A year after the Egyptian uprising, Hosni Mubarak's fall and the Muslim Brotherhood's rise in the country, the White House held talks with the radical Islamist group this week. This is the same Muslim Brotherhood that has called for the "review" of the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel and the same Muslim Brotherhood pushing Shariah law in their position of new leadership in Egypt.
White House officials held talks with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington this week, as the Islamist group threw itself into the fray in Egypt's presidential election.
The meeting on Tuesday with low-level National Security Council staff was part of a series of US efforts to broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties following Egypt's revolution last year, a US official said.
"We believe that it is in the interest of the United States to engage with all parties that are committed to democratic principles, especially nonviolence," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.
One might wonder how an organization can be thought to have renounced violence when it has inspired more jihadists than any other, and when its Palestinian branch, the Islamic Resistance Movement, is probably more familiar to you by the name Hamas — a terrorist organization committed by charter to the violent destruction of Israel. Indeed, in recent years, the Brotherhood (a.k.a., the Ikhwan) has enthusiastically praised jihad and even applauded — albeit in more muted tones — Osama bin Laden.
No surprise, the usual Republican suspects have also been in talks:
The White House pointed out that Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and other US lawmakers and officials had also met with Brotherhood representatives in Egypt and elsewhere in recent months.
Somewhere, the people at CAIR are smiling.