Egyptian TV Accuses Hamas Leaders of Living in Luxury While Their People Die

Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:

Considering Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Egyptian soldiers and their involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt, they’re not exactly that country’s favorite terrorist organization.

And you can see that in these TV clips in which Egyptian hosts accuse Hamas leaders of living in luxury, dining out, sitting at swimming pools with their four wives, while the fighting goes on.

 

They also point out that their rocket squads operate from civilian areas and are bringing a new “Nakba” on their people.

An image of Khaled Mash’al exercising at a gym: You can see how Khaled is waging Jihad in Qatar.

Image of Mash’al eating a lavish meal: This is brother Khaled Mash’al’s version of Jihad. Khaled, the Jihad is in Gaza…

Image of Mash’al watching TV: Or, of course, he is watching their TV channel. This is the Jihad of Khaled Mash’al and his comrades, the honorable and great mujahideen. As they wage this sort of Jihad, they abandon the people to get killed. If you were a real man, you would be back in Gaza first thing tomorrow morning.

Image of Haniya sitting next to a blond young woman: This is his Jihad, Allah be praised… This is the greatest Jihad performed by Isamil Haniya and his brothers in Hamas.

Of course Khaled isn’t going to Gaza.

Why do you, in the Al-Qassam Brigades, [hide] among civilians? Why do you use people’s homes? You should keep your hideouts away from people’s homes. You know full well that when you launch a missile form a home, a missile will land on that home within one minute. You are bringing another nakba upon your people.

Another show was even more explicit about the luxurious Hamas lifestyle.

Talk show host Mazher Shahin: We are not prepared to sacrifice even a single hair from the eyebrow of an Egyptian soldier or civilian, for the sake of Hamas and all the people who wage Jihad, while indulging themselves in all kinds of dishes at the swimming pool…

They goad people into fighting, terrorism, and violence, under the pretext of “Jihad,” while they themselves sit at a hotel, a swimming pool, or a nudist beach, eating a variety of dishes, marrying four wives, and driving the latest model luxury cars. What is this?! What kind of men are you?

You know where the border between Israel and Palestine is. If there is a real man among you, I am willing to drive him in my own car and at my own expense to the Gaza border. I will drop him there and say: “Go. May God be with you. Gaza is there. Jihad awaits you. Go in and show us you’re a real man.”

The more “moderate” suggestions out of Saudi Arabia meanwhile propose that Hamas disaffiliate itself with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also see:

The Watchman: Jihadists on the March

Published on Jul 8, 2014 by The Christian Broadcasting Network

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we sit down with Middle East experts Raymond Ibrahim and Tawfik Hamid to discuss the latest developments with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Iran and what can be done to counter the jihadist.

Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Destroy Hamas

by Khaled Abu Toameh:

Over the past week there are voices coming out of Egypt and some Arab countries — voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims.

“Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!” — Azza Sami of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.

Isolated and under attack, Hamas now realizes that it has lost the sympathy of many Egyptians and Arabs.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.

Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.

 

An uncomfortable moment during an April 2014 meeting between PA President Abbas and Egyptian President Sisi. (Image source: Video from President Abbas’ Office)

Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.

The Egyptians today understand that Hamas and other radical Islamist groups pose a serious threat to their national security. That is why the Egyptian authorities have, over the past year, been taking tough security measures not only against Hamas, but also the entire population of the Gaza Strip.

These measures include the destruction of dozens of smuggling tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

True, there are still many Egyptians and Arabs who sympathize with Hamas, mainly because it is being targeted by Israel. But over the past week, there are also different voices coming out of Egypt and some other Arab countries — voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

This is perhaps because a growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims.

Sisi and other Arab leaders are now sitting on the fence and hoping that this time Israel will complete the job and get rid of Hamas once and for all. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah are certainly not going to shed a tear if Hamas is crushed and removed from power in the Gaza Strip.

The reaction of some Egyptians to the Israeli military operation has shocked Hamas and other Palestinians. As one Hamas spokesman noted: “It’s disgraceful to see that some Egyptians are publicly supporting the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip while Westerners are expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and condemning Israel.”

Addressing the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian actor Amr Mustafa said that they should not expect any help from the Egyptians. “You must get rid of Hamas and we will help you,” he said. He also called on Hamas to stop meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries. “Pull your men out of Egypt, Syria and Libya,” Mustafa demanded. “In Egypt, we are today fighting poverty that was caused by wars. We have enough of our own problems. Don’t expect the Egyptians to give more than what they have already given. We’ve had enough of what you did to our country.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

El-Sissi Takes the Reins: 3 Big Things to Know about Egypt’s New Pharaoh

Egyptians gather outside the presidential palace to celebrate former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's victory in the presidential vote in Cairo on June 5, 2014.Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egyptians gather outside the presidential palace to celebrate former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s victory in the presidential vote in Cairo on June 5, 2014.Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

by Raymond Stock, Fox NewsJune 8, 2014

On Sunday June 8, Egypt’s former defense minister, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, was inaugurated as the sixth president–a de facto pharaoh, though chosen by the people–of the oldest nation-state on earth.

As expected, Egyptians overwhelmingly voted May 26-28 to elect him to lead the country, which he as ruled indirectly since overthrowing his predecessor, Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), in the face of massive popular demand last July 3.

From the moment he ousted Morsi–who had turned a narrow electoral mandate in June 2012 into a brutal Islamist dictatorship almost overnight, alienating the vast majority of the country–the hugely popular El-Sissi has been ceaselessly attacked by a wide array of forces both at home and abroad.

These attacks have come not only from the Al Qaeda-allied MB and its Salafi allies in an increasingly violent insurgency that has so far claimed nearly 2,000 lives, but also from many Western journalists, Middle East experts, government officials and even key members of Congress, who have accused him of being just another military strong man who has usurped an elected leader.

