Analysis: A new crack in the Sunni bloc?

showimage-3The vacuum left by America’s disengagement has thrown the Middle East into a dangerous state of instability, wherein extremist groups thrive and thwart any hopes for peace.

By Zvi Mazel, JPOST, October 16, 2016

There seems to be a growing rift between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the twin mainstays of the Sunni front against the major threats of Iran’s terrorist operations and nuclear building on the one hand, and against the rogue Sunni Islamic State on the other. The two countries no longer see eye to eye on a number of regional issues, although they deny it and insist that they are still coordinating their actions.

The Egyptian president has stated on a number of occasions that the security of the Gulf is essential to the security of his country, while the Saudi king wrote to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that any attack on Egyptian security would be seen as an attack on Saudi Arabia.

Simmering tensions came to the boil at a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria on October 8.

Egypt not only voted with Russia to defeat the French proposal calling for a stop to bombing on Aleppo, it also voted for the Russian counter-proposal opposed by the West. The Saudi representative strongly condemned the two votes, which led to a spate of acrimonious articles in Egyptian and Saudi media. Sisi had to intervene; he declared that though Egypt remained committed to good relations with Gulf countries, it had its own interests.

The so-called pragmatic Sunni bloc, which included the Gulf states, Jordan and Morocco, emerged during the Mubarak years, and enjoyed the powerful support of the United States. Israel played a significant role behind the scenes, because the Gulf states and Egypt believed that it would be able to pressure Washington into stopping Iran’s nuclear program, while at the same time hoping that Israel might bomb Iran’s nuclear installations and deliver the region from that threat.

Barack Obama’s gradual disengagement from the Middle East, while favoring Shi’ite Iran over Sunni countries, was a game changer. America jettisoned Mubarak, its long-term ally, and welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood; it turned its back on President Sisi and made a deal with Iran on its nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states felt betrayed and lost their trust in the United States, while Egypt, losing political, economic and military American support, turned to Russia and China for sophisticated weaponry and to develop economic projects – including building a nuclear plant to produce energy with the help of Russia. The Russian and Egyptian armies are conducting joint exercises, further testimony to the deepening ties.

In short, deprived of the strong American backing which was the basis of their common policy, Egypt and Saudi Arabia took different paths based on their divergent interests. Egypt, fearing an Islamic takeover, believes Syrian unity must be preserved at all costs, and aligned itself with Russia with regards to Syria, whose goals are similar to those of Iran, which wants President Basher Assad to remain in place in order to ensure its continued access to its Hezbollah ally in Lebanon through Syria.

Riyadh is steadfastly supporting Sunni rebel groups fighting to eliminate Assad and set up a Sunni regime. These groups include Islamic terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and therein lies the crux of the problem. The Brotherhood is still manufacturing terrorism in Egypt, presenting a very real threat and hampering the country’s economic development. As to Saudi Arabia, although it expelled the Brothers following the 9/11 attacks in New York – 15 of 18 perpetrators being Saudi Muslim Brothers – and has declared that the Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, just as Egypt did, it is now in the uneasy position of forbidding its activities in the kingdom while supporting them abroad. In Yemen, it backs al-Islah, a “Reform” party which is an offshoot of the Brotherhood, against the Shi’ite Houthi rebels, in the hopes that they will rule the country after defeating the rebellion.

Egypt emphatically does not want that to happen. It reluctantly joined the Saudi-led coalition again the Houthis, but is not taking part in military operations beyond patrolling the entrance to the Suez Canal, which is in its own interests. The situation regarding Libya is similar. Egypt backs Gen. Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, who is battling extremist groups with great success, while Saudi Arabia helps Brotherhood organizations.

In short, for Egypt, the most pressing threat is that of the Muslim Brothers, which enjoy the support of Turkey and Qatar. Saudi Arabia is more afraid of Iran, and therefore reluctantly allies itself with Sunni terrorist organizations it abhors. It has even grown closer to Turkey, a country at odds with Egypt over the removal of Morsi and the overthrow of the regime of the Brotherhood.

Sometimes logic goes overboard: Sunni Egypt and Sunni Saudi Arabia should have been united in condemnation of the relentless bombing of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian planes, driving the Sunni population out of the town with the intent to replace them with Alawites – but Egypt voted against the French resolution to end the bombing.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has given Egypt $15 billion in outright grants, loans or deposits into Cairo’s central bank, in order to bolster the Egyptian economy and currency, and has supplied Egypt with natural gas and oil. Both countries will try to overcome their differences, but it will not be easy. Riyadh is sending conflicting signals. It suspended regular deliveries of refined oil in spite of the 25 year contract signed in May, estimated at $23b.; it also significantly raised the price of visas for the pilgrimage to Mecca.

