Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said June 30 that the Obama administration was pursuing an approach of “limited contacts” with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood — a policy, she said, that has “existed on and off for about five or six years.”
“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing… It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency,” In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has asserted that it renounces violence. The group is not considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States – Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in September, and the country’s military government has promised an election for president by the end of this year.
“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on February 10. “They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.”