Like All Parties, Islamist Parties Contain Moderates, Centrists And Hard-Liners


A few items came across the desk last week that underscore the challenge America faces in making policy toward the Islamist parties that are emerging as the early beneficiaries of the uprisings across the Arab world. The first was a news article about the Jan. 11 meeting in Cairo between Bill Burns, a deputy secretary of state, and Muhammad Morsi, the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, during which Morsi said his party “believes in the importance of U.S.-Egyptian relations,” but said they “must be balanced.”

Two days later came a report from the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks the Arab media, about recent writings on the Muslim Brotherhood Web site, It said the site “contains articles with anti-Semitic motifs, including Holocaust denials and descriptions of the ‘Jewish character’ as covetous, exploitative, and a source of evil in human society. …Among these are articles calling to kill Zionists and praising the Sept. 9, 2011, attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo — which one article called a landmark of the Egyptian revolution.”

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