Some even see him as holding onto a clandestine vision of religious rule of his own, and as a person far less popular than his cult of the personality suggests.

Though there are some elements of truth in this criticism, driving much of it is a combination of ideological blindness and ignorance (or denial) of the basic facts about both El-Sissi and his country, plus an idealistic demand for perfect democracy in a time of bloody upheaval in a land that has known essentially harsh, pharaonic-style rule for the past five millennia.

Here are three big things to know about the new president of the largest Arab country, which since 1979 has been America’s closest ally in the Middle East after Israel.

1. Despite claims to the contrary, El-Sissi does have an electoral mandate.

With the MB and most Islamists, plus some of the original 2011 secular liberal activists boycotting the vote, about 35% of the population turned out to vote on May 26-27, in the midst of a searing heat wave.

This was roughly the same percentage for Morsi’s December 2012 Constitutional referendum, and for the vote on a de-Islamistized version of it that passed–by a far higher margin–in January 2014.

Still, this was not deemed enough, so balloting was extended to a third day on May 28 with the threat of fines for those who stayed away from the polls, an unusual move.

Egypt, like 21 other countries–including a number in Europe–has a compulsory voting law, though it is not usually enforced.

In the end, participation officially reached 47.5%–and a delegation of monitors from the European Parliament declared the election was run in a “democratic and free” manner, though it was “not necessarily fair,” due to self-censorship among some in the media.

This compares well with the 46% who turned out for the first round of presidential voting in May 2012, and the 52% in the second round that June—when there were no major boycotts, amid considerable suspense about who would win, while in this case, El-Sissi was a shoo-in.

A separate Election Observation Mission (EOM) from the European Union, while saying that the vote “fell short of constitutional principles,” stopped short of further criticism and added that the media atmosphere around it was “fair.”

Egypt’s election commission announced on June 3 that El-Sissi had won 96.91% of the votes, versus 3.09% for his only opponent, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

El-Sissi gained 23.78 million votes, 10 million more than the 13 million won by Morsi in June 2012, in which he narrowly beat Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq–who later complained that the vote count was fixed.

Sabahi earned but 318,000 votes, fewer than the 1.4 million spoiled ballots cast.

El-Sissi, whom the late pre-election opinion polls put at 74%-to-86% approval (roughly twice that of President Barack Obama’s at home at present), could not campaign in person due to the ongoing violence, as well as at least two alleged plots on his life.

This was compounded by the famously quiet (and deeply private) field marshal’s failure to even issue a detailed electoral program, fueling yet more speculation about what he really intends to do in office.

For its part, the MB has dismissed the current election as “null and void.”

2. Despite excesses, El-Sissi’s war against the Islamists is ours as well.

Some have argued that Morsi’s removal and El-Sissi’s election prove the validity of Al Qaeda’s objection to the MB’s strategy of gaining power through democratic means.

Hence, more of their followers will turn to AQ and similar groups out of frustration with the results from the use of peaceful means—which they say has happened in Egypt.

The assumption is that the Egyptians–not to mention the rest of us at war with Islamist terrorists–should accept whatever the fanatics do so long as they are elected, including quickly laying the groundwork for what was an obvious coup of their own, in which future elections either would not happen, or be meaningless if they did.

By this logic, perhaps to avoid alienating the MB’s base, we should have hoped for the Islamists to keep winning elections, as they did in the first parliamentary contests and the first presidency post-Hosni Mubarak–and then do nothing if they brazenly abuse the power they gain in this fashion.

That said, there have indeed been many abuses in the crackdown on the MB and its Salafi allies launched by the interim government that was appointed by El-Sissi.

Yet the first violence came from the opposition, as the MB wrongly blamed Egypt’s large Coptic Christian minority for Morsi’s ouster, inciting an immediate orgy of looting and burning of Christian churches, schools and homes by its supporters in July, the sabotage of public buildings, plus brutal attacks on police and others.

After a long standoff, roughly 700 to 1,000 persons died in operations to remove pro-Morsi demonstrators from two Cairo squares on August 14, though it later emerged from credible sources that armed provocateurs among them had opened fire first, and the graves of at least eighty people, tortured and murdered as suspected informants, were found at these sites when they were cleared.

Since then, the majority of deaths have come from the almost daily bombings and shootings launched by the insurgents, as well as continued violent demonstrations, prompting the government to formally ban the MB, and to label it — as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also done — a terrorist organization.

Even more strikingly, the MB’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Europe and Israel, but formerly a darling of Egyptian popular opinion, was also banned due to its suspected role in aiding the insurgents — to popular acclaim.

What was heroic to inflict on Israeli civilians was suddenly insidious when done to Egyptians — but still it is a refreshing change.

Laws have been passed banning unauthorized demonstrations, professors and liberal activists have been charged with dubious offenses, more than a thousand accused Islamists have been summarily condemned to death for murder and pillage, mostly in absentia (though these will be automatically overturned when the condemned are apprehended), burning the nation’s flag or failing to stand for the national anthem have been criminalized, and “Egypt’s Jon Stewart,” political satirist Bassem Youssef, has canceled his TV program due to threats from persons unknown.

Critics of these steps were largely silent when the previous regime blatantly overrode the Constitution, terrorized the opposition and attempted to impose a permanent, one-party Islamist state at breathtaking speed and thoroughness.

And the MB — wrongly considered “moderate” — and its Salafi allies are in fact radical groups committed to the overthrow of less militant regimes and the destruction of America and the West, even while gladly accepting our assistance in the meantime.

Yet instead of cutting aid to the Muslim Brotherhood government, Obama increased it, while his then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, overrode human rights objections from Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who tried to put it on hold pending review.

