Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theories
||This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (April 2013)|
In Egypt and the United States, conspiracy theories surrounding the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood organization are sometimes put forward by political partisans, particularly those with conservative and counterjihad views. These conspiracy theories include: that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood; that the Obama administration is advancing the Brotherhood's goals; and that Huma Abedin, a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's staff, is advancing the Brotherhood's agenda.
Theory about CPAC
Critics of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a leading conservative organization, see a link to the Muslim Brotherhood. Frank Gaffney has accused CPAC board members Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist of associated with Islamist, Sami al-Arian. In response, CPAC excluded Gaffney from its meetings.
Theory about US funding
In a September 2011 interview on Fox News, U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) suggested the US government could offset disaster relief and raise $100 million by defunding "the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for a while". The US government gives Egypt over $1.3 billion in military aid annually. The United States Agency for International Development has provided over $28 billion in economic and development aid to the country since 1975.[who?] No US aid goes to the Muslim Brotherhood or affiliate organizations which oppose US policies.
Following the 2013 military coup, YouTube clips of Gohmert from cable news displaying of outrage over US military aid to Egypt were "played repeatedly by the pro-military news media" in Egypt. One broadcast of Gohmert was accompanied by Arabic subtitles stating "Congressman exposes Obama's support for the Muslim Brotherhood." According to the New York Times' correspondent in Egypt, Rod Nordland, the belief that there is a "conspiracy between the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy Egypt" is common among Egyptians and was a widespread topic of conversation in Cairo in August 2013. Nordland quotes one Egyptian as saying “Americans are with the Muslim Brotherhood. ... O.K. you did something good when you killed Osama bin Laden, but now you are with Al Qaeda. You support the terrorists.” Nordland points out that the US provided military support to Egypt for decades before Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Muhammad Morsi became president.
Withdrawal of US aid is seen as disapproval for the al-Sisi government and support for the Brotherhood. However, many Brotherhood members imagine that the US is behind the military coup. Conspiracy theories "about American plans to divide Egypt and the greater Middle East have mushroomed ... "
Theory about Huma Abedin
In July 2012, Representative Michele Bachmann delivered a letter to the State Department's inspector general's office in which she tied Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to the Muslim Brotherhood and stated that the Muslim Brotherhood was directing the Obama Administration's approach to the Middle East. Bachmann's letter also questioned how Abedin was able to receive security clearance.
In response to Bachmann, United States Senator John McCain defended Abedin and said:
Huma represents what is best about America...[she is] the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully.
McCain also criticized Bachmann's letter, which was cosigned by Republican congressmen Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert and Lynn Westmoreland, as "nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant." In addition to McCain, Republican leader John Boehner, and Ed Rollins, who had managed Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign, criticized Bachmann. Boehner called Bachmann's accusations "dangerous" and Rollins called them "vicious" smears that "reached the late Senator Joe McCarthy level". Senator Lindsey Graham said the charges were "ridiculous" and that Abedin "is about as far away from the Muslim Brotherhood view of women and ideology as you possibly could get". Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) called the comments on Huma Abedinin in "that letter ... the wrong thing to do".
The Anti-Defamation League condemned the letter as well, referring to it as "conspiratorial" and saying that the Representatives involved should "stop trafficking in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories". Middle East scholar Juan Cole sarcastically avered that Bachmann herself might be a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood based on her having previously expressed support for the Mujahideen-e Khalq.
Abedin was subsequently placed under police protection after she received threats of violence, possibly connected to the allegations.
- "Religious War Comes to CPAC".
- Rep. Gohmert: Offset Disaster Relief By Defunding Muslim Brotherhood| 26 September 2011| Walid Zafar
- Background Note: Egypt| state.gov
- Reeve, Elspeth. "Louie Gohmert Is Big in Egypt — Among Conspiracy Theorists". Aug 26, 2013. Atlantic Wire. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- NORDLAND, ROD (August 25, 2013). "As Egyptians Ignore Curfew, Talk of a U.S.-Brotherhood Conspiracy". New York Times. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- Saleh, Yasmine (11 October 2013). "From Egypt, the message is "Obama keep your aid"". Reuters. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Letter to Deputy Inspector General, US Department of State from Michele Bachmann". June 13, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- "Michele Bachmann's baseless attack on Huma Abedin". Washington Post.
- "Boehner stands by Huma Abedin, calls Bachmann's accusations 'dangerous'".
- "Bachmann's former campaign manager joins chorus condemning her anti-Muslim remarks".
- "Republicans attack Bachmann Muslim conspiracy letter". BBC News. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Scott Keyes (July 23, 2012). "Conservative Congressman Blasts Bachmann's Anti-Muslim Allegations, Stands Up For Religious Liberty".
- "ADL Responds To Conspiratorial Letter From 5 Members Of Congress; Urges Bachmann, Others To Stop 'Trafficking In Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theories'".
- "Bachmann: Muslim Brotherhood Secret Agent?". mideastposts.com.
- "Report: Huma Abedin gets police protection".