Saudi media is reporting that Kemal Helbawy, best known as the former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, was among a group of individuals described as ex-Muslim Brotherhood members who met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to discuss ways of fighting Islamic extremism in Egypt. According to an Asharq Al-Awsat report:
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has met with a number of ex-Muslim Brotherhood figures to discuss ways of confronting Islamic extremism in the North African country.
Cairo designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 2013, less than six months after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.
Sisi met with a number of former Muslim Brotherhood officials, who have become outspoken critics of the group, at the presidential palace earlier this week, including Tharwat Al-Kherbawy, Kamal El-Helbawy and Mokhtar Nouh.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, lawyer Kherbawy who has written a number of books about his time in the Brotherhood, said: ‘President Sisi met with us because we have firsthand experience of the Islamist and extremist project.’
‘We have carried out a number of studies and a lot of research on confronting extremist and terrorist ideologies, and this is what we put forward to the president,’ he added.
However Kherbawy denied that the meeting was to discuss future policies aimed specifically against his former group. ‘The concept of terrorism is broader than the Muslim Brotherhood,’ he said.
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In Jaunary 2013, the GMBDW reported that Kemal Helbawy and other Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders who were said to have defected from the group were planning to establish a new Dawa organization. That report cited Helbawy as saying said that the Muslim Brotherhood had been preoccupied with politics and forgotten its commitment to Dawa, pointing out that the new organization will be tasked with Dawa, Islam and education, and will not interfere in politics. Although a post from April 2013 reported that Helbawy had resigned from the Egyptian Brotherhood, he is known to have been a supporter of Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, the favored Egyptian presidential candidate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and is lst still intimately involved with Global Brotherhood networks.
According to his resume, Helbawy (aka Helbawi) is the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, one of the founders of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, a U. umbrella organization comprised largely of Muslim Brotherhood organizations. He was the director of the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (CFSOT) which purported to be an anti-terror think-tank but which in reality was tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A post from April 2011 reported that Helbawy had returned to Egypt after 23 years of “voluntary exile” in the UK.
Recent extremist statements of Kemal Helbawy include:
- Egyptian media reported in August 2013 that Helbawy had blamed the recent Islamist attack on Egyptian border policemen on a “Zionist and U.S. plan to destabilize Egypt.” He also said “America plans to control the future of the world and is interested in Egypt because it is a pivotal state and the most important country in the Arab region.”
- In July 2013, a post reported on Helbawy’s call for the U.S. to be “brought to its knees” and calling for the release of Omar Abd Al-Rahman.
- Other previous posts have discussed Helbawy’s claim that the “Zionist Movement” obeys the orders of a single official and his praise for Osama Bin Laden as a “leader of Jihad.”
The Investigative Project has published an article titled “Ex Brotherhood Official Showcases Islamist Doublespeak” that examines the contradictory and deceptive statements of Kemal Helbawy.
For a profile of Helbawy, go here.