Brotherhood Members Gather in D.C. to Blast Egyptian Government

mb-theaterby John Rossomando
IPT News
September 21, 2016

Roughly two dozen Egyptians opposed to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, some with Muslim Brotherhood connections, signed a declaration last week in Washington endorsing a civil constitution that separates mosque and state. Three of the declaration’s points involve prosecuting current Egyptian officials.

Sisi, a former general, assumed power in July 2013 after his military forces ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who led the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party. Sisi was elected president with an overwhelming 96 percent of the vote in 2014.

He has cracked down on dissent, especially by the Muslim Brotherhood, imprisoning 29,000 Brotherhood members, mainly on terrorism charges.

They, in turn, have organized campaigns against the government, calling it the product of a coup.

In a Facebook post, one participant explained the statement was issued from Washington after “all other places rejected the meeting.”

The fourth point of their 10-point “Washington Initiative” endorses the creation of a civil state. It calls for “[d]rafting a civil constitution which expressly stipulates no state interference in religious institutions or vice versa, and no military intervention in the political process. It will establish rights and freedoms according to the basis of international human rights declarations and global covenants.”

This declaration also endorsed pluralism, freedom of expression, press freedom, and full equality of all Egyptian citizens. It also calls for releasing political prisoners.

Many of these positions are inconsistent with the Brotherhood’s policies during its year in power. Muslim Brotherhood leaders had promised to bring about democratic reforms once in office. Instead, they resorted to the same sort of repression found during Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year reign. This became clear after Morsi asserted emergency powers in November 2012.

“It was clear from President Morsi’s first day in office that his program for the first 100 days of his term paid little attention to addressing human rights issues and realizing Egyptians’ aspirations for democratization,” the Cairo Institute for Human Rights said in a new report issued in June.

Morsi created the underpinnings of an authoritarian regime in place of Mubarak, the institute said.

Military trials for civilians continued under Muslim Brotherhood rule and accusations of defamation of religion frequently were used to stifle freedom of expression, the institute reported. Press freedom also suffered during Morsi’s presidency.

The delegation in Washington last week included Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, foreign affairs chairman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s banned Freedom and Justice Party, and a frequent participant in pro-Brotherhood lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital.

Dardery previously rejected the separation of mosque and state.

“The issue of the separation of religion from politics is a church issue and it does not apply to Islam,” Dardery said in a Feb. 15, 2014 speech he gave at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, and translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “Democracy is the rule of people [for] the people by the people within the limit of what God allows. Islam is a choice, is a contract between me and God.”

Dardery’s statement at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee more closely resembles the International Muslim Brotherhood’s bylaws, which ultimately envisions an Islamic state.

“The need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings. Defend the nation against the internal enemies, try to present the true teachings of Islam and communicate its ideas to the world,” Article 2, Paragraph E of the bylaws say.

In contrast, Dardery claimed in a more public setting a year later that the Muslim Brotherhood did not want a religious state.

“We’re not calling for a religious law, we’re not calling for a theocracy; we’re standing against theocracy, period. What we are calling for is a democracy that can bring the liberals, the leftists, the nationalists, or the Muslim Brotherhood, because they’re all equal,” Dardery told a University of California, Berkeley audience.

He also affirmed in the speech the idea of a civil state with Islamic principles, meaning that the state would be governed by laypersons under a constitution and that laws would be made within the boundaries of Islamic shariah. This concept contrasts with the Iranian model where clerics rule directly over the people.

The 2012 Egyptian constitution drafted under Morsi’s rule had created a civil state butmade laws subject to review by Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most important institution.

Amnesty International faulted the Muslim Brotherhood’s last attempt to write a constitution for blocking women’s path to full equality and failing to protect minorities.

“It is therefore no wonder that the constitution, drafted solely by political Islamists, further entrenches both political and religious despotism and paves the way for a Sunni theocracy similar to the Iranian model,” the Cairo Institute for Human Rights wrote.

Michael Meunier, a Coptic Christian who helped organize and coordinate factions involved in the 2011 revolt that toppled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, dismissed the D.C. gathering and its resulting declaration as smoke and mirrors.