As a result, most Egyptians now disdain our president, who reached out to the MB in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, as a hypocrite, and have applauded El-Sissi’s recent agreement to buy an unprecedented $2 billion in military equipment from Russia, signaling that our more than three-decades old alliance is now in serious danger.

Obama effectively froze aid to post-Morsi Egypt in October 9, and when Congress this year passed a $1.5 billion mostly military package for Cairo, Leahy again put it on hold. But in contrast to what happened under Morsi, current Secretary of State John Kerry has failed to counteract it, though he did allow the transfer of 24 previously-blocked Apache helicopters to help fight the terrorists in Sinai.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to pay $400 million per year to the Palestinian Authority, even though it now includes Hamas, and is planning to arm and train Syrian insurgents who will likely include many members of the MB and other Islamists, and who also pose a threat to Egypt, our European allies and ourselves.

And we haven’t even talked about handing 5 top Taliban commanders temporarily over to Qatar, the MB’s biggest financial backer and a patron of the Taliban, in exchange for a probable deserter who might also be a collaborator.

These are all serious mistakes that we may someday rue while wondering what happened to our former favored access to the Suez Canal, the Egyptian peace with Israel and key cooperation with Cairo in our common war against terror.

3. El-Sissi is pious, but probably not–as some have claimed–a “secret Islamist.”

In August 2012, Morsi appointed then-General al-El-Sissi as defense minister, based on his seemingly pro-MB views—and was no doubt shocked when his protégé turned on him for behaving like a president from the MB.

However, though born into a conservative, not militant, religious family in the Gamaliyah district in the heart of the Islamic Cairo, the native district of the late Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature, Naguib Mahfouz, El-Sissi, like Mahfouz, was also raised as a fervent nationalist.

When Morsi freed and even elevated terrorists who had made war on the Egyptian state, worked covertly with terrorists killing Egyptian troops in Sinai, offered to possibly hand over Egyptian land along the border with Sudan to the Islamist regime in Khartoum, and seemed poised to declare jihad against the Assad regime in Damascus, he undoubtedly viewed him as betraying Egypt’s most basic national interests.

Since then, he has vowed to completely destroy the MB and its fellow proponents of political Islam, has spoken in praise of Egypt’s persecuted Christians, and—most intriguingly of all—called in late January for a comprehensive modernization of Islam as a whole.

In a daring speech, quoted here by U.S. Marine Lt. Col. (ret.) James Zumwalt of UPI on January 28, he challenged the Muslim world to give up centuries of dogmatic thinking and for the Islamists to abandon the call to war:

“Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people, pointing to the need for a new vision and a modern, comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam — rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.”

As Zumwalt noted, this means that El-Sissi believes Islam has been intellectually–and even spiritually — frozen since 1258.

That was the year the Mongols sacked Baghdad, ending Islam’s Golden Age, and was roughly the time when religious scholars had agreed that “the science is settled,” and there would no more great debate on what the faith is, a process that began centuries before.

By making this bold statement—and by waging his own holy struggle against the forces of evil—he is putting his own life on the line as well.

We should indeed watch him closely now that he grasps the reins of power directly, for the first time, to see if he follows these bold words, as well as what they mean in reality, and if he rules oppressively in person.

But for the time being, he is fighting our enemies — who are also Egypt’s own — and has even increased cooperation with our friends, the Israelis.

Some now say that’s just where we were under Mubarak — whom Obama deliberately helped push from pharaoh’s palace in Heliopolis in 2011.

But Mubarak, now 86, was an aging oligarch who became president only when his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was shot dead by Islamists while standing next to him in 1981, and who had no itch for change.

El-Sissi may yet go the way of his hero Sadat, who he has said came to him in a dream that seemed to prophecy he would one day be president of Egypt.

Like El-Sissi, Sadat–”the believing president”–started out close to the Muslim Brotherhood, but soon had to combat them — and wound up murdered by one of their offshoots as a result.

And like Sadat, especially given who might follow him, we may very much miss El-Sissi when he is gone.

Let’s try for a better ending this time.

Raymond Stock, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a former Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at Drew University, spent twenty years in Egypt, and was deported by the Mubarak regime in 2010. He is writing a biography of 1988 Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006) for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and is a prolific translator of his works, most recently “Before the Throne” (Anchor Books/Random House, July 2012).

 

Iran’s Plan to Destabilize Egypt

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci:

Iran is planning an offensive against Egypt from the west and from the south.

The Iranian government has long-term plans.

The Iranian regime’s new enemy, it seems, is Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Iran’s mullahs apparently fear Sisi’s secular stance against Islamist movements, and see him as an obstacle to Iran’s future influence in the Middle East.

According to the Jordan-based media outlet Al-Bawaba, Iran is determined to put an end to Al-Sisi’s rule by training the Libya-based Islamist group known as the Free Egyptian Army [FEA]. The FEA is composed of both Egyptian jihadists who went to fight in Syria during the rule of Egypt’s former President, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, as well as other Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood militants who fled from Egypt to Libya after Morsi was removed from power.

 

Then Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi embraces then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upon his arrival in Cairo on February 5, 2013. Ahmadinejad was Iran’s first leader to visit Egypt since the two countries cut diplomatic relations in 1980. (Image source: Ahmadinejad official handout)

According to Al Bawaba, personnel of the Quds Force — the special-forces arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] — arrived in Libya to train the FEA in Misrata, northwestern Libya. Quds Force officers met with FEA leaders — reportedly Abu Dawud Zouhairi and Karam Amrani. There, Lebanese jihadists coming from Syria and led by Abu Fahed Al-Islam also joined the FEA.

Iran is planning an offensive against Egypt not only from the west (Libya), but also from the south.

