Egypt Excoriates Washington Post for Pro-Brotherhood Bias

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood's logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood’s logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, By Ryan Mauro, Feb. 5, 2015:

The Egyptian embassy has posted a letter by the ambassador to the U.S. thrashing the Washington Post for “toeing the Muslim Brotherhood line” and presenting the Islamist group as “moderate.”  It ends by advising the newspaper to be more balanced in order to “save whatever is left of your credibility in the Arab world.”

The letter is a response to a Washington Post editorial eviscerating the Egyptian government for having a “violent and cynical nature.” It claims that President El-Sisi is suppressing freedom and democracy and that his oppression is benefiting terrorist groups in the Sinai like the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The outlet also consistently promotes the polished English of Muslim Brotherhood propagandists, while muting attention to that organization’s Arabic messages, which drive extreme Islamist rhetoric and call for bloodshed, martyrdom and terror,” Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik writes.

Ambassador Tawfik writes that the newspaper has also “gone out of its way to absolve the Muslim Brotherhood of their crimes.” He points out that the editorial claims that Egyptian police killed over 20 protestors. What the Post didn’t mention is that three of them were Muslim Brotherhood members killed by their own explosives and the “protestors” killed two police officers.

The Egyptian government’s website documents the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood and warns about how the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is promoting the Islamist group in the media and policy circles. Tawfik touches on this in his letter, writing:

“History shows how a small number of Western academics and lobbyists succeeded in repackaging the Muslim Brotherhood and selling it to their elites as the panacea for curing radicalism, rather than the Trojan Horse it really is.”

Tawfik reminds readers that the Brotherhood “is the mother organization from which modern day violent jihad has sprung” and that the preaching of Brotherhood cleric Sayyid Qutb continues to radicalize Muslims today.

The Egyptian embassy is also offended at the editorial’s indictment of the government for the shooting death of activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. Videotapes show that she was killed by a police officer using birdshot.

While this is terrible, it is unfair to blame the entire Egyptian government for it. There is no proof of a cover-up. In fact, an independent commission authorized by the Egyptian government concluded that the police used excessive force and violated human rights.

El-Sisi admits police abuse is a problem and is urging security forces to be mindful of human rights. He said that he views all Egyptian women, including al-Sabbagh, as his daughters and declared her a “martyr.” He ordered an investigation into her death, and the interior minister has said he will arrest any police officer involved.

The Post ridicules President Obama for ignoring these alleged human rights abuses in order to continue security cooperation. The newspaper apparently hasn’t paid attention to how many times the Obama Administration has criticized the Egyptian government.

The Obama Administration signaled its opposition to the military’s popularly supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It condemned Egypt’s crackdown on the Brotherhood and suspended a significant amount of military aid to Egypt as punishment. The White House continues to falsely assert that the Brotherhood is non-violent.

The U.S. demands the release of former Egyptian President Morsi and imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members. The State Department recently met with Muslim Brotherhood figures plotting El-Sisi’s overthrow, including one who had his picture taken with a top Hamas leader.

The tension between President El-Sisi and President Obama is palpable. The Egyptian government used the riots in Ferguson to hit America back for its crackdown on the Brotherhood. Egypt has been moving closer to Russia as a result of the lack of U.S. support.

This isn’t the first time that the Egyptian government led by El-Sisi has grappled with the Washington Post. In an August 2013 interview, El-Sisi fought back against how his country was being depicted by the American media. He bluntly said to the reporter:

“The title of the article should be ‘Hey America: Where is your support for Egypt? Where is your support for free people?’…What I want the American reader to know is that this is a free people who rebelled against an unjust political rule, and this free people needs your support.”

El-Sisi made the case that the Brotherhood qualifies as a terrorist group and its overthrow was necessary and demanded by the population. Indeed, the protests requesting the removal of the Brotherhood-led government were the largest in human history, dwarfing the crowds that forced Egyptian President Mubarak’s resignation.

El-Sisi said the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire” and is an international organization in 60 countries. He explained that “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood,” hinting at the inconsistency in America’s labeling of amas as a terrorist group but not the Brotherhood.

Also see:

Foreigners, Diplomats Warned to Leave Egypt or Be Targeted for Jihad

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag as chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque / AP

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag as chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 3, 2015:

An Islamist organization sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood is warning all foreigners and diplomats to flee Egypt by the end of February or face becoming “a target by the Revolutionary Punishment Movement,” according to a recent warning posted online by a Brotherhood-affiliated site and read live on television by one of its broadcast organs.

The statement issues a threat to “all foreign nationals,” “all foreign companies,” and all “embassy foreigners, diplomats, and ambassadors,” ordering them to leave Egypt by the end of the month or face violent attacks, according to an independent translation of the Arabic statement.

Foreign travelers also are warned to “cancel their trips” and told “they are not welcome to Egypt during these difficult days.”

The warning comes just a week after Brotherhood leaders and allies were hosted for a meeting at the State Department, which drew fierce criticism from the Egyptian government.

It also follows a similar statement by the Brotherhood urging its supporters to prepare for a “long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt.

The latest threat was issued by an anti-government group identifying itself as “The Youth of the Revolution.” The statement was published late last week on a Brotherhood-affiliated Facebook page and also read on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station operating out of Turkey.

“After the successive meetings with revolutionaries in the squares, we decided with all the Revolutionary Punishment Movement the following,” the statement reads.

“All embassy foreigners, diplomats, and ambassadors, are given a deadline until Feb. 28 to leave the homeland,” it states.

“All foreign nationals, from all foreign, Arab, and African nationalities and all employees with companies working in Egypt [must] leave the country immediately,” it says. “This deadline will end on Feb. 11, 2015, and after that they will be a target by the Revolutionary Punishment Movement.”

Foreign companies “working in Egypt” are instructed to leave by Feb. 20, “withdraw their licenses in Egypt and end their work, otherwise all their projects will be targets by revolutionaries.”

The revolutionary youth group also instructs any country supporting the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to withdraw its backing.

Like the Brotherhood, the “The Youth of the Revolution” does not recognize al-Sisi as the rightful Egyptian leader and seeks to reinstall as president ousted Brotherhood ally Mohamed Morsi.

“All countries supporting the coup and assisting it monetarily and politically must immediately cease from any support to the coup within a month from this statement otherwise all their interests in the Middle East will be exposed to severe attacks that will have dire consequences,” the group warns.