On the other hand, it deposited $2b. into Egyptian banks in September to bolster the Egyptian currency. A high-ranking Egyptian delegation is soon expected in Riyadh to “discuss regional issues and the implementation of the cooperation agreements signed in Cairo, during the visit of King Salman in April,” as well as the Syrian issue. The Saudi ambassador to Egypt has been called home to prepare for the visit.

The vacuum left by America’s disengagement has thrown the Middle East into a dangerous state of instability, wherein extremist groups thrive and thwart any hopes for peace. The Sunni bloc is in disarray. It is every country for itself. This has led to a quiet strengthening of security and intelligence cooperation with Israel, and even greater economic exchanges. But this is kept under wraps. Neither President Sisi nor King Abdullah of Jordan dared attend Peres’s funeral, as this newfound collaboration does not bode well for the much-touted “regional solution” of the Palestinian issue.

The writer, a fellow of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.

Clinton Backed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Regime

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012 / AP

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012 / AP

Talking points show Clinton called Morsi’s election ‘milestone’ for Egyptian democracy.

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, October 13, 2016:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 called the election of Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood leader a “milestone” for Egyptian democracy and offered covert police and security help, according to declassified State Department documents.

A nine-page document, once-labeled “Secret,” listed talking points for Clinton’s meeting with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 14, 2012. The talking points said Morsi’s election was a key step toward popular democracy in the strategic North African state.

“We stand behind Egypt’s transition to democracy,” the heavily-redacted Clinton talking points state, adding that the only way to maintain a strong Egypt is “through a successful transition to democracy.”

The first key objective of the meeting was for Clinton to “offer our congratulations to Morsi and to the Egyptian people for this milestone in Egypt’s transition to democracy.”

Clinton then was meant to offer Morsi American technical expertise and assistance from both the U.S. government and private sector to support his economic and social programs.

Clinton’s talking points also included an offer of secret assistance to help Morsi “upgrade and reorient Egypt’s police force toward serving the needs of a democratic people.” The offer included sending a team of U.S. police and security experts to Egypt as part of a “framework of cooperation” that would be carried out “quite discretely.”

Also, the talking points reveal Clinton was ready to help launch an Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, a private sector initiative of U.S. and Egyptian investors to help Egyptian businesses. The fund was to be launched with $60 million and would later involve Congress adding $300 million over five years.

The fund was created in September 2012.

Many pro-democracy Egyptians who had taken to the streets as part of the 2011 revolution that ousted long-time U.S. ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak viewed U.S. support for Morsi as a betrayal and part of a U.S. strategy of backing the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.

The meeting between Clinton and Morsi took place two months before terrorists in neighboring Libya attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA facility, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens.

A second State Department document revealed that Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides wrote to Morsi on Sept. 24, 2012 seeking collaboration with the Egyptian leader on Syria and Iran.

“It was a honor to meet with you in Cairo,” Nides wrote in the letter. “We share the goal of growing our markets and increasing trade, as well as a desire for a stable, secure and peaceful region. As I said when we met, the United States also remains committed to helping Egypt address regional issues, including Syria and Iran.”

Both documents reveal that the State Department under Clinton had little understanding of the Islamist threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches.

Andrew C. McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted Islamist terrorism cases, said Clinton backed the Muslim Brotherhood over the Egyptian military, stating it was imperative that power be turned over to the winner of the election.

“The defining mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is the implementation of sharia,” McCarthy said. Sharia is Islamic law that critics say is antidemocratic and contrary to fundamental rights and freedoms

The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on the Obama administration’s secret 2011 Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11.

The directive, according to officials familiar with its contents, outlined how the administration would seek to support the Muslim Brotherhood around the world despite the Islamist supremacist organization providing the ideological underpinning for jihadist terrorism for both al Qaeda and its successor, the Islamic State.

U.S. backing for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was derailed by the Egyptian military a year after the meeting. Morsi, the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history, was ousted in a coup after he had sought to consolidate power by granting himself unlimited authority in what pro-democracy critics called an Islamist coup.

Egyptian military leaders arrested Morsi on July 3, 2013, after protesters took to the streets to oppose his rule. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi headed a military government and was later elected president.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an international organization founded in 1928 that adopted as its motto “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our Leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the path of Allah is our highest hope.”

The leaders of the Brotherhood in September 2010 declared jihad, or holy war against the United States and Israel, six months before the Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

Clinton’s backing for Arab Spring states was guided by PSD-11 and produced ongoing disasters in the region, namely in Libya and Syria.

U.S. intervention in Libya ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi but left the oil-rich state in turmoil. It is now viewed as a failed state and safe haven for several Islamist terror groups.

