CAIRO — The number two diplomat in the U.S. State Department met Wednesday with leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the highest-level contact between Washington and the once-banned group poised to dominate the country’s first parliament chosen after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with the head of the Brotherhood’s political party, which has won more than 40 percent of the seats in elections that ended Wednesday. The parliament is scheduled to convene on Jan. 23.
Its main task is to appoint a 100-member panel to write a new constitution. With its election victory, the Islamist group could have significant influence over its content.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Burns’ meeting with the Brotherhood leaders was a chance to reinforce U.S. expectations that Egypt’s parties will support human rights, women’s rights and religious tolerance. (“US holds highest contacts so far with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, shunned when Mubarak ruled”).
But there’s no basis for that optimism. None. In his weekly message on December 29, supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Muhammad Badi laid out his view of the future. Oddly, he nowhere mentions women’s rights or religious tolerance:
"The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna. This will be accomplished by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system, with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world. When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da'wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life. The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world. In this Arab spring, the revolutionary people were determined to achieve particular, obvious goals. They were adamant and uncompromising about goals such as the end of unjust regimes and the ousting of unfair rulers, to rid our countries of all corrupt systems that usurped our resources and thwarted our progress. And today we are very close to achieving a major goal by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system with all its institutions and guiding principles. With the blessings of Shura we are on the path of achieving the goals of the nation and the revolution through a candid and genuine representation of the people in the parliament to start building the institutions of good governance and a rightly guided state." (“The Brotherhood's True Itinerary”).
Not only is the Brotherhood going to turn Egypt into a much larger, armed, and more dangerous version of Hamas-ruled Gaza, but the Ikhwan make no bones about their divine right to rule the world.
What are our leaders thinking?