COMMENT: Well, when Mubarak, Ali (Tunisia) were ousted amid emphatic utterances that a New Dawn was breaking in the Middle East and that democracy, enlightenment, etcetera, would be forthcoming like water from a fountain, the view here was that we would see the ascension of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood.
That is evidently turning out to be true with a remarkable wrinkle–as the Obama administration, the State Department and members of Congress cozy up  to the Muslim Brotherhood, continuing a relationship begun during the Bush administration , the Brotherhood are cast as “moderates” in contrast with the resurgent Salafist Nour Party.
The “moderation” of the Brotherhood centers on their stated desire to honor the peace treaty with Israel and their commitment to free markets.
A number of thoughts come to mind in this context:
- As seen below, the Brotherhood has already broken its promise not to field a candidate in the presidential election.
- Within the last decade, the Egyptian Brotherhood was agitating against a law banning female genital mutilation–the surgical removal of women’s clitorises in order to keep them from “impure thoughts.” A large percentage of married Egyptian women have been subjected to that procedure.
- Also within the last ten years, the Brotherhood was lobbying to have sanitary napkin dispensers removed from women’s bathrooms in public high schools, thus forcing young women to remain at home when they were menstruating. (In traditional Islam, women are considered unclean when menstruating and men are not supposed to have contact with them.)
- We are to believe that the Brotherhood has undergone a Damascus-road conversion (no pun intended.) In these quarters, skepticism reigns. Rather, the suspicion here is that the Brotherhood is practicing taqqiya–lying to infidels in order to deceive them and gain strategic advantage.
- Within the last ten years, the Brotherhood has been pushing for Egypt to acquire nuclear weapons , in order to counteract Israel’s arsenal. This was in order to place Egypt in a position to reach military parity with Israel. That does not sound like a political stance that bodes well for the future of the peace treaty with Israel.
- The Egyptian Brotherhood has been openly supportive of, and has established liaison with, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. Hamas’ charter and the salute used by its cadre are adopted from the Third Reich . Hamas has said they will never recognize Israel. The Egyptian Brotherhood’s liaison with Hamas also suggests that their supposed moderation is taqqiya in action.
- On successive days in February of 2011, The New York Times featured columns  in which Brotherhood members and advocates openly lied about the organization’s past , deliberately obscuring the group’s military alliance with the Third Reich  during World War II. Again, this suggests that the “moderation” we are seeing is taqqiya.
- One fascinating possibility suggests itself. Might those being polled and lending momentum to the Salafist presidential candidate actually be working clandestinely for the Brotherhood, maneuvering to position the Brotherhood as the “moderate” alternative to the Salafists? Some of the secularists who helped craft the Egyptian revolution have openly charged that the Brotherhood and Salafists are collaborating to Islamize Egypt. How many of the Salafists are actually Brotherhood operatives or sympathizers?
- In this regard, we should note that the Salafists have said that the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate assured them that he will see to it that any laws passed by his regime  will be in accordance with Sharia. Having broken their promise not to field a presidential candidate, the Brotherhood does indeed appear to be exercising taqqiya. Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat el-Shater has promised a group of hard-line, reactionary imams that they will be deeply involved in the crafting of Egyptian law. This is almost identical to a highly controversial Muslim Brotherhood proposal put forth in 2007 and withdrawn amidst a storm of controversy.
- With examples of Muslim Brotherhood duplicity with respect to moderation fresh in memory, the possibility that the Egyptian Brotherhood’s “moderate” stance may be just so much dissembling should be carefully considered. Recall that Grover Norquist and Karl Rove  positioned Brotherhood operatives from the Nazi-linked al-Taqwa milieu  as moderates in the GOP’s Islamic Institute milieu. CAIR–a Muslim Brotherhood front organization  with open links to terrorists  has emerged in the United States as the “moderate” advocate for the rights of American Muslims.
- It is possible that, faced with an Israel that has nuclear weapons, Brotherhood leaders have adopted an element of moderation derived from staring down the barrel of a “nuclear gun,” but time and the elements will have to bear that out before it will be believed in these quarters.
- When Italian fascists in the Alleanza Nazionale rose to power, they were sanitized by contrasting them with the violent forces grouped around Pino Rauti. Yet Pino Rauti and his cadre were actually part of former P‑2 member Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition. Berlusconi, the Alleanza Nationale and Ordine Nuovo (Rauti’s group) have strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood/Bank al-Taqwa milieu . Are we seeing a similar arrangement with the contrast between the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood?
EXCERPT: Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is an old-school Islamist.
He wants to move toward abolishing Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model of independence from Washington. He worries about the mixing of the genders in the workplace and women’s work outside the home. And he promises to bring extraordinary prosperity to Egypt, if it turns its back on trade with the West.
He has also surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt’s next president, reconfiguring political battle lines here. His success may help explain why the United States offered signs of tacit approval over the weekend when the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group, broke its pledge not to field its own candidate.
With a first round of voting set for late May and a runoff in mid-June, the first presidential race here since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year is shaping up as a battle among Islamists.
The Brotherhood, which leads Parliament, had pledged not to seek the presidency for fear of provoking a backlash from the Egyptian military and the West. But Mr. Abu Ismail’s surge raises the prospect that the winner might not be a more secular or liberal figure, but a strident Islamist who opposes the Brotherhood’s pragmatic focus on stable relations with the United States and Israel and free-market economics.
Mr. Abu Ismail poses a subtler threat, too, challenging the Brotherhood’s status as the main voice of Islamist politics in Egypt and threatening to undermine its campaign to set aside Western fears of political Islam. The Brotherhood is taking a considerable risk in running its own candidate against him, since its victory is by no means assured.
And so, in a remarkable inversion, American policy makers who once feared a Brotherhood takeover now appear to see the group as an indispensable ally against Egypt’s ultraconservatives, exemplified by Mr. Abu Ismail. . . .