The Egyptian newspaper El-Watan reports that the Iran has also deployed Quds Force personnel to Sudan, to take advantage of the deterioration of the relationship between the Islamist-led Sudanese government and Sisi’s Egypt, and is now training Muslim Brotherhood militants in Sudan.

A Jordanian newspaper, Al-Arab Al-Yawm, confirmed the news, and reported in addition that Iran is organizing violent operations to destabilize Egypt from Libya and Sudan.

Although in the Middle East, Sunni and Shia factions usually fight each other, this time an unholy Sunni-Shia alliance has been formed between Shia Iran and the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood to fight their common enemy: Al-Sisi.

For years, Iran’s regime has dreamt of seeing the Muslim Brotherhood rise in Egypt as part of a plan to Islamize the Middle East. In this vision Iran would take the leadership role — brushing aside that for years, Iran and Saudi Arabia have jockeyed over who would assume the leadership of the Muslim world. As the Muslim Brotherhood has always been opposed to the Saudi Kingdom, it was taken for granted that an Egypt governed by the Muslim Brotherhood would be the natural ally of Iran.

As Iranian author and journalist Amir Taheri describes in the Saudi-owned newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, Iran cherished Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-backed former President, Mohamed Morsi. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Morsi, Taheri writes, were supposed to symbolize the triumph of radical Islam. The leadership in Tehran apparently also felt that it had to “profit from its political, propaganda and even financial investment” in ensuring Morsi’s election.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

The Mirage of Political Islam

Miguel Montaner

Miguel Montaner

America should help, not hinder, the secular democrats of the Muslim world.

By 

“You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

President Obama delivered these words in his Cairo speech, five years ago today, when he reached out to rehabilitate Islam and Islamic civilization in the eyes of the world — and redeem America in the eyes of the global Muslim community after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The Cairo speech was part of the road map based on the advice of the 2008 report “Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations With the Muslim World,” drafted by the leadership group on United States-Muslim engagement, composed of former senior government officials, both Democrat and Republican, as well as scholars (myself included), political analysts and international relations experts. All of us were concerned about the divide between America and the Muslim world, and we recommended that the new president deliver a major speech in a significant Islamic capital — Cairo, Istanbul, Jakarta or Rabat — directly addressing the Muslim world. That’s what Mr. Obama did at Cairo University on June 4, 2009.

Since then, Egypt has experienced the “Arab Spring,” followed first by the Muslim Brotherhood’s election to power, and then its downfall. If Mr. Obama’s message of 2009 had been conveyed again more forcefully to Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi, before he was ousted by the army last July, the hopes of Arabs and Muslims around the world after the Cairo speech might not have been as disappointed as they are today.

Sadly, every one of the “ingredients” for democracy listed by Mr. Obama was flouted by Mr. Morsi during his tumultuous year in office. He forced the passage of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 2012 constitution, issued edicts imposing himself over the judiciary, failed to provide protections to Coptic Christians, started vendettas against journalists and activists and treated the secular opposition as enemies to be excluded from political life. In short, the Egyptian president furthered the political aims of the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of the nation, exactly as Mr. Obama had cautioned against.

The result is that the Obama administration has found itself in an uncomfortable position. As the president remarked to the United Nations General Assembly last September, “America has been attacked by all sides of this internal conflict, simultaneously accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and engineering their removal of power.”

But if the administration had been more critical of the Brotherhood’s infringements of democratic rights, it might have avoided this situation. Instead, when asked about Mr. Morsi’s fiat of November 2012 that gave his regime extraordinary powers, a State Department spokesman responded, “this is an Egyptian political process.” Mr. Obama may have said that “elections alone do not equal democracy,” but America acted as though elections in Egypt were sufficient. In the words of America’s ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, “the fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won” — as if that settled the issue of the Brotherhood’s fitness for democratic rule.

Read more at New York Times

Mustapha Tlilia novelist and a research scholar at New York University, is the founder and director of the N.Y.U. Center for Dialogues: Islamic World – U.S. – the West.

Judge Jeanine rips Obama over feckless foreign policy & refusal to support Egypt

Published on May 24, 2014 by LSUDVM

Tonight, in her opening statement which was delayed because of the shooting in California, Judge Jeanine ripped Obama over his feckless foreign policy and the lack of support for Egypt and its Military in fighting terrorism such as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Understanding Benghazi: The Al Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood Connection

benghazi_bloody_handprint_APBreitbart, by COUNCIL FOR GLOBAL SECURITY:

The Hague’s International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) recently released a report that shatters leftist talking points on the political situation in North Africa.

The report, titled “Security in the Sinai: Present and Future,” details not only the Sinai peninsula’s decent into chaos over the last two years, but synthesizes available research on the entire Islamist/Jihadi nexus that crosses North Africa, linking the Benghazi attack, Salafist activism undertaken by the Muslim Brotherhood, and links to what the administration’s intellectual vassals refer to as “al-Qaeda core.”

Sinai has long been a problem region for the Egyptian government, with bedouin tribes often taking advantage of a lack of governance in the peninsula during Egypt’s periods of political and economic upheaval. The most recent period of unrest is no different, with bedouin bandits engaging in criminal activity as soon as Mubarak’s political future was called into question by massive protests.

This banditry was rapidly replaced by Islamist militias connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, who targeted Coptic churches as well as Egyptian state assets, including police outposts along the trans-Sinai oil pipeline. These attacks were against the Egyptian state and economy; they were not mere acts of profit-seeking criminality. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM), the most prominent jihadist group in Egypt, went so far as to use suicide bombings against Korean tourists, explicitly stating that they intended to ruin Egypt’s economy by targeting its heavy reliance on tourism.

