The ‘Secular’ Muslim Brotherhood
The Obama administration is preparing the political ground for failure in Egypt.


Andrew C. McCarthy

Much of what inspired Hassan al-Banna to create the Brotherhood in 1928 was rage over the purging of Islam from public life in Turkey. Muslims the world over were horrified by Kemal Atatürk’s dismantling of the Caliphate — even though it was by then an empty shell, bereft of any but symbolic value. Just as the Brotherhood has outlasted its Egyptian oppressors, however, Banna’s vision has prevailed over Atatürk’s. Each day, the regime in Turkey, a strong ally of the Brotherhood’s, moves the country deeper into the Islamist fold. In an overwhelmingly Muslim country, the pull of the Brotherhood’s ideology remained powerful, even through an 80-year secularization project.

Now, Mubarak is gone. And with President Obama’s penchant for both engaging Islamist organizations in the U.S. and indulging even the ruthless Islamist leaders in Tehran, the Brotherhood knows the current administration won’t dare use the lush U.S. financial support of Egypt as leverage to deny the Brotherhood a powerful role in the new government.

Nobody knows this better than James Clapper. He cannot possibly believe the Brotherhood is secular. He can believe only that you can be duped into thinking the Brotherhood is secular. The administration has to do something because, in Egypt, a Brotherhood-influenced government is now inevitable. And we’ve seen in Turkey how Brotherhood-influenced becomes Brotherhood-dominated in short order.

The Obama administration is preparing the political ground for failure.

—  Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.