “Will this not be at the expense of loyalty to the homeland?” he wondered.
Naguib Abadir of the Free Egyptians Party said this latest move is part of the Islamists' tireless pursuit of taking over all state institutions.
Edited translation from Al-Masy Al-Youm