Egyptian book blasts Muslim Brotherhood and becomes a best-seller

March 5, 2013

(A protester, who opposes Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, holds up his hands, which are chained together, to symbolise the lack of freedom, as protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against Mursi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood at Tahrir Square in Cairo February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih )

An Egyptian lawyer whose dissenting voice got him thrown out of the Muslim Brotherhood examines what he calls the group’s hidden radicalism in a book that has become a best-seller in Cairo.

Tharwat al-Khirbawy’s “Secret of the Temple” has been dismissed by Brotherhood leaders as part of a smear campaign.

But its success points to a deep mistrust harboured by some Egyptians towards a once-outlawed movement that has moved to the heart of power since Hosni Mubarak was toppled and its candidate secured the presidency.

In its 12th print run since November, the book is being sold in upmarket shops and on street corners, pointing to a thirst for information about a group whose inner workings remain a mystery months after President Mohamed Mursi came to power.

Expelled from the group a decade ago, Khirbawy says he aims to expose dictatorship and extremism inside the Brotherhood. In the process, he has joined a media war being waged to shape views in Egypt’s deeply polarised political landscape.

Asked to comment on the book, one senior Muslim Brotherhood leader dismissed its content as “fallacies”. Another said that to comment on such a book would be a waste of time.

“I want to make all people know the reality about the Brotherhood,” Khirbawy said in an interview with Reuters.

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