Following the Washington Free Beacon’s initial report on the meeting between the State Department and Brotherhood-aligned leaders, the Egyptian foreign minister lashed out at the Obama administration, calling its policies “incomprehensible.”

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was forced to admit that she initially misled reporters about the meeting.

Psaki claimed that the trip was organized and funded by Georgetown University, a claim the university denied when contacted Monday by the Free Beacon.

Psaki was forced to correct the record at a briefing Monday with reporters.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said.

However, she continued to defend the decision to meet with the delegation.

When asked by a reporter, “is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group,” Psaki responded, “Yes. Yes.”

Terrorism analyst and reporter Patrick Poole said Brotherhood offshoots such as this youth group have become increasingly violent as the Egyptian government continues its crackdown on the Brotherhood and terrorist groups.

“For a year and a half we’ve seen these Brotherhood youth cadre offshoots grow increasingly violent, whether it is the ‘Molotov Movement’, ‘Revolutionary Punishment Council’, or whatever name they operate under this month,” Poole said. “Initially it was targeting police and military personnel, then violence at the universities and civilian areas. So it’s no surprise now that they’re going after foreigners.”

Brotherhood leaders have quietly endorsed this violent rhetoric, he said.

“The Brotherhood leadership, the vast majority of which is now either in prison or in exile, has nurtured this culture,” Poole said. “They train for it and justify it in their indoctrination curriculum. And as the call for a new phase of all-out jihad published on the Brotherhood’s official website last week indicates, this latest threat of violence can be seen as a direct response to what the leadership openly called for just days before.”

Egypt Labels Hamas’ Military Wing Terrorists

sissi-terror-e1414296567645IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Feb 2, 2015

An Egyptian court has labeled the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, a terrorist organization.

“The court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist group,” Judge Mohamed al-Sayid said Saturday in an interview with Reuters.

The decision came as a result of a suit brought by Egyptian attorney Samir Sabri that accused the Qassam Brigades of financing and participating in attacks in Egypt against police, military and other targets. Hamas has diverged from its goal of fighting Israel and now aims to undermine Egypt’s internal security, according to the Egyptian court.

The court’s decision centered on the Qassam Brigades’ alleged involvement in a series of terrorist attacks, including one in October that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. Sabri’s suit also claimed that Hamas’ armed wing smuggled weapons and funds into Egypt through a network of tunnels.

Egyptian security forces expanded their buffer zone along the border with Gaza in November in an effort to crackdown on the terrorist group’s smuggling operations. They claim to have destroyed 1,600 tunnels since President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013.

Egypt’s government blames the Qassam Brigades for the spate of terrorist violence in the Sinai by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafi-jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State, which is believed to be responsible for hundreds of attacks in Egypt.

Last May, Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution claimed that 200 suspects tied to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis received training at camps run by the Qassam Brigades.

Last week, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis launched a series of attacks across the northern Sinai that killed 20 people, including civilians, and left 36 wounded. The attacks included a car bomb that detonated outside a military base and a series of mortar rounds that were fired at a hotel and several checkpoints.

Hamas dismissed the decision, labeling it as politics. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the ruling “dangerous” and claimed it only “serves the Israeli occupation,” also stating that the Qassam Brigades don’t have an interest in interfering with Egypt’s internal affairs.

Hamas deputy political leader Mousa abu Marzook denounced the ruling, calling the current Egyptian regime a “coup against the history, the ethics, and the principles of Egypt,” according to the Ma’an News Agency.

“Historically, the Qassam Brigades has never pointed their rifles at any of our people, especially our big sister Egypt and her army,” Marzook said.

A different court ruling from March banned Hamas from operating in Egypt. That came amid a crackdown on the terrorist group’s parent organization – the Muslim Brotherhood.

Islamic State’s Sinai ‘province’ claims simultaneous attacks on Egyptian military, police

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.39.21 PM-thumb-560x356-5596LWJ, By

Wilayat Sinai, or the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for a series of attacks throughout the Sinai yesterday via posts on Twitter. In a statement released earlier today, the organization said the operations were revenge against the Egyptian government for imprisoning the “sisters.” Two pictures of the attacks, one of which can be seen above, were posted with the statement.

The same justification has been offered by Ajnad Misr (“Soldiers of Egypt”) for its operations in Cairo and elsewhere. The jihadists claim that devout Muslim women are being oppressed by the government and, therefore, need to be avenged.

Wilayat Sinai says in its statement today that complex assaults were carried out against the Egyptian military and police in El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, and Rafah. The raid in El Arish appears to have been the most sophisticated, as it involved three explosives-laden vehicles.

Interestingly, the group says that it launched the assaults, utilizing almost one hundred fighters (a claim that cannot be independently verified), after nighttime curfews went into effect. It did so to supposedly minimize the loss of civilian life.

The Islamic State and its so-called “provinces” are not known for their concern for civilian casualties in the Muslim majority world. Al Qaeda and its branches have attempted to steer their violence away from Muslim civilians, however. And, interestingly, Wilayat Sinai’s claim in this regard is again similar to how Ajnad Misr says it carries out its operations inside Egypt.

Ajnad Misr, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department in December, is an offshoot of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis (“ABM”) and has not sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization.

ABM’s Sinai faction pledged allegiance to the Islamic State last November and was quickly rebranded as the group’s Sinai “province.”

The number of casualties caused by the attacks varies across press accounts.

According to an Egyptian health official who spoke with Agence France Presse (AFP), at least 40 people were killed and dozens more were injured. Other reports say the number of casualties was lower. Wilayat Sinai’s statement implies that the number of people killed or wounded is much higher.

Regardless, the attacks are clearly the deadliest ones conducted by the group since it swore allegiance to the Islamic State.

The New York Times reports that the series of raids were carried out on the North Sinai security directorate headquarters, an army base, various security checkpoints, a hotel, the capital of the province, and a security camp.

Wilayat Sinai claimed several terrorist operations in late December, one on a natural gas pipeline that extends into Jordan and two others on Egyptian military vehicles.

The group has repeatedly targeted the Egyptian military in the Sinai, and killed dozens of soldiers in October, leading security forces to impose curfews in the North Sinai. Wilayat Sinai specifically mentions those curfews in today’s statement.

According to CNN, hundreds of police and troops have been killed in the last year and a half, since the military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

According to one report in the Financial Times, Wilayat Sinai’s large-scale operations may have spurred smaller cells in other cities to also strike out in Suez, Cairo, and Port Said.

Despite the military’s crackdown since October, security forces are clearly unable to prevent these types of significant, multi-stage assaults from happening, highlighting flaws in Egypt’s ability to combat the jihadists.

Following Thursday’s raids, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) released a statement on the army spokesman’s Facebook page announcing it would ramp up operations to crackdown on militants in the Sinai. And President Abdul Fattah al Sisi cut his trip to an African Union summit in Ethiopia short due to the attacks.

In addition to the photo shown above, Wilayat Sinai released this photo from yesterday:

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.40.55 PM-thumb-560x356-5599

Islamic State Affiliate Attacks Sinai as Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Jihad

The flag of the Sinai-based terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The flag of the Sinai-based terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

CSP, by Aaron Kliegman, Jan. 30, 2015:

Islamic State’s Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, took credit via Twitter for coordinated attacks against the Egyptian military and police on Thursday killing at least 26 people and wounding 60 more.

According to security officials, the terrorists first targeted a military base, military hotel, and police offices in el-Arish, the capital of North Sinai. A car bomb went off by the rear of the military base while militants fired rockets at each building. Army checkpoints were also attacked throughout the city.

The terrorists targeted two additional towns, nearby Sheik Zuwayid and Gaza-bordering Rafah.

Despite the claim of responsibility, Egypt’s military spokesman blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, with whom the military has been locked in a struggle with since the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohammed Morsi. There is a potential historical link between the Brotherhood and Sinai Province.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) was inspired by al-Qaeda and formed during the January 2011 uprisings against Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s long-time ruler. Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood is connected to Sinai Province and that the former was and is instrumental in creating and aiding the latter.

This is in part because the ISIS-affiliated group increased its activity after Morsi was brought down, with one security expert stating that the group was “avenging the Brotherhood.” Additionally, Nabil Naeem, founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, said in a 2013 article that ABM had been funded by the Brotherhood. Refaat Said, leader of the Socialist Party, Tagammu, went further to say that Morsi himself placed ABM in Sinai and released some members from prison. Moreover, Brotherhood Without Violence, a group with Brotherhood ties, states that ISIS in Sinai is the Brotherhood’s military wing.

The Egyptian government does have motivation to lay an ISIS-affiliated group at the Brotherhood’s feet but the possibility is important to note.

The Brotherhood also relates to the developing Sinai situation due to a recent visit to the U.S. State Department this week by a delegation of its leaders. This group met with State Department officials in Washington, DC to discuss their continuous opposition to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government.

Soon after the State Department meeting and just two days before the coordinated terror attacks in Sinai, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a “long, uncompromised jihad.” It is unclear if there is a link between this call for jihad and ISIS affiliates causing violence in Sinai, but the timing certainly makes for an interesting coincidence considering the Obama Administration’s insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood maintains a commitment to non-violence.

Egypt is an important ally for the West in its fight with global jihad and President Sisi’s efforts in this endeavor are essential, but his government is being challenged by this entrenched insurgency. The United States should be working with al-Sisi to fight jihad in all forms, whether from the Muslim Brotherhood or the spreading Islamic State.

Muslim Brotherhood: Prepare for Jihad

1122by IPT News  •  Jan 30, 2015

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, hailed as a moderate voice andwelcomed by officials in the Obama administration just this week, issued separate statements on its English and Arabic websites this week that appear to contradict each other.

A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it “Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence.”

“The Brotherhood should not have to – every day – reiterate its constants, its strategic stance and chosen path of civil peaceful struggle to restore legitimacy…,” it said.

It does when it posts a call to prepare for jihad invoking assembling the “steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God.”

The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”

As the IPT has shown, offering mixed messages in Arabic and English is routine for the Brotherhood.

On Thursday, a speaker on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt next month, or risk becoming a “target for the revolutionary punishment movements.” A similar statement was posted on Facebook.

The dueling statements come just after the four-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak and led to the Brotherhood’s rise to dominate Egyptian government in his wake. But that rule was short-lived, as President Mohamed Morsi was forced from office by Egypt’s army in July 2013, after millions took to the streets to protest the government’s performance.

This week, dozens of people were killed in protests marking the 2011 revolution. A delegation of exiled Brotherhood officials visited Washington this week, urging support to return Morsi to power.

It was in that context that the Arabic call for jihad was published. According to the Free Beacon, it invoked Brotherhood founding ideologue Hasan al-Banna, who “prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers…”

“For everyone must be aware that we are in the process of a new phase,” the statement concludes, “in which we summon what of our power is latent within us, and we call to mind the meaning of Jihad, and prepare ourselves and our children, wives and daughters, and whoever marches on our path for a long, unrelenting Jihad. We ask in it the abodes of the martyrs.”

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The Last Refuge:

As Predicted – Muslim Brotherhood Calls For Open Jihad Against President Fattah al-Sisi In Egypt….

Why do they hate al-Sisi so much?

◾Disbanded the Muslim Brotherhood as a political terror entity. (link) (link)
◾Arrested those who burned churches and attacked Coptic Christians. (link) (link)
◾Jailed or banished the extremist forces. (link)
◾Supported Israel’s right to exist and defend it’s borders. (link) (link)
◾Defeated Hamas in the border region. (link) (link)
◾Destroyed the border terror tunnels used by Hamas (link) (link)
◾Pressured Hamas and the PA to negotiate the ceasefire, and forced the PA and Hamas to assemble ONE negotiating group for their interests. (link) (link)
◾Fought extremism in the Sinai region, and fought against ISIS infiltration.
◾Fought the Libyan new al-Qaeda network “Libyan Dawn”. (link)
◾Charged and prosecuted the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, who fled to Qatar. (link)

◾Followed the MB to Qatar and initiated sanctions against Qatar until they stopped financing and harboring terror. (link)
◾Formed a coalition against Qatar including the UAE and Saudi Arabia who withdrew their ambassadors and isolated Qatar in the region. (link) (link)
◾Won reelection with almost 70% of the vote. (link) (link ) (link)
◾Holds an 80%+ job approval rating among ALL Egyptians. (link)
◾Shut down Qatar financed Al Jazerra propaganda machine. (link)
◾Supported the framework for a new constitution which supports minority protections. (link)
◾Won a victory against Qatar as they finally conceded and stopped safeguarding terrorists. Sending the MB leadership to the new safe harbor of Turkey. (link)
◾United the moderate (non violent) Arab coalition, the Gulf Security Council, and constructed a unity principle that supports the safety of Jordan and formed a coalition to defend if needed. (link)
◾Faced down and quietly defeated Turkey’s bid for a security council seat in the United Nations. (link) (link)
◾Negotiated a safe passage coalition for Israel and Greece to form an energy based economic trade agreement.
◾Continues to fight the Islamist extremists inside Libya. (link) (link)
◾Continues to fight ISIS in the Northern Sinai region. (link) (link) (link)
◾Expanded the border safety zone with Gaza to insure greater control and protection from weapons smuggling. (link)

Open Jihad Declared in Egypt Following State Dept. Meeting with Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 30, 2015:

The Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt just one day after a delegation of the Islamist group’s key leaders and allies met with the State Department, according to an official statement released this week.

Just days after a delegation that included two top Brotherhood leaders was hosted at the State Department, the organization released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.

The statement also was issued just two days before a major terror attack Thursday in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region that killed at least 25.

“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom,” it states.

Preparation for jihad is a key theme of the Brotherhood’s latest call for jihad.

An image posted with the statement shows two crossing swords and the word “prepare!” between them. Below the swords it reads, “the voice of truth, strength, and freedom.” According to the statement, “that is the motto of the Dawa of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The statement also invokes the well-known Muslim cleric Imam al-Bana, who founded the Brotherhood and has called for the death of Jews.

Imam al-Bana prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers,” the statement says.

The Brotherhood’s renewed call for jihad comes at a time when current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is cracking down on the group and imprisoning many of its supporters, who notoriously engaged in violence following the ouster of Brotherhood-ally Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt experts said the timing of this declaration is an embarrassment for the State Department.

“The fact that the Brotherhood issued its call to jihad two days after its meeting at the State Department will be grist for endless anti-American conspiracy theories about a supposed partnership between Washington and the Brotherhood,” said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). “The State Department should have foreseen what an embarrassment this would be.”

One member of that U.S. delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

“Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” reads an Arabic caption posted along with the photo.

Other members of that group included Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.

When asked on Tuesday evening to comment on the meeting, a State Department official told theWashington Free Beacon, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

The official declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any details about the timing and substance of any talks.

The meeting was described by a member of the delegation, Maha Azzam as “fruitful,” according to one person who attended a public event in Washington earlier this week hosted by the group.

The call for jihad, while surprising in light of the Brotherhood’s attempts to appear moderate, is part and parcel of organization’s longstanding beliefs, Trager said.

“Muslim Brothers have been committing violent acts for a very long time,” Trager explained. “Under Morsi, Muslim Brothers tortured protesters outside the presidential palace. After Morsi’s ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property. “

“But until now, the official line from the Brotherhood was to support this implicitly by justifying its causes, without justifying the acts themselves,” he added. “ So the Brotherhood’s open call to jihad doesn’t necessarily mean a tactical shift, but a rhetorical one.”

Terrorism expert and national security reporter Patrick Poole said he was struck by the clarity of the Brotherhood’s call.

“It invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948,” he said.

“It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom,” Poole said. “Not sure how much more clear they could be.”

Poole wondered if the call for jihad would convince Brotherhood apologists that the group still backs violence.

“What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,” Poole said. “Will this development be met with contrition, or silence? And what says the State Department who met with these guys this week?”

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment before press time.

Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders Hosted at State Department

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 28, 2015

The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders this week for a meeting about their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013.

One member of the delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

That delegation member, Waleed Sharaby, is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood.

The delegation also includes Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.

Sharaby, the Brotherhood-aligned judge, flashed the Islamist group’s popular symbol in his picture at the State Department and wrote in a caption: “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” according to an independent translation of the Arabic.

Screen-Shot-2015-01-27-at-2.43.16-PM

Another member of the delegation, Maha Azzam, confirmed during an event hosted Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID)—another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood—that the delegation had “fruitful” talks with the State Department.

Maha Azzam confirms that ‘anti-coup’ delegation, which includes 2 top [Muslim Brothers], had ‘fruitful’ conversations at State Dept,” Egypt expert Eric Trager tweeted.

Assam also said that the department expressed openness to engagement, according to one person who attended the event.

Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), said that the State Department is interested in maintaining a dialogue with the Brotherhood due to its continued role in the Egyptian political scene.

“The State Department continues to speak with Muslim Brothers on the assumption that Egyptian politics are unpredictable, and the Brotherhood still has some support in Egypt,” he said. “But when pro-Brotherhood delegations then post photos of themselves making pro-Brotherhood gestures in front of the State Department logo, it creates an embarrassment for the State Department.”

When asked to comment on the meeting Tuesday evening, a State Department official said, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

The official declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any details about the timing and substance of any talks.

Samuel Tadros, an Egypt expert and research fellow at the Hudson Institute who is familiar with the delegation, said that the visit is meant to rally support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing efforts against to oppose Sisi.

“I think the Muslim Brotherhood visit serves two goals,” Tadros said. “First, organizing the pro Muslim Brotherhood movement in the U.S. among the Egyptian and other Arab and Muslim communities.”

“Secondly, reaching out to administration and the policy community in D.C.,” Tadros said. “The delegation’s composition includes several non-official Muslim Brotherhood members to portray an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the regime.”

The delegation held several public events this week in Maryland and Virginia, according to invitations that were sent out.

Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.

“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.

“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.

Four years on from Egypt’s uprising, are Copts better off?

Voice of the Copts, by Asma Ajroudi-Al Arabiya News, Jan.25, 2015
coptic-christians

coptic-christians

It has been four years since hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in the capital’s Tahrir Square in a popular uprising that ousted then-president Hosni Mubarak.

Like the majority of Egyptians living under Mubarak’s 30-decade rule, Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who account for estimated 10 percent of the country’s 85 million population, demanded change.
But as Egypt marks its fourth anniversary of the Jan.25 revolution, many within Egypt’s Christian minority say the country is now better off. In fact the situation for Egypt’s Christians is “better than what it was under the Muslim Brotherhood rule, Hosni Mubarak, and even their predecessors,” according to Charl Fouad El-Masri, editor-in-chief of Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm.
While the Mubarak state promoted itself as one of coexistence, the regime cracked down on building new churches and Christian worship sites. Christians were seldom assigned to leading positions in the government and especially in the military, in what many critics described as an official discrimination by the state. And like Muslim Egyptians, a significant number of Christians lived under poverty line and worried about unemployment and lack of freedoms.
But with the rise of religious extremism in the Arab world in the 1970s and with the emergence of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda calling Arab Christians “legitimate targets,” the Christian minority found itself a target of violent sectarian attacks and a victim of an indifferent state. The 2011 revolution coincided with the deadliest year of sectarian violence in decades, including the bombing of an Alexandria church and the killing of two dozen Coptic protesters by Egyptian security forces.
Following the fall of the Mubarak regime and the beginnings of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi’s rule, however, security became a pressing priority in Christians’ demands. Attacks on Copts, who make 95 percent of Egypt’s Christian population, and their institutions have been widely reported on by the national and international media.
The emergence of ultra-conservative groups in post-revolution Egypt brought about a new wave of sectarian clashes that the government, according to critics, did not pay attention to. In 2013, a video emerged online showing Egyptian police standing idly by as a mob attacked a cathedral during a mass funeral.
“Egypt’s Copts suffered during the Muslim Brotherhood rule greatly,” El-Masri added.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won the majority of seats in the 2011 parliamentary election; and its member Mursi became Egypt’s fifth president in June 2012.
Mursi’s decree, which granted him unlimited powers, reports about violent crackdowns on journalists, liberals and demonstrators were among many issues that brought thousands of Egyptians back out on the streets calling for the president’s resignation. On June 30, 2013, and in response to the new wave of clashes that paralyzed Egypt, the Egyptian army, led by General Abdelfattah al-Sisi, ousted Mursi.
Since then, the Muslim Brotherhood was pronounced a “terrorist organization,” and its members became targets of a violent state crackdown, resulting in hundreds of deaths among Mursi supporters. Sisi became Egypt’s president on June 8, 2014.
“The outcome of the January 25 uprising was a disaster for Egyptian Christians who participated in the uprising as citizens of Egypt demanding democracy and liberty,” said Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, the founder and president of Voice of the Copts.
“When the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group achieved power, it became a nightmare not only for Christians but for anyone opposed to them,” Ramelah added.
Under Mursi, Egypt’s Christians were “unwanted, targeted, and about to face the same terror Iraqi and Syrian Christians face under Islamist terrorism there.”
“I feel Egypt would have gone in that exact direction if the Egyptian army had overlooked the people’s demands to overthrow Mursi,” Ramelah added.
Recently, Sisi has promised to rebuild damaged churches in the country.
Also see:

Is Sisi Islam’s Long-Awaited Reformer?

In view of the news that Sisi sets conditions to reconcile with Muslim Brotherhood the following assessment of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s views on reform of Islam deserves close scrutiny. Andrew Bostom has been sounding the alarm on this all along.

by Daniel Pipes
The National Review
January 19, 2015

908In a widely praised January 1 speech at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the country’s religious leadership, saying the time had come to reform Islam. He’s won Western plaudits for this, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I have reservations about the speech.

To begin with, no matter how fine Sisi’s ideas, no politician – and especially no strongman – has moved modern Islam. Atatürk’s reforms in Turkey are systematically being reversed. A decade ago, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan gave similarly fine speeches on “the true voice of Islam” and “enlightened moderation” that immediately disappeared from view. Yes, Sisi’s comments are stronger, but he is not a religious authority and, in all likelihood, they too will disappear without a trace.

As for content: Sisi praised the faith of Islam and focused on what he calls fikr, literally meaning thoughtbut in this context meaning wrong ideas. He complained that wrong ideas, which he did not specify, have become sacralized and that the religious leadership dares not criticize them. But Sisi did criticize, and in a colloquial Arabic highly unusual for discussing such topics: “It is inconceivable that the wrong ideas which we sacralize should make the entire umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction for the whole world. This is not possible.”

Nonetheless, that is precisely what has occurred: “We have reached the point that Muslims have antagonized the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] want to kill the rest of the world’s population of 7 billion, so that Muslims prosper? This is not possible.” Sisi continued, to faint applause from the religious dignitaries assembled before him, to call on them to bring about a “religious revolution.” Barring that, the Muslim community “is being torn apart, destroyed, and is going to hell.”

Kudos to Sisi for tough talk on this problem; his candor stands in sharp contrast to the mumbo-jumbo emanating from his Western counterparts who uphold the pretense that the current wave of violence has nothing to do with Islam. (Of many flamboyantly erroneous remarks, my favorite is from Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, who responded to the Charlie Hebdo massacre with, “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am.”)

But Sisi gave no specifics regarding the revolution he seeks; what might he have in mind? Contrary to what his admirers say, I believe he champions a subtle version of Islamism, defined the full application of Islamic law (Shari’a) in the public sphere.

Several indications point to Sisi having been an Islamist. He was a practicing Muslim who apparently has memorized the Koran. The Financial Times found that his wife wore thehijab (headscarf) and one of his daughters theniqab (the covering that reveals only eyes and hands). The Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, appointed Sisi his defense minister precisely because he saw the then-general as an ally.

While a student in Pennsylvania in 2005-06, Sisi wrote a paper advocating democracy adapted to Islam, one that “may bear little resemblance” to its Western prototype but “will have its own shape or form coupled with stronger religious ties.” His version of democracy did not separate mosque and state but was established “upon Islamic beliefs,” meaning that government agencies must “take Islamic beliefs into consideration when carrying out their duties.” In other words, Shari’a trumps popular will.

Also in that paper, Sisi partially aligned himself with Salafis, those long-bearded and burqa’ed Islamists aspiring to live as Muhammad did. He described the early caliphate not merely as “the ideal form of government” but also “the goal for any new form of government” and he hoped for the revival of “the earliest form” of the caliphate.

It’s certainly possible that Sisi’s views of Islam, like many Egyptians’, have evolved, especially since his break with Morsi two years ago. Indeed, rumors have him affiliated with the radically anti-Islamist Quranist movement, whose leader, Ahmed Subhy Mansour, he cited in his student paper. But Mansour suspects Sisi is “playing with words” and waits to see if Sisi is serious about reform.

Indeed, until we know more about Sisi’s personal views and see what he does next, I understand his speech not as a stance against all of Islamism but only against its specifically violent form, the kind that is ravaging Nigeria, Somalia, Syria-Iraq, and Pakistan, the kind that has placed such cities as Boston, Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris under siege. Like other cooler heads, Sisi promotes Shari’a through evolution and popular support, rather than through revolution and brutality. Non violence, to be sure, is an improvement over violence. But it’s hardly the reform of Islam that non-Muslims hope to see – especially when one recalls that working through the system is more likely to succeed.

