Islamist Who Lobbied Congress Lauds Brotherhood Luminary

Ayat Oraby

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  May 18, 2017:

One of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters who recently tried to lobby Congress to cut off aid to Egypt’s military regime is lauding an Islamist ideological architect who inspired Osama bin Laden‘s thinking.

Ayat Orabi joined the Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) Capitol Hill lobbying mission earlier this month. In a Facebook post Tuesday, she calls Sayyid Qutb a martyr and “the most knowledgeable master of intellectual output in the history of modern Islamic movements.”

It’s consistent with Orabi’s previous radical statements. She claimed last September that Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority had declared “war on Islam,” a message that often incites violence.

Qutb taught that the Muslim world had degenerated into a state of apostasy that he called jahiliyyah, and that insufficiently Islamic regimes should be violently replaced. His manifesto Milestones advocates using jihad of the sword to clear the way for Islamic preaching. He also denounced Muslims who taught that jihad could only be used defensively as “defeatists” in his commentary, In the Shade of the Quran.

“As for those who are in a land hostile to Islam, neither their lives nor their properties are protected unless they have concluded a peace treaty with the land of Islam,” Qutb wrote.

Qutb is often praised by other EAFJ leaders. President Hani Elkadi, for example, posted an Internet meme emblazoned with Qutb’s picture on his Facebook page in 2015.

“There has to be a sacrifice, There has to be a calamity, We must be tested, Because cheap victory does not last … and no one is capable ‘to carry it’ except the mighty—Giant of Islamic thought, the martyr: Sayyid Qutb,” the post said.

EAFJ spokesman Mahmoud El Sharkawy cited Qutb later in 2015, invoking In the Shade of the Qur’an. It reads: “The banner of Allah is still there awaiting the arms that will raise it and the nation which under this banner will advance towards righteousness, guidance and success. #Sayyid Qutb #In the Shade of the Quran.”

Other American Islamists laud Qutb or see him as a role model.

“Curious u feel qutb extreme how exactly / do u mean it was his ideas=extreme?” former Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary asked on Twitter in 2013.

Ahmed Rehab, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Chicago listed Qutb next to Malcolm X as his two favorite modern personalities on his personal website. “(martyred for what they stood for, same year!)” Rehab wrote.

Milestones is included in a recommended reading list by the Islamic Circle of North America’s Southern California chapter.

It’s clear that Qutb’s influence continues in so-called “mainstream” American Muslim groups, not just among violent jihadis.

MB Backers Hide Terror Support During Capitol Hill Visits

by John Rossomando
IPT News
May 15, 2017

When two leaders of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked advocacy group lobbied Congress on May 3, they failed to disclose their open support for the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) and the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM), terrorist groups that have carried out attacks in Egypt.

Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) President Hani Elkadi and spokesman Mahmoud El Sharkawy asked that aid to Egypt’s military rulers be cut off due to the regime’s human rights record, according to a video of one of the meetings that Elkadi posted on his Facebook page. A staffer for an unidentified member of Congress expressed sympathy with the EAFJ members and told them that his member thought President Trump should not have hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House.

The EAFJ officials’ support for violently overthrowing al-Sisi was never mentioned in the video.

Elkadi, El Sharkawy and other EAFJ members posed for photos outside the offices of Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Robert Brady, D-Pa.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Brad Sherman, D-Calif.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Kathleen M. Rice, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, D-N.J.; and the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Representatives for McCaul, Upton and Fortenberry told the IPT no one from their offices met the EAFJ delegation. The Democratic congressional offices did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Elkady and El Sharkawy’s support for the Egyptian terrorists is made clear by their social media posts.

In February 2015, they posted PRM’s bloody hand logo with a communiqué from the terrorist group to their respective Facebook pages. The communiqué claimed responsibility for attacks on two police cars, but it did not provide additional details. It included the motto: “God, Martyrs, Revolution” in Arabic. The same bloody hand logo appears on a PRM-linked Facebook page called @Popular.Resistance.EGY that the PRM uses to claim responsibility for its attacks.

