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, AlArab 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.

6 WAYS OBAMA PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR TERROR REGIMES

obama-bin-laden2-afpby BEN SHAPIRO:

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that it was ready to begin cutting deals with – and would continue funding – the Palestinian government now led by the terror-supporting Palestinian Authority and the open terrorist group Hamas. “It appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki fibbed. “Moving forward, we will be judging this government by its actions.”

This is a sick joke. There is no “technocratic” government; American taxpayers are nowfunding Palestinian terrorists to the tune of millions. Just as the Palestinian Authority titularly separated from terror arm Fatah to gain Western acceptance, the PA now attempts to do the same with Hamas.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer immediately tweeted, “Israel is deeply disappointed with the State Department’s comments today on the Palestinian unity government with Hamas.” Hamas has murdered hundreds of Israelis, killed American citizens, and continues to oppress women and minorities.

David Siegel, Consul General of Israel, slammed the Obama administration:

Recognizing the new Palestinian government is a major strategic blunder, especially to all those who, like Israel, wish to see a Palestinian leadership oriented towards peace. Legitimizing an unreformed Hamas under the cover of this government will severely impede any chance of inducing an eventual change in Hamas’ rejection of the Quartet Principles and squanders the considerable leverage which could be wielded against Hamas in its currently weakened state.

This is just the latest indicator that the Obama administration has chosen to make life easier for Islamic terrorists all across the world. When in doubt, the Obama administration takes interests adverse to those of the West:

Afghanistan. The Obama administration’s longstanding negotiations with the Taliban have been a source of bemusement for those watching from the sidelines. Despite President Obama’s vow to win the “good war” in Afghanistan, he has been routinely working with the Taliban to come to a governmental arrangement for years. The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in return for five top terrorists is just the latest result of such contacts – and Obama can’t wait to close Gitmo and pull out of Afghanistan altogether, as he made clear this week, leaving America’s erstwhile allies in the lurch.

Iran. In the run-up to the 2012 election cycle, President Obama declared repeatedly that Congress’s sanctions against Iran had united the world against the state achieving nuclear weaponry. He told lackey Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, “When we came in, Iran was united and on the move, and the world was divided about how to address this issue. Today, the world is as united as we’ve ever seen it around the need for Iran to take a different path on its nuclear program, and Iran is isolated and feeling the severe effects of the multiple sanctions that have been placed on it.”

In 2013, Obama then cut a deal to destroy that unanimity, crafting a nuclear deal that undercut those sanctions in return for a non-existent delay in the nuclear program. That deal destroyed any possibility of a united world front against Iran, allowing Iran to claim that it was abiding by the agreement while working to thwart it.

Egypt. In 2009, President Obama spoke in Cairo. He insisted that members of the Muslim Brotherhood be invited to the speech. He then allowed American ally Hosni Mubarak to fall, backed the Muslim Brotherhood when Mohammed Morsi was elected president, and then worked to cut off funding when the Egyptian military ousted Morsi.

Syria. President Obama first threatened Syrian President Bashar Assad with military action if Assad used WMDs; he then began shipping weapons into Syria to al-Nusra, a terrorist group leading the Syrian opposition. Assad used WMDs. Obama then cut a deal to leave Assad in power while still providing assistance to the terrorists. So we’re not on just one wrong side in Syria. We’re on two.

Turkey. After the Turkish Islamist government sent a terrorist flotilla to the Gaza Strip and Israel confronted it, President Obama forced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apologize to the Turkish government.

In other words, the Hamas negotiations and the Bergdahl deal are not outliers. They are part of a broader policy of undermining US national security interests in favor of a less muscular America, resulting in a global balance favoring Islamic terrorists. Earlier this week, the Obama Doctrine was announced by Politico: “Don’t do stupid s***.”

Politico missed the last half of the slogan: do as much cowardly s*** as possible.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief ofTruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

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

Will a Rogue General Undo Obama’s Regime Change in Libya?

Khalifa Hifterby :

It didn’t take Egypt very long to revert back to a military oligarchy. The Arab Spring was trumpeted as a new era in the history of the Middle East. But the Middle East is better at undoing history than the media is at writing it.

In Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi brushed away the Arab Spring. Now in Libya, General Khalifa Hifter is set to undo Obama’s military intervention which put the Muslim Brotherhood on the road to taking over Libya.

Forty-five years ago a group of officers led by Colonel Gaddafi seized control of Libya. Gaddafi enjoyed support from the military and Federalist opponents of a central government.

Now General Khalifa Hifter is leading another military coup while vowing to free Libya of chaos, instability and corruption. His forces pounded Islamic militias in Benghazi, including those responsible for the murder of four Americans, and seized the parliament in Tripoli.

Hifter, who has spent a long time living in the United States, claims to have American support, but his real support probably comes from the east.

Like Gaddafi, Hifter is supported by the military and the Federalists. However he isn’t fighting a weak monarchy, but the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other Islamist militias. But like Gaddafi, his takeover was probably inspired by Egypt and possibly even planned out by Egypt.

Egypt’s new government, which overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, can’t risk allowing the group to control a bordering country and one of the largest oil reserves in Africa. Gaddafi used Libya’s oil wealth to fuel his insanity and fund terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood would funnel it into pursuing its program of regional and global takeovers and the Islamic militias that control much of Libya would become a problem for Egypt.

Egypt’s immediate security agenda is to control border instability fed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and Sinai. It would only be natural for Egypt’s new rulers to turn their attention to their country’s large western border with Libya.

Read more at Front Page

CSP Intel Brief: helping Egyptians shut down the Muslim Brotherhood

Secure Freedom, Published on May 14, 2014

Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin joined a delegation to Egypt for a fact-finding tour where he met prominent anti-Muslim Brotherhood figures.

Stephen discussed his findings with Senior Fellow Fred Fleitz.

 

On the Ground in Egypt: Patrick Poole and Stephen Coughlin

Secure Freedom, Published on May 13, 2014

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Friday, 9 May, 2014

Patrick Poole, National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy

Topic: US Policy and Egyptian Counter-terrorism Efforts: Report on Recent Travels to Egypt

Libya: Islamist Group Forms to Destabilize Egypt

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci:

Unless the U.S. helps Cairo to contain civil chaos in Libya, it is likely to become “fertile ground for religious extremism.” — Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s former army chief.

U.S. and NATO members need to stop the growth of terrorism in Libya now, before the Islamist groups get organized enough to ignite the region and target Western interests.

Egypt seems to be becoming increasingly worried about the growth of Islamist movements in its neighboring Libya. Recently, Egypt’s military leader and presidential candidate, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said that U.S. military aid was needed to help rid Libya of jihadi training camps near Egypt’s border. Sisi stated that unless the U.S. helps Cairo to contain civil chaos in Libya, it is likely to become “fertile ground for religious extremism.” He added that such an eventuality would have a “disastrous” outcome for the U.S.

Sisi further said that by refusing to deploy Western forces to help stabilize Libya after Western militaries overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011, the U.S. and other NATO members had created a political vacuum that had left Libya at the mercy of “extremists, assassins, and murderers”. “History will judge you severely,” Sisi said.

 

Then-Defense Minister of Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, speaks to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in November 2013. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

On April 29, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, visited the U.S. to discuss U.S.-Egypt relations and regional developments. According to the leading Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, Fahmy spoke during the visit with Obama administration officials about the current situation in Libya and emphasized that Egypt’s keenness on cooperating with the UN to enable the Libyan government to control illegal weapons.

Fahmy stressed, according to the Saudi daily, that one of Egypt’s security concerns about Libya was the recent formation of a new Islamist movement in the country, known as the Free Egyptian Army, the goal of which is the destabilization of Egypt.

A few days earlier, on April 24, the state-owned Egyptian AlAhram newspaper reported that the Libyan Deputy Minister of Defense, Khaled Al-Sherif, said that the so-called “Free Egyptian Army” did not exist. “The story is untrue. We have seen no proof to the contrary,” Al-Sherif said. On May 2, however, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Egyptian security officials confirmed to the Saudi daily that the Free Egyptian Army does indeed exist.

The Free Egyptian Army is not yet organized as an army in the real sense, according to the Saudi paper, but it is a movement that can create security problems for Egypt.

Security officials said to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Free Egyptian Army is an anti-government Islamist movement, formed by Egyptian jihadists who went to fight in Syria during the time in power of former Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, as well as by other Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood militants who fled from Egypt to Libya after Morsi was removed from power.

Read more at Gatestone Institute