Monday, March 26, 2007

Mainstreaming the Muslim Brotherhood

By Patrick Poole March 26, 2007

The victory of Democrats in the recent elections has launched a silly season in Washington DC, where absurd ideas that would have been scoffed at this time last year now float on the Potomac breeze like so many cherry blossoms filling the Beltway air with their fragrance.

No better example could be offered for this phenomenon than the recent flurry of articles from foreign policy “realists” urging the Bush Administration to shift its policy and begin to dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is headquartered in Egypt but has affiliates in more than 70 countries, including the US. This position is best represented in an article in the current issue (March/April 2007) of Foreign Affairs by Robert Leiken and Stephen Brooke of the Nixon Center,The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood”. They summarize their argument thus:

Even as Western commentators condemn the Muslim Brotherhood for its Islamism, radicals in the Middle East condemn it for rejecting jihad and embracing democracy. Such relative moderation offers Washington a notable opportunity for engagement -- as long as policymakers recognize the considerable variation between the group's different branches and tendencies.

Entire article here.

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