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News Analysis

Muslim Brotherhood's 'Perception Management Team' to Washington, D.C.

by: 
Clare Lopez

A Muslim Brotherhood perception management team is coming to Washington, D.C. Georgetown University's Saudi-funded Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and its Director, John Esposito, will host a delegation of Egyptian members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party for “a discussion” on April 4, 2012.

Then, the group will join fellow Brotherhood-affiliates from Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia the next day at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for a program to be moderated by Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and a senior associate in the Middle East Program at Carnegie.

Professor John Esposito founded the Georgetown Center that now bears the name of the Saudi royal prince whose $20 million dollar endowment in 2005 bought a devoted pro-Islamic program at this Catholic university in the nation’s capital. Professor Nathan Brown, another apologist for sharia Islam, testified for the defense in the first Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial, in which he attempted to whitewash the obligatory Islamic annual zakat tax, a portion of which according to sharia (Islamic law) must go to jihad.

Among the Egyptian Brothers welcomed to Washington by Esposito and Brown will be Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, left, a Freedom and Justice Party Member of Parliament from Luxor and a member of the party’s Foreign Relations Committee; Hussein El-Kazzaz, a businessman and advisor to the Freedom and Justice Party; a “Sister,” Sondos Asem, Senior Editor at the Brotherhood’s online website, www.Ikhwanweb.com and a member of the party’s Foreign Relations Committee; and Khaled Al-Qazzaz, the Foreign Relations Coordinator for the Freedom and Justice Party. 

After predictably sweeping some 75% of the parliamentary vote together with fellow supporters of Islamic law in the Salafist party, the Muslim Brotherhood already is beginning to clamp down on dissent from the majority, pro-sharia line.

Speaking in February 2012, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery expressed disapproval for any “type of democracy that will not bring Islamists to power…this is wrong,” he said. In this sense, it would appear that Dardery considers “democracy” a kind of mob rule in which the majority makes the rules—and the majority in Egypt today is unquestionably pro Muslim Brotherhood and pro Islamic Law.

Despite an Election Program that is liberally studded with words like “freedom,” “justice” and “equality” that would make Thomas Jefferson proud, in practice, the Freedom and Justice Party is unlikely to stray far from sharia once firmly empowered by the new Egyptian constitution it will have the lead role in writing.

The brazen misrepresentation of sharia in this election year document (aka taqiyya) should be "Exhibit A" for any who still think this revolution was about American-style democracy. Currently published as part of the Freedom and Justice Party platform, whoppers like the following won’t be around for long after June 2012:

  • “…freedom of belief and worship are rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the law, and by sharia (Islamic law)…” [“Whoever changes his religion, kill him,” said the Muslim prophet Muhammad, according to authoritative ahadith. If anyone still harbors the illusion that this commandment is irrelevant in the 21st century, the story of the Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned, charged and reportedly sentenced to death on faith-based charges variously described as apostasy or insult to Islam, should be illustrative.]
  • “…our fellow Christians must not be deprived of the right to build churches” [The 9th century Pact of Umar, whose provisions are included in the book of Islamic Law called “The Reliance of the Traveller” (or ‘Umdat al-Salik) which bears the 1991 imprimatur of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, says that “…we will not erect in our city or the suburbs any new monastery, church, cell or hermitage; that we will not repair any of such buildings that may fall into ruins, or renew those that may be situated in the Muslim quarters of the town…” The laws governing the Ahl al-dhimma, or conquered People of the Book, state that failure to keep any part of this Pact by Christians or Jews results in automatic abrogation of the Pact and immediate forfeiture of their right to life, liberty and property. In other words, their blood becomes haram (permitted)—and for the beleaguered Coptic community across much of Egypt already has.]
  • “The basic principle of Islamic law is equality between women and men…” [Qur’an Sura 4:34 says, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them…”]

And finally, among the Ikhwan delegation is the lone “Sister,” Sondos Asem, (left) who is senior editor at the Brotherhood’s online website, www.Ikhwanweb.com and a member of the Party’s Foreign Relations Committee. Asem, it will be recalled, was the young 20-something who so beguiled Nicholas Kristoff, (left), during his December 2011 interview with her for the New York Times.

Apparently completely bamboozled by this articulate, well-educated mouthpiece for the Egyptian Brotherhood, the oddly naive Kristoff swallowed whole her absurd pronouncements about the equal position of women in the organization and Muslim society. The fact that, in the NYT video of the interview, Asem and her mother both wore typical Islamic garb with their heads tightly swathed while Asem’s brother, obviously the dominant figure in the family, lingered out of sight off-camera as Asem laughingly told Kristoff she “can’t talk in front of him,” seemed not to register with him in the slightest. 

This is the Ikhwan’s traveling perception management team, then, that is now headed for the U.S. Its purpose, in advance of the new constitution that the Brotherhood will be writing for Egypt in coming months, is to soothe American concerns over the coming transformation of the Egyptian government from a military dictatorship with Islamic undertones to a frankly Islamic one.

Of course, they’d like to keep the U.S. largesse flowing for as long as possible and once U.S. citizens begin to glom onto the Brotherhood’s anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Israel sharia agenda, that might not be so easy. The Muslim Brotherhood motto doesn’t come across so well once people know what’s in it:

Allah is our objective, Muhammad is our Prophet, the Quran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.

They might start thinking about what the Muslim Brotherhood logo, (left), means, too: the Arabic word at the bottom of the circle is waidu, meaning “prepare,” and comes from the first word of Qur’anic verse 8:60, which tells Muslims to “Make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy.”                                                 

If it is possible to attend these sessions at Georgetown University or Carnegie, it is sure to be instructive in the methodology of the influence operation. The words will be perfectly calibrated to resonate with freedom-loving people who cheer to see the oppressed rise up chanting slogans about “democracy.” The reality is otherwise…but because the Brotherhood’s influence within America’s own national security leadership circles, academia, and society as a whole already is so great, it can be difficult to realize that the pre-violent jihad by stealth is far more lethal to the West than the violent jihad. The violence will come anyway (at the end), but now is the time for “civilization jihad,” unless delegations like this one are seen for what they really are and met with some pointed questions.  

Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

See also ClarionProject.org's related article America Rolls Out Welcome Mat for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.