True reform requires scholars of Islam, not strongmen, and a repudiation of implementing Shari’a in the public sphere. For both these reasons, Sisi is not likely to be that reformer.

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.

Egypt Warns of Muslim Brotherhood Organizations in U.S.

Egypt warns of Brotherhood groups like CAIR. Nihad Awad (C), Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Ibrahim Hooper (L), National Committee Director of CAIR during a press conference in Washington. Photo © Reuters

Egypt warns of Brotherhood groups like CAIR. Nihad Awad (C), Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Ibrahim Hooper (L), National Committee Director of CAIR during a press conference in Washington. Photo © Reuters

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Jan. 15, 2015:

An Egyptian government website features a warning that the Muslim Brotherhood has a lobby in the U.S. disguised as civil society organizations. The United Arab Emirates has made similar statements and the U.S. Justice Department has confirmed the existence of a Muslim Brotherhood branch in America.

The Egyptian government’s State Information Service has an entire section devoted to documenting the violence and terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is furious with the U.S. for its stance on the Brotherhood. President El-Sisi told the Washington Post in December 2013, then as Defense Minister, that the U.S. has turned its back on Egypt and is misunderstanding the Islamist group.

The documentation includes a timeline  of violence perpetrated by Brotherhood members since July 2014, a statement from the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood condemning the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children, and  many videos documenting the Brotherhood’s extremism and the justifications for overthrowing it and banning it.

Most importantly, the section prominently features an article about the Muslim Brotherhood operating in America and influencing U.S. policy through various fronts. It cites a study done by the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, a highly-respected organization in Cairo.

“She [Center executive director Dalia Zeyadah] warned that the MB has a network based in the US and operating through civil society organizations engaged in community service domains there. These organizations, she also warned, aim to spread the MB’s extremist ideologies in the US,” the Egyptian government website says.

The article from June 2014 states that the Brotherhood is moving to Turkey to set up the “nucleus of its European headquarters which would be operating under the cover of charity work to carry out terrorist acts across the region.”

The Cairo Post reported in February 2014 that the Ibn Khaldoun Center director Dalia Zeyadah “[asserted] that the Brotherhood are still trying to impact decisions of the White House, noting that campaigns against Brotherhood ‘terrorism’ must continue.”

The Egyptian government often talks about the International Muslim Brotherhood to emphasize that it is not just an Egyptian organization. In his interview with the Washington Post, El-Sisi said it operates in 60 countries and that Hamas is one of its branches. He warned that the group is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire.”

The Clairon Project’s research into the Brotherhood sympathies of a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was covered in the Egyptian media in 2013, specifically by the Al-Nahartelevision network.

The U.S. government confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with a network a fronts under different names during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, one such trial.

The Justice Department’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in that trial includes a list a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities and members. The list includes the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The lattermost organization was listed as an entity of the U.S. Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a sub-section set up to support Hamas.

The United Arab Emirates caused a stir recently when it banned the Brotherhood and some of its most powerful affiliates in the U.S. and Europe, including CAIR, the Muslim American Society and Islamic Relief.

The UAE justified its designation of the U.S-based groups as terrorist organizations despite the immense backlash. The Foreign Minister of the country said it was based on the group’s incitement and funding of terrorism.

Another UAE official said the objective is “putting a cordon around all subversive entities.” And UAE State Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash said the backlash was being orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood lobby in the West.

“The noise (by) some Western organizations over the UAE’s terrorism list originates in groups that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and many of them work on incitement and creating an environment of extremism,” Gargash tweeted.

The U.S. Justice Department, countless terrorism experts and the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. Brotherhood’s own documents are even publicly available.

Yet, those who point this out are ridiculed by these Islamist groups and their allies as bigoted “Islamophobes.” The accusation is even nonsensically made about Muslims who point this out.

The refusal of the U.S. government to recognize the toxic ideology of the Brotherhood is undermining America’s ability to have a frank discussion about the issue of Islamism.

Muslim governments are providing verifiable evidence about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, but their warnings are ignored or rejected. Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim) who voice these same concerns are personally attacked.

Terms like Islamism and Political Islam are used regularly in the Muslm world and even on the Brotherhood’s own website, but the U.S. Brotherhood and its apologists say we can’t.  CAIR has waged a campaign to make the media stop using the “Islamist” term.

America is in the middle of a heated debate about the defining the threat. We should listen to our Muslim allies and let the facts speak for themselves, instead of letting Islamists and their apologists edit our vocabularies.

Obama Sides With Muslim Brotherhood In Islamic Reform Debate

 

Daily Caller, by Neil Munro, Jan. 12, 2015

The president of the United States has somehow put himself on the opposite side of an Islamic theological debate from the Muslim president of Egypt.

President Obama has aligned himself with revivalist groups — including the Muslim Brotherhood — that are trying to promote traditionalist Islam, while Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has begun championing Islamic modernizers.

Those modernizers want to defang the militant and supremacist Islam that has reigned since Islam emerged in the 700s. In contrast, the revivalists — and their allied jihadis — want to regain the regional power that traditionalist Islam held until roughly 1800.

The Islamic debate was dramatically exposed Jan. 1 when Sisi called a public meeting with the leaders of Islam’s leading seminary, which is based in Cairo.

“Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is seven billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!” Sisi said in front of the TV cameras and religious leaders at Al Azhar.

Sisi tried to portray Islam’s traditional doctrines as outmoded ideas wrongly attached to the faultless core of Islam. ”That thinking — I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ — that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!”

“You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective. … We are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this umma [Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost — and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In contrast, Obama has repeatedly praised Islam as a “religion of peace,” and says that jihadis are violating the established beliefs of Islam.

His attorney general, Eric Holder, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Jan. 11 that “we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam, they use a corrupted version of Islam, to justify their actions.”

When quizzed by ABC’s George Stephanopolous the same day, Holder repeated the same traditionalist message. “We are at war with those who would commit terrorist attacks and who would corrupt the Islamic faith in the way that they do to try to justify their terrorist actions,” Holder said.

Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, repeated Obama’s theological claim Jan. 7, shortly after Muslim revivalists murdered eight journalists, two cops and two other people at the Paris office of a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. “There are some individuals that are using a peaceful religion and grossly distorting it,” he claimed.

