The The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported on the annual symposium of the Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies held March 22-23. The event was entitled ‘Islamist Politics: Contemporary Trajectories in the Arab World’ and the the attendance list included many individuals who have a track record of support for the Muslim Brotherhood including French academic Francois Bourgat, Amr Hamzawy of the Carnegie Foundation, and Yvonne Haddad of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, directed by long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito. Also in attendance was Mohamad Saad El Katatny, described as the chief representative of Egypt’™s Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary bloc who was reported to have stated:
U.S. support for unpopular regimes is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Islamists…Moderate groups like the MBs will continue to struggle, but more people will be driven to radical discourse by repressive governments. This is most harmful for Western security.
The participation of a representative of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in a Western academic conference is unusual if not unprecedented and may reflect what appears to be a growing push for U.S. government engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood.