Not their friends

So much for that wonderful US-inspired democratisation process washing across the Middle East:

Police arrested 45 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood Monday as part of Egypt’s ongoing campaign against the country’s strongest opposition group, the group and police officials said.

The Brotherhood said in a statement that 16 of its members were arrested at dawn on Monday in Sharqiyya Province, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Cairo. Eleven others, including two children, were arrested in the southern town of Beni Sueif, according to the statement posted on the group’s Web site.

Later Monday, 18 additional members were arrested in Kafr el-Sheikh, the group said.

Police officials confirmed the arrests on condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Monday’s crackdown was the second in Sharqiyya in the past two days. The interior ministry announced Sunday that it had arrested 14 Brotherhood members in the province. They were ordered detained for 15 days pending investigation.

Of course, the real reason behind the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood is as convincing as the international blockade against Hamas. After all, the West doesn’t want to support real democracy in the Middle East, does it? We all know which parties would win.