This jihadist insurgency is supported by a larger political infrastructure, organized under the moniker of Salafiya Jihadiya (SJ). SJ was responsible for the extremely well organized “spontaneous” protests over an obscure video that targeted U.S. Embassies and installations across the Muslim world and is led by none other than Ayman al-Zawahiri’s younger brother, Muhammad al-Zawahiri.

Muhammad Jamal Abd al Rahim Ahmad al Kashif (frequently referred to as just Muhammad Jamal) is a veteran jihadist closely affiliated with Zawahiri. Jamal was mistakenly released in 2011, and in the two years before his arrest in 2013 he was responsible for establishing jihadist training camps in Sinai, Libya, and Western Egypt. Jamal is also known to have been closely involved in the September 11, 2012 attack on U.S. installations in Benghazi, Libya. Upon his arrest, Jamal was discovered to have been in direct contact with Ayman al-Zawahiri, requesting assistance and reporting that groundwork had been laid for an al Qaeda enterprise in Sinai. Jamal is also believed to have trained and directed Walid Badr, a former Egyptian military officer who served as a suicide bomber in an attempt on the life of the Egyptian Minister of Interior.

With Muhammad Jamal and Muhammad Zawahiri both connected to the attack against the US consulate in Benghazi (and with Zawahiri personally present at the riot outside of the US embassy in Cairo, where the American flag was torn down and replaced by the black banner of al-Qaeda), it would defy logic to remain content with the administration’s story. But the thread doesn’t end there.

In February, the Egyptian government released intercepted recordings of phone calls between then-president Muhammad Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri. Zawahiri was formally acquitted of terrorism charges by Morsi in 2012 and was reported by CNN to be “helping” negotiations with jihadists in Sinai during Morsi’s tenure. Additional reporting, cited by the Jerusalem Post, acknowledges not only that Morsi and the younger Zawahiri were in contact, but that the Muslim Brotherhood’s original contender for the Egyptian presidency, Khariat el-Shater, was in contact with “al Qaeda core” elements in Pakistan and Palestine.

Muhammad Zawahiri’s quasi-political role in Salafiya Jihadiya, his intimate affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood’s official leadership, his association with Muhammad Jamal’s jihadist infrastructure in Sinai, and his overt and direct participation in what the administration insists was a “spontaneous protest” in Cairo and Benghazi is a damning indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood’s direct connections to al-Qaeda.

Effectively, if Muhammad Zawahiri wanted to talk to his older brother he would have had to ask Morsi if he could use his phone. In the same instance, if the “core” of al Qaeda wanted to establish contact with Muhammad Jamal, its franchise in Northern Africa, including Benghazi, it would have likely relied on the same personalities. All of the above simply reinforce the stakes of the elections today and tomorrow in Cairo. General Sisi has openly stated his commitment to crush the Brotherhood beacause of its ties to al Qaeda. A victory for Sisi would be a victory against Salafi Jihadism.

The Hague is a European institution — it is not involved in American partisan politics and has no reason to bend the facts on Benghazi and the Brotherhood to fit a partisan agenda. These are the facts of the case, and those who continue to deny that Benghazi was a result of a “larger failure of foreign policy” are finally starting to feel the heat.

The Council for Global Security is a Washington-based non-profit organization that support democracy, prosperity and the protection of minorities around the world.

 

Democracy Versus the Muslim Brotherhood

egypt-police-car-bombing-afpBreitbart, by :

Mr. Abdul Fattah Sisi has run a quiet election campaign. The former Egyptian general and Minister of Defense rose to prominence after siding with ​the protest by ​33 million ​​Egyptian​s​​​​ that toppled the M​​uslim Brotherhood​ rule of Muhammad Morsi. ​Sisi​ is now expected to be elected to t​he​ nation’s highest office.

Though campaign posters for Sisi are common, he himself has made few public appearances, with several events canceled over security concerns stemming from Islamist militants affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al ​Qaeda. This insecurity is not unfamiliar to Egyptians; an assassin affiliated with the Brotherhood killed President Anwar Sadat in 1981 for the crime of making peace with Israel.

While some decry the interim government’s heavy-handed approach towards the Brotherhood, the MB have made it very difficult for Egypt to progress toward democracy. ​Sisi is seen by many in Egypt as a hero for having rescued the nation from the Muslim Brotherhood and responding to the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked terrorists responsible for numerous attacks since Morsi was removed. A common refrain heard among Egyptians is that the Muslim Brotherhood were not interested in supporting the nation of Egypt but instead establishing a theocractic caliphate.

Sisi is expected to easily win against Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist candidate who favors a strong state role in the Egyptian economy. Expat voting ended May 19th, with Sisi winning 94.5% of votes cast. The election will be held over May 26th and 27th, and results are expected between June 1st and 3rd. The government has offered to release all but 300 Muslim Brotherhood members from prison in exchange for ​the Brotherhood’s ​participation in the democratic process, but the Islamist movement continues to demand the reinstatement of Morsi and the execution of generals and politicians responsible for their removal from power, all while embracing a rhetoric of jihad and martyrdom.

Instead of participating in a democracy that leaves space for Christians and non-Islamist Egyptian Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideological affiliates have embraced violence, not merely violent rhetoric. On Monday, May 19, three policemen were killed by gunmen just outside Al ​Azhar University, one of the world’s oldest ​Muslim ​institutions of learning ​and the most important Sunni theological authority.​

Last Saturday four people were injured by an explosive device set off at a rally for Sisi in the Ezbet El-Nakhl neighborhood of Cairo, one of Cairo’s poorer, largely Christian districts, ​and earlier this month ​Sisi announced that two attempts on his life had been stopped.

