Professors and Politicos Fooled by the Muslim Brotherhood
Engagement with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is the consensus among elite opinion and certainly among the ranks of North American Middle East studies academics, the "experts" tasked with informing the public and, often, policy-makers on foreign policy in the region. Since the Egyptian revolution, these academics have whitewashed the Muslim Brotherhood, downplayed its Islamist agenda, and urged U.S. cooperation—a policy suggestion the Obama administration has clearly taken to heart.
Many have been shocked by the speed with which the Obama administration has pursued this policy of outreach. The current debate within Congress about the potential influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department—a deliberation that crosses party lines—demonstrates just how deeply the influence has spread.
The symbiotic relationship between the academic and political spheres came to the fore in April of this year. No sooner had representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, met with White House officials than the same delegation was taking part in a panel discussion at Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) on April 4, 2012 (click here to watch).
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