Syria’s civil war helped spawn the emergence of the Islamic State in 2014.

In a section on Israel, Clinton’s talking points expressed appreciation to Morsi for assertions that Egypt would continue to abide by international treaties and obligations.

“Maintaining peace with Israel is a fundamental shared interest and critical for Egypt’s ability to address its economic challenges and enjoy international support as it consolidates its democracy,” the talking points stated. “We may not have a common view, but we do have a common interest.”

The CIA also covertly backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, according to Egyptian news outlets. In December 2013, the news website Al Bashayer published audio recordings of a CIA delegation that met with Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Khayrat al Shatir and Brotherhood official Isam al Haddad at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Jan. 8, 2013.

The CIA asked the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to open a back channel to al Qaeda “to secure the safe exit of U.S. troops” from Afghanistan.

Additionally, another news outlet, Al-Marshad al Amni, reported that Maj. Gen. Abd-al-Hamid Khayrat, former deputy chief for Egyptian State Security Investigations said the CIA in January 2013 “asked for the help of the MB in Egypt to facilitate… the withdrawal from Afghanistan.” The Muslim Brotherhood agreed to become a “bridge” between the U.S. government and al Qaeda, Khayrat said.

The reports triggered widespread conspiracy theories in post-Morsi Egypt that the CIA was collaborating with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to destabilize Egypt.

The Clinton talking points about the transition to democracy were reflected in a briefing given by a State Department official to reporters the day before the 2012 meeting. The covert police assistance was not mentioned.

A day after the meeting, Clinton stated in remarks at the U.S. Consulate in Alexandria, Egypt, that she told Morsi the success of his presidency and Egypt’s success “depends upon building consensus across the Egyptian political spectrum and speaking to the needs and concerns of all Egyptians—all faiths, all communities, men and women alike.”

Retired Army Lt. Col. Joseph Myers, a former DIA official and specialist on terrorism, said the documents show the endorsement and support of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt was “a fools errand and shows a disastrous strategic naivety.”

“The whole policy initiative to support a Muslim Brotherhood government anywhere is another example of a total policy failure of Secretary Clinton,” Myers said.

“But it also raises deeper questions of who in our government is advising and influencing such reckless and dangerous policies that show no fundamental comprehension of the threat we face from radical Islamic jihad,” he added. “Or worse these advisers precisely understand what they are doing to U.S. policy and Secretary Clinton could not.”

Two Senior Leaders of Muslim Brotherhood ‘Terror Wing’ Killed in Egypt

muslim-brotherhood-terrorism-sized-770x415xtPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 4, 2016:

Two senior leaders of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood were reportedly killed in a shootout with government forces, the Ministry of Interior announced late yesterday:

Reuters reports:

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said early on Tuesday that it killed a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader it said was responsible for the group’s “armed wing” and another member of the group in a shootout on Monday.Mohamed Kamal, 61, a member of the group’s top leadership, and Yasser Shehata, another leader, were killed. The ministry said it raided an apartment in Cairo’s Bassateen neighborhood after learning it was used by the leaders as a headquarters.

Both Kamal and Sehata were wanted by Egyptian authorities since the dissolution of Mohamed Morsi’s government in August 2013:

Shehata was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for “assaulting a citizen and forcibly detaining the person in the headquarters of the freedom and Justice party,” the political wing of the origination, the ministry said in its statement.Kamal had been sentenced to life in prison on two counts in absentia, added the statement.

Kamal is one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Guidance Bureau. He was in charge of the supreme Administrative Committee, known as the youth committee. He resigned from the committee in May 2016, because the committee was opposed by other top leaders in the organization.

It is precisely Kamal’s role in inciting violence through the Muslim Brotherhood’s youth committee that brought him into conflict with other leaders of the group. He was directly responsible for the creation of the youth cadres that continue to wage a widespread terror campaign targeting army, police and other Egyptian government officials.

In June, Mohamed Hamama explained Kamal’s role in establishing the Muslim Brotherhood’s current terror wing:

The roots of dissent grew out of this crisis management committee, with Kamal and [Ali] Bateekh among its members. They were elected by the group’s Shura Council in 2013, following the end of the mandate of the Guidance Bureau, the group’s leadership body. In the committee’s view, Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie still retains his position despite his imprisonment, while the committee takes on the Guidance Bureau’s responsibilities given the absence of most of its leaders.By June 2014, divisions in opinion on major issues, such as the group’s position on violence, began to fester. According to a former Brotherhood leader from the Delta who preferred not to be named, Kamal, Bateekh and others called for a meeting in January 2015 to discuss the revolution’s anniversary. At that meeting, they spoke of violence as an inevitable path. The meeting culminated in the formation of two new committees to adopt a violence-oriented strategy: the Revolutionary Punishment Committee and the Popular Resistance Committee.

The constituencies affiliated with Kamal, Bateekh and other dissenters live in the areas where the greatest violence against the state has been waged in the last two years: Cairo, Alexandria, Qalyubiya, Monufiya and the northern part of Upper Egypt.

Coincidentally, prior to the announcement of Kamal’s death, research Moktar Awad published an assessment of the “Islamist insurgency” in Egypt, noting Kamal’s role in the Muslim Brotherhood’s terror wing, including its most recent incarnation, Hassm, which has assassinated several top officials responsible for local crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood:

Immediately after Kamal began leading a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood towards a “creative revolutionary path,” a series of statements during 2015 endorsed the group’s campaign of violence:

  • A group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement in early February warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country by February 28, 2015 or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.

I reported here at PJ Media in June 2015 about the escalation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood youth cadres during 2015, beginning with the published call for a “long, uncompromising jihad” in January 2015.

This past June, I reported on the arrest of an IED terrorist cell composed of Muslim Brotherhood members operating out of Alexandria that attacked military, police, diplomatic and business targets.

Meanwhile, bills calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization have stalled in Congress.

In the House, H.R. 3892, the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015,” a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and currently with 68 cosponsors, passed the House Judiciary Committee in February on a 17-10 vote.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan has not brought the bill up for a full House vote.

The Senate companion bill, S. 2230, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and currently with 7 cosponsors, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is bottled up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Foreign Relations chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has yet to bring the bill up for a committee vote — or even to hold hearings on the matter.

Bill cosponsors have expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s inaction on the Muslim Brotherhood even as terror attacks by the group continue. The group has targeted Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which I reported on here just a few weeks ago based on my April 2014 survey in Upper Egypt of sectarian attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood.

With Congress in recess until after the November 8 election, the only opportunity for these bills to be considered in either the House or Senate would be in the lame duck session.

Egyptian Leaders Praise Donald Trump, Blast Hillary Clinton After President El-Sisi Meets with Both Candidates

trump-el-sisi-ap-640x480Breitbart, by JEN LAWRENCE & DUSTIN STOCKTON, Sept. 21, 2016:

NEW YORK CITY, New York — Members of the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations blasted Hillary Clinton just a day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with both Clinton and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. They also had high praise for Trump—and while not an official endorsement, it is a positive outcome for Trump’s first and only meeting with Muslim world leaders thus far.

Egyptian officials expressed frustration and outrage over the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and expressed concern that a Clinton administration would continue to undermine Egyptian efforts to dismantle Brotherhood terrorists attempting to destabilize the democratically elected Egyptian government.

Ahmed Gad, a member of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, told Breitbart News Tuesday night:

I think 90 percent of Egyptians would prefer Trump because he will not cooperate with terrorists. He [Trump] will not cooperate with Muslim Brothers and our main concern in Egypt now is terrorist attacks as you saw two days ago in the United States. We saw it daily in Egypt on the hands of Muslim Brothers so we know very well that Muslim Brothers are a terrorist group and we want to build up our democratic regime.

Many members of the Egyptian delegation spoke on the record exclusively with Breitbart News at an event to promote communication and unity between the United States and Egypt on Tuesday night. The event was organized by popular Egyptian media personality and host of American Pulse Dr. Michael Morgan, and featured several American foreign policy experts including representatives from the London Center for Policy Research and more than a hundred prominent Egyptians including members of parliament, leading media figures, government officials, and businessmen.

The Egyptian delegation interviews came as El-Sisi, in an interview with CNN, said that he has “no doubt” that Donald Trump would make a strong leader. El-Sisi also responded to a clip of Hillary Clinton accusing the Egyptian government of being “basically an army dictatorship,” during a debate with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He said, in part, that “in Egypt there will not be a chance for any dictatorship because in Egypt there is a constitution, there is law, and there is the will of the people which will refuse to allow any leader to stay in his position for any period longer than his term which is four years.”

The fact that El-Sisi and those from the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly here in New York City this week would speak so openly and positively about Trump—and so openly and negatively about Clinton—may surprise some. They are Muslim leaders and Egypt is perhaps one of the biggest and longest-standing Muslim nations in world history. Many establishment media outlets have painted Trump’s relationship with all Muslims as toxic, since he has expressed plans to temporarily ban Islamic migration into the United States. But El-Sisi, when asked about Trump’s proposed Muslim ban during his CNN interview, defended Trump.

