Posted tagged ‘Obama and Egypt’

Egypt’s Battle Against Islamic Extremism

June 3, 2017

Egypt’s Battle Against Islamic Extremism, Gatestone InstituteShireen Qudosi, June 3, 2017

Sisi faces more than just militant and political extremists within Egypt’s borders; he is also walking a theological tightrope. Egypt is home to the regressive theocratic influence of the most revered Islamic institution in the Sunni world, Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, which openly views freedom as a “ticking time-bomb.”

Being held hostage intellectually by the grip of Al-Azhar University ensures that there is a constant supply when it comes to producing the next generation of militant and political Islamists.

President Sisi’s response to the brutal slaughter of peaceful Christian worshippers is being called rare but should not be surprising, considering the aggressive measures that need to be taken to hold extremism at bay, and to eradicate the threat that local groups pose to the Egyptian people. Coming out of the Riyadh Summit, where President Trump and a host of Muslim nations, including Egypt, agreed to drive out extremism, Sisi’s reaction was necessary.

 

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When it comes to regional interests in the Middle East, the priority is the most dominant and violent force.

Egypt stands out as a primary target, given the cocktail of challenges that position it as a center of radical Islam. Egypt faces political, violent, and theological militancy within its borders.

For a nation to do what it must to survive, it needs the steadfast support of world powers. Step one is annihilating all sources of violent Islam.

 

For a Western audience, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a complex figure, who was shunned by the Obama administration. There appear truly pressing, immediate priorities in Egypt, such as developing the economy and combating the avalanche of extremist attempts to overthrow him. Among Middle East and North African territories, Egypt stands out as a primary target, given the cocktail of challenges that position it as a center of radical Islam.

President Sisi faces violent extremist hotbeds in the Sinai Peninsula, and the still-destabilizing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood (a political arm of violent radicals). Most notably, Sisi brought a reality check to the Arab Spring when he led the military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, ushering a spiritual and cultural Islamic reformation with widespread popular support from Egyptians on a grass-roots level.

Sisi faces more than just militant and political extremists within Egypt’s borders; he is also walking a theological tightrope. Egypt is home to the regressive theocratic influence of the most revered Islamic institution in the Sunni world, Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, which openly views freedom as a “ticking time-bomb.”

Being held hostage intellectually by the grip of Al-Azhar University ensures that there is a constant supply when it comes to producing the next generation of militant and political Islamists.

Egypt also faces extremist infiltration from neighboring Libya, a nation caught in a power vacuum after the murder of its leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. This vacuum has been readily filled by Islamic militants, including ISIS.

Upon returning home in April from his first visit to the U.S. since 2013, Sisi faced a series of domestic terror attacks that once again put Egypt in a global spotlight. On Palm Sunday, in April, two suicide bombings in Coptic Christian churches killed more than 45 people and injured another 120. For Egypt, one of the last regional strongholds that still has a vibrant non-Muslim minority population, violent eruptions on major Christian holidays have become routine.

In England, just days after the May 22 Manchester suicide bombing, attention was once again on Egypt where 29 Coptic Christians were gunned down on a bus traveling to a monastery near the city of Minya. The attack was launched by masked terrorists who arrived in three pick-up trucks and opened fire on the passengers, many of whom were children. Egyptian intelligence believes the Minya attack was led by ISIS jihadists based in Libya. In February, the aspiring terrorist caliphate also launched a campaign against Egypt’s Christian population. The Egyptian military responded swiftly with air strikes against terrorist camps, along with a televised warning against sponsored terrorism.

President Sisi’s response to the brutal slaughter of peaceful Christian worshippers is being called rare but should not be surprising, considering the aggressive measures that need to be taken to hold extremism at bay, and to eradicate the threat that local groups pose to the Egyptian people. Coming out of the Riyadh Summit, where President Trump and a host of Muslim nations, including Egypt, agreed to drive out extremism, Sisi’s reaction was necessary.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (front row, far-right) attended the May 21 Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, along with U.S. President Donald Trump (front-center). The problems of Islamic extremism and terrorism were much-discussed at the summit. (Photo by Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images)

In a war that is equally ideological and kinetic, Muslim nations and others trying to survive the plague of Islamic terrorism will need to be as ruthless as their extremist counterparts. That is something that the warring political factions in the U.S. quickly need to understand. When it comes to regional interests in the Middle East, the priority is combating the most dominant and violent force. If that force wins, human rights are completely off the table. Beyond Egypt, President Trump has received considerable backlash in the U.S. for siding with what are seen as repressive regimes, whether it was hosting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the White House or engaging with dictators and monarchs during the Riyadh Summit.

