A lack of knowledge about the Muslim Brotherhood is evident on the part of U.S. officials who are now cozying up to the organization. The Brotherhood's leadership is vehemently anti-American and has gone on the record calling for jihad against America.
One notable example includes Brotherhood lawmaker Ragab Hilal Hamida's speech during a parliamentary session between January 28 and February 3, 2006, which focused on the Inter-Arab Agreement on Combating Terrorism. The Arab press reported on his statements saying the Koran encourages terrorism and that he supports the activities of Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahri, and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The report also stated that another Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker, Sheikh Ahmad Askar, agreed with Mr. Hamida's statements.
Another example illustrating the problem with the Muslim Brotherhood can be found in the ideology of its current leader. When Mr. Akef took over in 2004, he gave a series of interviews to the Egyptian press stating — among other things — that America, which he referred to as "Satan," would soon collapse. Regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001, he claimed there was no real proof that Al Qaeda was behind them and stated that in the future, Islam would take over Europe and America.
An unidentified senior official in the American government was quoted by Newsweek as saying the invitation of Brotherhood members was "cleared" by the State Department and represented the highest-level contact with the organization since September 11.
As some members of the American government pursue talks with the Muslim Brotherhood, it must be understood that this organization is no friend of America. Just two weeks ago, its leader spoke at a Cairo-based conference called "The Struggle Against the U.S. and Zionist Occupation." He stated that "the devil Bush" and his allies were really behind "sowing terror worldwide."
Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.