On Tuesday, several Obama Administration officials met with a delegation of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “Following Egypt’s revolution, we have broadened our engagement to include new and emerging political parties and actors.”
Given that the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 how exactly is it that they qualify as a new and emerging political party?
In any case, while the Muslim Brotherhood is telling the United States, Britain and other Western countries that it is moderate, its presidential candidate is telling quite a different story back in Egypt. The same day the Muslim Brotherhood delegation met with White House officials, Khairat el-Shater met with the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reforms, a group of Salafist clerics and scholars. Well, whatever el-Shater said it made quite the impression. On their Facebook page, the Jurisprudence Commission stated, “El-Shater stressed that Shariah is his top and final goal and that he would work on forming a group of religious scholars to help parliament achieve this goal.”
Of course, el-Shater jumped into the presidential race despite a pledge from the Muslim Brotherhood not to do so. When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about this development she replied that the Obama Administration would “watch what all of the political actors do and hold them accountable for their actions.” Yeah, her and what army? She went on to say, “We want to see Egypt move forward in a democratic transition – and what that means is that you do not and cannot discriminate against religious minorities, women, political opponents.” Well, religious minorities, women and political opponents haven’t exactly thrived under Shariah law.
But this is the Obama Administration we’re talking about. I’m sure they still view the Muslim Brotherhood as a “largely secular” organization despite all evidence to the contrary.