In order to bring security to the region, alliances need to look at the real instigators and agents of chaos. There is a metastasizing threat that requires a new coalition of the willing. For a nation to do what it must to survive, it needs the steadfast support of world powers. Step one is annihilating all sources of violent Islam.

Shireen Qudosi is the Director of Muslim Matters, with America Matters.

Restore the U.S.-Egyptian Strategic Alliance, Designate the Muslim Brothers as Terrorists

April 3, 2017

Restore the U.S.-Egyptian Strategic Alliance, Designate the Muslim Brothers as Terrorists, Center for Security Policy

(Please see also, Leftist Media Narrative Surfaces in Advance of al-Sisi’s White House Visit…  It’s a very long, and excellent, article on President al-Sisi’s impact on Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood and efforts to reform Islam.– DM)

Donald Trump will do something today that his predecessor refused to do. He will meet with the elected leader of Egypt, Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi.

President Obama made no secret of his enmity for his Egyptian counterpart. After all, as his country’s senior military officer in 2013, then-General el-Sisi fulfilled the demands of many millions of Egyptians by ending the misrule of the Muslim Brotherhood government – a regime Mr. Obama helped bring to power.

The Brothers were banished in part because they sought to impose their totalitarian Sharia code on Egypt, a goal they seek world-wide. President Obama embraced the Muslim Brothers. Donald Trump came to office rejecting their agenda and the “radical Islamic terrorism” it spawns.

President Trump can prove the vital U.S.-Egyptian alliance is restored by joining President el-Sisi in designating the Muslim Brotherhood what it is: a terrorist organization.

El-Sissi against the Arab world

October 31, 2016

El-Sissi against the Arab world, Israel Hayom, Dr. Reuven Berko, October 31, 2016

(How different would the situation be now if Obama, Clinton et al had supported Sisi’s “coup” rather than Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood? — DM)

The attitude of the Arab Gulf states toward Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is a good example of the insanity of considerable parts of the Arab world, whose twisted suicidal reasoning is unclear to many people outside it.

Given the American wipeout in the Middle East, leaders of the Persian Gulf states are very well aware that the only support they can expect against the expected Iranian aggression on the Arabian Peninsula comes from Egyptian military might. Nevertheless, megalomania, hypocrisy, double talk, and in particular a divisive and violent radical Islamist agenda are leading the Arab leaders to saw off the very branch they sit on.

The competition for hegemony, a tangle of conflicting economic and political interests and defensive manipulations, along with drives for expansion and survival, are leading the Gulf states to arm and fund the radical Sunni terrorist movements in Syria and Iraq to check the growth and terrorism of Shiite Iran, whose military provocations and threat to the Sunni Arab Gulf states is increasing.

But in effect they are encouraging Islamic terrorism in Egypt.

Turkey and Qatar have not accepted the loss of former President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and have not relinquished their dream of an Islamic empire. The Saudis, because of their money, reject Egypt as the “Arab mother state.” Mistaken U.S. policy confers transient status on el-Sissi’s regime. All of Egypt’s attempts to ingratiate itself with Saudi Arabia — the military guarantees, the delegations, and the gifts of the Tiran and Sanafir islands — failed to do the trick.

There is an Arab proverb that says, “Starve your dog so he will obey you.” While battling Iran, the Gulf states are inciting for el-Sissi to be ousted while supplying stingy amounts of money and fuel just to humiliate him and keep him “alive,” beaten, and needy — a thug who can attack Tehran for them. While the Al Jazeera network presents the Egyptian president as a sex criminal, an agent of Iran, Israel, and America, a corrupt official who sells weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Egyptian government is vulnerable to incitement and terrorism from the Muslim Brotherhood and their protectors in the Gulf (Al Jazeera), flooding, monstrous demographics (thanks to the Islamic ban on birth control), inflation, shortages of fuel, sugar, rice and raw materials, as well as the threat of the water level in the Nile River dropping and a hit to its $55 billion tourism industry.

To encourage his suffering, restive, exposed-to-incitement people, el-Sissi told them that he lived for a decade with nothing in the refrigerator other than a bottle of water. In response, the Saudi king mocked him, delayed shipments of fuel and visas to Saudi Arabia for Egyptians and made threats that el-Sissi would fall, like then-President Hosni Mubarak. In response to the intra-Arab scheming, el-Sissi invited the Russians to conduct a joint military exercise and recently voted against the Arabs — and with Iran, Russia and Syria — in the U.N. Security Council on a solution to the Syrian crisis, knowing that the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the success of the Islamists would make him the next target. If the Gulf states don’t change their policy soon, they’ll wind up getting a refrigerator full of explosives from him.

Egyptian general who oversaw destruction of Gaza tunnels assassinated

October 23, 2016

Egyptian general who oversaw destruction of Gaza tunnels assassinated, Jerusalem Post, Jacob Wirtschafter, October 23, 2016

(The Obama administration again complains that “good” counterterrorism – the type that CAIR and other Islamist groups like – “requires political reform that gives all legitimate stakeholders in the Middle East a voice in their governance, including peaceful Islamist parties.” Three cheers for CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and their friends. — DM)

siani-tunnel

A top Egyptian officer was gunned down in front of his home north of Cairo just after dawn Saturday in another sign of the increasing conflict between the government and its opponents – both armed and unarmed.

The Lewaa Al-Thawra (Revolution Brigade) claimed responsibility for the assassination of Major Adel Ragaai, head of the Egyptian Ninth Amour Division – the unit charged with destroying the tunnels running between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

“Major Adel Ragaai was killed in front of his house in Obour City (25km. northeast of Cairo) as he was leaving for work,” said army spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Samir. “Two bullets pierced his head.”

The Brigade made its debut in August with an ambush on a police checkpoint in Sadat City – an attack that killed two and injured five others, including two civilians.

Ragaai’s wife, Samia Zein Al-Abdeen, is a defense correspondent for the state-owned daily Al-Gomouria.

The newspaper quotes Al-Abdeen as saying she hurried outside when she heard a burst of gunfire from a private vehicle as it sped down their suburban street.

“From the discourse in their statements and the music in their propaganda videos it’s clear Lewaa Al-Thawra is closer in orientation to the Muslim Brotherhood than Islamic State,” said, Abdullah Kamal, an independent expert on jihadist groups in Egypt.

Ragaai’s death is the first political assassination of a military figure since former President Mohamed Morsi was removed from office by Egypt’s military in 2013.

Since that year, the Egyptian military has destroyed more than one thousand smuggling tunnels, a key lifeline for what remains of the private sector in the Gaza strip.

The tunnels also serve as a conduit for a busy cross-border arms trade that provides revenue and ammunition for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Ragaai oversaw a massive operation that began last year to dig a canal parallel to the Rafah border, flooding the frontier with sea water which seeps into the tunnels, preventing their use. Hamas officials in the town of Rafah complain that Gaza’s limited fresh water aquifer is being rendered undrinkable as well.

Ragaai ‘s assassination was preceded by an attack on security personnel in nearby Al-Arish Friday.

The Interior Ministry said two police officers were killed as their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device.

But security officials were eager to point out that they are on the offensive in the pocket of the northern Sinai where most incidents of Islamist violence are concentrated.

“Our forces killed 21 terrorists, destroyed over twenty of their hideouts and were able to locate and disable 16 IEDs before harm came to our men,” said an Interior Ministry spokesman.

The battle against the Muslim Brotherhood has intensified in Egypt’s courts as well.

Cairo’s Court of Cassation rejected an appeal Saturday by the ousted former president Morsi against a 20-year prison sentence for a 2012 incident that the state charges led to the deaths of 10 people in clashes outside the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace.

The Ittihadiya case is one of several indictments still pending against Morsi which include charges of espionage on behalf of Qatar and of organizing a jailbreak in conjunction with Hamas.

Last week, Attorney General Nabil Sadek obtained arrest warrants for an undisclosed number of Muslim Brotherhood members in Nasser City, charging them with “forming cells that planned to collect sugar from the Egyptian market and engaging in economic sabotage.”

Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics reports that annual inflation is the highest it’s been in nine years and foodstuffs ranging from sugar to baby formula to cheese have become scarce on the shelves as suppliers are unable to find foreign currency to pay for the products.

An intensified American critique of the Egyptian security state’s battle against the Brotherhood is adding to the headaches of the top brass in Cairo.

Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told a forum at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Friday that “the worst counter-terrorism strategy ever invented is Egypt’s mass incarceration of thousands of peaceful activists and opposition supporters right alongside the most hardcore terrorists.”

“We need to cooperate with countries in the region, including with Egypt, to share information about terrorist groups and plots so we can stop attacks before they happen,” Malinowski added. “But it is important that we not confuse good counter-terrorism cooperation with good counter-terrorism.”

“The former is necessary, but a finger in the dike. The latter – effective counter-terrorism — is what prevents the flood. It requires political reform that gives all legitimate stakeholders in the Middle East a voice in their governance, including peaceful Islamist parties.”

Egyptians meet with US officials to try to mend relations after Obama’s support for Muslim Brotherhood

September 24, 2016

Egyptians meet with US officials to try to mend relations after Obama’s support for Muslim Brotherhood, Jihad Watch,

The Obama administration has been reluctant to accept the legitimacy of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after he assumed power following the removal of his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.

The Washington Times has exposed Obama’s backing of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which Obama attempts to justify as “a moderate alternative to more violent Islamist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State.” Hillary Clinton also paid “an official visit” to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi when he first took power, and offered him the “strong support” of Washington.

The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood states:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”

In 2015, al-Sisi visited a Coptic Cathedral and later called for a religious revolution toward a modern reformation of Islam and stated “it’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”

Sisi has rightly declared about Obama:

You left the Egyptians. You turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.

In addition to Obama’s failing Egypt, he is also failing Americans. Obama’s own administration has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, illustrating the harmful direction in which the American president has led the country into, particularly considering the MB’s stated plan and strategy to turn North America into an Islamic caliphate:

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”

sisi-obama

“Egyptian Dignitaries and American Foreign Policy Experts Meet to Restore Strained Diplomatic Ties After Obama”, by Dustin Stockton, Breitbart, September 21, 2016:

NEW YORK – Egyptian media leaders and distinguished members of the Egyptian parliament met with members of the American media and foreign policy community Tuesday to discuss how to mend the relationship between the United States and Egypt.

The Obama administration has been reluctant to accept the legitimacy of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after he assumed power following the removal of his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.

Popular Egyptian media personality and host of American Pulse, Dr. Michael Morgan, organized the event, featuring several American foreign policy experts, including representatives from the London Center for Policy Research. The event gave these foreign policy experts a chance to meet with over one hundred prominent Egyptians, including members of parliament, leading media figures, government officials, and businessmen.

“The dinner was in honor of Egypt the country, and to try to strengthen the relationship between the Egyptians and Americans,” Dr. Morgan said. “After the downfall that has happened over the last eight years between the United States and Egypt [during] Barack Obama’s presidency, we hope that America will turn it’s face back to Egypt.”

Event organizers provided Breitbart News with unrestricted, on-the-record access to participate in the dialogue on a wide range of issues, including the ramifications of the United States presidential election on America’s relationship with Egypt, challenges in the Middle East, and the Egyptian government’s efforts to maintain peace and stability after more than five years of turmoil.

Members of the Egyptian delegation lambasted Hillary Clinton, a major figure in the demise of U.S.-Egyptian relations, after Egyptian President El-Sisi met with both Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday.

