Egypt Buries the Brotherhood

Protest against President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egyptby :

It’s not unusual for the United States and a Muslim country to be on the opposite sides of the War on Terror. It is unusual for a Muslim country to take a stand against terrorism while the United States backs the right of a terrorist group to burn churches, torture opposition members and maintain control of a country with its own nuclear program.

But that’s the strange situation in what Egypt’s public prosecutor has declared “the biggest case of conspiracy in the country’s history.”

The media assumes that the charges accusing Muslim Brotherhood leaders of conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah, passing state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and plotting to help foreign terrorists kill Egyptian soldiers is a show being put on for Western audiences. They couldn’t be more wrong.

This isn’t about winning international PR points. It’s about destroying the credibility of the Brotherhood in the eyes of Egyptians and burying it along with what’s left of the Arab Spring in the waters of the Nile.

Obama assumed that cuts to military aid would force Egypt to restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power. He was wrong and the latest round of criminal charges show just how wrong he was.

The charges that the Muslim Brotherhood conspired with Hamas and Hezbollah to unleash a wave of terror against Egypt go to the heart of this struggle between the Egyptian nationalism of the military and the Islamic transnationalism of the Muslim Brotherhood. They paint the Muslim Brotherhood as not merely corrupt or abusive, the way that many tyrannies are, but as a foreign subversive element.

These aren’t merely criminal charges. They are accusations of treason.

There are two narratives of the Arab Spring. In one of them, the people rose up against the tyrants.  In the other an international conspiracy of Western and Muslim countries collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood to take over Arab countries.

To destroy the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the state has to do more than accuse Morsi of abuses of power; it has to show that he and his organization were illegitimate because they were Un-Egyptian.

That will prove that the differences between Mubarak and Morsi aren’t incidental. Mubarak may have been thuggish and corrupt, but he was an Egyptian patriot. Morsi will be charged with being an Iranian traitor who conspired to take away the Sinai and turn it over to the terrorist proxies of a Shiite state.

Read more at Front Page

 

New Egyptian Constitution: A Slap at the Brotherhood

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by :

Egyptians have a new draft constitution to vote upon in a referendum to be held either later this month or in January 2014. It is meant to replace, with amendment language and new provisions, the more Islamist-oriented constitution rammed through by former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi. “It is now the right of every Egyptian to declare that this is their constitution,” said Bishop Bola, the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church on the panel that was responsible for drafting the new constitution.

The big loser will be the Muslim Brotherhood, eclipsed by representatives from a more conservative Islamist party and from Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning, who spoke for Islamists on the drafting panel and have backed the new constitution. The drafting panel also consisted of activists from Tamarod, the secular youth movement that rallied millions of Egyptians who demanded that Morsi step aside, leading to his ouster and replacement by an interim government under the rule of the defense minister, General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi.

The constitution drafters and the interim government leaders hope that there will be a significantly larger turnout of voters to approve this constitution than showed up to approve Morsi’s constitution.  A larger turnout and vote in support of the draft constitution would serve to legitimize the current interim government’s self-proclaimed move towards a more inclusive, democratic regime – at least, that is what the interim government leaders are claiming. Whether presidential or parliamentary elections would be held first following the constitution’s ratification remains an open question, possibly to provide the opportunity for Sisi to run for president and consolidate his influence in advance of more contentious, drawn-out parliamentary elections.

On paper, the new constitution would grant new important rights to Egyptian citizens, including protection against torture, human trafficking and persecution for religious belief. It bans parties founded on religion or sect and mandates equality between men and women, both slaps in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood which tried to remake the country in its own image of an Islamist state. In practice, however, the new constitution is but another in a series of constitutional documents, more honored in their breach than their observance. While the new draft pays lip service to human rights and is more secular in nature than its predecessor, the draft keeps Sharia law as the basis for legislation. Repression of dissent, limitations on freedom to practice one’s own religion, and violence and discrimination against women are likely to remain the grim reality on the streets of Egypt. State institutions such as the military and the police will retain their privileged status.

Not surprisingly, the Muslim Brotherhood has already denounced the new draft constitution. It said that “abusive coupists” were trying to “distort Egypt’s legitimate constitution,” by which they mean the Islamist-oriented constitution foisted on the Egyptian people last year by a far less inclusive drafting process.  Liberals, secularists and the Coptic Church were on the outside looking in, in contrast to their inclusion in the current drafting process.

The Obama administration appears to be taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the new draft constitution. But, in the meantime, the administration continues to punish the interim regime by cutting off vital military aid, including the delivery of F-16s, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters. It does so on the pretext that the regime’s forcible suppression of dissent and lack of inclusiveness forced the administration to the point that “we could not continue business as usual with respect to our assistance.”

Why not begin resuming at least some deliveries now that the interim government has taken at least a preliminary step on its roadmap towards a more inclusive civil democracy? The excuse appears to be a recently passed law placing restrictions on protest demonstrations, which was aimed at curbing the incessant protests by Islamists supporting Morsi before violence could erupt but has also ensnared some disaffected secularist activists. In a press statement issued on November 25, 2013, Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, said that “this law, which imposes restrictions on Egyptians’ ability to assemble peacefully and express their views, does not meet international standards and will not move Egypt’s democratic transition forward.”  Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, piled on with this tweet on November 26th: “New law regulating peaceful protests in #Egypt simply doesn’t meet intl standards. Gov’t must protect freedoms, and this law restricts them.”

Why didn’t the administration apply the same “international standards” when it kept the arms flowing unabated to the repressive, non-inclusive Morsi regime? The truth is that the administration would have preferred the Islamist Morsi regime to remain in power.

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In the words of A. Savyon, director of MEMRI’s Iran Media Project, and Y. Carmon, President of MEMRI, in their analysis of the roots of the U.S.’s policy change in the Middle East that led to the Obama administration’s disastrous interim nuclear agreement with Iran:

“In previous attempts to appeal to the peoples of the region, that is, in Ankara and Cairo in 2009, Obama presented a vision of an America that is no longer an imperialist power that maintains military bases in the region and intervenes militarily to protect the status quo, but a country that identifies with the aspirations and interests of the Arab and Muslim peoples and disregards their regimes. In Obama’s perception, the overall U.S. shift in recent years – the pinnacle of which is his attempts at reconciliation with the Iranian regime – does not stem from weakness but is ideologically directed; it dovetails with and intensifies the revolutionary changes taking place in the Arab world since the Arab Spring, with the aim of integrating the U.S. into the Arab and Muslim world of the future.”

Read more at Front Page

 

OBAMA PULLS SUPPORT FOR EGYPT’S WAR ON TERROR

EgyptTripKidsBy Tera Dahl:

The recent decision of the Obama Administration to unilaterally withhold military aid and support without consulting Congress sends the message the United States is on the side of terrorists, instead of with those who are fighting terrorism. Instead of condemning the Egyptian people and their aspirations of a new democratic and free Egypt, the United States should be supporting and learning from Egypt’s war on terror.

I arrived in Cairo on July 3rd at the same moment that Morsi was removed from power in response to overwhelming popular protests – among the largest in human history – calling for him to stand down and call for new elections. In the face of Morsi’s intransigence and refusal to recognize he had lost Egypt’s support, the Egyptian military was faced with either removing him or civil war. At the same time Egypt continued to face a terrorist insurgency in the Sinai tolerated by Morsi that was killing military, police and civilians alike.

Contrary to the reporting in the western media, the Muslim Brotherhood supporters are not the “peaceful” protestors they claim to be. I have been on three trips to Egypt since the removal of Morsi; I have traveled to Minya and Delga to visit the churches, schools, orphanages, homes, shops and police stations that were attacked and destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Even Amnesty International acknowledges that the Muslim Brotherhood engaged in repeated acts of torture and murder in their supposedly “peaceful” protests at Rabaa al-Adawiya. Any conclusion apart from recognizing that they are terrorists who have perpetrated and incited violent acts against innocent Egyptian citizens is a hard departure from reality.

The coverage in the Western media of the widespread terrorism has been spotty. Yes, they have reported on the 60 churches that were burned and destroyed, but not so much the 1,000 Coptic shops and homes that were attacked and the 40 police stations were burned and destroyed by supporters of the Morsi regime. But the loss of life of the Egyptian military, police and citizens committed by Morsi supporters receives considerably less attention. Where is the international community’s condemnation of the Muslim Brotherhood for the killing of 286 police, military and civilians in Rabaa Square on August 14th, or the 21 killed in Nahda Square, or the 15 civilians killed in Hulwan, or the 200 civilians that were killed across the country?

These acts were all committed by those who were supposedly “peacefully” protesting the ouster of Morsi. In his recent interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fatah El-Sisi said that the Muslim Brotherhood was allowed 48 days to protest, and Egyptian authorities enforced a standing court order to clear Rabaa Square and other areas only after it was clear that weapons were being smuggled into these “peaceful” protests. These so-called “peaceful” protestors also used machetes, firearms, RPG’s, looted and then burned to the ground the churches, schools, orphanages, shops, and homes in response.

In Delga, Morsi supporters seized the entire village and held the Christians hostage while making them pay the jizya for over a month until the Egyptian military and police liberated the village, arrested the perpetrators and provided security for the people.

Since the removal of Morsi, members of the Muslim Brotherhood have dropped their peaceful mask and revealed their true face of violence by associating with terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Hamas for operations in the Sinai. In response to these violent acts, the Egyptian Army has launched the largest military operation to eradicate terrorism in the Sinai and have stated that they will continue until the Sinai is “terrorist-free”.

Egyptian law enforcement units of the armed forces and police have raided and destroyed various terrorist locations in the Sinai. They have destroyed weapon storage locations for the terrorists that had large quantities of arms, ammunition, explosive belts, and high explosive material. They have destroyed vehicles owned by the terrorists that were equipped with heavy and medium weapons used by terrorists in attacking the security points of the army and police in the Sinai.

The Egyptian armed forces have closed around 300 tunnels that were used for smuggling goods and arms from Egypt across the border to the Gaza Strip. To prevent inciting more violence, 55,000 unlicensed radical clerics have been banned from preaching in mosques.

Read more at Breitbart

Also see: ALLARD: Riding to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rescue (washingtontimes.com)

White House Considering How to Punish Egypt for Not Being Nice to Muslim Brotherhood

obama-muslim-brotherhood-2By Bridget Johnson:

The White House tried to beat back reports last night that it’s going to financially punish Egypt over the ouster of Mohamed Morsi and actions against the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the Obama administration has held back about half of the $1.3 billion it would normally pay to Egypt.

“The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false. We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the President made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement last night.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at yesterday’s press briefing that “no decision” had been made on funding, but “the level of violence that we’ve seen by the interim government since July 3rd, that that’s exactly why this massive policy review has been undertaken, because business can’t continue as usual.”

“What we’re doing right now is taking a look at all of that and determining what makes sense going forward in terms of how we can best support the Egyptian people and help move Egypt towards – back towards a democratic process. That policy decision is going to take into account all of these various things that are going on right now. But I would underscore that that violence is exactly why we’re at this place today where we are talking about what our relationship will look like going forward from a very, sort of, 30,000-foot perspective,” Harf added.

The administration has been putting pressure on Egypt’s interim rulers since the July overthrow to hold snap elections and give the Muslim Brotherhood a place at the table.

Morsi remains in custody as do many of the leaders of the Brotherhood, and the MB has been banned from operating as an NGO by the country’s courts.

A panel amending the MB-drafted constitution to make it inclusive has promised to have the first draft available for review next week.

Morsi’s trial is set to begin Nov. 4. He and seven other Brotherhood leaders faces charge of killing and torturing protesters outside the presidential palace last December. The demonstrators were protesting against a Morsi decree that granted him sweeping new powers.

Egyptian Minister of Defence and army commander Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that he attempted to resolve the political crisis sparked by the massive June 30 protest against Morsi’s rule, but the Muslim Brotherhood refused to negotiate.

Read more at PJ Media

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

Egyptians Bewildered Over Support for Muslim Brotherhood

by Michael Armanious:

What many Egyptians cannot understand is: Why is the U.S. administration siding with the forces of oppression in their country and assisting with its transformation into a failed state under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood? Egypt simply cannot be allowed to become another Somalia or Afghanistan, controlled by its own version of the Taliban.

The Egyptian people are astounded. They simply do not understand the Obama Administration’s efforts to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to power.

In an effort to make some sense of the Obama Administration’s policies, Amr Adeeb, a prominent Egyptian commentator, argues that the U.S. is helping the Muslim Brotherhood to achieve power, in order to turn Egypt into a magnet for jihadist fighters. The goal, Adeeb states, is to turn Egypt into another Syria or Afghanistan and discredit Islamism as a viable political movement.

To Westerners, this may seem like a bizarre conspiracy theory, but for Egyptians it helps explain why the U.S. government is supporting an organization that has openly declared jihad against the West, engaged in threats of war with Israel and Ethiopia, demolished dozens of ancient historic churches, set hospitals on fire, and murdered Christians in the streets. The Muslim Brotherhood has no respect for the rule of law, but the Obama Administration treats the Egyptian military that removed the group from power as a threat to democracy itself.

 

An artist’s rendition of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river, currently under construction. The Muslim Brotherhood government under former President Morsi threatened to wage war with Ethiopia over this project.

The fact is, the Ikhwan (as the Muslim Brotherhood is called in Arabic) engaged in some pretty undemocratic behavior in the election that brought it to power in June 2012. Morsi lied about his background, telling voters he worked for NASA when he did no such thing. He falsely promised to spend $200 billion on an Egyptian renaissance only to say, once he was elected, that it was just an idea. He bribed voters with cooking oil, sugar, and medicine. On the day of the election, with threats of violence, the Muslim Brotherhood stopped thousands of Coptic Christians from voting. Further, in a little known aspect of the election, many voters complained of receiving ballots that had already been marked in Morsi’s favor.

Egyptians were willing to overlook these irregularities in hopes that Morsi would bring order and stability to their country. They hoped he would follow through on his promise to build a modern Egypt; create jobs, and put together and inclusive government and constitution. They hoped he would honor his promise to spend $200 billion on repairing Egypt’s infrastructure as part of an Islamic “Renaissance Project.”

Instead, Morsi worked systematically to dismantle the institutions of a 7,000 year-old country. He gathered his cronies to speak openly, on national television, of destabilizing Ethiopia in a fight over the use of water from the Upper Nile River.

Morsi also straightforwardly stated that he was recreating an Islamic “Caliphate.” He pardoned and freed hard-line Islamists — including Anwar Sadat’s killers — and allowed them to have an Islamic political party, contrary to the constitution, which bans religious parties. When Morsi spoke to audiences, hard-line Islamists sat in the front row, demonstrating that these people were his political base.

To buttress the support of this base, Morsi released members of Gamaa al-Islamiyya, founded by the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel-Rahman, who attempted the first World Trade Center attack. This group, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, killed over 60 tourists in Luxor in 1997. That history did not stop Morsi from appointing one of its members governor of Luxor, over the objection of local residents who are dependent on tourism for their livelihood. Nor did it stop him from assigning another member of this group as Minister of Culture. With these decisions, Morsi delivered a final blow to Egypt’s tourism industry.

And if people are not even willing to visit Egypt, how will they invest in the country?

Read more at  Gatestone Institute

 

Coptic Christians March on White House, Washington Post

1176164_381903781936483_1016611046_nBY: :

A group of Egyptians protested in front of the White House Thursday afternoon to “expose” what they say is “the clear bias of the Obama administration and the American media in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist ideology.”

Hundreds of Egyptians, who travelled to Washington, D.C. from around the United States, gathered in front of the White House before marching to the offices of the Washington Post, news network CNN, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group that protestors called the Brotherhood’s “embassy.”

Protest organizers called on “all Egyptians” living in the U.S. to join their march, which took place as violence in Egypt continues to rage between the Muslim Brotherhood and secular military forces.

The marchers’ final stop was the Egyptian military attaché’s D.C. office, where the activists chanted their support for “the Egyptian army for its heroic stand against [Muslim Brotherhood] terrorism.”

“We are against the Muslim Brotherhood,” protestor Ramez Mossed told theFree Beacon. “He [Obama] supports the Muslim Brotherhood. He has a big hand in Egypt and the mess in Egypt. We’re trying to tell him, ‘Don’t support the terrorists. Please be fair.’”

Many of those who participated in the march are Coptic Christians, a religious group that has been systematically targeted with violence by pro-Brotherhood protestors, some of whom have been desecrating and sieging churches in Egypt.

The protestors gathered on the curb outside of the White House lofting signs that read, “We support the Egyptian Army,” and “The Muslim Brotherhood never renounced terrorism.”

“You can burn down our churches but you can never touch our faith,” read another sign.

“I love this sign,” said one passerby who saw the sign referring to the churches. “I believe it too.”

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Read more at Free Beacon