“All the [people in] attendance are members of the MB disguised under different banners. I know several of them and definitely they don’t speak for [a] civil state and did not support the creation of a civil state in 2011. [Their] insistence on Jan 25th as the official revolution gives away their motive. They don’t want to acknowledge June 30th as a Revolution since it was against the MB,” Meunier said in an email.

The declaration had more to do with persuading American policymakers to support the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian government, Meunier said. The Brotherhood used similar rhetoric before it came to power in Egypt but failed to deliver after Morsi’s inauguration.

“They love playing under different umbrellas,” Meunier said. “They say one thing in English and another in Arabic.”

Dardery’s contradictory statements support Meunier’s point that Muslim Brotherhood members vary their message depending on their audience.

Egypt’s Youm 7 newspaper identified other Brotherhood-linked figures who participated in the recent conference. In addition to Dardery, participants included former Morsi adviser Seif El-Din Abdel Fattah; Ayman Nour, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharq Channel; Muhammad Mahsoub of the Wasat Party; and Brotherhood analyst Essam Hajji.

The declaration triggered “earthquakes inside the Brotherhood camp” after its signing,Youm 7 reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood disavowed any formal participation in the conference and said any Brotherhood members who participated did so on their own.

“Media reports announcing the outcome of the ‘dialogue’ workshop held recently in Washington, attended by some political activists, also claimed representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood were present. This is not true. The group had no knowledge of anyone representing it in that workshop,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Talat Fahmy said in a statement posted on the Brotherhood’s own website, Ikhwanweb. “The Muslim Brotherhood reiterates that any views, opinion, stances or attitudes attributed to it must be so expressed through its own institutions and spokespersons.”

Other Islamists denounced the document as a “farce” because it does not recognize the Islamic nature of Egypt.

Hamas-Supporting MB Figures Meet With Congress, State Dept.

by John Rossomando
IPT News
January 29, 2015

1121A delegation including senior exiled members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and two people with a history of open support for Hamas lobbied senators Wednesday.

The delegation requested a meeting with several senators, a Senate source told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

The delegation sought help in restoring former President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt. Morsi-era parliamentarians, government ministers and judges formed the Egyptian Revolutionary Council in Istanbul, Turkey last August with the aim of toppling Egypt’s military government. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The delegation arrived in Washington Monday and will leave Thursday, according to a brief provided to the Senate offices. A Facebook post Wednesday by former Egyptian Judge Waleed Sharaby showed him alongside fellow delegation members on Capitol Hill.

The delegation also includes Sarwat Nafei, a self-described liberal elected as speaker of the Egyptian parliament in exile; Maha Azzam, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council; Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, an exiled Muslim Brotherhood member and Egyptian parliamentarian; and Mohammed Gamal Heshmat, an exiled member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s shura council and Egyptian parliamentarian.

Sharaby’s Facebook page shows him at the State Department on Monday. In a Facebook posting Thursday, Heshmat claimed he met with “a representative of the White House” as well. “The voice of the Egyptian revolution must be loud everywhere,” he wrote.

Sharaby and Heshmat have openly expressed support for Hamas.


Mohammed Gamal Heshmat, second from the left, with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal.

Heshmat’s Facebook page features a picture of him posing with Hamas Chairman Khaled Meshaal. He told the IPT that he met Meshaal during a conference in Doha, Qatar last June, and said he did not have a “continuous relationship” or a “dark relationship” with the terrorist leader.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader has a long history of supporting Palestinian terrorists. Heshmat “wants to send weapons to the Palestinians, and even send Egyptians to fight,” Deborah Amos reported in 2002 for “NOW with Bill Moyers.”

Heshmat denied making the statement when the IPT asked about it Tuesday, saying all he had ever favored was sending “humanitarian aid” to help the Palestinians.

In an August 2012 Facebook posting, he denied that Muslims were responsible for a terrorist attack in the Sinai. “[I]t is unreasonable that the Muslims carried out such an incident, because if it were a jihadist operation, it would be the first inside Israeli territory,” the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

He blamed “an American Zionist plot” for Egypt’s military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in August 2013. In a Facebook posting last July, Heshmat called Israeli Jews “the descendants of pigs and monkeys” who were fighting against the “Palestine of Jihad.”