London Center for Policy Research Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Operations Tony Shaffer argued that Egypt is critical to any solution addressing current conflicts in the Middle East. Shaffer and the London Center for Policy Research have proposed the formation of an “Arab NATO,” led by Egypt and Egyptian President El-Sisi. The concept would use Egyptian credibility and respect from both Western and Muslim countries to bring together a coalition of Arab nations to enforce borders and settle disputes in the Middle East.

For the past five years, Egypt’s diplomatic relationship with the U.S. has been significantly strained.

In 2011, Egyptian protesters successfully deposed President Hosni Mubarak following three decades of rule. After Mubarak’s removal, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi became president and began to implement hardline Islamist policies. Under Morsi and the Brotherhood, Egypt’s government began to increasingly behave like an oppressive Islamist theocracy. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid Morsi an official visit, lending legitimacy to the Muslim Brotherhood regime.

In 2013, millions of Egyptians again took to the streets to protest the tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi. The Egyptian military, led by General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, stepped in to remove Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood…..

Obama was quoted as saying, “while we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual…”

General El-Sisi blasted the actions of the Obama administration in an interview with theWashington Post saying, “You left the Egyptians. You turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.”…

In 2015, President El-Sisi called for a “religious revolution” from inside Islam to destroy “extremism.”

Members of the Egyptian delegation were hopeful that President Obama’s replacement could open the door to closer collaboration between the two natural allies.

Donald Trump’s Outreach to Moderate Muslim Leaders Highlights Clinton Failure in Egypt

August 17, 2016

Donald Trump’s Outreach to Moderate Muslim Leaders Highlights Clinton Failure in Egypt, BreitbartTera Dahl, August 17, 2016

al sisi(1)AFP

In his foreign policy speech on Monday, Donald Trump stated that he would “amplify the voice” of moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, saying, “Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”

He also said that he would work with Egypt, Jordan and Israel in combating radical Islam, saying, “As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

He said that, as President, he would establish a “Commission on Radical Islam,” saying, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam – which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community who will hopefully work with us. We want to build bridges and erase divisions.”

His comments about cooperating with Egypt, Israel and Jordan were highlighted in the Arab world’s media, with headlines reading “Donald Trump Announces Plan to Cooperate with Egypt, Jordan, Israel to Combat Radical Islam” and “Trump vows to work with Egypt’s Sisi to ‘stop radical Islam’ if elected.”

Under the Obama Administration, US policy has not been friendly towards our Muslim allies such as Egypt. Hillary Clinton recently said in a primary debate with Bernie Sanders that, in Egypt, you basically have an “army dictatorship”.

Egypt is one of the most catastrophic foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department. President Obama started his outreach to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood when he delivered his 2009 Cairo speech. The US Embassy invited 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to attend the speech, undermining US ally Mubarak – who had rejected to previous U.S. efforts to reach out to the Brotherhood.

The Obama Administration, and Clinton’s State Department, again undermined President Mubarak in 2011 when they urged him to step down and pressured Egypt to hold elections “immediately” after the 2011 revolution. This policy favored the Muslim Brotherhood to win elections since they were the most organized at the time.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo offering “strong support” for the Islamist President, saying, “I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition… We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people.”

The Obama Administration embraced the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, but when millions of Egyptians took to the streets one year later, calling for early elections against the Muslim Brotherhood government, the Obama Administration did all they could to undermine their efforts.

Over 30 million Egyptians took to the streets on June 30, 2013 calling for the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power. After one year of being in power, the Brotherhood was taking Egypt towards an Iranian theocracy and the Egyptian people stood against political Islam. The 2011 Egyptian Constitution had no impeachment mechanism included, so the only democratic way to remove the Brotherhood was signing a petition and taking to the streets in the masses. Millions of Egyptians took to the streets again in July, supporting then Defense Minister General el-Sisi and the Egyptian military in their efforts to fight terrorism.

The Obama Administration condemned the Egyptian military and police after the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood and punished Egypt by freezing military and economic aid to Egypt. This was done while the Egyptian military had launched a major offensive to “crush terrorist activity” in the Sinai that had built up during the Muslim Brotherhood government. Egypt had to fight terrorism alone – not only without support from the US – but with pressure to succumb to the requests from the US Administration to release the Muslim Brotherhood members from prison and reconcile.

The pressure from the Obama Administration against the removal of the Morsi regime emboldened the Muslim Brotherhood and they waged an Islamist insurgency, not only in the Sinai but on the streets of Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood specifically targeted theChristian community and burned down over 65 Christian Churches and hundreds of Christian shops.

The Obama Administration sent U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to Egypt for “U.S. mediation efforts” and met with Khairat el-Shater, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was in jail at the time and sentenced for life in prison. Our State Department, under John Kerry, sent a representative to Egypt pressuring the Egyptian government to release terrorists from jail.

The Obama Administration also sent Senators McCain and Graham to Egypt to ask the Egyptian government and military to find an agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood. They asked the Egyptian government to “sit down and talk” to the Muslim Brotherhood, who had waged war on the Egyptian people.

Since being democratically elected in 2014, winning with 97% of the vote, Egyptian President al-Sisi has made history speaking out for equality between Muslims and Christians. He was the first President in Egyptian history to visit the Coptic Christian Christmas mass service in January 2015. During his speech at the Christmas mass, he emphasized the need to look at each other as “Egyptians” and not as Muslim or Christian. He said, “We will love each other for real, so that people may see.” President Sisi again visited the Coptic Christmas mass in January 2016 where he vowed to rebuild the Christian churches that were destroyed by Islamists in 2013 after the Muslim Brotherhood were removed from power.

President Sisi has called for “Islamic reform” within Islam numerous times. During a speech to Islamic scholars in 2015, marking the anniversary of Muhammad’s birth, President Sisi urged reform of Islamic discourse and called on Islamic scholars to send Christmas greetings to Christians. In the televised speech to Islamic scholars, President Sisi stated, “We talk a lot about the importance of religious discourse… In our schools, institutes and universities, do we teach and practice respect for the others? We neither teach or practice it.”

The Egyptian government has also addressed the ideology by banning thousands of radical clerics from preaching in the mosques that are not licensed.

Recently, the government of President al-Sisi introduced a textbook for Egyptian public schools that requires Egyptian pupils to memorize the provisions of the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty and delineate the “advantages of peace for Egypt and the Arab states”. This is a major reform taken from the Egyptian government in normalizing and strengthening relations between Israel and Egypt.

President Sisi should be considered a key ally of America as he is leading Egypt towards democracy and also is leading the fight against global jihad, both militarily and politically, in countering radical Islamic ideology. Instead, he has yet to be invited to the United States from President Obama.

Hillary Clinton has been critical of Trump’s position towards Russia, but policies implemented under the Obama Administration have pushed Egypt towards Russia and have alienated our strongest Arab ally for over 40 years. Egypt and Russia signed a$2billion arms deal after the United States abandoned them during their fight against terrorism. Russia also is providing Egypt with $25 billion to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

Donald Trump in his speech recognized the need to support our Muslim allies in the global war on terrorism. This is critical in defeating global jihad. We cannot afford another four years of a policy of alienating our allies and emboldening our enemies as we have seen under the Obama Administration.

The Bipartisan Enemy of the Good

April 5, 2016

The Bipartisan Enemy of the Good, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, April 5, 2016

secretary_kerry_with_president_al-sisi_july_2014

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

On March 25, The New York Times published an editorial effectively calling for US President Barack Obama to abandon the US alliance with Egypt.

The Obama White House’s house paper urged the president to “reassess whether an alliance that has long been considered a cornerstone of American national security policy is doing more harm than good.” The editorial concluded that Obama must “start planning for the possibility of a break in the alliance with Egypt.”

The Times’ call was based on an open letter to Obama authored by a bipartisan group of foreign policy experts that call themselves the “Working Group on Egypt.” Citing human rights violations on the part of the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Working Group urged Obama to tie US financial and military assistance to Egypt to the protection of NGOs operating in Egypt.