The PRM reportedly was founded by three Muslim Brotherhood officials who wanted to react violently to the Brotherhood’s ouster from power by the Egyptian military in 2013. Its first communiqué came on the first anniversary of the military’s deadly assault on Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares.

“We shall pay willingly with our blood until we crush the lackeys of Israel,” the communiqué said. “Retribution for the martyrs is our right, and we shall eventually attain it. So long as people seek their rights, their rights will not be lost. Allah …. Martyrdom ….. Revolution.”

In June 2015, El Sharkawy praised the RPM – a terror group aligned with the PRM –after it killed a man because he helped police round up 40 leaders of pro-Brotherhood protests in Helwan.

“The Revolutionary Punishment Movement executes one of the traitor guides in Helwan!!” El Sharkawy wrote on Facebook.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen deny any connection with these terror movements, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) notes, but plenty of evidence points to a connection. That includes Brotherhood members issuing statements supporting their attacks.

Among the examples, is former Muslim Brotherhood parliament member Muhammad Sagheer’s 2015 statement: “To the decisive Revolutionary [Punishment] movements: [Coptic businessman Naguib] Sawiris declared that it was he who was financially supporting the Tamarrud movement [which worked to topple the Mursi regime]. I hereby tell you that his property and institutions are a legitimate revolutionary target. Rebellion [Tamarrud] will encounter retribution.”

Abu Emara, a former top Muslim Brotherhood leader, told Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper that the RPM’s fighters belonged to the Brotherhood.

PRM and ISIS each claimed responsibility for an attack against police officers near Cairo on May 7, 2016. The attack was intended to mark 1,000 days since the August 2013 Rabaa massacre, PRM said. This simultaneous claim of responsibility was not an isolated incident, said researcher Patrick Poole, who just returned from Egypt where he interviewed the former head of security for the Sinai.

Poole told the Investigative Project on Terrorism that a similar incident happened in January 2016 after Egypt’s Interior Ministry raided a bomb factory on a farm outside Cairo. Evidence recovered in the raid led police to an apartment in the city of Giza where their suspects blew themselves up killing the officers.

“They were pursuing Muslim Brotherhood people and lo and behold Revolutionary Punishment put out a claim of responsibility on social media, and later so did the Islamic State,” Poole said. “In every one of those cases, whether it’s Popular Resistance, Revolutionary Punishment, both the Interior Ministry and NGO experts like [former Sinai security chief] Khaled Okasha, those groups are all part or were part of Mohamed Kamal’s network.

Kamal was the youngest member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau – its top organ – who was killed in a shootout with Egyptian police last October; authorities identified him as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “armed wing.” He established a network of terror cells in Cairo and in Upper Egypt, mostly made up of Muslim Brotherhood youth members, Poole said.

When Kamal died, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi prayed for him as a martyr. Elkadi, one of the EAFJ officials trying to lobby Congress, shared a post showing that on his Facebook page.

Another post includes an official Muslim Brotherhood communiqué condemning Kamal’s “assassination” by the “coup criminals” with the hashtag #Kamal_martyrs.

Elkadi deleted that, but not before the IPT saved it as a screenshot.

A month later, Elkadi called for jihad.

“A question to all young people against the bloody military coup. If the summons of Jihad calls you to live for Jihad, live for success. Are you ready for the call? … Will we find one who brings his money or half for the expenses of Jihad? Will we see one who leaves everything and lines up in the ranks of the Mujahidin?” Elkadi wrote.

He publicly proclaimed his allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood in a March 2015 Facebook post.

He attended meetings of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) – a group of exiled Morsi-era Muslim Brotherhood politicians – over the May 5 weekend in Istanbul. The website of the banned Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) notes that Elkadi reported on EAFJ’s activities in America including its recent meetings on Capitol Hill.

Al Bawaba identified El Sharkawy as a member of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2015. It also alleged that El Sharkawy was responsible for funding and coordinating operations with Brotherhood members living in Turkey and Qatar.

Other EAFJ member who participated in “Egypt Day at Capitol Hill” publicly endorsed violence or intimidation.

Aber Mostafa, for example, posted the personal information of a pro-Sisi owner of an Egyptian soccer team with the word “Attaaack!” on the same day that Elkadi and El Sharkawy reposted the PRM communiqué.

Ayat Al-Orabi, a member of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council who participated in the lobbying trip, has spouted venom against Egypt’s Christians. In September, she accused Christians of “waging war on Islam,” a leading narrative terrorists use to gain recruits.

“Egypt is Islamic even if occupied by the coup gang and even if assailed by the apostate criminal lackey of the Zionist entity,” Orabi said. “They must realize that the crescent is above the cross, and Islam is above all.”

It’s clear that the EAFJ delegation visited Capitol Hill. It is not known, however, how many offices agreed to meet with them. Given the open support for jihad and terrorist groups by key delegation members, it’s a wonder they got anywhere near the halls of Congress.

‘Explanatory Memorandum’ Detractors Ignore Evidence About MB in America

mb2by John Rossomando
IPT News
March 1, 2017

Some supposedly very smart, well-informed people are making ignorant and misleading claims in the debate over designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

The Trump administration is considering designating the nearly 90-year-old Brotherhood, which seeks a global Islamic state governed by religious law known as shariah.

Reasonable people can debate the merits. But a recent Washington Post column by Arjun Singh Sethi, an adjunct Georgetown University law professor, illustrates the way false information is being pushed by some opponents.

Designation would be “exploited and manipulated for political gain” and used to target otherwise innocent Muslim American groups, Sethi argues. It would be all the more outrageous because, “The Brotherhood doesn’t have a known presence in the U.S., most Muslim Americans know very little about it and no organization active in the U.S. has been shown to have any connection to it.”

This is entirely wrong, and there are Muslim Brotherhood documents in the public domain to prove it.

Sethi takes aim at one of those documents, a 1991 “Explanatory Memorandum” which calls for a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” whereby Brotherhood members in America work toward “destroying the Western civilization from within.” The memorandum also suggests that Islam represents a “civilization alternative.”

“This memorandum, of which there is only one known copy, has been widely discredited and called a fantasy,” Sethi writes.

That one copy, however, was seized by FBI agents from the home of Ismail Elbarasse, whom prosecutors describe as the “archivist” for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. If it was a fantasy, it was deemed sufficiently exciting to preserve. In addition, its author played a prominent role in the Brotherhood’s U.S. network.

Sethi mentions none of these facts. Neither do the Southern Poverty Law Center or the left-leaning commentary website Alternet, which cited Sethi’s column to dismiss those who point to Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the United States as “conspiracy theorists.”

Sethi further claims there is no evidence to show that “three of the largest Muslim organizations in the country — the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT] — are affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood” except for the explanatory memo.

This statement also is objectively, demonstrably false.

The explanatory memo, like most of the information known about a Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, became public during the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) Hamas-financing trials held in Dallas. FBI agents seized a trove of internal documents – meeting minutes, reports and proposals – written by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. In addition, electronic surveillance picked up hundreds of conversations among Brotherhood conspirators.

Their task at the time was to run a series of political groups with the aim of benefiting Hamas – the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch – politically and financially. They united under the umbrella of the “Palestine Committee.”

In court papers, federal prosecutors noted that the Holy Land trial included “numerous exhibits … establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.”

NAIT, a subsidiary of ISNA, served as a banking outlet for HLF’s fundraising.

“HLF raised money and supported HAMAS through a bank account it held with ISNA at NAIT…,” prosecutors wrote in 2008, citing financial records admitted into evidence. “ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to ‘the Palestinian Mujahadeen,’ the original name for the HAMAS military wing.”

CAIR, meanwhile, is listed among the Palestine Committee’s own entities. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad is included on a committee roster and participated in at least one significant Palestine Committee meeting.

Other groups attracted law enforcement scrutiny due to their Muslim Brotherhood ties. The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), for example, emerged from a 1977 meeting of Muslim Brotherhood luminaries from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, according to Growth of Islamic Thought in North America: Focus on Ism’ail Raji al Faruqi, written by Muhammad Shafiq, IIIT chair of Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.

A 1988 FBI report, obtained by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request, identifies ISNA, NAIT and IIIT officials as “members and leaders of the Ikhwan [Brotherhood].”

The FBI document summarizes an interview with an unnamed source who notes that “all Muslim organizations founded under the direction of the IIIT leadership have been organized … in ‘the Ikhwan model,'” with the aim of recruiting support for an Islamic revolution in the U.S.

“… [H]istoricaIIy members of the MSA and subsequently NAIT, ISNA and the IIIT have been IKHWAN members,” the FBI document says.

In sum, FBI investigations and internal Muslim Brotherhood documents establish that, despite Sethi’s assertion to the contrary, there is ample evidence linking ISNA, NAIT and CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood.

His dismissal of the explanatory memo is similarly misguided.

Its author, Mohamed Akram, played a prominent role on the Palestine Committee, identified in an internal 1991 document as the Central Committee secretary. He sat on the group’s “Central Committee” with Hamas political leader Mousa abu Marzook.

Akram’s name also appears immediately following Marzook’s name on the Palestine Committee’s internal telephone. In 1990, Akram reported on projects for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s board of directors known as the Majlis al-Shura. The Shura councils in various countries all “report directly to the IMB [international Muslim Brotherhood]’s leadership,” a 2010 Department of Justice affidavit filed in a deportation case said.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood maintains supporters in the United States. The IPT documented the connections between old Palestine Committee entities and the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine.

And members of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) openly display their Brotherhood loyalties on Facebook. EAFJ founding board member Hani Elkadi posted a cartoon of a man holding a sign with the Brotherhood logo and the words which translate to, “I am [Muslim] Brotherhood and I’m not threatened.”

Memo’s Ambitions Weren’t New

Sethi is not the first to try to discredit the explanatory memo., The Bridge Initiative, an arm of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, argued a year ago that the document was merely “one man’s utopian vision.”

“If it occupied a central place in a Muslim movement to take over America, one would think his supporters would have taken up his idea and spread it in popular and academic circles. But that’s not so,” the Bridge Initiative Team wrote.

It’s a sweeping assertion. And it’s not true. The Brotherhood has a multi-generational plan for establishing a global Islamic state. Its U.S.-based followers have repeatedly detailed their ideas for making it so.

The 1988 FBI FOIA document describes a “six phase … plan to institute Islamic Revolution in the United States” to be executed in part by the IIIT.

The scheme was rooted in a 1983 book called “The Muslim Brotherhood.” Like the “Explanatory Memorandum,” the book emphasizes institution building and Muslim evangelization (dawah) as a prelude for jihad.

“We want to make the whole world bow before the word of Allah, author Saeed Hawwa wrote. “The command of Allah is: ‘And fight with them till no mischief remains, and the religion is all for Allah.'”

Coincidentally, Akram mentions “six elements” of a general strategic plan adopted by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura council in 1987 in the “Explanatory Memorandum.” The memorandum likewise aimed to unify and direct Muslim efforts to present Islam as a “civilization alternative.”

IIIT publications still denigrate Western civilization in the name of Islam.

The “problems and challenges faced by Western civilization in the contemporary era no longer find solutions on the social and economic levels of Western civilization,” Adel Husein wrote in a 2013 IIIT paper. He suggests that Islam offers the solution: “Great revolutions are usually fueled by a solid doctrine, and Islam, in particular, embodies such a doctrine.”

Officials with other American Islamist groups advocate ideas similar to Akram’s.

Shamim Siddiqi, a past dawah director for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) similarly offered Islam as the solution. (Siddiqi remains recommended reading for ICNA members.)

In his 1989 book, The Methodology of Dawah, Siddiqi argues that Islam should be made “dominant in the USA” through the work of Muslim organizations. Muslims should help Americans view Islam as “an alternate way of life” for the problems of the day, Siddiqi wrote in his 1996 book, The Revival. Evangelizing the American intelligentsia will result in a “demand for an Islamic society and state,” he wrote.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal is a global Islamic State, one that includes the United States. FBI agents have interviewed people with direct knowledge of those efforts and seized internal documents of a network engaged in the slow work of realizing that dream.

Those who dismiss the explanatory memorandum as one man’s fantasy either never bothered to look for corroborating evidence, or they know better and hope to fool the American people.

Also see:

Dar al-Hijrah Board Member Pens Muslim Brotherhood Tribute

omeishIPTby John Rossomando  •  Dec 2, 2016

A politically connected, longtime board member at the Falls Church, Va., based Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center effusively praised the Muslim Brotherhood in a Facebook posting Wednesday.

Esam Omeish was forced to step down from a state immigration commission by then Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine in 2006 after video of him praising Palestinians for fighting the “jihad way” became public.  He also served as president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

While MAS officials denied that connection, Omeish praised the Egyptian-based organization with ultimate designs on a global Islamic state.

“We have not known of the people of Islam … those more just in understanding, wider in approach and closer in application than the Muslim Brotherhood,” Omeish wrote. “We have not known of humane brotherliness and its people, (and we are affiliated with all men whom Allah has created a propensity for love, mercy, an upright disposition, good morals and honorable character) better in ethics, of gentler parts, deeper in adherence to duty, nobler in morals among all their sons, and everyone of their actions than the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Omeish was responding to a posting by Hani Elkadi, co-founder of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights. Elkadi seemed to admit his own Brotherhood affiliation on Facebook in a March 9, 2015 Facebook post showing an cartoon of a man holding a sign with the Brotherhood logo and the words which translate to, “I am [Muslim] Brotherhood and I’m not threatened.”

Omeish visited the White House and State Department numerous times and posted pictures of himself with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on his Facebook page. State Department officials featuredOmeish in a 2008 video about American Muslims.

In February, Omeish sent an open letter to President Obama asking him to support the al-Qaida linked Revolutionary Council of Derna.

He endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood branch in his native Libya in a 2012 IRIN News article, saying that although it came in a distant second in Libya’s 2012 elections, it “may be able to provide a better platform and a more coherent agenda of national action.”

MB Apologists Arrive In U.S. For Anti-Sisi Rallies

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jan 21, 2016

Three Muslim Brotherhood supporters who caused a row in Egypt last year after they met with Obama administration officials and members of Congress returned to the U.S. Wednesday, according to the Facebook page of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ).

During their 2015 trip, Brotherhood leader Gamal Heshmat, former Egyptian Judge Waleed Sharaby and Maha Azzam, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) lobbied State Department and White House officials for help against the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fatal al-Sisi.

The ERC formed in 2014 with the aim of toppling Sisi and bringing the Brotherhood back to power in Egypt. Sisi took power in 2013 after the Egyptian army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

Heshmat has a long history of supporting Palestinian terrorists and was photographed in June 2014 with Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal.

The State Department agreed with the delegation’s position that Sisi had not brought stability to Egypt, and that his removal would pave the way for a transition to democracy, Sharaby told Egypt’s Mekameleen TV in an interview last February. But that has not translated into concrete action to topple Sisi.

1341EAFJ leaders Mahmoud El-Sharkawy, Hani Elkadi and Aber Mostafa greeted Heshmat, Sharaby and Azzam at New York’s JFK airport and posed for a picture with them displaying the Brotherhood’s four-fingered Rabaa salute which has become representative among those wanting the Brotherhood’s return to power in Egypt.

The three are scheduled to speak Friday at an event titled “Egyptian Revolution from Sacrifices to Victory” in North Bergen, N.J.

The event is timed to commemorate the Jan. 25 anniversary of dictator Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power in 2011. Heshmat wrote that his group had no plans to meet with Obama administration representatives during this visit, due to their “position biased” toward Sisi’s regime. They hope to speak with some congressmen, academics and others.

El-Sharkawy is a Brotherhood member and serves as liaison with Brotherhood members exiled in Turkey, Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper reported last April.

He frequently reposts Muslim Brotherhood communiqués on his Facebook page. In December, El Sharkawy encouraged “all youth and revolutionaries” to distribute the official page of Brotherhood spokesman Muhammad Muntasir.

1342Elkadi seemed to self-identify as a Brotherhood member in a March 9 Facebook post showing an cartoon of a man holding a sign with the Brotherhood logo and the words which translate to, “I am [Muslim] Brotherhood and I’m not threatened.”

Last year, Elkadi, El Sharkawy and Mostafa posted graphics on their Facebook pages seeming to support violence in Egypt.

El Sharkawy and Elkadi posted a Feb. 10 communiqué from the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) which has launched attacks against Egyptian police and other targets. It features an image of a blood-red map of Egypt with a fist superimposed over it. It claims responsibility for targeting two police cars. “God, martyrs, Revolution,” it said.

Mostafa posted the personal information of a pro-Sisi owner of an Egyptian soccer team with the word “Attaaack!” the same day.

Also see:

Egypt Summons U.S. Ambassador Over MB Visit

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jun 9, 2015:

Egypt asked the U.S. ambassador in Cairo to account for the Obama administration’s allowing Muslim Brotherhood officials to visit Washington for a private conference this week sponsored by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID).

Egypt sought the recent meeting with Ambassador Stephen Beecroft to show its displeasure with American policy toward the Brotherhood, which it labels a terrorist organization.

Delegation members include Amr Darrag, whose handling of drafting and ratifying Egypt’s December 2012 constitution led to fears the Brotherhood aimed to impose a theocracy; and Wael Haddara, a Canadian Brotherhood member who served as an adviser to deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

The administration has no plans to meet with the delegation, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Tuesday. U.S. policy allowed for engagement with people from across Egypt’s political spectrum, he said Monday.

Emails obtained by Middle East Briefing, a publication of the Dubai-based Orient Advisory Group, show that since 2010, Obama administration policy sought to support the Muslim Brotherhood under Presidential Study Directive 11.

State Department and White House officials met in January with a Muslim Brotherhood delegation whose trip had been partly funded by the Brotherhood-linked group Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ). EAFJ leader Mahmoud El Sharkawy is a member of the Brotherhood’s international organization and serves as liaison between his group and Brotherhood members exiled in Turkey, Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper reported in April.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki downplayed the visit and denied it was a Brotherhood delegation, saying it was a delegation of former Egyptian parliamentarians which included members of the Freedom and Justice Party. Delegation member Waleed Sharaby said in a February interview with Egypt’s Mekameleen TV that the State Department agreed with their position that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had not brought stability and that his removal would pave the way for a transition to democracy.

Recent Muslim Brotherhood calls for violence have been reflected in the Facebook accounts of EAFJ members. El Sharkawy’s Facebook page supports violence in Egypt in posts such as a Feb. 10 communiqué from the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) which has launched attacks against Egyptian police and other targets. It features an image of a blood-red map of Egypt with a fist superimposed over it and claims responsibility on behalf of the PRM for targeting two police cars. It also stated the following motto in Arabic: “God, martyrs, Revolution.”

Other members of EAFJ such as board member Hani Elkadi, who identified himself as a Brotherhood member in a March 9 post, have posted similar images on Facebook.

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

by John Rossomando
IPT News
January 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharaby and Heshmat have openly expressed support for Hamas.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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