Opinion: Would a Biden Administration Revive the Muslim Brotherhood?
“There are several reports confirming the Muslim Brotherhood’s support for Biden so that the organization would be able to avoid restrictions on political Islamist movements.”
By Khaled Abu Toameh, The Gatestone Institute
Will a new US administration possibly under Joe Biden help revive the Muslim Brotherhood, which is considered a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Syria? Why is the Muslim Brotherhood rejoicing over the “victory” of Biden?
Some Arabs say they are worried when they see the Muslim Brotherhood celebrating the results of the US presidential election. These Arabs fear that the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by Qatar and Turkey, is preparing to make a comeback under a potential Biden administration.
The message Arabs are sending to the new US administration is: Do not repeat the mistakes of former President Barack Obama, whose administration sided with then Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member. The Arabs also want to remind a potentially new US administration that the Islamists and their supporters are inveterate liars who care only about their own interests.
“Muslim Brotherhood activists and media outlets have seemed very enthusiastic about the Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s progress in US election results,” according to the London-based The Arab Weekly newspaper.
“Analysts attributed this enthusiasm to their [Muslim Brotherhood’s] wish for an encore of their experience in the era of former President Barack Obama, during which they played a remarkable role riding the wave of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings…
“Pro-Muslim Brotherhood activists and media professionals in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and the Gulf states did not hide their prayers for a Biden victory…
“From the outset, the Muslim Brothers did not hide their bias towards Biden. They presented him as a supporter of Islam and Muslims, highlighting the fact that he cites the Prophet’s [Mohammed] hadiths…”
Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood published a statement on its official website in which it wrote that it “appreciates the American electoral process, which resulted in Mr. Joe Biden winning the position of the new President of the United States, a victory that proves that the American people are still able to impose their will.”
The labeled terrorist organization said, with a straight face, that it “wishes Mr. Biden, the American people, and the peoples of the whole world to continue to live in dignity under the principles of freedom, justice, democracy and respect for human rights.”
The Muslim Brotherhood called on Biden “to review the policies of support for [Arab] dictatorships, and the crimes and violations committed by tyrannical regimes around the world.”
The statement surprised few Arabs, many of whom scoffed at the Muslim Brotherhood’s talk about “freedom, justice, democracy and respect for human rights.” Saudi writer Tariq Al-Homayed remarked:
“As expected, the Muslim Brotherhood organization came out of its hole and issued a statement congratulating Joe Biden and asking him to act against those they call dictatorships… We say expected, because the Muslim Brotherhood, who used to condemn their critics as agents of the West and Zionists, have revealed their face, and they are urging America to intervene against our countries now under the pretext of democracy.”
Al-Homayed wondered whether the dictatorships the Muslim Brotherhood are talking about include Iran, Turkey and Qatar. “Are the dictatorships those who want to protect the Arab countries from the evil of the Muslim Brotherhood, their lies, and their terror?,” he asked.
Al-Homayed pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood had mourned Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, “who fought Iraqis, Syrians, and Lebanese, and was the architect of devastation in the region.”
Soleimani was assassinated in a targeted US drone strike on January 3, 2020, in Baghdad. He was personally sanctioned by the United Nations and the European Union and was designated as a terrorist by the US in 2005.
Egyptian political analyst and writer Israa Ahmed Fuad, reacting to the Muslim Brotherhood statement, said that the terrorist organization “seeks in various ways to exploit any international circumstance in order to recycle itself and come to the fore after its sabotage project in the region failed with the collapse of their regime in Egypt in 2013” – a reference to the downfall of the regime of President Mohammed Morsi.
“There are several reports confirming the Muslim Brotherhood’s support for Biden so that the organization would be able to avoid restrictions on political Islamist movements,” Fuad added. “The Obama era was an ideal period for them. Now, they are hoping that the US will remove them from the list of terrorist organizations.”
Moroccan researcher Amin Al-Alawi said that the Muslim Brotherhood’s “celebration of Biden reflects a nostalgia for the era of revolutions and the Democrats’ support for the Arab Spring.” The Muslim Brotherhood, he charged, “are partners of Democratic administrations in ruining the region and supporting extremism. The Muslim Brotherhood believes that Biden will bring them back to power [in Egypt], especially after [President Donald] trump’s four-year presence has aborted their ambitions.”
‘Dancing with Joy at Biden’s Victory’
Khaled Salah, editor-in-chief of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabi, mocked the Muslim Brotherhood’s greetings to Biden. Salah said that the Muslim Brotherhood is hoping that Biden will pressure Egypt to release senior members of the terrorist organization from prison. “The ignorant group [Muslim Brotherhood] is dancing with joy at Biden’s victory, as if they are preparing to return to power on orders from the White House,” he commented.
Nabil Na’im, a former member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad Organization, said he too believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is seeking “to open a new page” with the new US administration. By congratulating Biden, Na’im argued, the Muslim Brotherhood is expecting the Democratic Party to adopt it, defend its existence and pave the way for its return to the political arena.
No US administration can afford to dismiss the warning bells sounded by Arabs in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to present itself as a peaceful group that seeks to bring freedom and democracy to the Arab world.
The Islamists are desperate to return to power in Egypt, which is why they are prepared to even court the American “Satan” to reach this goal. These are the same Islamists who have been condemning Arabs who have any contact with Americans. At this time of possible administrative change in America, the Arabs who do not support the Muslim Brotherhood — particularly those living in Egypt and the Gulf states — fervently hope that their alarm about Islamists will be heard loud and clear by Biden and his group.
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