The Muslim Brotherhood Goes To Washington

Less than two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt and now, after Obama affirmatively shoved Mubarak under the bus, they’re in control of Egypt, making the rounds in Washington D.C. on a diplomatic charm offensive. And we’re obligated by treaty to give them the time of day, not to mention billions of dollars. WTF happened here and where’s the outcry of international sanity?

Muslim Brotherhood officials aim to promote moderate image in Washington visit

Members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood began a week-long charm offensive in Washington on Tuesday, meeting with White House officials, policy experts and others to counter persistent fears about the group’s emergence as the country’s most powerful political force.

The revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak has rapidly transformed the Brotherhood from an opposition group that had been formally banned into a political juggernaut controlling nearly half the seats in Egypt’s newly elected parliament.

With its rise, however, have come concerns from Egypt’s secularists as well as U.S. officials that the Islamist group could remake the country, threatening the rights of women and religious minorities. Such fears were only exacerbated by the Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, despite previous pledges that it would not do so.

See also:
The Muslim Brotherhood courts Washington
The Muslim Brotherhood comes to Washington
Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seeks ‘bridges of understanding’ with Washington
Egypt’s Brotherhood launches U.S. diplomatic push
Muslim Brotherhood envoys met with White House officials in DC
White House meets with Muslim Brotherhood in effort to engage Egypt’s political actors
White House downplays meeting with Muslim Brotherhood
White House Defends Meetings with Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood Attempts To Charm U.S. Skeptics
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood US charm offensive belies domestic reality
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits D.C.
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits Washington
Delegation from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Visits Washington

Moderate, charm offensive?

Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.
Qur’an is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

/if you don’t see the problem here, you don’t know taqiyya like they know taqiyya

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Egypt Votes, But For What Exactly?

Egypt had a free and fair vote to amend the Egyptian constitution, that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast.

Egypt Approves Amendments

Egyptians voted in overwhelming numbers to approve a set of constitutional amendments, setting the stage for Egypt’s first truly contested parliamentary and presidential elections in decades.

Saturday’s historic referendum on the amendments saw millions of enthusiastic Egyptians wait patiently for hours to cast ballots in what for almost everyone was a novelty—a vote in which the result wasn’t effectively predetermined.

The largely peaceful and fraud-free vote was a marked contrast to past elections and a glimpse of how much has changed in Egypt in the weeks since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread unrest, ending decades of single-party, autocratic rule.

Yet Saturday’s referendum also offered early clues into the rifts likely to shape Egyptian politics in the coming months and years. Many of the largely secular liberals who led the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak were opposed to the amendments, strongly suggesting the protest leaders have fallen out of sync with the vast majority of Egyptians.

Protest leaders criticized the amendments as part of a rushed and problematic timeline for establishing democracy; approving the changes started the clock on a race they said they are unprepared to run because they are still setting up parties.

Almost alone among the political groups in support of the amendments were the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party, the former president’s ruling party. Both hope to capitalize on their already strong organizations in summer elections for parliament, which will then be charged with writing an entirely new constitution.
. . .

Journalists covering the announcement abandoned any pretenses of objectivity and yelled “Allahu Akbar!”—”God is Great!”—when the tallies were read out by officials.

See also:
How Egypt’s historic referendum could now bolster Islamists
Big majority vote for constitutional changes in Egypt
Egypt Backs Constitutional Changes That May Aid Brotherhood, Mubarak Party
Egypt: Constitution changes pass in referendum
Egyptians approve constitutional amendments in referendum
Egyptians overwhelmingly approve constitutional changes
Egyptians set for summer elections
Egyptian voters say ‘yes’ to speedy elections
Egypt’s Historic Referendum: Rushed But Moving
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say ‘Yes’ to the amendments
Egypt approves amendments, prepares for next step
Egyptians get taste of democracy in post-Mubarak era
Egyptians approve constitutional changes, clearing way for elections

Egypt has zero recent history of democracy or diverse political parties. So, obviously, whatever groups are already the most organized will benefit the most from the early elections just approved. And what’s the most organized group in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to dominate the democratically elected parliament after this summer’s elections and, therefore, gets to write the new Egyptian constitution?

/it could very well turn out to be “one man, one vote, one time

Election Day, Axis Of Evil Style

In a few hours, Iranians will go to the polls to elect their next president. Who will it be?

Will Ahmadinejad Lose Iran’s Election?

In the free-for-all of this election, Iran’s Opposition supporters have been shouting slogans they’d normally only whisper, like “death to the government.”

They are emboldened by their man, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who looks like he could actually win, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.

A 67-year-old architect and painter, Mousavi has promised to liberalize the economy, negotiate with the West over Iran’s nuclear program and give young people – especially women – more freedom.

“If Mousavi wins the election, things would change in a better way for Iran,” said one girl at a rally.

Mousavi is going into this election knowing he can count on the youth vote. Most of the people who come to his rallies are under 30 – young people who want him to deliver on the freedoms they crave.

But the real star of this campaign is Mousavi’s unofficial running mate, his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, who has shattered taboos by sharing the stage with him as an equal, calling to mind another high profile political wife.

“I was active in politics long before people discovered Michelle Obama, a woman I respect,” Rahnavard said through a translator.

Her wild popularity has got the competition rattled. During Iran’s first ever Presidential debates, Mousavi accused President Ahmadinejad of leading the country to dictatorship.

Ahmadinejad countered by attacking Mousavi’s wife, holding up her resume – he said she was an academic cheat, alleging she got a PhD without taking a university entrance exam.

Even if untrue – it went down well with Ahmadinejad’s supporters – who think the President can do no wrong. They love his non-negotiable stance on Iran’s nuclear program, and pork barrel spending that benefits the working class.

He’s a hero in rural towns like Pulur high in the mountains. In the local diner, it’s unanimous – everyone’s voting for Ahmadinjad for the local improvements he’s made.

But for every fan – there’s a critic, and Ahmadinejad and his backers are clearly shaken by the ferocity of opposition.

What looks like democracy to some, looks to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard like a potential uprising.

A notice appeared last night on the Guard’s website, warning that any sign of a popular revolution would be crushed.

Iran election race tightens

The day before polls open in Iran’s presidential election, the streets are suddenly quiet again as official campaigning comes to an end, and voters prepare for what is expected to be a record turnout.

Whereas President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a sure bet just 10 days ago, the race has closed this past week, in what is clearly turning into a referendum on his four years in office.

Rivers of green have flowed through the streets, those decked out in the colors of his main challenger, former Prime Minster Mir Hossein Moussavi.

The week started with tens of thousands of his supporters forming a human chain along 17 kilometers of the main Tehran artery Vali-Asr Street.

Called out by text message and email the numbers exceeded all expectations, their ranks swelled by thousands more who joined the chain spontaneously or just lined the route to watch.

“Ahmadi bye bye, Ahmadi bye bye,” they sang. Others held up posters that said ‘NO LIARS.’ It has become the opposition slogan.

They accuse the president of lying about the shape of the economy, overseeing higher prices, higher unemployment and higher inflation over the last four years.

One woman said she came out “because we want a change, because we want freedom.”

By the end of the week Moussavi’s supporters stretched as far as the eye could see from one end of Tehran to another, in scenes not witnessed here since the Islamic Revolution swept this country back in 1979.

Wednesday night a deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard posted a warning on their Web site, vowing to “crush” any attempts at a “velvet revolution” in Iran.

President Ahmadinejad also drew large crowds, but even his most fervent supporters conceded, they didn’t come close to Moussavi’s. His staunchest supporters are among the traditional, the poor and the religious faithful.

See also:
Iran’s election system
SCENARIOS: How U.S.-Iran ties might develop after election
Former US diplomat hopeful for change after Iran election
Iran’s Election Brings Desire for Women’s Rights Into Focus
Iran’s Young Women Use Their Polling Power
Commentary: Iran’s nuclear work will go on

The election on Friday should be worth watching, considering that one-third of the electorate is under 30-years-old and was therefore not born at the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In any case, I’m not sure this election will make a whole lot of difference, since the real power in Iran is wielded by the ruling mullahs, led by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. It’s also doubtful this election will change anything regarding what Israel and the United States are most concerned about, Iran’s nuclear program.

IAEA: Ahmadinejad election rival launched Iran nuclear program

International Atomic Energy Agency documents revealed that Iran began a secret nuclear program during the tenure of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader running against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The documents, which Iran transferred to the IAEA several years ago, show that Tehran decided in 1987 to purchase the centrifuges it is using to enrich uranium.

Mousavi, who is seen as a moderate candidate in the West, served as Iran’s prime minister between 1981 and 1989, and while that position has since been eliminated from Iranian politics, it was an executive position that was similar in nature to the current presidential role.

One of the documents revealed that the then-head of Iran’s atomic energy organization requested Mousavi’s approval for purchasing the centrifuges on the black market. Iran subsequently acquired the centrifuges through the smuggling ring of Pakistani scientist Abd al-Qadir Khan.

Anyway, this election ought to be interesting and I hope Ahmadinejad loses, just so we don’t have to see or hear the malignant dwarf anymore.

/stay tuned and pray there’s no violence