February 4, 2015 at 5:00 am
Many Egyptians and moderate Arabs and Muslims
were shocked to hear that the U.S. State Department recently hosted a Muslim
Brotherhood delegation. They were equally shocked when an EU court decided to
remove Hamas from the bloc's list of terror groups.
"Just two days after the controversial
visit, the Brotherhood called for a war against their fellow Egyptians."
— Linda S. Heard, Middle East Expert, Gulf News.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to
return to the political arena through the American door and terrorist attacks.
The U.S. policy appears to be devious and unreliable." — Ezzat Ibrahim,
columnist, Al Ahram.
"[Ousted Egyptian President] Mohamed
Morsi, before his election, described these Jews as descendants of apes and
pigs. In English, the Muslim Brotherhood says one thing and in Arabic something
completely different." — Mohamed Salmawi, Egyptian columnist
While the Egyptian government has been waging
war on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic radical groups, the U.S.
Administration and some Europeans are continuing to hamper efforts to combat
Many Egyptians and moderate Arabs and Muslims
were shocked to hear that the U.S. State Department recently hosted
a Muslim Brotherhood delegation. They were equally shocked when an EU court
decided to remove Hamas from the bloc's list of terror groups.
The State Department's hosting of the Muslim
Brotherhood leaders has outraged Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Sisi, who has
been waging a relentless war against the organization over the past year.
One member of the delegation, Muslim
Brotherhood judge Waleed
Sharaby, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom, as he held up the
organization's four-finger "Rabia" sign. (The gesture is named for
Cairo's Rabia Square, where counter-demonstrations backing ousted Egyptian
President Mohamed Morsi -- who is from the Muslim Brotherhood -- took place in
"If the White House is out to offend some
of its closest Arab allies and is intent on heightening their suspicions, it's
Middle East expert Linda S. Heard. "If there's a plot, then it's
unfolding," she added. "Just two days after the controversial visit,
the Brotherhood called for a war against their fellow Egyptians."
A statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood
said, "It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in a process
of a new phase, where we summon what is latent our strength, where we recall the
meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and
whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising fight, and during this
stage we ask for martyrdom."
The Egyptian government condemned
the hosting of the Muslim Brotherhood officials by the State Department.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Same Shoukry denounced the State Department's move,
saying, "The Muslim Brotherhood is not a political party, but according to
the Egyptian law, which must be respected, it is designated as a terrorist
The timing of the meeting between State
Department officials and Muslim Brotherhood leaders could not have been worse
for many Egyptians -- it took place shortly after Islamist
terrorists killed 31 soldiers and wounded 45 others in a series of attacks
on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Although the Islamic State terror group took
credit for the attacks, Sisi held the Muslim Brotherhood responsible.
"Egypt is waging a war against the strongest clandestine group over the
past two decades," he said. "This organization has secretive arms,
secretive thoughts and secretive forums."
Egyptian columnists and newspaper editors have
also attacked the U.S. Administration for its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
"The U.S. Administration is continuing to
jeopardize its relations with Egypt by appeasing Muslim Brotherhood," remarked
columnist Ezzat Ibrahim. "The Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to return to
the political arena through the American door and terrorist attacks. The U.S.
policy appears to be devious and unreliable."
Another Egyptian columnist, Mohamed Salmawi,
launched a scathing attack
on the U.S. Administration; he accused it of deception and double standards. He
said that the meeting between U.S. officials and Muslim Brotherhood leaders
exposes the U.S. Administration's deceptive policy toward Islamic terror groups.
"The U.S. Administration says it is
combating these groups at home while it is supporting them abroad," Salmawi
wrote. "This meeting has grave indications because it shows that Washington
has not abandoned its policy of double standards toward Islamic terrorism.
Salmawi also took issue with the U.S.
Administration for turning a blind eye to the hypocrisy and double talk of the
Muslim Brotherhood. "One of the leaders of Muslim Brotherhood, for example,
told the world that he welcomes the Jews of Israel," he added. "But
this same leader announced in front of the Egyptian people that they should
march in the millions to liberate Jerusalem from the occupation of the Jews.
[Ousted President] Mohamed Morsi, before his election, described these Jews as
descendants of apes and pigs. In English, the Muslim Brotherhood says one thing
and in Arabic something completely different."
Said Lindawi, a prominent Egyptian
international affairs expert, said that the meeting of the Muslim Brotherhood
leaders with State Department officials means that the Obama Administration has
given the organization a green light to carry out terrorist attacks against
"The U.S. Administration has refused to
recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group," he said.
"The Americans continue to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is not
responsible for the terrorist attacks in Egypt."
By embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S.
Administration has sent the wrong message to moderate Arabs and Muslims. This is
a message that says that Washington believes that there are good terrorists and
Judging from the angry reactions of Egyptians,
it has become obvious that most moderate Arabs and Muslims no longer see the
U.S. as an ally in the war against Islamic terror groups. What is even more
disturbing is that they view the U.S. as an ally and friend of the terrorists.