Sisi has not been the only target. Egypt’s Interior Minister announced Wednesday that the country had foiled several high-level assassination plots organized by the Brotherhood, including attempts to kill not only the interim president, but the Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, and several high-ranking members of Egypt’s police force. The greatest test of Egypt’s domestic security since the Islamists were​​ deposed with the support of the population will come ​​this week as the ancient country of Egypt attempts its second ever f​ree election.​

​The Council for Global Security is a Washington-based​​​ non-profit organization that support democracy, prosperity and the protection of minorities in the in the Middle East.

Al Jazeera Buries Muslim Brotherhood Connection to Terrorist Leader Killed in Sinai

ansarbaitalmaqdisBreitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

On Friday, Egyptian security forces took out the leader of Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai Peninsula. An Egyptian army spokesman said the operation was a success, as forces neutralized six “extremely dangerous criminal elements.” Egyptian military sources confirmed Shadi al-Menei, the leader of the terrorist group, was executed in the raid.

Al Jazeera, in reporting the news story, did not make any mention of the Muslim Brotherhood’s association with the terrorist group. It may come as no surprise to some, as 22 members of Al Jazeera Egyptian bureau resigned in 2013 after some complained that management would instruct all staff to favor the Muslim Brotherhood party-line in their reporting. Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar, which is run by the oil-rich Al Thani family. One of its members, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, was once described by Reuters as a “bankroller of Arab Spring revolts in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Following the fall of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military has been engaged in fighting terrorism in the Sinai. The main perpetrator of terror activity in the Sinai Peninsula has been Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated radical Islamist group.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, also known as “Defenders of Jerusalem”, has mounted several devastating  terrorist attacks and targeted assassinations on Egyptian citizens since the beginning of 2012. While their methods were unanimously condemned by the international community, President Morsi refused to get involved in stopping his fellow Brothers’ advances. Morsi largely accelerated their dominance over the Sinai when following his inauguration, he released almost all of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members from prison.

To demonstrate Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ unshakeable connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, one needs to look no further than their slogan, which was singled out as a motto of utmost importance by MB founder Hassan al Banna: “Fight them until there is no fitnah [discord], and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah.” [Qur'an, Sura VIII, verse 39]

Throughout history, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda has been inextricably linked through Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian Islamist activist who was viewed as the intellectual leader for both movements. During his time in politics, Qutb became a one of the most prominent voices for the Muslim Brotherhood. All three of Al Qaeda’s former top leaders: Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Saif al-Aldel, were Muslim Brotherhood members and adamant Qutb followers.

Egypt has its presidential elections scheduled for next week. The leading candidate is General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was largely responsible for the ouster of Morsi in Egypt’s second revolution, which arguably came as a result of the Muslim Brotherhood leader’s tyrannical reign following the “Arab Spring”.

Also see:

House of Representatives Backs Egypt in Fight Against Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood

muslim_brotherhood_HQ_protester_APBreitbart, By Katie Gorka:

The past year has seen an ongoing debate among U.S. policy makers over what exactly happened in Egypt last summer. The Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton very visibly supported the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi. But over the course of Morsi’s one year in power, the majority of Egyptians did not like what they saw as a systematic undoing of democratic processes in Egypt.

Egyptians took to the streets by the millions in July 2013 to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood government. When the military stepped in, headed by General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Brotherhood were ousted and an interim government was formed. The Obama administration was careful not to label the events of July 2013 as a coup, but neither did they come out in support of Sisi. Additionally, Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham held a news conference in Cairo on August 6th and declared the events a coup.

It was an important distinction, because by law the U.S. must suspend aid to a country where a “coup” has taken place.

In the months since that time a debate has continued to rage both in the media and in policy circles over whether El-Sisi, who next week will likely be elected Egypt’s next president, is a savior who rescued Egypt from a theocratic despotism or whether he himself is the despot who is merely oppressing and imprisoning his political opponents.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives cast an important vote in this debate on the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains very specific language about events in Egypt. In essence, the passing of the NDAA will assert that Egypt is on the democratic track, that Sisi is not merely oppressing his enemies, but that Egypt is indeed in an existential battle with Islamist terrorists. While the NDAA does not specifically name the Muslim Brotherhood as a source of terrorism—another hotly debated issue—it does implicitly suggest that the MB has ties to terrorist groups, whether implicitly or explicitly.

The full text of the NDAA relating to Egypt is as follows:

The committee notes with concern the growing Al Qaeda presence and associated terrorist attacks in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Presently, at least six terrorist groups with links to Al Qaeda operate in Egypt, including the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Furqan Brigades. In recent months, terrorist attacks in Egypt claimed the lives of hundreds of Egyptians and over 350 soldiers and police officers. Within the past 6 months, there have been over 280 attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. On January 24, 2014, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists conducted a series of coordinated attacks that killed 6 and injured over 100 people in Cairo. 

Egypt is not only enduring the effects of terrorism from the Sinai Peninsula, it is also enduring the increasing flow of foreign fighters and military material from its western and southern borders with Libya and the Republic of the Sudan, respectively. 

The committee understands that the Secretary of State, in accordance with section 7041 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-71), will certify to Congress that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition and that the President has made the decision to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to support Egypt’s counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula. Given the significant increase in terrorist activity, the close relationship that the Egyptian military has with the U.S. military, and the interim Government’s support of the peace treaty with the State of Israel, the committee supports the President’s decision to provide the Apache aircraft to the Government of Egypt. The committee further believes that the United States should provide necessary security assistance to the Government of Egypt, specifically focused on areas of mutual security interest. 

The committee remains concerned that if the United States does not engage through security assistance with the Government of Egypt and the Egyptian military, then other countries, such as the Russian Federation, may fill this gap, which would work at cross-purposes with vital U.S. national security interests. 

