U.S. State Department Meets With Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

The U.S. State Department met with a delegation aligned with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood this week. It is understood that the group, which included a leading Brotherhood-aligned judge and a Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarian, discussed their ongoing efforts against the current Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

El-Sisi came to power after he deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist government in a popularly backed coup. After only one year of Muslim Brotherhood rule, 15 million people came out onto the streets demanding an end to their rule.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s stated goal is the recreation of an Islamic caliphate, although they follow a policy of the gradual implementation of sharia law.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, who orginally reported the meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood delegation met with State Department officials on Tuesday night. When the paper contacted the State Department about the meeting, an official would only say, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East policy tweeted that one of the delegates, Maha Azzam, said that the meetings were “fruitful.”

Dr. Maha Azzam is an Associate Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Program for the UK’s leading think tank Chatham House. She is staunchly anti-government and has previously written that the popular uprising of discontent against Morsi and the Brotherhood was only “a fraction of those [numbers] claimed by the military and its supporters.”

Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter said, “This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East.”

One of the delegates, Waleed Sharaby, is a leading Muslim Brotherhood judge, secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt. He posted a picture of himself on Facebook displaying the Raabia sign, the quintessential Muslim Brotherhood hand signal.

The four-fingered-sign is used to express opposition to President Sisi and solidarity with the Brotherhood. It was invented to show solidarity with the Brotherhood supporters who were killed when the Raabia mosque sit-in was dispersed by security forces.

The delegation also included leading Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarians, Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery from Luxor and Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood