Sec. of State Kerry Pushing Back on Pro-Brotherhood Policy

John Kerry

We must hope that Kerry’s public contradictions of administration policy reflect of a behind-the-scenes debate.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The disastrous effect of the Obama Administration’s support for theMuslim Brotherhood appears to be seen by Secretary of State John Kerry. In recent months, he has twice contradicted the administration’s policy with public statements against the Brotherhood and in support of the Egyptian military.

On August 1, Kerry enraged the Brotherhood by justifying the Egyptian military’s overthrow of President Morsi.

“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descent into chaos, into violence,” he said, adding that the military was “restoring democracy.”

Then on November 20, Kerry said that the Muslim Brotherhood had “stolen” the Egyptian revolution that first toppled President Mubarak. He said that the Brotherhood won the elections afterwards because it was “the one single most organized entity in the state.”

The Brotherhood characterizes itself as the democratically elected representative of the Egyptian people. Kerry’s powerful statement undermines the Brotherhood’s claim to legitimacy and echoes the criticism of its opponents.

The Obama Administration as a whole, however, stands against the military intervention and cut off some military aid to Egypt in response. The policy is pushing Arab countries allied with the U.S. into the arms of Russia and has alienated the Egyptian population.

Read more at Clarion Project

Jihadi Leader: Jihad Against Egyptian Military a ‘Religious Duty’

Morsi supporters protest in Cairo Nov. 4, 2013 / AP

Morsi supporters protest in Cairo Nov. 4, 2013 / AP

BY: :

A top jihadi leader is urging Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to cease peaceful demonstrations and take up arms against the Egyptian military, which he dubbed “an army of infidels and apostates,” according to a translation of his remarks.

Egyptian Muslims should “come and respond to the call of jihad” and “come and shed blood for the sake of establishing Allah’s law,” Sheikh Abu al Mundhir al Shinqiti said recently according to the Arabic media.

Waging jihad against the Egyptian military is “a religious duty and divine obligation,” he said.

Shinqiti is a well-known radical thinker and jihadist who is close with the spiritual adviser of prominent terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Shinqiti’s call for jihad in Egypt came as the country’s court system upheld a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood, a decision that some fear could spark increased violence in a country already reeling from months of civil discord.

Shinqiti said that it is acceptable under Islamic law to kill Egyptian soldiers because “this army is apostasy from Islam and a pledge of allegiance to the enemies of Allah,” according to his remarks, which were translated from Arabic and republished by theLong War Journal.

“Muslim women married to a member of the army should know that their marriage is nullified because [their husbands] are apostates,” Shinqiti said.

Terrorism expert Aaron Zelin said that Shinqiti’s call for violence could reverberate on the ground in Egypt, where the military continues to struggle against pro-Muslim Brotherhood agitators and other terrorist forces.

“I believe Abu Mundhir al Shinqiti’s release is quite serious,” said Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). “It is very important for jihadis on the ground for one of the top global jihadi scholars to confer legitimacy on the jihad in Egypt and the Sinai.”

Read more at Free Beacon

 

Down and Out in Amman: The Rise and Fall of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood

Jordan MB

Jordan’s Muslim Brothers have been overtaken by rapidly changing events in Jordan and across the Arab world.

BY DAVID SCHENKER:

SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY

Today, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is down, if not completely out. After the Egyptian military deposed President Mohamed Morsi, a ranking Brotherhood bureaucrat, in July, Egypt’s courts charged him with a litany of felonies and the army cracked down, shooting more than a thousand of his supporters and detaining most of the Brotherhood’s leadership.

Last week, an Egyptian court issued an injunction to dissolve the group altogether and seize its assets, outlawing “all activities” by the 85-year year-old Islamist movement. As bad as things are for the Egyptian Brotherhood, however, it isn’t the only chapter of the organization that faces setbacks. More than two years into the Arab revolts that saw Islamist gains in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and, at least temporarily, Egypt, Muslim Brothers in Jordan are in the middle of their own crisis.

Once a powerful voice for electoral reform, a vocal critic of palace corruption, and the leading opponent of economic normalization with Israel, lately the Jordanian Brotherhood has seen its local influence and standing erode. Other Islamists, too, are finding it hard to capture the public’s attention. Groups in the Jordanian parliament that are unaffiliated with the Brotherhood tried to push forward a bill to “harmonize” legislation with sharia; the motion failed, gathering just 27 of 150 votes.

To be sure, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s authoritarian tendencies, imperious style, and economic mismanagement contributed to the popular alienation of the group. Yet unlike in Egypt, where the military was ultimately responsible for the group’s misfortune, in Jordan the Brotherhood’s setbacks have resulted from both self-inflicted wounds and the changing dynamic of local Islamist politics.

Read more at Clarion Project

ALLARD: Perilous dalliance with Egyptian extremists

106_2013_b1-allard-ohanian8201_s640x740By Ken Allard:

“No way!” sniffed the money-honey at Washington Dulles International Airport as she refused to exchange my stack of Egyptian pound notes. “That currency is so unstable, we can’t even establish an exchange rate in real money. It’s worthless paper.” Badly jet-lagged, I testily replied that some humility might be in order since the American government, backer of the aforementioned “real money,” was at that very moment, technically insolvent. While I won the debate on points, those Egyptian pounds are still with me as rueful souvenirs of last week’s whirlwind fact-finding trip to Egypt.

Organized by the Westminster Institute, a McLean-based think tank, our small delegation of media and military analysts was given extraordinary access to Egypt’s top decision-makers, the first such private visit since last summer’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. Our principal interlocutors included the minister of defense, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-SissiTheodoros II, pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church; and Amr Moussa, drafter-in-chief of the new Egyptian Constitution. We also interviewed business leaders, journalists and student revolutionaries, street-wise veterans of the back-to-back uprisings that toppled the authoritarian regimes of Hosni Mubarak and Mohammed Morsi.

Bottom-line impression: While Egypt struggles valiantly, this key regional ally remains in serious trouble. With tourism down by 85 percent and the average Egyptian existing on $2 a day, foreign investment is a desperate, immediate need. Egyptian elites also worry that the strategic stakes (the largest Arab population and most powerful military) are being obscured by a Washington media muddle obsessed with Syria. From graduate students — many of them unemployed — to their executive-suite elders, the recurring nightmare is that the deposed Muslim Brotherhood will fight to regain control of Egypt, the capstone of the longed-for Islamist caliphate. Given the Brotherhood’s 80-year track record, such fears are not unreasonable.

This also explains why ordinary Egyptians reserve a special measure of loathing for Barack Obama, arguing passionately that he is the Muslim Brotherhood’s silent partner. Some of the most troubling comments:

• “Why does the American government under President Obama continue to back the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood — including the kind of terrorism that singles out women?”

• “Why does Washington keep demeaning our revolution by calling it a coup? With more than 20 million signatures on recall petitions and 30 million Egyptians in the streets, what else could the Egyptian army do but carry out the will of the people? Especially when the alternative was civil war?”

• “Egypt has been a loyal friend of the United States since Anwar Sadat and a military partner from Desert Storm to the War on Terrorism. So why are you criticizing your friends and seeing Egyptian problems only through American eyes?”

While no one was crude enough to mention Vladimir Putin as a substitute quarterback, the Egyptian military is palpably angry about the Obama administration’s slow-roll on modernization. Critical equipment, like the F-16 aircraft and the Apache AH-64 attack helicopter, is being delayed. The latter is an especially useful counterinsurgency weapon. Gen. el-Sissi told us flatly that he would not allow theMuslim Brotherhood or anyone else to mount attacks on other countries from Egyptian soil. By that, he meant control over Gaza and the Sinai while continuing to protect the economic “lifeblood” of the Suez Canal. Known threats in those places now include a copious flow of weapons spawned by the fall of longtime Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Knowledgeable Egyptians charge that “the U.S. just walked away from Libya once it was over” — ensuring that future military disasters were not left to chance.

Read more at Washington Times

Understanding Egypt’s Second Revolution

anti-morsi.si_-437x350By :

The Egyptian military’s recent removal from office of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi “was not a coup,” judged the former United States Air Force lieutenant colonel and Middle East expert Rick Francona, but rather the “people rising up.”  Francona spoke at Washington, DC’s National Press Club during an October 1, 2013, panel featuring national security experts who had just completed a three-day visit on behalf of the Westminster Institute.  The panel expressed dismay that the United States was not properly responding to developments in country described by Westminster Institute executive director Katherine Gorka as “pivotal” to American interests in the region.

Retired United States Army Major General Paul E. Vallely referenced a popular Egyptian understanding of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government’s fall as a “second revolution” following the “first revolution” ousting Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.  Katherine’s husband, counterinsurgency expert Sebastian Gorka, noted that a petition presented to Morsi calling for early elections had gathered 22 million signatures.  Subsequently an estimated 33 million had taken to the streets to call for Morsi’s removal in early July 2013 in a country of 85 million.

Vallely’s army colleague, the former colonel and military commentator Ken Allard, discussed a popular Egyptian perception of MB as “terrorists” given their treatment of women and minorities.  Francona in particular cited anti-Christian violence by MB supporters that destroyed 1,000 Christian homes after Morsi fell.  Allard likewise discussed the delegation’s meeting with the Coptic Church’s Pope Tawadros II, a man “who watched his churches burn.” Many Egyptians additionally felt that the MB in power merely “governed for themselves,” Sebastian Gorka related.

As a result, the Egyptian military commander General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi spoke of a “civil war” absent Morsi’s removal in a meeting with Gorka and the other panelists.  This was particularly true given that there was “no impeachment vehicle” in the old Egyptian constitution, as Vallely noted, a provision now contemplated for a new constitution.  The “Egyptians are more united in” supporting the military’s actions “than we might think,” Francona judged.  Everyone with whom the delegation spoke similarly surprised Sebastian Gorka because they “sounded like they were coordinating their message” but were not.

Read more at Front Page

Egyptian Court Bans the Muslim Brotherhood

MB supporters in EgyptBY RYAN MAURO:

The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned by an Egyptian court and all of its assets frozen. An arrest warrant was also issued for SheikhYousef al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader who is based in Qatar. Fears of a backlash from the Brotherhood are well-grounded, but it won’t be a popular backlash.

Aware of how the Muslim Brotherhood often operates through fronts with different names, the court ruling left no wiggle room. It stated that the ban also applies to “any institution breathing out of it or … receiving financial support from it.”

The Brotherhood will make a lot of angry noise and its ideological colleagues in America, like the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society, will again come to its side. But don’t let the media-savvy Brotherhood trick you into thinking there is popular outrage about its treatment.

After the violent crackdown on the Brotherhood’s “peaceful” sit-ins began, the Egyptian military was criticized by the U.S., but a statement buried in a New York Times article told the truth: “[M]any Islamists waited confidently for a surge of sympathetic support from the broader public. But it failed to materialize.”

The banning of a political party like the Brotherhood may repulse Westerners, but most Egyptians no longer view the Brotherhood as a legitimate political party. And, remember, this is the same Egyptian population that voted it into power.

The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research found that 69% of Egyptians completely oppose a political role for the Brotherhood. Another 13% want to ban the Brotherhood as a political party, but not as a religious organization. An astonishingly small portion, only 6%, said they support future Brotherhood political involvement.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Also see:

 

As world watches Syria, Egypt launches major campaign against jihadists in Sinai

More than 20,000 Egyptians soldiers are pouring into the lawless Sinai Peninsula to "cleanse" the vast region of militant jihadists. (AP Photo, File)

More than 20,000 Egyptians soldiers are pouring into the lawless Sinai Peninsula to “cleanse” the vast region of militant jihadists. (AP Photo, File)

By Paul Alster:

While the eyes of the world are on Syria, Egypt’s military is routing jihadists from the vast and lawless Sinai Peninsula — and, according to some regional observers, showing the U.S. how to conduct a war on terrorists.

Under orders from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military leader governing Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was ousted, the Egyptian military is stepping up the fight against the growing coalition of Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other radical Muslims gathering in the massive desert peninsula. Although the jihadist activity in the Sinai could be as big a threat to regional stability as the civil war in Syria, Sisi’s effort to confront terrorism at his doorstep comes without endorsement from the Obama administration, which has denounced the military takeover in Egypt.

“I am more than sure that the Muslim Brotherhood and its leadership in Egypt were actually encouraged by the Americans — and not just in Egypt,” Mordechai Kedar, a highly respected analyst of Islamic groups, and a former Israeli military intelligence officer, told FoxNews.com. “The State Department sympathized with the Muslim Brotherhood because they wanted Islamists to love America. They will do anything in order to look nice in the eyes of these Islamists.”

In recent weeks, ferocious battles have been fought by the Egyptian military against Islamists in the vast desert region that separates Egypt and Israel. The territory is meant to be controlled by Egypt under the terms of the 1979 peace agreement between the two countries, but things in Sinai were already deteriorating during the final years of former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Then, during Morsi’s brief, 12-month tenure, things became significantly worse

Read more at Fox News