The committee continues to closely observe Egypt’s transition towards a new democratic government structure and is encouraged by both the direction and progress that the interim Government has made in this realm. In January 2014, Egyptians participated in a referendum to approve a new constitution, which includes protections for individual freedoms, equal protection and rights for all Egyptians, government transparency and accountability, and improved civilian oversight of the Egyptian military. Additionally, the committee is encouraged that the presidential and parliamentary elections appear to be on track and likely to be completed by the summer of 2014, and urges the Government of Egypt to ensure that the elections are free, fair, and devoid of fraud. The committee is concerned by reports that there may have been human rights violations that have occurred in Egypt. The committee encourages the next President of Egypt to address the economic and political needs of the Egyptian people, including the protections for individual freedom and human rights reflected in the new Egyptian constitution. 

Should the NDAA pass with the above language intact, it will mean that the political elite in Washington finally recognize that Egypt is in an existential fight against the same type of global jihadists that were responsible for the attacks against America in 2001.

Katharine C. Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.

 

Stopping the Flood of Female Genital Mutilation: Egypt Brings Historic Case

egypt-woman-reutersby PHYLLIS CHESLER:

For the first time in Egyptian history, an Egyptian physician, Dr. Raslan Fadl, will stand trial for the female genital mutilation of a thirteen-year-old girl—not only because he broke the 2008 Mubarak-era law against such practices but because the girl died.

Dr. Fadl claims she had an allergic reaction to the penicillin used for the procedure.

Her family will probably settle for compensation for her death, as they cannot accuse the physician of undertaking a procedure that they themselves asked him to perform.

Doctors have been seen as the solution to an intractable problem. African and Muslim feminist activists decided that since the practice had such widespread support, that a physician (ideally in a hospital, ideally using anesthesia, and ideally performing a minimal mutilation, not the more common maximal versions) would be safer than an illiterate peasant woman with her rusty razor blades and knives.

Alas, that was not the case this time.

According to UNICEF, 91% of married Egyptian women between 15-49 have been subjected to FGM.

I first learned about female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1976, when my esteemed feminist colleague, an American in exile from her native South Africa, Dr. Diana Russell, published her proceedings of a legendary International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. One woman from Guinea testified about FGM.

What she said was horrifying. Using no anesthesia, women, including the victim’s female relatives, held down girls of twelve and “without any anesthesia or regard for hygiene” attacked their genitalia with “the neck of a broken bottle… when the clitoris had been ripped out, the women howled with joy.” This witness also said that in other countries, “this savage mutilation is not enough; it is also necessary to sew the woman up…leaving only a small space for the passage of blood and urine.”

Another witness, from France, testified more on the side effects and complications of this procedure: “Hemorrhage, tetanus, urinary infection and septic anemia are not infrequent results. The perineum (tissue) of those who survive hardens, and will tear in childbirth.” She explained that some women experience agony if their clitoral area is even gently touched. And those who give birth may develop fistulas (urinary and bowel incontinence) and may be rejected by their families because of their foul odor. This practice is pandemic all over the Arab Middle East and among Christians, Muslims, and animists in black Africa.

This issue remained under the radar until 1979-1980 when I worked at the United Nations. In 1979, Fran Hosken, an Austrian-American scholar, published the Hosken Report which exposed the barbaric custom. Some African and Muslim feminists who were connected to the UN immediately condemned Hosken as a “white imperialist” whose outrage and exposé might hurt their within-system work to have physicians at least minimize the danger and the trauma involved in this atrocity.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I also learned about FGM from my Egyptian colleague, Nawal El-Sadawii, a physician herself, as well as a leading feminist. She is also a novelist and a very good one.

El-Sadawii wrote about her own traumatic clitoridectomy when she was six years old. She was terrified, in physical agony, but she remembers that her own mother smiled during the procedure. When El-Sadawii heard similar stories from thousands of her female patients, she began a crusade against this atrocity.

Read more at Breitbart

The New York Times’ Propaganda War on Egypt

NYT fraudBy Raymond Ibrahim:

A recent New York Times article exemplifies why the Times simply cannot be trusted. Written by one David Kirkpatrick and titled “Vow of Freedom of Religion Goes Unkept in Egypt,” the article disingenuously interprets some general truths in an effort to validate its thesis.

Much of this is done by omitting relevant facts that provide needed context. For example, Kirkpatrick makes Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the military—widely recognized as the heroes of the June 2013 revolution that toppled former President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood—appear responsible for the poor state of religious freedom in Egypt, when in fact the military has no authority over the judicial system, which is independent.

Even so, there is much evidence that Egypt, while far from becoming a Western-style democracy, is on the right path—one certainly better than under the Muslim Brotherhood. But these are seldom mentioned in the NYT report. Most recently, for example, the military-backed government jailed a popular Islamic scholar for contempt against Christianity—something that never happened under Morsi, when clerics were regularly and openly condemning and mocking Christians.

Similarly, Sheikh Yassir Burhami, the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement, is facing prosecution for contempt against Christianity for stating that Easter is an “infidel” celebration and that Muslims should not congratulate Christians during Easter celebrations. Previously under Morsi, Burhami was free to say even worse—including issuing a fatwa banning taxi drivers from transporting Christian priests to their churches.

Some positive developments are twisted to look as attacks on religious freedom. Kirkpatrick complains that “The new government has tightened its grip on mosques, pushing imams to follow state-approved sermons,” as if that is some sort of infringement on their rights, when in fact, mosques are the primary grounds where Muslims are radicalized to violence, especially against religious minorities like Coptic Christians, amply demonstrated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of attacks on churches and Christians occur on Friday, the one day of the week when Muslims congregate in mosques and listen to sermons.

