Egyptian military academy director Maj.-Gen Esmat Murad revealed that students affiliated with Islamist political factions have been accepted into the academy, according to a report on Wednesday in the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat. This includes Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s nephew.
Murad told a press conference on Tuesday that the academy’s graduating class includes 109 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“They may be the sons of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership. I will not reject a qualified student because his father is a member of the Brotherhood,” he said adding that “there is a difference between investigating if a prospective student has a criminal record and investigating a family to the fourth degree. If we exclude the children of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, Christians or jihadists, then we will not be able to accept any of the children of Egypt because we are all part of the national fabric,” according to Asharq al-Awsat.
The report also quoted retired Gen. Sameh Seif Al-Yazel who said that it is well known that army members should not have any political association. Maj.-Gen. Talat Muslim was also quoted as stating that “the acceptance of recruits who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood in the army is very dangerous and arouses concerns.”
An anonymous Egyptian soldier told Asharq al-Awsat that the military academy has begun accepting students with family members that are politically active, something that was not allowed in the past.
This tendency was noticed after former Field Marshal Tantawi was removed from power by Morsi.
Meanwhile, imams in Egypt are complaining about the “Muslim Brotherhoodization” of the Religious Endowments Ministry. A group of imams protested on Wednesday in front of the ministry complaining that Religious Endowments Minister Talaat Afify is letting the Brotherhood take over the country’s mosques, according to a report in the Egyptian Independent.
The ministry is responsible for appointing imams to 106,000 state-owned mosques.
Also, the ministry manages Islamic centers and juridical issues. The imams are also worried that the new Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated imams will promote the party’s electoral interests.