Similarly, Sharaby, although not a Muslim Brotherhood member, wrote an article last July praising the memories of Hamas co-founders Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Sharaby’s article poetically praises Hamas:

“Or shall I tell you how this blessed movement developed the thought of resistance in record time and under the circumstances in which it was impossible to verify that these results? From throwing stones at the enemy, to stabbing him with a knife, to the sniper shot, to the IED, to martyrdom operations in the heart of the Zionist Entity, to the short-range missiles, to the long-range missiles to attack Israeli military units which made the people of Israel go into bunkers!!!”

The Saudi tabloid Al-Madina slammed the State Department meeting Wednesday, calling the delegation “terrorists.” Saudi officials labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group last year.

The State Department defended the meeting in an email to the IPT. “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

Before coming to Washington, Dardery, Sharaby and Heshmat participated in a forumin New Jersey sponsored by Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice, which an Egyptian newspaper describes as a “Brotherhood organization.” The forum was also attended by noted Islamist leader Mohammed Qatanani.

Heshmat and Sharaby arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 20, according to the Facebook page of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice.

Appearing at an event Tuesday sponsored by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) at the National Press Club, Azzam called the discussions with the State Department “fruitful.”

“There was an overlap and a common reading of the situation, of the threat of the current regime to human rights and the rule of law,” Azzam said regarding the feedback her delegation received from the State Department. “They welcomed the continued engagement with us.”

Delegation members told the State Department that support for President Abdel Fatah Sisi’s regime ran contrary to American values and national interests. They asked the U.S. not to get in the way of the Egyptian people’s “fight for their own freedom,” Azzam said.

Tuesday’s CSID event emphasized the Sisi regime’s killing, torturing and jailing of political opponents. Speakers pointed to a 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that found that Sisi and the Egyptian military were likely guilty of “crimes against humanity.”

The military government killed thousands of Egyptians, jailing thousands of innocent protesters and imprisoning over 40,000 political dissidents of all stripes, according to Azzam , including liberals, Islamists and others.

Nafei accused the media of creating “a complete fabrication” about the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood wished to create a religious state both before and after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

“The reality is that it’s democracy, pro-democracy,” Nafei said. “There is no religious state. There is no threat coming from a religious state.”

The delegation urged Egyptian-Americans of all stripes – Coptic Christian and Muslim – to unite against the Sisi government. Dardery asked Copts, who have overwhelmingly supported Sisi, to come to their side.

“The constitution that was made in 2013 … states clearly that all Egyptians are equal,” Dardery told the IPT. “There is no difference between a Christian, a Muslim and Jew.

“We’ve been living together for the past 1,400 years,” he continued. “We’ve been living with churches next to mosques.”

Dardery’s sentiments did not convince Michael Meunier, a Coptic leader and Sisi supporter who embraced the 2011 revolution early on. The Brotherhood was behind violence that has swept Egypt since Morsi’s fall, Meunier told the IPT from Cairo. He noted that Coptic churches were burned by the Brotherhood’s supporters, and St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo was attacked by Islamists during Morsi’s tenure.

Meunier had terse words for the State Department, saying that meeting with this delegation furthers the perception that the U.S. was behind the Brotherhood’s rise to power and heightens tensions between Egyptians and Americans.

IPT Exclusive: Records Prove MB Delegates Skipped Airport Inspections

Muslim Brotherhood Burns Churches, Scapegoats Christians Following Crackdown

by John Rossomando:

Pro-Morsi Demonstrations Make MB Ties Harder to Hide

Rally Organizers Deny Ties with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

by Abha Shankar
IPT News

IPT Exclusive: State Department Barred Inspection of Muslim Brotherhood Delegation

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
April 9, 2012

The State Department broke with normal procedures last week when it ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) not to conduct a secondary inspection on members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) on their way to visit government officials and think tanks in the United States.

This happened despite the fact that one member of the delegation had been implicated – though not charged – in a U.S. child pornography investigation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned.

