Washington Institute for Near East Policy scholar Eric Trager has written an article for The New Republic titled “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mendacious Charm Campaign In Washington” that analyzes the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s recent visit to Washington. The article begins:
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a Muslim Brotherhood delegation in Washington last week to better understand how the Islamist group will govern Egypt. It was a noble attempt at promoting intercultural political dialogue—an engagement for which many in the American policy community, as well as academia, have long advocated. Yet the Brotherhood came to Washington with an agenda of its own: selling itself as a “moderate” organization to a highly skeptical American public. And it did so using one of the oldest sales tricks: It completely misrepresented itself. In a certain sense, the Muslim Brotherhood’s representatives had no other choice. If they admitted, for example, that they intend to repeal the law that criminalizes sexual harassment—as one of their female parliamentarians declared earlier last week—they would have killed their chances at winning over an American public that embraces gender equality. Similarly, if the Brotherhood’s representatives used their time in Washington to reiterate their leaders’ calls for banning beach tourism, it would have destroyed any hopes of an American taxpayer-aided bailout for the nearly bankrupt Egyptian economy. And if they’d repeated their leaders’ 9/11 conspiracy theories, they would have been on the first plane back to Cairo, rather than invited for meetings at the White House and State Department. Thus, the Brotherhood presented a version of its politics very different from the one that would be familiar to Egyptians.
Read the rest here.
Posts from last week reported on the visit by the Brotherhood delegation which was described as a “week long charm offensive and which met with U.S. officials including White House national security staff.