Conspiracy of Brothers

By IndepthAfrica
In Middle East
Jan 7th, 2013
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To read and order Frank Gaffney’s pamphlet, The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration, click here.

November was just about done and Chris Matthews, the MSNBC host voted most likely by his own staff to have a poster of Barack Obama over his bed, was cheerfully coming to the end of his sideshow list. With the White House in the background, Matthews sneered about the “weak conspiracy” claim by Congressman Gohmert that the Obama Administration was taking advice on Middle East policy from a bunch of Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

Matthews didn’t even bother trying to factually challenge the claim in any way. Savvy MSNBC viewers were expected to dismiss the idea of a secretive organization trying to influence American foreign policy … unless it was run by the Jews.

At Mother Jones, David Corn sneered at Franklin Graham for promoting the Muslim Brotherhood “conspiracy theory.” But both Matthews and Corn were a little behind the times. That summer when Hillary Clinton arrived in Egypt, she was confronted by shoe-throwing protesters denouncing her for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Think Progress, the left’s shiniest spin machine, explained that the Egyptian protesters had gotten the peculiar idea that there was a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy from American “Islamophobic” bloggers. Several months later, the object of the fanciful conspiracy theory, Mohammed Morsi, orchestrated a seizure of power, rammed through an Islamist Constitution and sent gangs out to brutalize and torture protesters with no direct condemnation from the White House or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A month after Matthews had sneered at the idea that Muslim Brotherhood members were exercising inappropriate influence over American foreign policy; the venerable Egyptian magazine Rose El-Youssef ran an article about the six Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including two in the Department of Homeland Security, who were influencing American foreign policy on the Brotherhood’s behalf.

While Rose El-Youssef had been a pro-government magazine, during the revolution its journalists had locked out the pro-Mubarak CEO and a new editor had been appointed by the Council of Ministers. Nor could the article be characterized as propaganda or even opinion journalism. Shawki simply laid out the biographical details of the Muslim Brotherhood figures without any trace of indictment or blame.

Shawki listed six men, Arif Alikhan, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; and Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He also listed Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. Not to mention Huma Abedin.

The article carefully avoided drawing any conclusions; the magazine had earlier faced legal charges for “smearing” President Morsi by discussing his outreach to Hamas. Instead the article let the facts about the six men speak for themselves.

Arif Alikhan, was described as a Qutb-ist, after the Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb, who saw the most serious American national security documents. Elibiary’s organization, it mentions, was financed by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. And so on down the list it goes concluding with Eboo Patel’s relationship with the family of Hassan al-Banna of the Brotherhood.

In response, Obama’s goofy ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, penned a letter to the magazine expressing her “disappointment” in the article’s implication that Muslim Americans are guided primarily by their religious beliefs and could not be trusted to provide neutral advice to the United States. Anne went on to say that the United States does not back any single Egyptian faction and that stories based on rumor and innuendo have no place in the magazine.

Patterson was still operating as if the accusations of Muslim Brotherhood influence could be banished with the usual accusatory cries of Islamophobia, even when dealing with a Muslim magazine in Egypt.

MSNBC and Mother Jones naturally could not be bothered to cover the Rose El-Youssef story. And neither could slightly more mainstream liberal outlets like CNN or the New York Times. Like Patterson, they were still pretending that Egyptian suspicions of the Brotherhood’s power grab and their distrust of Obama for supporting the Brotherhood were some strange Islamophobic idea that they had picked up from, as Think Progress put it, “conservative blogs.”

When Egyptians protested against the Obama Administration’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the response from Think Progress was to blame Michelle Bachmann and Frank Gaffney for influencing them. And while Frank Gaffney has indeed led the way in exposing Muslim Brotherhood influence on this side of the ocean, the Egyptians who had been living with the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism and plots for nearly a century had extensive experience of their own with the violent and fanatical organization.

During the mounting controversy over the Huma Abedin case, Frank Gaffney wrote an invaluable pamphlet on the formerly Nazi-funded organization. “The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration,”, published by the Freedom Center, described in detail the influence wielded by Muslim Brotherhood agents and sympathizers within the highest circles of foreign policy in the country. Beginning with the Muslim Brotherhood’s program of conquest, recovered by the FBI, and listing some of its more influential agents, Gaffney made the case that there was every reason to investigate them and it.

Rather than address this state of affairs, the media still insists on pretending that anyone who questions the Brotherhood is trafficking in conspiracy theories. Unable to understand the liberal Egyptian critics of the Muslim Brotherhood, the media stays on safe ground by attacking American terrorism researchers like Frank Gaffney.

The Muslim Brotherhood had been trying to take over Egypt for nearly a century. Now that it has succeeded, it is reasonable for both Americans and Egyptians to wonder how that came about. There is no question that a major foreign policy disaster of this magnitude merits investigation. And investigating a foreign policy disaster requires that we understand the influences that led to the bad decisions that made it happen.  That is as true now as it was after the fall of China to the Communists.

The Egyptians who have lost their freedom are asking these questions. We, who have not yet lost our freedom, should begin asking those questions as well before it is too late.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

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