Abdul Mawgoud Dardery

According to senior enforcement sources and documents reviewed by the IPT, investigators had information tying Abdul Mawgoud Dardery to the pornography investigation that was based in Pennsylvania. He was the senior member in the four-person FJP delegation which held court with academic groups and met with senior officials at the White House and State Department last week. (For more on what they said, click here.)

The FJP recently won a plurality of seats in recent elections to determine makeup of the next Egyptian Parliament.

Before returning to Egypt, Dardery lived in the United States long enough to attain legal permanent residency, known as a green card. That status lapsed after he left the country for more than six months. The child pornography investigation took place during Dardery’s time here and was noted in his immigration file. It surfaced when CBP officials learned of his pending visit.

A U.S. official familiar with immigration procedures told the IPT that extra inspection is standard operating procedure when a foreign visitor has been tied to criminal or terrorist activities. “Secondary inspections” involve going through the visitor’s baggage and viewing the contents of computers and other electronic devices to search for evidence of illicit activity. Agents would typically search other members of the party to ensure Dardery did not hand off his computer equipment to an associate to avoid detection.

Read more…

Taqiyya from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s FJP delegation at Georgetown University

On Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University hosted a panel of members of the political arm of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). The panelists included Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a Freedom and Justice member of parliament from Luxor and a member on parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee; Hussein El-Kazzaz, an economic advisor for the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party; Sondos Asem, the senior editor of the Freedom and Justice Party’s official website; and Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a foreign relations coordinator for the Freedom and Justice Party. Georgetown Professor John Esposito moderated the panel.
C-SPAN has a recording of the entire one hour and 15 min.event. Vlad Tepes has provided a 16 min. clip of the hard hitting question and answer segment showing some incredible taqiyya by the panel members. You can view the clip by clicking here.

Sondos Asem began by stating that the FJP delegation was in the U.S. to build bridges of understanding, given the important role of America in the region. All Egyptians suffered under Mubarak; 30 percent of Egyptians live beneath the poverty line, illiteracy is high, and there is deeply-entrenched corruption. The FJP stands by the revolution’s goals of freedom, dignity, democracy, and justice. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery continued, stating that Egypt’s revolution acted against dictatorship and corruption. It was not targeting an individual, but rather a whole regime. The FJP embraces a value system that views the family as the basis of a healthy society, Dardery said. The FJP’s faith system stands against extremism. On economic matters, the FJP supports private enterprise that promotes opportunity for all, and wants to see Egypt enter the global economy. The state should empower citizens, not control them. The FJP’s goal, Dardery said, is for all Egyptians to have access to clean water, food, schools, and hospitals. People should have no fear of speaking in opposition to the regime, and there should be a balance between society and government.

One questioner said the constitution should not be written by the majority party only, and that members of the Constituent Assembly, tasked with writing the new Egyptian constitution, should not come from within parliament.

Abdul Mawgoud Dardery replied that given the number of seats the FJP won in parliamentary elections, the FJP is actually under-represented in Assembly. Dardery also claimed that the FJP had taken a moderate position between two extremes – it was a good sign that both Al-Azhar’s representatives on the committee and the liberals were unhappy with the situation. Khaled Al-Qazzaz added that the process of selecting Assembly members was done democratically since all members were approved by parliament.

Another guest asked why the Muslim Brotherhood kept changing its position on issues, and pointed to the nomination of Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater for the presidency and their expulsion of former Brotherhood Activist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh. Hussein El-Kazzaz replied that the FJP realized that if it governed poorly or violated their promises then it would be voted out of office. The reason El-Kazzaz gave for the al-Shater’s nomination was that the party had been in discussions with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who told the FJP that their reign in Egypt ends with the parliament – they would have no more than a symbolic role in the government ministries and cabinet positions. Because the SCAF prevented the FJP from forming a coalition government, based on their success in parliamentary elections, the party decided to run for president to ensure they would not be forced out of the executive branch. Khaled Al-Qazzaz explained that Abouel Fotouh decided to violate an official policy of the FJP and Muslim Brotherhood at the time, that this was his choice to exercise his political rights, but that the FJP also had a right to enforce its policy. El-Kazzaz added that Egypt faced a “different reality” from ten months ago.Another question involved foreign funding for political activity, and whether the FJP would make the sources of its funding available and transparent. Al-Qazzaz replied that because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s huge membership and donations from outside the party, it did not have a funding problem. Al-Qazzaz added that while foreign funding of organizations such as nongovernmental organizations was allowed, it had to be completely transparent.

Dardery affirmed that the FJP would make the sources of its funding available to the public, and that the FJP supported freedom of information generally. When asked about what the FJP was doing to promote political activity among women, Sondos Asem replied that the party was not happy about women’s representation in the parliament, and claimed that the FJP fielded more female candidates than any other party. Part of the FJP platform was researching and addressing violations of women’s rights, Asem said.Another guest brought up the issue of discrimination against Christians, pointing out that in many Muslim-majority nations Christians were oppressed, their churches burned, and restrictions placed upon the building of houses of worship. Dardery replied that both Muslims and Christians suffered under the Mubarak regime, and said that 80 percent of the Coptic Christians who voted in Luxor voted for him.

He referenced the “Spanish experience,” when Muslims ruled the Iberian peninsula over a large Christian population at the height of the Islamic empire. Professor John Esposito asked about the FJP’s desire to establish an Islamic state, and what that would entail. Dardery answered, saying that the distinction between an Islamic state and a Muslim state was “academic.” An Islamic state welcomed non-Muslims, while a Muslim state was for Muslims only. Dardery added that the FJP wanted to apply Islamic Law “principles, which were concerned with outcomes, rather than “rulings,” which were limited in time and place. Dardery affirmed that the FJP did support lifting restrictions on building churches and other houses of worship.Responding to a similar question about the Islamic “Caliphate,” al-Qazzaz said that there was a misunderstanding about what this term meant, and its meaning was closer to alliances like the European Union and the United States, which are based on common characteristics, values, and beliefs. Another question asked whether the FJP supported an individual’s right to criticize or doubt Islam. Dardery said that religion is a human choice, and that according to Islam one cannot impose that choice upon another individual. A party must be able to accept criticism in politics, which will be a constant reality. Dardery went on to say that the FJP’s goal was to present a “Muslim alternative,” and that the Egyptian experience in democracy was an experiment.

Abdul Mawgoud Rageh Dardery’s version of “Some of my best friends are Christian”:

Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Perception Management Team’ to Washington, D.C.

A Muslim Brotherhood perception management team is coming to Washington, D.C. Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and its Director, John Esposito, will host a delegation of Egyptian members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party for “a discussion” on April 4, 2012.

Then, the group will join fellow Brotherhood-affiliates from Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia the next day at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for a program to be moderated by Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and a senior associate in the Middle East Program at Carnegie.

Professor John Esposito founded the Georgetown Center that now bears the name of the Saudi royal prince whose $20 million dollar endowment in 2005 bought a devoted pro-Islamic program at this Catholic university in the nation’s capital. Professor Nathan Brown, another apologist for sharia Islam, testified for the defense in the first Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial, in which he attempted to whitewash the obligatory Islamic annual zakat tax, a portion of which according to sharia (Islamic law) must go to jihad.

Among the Egyptian Brothers welcomed to Washington by Esposito and Brown will be Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, left, a Freedom and Justice Party Member of Parliament from Luxor and a member of the party’s Foreign Relations Committee; Hussein El-Kazzaz, a businessman and advisor to the Freedom and Justice Party; a “Sister,” Sondos Asem, Senior Editor at the Brotherhood’s online website, and a member of the party’s Foreign Relations Committee; and Khaled Al-Qazzaz, the Foreign Relations Coordinator for the Freedom and Justice Party. 

After predictably sweeping some 75% of the parliamentary vote together with fellow supporters of Islamic law in the Salafist party, the Muslim Brotherhood already is beginning to clamp down on dissent from the majority, pro-sharia line.

Speaking in February 2012, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery expressed disapproval for any “type of democracy that will not bring Islamists to power…this is wrong,” he said. In this sense, it would appear that Dardery considers “democracy” a kind of mob rule in which the majority makes the rules—and the majority in Egypt today is unquestionably pro Muslim Brotherhood and pro Islamic Law.