“We have enjoyed significant success in enlisting leaders in the Muslim community, like I said, both in the United States and around the world to condemn that kind of messaging … and we’re going to redouble those efforts in the days and weeks ahead,” Earnest said.

On Jan 11. the White House announced it would hold a Feb. 18 meeting to showcase its efforts to prevent “violent extremism” in the United States. The announcement didn’t mention Islam.

The administration’s current policy recruits Brotherhood-aligned groups in the United States to identify and re-educate potential jihadis living in semi-segregated Muslim communities in the United States.

The White House’s continued support for traditionalist Islam is drawing new criticism. ”The Obama White House is now a propaganda center for what Earnest described as ‘peaceful’ Islam,” said a Jan. 9 statement from Newt Gingrich.

“This is either madness or cowardice,” he added. ”It could be madness because President Obama and his team are so out of touch with reality that they see themselves as the definers of a 1,500-year-old religion.”

“It could be cowardice because our national elite in both parties … is afraid to face the reality that millions of people around the world, many of them motivated by religion, hate the West and want sincerely to destroy it,” he added.

Obama has pushed the same revivalist message since 2009, when he flew to Cairo to give a major speech to Muslims, dubbed, “A New Beginning.”

Obama began the 2009 speech by praising the same seminary that Sisi reprimanded.

“For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress,” he said.

Prior to the speech, Obama insisted that some members of the then-suppressed group be allowed to attend.

Once the Muslim Brotherhood revivalist movement narrowly won Egypt’s presidency in June 2012, Obama tried to help them reconcile their Islamic worldview with the attitudes needed for stable government.

Since 2009, Obama and his deputies have mostly partnered with the revivalists who are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, not with the fewer modernizers promoted by Sisi.

In the United States, his deputies have privately and publicly met with the revivalist groups’ allies hundreds of times, and he has invited them to the White House. For example, Obama has met with Haris Tarin, D.C. head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who has called for the U.S. government to stigmatize speech critical of Islam.

That’s very different from Sisi, who is trying to suppress the Brotherhood movement and push al-Azhar’s Islamic leaders toward modernity.

Sisi made his demand for modernity in front of TV cameras, and then underlined his modernist approach by joining the head of Egypt’s remaining Christian community of roughly eight million people at a New Year Mass.

“It is very important that the world sees us as Egyptians. … We are setting an example from right here in Egypt. That is why it is not acceptable to say anything except that we are Egyptians. We must be Egyptians only. Yes, Egyptians. Yes, we are one hand. … We will treat each other with respect. And we treat each other with love, a deep and sincere love,” Sisi said.

Sisi’s presence at the Mass was a first for an Egyptian head of state, and it comes only two years after Egypt’s electorate overwhelmingly elected two militantly revivalist parties to run Egypt’s government. In July 2012, Sisi overthrew the revivalists amid huge public protest against their slow-motion, economy-wrecking imposition of totalitarian Islam.

Obama’s distance from Sisi isn’t surprising, Robert Spencer, an expert and critic of Islam, told The Daily Caller. “Obama believes that Islam is a ‘religion of peace,’ he probably doesn’t think it needs any reform, and thus regards Sisi’s recommendations as unnecessary.”

Sisi’s embrace of modernity, and of Egypt’s Christian community, is far more politically dramatic than anything imaginable in the United States.

Al-Azhar isn’t just the Harvard of Islam — it’s the intellectual partner of the Brotherhood and its various jihadi groups, including Hamas in Gaza and the gunmen who killed Sisi’s predecessor, President Anwar Sadat, in 1981.

Unsurprisingly, the Brotherhood’s supporters oppose Sisi’s push.

Pro-Sisi “Egyptians shouldn’t worry about my not supporting his call for ‘religious revolution,’” said a tweet from Mohamed Elibiary, a Texas-based Brotherhood supporter who served as an adviser until late 2014 in the Obama’s Department of Homeland Security.

Egyptian president has more guts to speak out about radical Islam than Obama [VIDEO]

al-sisi-egypt-elec_2921226bBy Allen West, Jan. 10. 2015:

Last night, I watched the movie “Fury” which depicts the brutality of fighting total war in close combat in the armor and infantry against the enemy — the final days of World War II against Germany. I found it rather strange and somehow timely to watch this film after what happened this past week in France. Sometime, someplace, there will have to be a leader who steps forth and understands the concept of civilizational warfare. There has to be one who can define and face the enemy and inspire a nation to seek victory. We are looking for such a leader in the West, but perhaps someone will come from another place to inspire us.

As reported in The Washington Times by my friend Charles Ortel, “The biggest story not yet covered appropriately in mainstream media plays out now in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attacks the root causes of continuing conflict between certain adherents of Islam and freedom-loving secularists, in defiance of President Obama and of fierce critics.”

 

“Living in a nation of 87 million persons, where an estimated 90 percent are Muslim, President el-Sisi is certain that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization, or a force for good and so his government holds hundreds of members of that organization in prison, where many face death sentences, including former President Mohammed Morsi. To see what President el-Sisi confronts now, peruse the still-operating English language website of the brotherhood.”

It is truly fascinating that here is the one leader in the Muslim world who has the courage not only to confront the enemy, but also its ideology. After all, it was el-Sisi who has taken on the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists in Egypt, the Sinai and in neighboring Libya.

The former general has also stood against the Islamic terror group Hamas. But what confounds me is not his actions –truly heroic — but the actions of our own president, Barack Hussein Obama. It was Obama who in 2009 went to the University of Cairo and delivered a speech where he requested Muslim Brotherhood members should appear front and center. It was Obama who applauded the ascension of Mohammad Morsi as Egypt’s president. And it has been Obama who has seemingly turned his back on Egypt since its ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s that nagging question of allegiance again.

When it came down to choosing between Hamas, Turkey, and Qatar as opposed to Israel and Egypt — under el-Sisi — our president chose the former, not the latter. And now, it is el-Sisi who is calling out the Islamists and the clerics, mullahs, imams who are causing strife globally.

As Charles writes, “President el-Sisi plays for his life against determined internal and external opposition while President Obama merely preens before friendly partisan crowds. Recently this year, the fully engaged leader of Egypt began a drive to reform Islam from within. His address to religious authorities at Al-Azhar University in Cairo on Jan. 1 is a stunning “must-read” and “must-share” development that only now is getting attention it so richly deserves. Wednesday, President el-Sisi put in a public appearance at a Christmas mass in Cairo — an historic first in Egypt’s modern history.” Funny, here in America we’re struggling in some places just to say Merry Christmas.

There couldn’t be any bigger contrast in leadership at a critical time such as this.

From the events this week in Paris we must learn that we cannot shy away from defining this enemy. The cultural jihadist apologists must no longer be given a platform. It is unbelievable that anyone would refer to the Islamic terrorists who wrought savage carnage this week as “activists.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah e-Sisi has shown us that we must fight the ideology which fuels the jihad. We cannot win this battle by denying who the enemy is — and if it takes the Egyptian president to show us the way — well, Molon Labe!

The Significance of Sisi’s Speech

Raymond Ibrahim, Jan. 7, 2015:

On New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi—the hero of Egypt’s 2013 anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—made some remarkable comments concerning the need for a “religious revolution.”

Watch the video below or click here to read the excerpt:

 

Sisi made his remarks during a speech celebrating the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad—which was ironically held on January 1, 2015 (a day not acknowledged or celebrated in the Muslim world as it is based on a Christian calendar)—and he was addressing the nation’s top Islamic authorities from among the Awqaf Ministry (religious endowments) and Al Azhar University.

Although Sisi’s words were directed to Islam’s guardians and articulators, they indirectly lead to several important lessons for Western observers.

First, in just a few words, Sisi delivered a dose of truth and hard-hitting reality concerning the Islamic world’s relationship to the rest of the world—a dose of reality very few Western leaders dare think let alone proclaim.

“It’s inconceivable,” he said, “that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!”

What a refreshingly honest statement to come from not only a political leader but a Muslim political leader who has much to lose, not least his life!  Contrast his very true words with the habitual reassurances of the Western establishment that Islamic world violence and intolerance is a product of anything and everything but Islam.

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Even after the appearance of the head-chopping, infidel-crucifying Islamic State, politicians like U.S. President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insisted that the “caliphate” is not Islamic, despite all the evidence otherwise. Yet here is Sisi, the pious Muslim, saying that the majority of the terrorism plaguing the world today is related to the holy texts of Islam themselves:

That thinking [that is responsible for producing “anxiety, danger, killing and destruction” around the world]—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

As a Muslim, Sisi will not say that Islam, the “religion,” is responsible for “antagonizing the entire world,” but he certainly goes much further than his Western counterparts when he says that this “thinking” is rooted in an Islamic “corpus of texts and ideas” which have become so “sacralized.”

Recall that here in the West, Islamic terrorists are seen as mere “criminals” and their terrorism as “crimes” without mention of any Islamic text or ideology driving them.

The Egyptian president further invoked the classical Islamic teaching—the “thinking”—that divides the world into two warring halves: the Muslim world (or in Islamic/Arabic parlance, Dar al-Islam) which must forever be in a struggle with the rest of the world (or Dar al-Harb, the “abode of war”) till, in the Koran’s words, “all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:39).

“Is it possible,” asked Sisi, “that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”

Sisi made another important point that Western leaders and media habitually lie about: after affirming that Islamic “thinking” is “antagonizing the entire world,” he said that “this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In other words, Islamic terrorism and chaos is not a product of grievance, territorial disputes, colonialism, Israel, offensive cartoons, or anything else the West points to.  It’s a product of their “own hands.”

Again, one must appreciate how refreshing it is for a top political leader in the heart of the Islamic world to make such candid admissions that his Western counterparts dare not even think let alone speak. And bear in mind, Sisi has much to lose as opposed to Western politicians.  Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that he is an apostate are sure to grow more aggressive now.

The critic may ask, “All well and good, but words aside, what has Sisi actually done to help bring about this “religious revolution”?  In fact, one popular journalist, Ibrahim Eissa, recently said just this on live television in Egypt:

Five months have passed since he [Sisi] became president, after his amazing showing at elections.  Okay: the president has, more than once, indicated the need for a renewal of religious discourse….  But he has not done a single thing, President Sisi, to renew religious discourse.  Nothing at all.

Yet it seems that Sisi has an answer for this, too: it is not his job as president of Egypt to reform the thinking of the Islamic world; rather, that role belongs to the ulema—which is precisely why he addressed them with such candid words.  Indeed, he repeatedly stressed that it is the ulema’s job to lead this “religious revolution.”

Thus, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…. I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”

Meanwhile, while Sisi was making these groundbreaking if not historic statements, the Western mainstream media, true to form, ignored them and instead offered puerile and redundant headlines, most critical of Sisi, like:

  • “Egypt President Sisi urged to free al-Jazeera reporter” (BBC, Jan 1; to which I respond, “Why, so Al Jazeera can continue lying and misleading the West about Sisi and Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution?”)
  •  “Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime” (USA Today, Jan. 2; to which I respond, “Homosexuals live in fear in all Islamic nations, regardless of Sisi.”)
  •  “George Clooney’s wife Amal risks arrest in Egypt” (Fox News, Jan. 3; to which I respond, “Who cares?  Only her innocence or guilt matter, not her husband’s fame”—which is the only reason Fox News chose the story in the first place.)

Whether concerning the true nature of Islam or the true nature of Sisi, here is the latest example of how unfathomably ignorant all those millions of people who exclusively follow the so-called “mainstream media” must surely be.

Also see:

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Report: Qatar to banish Hamas’ Mashaal, who will relocate to Turkey

Hamas’ political bureau, is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups.

Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that Mashaal has been expelled from Qatar.

“There is no truth to what some media outlets have published over the departure by brother Khaled Meshaal from Doha,” Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters by telephone.

Another Hamas source confirmed that Mashaal was still in Doha and has no plans to leave the country.

The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Last year, the emir of Qatar denied accusations that the Gulf sheikhdom is a sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist organizations.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani rejected suggestions that the groups that Doha was backing were terrorist in nature.

“We have to see the difference between movements,” Al-Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I know that in America and some other countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. In our part of the region, we don’t.”

The Qatari leader did say that his government opposed “certain movements in Syria and Iraq,” a reference to the Islamic State. He denied accusations that Qatar was funding IS or that his government was turning a blind eye to private citizens’ activities in support of the group.

In the interview, Al-Thani never mentioned Hamas by name, despite the fact that his government is known to provide financial support to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israeli officials have denounced Qatar for backing Hamas.

Earlier this year, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he deemed Qatar “the Club Med for terrorists.”

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza,” Prosor wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the Emir of Qatar.’”

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