SPIEGEL: Do you think it is more of an advantage or disadvantage that the movement doesn’t have a real leader? Or would you go so far as to say that you …
ElBaradei: … no, I’m not that presumptuous. It is a broad-based movement. I can’t say that I am its leader. I’m happy to be an agent of change, and I’m working closely with the demonstrators. Young people, in particular, should be praised for what they’ve accomplished. I’m prepared to advise them on how to transform their successes on the street into concrete political results. Three of their leaders will be coming to visit me for this very purpose right after we’re done talking.
SPIEGEL: Newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman has already entered into a dialogue with opposition leaders — but not with you or any representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.
ElBaradei: I’ve heard that, as well. He met with representatives of the established parties …
SPIEGEL: … and, in doing so, has started driving a wedge into the opposition …
ElBaradei: … but these parties don’t have much to say. The most important forces are the demonstrators and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which are the best organized groupings. I would prefer to speak with the army leadership soon to explore how we could achieve a peaceful transition without bloodshed. With a new constitution and the dissolving of the current parliament. How we can build a modern, democratic state.
ElBaradei: There are a few myths that Mubarak has successfully disseminated in the West and in Israel. First, that if he falls, there will be immediate chaos. Second, that if Egypt transitions into a democracy, the peace treaty with Israel will be annulled and we will be on the verge of entering into a new war in the Middle East. And, third, that if there is a transformation, an ayatollah à la Iran will take over in Cairo. All of that is nonsense.
SPIEGEL: Does that mean you can’t sympathize with people’s nervousness about Egyptian Islamists?
ElBaradei: I don’t think like the Muslim Brotherhood, and I don’t share their conservative religious ideology. Incidentally, they are not a majority; instead they have the potential to win about 20 percent of the Egyptian vote. Nor do they have ties with al-Qaida. They have sworn off violence and agreed to play by democratic rules.
Tenho uma desconfiança maior em relação à Irmandade Muçulmana e as suas aspirações teocráticas, mas representam uma parte significativa da população e não há solução senão incluí-los no processo democrático. Uma democracia assente em bases (constitucionais) sólidas tem condições para sobreviver a um partido que represente os conservadores fundamentalistas, desde que certos princípios fundamentais sejam salvaguardados. Não é realista acreditar que os islamistas podem ser postos de parte por decreto.
Também na Spiegel, uma entrevista com John McCain sobre o mesmo tema:
SPIEGEL: What is your assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood?
McCain: I think they are a radical group that first of all supports Sharia law; that in itself is anti-democratic — at least as far as women are concerned. They have been involved with other terrorist organizations and I believe that they should be specifically excluded from any transition government.
SPIEGEL: Are you afraid that someone like Mohamed ElBaradei is instrumentalized by the Muslim Brotherhood?
McCain: Oh yeah, I think it’s very clear that the scenario is very likely he could be their front man. He has no following nor political influence in Egypt. After all, he has lived outside of Egypt for most of his life.
Apesar do governo de Obama estar longe de ter sido brilhante, continuo feliz por não ter sido McCain a ganhar as eleições.