The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh takes issue with the Obama administration's engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood [MB] in a new opinion piece for the Hudson Institute, arguing that the group is, and always will be extremist. Toameh's statements echo fears expressed by moderate Egyptians, who are trying to organize against an Islamist takeover.
"If anyone thinks that the Muslim Brotherhood will abandon jihad and extremism once its members come to power, they are living in an illusion," Toameh argues. "The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies will do everything to hide their true intentions from Western governments and people. But once they come to power, they reveal their true colors."
As evidence, Toameh points to the rhetoric and ideology of the movement. The MB has not changed its motto, which preaches "Jihad is our way and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations." Recent statements at the group's events, like at "The Friday of Supporting Al-Aqsa Mosque" rally, illustrate the group's consistently anti-Semitic and anti-Western rhetoric.
Secular Egyptians share the same worries. "Many Egyptians share our concerns about the prospect of an Islamist government," said Naguib Abadir, the executive director of the secular Free Egyptian Party, Canada's The Globe and Mail. "We expect large numbers of such people to come forward and support us."
Political organization isn't the only response to Islamist electoral gains. According to the Canadian paper, many Egyptian Christians and secularists "are quietly discussing what they call 'Plan B,' an exit strategy – first for their money, then for their family." International Christian groups are also pushing the American president for a change of policy, one that they hope will protect vulnerable religious minorities in Egypt.