Morton A. Klein, National President
Dr. Daniel Mandel, Director
Center for Middle East Policy
Zionist Organization of America
It is a shocking contrast when Iranians protested an American enemy, Ahmadinejads regime, President Obama said nothing for days and refused to intervene. Now, Egyptians protest an American ally, Mubaraks regime. Obama quickly and forcefully intervened, calling for Mubaraks resignation. (We are fully aware that Mubarak is an oppressive dictator. But he is a U.S. ally, maintaining peace with Israel, albeit a cold one).
Are there indications that Obama ignores the dangers and ideology of extremist Muslims?
We see White House press secretary Robert Gibbs calling on a host of non-secular actors a clear allusion to the extremist Islamist Muslim Brotherhood be part of a future government, while Obama adviser Bruce Riedel argues that America should not be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obamas National Intelligence director James Clapper says it is largely secular and not particularly extreme. Strange, since the Brotherhoods slogan is Allah is our objective.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which collaborated with Nazi Germany, was the precursor of Al Qaeda. Last year, its leader, Muhammad Badi, spoke enthusiastically of jihad and called for a state based on Islamic law. He also spoke optimistically about the U.S. heading for a collapse. His second-in-command, Rashad Al-Bayoumi, this week emphasized abrogating the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The Muslim Brotherhood platform, leaked in August 2007, states that the president and legislative branch will be advised by clerics, who must approve decisions and non-Muslims will be barred from the presidency, which is also held to be unsuitable for women.
Could the Egyptian population vote in the Muslim Brotherhood? Polls show they could. A 2007 University of Maryland survey shows that 67% of Egyptians favor all Arab countries untied as one Islamist state. A 2010 Pew poll indicates that 74% of Egyptians favoring the imposition of strict sharia (Islamic) law. The death penalty for those who convert out of Islam is supported by 84% of Egyptians. So a Muslim Brotherhood takeover is possible.
This is even more frightening because such a regime would take control of a massive Egyptian army, twice the size of Israels, trained by the U.S., possessing ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, hundreds of U.S.-made warplanes, thousands of tanks and dozens of ships, purchased with over $40 billion of U.S. military aid.
Despite the evident danger the Muslim Brotherhood represents, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has raised no objection to its participation in transition talks, saying the Muslim Brotherhood has decided to participate [in transition talks], suggesting they, at least, are now involved in the dialogue that we have encouraged.
It appears that Obama is willing to legitimize deeply hostile, extremist Islamist forces. Should we be surprised? President Obama has instructed his officials not to use the term Islamic terrorism or jihad. In June 2009, when President Obama delivered his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood leadership to attend, including, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni, the head of its parliamentary bloc.
Also, Obama has appointed Islamist apologists and extremists within his Administration including, Rashad Hussain, the U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who once denounced what he called a politically motivated persecution of Sami Al-Arian, the Florida professor who was subsequently found to have been illegally funding the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. President Obama also sought to appoint Chas W. Freeman, an apologist for the Islamist Saudi regime and other repressive dictatorships, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman regards Palestinian terrorism as resistance and believes that America has shown the terrorist group Hamas unreasoning hostility.
Other Islamist apologists, like Salaam Al-Marayati and Imam Feisal Rauf, have been sent abroad to speak on behalf of the U.S. by the Obama Administration. Al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, has called for Israels destruction and suggested Israel be placed on a suspect list as the possible perpetrator of 9/11. Rauf, who has led the effort to build the Manhattans Ground Zero mosque, called the U.S. an accessory to the 9/11 attacks and described Al-Qaeda as made in the USA.
Obama has also tilted towards Muslim regimes, even those in conflict with Israel. In a major U.N. speech in September 2009 and for the first time in U.S.-Israel relations Obama coupled U.S. support for Israels security with Israel fulfilling the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians. He strongly condemns Israel, almost never the Palestinians. In March 2009, Obama approved a major increase to $900 million in aid to the Palestinians, including $600 million for Hamas-controlled Gaza, despite a long history of Hamas obtaining foreign money, weapons and UN aid.
Moreover, before he was elected president, Obama gave some legitimacy to the agenda of extremist terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizballah, speaking of their legitimate claims even as he criticized violence as hurting their cause.
Why does Obama seem to ignore the dangers and ideology of extremist Muslims? Why did he say almost nothing in support of protesters of the anti-American Iran regime but strongly supports the protesters of the U.S.-allied Egyptian regime? The American public deserves an answer.