Muslim Brotherhood officials must be confident in their chances in this fall's Egyptian parliamentary elections. David Miller of Media Line picked up an Egyptian newspaper report citing a member of the Brotherhood's governing board calling for a squad of virtue police created to act against "those who commit immoral acts."
Issam Durbala's vision aims to protect public virtue and modesty with "limited authorities," Miller reports, which means something short of Saudi Arabia's vice police. [Note: Miller identifies Durbala as a Brotherhood official, other sources place him in the Gama'a Al-Islamiya, or Islamic Group]
Moderates and secularists in Egypt are alarmed by the growing influence of religious conservatives in Egypt. They'll have to scramble to compete in the fall elections against the larger, better organized Brotherhood. Those reformers tried to defeat constitutional amendments that called for elections sooner, rather than later, in hopes of buying time to organize.
Those amendments passed by a 3-to-1 margin last month.
Hamas, a Brotherhood offshoot, has imposed its own brand of modesty enforcement in Gaza. Girls must adhere to a religious dress code to attend school, and women have been detained for being in public with a man or for smoking in public.