Egypt, the cradle of civilization, is home to the most radical extremist Islamic Muslims on the planet. It is not enough that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is intent on annihilating Coptic Christians. It is not enough that savage attacks, violence and rapes against Egyptian women have proliferated under the Muslim Brotherhood regime. It is not enough that the Muslim Brotherhood, under President Morsi, has created such a climate of terror through its unremitting brutality that even moderate Muslims fear the ramifications of speaking out against the horrors taking place.
Washington has watched Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, attempt to eradicate critics and political opponents, alike. Yet, they have continued to empower Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the efforts of Republican leaders, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), to impede the flow of 1 billion dollars in economic assistance and loan forgiveness that President Barack Obama promised to the Egyptian government in 2011.
It is only with the recent convictions by an Egyptian court of more than 43 non-profit workers placed by foreign-funded pro-democracy groups, that some Democratic leaders, who had previously urged patience with Egypt, have joined Republicans in rebuking this latest offense. The convicted workers include the son of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and 15 other Americans.
Shortly after news of the court’s decision on Tuesday, a bipartisan pair of congressmen began circulating a letter to colleagues addressed to Morsi, denouncing the convictions and issuing an implied threat that the United States’ considerable aid program to Egypt is at stake.
“We urge you to immediately reconsider this matter and return confiscated property to the NGOs [non governmental organizations], dismiss charges against all NGO workers, and permit them to continue their work supporting a free, fair and open and democratic society,” written by Virginia Reps. Gerald E. Connolly, a Democrat, and Frank R. Wolf, a Republican. “A certification that the government of Egypt is implementing policies to guarantee these pillars of a free society, as required by law, seems impossible under the present circumstances.” They then raised concerns about a pending law that would introduce new restrictions on civil society groups.
The court at the time of the convictions also ordered the closure of the offices and seizure of the assets in Egypt belonging to the U.S. nonprofit groups and a German organization for which many of the defendants worked.
One of the strongest criticisms came from the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Nita M. Lowey, (D-NY).
“Today’s decision by an Egyptian court to convict NGO workers promoting democracy and a strong civil society is an outrage and a stain on the U.S.-Egypt partnership,” Lowey stated. “I have communicated my deep concerns about this case directly to the Egyptian Ambassador, as well as to the U.S. Department of State. A failure to correct this wrong will have serious implications for the future of the U.S.-Egypt partnership.”
In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said closing the offices and seizure of the assets of the groups “contradicts the Government of Egypt’s commitments to support the role of civil society as a fundamental actor in a democracy and contributor to development, especially at this critical stage in the Egyptian people’s democratic transition.”
What Kerry failed to mention is that while employees of American NGO’s sat in Egyptian prisons awaiting trial, he quietly waived the restrictions set in law that would have prevented the U.S. from sending the Egyptian military $1.3 billion worth of weapons this year -unbeknownst to most in Congress.
The law specifies that to get the money, the Secretary of State must certify that Egypt is honoring its peace treaty with Israel as well as “supporting the transition to civilian government including holding free and fair elections; implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion, and due process of law.”
The State Department’s notification of Kerry’s move, was never released to the public. As outraged as Congress is at the convictions of NGO employees, they should be just as outraged that the Secretary of State arbitrarily flaunted a law without their knowledge.
So, on and on it goes. All that can be said, after countless reports(including articles by this writer) detailing the atrocities occurring within Egypt’s borders, is that it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to strongly denounce the aiding and abetting of the Muslim Brotherhood. If not, whose hands will be covered with the blood of Egyptian innocents?