The self-proclaimed bipartisan band of experts is co-chaired by Robert Kagan from the Brookings Institution and Michele Dunne from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Among its prominent members are Elliott Abrams, Ellen Bork, Reuel Gerecht, Brian Katulis, Neil Hicks and Sarah Margon.

The Working Group has a history.

In January 2011, it called for Obama to force then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign from office. In so doing, it provided bipartisan cover for Obama’s decision to abandon the US’s most critical and dependable ally in the Arab world. Then, as now, the group’s esteemed experts argued that due to the regime’s infringement of human rights, the US could not in good conscience support it. Back in 2011, Israelis found a rare wall-to-wall unanimity of purpose in vocally and forcefully defending Mubarak from his American detractors. From the far Left to the far Right, from the IDF General Staff to the street, Israelis warned anyone who would listen that if Mubarak were forced out of power, the Muslim Brotherhood would take over and transform Egypt into a jihadist state.

Due in large part to the presence of senior Republican foreign policy hands on the Working Group, by and large Israel’s warnings were ignored in Washington. Facing the unusual Israeli consensus backing Mubarak was an American consensus insisting that “democracy” would ensure that a new liberal democratic Egypt would emerge out the ashes of the Mubarak regime.

The Americans chided us for repeating over and over again that the Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitor of al-Qaida, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and every other major Sunni jihadist terrorist group around at the time, was a terrorist group.

We were attacked as “anti-democratic,” for insisting that the Facebook posters and twitterers on Twitter were in no position to replace Mubarak.

Who were we, the Americans scoffed, to point out that the “Facebook revolutionaries” were but a flimsy veneer which barely hid the Islamists from willfully blind Western officials and reporters who refused to admit that liberal values are not universal values – to put it mildly.

In the ensuing five years, every single warning that Israel expressed was borne out in spades.

Just as we said, right after Mubarak was forced from power, the Islamists unceremoniously dispatched with the Facebook crowd. The two million Islamists who converged on Tahrir Square to hear Sheikh Yussuf Qaradawi call for jihad and the Islamic conquest of Israel weren’t interested in democracy.

The women and Christians of Egypt soon realized, Mubarak’s overthrow, which paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood electoral victories in 2012, did not expand their rights, it endangered their lives. As for the hapless Americans, immediately after Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi was inaugurated to serve as president of Egypt, the government began demanding that the US release from prison Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheikh who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. The US embassy in Cairo was the target of jihadist riots on September 11, 2012.

Then, since Morsi was elected democratically, none of this was any sweat off the back of Washington’s Egypt experts. They supported sending F-16s to his air force even after he hosted then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Cairo, let Iranian warships traverse the Suez Canal and became a strategic ally of Hamas. They also supported his government, even though he enabled Libyan arms to flow through Egypt to Syria, transforming the war in Syria from a local dispute into the incubator for Islamic State – the precursor of which Morsi also gave a free hand to operate in the Sinai, in conjunction with Hamas.

The Americans didn’t reconsider their belief that Morsi was the guy for them, even after he allowed his Muslim Brothers to torch Coptic churches and massacre Christians. They didn’t revisit their support for the Muslim Brotherhood government even after Morsi arrogated to himself dictatorial powers that even Mubarak never dreamed of.

Perhaps if Morsi had been a responsible economic leader, and maintained the liberalization policies Mubarak enacted during his last five years in power, then defense minister Abdel Fatah Sisi wouldn’t have felt the need to remove him from power. After all, Morsi appointed Sisi to his position.

But in addition to ending even lip service to human rights, Morsi gutted the economy. By the time the military overthrew Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in the summer of 2013, Egypt had a mere $5 billion in reserves, and according to the World Health Organization, a quarter of Egyptians were starving.

So had the Muslim Brotherhood remained in power, Egypt would not have remained a democracy.

It would have become a jihadist state as dangerous as Iran, with the economic prospects of North Korea.

In other words, five years ago, there was no chance that a post-Mubarak Egypt would become a liberal democracy. There were only two options – a US-allied tyranny that fought jihad and maintained the peace with Israel, or a jihad state, aligned with Iran, that posed an existential threat to Israel, Jordan, the US and the international economy.

Those are still the choices today, but the stakes are even higher. Due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s year in power, the jihadist elements that gathered force in the Sinai over the past 20 years were able to organize as a more or less unified force, under the rule of Islamic State (ISIS), and in strategic alliance with Hamas. Like ISIS in Syria, ISIS in Egypt is an aggressive, dangerous group that stops at nothing to achieve its aims of expanding the ISIS empire.

The war it now fights against the Egyptian state is a total war.

To his credit, Sisi recognizes the nature of the threat and has taken steps to counter jihad that Mubarak never contemplated. The Egyptian leader recognizes that to defeat ISIS nothing less than a reformation of Islam is required. And so, in addition to fighting ISIS with everything he has, he is risking everything by taking on the jihadist belief system.

Sisi has mobilized the clerics at Al-Azhar seminary to develop an Islamic narrative that rejects jihad.

Sisi risks everything because everything is already at risk. If ISIS wins, Egypt is finished.

To win this war, he has publicly embraced Israel as an ally. He has openly sided with Israel against Hamas. Unlike Mubarak, Sisi has been fully willing to acknowledge that just because Hamas’s primary victims are Jews doesn’t mean that it isn’t a terrorist group that has to be destroyed.

Without putting too fine a point on in, for his fearless fight to the death with the forces of jihad – both in the mosque and on the battlefield – Sisi has already entered the pantheon, alongside Winston Churchill, of word historical figures. And yet, rather than embrace him and support him in his fight for Egypt and humanity, the same “experts” who called for Mubarak to be overthrown now urge Obama to abandon Sisi.

It is depressing that there is no magic bullet – like democracy – for the pathologies that afflict the Islamic world. But there is no magic bullet. And there are no easy choices for people who refuse to recognize that the natural state of man is neither liberal nor democratic.

But it is hard to accept the credibility of those who refuse to learn from their mistakes. It is harder still as well to listen to the “moral calls” of those who refuse to accept that because their past advice was heeded, thousands have died, and if their current calls are heeded, millions of lives will be imperiled.

Sisi asks Obama for military intervention to save Egypt from ISIS

March 28, 2016

Sisi asks Obama for military intervention to save Egypt from ISIS, DEBKAfile, March 28, 2016

Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi has sent a secret missive to President Barack Obama asking for urgent US military intervention in support of Egypt’s war on the Islamist State in Sinai, before the jihadis pose a real threat to Cairo. DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence and counterterrorism sources report that El-Sisi has come to the conclusion that Egyptian army lacks the ability to eradicate the terrorist peril without direct US military support.

In his note, he asks Washington to replicate in Sinai the format of US intervention in the war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, namely, to send in special operations forces to establish bases and operate drones against jihadist targets. Unless stopped, he warns, the Islamic State is on the point of transforming the Sinai Peninsula into its primary forward base in the Middle East, bolstered by its branches of terror across North Africa, especially in Libya. US intervention is necessary to avert this.

So far, Sisi has received no answer from the White House and no sign of one in the pipeline.

Our military sources note that, given his record as former defense minister and a much-decorated general in the Egyptian army, an appeal to a foreign power for military assistance is out of character and would normally be found unacceptable in his own milieu. It must therefore be seen as a sign of extreme distress over Cairo’s failure to vanquish – or even contain ISIS, which now poses a strategic threat to Egypt proper.

In this situation, the generals in Cairo were dismayed to read a New York Timesleader on March 25, captioned “Time to Rethink US relationship with Egypt,” which faults the Egyptian regime’s human rights record and suggests that the relationship does Washington more harm than good.

The NYT concludes by saying, “Over the next few months, the president should start planning the possibility of a break in the alliance with Egypt. That scenario appears increasingly necessary.”

Since this article appeared out of the blue, it is feared in Cairo that it is President Obama’s way of spurring the Egyptian president’s SOS.

Some high-ranking military figures in Cairo have started talking about alternatives: If Washington refuses to come up with military assistance for fighting the Islamic State, perhaps the time has time to go elsewhere.
An Egyptian appeal to Moscow cannot be ruled out.