“The United States in general conducts very strict security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it, which has been in place for quite a few years,” El-Sisi, the first Muslim world leader to meet with Trump, told CNN. “It’s also important to know that during election campaigns many statements are made and many things are said, however afterwards governing the country would be something different.  And will be subject to many factors.”

El-Sisi expressed these same sentiments in other interviews with the Egyptian delegation to the U.N.G.A. this week. At Trump’s meeting with El-Sisi, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn—the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for two years during the Obama administration—and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) were also present.

The Trump campaign said in a readout of the meeting sent to press:

Mr. Trump thanked President el-Sisi and the Egyptian people for what they have done in defense of their country and for the betterment of the world over the last few years. He expressed great respect for Egypt’s history and the important leadership role it has played in the Middle East. Mr. Trump expressed to President el-Sisi his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump Administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead. Mr. Trump emphasized the strong partnership that the United States and Egypt have shared for so many years and how this relationship is vital to help promote peace and stability in the Middle East, broader region and the world. Mr. Trump also expressed his recognition of Egypt’s close relationship with Israel on countering terrorism.Mr. Trump highlighted how Egypt and the U.S. share a common enemy and the importance of working together in defeating radical Islamic terrorism, not only politically and militarily, but also addressing the ideology. Mr. Trump emphasized to President el-Sisi his high regard for peace-loving Muslims and understands that every day there are people of goodwill that sacrifice their lives and fortunes to combat the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Mr. Trump said that if he were fortunate enough to win the election in November, he would invite President el-Sisi on an official visit to the United States and would be honored to visit Egypt and the Egyptian people who he has a great fondness for.

Clinton’s campaign described her meeting with El-Sisi as being successful as well. According to a Clinton aide:

Secretary Clinton and President Sisi had a constructive discussion about bilateral ties and cooperation on a wide range of issues, including counterterrorism. They also discussed the importance of economic development and investment in Egypt. Secretary Clinton emphasized the importance of respect for rule of law and human rights to Egypt’s future progress. Secretary Clinton called for the release of U.S. citizen Aya Hijazi and raised concerns about prosecution of Egyptian human rights organizations and activists. Secretary Clinton discussed ways to deepen counterterrorism cooperation, particularly in the fight against ISIS. She and President Sisi exchanged views about the Middle East, and Secretary Clinton underscored the importance of the Egyptian cooperation with Israel on counterterrorism, and her commitment to defeating ISIS, to addressing foreign fighters, and to countering radicalization.

However, the Egyptian delegations’ respective statements to Breitbart News do not reveal a positive aftermath for Clinton’s meeting.

But clearly, based upon El-Sisi’s interview with CNN and comments that the various members of the Egyptian delegation here made to Breitbart News, it is Trump not Clinton whom the Egyptian leadership wants to win the election.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Egyptian Chamber of Media Industry, Amr Fathy, took issue with Hillary Clinton’s claims that President El-Sisi is a dictator. “The signs you take as dictatorship is not dictatorship,” Fathy told Breitbart News. Of El-Sisi, Fathy added: “This is our president and we are behind him.”

“The Egyptian authorities they have already dealt with Hillary before; we did not deal with Trump,” Fathy explained about the meetings between El-Sisi and the American presidential candidates. “So, maybe we know now much more and better idea about Mr. Trump in specific.”

When asked about the coziness between Clinton and the Muslim Brotherhood, Fathy showed just how damaging the Obama foreign policy directed by Hillary Clinton and her successor at the State Department, John Kerry, has been to America’s standing in the eye’s of the Egyptians. He said:

They [Muslim Brotherhood] were supported by the Americans and the Western world. Why? I don’t know. They did not come by democracy, they were not the people who came out on the 25th of January. They were not, the youth were the people who came out. We have our own identity, we are not a theocratic nation we have never been a theocratic nation. The American policy is always pushing for theocratic regimes and then when you have a theocratic regime you start crying.

One consistent theme among the Egyptians who spoke with Breitbart News was the deep distrust of Hillary Clinton. Dr. Morgan said of Egyptian President El-Sisi’s meetings with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Monday:

President El-Sisi wanted to meet up with both candidates because he did not want to give Hillary a chance to use and abuse an indirect endorsement from a meeting with a President like El-Sisi. As evil as she is, she was going to go out into the media and say, ‘oh I have a good relationship with this man, I know foreign policy’ so he made sure that he would meet Trump as well to make sure the America public doesn’t think he supports Hillary. We know he would never support Hillary because Hillary is another eight years of Obama and Obama has been really bad for Egypt.

The members of the Egyptian Parliament that Breitbart News spoke with Tuesday night showcased the inclusive nature of the new Egyptian government under President El-Sisi. Among the representatives were two women, a Coptic Christian, and a 31-year-old man. One of the female Parliament members pointed out that a third of the Egyptian parliament members are under the age of 35.

