U.S. media is reporting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is prepared to talk to the U.S. “within the framework of mutual respect” and hopes that the U.S. will “stop supporting the corrupt and tyrannical regimes, backing the Zionist occupation and using double standards. According to a Bloomberg report:
July 2 (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said it was prepared to talk with the U.S. after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said America is “re-engaging” with the group in an effort to promote democratic change in the Mideast nation. “We are ready for dialogue with the U.S. administration, if it so decides, within a framework of mutual respect,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said in an e-mailed statement today. “The Muslim Brotherhood hopes that the U.S. administration has revised its previous policies and decided to side with the rights of the people and their demands and to stop supporting the corrupt and tyrannical regimes, backing the Zionist occupation and using double standards.” The statement said “no dialogue” has taken place between the group and the U.S., though there had been a “contact” with the U.S. embassy in Cairo in the past. The U.S. is loosening the criteria for interaction with the Brotherhood, allowing diplomats to deal directly with low-level officials of the organization, Clinton said on June 30 in Budapest. That marks a shift away from a previous policy that restricted U.S. officials to communicating with members of the Brotherhood who also sit in parliament. “This is not a new policy, it is one that we are re- engaging in because of upcoming elections,” Clinton said in Budapest. “But there will be certain expectations set and certain messages delivered, and we hope that the move toward democracy that is happening in Egypt will actually result in an inclusive, participatory political system.”
The GMBDW notes that the Bloomberg report concludes the the following statement:
The Brotherhood renounced terrorism as a means of bringing about political change and isn’t considered a terrorist group by the U.S. It is viewed with suspicion by Israel and its supporters in the U.S., including some members of Congress.
Apparently the author believes that only “Israel and its supporters in the U.S.” have any objections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
An earlier post reported that the United States has decided to resume formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Despite the assertion that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood “renounced terrorism as a means of bringing about political change”, the Global Muslim Brotherhood universally proclaims the doctrine of “defensive Jihad”, the idea that armed violence is justifiable where Muslims or their land or honor is under attack. For example, the following report on comments by Muslim Brotherhood leader Kemal Helbawy are illustrative:
Since 9/11, the group’s ideology and its possible links to militant jihad have come under greater scrutiny. Mr Helbawy supports jihad in “occupied” countries like Afghanistan where the US and UK have troops Perhaps more than anything else, its open support for the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Washington, explains why it is viewed with suspicion and alarm, and its members refused entry to the US. One such man is Kamal Helbawy, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, now based in London, who is quite candid about his support for jihad in what he regards as “occupied countries”, including Afghanistan – where both the US and UK have troops. But Mr Helbawy says this does not amount to encouraging European or American Muslims to take up arms against their governments. His advice to them is to use whatever democratic means available to them to campaign against such policies. Global jihad and foreign policy aside, Mr Ibrahim says the Muslim Brotherhood wants “the right [for Muslims in the West]to live according to their religion.” Critics argue that given the very conservative nature of the Muslim Brotherhood’s interpretation of Islamic tradition, the Muslim lifestyle it encourages may be at odds with secular liberal values of the West.