Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood officials aim to promote moderate image in Washington visit

The Washington Post

"Members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood began a week-long charm offensive in Washington on Tuesday, meeting with White House officials, policy experts and others to counter persistent fears about the group’s emergence as the country’s most powerful political force.

The revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak has rapidly transformed the Brotherhood from an opposition group that had been formally banned into a political juggernaut controlling nearly half the seats in Egypt’s newly elected parliament.

With its rise, however, have come concerns from Egypt’s secularists as well as U.S. officials that the Islamist group could remake the country, threatening the rights of women and religious minorities. Such fears were only exacerbated by the Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, despite previous pledges that it would not do so.....

Members of the Brotherhood delegation, who met with White House officials Tuesday, are scheduled to meet with more U.S. officials in coming days and attend several events at think tanks.

At those events, they are likely to be scrutinized as representatives of Egypt’s ruling party....."

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