Despite an Election Program that is liberally studded with words like “freedom,” “justice” and “equality” that would make Thomas Jefferson proud, in practice, the Freedom and Justice Party is unlikely to stray far from sharia once firmly empowered by the new Egyptian constitution it will have the lead role in writing.

The brazen misrepresentation of sharia in this election year document (aka taqiyya) should be “Exhibit A” for any who still think this revolution was about American-style democracy. Currently published as part of the Freedom and Justice Party platform, whoppers like the following won’t be around for long after June 2012:

  • “…freedom of belief and worship are rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the law, and by sharia (Islamic law)…” [“Whoever changes his religion, kill him,” said the Muslim prophet Muhammad, according to authoritative ahadith. If anyone still harbors the illusion that this commandment is irrelevant in the 21st century, the story of the Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned, charged and reportedly sentenced to death on faith-based charges variously described as apostasy or insult to Islam, should be illustrative.]
  • “…our fellow Christians must not be deprived of the right to build churches” [The 9th century Pact of Umar, whose provisions are included in the book of Islamic Law called “The Reliance of the Traveller” (or ‘Umdat al-Salik) which bears the 1991 imprimatur of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, says that “…we will not erect in our city or the suburbs any new monastery, church, cell or hermitage; that we will not repair any of such buildings that may fall into ruins, or renew those that may be situated in the Muslim quarters of the town…” The laws governing the Ahl al-dhimma, or conquered People of the Book, state that failure to keep any part of this Pact by Christians or Jews results in automatic abrogation of the Pact and immediate forfeiture of their right to life, liberty and property. In other words, their blood becomes haram (permitted)—and for the beleaguered Coptic community across much of Egypt already has.]
  • “The basic principle of Islamic law is equality between women and men…” [Qur’an Sura 4:34 says, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them…”]

And finally, among the Ikhwan delegation is the lone “Sister,” Sondos Asem, (left) who is senior editor at the Brotherhood’s online website, and a member of the Party’s Foreign Relations Committee. Asem, it will be recalled, was the young 20-something who so beguiled Nicholas Kristoff, (left), during his December 2011 interview with her for the New York Times.

Apparently completely bamboozled by this articulate, well-educated mouthpiece for the Egyptian Brotherhood, the oddly naive Kristoff swallowed whole her absurd pronouncements about the equal position of women in the organization and Muslim society. The fact that, in the NYT video of the interview, Asem and her mother both wore typical Islamic garb with their heads tightly swathed while Asem’s brother, obviously the dominant figure in the family, lingered out of sight off-camera as Asem laughingly told Kristoff she “can’t talk in front of him,” seemed not to register with him in the slightest. 

This is the Ikhwan’s traveling perception management team, then, that is now headed for the U.S. Its purpose, in advance of the new constitution that the Brotherhood will be writing for Egypt in coming months, is to soothe American concerns over the coming transformation of the Egyptian government from a military dictatorship with Islamic undertones to a frankly Islamic one.

Of course, they’d like to keep the U.S. largesse flowing for as long as possible and once U.S. citizens begin to glom onto the Brotherhood’s anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Israel sharia agenda, that might not be so easy. The Muslim Brotherhood motto doesn’t come across so well once people know what’s in it:

Allah is our objective, Muhammad is our Prophet, the Quran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.

They might start thinking about what the Muslim Brotherhood logo, (lef), means, too: the Arabic word at the bottom of the circle is waidu, meaning “prepare,” and comes from the first word of Qur’anic verse 8:60, which tells Muslims to “Make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy.”                                                 

If it is possible to attend these sessions at Georgetown University or Carnegie, it is sure to be instructive in the methodology of the influence operation. The words will be perfectly calibrated to resonate with freedom-loving people who cheer to see the oppressed rise up chanting slogans about “democracy.” The reality is otherwise…but because the Brotherhood’s influence within America’s own national security leadership circles, academia, and society as a whole already is so great, it can be difficult to realize that the pre-violent jihad by stealth is far more lethal to the West than the violent jihad. The violence will come anyway (at the end), but now is the time for “civilization jihad,” unless delegations like this one are seen for what they really are and met with some pointed questions.  

Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

See also’s related article America Rolls Out Welcome Mat for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.