One of those women, Sahar Talaat Moustafa, is the head of the Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee. When asked by Breitbart News how the Egyptian people see Hillary Clinton, she responded: “A lot of people in Egypt feel she is in support of the Brotherhood. Actually, a majority of people think so.”

Moustafa invited Americans to come visit Egypt and see for themselves.

“I invite you to come and see how things are going on in Egypt,” she said. “Everything is so smooth we are walking normally in the streets and there is no terrorism. Egypt’s is one of the safest countries to go.”

Ahmed Gad is a member of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee and he echoed the desire of the Egyptian dignitaries who spoke with Breitbart News for a better relationship with the United States, but also concern that under the Obama administration the United States sided with the wrong side in the Muslim Brotherhood. Gad said:

For us, it’s a very important signal that we want to resume our good relations but in the same time, I am speaking as a political researcher, frankly speaking, we are very disappointed from Obama’s policy towards our country. Because, by the way, I am a Coptic in Egypt so we suffered a lot under the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Some sort of cooperation between the American administration, Obama Administration, and the Muslim Brothers. We know very well that they are terrorists, they burned and destroyed over 100 churches in Egypt, and they killed a lot of Christians. They killed and are still killing a lot of Egyptians priests men and soldiers. At the same time the Obama administration is refusing to deal with the Muslim Brothers as a terrorist group.

Gad said that El-Sisi’s background as a general should not be taken to mean he is somehow running a “military dictatorship” as Hillary Clinton claimed.

“Yes, El-Sisi has a military background but he saved Egypt,” Gad said. “He restored the Egyptian identity.”

That’s why they seem to really want Trump elected in the United States.

Some of the members of the Egyptian Parliament did express concern that Donald Trump might have trouble restoring the relationship with Egypt because of the institutional nature of the American system of government and foreign policy. Many of the American foreign policy experts explained that the American President sets foreign policy and that a President Trump would have the authority to change the diplomatic course between the two nations.

“That’s why we are ready to cooperate with anybody who can fight the Muslim Brothers and frankly speaking, we are fighting terrorism on behalf of the Modern World,” Gad said.

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.

Serving Muslim Interests With American Foreign Policy

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Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, Sept. 2, 2016:

A Hillary Clinton presidency would likely continue along the pro-Islamist foreign policy arc that both her husband’s administration and the Obama administration have developed.

President Bill Clinton committed U.S. military resources to help Muslims during the so-called “humanitarian” intervention in Bosnia. However, he chose to turn a blind eye to the genocide that swamped Rwanda during his administration. As G. Murphy Donovan wrote in his American Thinker article “How the Clintons Gave American Foreign Policy its Muslim Tilt,” “Muslim lives matter, Black Africans, not so much.” Noting that “it was Muslim unrest that precipitated Serb pushback, civil war, and the eventual collapse of Yugoslavia,” Donovan added, “Bosnians are, for the most part, Muslims with a bloody fascist pedigree.” Nevertheless, with no strategic U.S. national interest at stake, Bill Clinton tilted American foreign policy in favor of the Muslim side in the Bosnia conflict. We are now reaping the lethal consequences of that tilt. Donovan points out in his article that, on a per capita basis, Bosnia Herzegovina is the leading source of ISIS volunteers in all of Europe.

President Obama, along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took the side of Islamist “rebels” against the secular authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Libya and Syria that had managed to keep the lid on jihadist terrorism for many years. These Islamists included members of al Qaeda as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Libya, Hillary Clinton was the leading voice pressing for military intervention against Col. Muammar el- Qaddafi’s regime. She did so, even though, according to sources cited in a State Department memo passed on to Hillary by her deputy at the time, Jake Sullivan, in an e-mail dated April 1, 2011, “we just don’t know enough about the make-up or leadership of the rebel forces.”  In fact, as subsequently reported by the New York Times, the only organized opposition to the Qaddafi regime that had developed underground during Qaddafi’s rule were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a terrorist group, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The author of the State Department memo had acknowledged the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s terrorist past but said they “express a newfound keenness for peaceful politics.” Was Hillary Clinton relying on such assurances of a reformed “peaceful” Islamic group fighting against Qaddafi, even though it had been on the State Department’s terrorist list since 2004 and one of its leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi,  praised al Qaeda members as “good Muslims” in a March 2011 interview?  If so, that is just another indication of her bad judgment.

As for Egypt, Hillary was informed by her outside adviser and confidante Sid Blumenthal, in an e-mail dated December 16, 2011, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s intention was to create an Islamic state. Moreover, the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and other radical groups was “complicated,” Blumenthal quoted a source “with access to the highest levels of the MB” as saying. Blumenthal also reported, based on a confidential source, that Mohamed Morsi, who was then leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, believed that “it will be difficult for this new, Islamic government to control the rise of al Qa’ida and other radical/terrorist groups.”

