CHARLOTTE, NC, May 9, 2017 – When Barack Obama was president, the Muslim Brotherhood had a good thing going in Washington. At least half dozen of Obama’s advisers were card-carrying members of the Egyptian-based group which carried considerable clout with the Islamic apologist occupying the White House.
Say what you will about the new regime, the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington today is nowhere near as secure under Donald Trump as it was with Obama.
Trump has made it clear that he supports Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his battle to eradicate as much of the terrorist activities as possible in the Middle East.
In so doing, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) must reorganize or develop a new strategy for at least the immediate future. No longer will pretending to be “nice guys” who are moderately attempting to bring Islam out of the Middle Ages and into the 21st-century work as a strategy.
The Muslim Brotherhood was created in the early part of the 20th century in Egypt. It has long been a terrorist organization without the negativity of bearing the “terrorist” label. As Mahmoud a-Sharkawi, a Washington member of the Brotherhood tried to explain, the MB has played a positive role in Egypt since the Arab Spring in 2011.
But that’s all part of the game. Egyptian president Hosni Mubark was ousted in 2011. Later Muammar Gaddafi met a similar fate in Libya, and the war in Syria continues to rage as Bashar al-Assad has remained in power on into the Trump administration. While none of these Middle Eastern leaders (add Saddam Hussein to the list), will ever attain sainthood, they possessed a far greater understanding of their countries and Middle Eastern culture than most American politicians do today. Horrible as it was, that was enough to keep much of the Arab world in check.
As a result, though they were bad customers, Middle Eastern leaders somehow maintained a certain level of internal stability within an unstable environment. Often speaking out of both sides of their mouths, as with Yassar Arafat, the tactic was to say one thing to the West while saying something else to the Middle East.
Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others of its ilk are now scrambling to remake their image. The efforts are being made across the U.S. on college campuses where they can, in essence, “brainwash” idealistic students into making Donald Trump appear to be a bad guy who is prejudiced against all things Islamic.
Trump, who continues to be strong with his supporters, still struggles to gain favor with the other 50% of the country. If that trend continues, the MB should be able to make inroads into convincing anti-Trump Americans that they are not so bad after all.
The biggest fear looming over the Brotherhood, and organizations like them, is a decision by the administration to designate them as terrorists. Thus far such a declaration has not been made, but considering there has been limited terrorist activity since Trump took office there is likely no need for the Muslim Brotherhood to be concerned. For the moment, anyway.
With Obama running interference for the Brotherhood, the group was pretty much free to concentrate on its own internal strategies to gain strength. Now they are resorting to lectures and discussions at Harvard, Georgetown and other liberal universities while, at the same time, attempting to re-brand perceptions to Congress.
With its loss of power in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood has been constantly working in the Middle East to turn other Arab nations against Egypt in an effort to regain control.
In many ways, under current circumstances, the situation rolls along like the WWF where one side is strong before yielding to the other, and nothing is ever resolved to a satisfactory conclusion.
For the time being the Muslim Brotherhood is out. When the pendulum swings back, they will again gain strength before things change again.
What needs to happen is for Americans, and the West is to take the opportunity of having a “breather” of sorts to educate ourselves to the situation.
Unfortunately, the lulls are rarely, if ever, the times when we learn. Rather that’s when we become complacent, put our heads in the sand pretending that everything is OK.
For the moment, the MB is fighting for its life. The best way to defeat them is to keep them on the defensive and make it increasingly difficult to operate with the freedom they have had in the previous eight years.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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