As practiced in Saudi Arabia, Sharia mandates such punishment as cutting
off arms for stealing as well as beheading for a range of non-violent
Brotherhood spokespeople have disputed the latest statements and said the
movement continued to oppose the imposition of Islamic law in Egypt.
"During this period, we would like to lead the society to achieve its
Islamic identity in preparation for the Islamic rule," Saad Al Husseini, a
member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau, said.
The pro-Sharia statements by the Brotherhood leaders have alarmed other
members of the opposition that helped topple the Mubarak regime. In
response, Izzat has denied that he supports Sharia in Egypt, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The implementation of the punishments is considered the crowning and
the completion of fundamental issues, the most important of which is the
fulfillment of the needs and requirements of
the people," Izzat said. "These issues require work, effort and a long time,
and cannot be that simple."
But Izzat's clarifications have not assuaged non-Islamist elements of
the opposition movement. Organizers said the statements highlight the
Brotherhood departure from the pro-democracy agenda of the rest of the
"Every time we try to reassure the public opinion about the desire of
the Muslim Brotherhood to join a civil movement, we are shocked by
statements from this one or that one," George Ishaq, a leading member of the
opposition National Society for Change, said.
The pro-Sharia statements were said to have divided the Brotherhood
leadership itself. Members of the Brotherhood's young guard said they were
concerned over the statements, stressing that this did not reflect any
"We stress that such statements have come at an inappropriate time,"
Mohammed Qassas, representative of the Brotherhood's youth wing, said. "We
ought to read the statements carefully, and ensure their truth, and the
leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Group ought to be more careful at this