Nevertheless, the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood in its bid to seek power in Egypt through a shaky electoral process. After Morsi’s election to the presidency, Hillary visited Egypt where Morsi warmly welcomed her and she expressed strong support for Egypt’s “democratic transition.” However, the only real transition Morsi had in mind was to impose sharia law on the Egyptian people, the very antithesis of true democratic pluralism. Yet the Obama–Clinton gravy train of military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist regime continued without any preconditions. Hillary Clinton herself and her State Department referred to the importance of the U.S.’s “partnership” with the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime.

When Morsi was removed from power, after millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets to protest the increasingly theocratic regime, the Obama administration decided to suspend aid to the more secular successor military regime. The “partnership” was no more once the Islamists were swept out of office.

While Morsi was still president, the Clinton Foundation, which has taken millions of dollars in donations from Muslim majority governments and affiliated groups and individuals, invited Morsi to deliver a major address at the Clinton Global Initiative. This invitation was extended just a month after an individual named Gehad el-Haddad, who was working simultaneously for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Clinton Foundation in Cairo, left his Clinton Foundation job to work for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood full time. Fortunes changed for this individual, however, when, after Morsi was overthrown, Haddad was arrested for inciting violence and given a life sentence.

The Obama administration, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, also cooperated with the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass and implement a United Nations resolution that was intended to curb speech considered Islamophobic. Clinton, in full spin mode, insisted that the new UN resolution was totally consistent with the free speech protections of the First Amendment, as opposed to the “defamation of religions” resolutions that the OIC had sponsored in the past but was willing to have replaced. The truth, however, is that all we were seeing was old wine in new bottles. To make sure that the OIC was comfortable regarding the Obama administration’s intentions, Clinton assured the OIC that she was perfectly on board with using “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” She was trying to publicly assure American citizens that their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and press were safe, while working behind the scenes with her OIC partners to find acceptable ways to stifle speech offensive to Muslims.

The signs of Hillary Clinton’s Islamist tilt as she runs for president include the sweepingly general and demonstrably false assertion in her tweet last November that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”  She has obviously learned nothing from her disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. Neither is she willing to acknowledge that the terrorists whom she has called a “determined enemy” are jihadists animated by an ideology rooted in core Muslim teachings of the Koran and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and actions).  Is there something about the word “Muslim” in the Muslim Brotherhood and “Islamic” in the Islamic State that she is having problems understanding?

Perhaps, it is Hillary’s close association with Huma Abedin, her top campaign aide and confidante, who has had questionable links to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations, which explains Hillary’s denial of the truth. If someone as close to Hillary as Huma Abedin, whom she apparently trusts with her life, is a Muslim, then how could any Muslim possibly have anything to do with terrorism?

Then again, perhaps Hillary’s willingness to give Islamists the benefit of the doubt is all the money that the Clintons have received over the years from foreign donors in Muslim majority countries, including the Saudi government and affiliated groups and individuals. Hillary Clinton has also reached out for campaign donations from a pro-Iranian lobby group, the National Iranian American Council. Whatever human rights abuses are inflicted on people in these countries, it would be counterproductive to bite the hand that feeds you, in the Clintons’ way of thinking.

Finally, the Democratic Party itself has moved much further to the Left since the days of Bill Clinton’s presidency, which has led to the broadening out of the pro-Islamist bias that began to take shape with Bill Clinton’s intervention in Bosnia. As David Horowitz wrote in a January 8, 2016 article published by National Review:

“Leftists and Democrats have also joined the Islamist propaganda campaign to represent Muslims — whose co-religionists have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents since 9/11 in the name of their religion — as victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, denouncing critics of Islamist terror and proponents of security measures as ‘Islamophobes’ and bigots. Led by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Democrats have enabled the Islamist assault on free speech, which is a central component of the Islamist campaign to create a worldwide religious theocracy.”

For a variety of reasons, Hillary Clinton as president can be expected to move the United States towards an even more accommodative stance than her predecessors with Islamists who mean to do us harm.

Egyptian Ambassador Takes Aim at Top Muslim Brotherhood Jurist

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON. REUTERS/Toby Melville

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON.
REUTERS/Toby Melville

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, Aug. 30, 2016:

Last week the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Yasser Reda used the opportunity of a Wall Street Journal op-ed to focus attention on the ideologues who promote and support terrorist violence, and called for United Nations efforts to curb terroristic speech with international policy instruments in a manner similar to terror financing. For the subject of their piece, Egypt’s Ambassador focused not on Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, or Al Qaeda’s Al-Zawahiri, but rather a man he identified as “the pontiff of terror,” Muslim Brotherhood leading cleric and sharia jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

The Egyptians have good reason to fear Qaradawi, a long-accomplished jurist with “more than a hundred tomes on theological and jurisprudential issues” to his name, who in 2013 called for those who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi to be killed.

