The Muslim Brothers “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” — “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991.
One might think, in light of that, that this was an example of the old adage, Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But it isn’t. It is cluelessness and capitulation, and more fantasy-based policymaking — as epitomized by the “intelligence” chief James Clapper, who claimed that the Brotherhood was “largely secular.”
“Exclusive: U.S. to resume formal Muslim Brotherhood contacts,” by Arshad Mohammed for Reuters, June 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):
(Reuters) – The United States has decided to resume formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, in a step that reflects the Islamist group’s growing political weight but that is almost certain to upset Israel and its U.S. backers.
“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing,” said the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency.” […]
Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security adviser handling Middle East affairs under former President George W. Bush, said he favored dropping the ban on formal contacts — but approaching any actual dealings with great caution.
Abrams said positions espoused by some Brotherhood members — such as favoring religious tests for public office, questioning the rights of women and limiting freedom of religion or speech — were “anathema” to the United States.
The group says it wants a civil state based on Islamic principles, but talk by some members of an “Islamic state” or “Islamic government” have raised concerns that their goal is a state where full Islamic sharia law is implemented. The group says such comments have been taken out of context.
Of course! Aren’t they always?
“It’s critical … that we make it very, very clear to Egyptians, if we are going to do a meeting, that we are no less opposed to the ideas they represent,” Abrams said, noting that there are splits among Brotherhood members.
“We have to think about whether we can use meetings to deepen those splits and to help, quietly, those who are trying to moderate the positions of the Brotherhood,” he added, saying the United States should choose its interlocutors with care and that the talks need not be conducted by the U.S. ambassador.
The U.S. official who declined to be identified said U.S. diplomats “will continue to emphasize the importance of support for democratic principles and a commitment to nonviolence, and respect for minority and women’s rights in conversations with all groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Yeah, that’ll work.