“State-approved sermons” are much more moderate and pluralistic in nature and the government’s way of keeping radicals and extremists from mosque podiums.

If Kirkpatrick truly cared about the religious freedom of Egypt’s minorities, he would laud this move by the government, instead of trying to portray it as an infringement of the rights of the radicals to “freely” preach hate.

Another positive development overlooked by the article is that Egypt’s native church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, was involved in drafting the new, post-Morsi constitution, and was allowed to voice its opinion over controversial Article Two, which deals with how influential Islamic Sharia will be in governing society. The Church accepted a more moderate version than the previous one articulated under Morsi, which the Church as well as millions of Egyptian Muslims, were against due to its draconian, Islamist nature.

Read more at CBN News

Who Is the Future Egyptian President?

Abdel-Fattahby :

Egypt will hold presidential elections later this month (May 26-27), and most political pundits believe that Field-Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will win in a landslide.   Al-Sisi (will be 60-years old in November) has formally shed his military uniform and donned civilian clothes, but that has not eased the resentment of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its supporters.  Al-Sisi ousted the former President, Mohammad Morsi, who is languishing in prison along with other MB leaders.  The July 3, 2013 coup carried out by al-Sisi amounted to a second such coup in Egypt within three years.

The enigmatic al-Sisi, who graduated from Egypt’s military academy in 1977, has spent nearly 37 years in the military.  In August 2012, President Morsi appointed al-Sisi as Minister of Defense, and the interim President Adly Mansour promoted him from general to Field Marshal, Egypt’s top military post.  Previously, al-Sisi served as Commander of the Northern Military region headquartered in Alexandria, and then as Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance.  He was later admitted to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt (SCAF), as its youngest member.  SCAF assumed power in Egypt during the revolution that ended the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak as President of Egypt. In June 2012, SCAF handed over power to the elected president Mohammad Morsi.

In a recent speech al-Sisi characterized the MB as “political stupidity and Religious stupidity”  and vowed to eliminate the MB. Al-Sisi, in a televised interview pointed out that on June 30, 2013 the Egyptian people had called for an end to the MB when huge throngs of Egyptians marched to protest President Morsi rule.  He insisted that there could be no reconciliation with them (MB), because the MB tricked those who voted for them, and were therefore rejected by the Egyptian people.

In explaining his opposition to Islamism and the MB, al Sisi argued that the belief of the MB is that politics should be subservient to Islam.  He maintained that there has never been a state based on religion in Islam. Al-Sisi was quoted by Reuters (May 9, 2014) as saying: “I see that the religious discourse in the entire Islamic world has cost Islam its humanity.  This requires us, and for that matter all leaders, to review their positions.”

Al-Sisi’s outward pious appearance reminds many Egyptian pundits of Anwar Sadat, but al-Sisi’s presidential campaign managers seek to present him more like the popular Egyptian revolutionary president Abdul Nasser, who helped depose the monarchy and disbanded the MB. President Sadat on the other hand used the MB against the political Left only to have the MB assassinate him.  Sadat like Sisi was a pious Sunni Muslim.

According to Al-Ahram Weekly, an independent newspaper asked al-Sisi whether he has ever dreamed of becoming head of the Egyptian military.  Then Army chief al-Sisi replied “the armed forces or something bigger.” The interviewer then asked if he thought he would be at the throne of Egypt. To which al-Sisi replied that he had been inspired by a vision in which he saw himself carrying a sword with the words “No God but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God.” In the same dream, he also received a promise from the late president Anwar Sadat that he would be president of Egypt.

Read more at Front Page

Obama Gets Scolding on Fighting Terrorism from Egypt’s al-Sisi

sisiPJ Media, By Bridget Johnson:

Retired Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former Egyptian army chief who ousted Mohammed Morsi and is now running for president, said President Obama could do more to help fight Islamist terrorism.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, al-Sisi was asked if he had a message for Obama. “We are fighting a war against terrorism,” he replied.

The White House froze $1.3 billion a year in military aid to Egypt after Moris was ousted in a people’s revolt and the interim government cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Egyptian army is undertaking major operations in the Sinai so it is not transformed into a base for terrorism that will threaten its neighbors and make Egypt unstable. If Egypt is unstable then the entire region is unstable,” al-Sisi said. “We need American support to fight terrorism, we need American equipment to use to combat terrorism.”

It’s not just the Sinai that’s a big threat, he stressed, but the growing power of jihadis in neighboring Libya.

“The West has to pay attention to what’s going on in the world – the map of extremism and its expansion. This map will reach you inevitably,” he said.

He defended his intervention in the huge 2013 protests as fulfilling the army’s sworn mission to protect the people.

“The more time passes the more the vision gets clearer to everyone. People and the world realize what happened in Egypt was the will of all of the Egyptian people,” al-Sisi said. “The army could not have abandoned its people or there would have been a civil war and we don’t know where that would have taken us. We understand the American position. We hope that they understand ours.”

He also stressed that in his government the question of whether the peace treaty with Israel would hold wouldn’t be a question like it was in the Morsi administration.

“We respected it and we will respect it,” al-Sisi said. “The Israeli people know this … The question of whether we would be committed to the peace treaty is over with.”

And his current thoughts on the Brotherhood? “Unjustified violence towards Egyptians made them not only lose sympathy among Egyptians, but also meant they have no real chance of reconciliation with society.”

Al-Sisi faces one opponents in the May 26-27 election, secular leftist Hamdeen Sabahi, who finished third in the 2012 presidential election with 21 percent of the vote.

More than 100,000 expatriates have already voted. A poll earlier this month found al-Sisi with 72 percent backing, compared to 2 percent supporting Sabahi and 22 percent undecided. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they planned on voting.