With Islamist extremists facing opposition as they consolidate their power within Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is looking abroad in the hope of gaining some unlikely allies. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party may have reneged on its promise to stay out of Egypt’s presidential election, and has driven Coptic Christians off the commission charged with drafting their nation’s new constitution, but promises of business opportunities may win the support of foreign businesses that see an opportunity to make a profit.
According to a recent article for The Washington Post (“Muslim Brotherhood officials aim to promote moderate image in Washington visit”), the Islamist organization has been engaged in a “week-long charm offensive” in Washington, D.C.:
In meeting with U.S. officials, Brotherhood representatives were expected to depict the organization as a moderate and socially conscious movement pursuing power in the interest of Egyptians at large.
“We represent a moderate, centrist Muslim viewpoint. The priorities for us are mainly economic, political — preserving the revolution ideals of social justice, education, security for the people,” Sondos Asem, a member of the delegation, said Tuesday in an interview with reporters and editors of The Washington Post.
But even as Asem was proclaiming the Brotherhood to be “moderate,” the presidential candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party was busy making the imposition of sharia law the heart and soul of his campaign. As Reuters reported on April 5:
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Photo of Khairat al-Shater: AP Images