Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

U.S. interested in talking to "alternative" voices in Egypt

In an article from Newsweek’s April 23rd edition, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball discuss the apparent shift in Bush administration policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood, a global Islamist movement with a strong presence in Egypt.

Mohammad Saad el-Katatni, a Brotherhood leader who serves in the Egyptian Parliament, attended a recent party in Cairo at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. According to the article, this is significant considering that the U.S. since 9/11 has avoided any contact with the Brotherhood because of suspicions of possible ties to terrorism. Visiting House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who attended the cocktail party, said that he wanted to hear “alternative” voices in Egypt.

Newsweek discusses the possibility that this ostensibly softened stance toward the Brotherhood could be seen as a way for the Bush administration to cleverly express their concern with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s recent crackdown on the Islamist group. A senior U.S. official said that the meeting with el-Katatni was a “subtle, smart way to express concern” over the crackdown.

For the full article, click here.


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