Qaradawi’s proclamations played a substantial role in the Arab Spring, particular legitimizing jihad in Libya against Qaddafi and in Syria against Hezbollah and the Assad regime. Qaradawi’s pronouncements also played a role in massive and highly anti-Semitic protests in opposition to Israel Operation Protective Edge against Hamas throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Prior to the Arab Spring, Qaradawi was perhaps best known for providing fatwas authorizing suicide bombings for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and calling for the death of Americans during the occupation in Iraq in 2004.

Unfortunately Reda’s rebuttals falls into some common rhetorical pitfalls. In particular, Reda attempts to contrast Qaradawi’s support for suicide bombings with a prohibition against suicide found in Islamic law. While it’s admirable for the Egyptian diplomat to admit that Qaradawi deals in questions of Islamic jurisprudence and not an artificial “extremism” unrelated to questions of Islamic jurisprudence, Reda’s argument against Qaradawi’s positions lack a solid basis.

The very statement Reda quotes to condemn itself invokes Qaradawi’s defense against the charge. Reda quotes Qaradawi on Al Jazeera suggesting that suicide operations must be undertaken as part of a military effort by a Jamma (party or group) and not by a single individual. But Qaradawi’s formulation eliminates the possibility that a person has taken their own life only out of their own personal despair, and not in order that “they fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Sura: 9:39)

Even while making an effort to minimize Qaradawi’s juridical authority, Reda ultimately seems to accept that Qaradawi’s interpretation carries serious weight among his audience, and that those who hear his appeals to violence on the basis of sharia may act upon it.

Far too many western analysts cannot bring themselves to make even this reasonable concession to reality.

Reda also dispatches with the nonsense notion that Qaradawi’s views, which uphold suicide bombings, jihad and revolution are, in any way, the views of a “moderate.”

Qaradawi has been a bugbear for several Arab States, including Egypt, but also the United Arab Emirates, which designated Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) as a terrorist group.

Reda’s proposed solution raises some questions and some concerns. Reda proposes a United Nations apparatus to designate ideologues like Qaradawi, in the same manner as designating terror financiers, and to sanction them accordingly.

To begin with Qaradawi is already the head of a U.S. and Israeli-designated terrorist finance organization, the Union of the Good, as being designated by the United Arab Emirates.  Despite this no sanctions have ever been placed directly on Qaradawi or business associated with him.

Qaradawi, who has been banned from entry to numerous countries including the United States, France, and Ireland, faces an Interpol “red notice” seeking his arrest and return to Egypt to stand trial on charges of incitement to murder.

In other words, if the nations of the world were so inclined, the ability to take action against Qaradawi exists.

Yet Qaradawi continues to enjoy the patronage of Qatar and Turkey, nations that have sought to expand their prestige and position in the Muslim world through a mutually beneficial alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, it’s unlikely to see international consensus regarding an effort to sanction him for his calls to violence.

The other problem, of course is Egypt’s own history of seeking to utilize international forums to silence opponents have not always been focused on Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist ideologues.

Instead Egypt (with the support of the United States), sponsored a 2009 resolution targeting freedom of speech under the rubric of protecting against religious discrimination. As Anne Bayesfky noted at the time:

…Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased–for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that “freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused,” insisting on limits consistent with the “true nature of this right” and demanding that the “the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner.”

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

This is particularly worrisome since the U.N.-based effort is modeled on using “incitement to violence” to trigger legal penalties, which seems similar to the sort of trigger for sanctions proposed by Reda.

While it’s possible that the current proposal by Ambassador Reda is intended only to narrowly focus on the kinds of jihadist ideology promoted by clerics like Qaradawi, it pays to be cautious.

Still Reda’s editorial displays a rare level-headedness about the depth of the problem, and a willingness to call out not just jihadists but Islamic scholars and clerics who provide legitimacy to jihadist terror.

At a minimum however cooperation between U.S. and western countries and Arab states looking to crack down on Muslim Brotherhood ideologues and their networks would be a key turning point towards responding to the current threat, and one that the U.S. has largely turned a blind eye to. Certainly expanding current terrorism laws to include those, like Qaradawi, who provide ideological and material support to terror, along with including the Muslim Brotherhood as a designated terrorist group, would be a good first step towards “countering the pontiff of terror.”