Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
As far as referring to individuals in the muslim brotherhood instead of the organization, I present this...
Obama Supporters Criticize Administration's Muslim Brotherhood Policy
by John Rossomando
April 12, 2013
Discontent with the Obama administration's "abominable" policies toward Egypt among some of his leading supporters on Middle East issues took center stage Friday afternoon during a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for American Progress (CAP).
The program on "U.S. Engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood" featured James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab-American Institute; John Esposito, head of the Prince Alaweed bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding at Georgetown University; and Michael Hanna, senior fellow at the Century Foundation.
Each expressed concern with the Muslim Brotherhood's rejection of women's rights, hostility and violence toward Egypt's Coptic Christian population, and repression of dissent and "incompetence" since the party came to power last year. This criticism is noteworthy given that each speaker admitted having had high hopes for the Brotherhood a year or more ago.
Egyptian human rights abuses have been so grave that even Esposito, one of the Brotherhood's most redoubtable defenders in America, took issue with the Obama administration's Egypt policy.
"The answer here is obvious," Esposito said when asked about last Sunday's siege of the Coptic Church's holiest cathedral by Islamic extremists and Egyptian riot police that left two dead and over 80 injured. "The administration should be very strong in responding to that kind of incident because this is not an incident where we want to say that, 'Oh, we are not going to intervene in Egyptian politics,' where certain segments of the Egyptian population will say 'there goes the U.S. intervening.'" It should be met with very strong statements publicly, but also privately when talking about potential economic assistance."
Zogby suggested restructuring foreign aid to Egypt to be more sensitive to the facts on the ground rather than the United States locking itself an agreement that is difficult to change over the long-term. Such a change would give policy makers flexibility so aid to Egypt isn't handled in all-or-nothing terms.
"Our credibility has been compromised," Zogby said. "I think the way we handled the constitutional issue itself was abominable." U.S. officials made clear what a constitution should include, yet did not follow through when the document failed to protect women and minorities.
"I can't believe that we did nothing with regard to the communities in Egypt that were going to be affected by that constitution and express that we were displeased by the direction."
The Brotherhood's rejection of equal status for women and the Copts, as well as its repression of opposition, have damaged its image, Zogby said.