This is the man with whom some U.S. officials would like to reach an understanding. From the Jerusalem Post, with thanks to Twostellas:
In his most public support of Muslim combatants, the leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood called on Iraqis and Palestinians to step up their resistance to both the United States and Israel.
In a speech Wednesday night to hundreds of the movement’s members and supporters, Mohammed Mahdi Akef urged the Muslim world to “provide all the necessary material and moral support” to the Iraqi insurgents.
“We are with the Iraqi resistance as a righteous duty imposed by Sharia (Islamic law) and sanctioned by international laws,” Akef said during a banquet his group hosts annually for supporters and the news media during the holy month of Ramadan.
“The Iraqi resistance is the protective wall which defends us all,” he said.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928, and has spawned branches throughout the Muslim world. It was banned in 1954 for advocating violence to turn Egypt into an Islamic state.
Today, still banned, the group says it supports peaceful means toward change and is generally tolerated by the state, with occasional crackdowns. Brotherhood members hold seats in Parliament, though they run as independents, not under the group’s name.
The comments Wednesday night were Akef’s sharpest criticism of the United States since taking over the group’s leadership in March. He accused the United States of “trying to bring us to our knees … corrupt our civilization and obliterate our identity.”