by Hillel Fendel For the first time, a U.S. government supports granting a government role to an extremist Islamic organization: the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
On Monday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Egypt’s new government will have to include a “whole host of important non-secular actors.” Most prominent among these is clearly the Muslim Brotherhood – which has made Islamic world domination one of its ultimate goals. It also opposes Egypt’s 30-year-old peace treaty with Israel.
Gibbs said the Muslim Brotherhood must reject violence and recognize democratic goals for the U.S. to be comfortable with it assuming a role in the new government. This caveat does not significantly alter the new American approach, which is very different than that of the previous Administration, in which George W. Bush pushed Mubarak for democratic reforms but never publicly accepted a role for Islamists.
Today, new White House chief of staff William Daley moderated the position very slightly, saying the U.S. hopes for a “strong, stable and secular Egyptian government.” Noting that the strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood is “some people’s expectation [and] some people’s fear,” Daley acknowledged that the situation in Egypt is largely out of American control.
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