Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has claimed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are infiltrating the US government. From Huma Abedin in the state department to Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Bachmann has not been afraid to name the people she thinks are secretly working with the multinational Islamic party.
Bachmann’s claims have drawn brickbats from Democrats and Republicans alike. And now they’re drawing attacks from another party — the Muslim Brotherhood itself.
“I havenít heard these rumors, but they strike me as ridiculous,” said Ahmed Al Nahhas, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in Alexandria, Egypt. In an interview with GlobalPost, Al Nahhas said it was foolish to think Abedin was secretly working for Muslim Brotherhood. “Surely the United States government selects its employees very carefully,” he said.
Another Muslim Brotherhood leader,†Ibrahim Ali Iraqi, found the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood was penetrating the U.S. government laughable.
“The Muslim Brotherhood canít even penetrate the Egyptian government,” said Iraqi, referring to the ongoing standoff between the popularly-elected, Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and the Egyptian military’s transitional government.
Iraqi added that at the moment, the Muslim Brotherhood is more focused on domestic issues than any attempt to infiltrate anyone.
“We are in a period of darkness because the country is still governed by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces ó and they have a long history of support from the United States,” Iraqi said. “So it is ridiculous†that these accusations are leveled at us.”
That’s not to say that nobody in Egypt is listening to Michele Bachmann. Some opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood have used Bachmann’s assertions to claim that the U.S. is actually behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral victory.
Nevertheless, Bachmann continues to occupy lonely territory. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., blasted Bachmann on Sunday, saying, “Religion is a personal issue to every one of the people who lives in the United States, whether you practice a faith, how you practice a faith, whether you donít practice a faith, whether you say youíre a member of a faith but donít practice it, itís none of the governmentís business.”
Bachmann also was rebuked — albeit mildly — from a fellow Minnesota Republican. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., said, “Well, I’ll just say I don’t agree with her comments, and I don’t think they were right to go after an administration official without any background that would prove otherwise.”
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore